Visiting Tallinn

Visiting Tallinn

Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, is the northernmost Baltic state, and is home to a lovely old town and a majestic waterfront path that runs east of the city. In this post, I describe top restaurants & bars and things to do in Tallinn.

“e-Estonia” is ahead of its time when it comes to Internet connectivity. The country has one of the highest Internet penetration rates – as high as 75%, and they have been voting on line for more than a decade!

Before visiting, check out this great site to learn a few fast facts about Estonia. I had no idea Estonia is to thank for space food, Skype, and more!

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Visiting Ireland: Dublin, Howth, Cliffs of Moher & Galway

Visiting Ireland: Dublin, Howth, Cliffs of Moher & Galway

As I mentioned in one of my first posts, accessing Europe from the U.S. by way of Dublin is a simple way to reduce the cost of airfare… and taking a couple of days to tour Dublin and its surroundings can be a great way to start or end any Eurotrip. If you have more than a day or two, you should consider heading out west or up north to explore more of the lusciously green country!

In this post, I discuss transportation options to and from the airport, my favorite restaurants and to dos, and I provide a sample three-day itinerary.

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European Summer 2018

European Summer 2018

On June 21st, I departed to Europe on a one-way Delta award ticket from Boston to Dublin. I plan to post more about frequent flyer miles and credit cards in the future, but will mention now that it’s fairly common to find awards tickets to Europe in the summer for 30k miles (economy), 40k miles (economy plus / Delta Comfort), and 60k+ mile (business / first class). Points are a great way to cover travel, assuming you always pay your credit cards off!

I always try to fly to Europe via Dublin (DUB) or Amsterdam (AMS), booking one way flights with points. There’s an agreement between the U.S. and Ireland promoting tourism, so if you fly back to The States via DUB, you actually clear customs in DUB, meaning when you land in the US it will be as if you landed from a domestic flight (like SFO –> BOS). It’s great! On this trip, we fly home from AMS, on one way 30k mile economy tickets.

Some have asked how we picked the locations along our route, and honestly there wasn’t any grand plan. We had weeks here and there where we had plans to meet friends or family in certain locations — like Provence for group cycling trip, and Berlin to see our friend Larissa — and we filled in the rest.

We took a variety of transportation methods methods between major locations (planes, trains, buses, and boats), and always tried to use public transportation (buses, metros, trams, rental bikes) during our stays. Here is a map of our route!

Summer 2018 Europe Map With Transport.png

We also tried to book more economical lodging (Airbnbs, private rooms in hostels, friend’s pull out sofas). Our goal for the year is to have an average nightly lodging cost of <$60/night for two people, because that is roughly what we paid for our studio apartment in D.C..

Europe will likely be the most expensive leg of our gap year, with our average room costing closer to ~$100/night (for two people). You might be thinking – you stayed with friends and in hostels and still ended up spending ~$100/night? Are you crazy? Well, we had one week of complete splurging (Italian cooking school in Tuscany, which I will tell you all about) and several weeks of traveling with family and friends, so we weren’t in the super cheap places we might have stayed if it was just the two of us. More to come!

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

In May 2018, my boyfriend and I packed our bags in D.C. and set off on a year of travel and reflection. I call it “gap year”, but if I am being completely honest, I haven’t stopped working entirely. I established a technical consulting practice and work part-time on the side to help fund excursions!

I have four simple goals for my gap year:

  1. Exercise often
  2. Have fun
  3. Don’t run out of money
  4. Cut down on single use plastics

The first three are self explanatory, but I’d like to elaborate on the fourth. Did you know that last year, Americans used ~50 billion water bottles? Unfortunately, only 23% were recycled. We could all do better when it comes to producing less waste, and I figured I’d do my part in starting now!  

I pledged to not use single use plastic water bottles, which means carrying around a water bottle. As much as I’d like to deny it, I have never been the best at keeping up with things. This water bottle lasted about a month before it was left somewhere. I still have my second water bottle though!

I look forward to sharing itineraries, favorite travel spots, and travel hacks in the coming months!

Stay tuned, and if there is something you’d like to hear about in particular please reach out!