Travel

Holiday Staycay at the Wicker Park Inn

As the days started getting shorter and the temp began to drop, a couple Chicago blogger friends and I had the idea to put together a staycation blog post. Staycations are especially fun when you live in a big city like Chicago. I always feel like they are such a great way to step back from the daily monotony and really take a chance to appreciate the city you live in. I know I always looked forward to the back when I lived in Hawaii and I knew a Chicago staycation would be just as amazing. The Wicker Park Inn hosted our little holiday trip. I have to say, we literally could not have had a better time. The Wicker Park Inn smack dap in the middle of the happening Wicker Park neighborhood is a bed and breakfast that was recently renovated. Each room features a different whimsical wallpaper and elegant furniture. I was especially obsessed with the chic velvet upholstered chair in my room. They serve breakfast daily in their beautiful spacious kitchen and a large window on one side lets in plenty of natural light. The L’s blue line runs directly past, giving you an authentic Chicago vibe. […]

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How to pack for 3 weeks in Central America with just a carry-on backpack

SO now that you guys know a little about my trip to Costa Rica, I wanted to share my packing list. Because who doesn’t like a good packing list? One of the first things I always do before leaving for a trip is a quick Google search of what to bring. I am definitely not the person trekking through the airport with three suitcases. To be honest, the more stuff I have with me on a trip, the more weighed down I feel, physically and also mentally. I definitely find that when I have less with me I feel more at ease and am able to enjoy exploring more easily. See that little red backpack in the photo above? Yeah, that fit everything I possibly needed and more. So here is what I brought: Three summer dresses – Just as easy to throw on for the beach as for a night out. One romper – I wore this as a beach coverup, or as overalls with a T-shirt underneath. A denim mini skirt – I brought this instead of jean shorts just because it felt a little more dressy. No regrets. Two solid color tanks – I brought one black […]

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Costa Rica Chica

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I was at the pub near home partaking in a bottomless mimosa brunch with a few of my Chicago friends. A couple mimosas in, I was sufficiently buzzed. Thoughts of travel and exploration flashed through my mind. I knew my friend Leah was heading to Costa Rica in a few days and that was when a brilliant (or reckless) idea came to me. Venmo Leah money to buy a plane ticket so you can’t back out and have to go meet her in Central America. So I did. Two days later, I had a one-way to Costa Rica booked. I was to leave two weeks later. A few days before my flight, my nerves kicked in. I had a vague plan to meet up with Leah and two of her friends who she was traveling with, but I had no actual arrangements. It was just me and my little backpack of bathing suits. I’ve gotten pretty used to traveling and even solo traveling, so my nerves surprised me. As soon as I landed though, I knew I would be fine. Taking things one step at a time, I found a commuter flight from […]

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El Camino – Part III

Welp…it’s a new year and I’ve officially been back in the United States for two months. What a total rush the holidays were. And things really haven’t slowed down much as I’ve been searching for a job and driving down to Chicago or up to Minneapolis every chance I get. If someone a year ago had told me I’d be living in Wisconsin right now I would have scoffed and rolled my eyes at them. Life, man. I tell ya. So anyways, as winter in the midwest is generally pretty dark, dingy, and cold, I have lots of time to daydream. And what am I daydreaming about? Ditching the States again and jetting off to someplace new…preferably warm. So I thought I’d put my daydreaming to good use by reminiscing on my European adventure some more and writing a new travel post. I last left you somewhere in the middle of my trek through France. I had parted with my beloved Éric and Laurent and found myself in a really good and happy place despite the fact that my pals had left me. But you know what’s great about a hike like this? People are constantly starting and stopping their […]

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El Camino – Part II

Since I last posted I have made many wonderful memories, as well as a few not so great ones. Let’s get the negative out of the way first. Last year I decided against buying hiking shoes and wore a pair of super light Nike sneakers. Although I dealt with severe blisters for a couple of days at the beginning of my hike, they calloused over quickly and I was totally fine. Blisters are kind of inevitable on a hike like this so I didn’t think much of it and decided to wear the same shoes this year. I experienced the same blister situation, only this time, they were worse and additional foot pain and tendinitis followed. Other pilgrims along the way consistently asked if my feet were ok, pointing to my shoes with wide eyes. My stubbornness got the best of me for a while and I would shrug and say, “of course, I’m fine!” But eventually I admitted to myself and my fellow hikers that my choice of footwear was stupid. Anyways, the unexpected upside to my shoes was that I met some wonderful friends, in part, thanks to them. One night a little over a week into my […]

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El Camino – Part I

Hey guys! I’m going to try and do some blog updates about my Camino journey from time to time over the next month. Keep in mind that I’m posting from my phone so sorry if the formatting is weird! I’ll try and fix any issues when I’m back to having a computer to use. On Monday I took the train from Paris to Le Puy-en-Velay to begin my second round of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. (Last year I hiked 3 weeks of it with my family.) My train got in at 8 p.m. and I somehow found a gite, aka a hostel for pilgrims, that had space for me. Unfortunately, restaurants and grocery stores in town were closed so I went without dinner, but ya know, such is the life of a pilgrim. I departed Tuesday at 7:30 and hiked the 24 kilometers to a small town called Saint-Privat-d’Allier. It was a pretty good first day. I only saw maybe five other pilgrims on the trail all day, which is way fewer than last year. So mostly I just walked alone with my thoughts and some cows and the occasional pony or goat. Oh, the French countryside. The […]

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