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Travel

Italy.

Let me start off by telling you I that Italy was never on my bucket list. I had originally bought it as a surprise gift for my boyfriend, The Italian*.  About a year ago, we had a conversation about what were on our bucket list. I remember asking him what was on his and getting the reply “I would like to go to Italy”.

So with much planning and the lovely help from the team at Contiki, I was set to surprise the Italian with the greatest Christmas present ever!

However, he said

No.

Who says no to a free trip to Italy?

I have learned from my past travels with Contiki is that life is about no regrets! I wasn’t going to let buying a trip for someone to someplace that wasn’t on my bucket list be one of mine.

So, I went to Italy all by myself!

I actually enjoy traveling by myself. I get to move at my pace, I’m not rushed to get from point A, to point B. I get to see what I would like to see. Although, getting to Italy was its own adventure, but that’s for another blog post.

The people I met on this tour where amazing. The places I saw where breathtaking. The food I ate was plenty and delicious. The memories I made because of these I’ll remember Italy forever.

Sometimes it’s simply not where you’re going that makes the destination, but the rather the people you had met along the way the destination a memory to last a lifetime.

These are just a couple of people I met along the way. Each person I met on this trip was absolutely fantastic and helped create awesome memories of Italy with me.

One of my favorite moments was the last day of our trip where it POURED buckets and buckets of rain in Rome. I refused to buy and umbrella or poncho from the many venders selling them. I was soaked. I didn’t care. What did I do? I handed off all my electronics to Pooja, and started jumping in puddles all over Rome. BEST TIME EVER! Again, Eleri, I’m so sorry I got you wet! I honestly didn’t think the puddle was that big!

I got to put my feet in the Mediterranean Sea. I did a wine tasting in a beautiful vineyard. I rode a gondola threw Venice. I got to see the roman Colosseum. I saw the statue of David. I visited Juliet’s balcony in Verona. I visited the Cinque Terre and saw some amazing buildings.

The buildings in Italy are a sight of their own. The amount of craftsmanship that went into them just blew my mind. The churches I visited where fantastic, but I don’t have many pictures of the insides because a lot of them ask you not to. I’m OK with that. You will have to visit Italy to find out why everything here is so spectacular.

Would I go back to Italy? Yes but not by myself. I feel like I need an adventure buddy to visit Italy again.
Would I buy a trip for someone else and surprise them with it again? I probably will, but not for a while.

As much as I love to travel by myself, my next adventure will have to be with a travel buddy!

All the best,
Bailey B.

*I call him The Italian because he is Italian, his family came from Italy and he was the 1st Italian I had ever met.

Travel

Scotland.

One of my favorite pictures from my trip to Scotland.

One of my favorite pictures from my trip to Scotland.

As I mentioned in my post on Ireland, Scotland was an add on to that trip. Looking back on my trip to Scotland I’m so glad I added it on because I had such grand adventures! It started by taking my very first train ride from London to Scotland.

I booked myself a 1st class ticket to Edinburgh Scotland when I booked my Contiki trip months earlier. I remember taking the train from Kings Cross Station in London.Yes the inner Harry Potter fan girl did a sequel when I stopped at Kings Cross and found myself at Platform 9 ¾.

I had never traveled 1st class on anything. When I booked my ticket I thought to myself, hey why not? It’s about the same amount to take the greyhound to Kamloops and back. Fact: If you book your tickets far enough in advance, you get a cheaper price.

I remember getting off the train, collecting my luggage and heading to the taxi pickup to head to my hotel. I had the best taxi driver. I gave him the address and asked him so many questions on the way. He had answers for all of them.

I saw Edinburgh castle, sterling castle, Loch Ness, St. Andrews, the isle in the sky and so many other things! I ate so much amazing and delicious foods, I even tried Haggis! I found a love for Irn-Bru

This place had the best pasties I've had to date.

This place had the best pasties I’ve had to date.

It rained once on the trip, well what I call rain anyway. It was on the first full day of my Contiki, also the day we went to Edinburgh Castle. I had purchased a rain jacket for this trip. Living in Vancouver you think I would have owned one prior to this trip, but nope! It came in great use that day wandering around the castle for about 4 hours, exploring each room, taking everything in! The rest of the trip it was cloudy and a bit moist but nothing in compared to that day.

A wet day at Edinburgh castle!

A wet day at Edinburgh castle!

Haggis is amazing! But apparently only if Its made and cooked right. I found it to be a bit spicy. I enjoyed it so much I wanted seconds.

Best Haggis Ever.

Best Haggis Ever.

I leaned a bunch of Scottish dances in Oban; I danced the night away with friends, great drinks and a bunch of Scottish gentlemen in Glasgow. A night of dancing does a girl wonders.

On every trip you take, you will stay at a place where somethings just don`t work or you don`t understand how they work. Like the time I stayed in a hotel in Oban, Scotland. Worst. Shower. Ever. The water was too hot one moment, too cold the next. Then I had only hot water coming out of the facet and my feet where just boiling. I ended up having to get out of the shower and ask my roommate how the thing worked! She also had the same problems and eventually figured it out.

But on every adventure we go on, we will always come out with some not so great but they are great memories now and a bunch of amazing stories!

Scotland, I can`t wait until I get to see you again,
All the best,
Bailey B.

Travel

Ireland.

Ireland.
Bucket list of Goals #1.

If you knew me you would know that Ireland has been on my bucket list since the beginning of high school. In December of 2013, my grandmother Rose passed away. I realized that life’s too short to stand around and wait for adventure to find you. So once I got back from the funeral in another province, I had my passport picture taken, the paper work filled out, and soon I was sitting in the passport office waiting for my the woman to call my number.

A few weeks later, I had my very first passport.

1480583_10151791688990653_2143732808_nSoon after I took this photo, I booked a trip to Ireland with Contiki. I figured well since I’m going to Ireland, I might as well go to Scotland. Its close enough to London, I should go visit a friend too. This is how I ended up in my first great adventure.
I remember waking up in Scotland going “I’m going to Ireland today, actually going to Ireland, holy crap!”. I also remember my fellow travelers wondering why I was so excited about going. I’m sure they were also very annoyed with me because it was 7am and I still hadn’t had any coffee yet.

Ever have a feeling where you are stealing a moment from time? Well I had that feeling all over Ireland. It could have just been the ferries and the leprechaun’s because it felt magical.

Here is one of the moments where life just caught me.

I spent a week in Ireland and it was one of the best weeks of my life. Its a place I wish to revisit someday soon. Preferably with someone who is important to me because Ireland holds a place in my heart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll the best,
Bailey B.