There's no doubt that traveling can be fun. Seeing new places, new people, new experiences sounds very exciting, but to ensure that a trip is successful, there must be a lot of planning involved. One can't possibly know or think of everything before a trip - we certainly spent a lot of time researching and planning before our #europeanadventure. I wanted to share the things we did and wish we did before leaving, in hopes of making your next trip's planning easier. Grab your notebook and pen for notes, a cup of coffee (or tea) or whatever fancies you and get ready, it's a long one.
So here it goes below...
Prior to our trip to Europe, we spent about a month in Upstate New York, spending time with family and preparing ourselves for the time we will be abroad.
The weather has been cold with a lot of rain, but we managed to get some sunny days that allowed us to spend some times outdoors exploring. We took advantage of the time in Adirondacks and visited a bit of the area.
There is no doubt about it, San Diego is a city meant for spending time outside. The weather, the scenery, the locations - all aid in leading an outdoorsy lifestyle. Apart from the the typical city scene, there are many outdoor "wild" areas in San Diego where one can leisurely walk, hike, bike or even run. All these areas are spread across the city and they each come with different "features" and landscapes.
A few weeks ago we left San Diego, California, which we called home for 6 years, in order to explore more of the world and ourselves. While waiting for our upcoming trip to Europe, we wanted to visit Upstate New York, specifically the Adirondack mountains area.
We found a much different situation here than we expected. We left what was almost summer weather and came to late winter, with slight signs of spring, aka cold weather and pretty much a grey sky. It's been quite a change from what we've known, as we haven't experienced real seasons since moving to SoCal, and boy does the body forget about the cold when living in warmer climates.
You'll rarely see Mission Beach in San Diego looking this empty. If you do, you either got there at the crack of dawn, or went there on a cold rainy day.
We went there in early March on what turned out to be a beautiful day; these photos were snapped between crowds of people enjoying the beautiful weather just like we were.
Apart from Coronado, another place we really like to visit in SoCal is Encinitas. This small town is truly beachy with its peaceful and relaxed mood. The beachgoers and surfers everywhere validate the statement above.
We like to go to Encinitas when we want to run away from traffic and crowds. Call us creatures of habit but we usually visit the same places here over and over.
Out of all the places in SoCal, Coronado is our top favorite. This small peninsula that everyone chooses to call an island is as charming as it can be. House to the world-famous Hotel Del, and a beautiful beach, it's a place that attracts many tourists, and yet, maintains a very relaxed pace. While the "island" is about 32 square miles, it has a lot to offer. We of course love the beach, but also love to walk its streets and admire the diverse houses and architecture. On clear days, you can see Point Loma and Mexico's Islands of Coronado, as well as the many sailboats on the horizon.
With the beginning of the new year we decided to make drastic changes. Things are getting real around here, as they say. As I'm writing this, our current apartment that we are leaving at the end of this month (earlier than planned due to unprofessional stuff and lots of issues we've been having) is full of boxes and our belongings all over the floor, while we make tough decisions on what we're keeping and what we're giving up on. Purging feels good but it's also hard. While we're making this move, we realize that things are aligning as they should, even if they're happening sooner than we thought.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know my love for San Francisco. SF is truly an incredible city. With its every little corner so very charming and full of character, it makes it hard not to fall in love with. If it isn't already, you should add it to your bucket-list because it definitely is a city worth visiting.
We flew there for a weekend - our first time - and liked it so much that we made a vow to return. Since we had limited time and so many places on our list, we tried to take advantage of it and hit all the "hot spots".
We booked our trip + hotel through Southwest. We stayed in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, which is a very pretty area (just like all San Francisco), but also very touristy. We found the quirkiest boutique hotel Zephyr,
There really is no shortage of beautiful places in Southern California, especially in San Diego. While years ago, when we moved here I had a hard time adjusting to the desert-y landscape and the lack of the lush greenery that was surrounding us in upstate New York, years later I have come to love the multitude of succulents and other native plants.
There is something very attractive about all the different shapes and sizes of the succulents around here, and I enjoy discovering desert gardens whenever we come across them. I was shocked at first to find succulents that are as big as the trees and just as strong to withstand winds and whatever else comes their way.