Saturday, December 9, 2017

My travel journey comes to an end

After 25 hotels and every type of public transportation known to European tour is coming to an end. I am TIRED. I am HAPPY. My legs are SORE. But my heart is FULL. I never want to carry another suitcase up another flight of stairs, yet it seems worth it for all the amazing sights I got to see.

My last city was Trieste, Italy where I got to meet up with my two friends, Sariah and Evan. It was such a beautiful old little Austrian-Italian city. We ate pizza, sitting along the Adriatic Sea, and then hoped in for a little late night swim.

Our last day in Trieste, we went to church and I ate some real italian pastachio pasta. YUMMY! And ofcourse finished it up with some good ole cake. 

It all was such a blur. Venice times 2. And then Evan and I took our journey to Paris to fly back home! We took a night train, and you know what, it wasn't half bad. The only funny part was the fact that a stranger slept above us, and the police in Switzerland woke us up at 4 am to check our passports. 

We arrived in Paris at 7 am and I made the most of my very last day in Paris, France. I'll let the pictures do the talking this time. But I will have to say one thing...IT WAS SO DANG HOT!!! And our hotel room was up 8 flights of stairs with no air conditioning. I think I went out with a bang. 

The Notre Dame 

Musee D'Orsay

And then just like was the end of the day...and I was eating my baguette with boursin saying "Avoir!"

The whole plane ride home, I couldn't sleep. I was so excited to see my family and my boyfriend, Parker. I am grateful for the entire experience. What I saw. What I learned. What I became. And then all at once, Utah called me home. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017


You know this whole traveling on a whim thing I got going on? Well, while in Berlin, Duc suggested we go to Budapest.


I never imagined traveling to Hungary so I just laughed, and then Marie and I turned to each other, shrugged our shoulders, and said “Pourquoi pas?” (Why not?) And there you have it. We booked a flight to Budapest without knowing a single thing about it. It turned out to be a great adventure and a very memorable experience. 

We landed Thursday morning and straight away ran into a man from San Francisco, who loved learning about Mormon dating life. He couldn’t believe it. We split a Taxi with him to our AirBNB.

Something you might now know. Budapest is famous for its thermal baths. Yes. Yes. It is. So, Marie and I began our adventure with a trip to the Gallert Spa Bath, and our lives might be forever changed.

(Side note: I am on a bus driving through Slovenia right now. What is my life?)

I got to wear my new swimsuit and experience the lifestyle of Europeans that for some reason I really love. All body sizes freely wear speedos, bikinis, you name it. And there is no judgement. I didn’t feel self-conscious at all. And then we ran into four American girls probably a little younger than me, and all the sudden I felt self-conscious again. How weird is that? It might be a mental thing.

Anyways, I felt like a movie-star living the high life. There were seven pools, steam rooms, and saunas. It blew my mind. They were all natural water baths and you could feel the lack of chemicals in the water. I FELT SO RELAXED. We went from pool to pool in these old baths and I just melted. I felt very Roman in that moment. What a healthy way to relieve stress. I went in a sauna and steam Room for the first time. Loved the steam room, hated the Sauna--it was the most suffocating, hot experience.

We stayed until they kicked us out. IT WAS AWESOME. Then we headed up to the Citadella. It is a huge statue of a winged woman on the top of a hill. Walking up the hill felt like walking up Molasses. My entire body was relaxed to perfection and was not happy about the fact that I was trying to climb upward. Somehow I made it and it was a BEAUTIFUL VIEW, with annoying drunk men who wanted to know way too much about Mormon dating--in a curiously vulgar way. 

The Danube River is lined with the most absolutely spectacular architectural buildings. They are all lit up. It is one of the most fairy tale looking places I have been. You have huge Cathedrals, a massive Parliament building, and a CASTLE that takes your breath away

Good way to end the day for sure (except for the drunk men I wanted to punch in the face).

The wildest thing about Hungary is the language. I can’t figure out a thing they are saying (even though they do speak good English). Also, there is a whole different group of tourists here. I haven’t heard any of the languages I am familiar with. I met a really nice man from Warsaw, Poland smoking the sickest cigar, along with many people from England who drop the F word like it is candy. I sat in utter confusion at dialects that I think are Eastern European. It really was a crazy cool cultural experience.

The funniest thing about Hungary is the currency. They don’t use Euro’s, but instead use Florints. For some reason, even though I'm nearly a college graduate, I can’t figure it out and have no concept of how much I am spending anywhere. It cracks me up! It's tricky. Everything is in thousands so you feel like you are spending more money than you ever have, but because you can’t understand it, it feels like you haven’t spent anything. Oh well . . .

We woke up the next day and had a jam packed day of fun, which sarted off at the Hero Statue--a huge monument dedicated to a lot of the main historical figures in Hungary. It was a moment that made Marie and I realize just how much we don’t know about Hungary. What was it’s history? How come we never hear about it? We had a lot of questions that were about to be answered.

Hero Statue

We decided to go to the “Terror Museum” to learn about the history of Hungary. When I first read about it, I thought it was like a haunted house, but it was actually a museum about WWII and the terror the country experienced afte the Soviet Union came in and took over.

I went again when I was hungry and boy was that a bad idea. I barely walked out alive because of all of the sadness in that museum. I am really glad I went but was it grim. After WWI Hungary was in bad shape and was quickly taken over by the Germans in WWII. It became the battlefield between Germany and Russia. Many people were killed, 600,000 Jews were taken to concentration camps, and a lot of the country was in shambles. When Germany lost the war, the Soviet Union came in and terrorized the people. SO WILD. They were under communist rule until 1991. We saw the cells where the police beat and tortured those that resisted their power. 

Marie and I walked in sad desperation to get food. It blew my mind to think that was only a few years before I was born. This is the first generation growing up out of Soviet rule. It just made me angry at the brutality of men, but I think the saddest thing was that things like that are currently going on in the world.

After we ate our food and got our physical and emotion strength, we crossed the bridge over to the Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. This is where the whole fairy tale world comes in. It was a total flip from the afternoon. The architecture in Budapest is more alive, has more curves, and personality. All of the statues are bronze and they have so much expression, movement, and bold lines. I’ve had some fun with these statues. 

Cheesying it up on the bridge

The lift we took up to get up the castle

Our view of the city

Pretending to be calm on the inside.

How I am really feeling! 

It started to rain, but it was alright because after came the rainbow.

Fisherman's Bastion

If you ever want a romantic vacation…this is the place. Yep…standing on top of a beautiful castle looking out over the Danube river is AMAZING.


The cool cathedral next door. 

We finished the day off at a Hungarian Orchestra/Dance concert. It was way better than I could ever have expected. We were outside and had to rock ponchos because of the rain, but I was so fascinated the entire time and really loved the whole experience. The men had muscles in their knees that I didn’t even know existed. They easily stole the show with their super sonic foot work. 

My whim of a journey was definitely worth it. Next time you will hear from me I will be in Italy!