Tunes for the Road.

What does traveling sound like for you? Is it the soothing sound of the waves kissing the shore, trees swaying the wind or a tiny creek tirelessly running through the woods? Or did you immediately think of man-made tunes? Then you probably know this. You’re on the road and this one song keeps blasting through the radio, accompanying you along the way.

Back home the same song suddenly comes on. In an instant you’re taken back to the way you felt during your trip: lazy hazy days of summer, crusing around during an epic road trip, venturing on a weekend getaway or just chilling in the sun. Travel playlists make life so much better and make your experiences last longer, sending you away on dreams about past travels.

We all have our preferences when it comes to music. For the road I personally prefer tunes that are a bit indie, folk-y and acoustic because they are so raw and real. Just the way I like my travels to be. My favourites are the ones that list endless cities, countries and places because it always inspires me to travel more, see more and experience more. Here are my top three for the road:

1. City and Colour – Home
Although this one technically talks about coming home after traveling for a long time, I feel it has the longest list of places that has ever been mentioned in a song.

2. The Head and the Heart – Down in the Valley
Simply because it mentions my second home, Oklahoma!

3. Passenger – Travelling Song
It’s just such a perfect tune for riding along the road and the lyrics are just sweet.

 

Daydreaming. Throwback. Summer.

This is a throwback. Technically, throwbacks apparently only work on Thursdays now, with the widely known #throwbackthursday. But you can’t really control your longings and feelings, can you? Summer has finally arrived in Wales. Blazing hot summer days, long and warm nights on the patio and blissfully enjoying the warm and hot sun streams on your skin.

Can you really enjoy it though? When you’re in your everyday life, you most probably can’t appreciate summer as much as you would want it. Running to work or to uni, hauling groceries around in 30 degree-stuffy-air and only finding time to truly enjoy the weather in the evenings.

In these times, I always pretend my head is in a little travel-bubble. In my head I am in Santorini right now. Sitting on the patio, drinking coffee and enjoying a Greek breakfast.

Or, even better, returning to my favourite memory – hiking from Fira to Oia, the two biggest towns in Santorini. Passing by lush infinity pools, admiring the endless and ultramarine coloured ocean and taking in the tranquility around you.

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Do you have these reveries you can escape to when you’re feeling you need a break? My advice is to keep them as close to your heart as possible. There’s nothing better than going through your memories and pictures from past travels and feeling an excitement bubbling up inside you, only waiting to board the next plane and go on a trip.

I am lucky to say that my next take off is only 22 days away now. Soon I’ll step foot onto Canadian land for the first time, visiting Calgary, Banff and Jasper. And of course, being a guest at one of my best friend’s wedding!

Where do your throwbacks and daydreams take you? Or even better, where are you travelling next? I still have a long bucket list for 2015!

2014 Favorites!

With 2015 around the corner, I decided to sit back and reflect on this amazing year. At the beginning of 2014 I decided to take a few months off from studying and working to travel the world. My trips took me to Berlin, Bolivia, Greece, Hamburg, Ibiza and finally to Cardiff, Wales where I started my Master’s degree in September. All of these trips have left me in awe and fuelled my wanderlust. There are three main destinations that stuck with me the most:

1. SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA

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2. SANTORINI, GREECE

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3. BRECON BEACONS, WALES

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Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the main travel destinations in Wales. I haven’t written a blogpost about it yet, I still need to sort out hundreds of pictures until I can finally share them with you. Watch out for it, the blogpost will come when you least expect it!

These are my highlights of 2014. They might be your highlights of 2015 soon?! I can’t wait for the new year to come with even more travels, trips and journeys to satisfy my urge to see the world and breathe in the air of new places. Believe me, my head is already buried in a number of travel guides and I can’t wait to book my flights, pack my bags, prepare my paths and then finally board the plane!  Do you already know where your year is going to take you? Read about my bucket list for the new year here.

See you in 2015!!

All day I dream – Ibiza.

One of my numerous trips this summer took me to IBIZA. First of all: this was not the typical Ibiza trip you would imagine for a girl my age. I didn’t spent my week in one of the overpriced three-star hotels and went out partying every night. In fact, I was lucky to live in one of Ibiza’s countryside cottages. This was only possible because of my dear friend Isabell who grew up on Ibiza and invited me and Selina to visit her during the summer. Isabell’s parents Tina and Jogi are running a successful diving school at the Cala Pada which is definitely worth a visit while you’re on the island! (http://www.diving-ibiza.com/)

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We spent a perfect week of visiting different beaches, driving around the island, going shopping in Eivissa and enjoying delicious food.

The two beaches that definitely stuck with me were Cala Olivera and Cala Compte. Let me start off with Cala Olivera. This is a very tiny and serene cove at the east coast of the island. If you are searching for a crystalline sea, clear skies and a rocky coast this will be your happy place. Since this cove is so hidden, you will mostly encounter locals there.

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If looking for the perfect sunset, you simply have to visit Cala Compte. There is not much to tell about this sunset, it is simply breathtaking. Make sure to arrive in the late afternoon to secure your spot at the beach since it is always crowded with the local hip scene.

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One spot that you cannot miss while you’re on the island is the Las Dalias hippy market. There are various hippy markets throughout the island but this one is the biggest and most famous one. The best time to visit the market is at night – two days the week Las Dalias is open until 1 am.

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After we visited the night market, Isabell brought us to the Atzaró Natural Hotel & Spa. From time to time during the summer, local fashion designers are hosting a fashion show there. The combination of a jaw-dropping scenery and a lively atmosphere during the fashion show makes for a perfect evening!

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Of course you are going to want to visit Eivissa during your trip on the island. When visiting during the day, you can enjoy a variety of Spanish fashion chains such as Bershka, Blanco, Stradivarius or Pull & Bear just to name a few. To take a quick break and grab a snack during your shopping spree, you can visit Es Tap Nou. Don’t be deterred by the not so cozy atmosphere – the juices and salads are just mouth watering!

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If you decide to visit Eivissa during the night, you can start your night off by walking up to Dalt Vila, the old town of Eivissa until you reach the castle which is located at the highest point of the city. The walk up through the cobbled streets and the view from above down to the port and the city are worth the trip up steep stairs and small alleys!

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The moment of gathering our stuff, driving to airport and taking our planes came way too early. A big thank you to Isabell and her family for making this one of the most memorable weeks of my summer!

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Hiking from Fira to Oìa.

This is probably going to be my favourite blogpost about Santorini. If you ever visit Santorini, don’t only be a tourist, be a traveler. Take the chance to explore this jaw-dropping island as much as possible – there’s no better way doing this than hiking! One hot and sunny afternoon Marina and I decided to take a 5 hour and 12km long hike from Fira to Oìa. Oìa is the city in Santorini that is located at the far northern edge of the island and is famous for its sunset. Some say that it’s one of the most amazing sunsets they have ever seen. I can definitely say it is!

Taking the hike is not difficult at all. If you are in a medium good shape and feel good with the thought of walking a couple of hours in the sun, this hike should be no problem for you. Be aware of the fact that the paths are sometimes rocky and very small so be sure to wear some good shoes. Take a sunhat and put on some sunscreen and off you go!

We started off the hike at the orthodox cathedral in the heart of Fira. Since the island is so tiny, it is always easy to locate yourself and to stay on track. The only thing you have to make sure is to always walk at the edge of the caldera. This way you can almost always see where Oìa is located and walk in that direction.

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Right outside of the borders of Fira, you start walking a little uphill towards the town of Imerovigli. It is a very small town with some shops and restaurants. Not many tourists walk around the streets which is a welcome change from the bustling streets of Fira.

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Once you continue your journey away from the main street in Imerovigli, you encounter the most amazing spots on the whole island. Walking close to the caldera, you catch yourself staring at houses, hotels, spas and the fascinating nature with an open mouth. Everything is calm and quiet, the ocean reflects the sunbeams just perfectly and you won’t believe how lucky you are to be on this unique island.

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Although the houses around you are mainly hotels and spas, you will find yourself completely alone. Every half hour or so, you may encounter other hikers who are just as amazed as you are and you greet each other real quick with a quiet smile before continuing your journey.

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Soon after passing these beautiful sights of Greek architecure, you are faced with nature’s simple beauty. You walk past different kinds of ashes that remained from Santorini’s times as a volcano. But what will take away your breath and make you stop your walk every other minute is the picturesque view of the ocean.

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From time to time you will spot a cathedral or a church up on a small hill or a little off the beaten path. I strongly urge you to take the little detour to visit these churches. Although you mostly won’t be able to enter these churches, they are definitely worth visiting and they offer you a different and one-of-a-kind view of the island. Three churches that you will pass are the chapel Ágios Antonios, chapel Ágios Márkos and the chapel Profítis Ilías.

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Once you have passed these chapels and churches, a rather difficult part of the path will start. You find yourself on a 1,2m wide path that is rocky and winds downhill. Just make sure to take your time walking down – this way you will be totally fine. Soon the street will be paved again and you are around 40-60min away from Oìa.

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On this final part of the hike you will pass the church Tímios Stavrós that is located at 270m above sea level and then you will be able to spot the city of Oìa and soon reach its borders. Just continue following the path and you will find yourself on Oía’s main street with shops and restaurants. Take a little peek in there, it’s definitely worth it!

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When you arrive in Oìa in the early evening just like we did, you will recognize a huge amount of people rushing to one spot in the city. There is a viewpoint in Oìa from where you have the perfect view of the famous sunset. Of course it is crowded there. You will be surrounded by hundreds of tourists, trying to catch a glimpse of the sunset and taking pictures of it. Just don’t let them disturb you. Enjoy the sunset and block out all the people around you. This sunset is a one in a lifetime experience.

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So, this is it. Me introducing Santorini to you is accomplished! I hope I was able to deliver you an idea of how stunning this little island in the Aegean is. From what I can tell, Santorini is the most breathtaking place on earth that I have seen far. And let me tell you, I have seen a bunch of places!