TRAVEL // Hikes + City Guides
My husband, Tyler, and I have been Airbnb hosts for almost three years. We’ve been traveling (almost exclusively) using Airbnb for five years. If I had to guess, I’d bet we’ve stayed in around 40 Airbnbs in about 10 countries & 8 states. We’ve been through the process of choosing where in big cities to stay, going through the booking, actually locating the (sometimes tucked away) apartments, and cohabiting the same space with strangers.
Disclaimers aside, I will say, we did a damn fine job milking Paris for all we could in a few short days. From a history rich bike tour to hidden gems right near our Airbnb in le Marais ... we loved Paris. Maybe it was my new camera lens (50mm) or maybe Paris is particularly photogenic, but I was pleased with the shots I got just wandering around! The levels of the roof tops, the textures of stone and metal and wood meeting cobblestones and planter boxes. The overcast white skies. The quintessential quaintness of it all!
Bergen felt a bit like walking through a painting; colors, textures, layers - not a finished work, but rather, perpetually in process.
While we only romped around this fjord town for a few days, we managed to see a good bit. According to a friend at college here, "there isn't much to see anyways." He was wrong, of course, but I find that attitude in many places I visit! Once a Japanese man informed me that the green mountains of the Kiso Valley were "only mundane, for we see it always."
As someone who was merely passing through, however, I found Bergen to be a soul searching city. One that enables you to slow down just enough to ask yourself if you really are on the path of life you want to be.
Top 5. Maybe even Top 3. Not that I keep an actual list... I just need you to understand that this experience was one of the best in my entire life. Get ready exclamation point... you're about to put in some serious work!
I can't remember the last time we stayed in a real hotel. It's been so long in fact, that hotel booking websites stress me out. We always book our stays through Airbnb - and we haven't regretted it once. Most of the time, we walk away with even better stories to tell. (quick plug: click here to use our first timer discount and get $40 off your first trip! Just click and register and they'll keep it saved for you - even if you don't have a trip in mind right right now.)
Always looking for the next adventure, but especially the next HIKE! Tyler and I have a goal to make one long hike a year (long is defined as five or more days.) So far we’re three years strong. I learned pretty quickly that the ancient Tokaido has been covered by highways. However, I discovered another hike through central Japan in the mountains called: Nakasendo (aka: the central mountain road) go figure.
I feel like I'd watched a "trailer" for Kyoto. I’d heard other's reviews, seen pictures, read blogs... and created high expectations for myself when I finally got around to seeing it! I was worried there was basically nothing Kyoto could do to meet my expectations.However...
Our time in Osaka was short - only two days before we moved on to Kyoto and then our Nakasendo hike through Kiso Valley (local guides to come!). In just a few days however, we had a series of stressful situations that taught us a thing or two! Yet somehow, between all that, we managed to see a lot of this amazing city!
I can’t wait to go back to Oahu. Maybe it’s the reality of being on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but there’s something powerful about Oahu. As someone who only has a little experience with the Hawaiian Islands, I’m not the most qualified to recommend spots to see and places to eat, but this is a list I hope to develop and add to as I return to Oahu (and hopefully the rest of the Islands) many more times!
A week in Hawaii and I’m proud to say I went paddle boarding and ate at food trucks every single day! Tyler’s dad, Rick was our amazing host while we beach bummed around. It was the perfect mix of family, sun, salt, and and long drives. We stayed on the North Shore of Oahu and for the most part spent our days between paddle boarding and sitting on the beach
Our trip to Punta de Mita could be summed up in a few words; ocean, pool, food, exploring… and I can let the pictures speak for themselves.The best parts of the trip were those subtle, almost secret family moments that words can’t do justice for. But I can try :)
One of our favorite things to do when we travel, especially with family, is make lip syncing videos! Here is our latest, from Mexico with my sisters, mom and Tyler and Jackson (the husbands :)
Now, before anyone thinks I can fly a plane (as much as that picture might lead to you to think so!), let me stop you right there! Becoming a pilot is a multi step, multi faceted endeavor. To receive a private pilots license one has to pass a written, oral, and practical exam (and a few other medical and misc. requirements). So, you could say, I am a theoretical pilot. haha
Sometimes I joke that I almost have as many matching passport stamps with Joey as I do with Tyler. Tyler and I met Joey in Jerusalem, as a part of a study abroad program through BYU. After wandering the Old City for a semester, we walked away friends.
In the early morn, we hiked to King Arthur's Seat and watched the sunrise. This hike was the perfect length, about an hour up and 30 down, but we got magnificent city views of the castle and circling churches and houses.
Watch my first ever video from our trip in London, England! Going through this footage was poignant in light of the recent terrorist attacks. I hope, in some small way, this video can pay tribute to the city of London.
Spoiler alert: I may use the word “quaint” more than fifty times in this post. Consider yourself warned. After our five day stay in London Tyler & I had the pleasure of heading out of the city to visit his aunt & uncle and their kids out at their home in Hemingford Abbots.
London is lovely. This certainly won’t come as “news” to anyone who has visited or lived there. But to this spring breaker *hand raise*, the absolute loveliness of London still hasn’t worn off! I’m in head over heels for it!
New Jersey has a bad rep. We all know that... I mean, I grew up with my mom saying things like "New Jersey? You mean the armpit of America?"
Tyler and I have been dying to go to Chicago for a while now. A few weeks ago, my Dad and his wife Karen told us they were going to see Hamilton in Chicago and wanted us to come see it with them! UH DUH!
Here's a little look-see around our second bedroom, or as we call it, our Airbnb suite ;) ;)
It took Tyler and I a few months to get together our own bedroom space, let alone furnish a second bedroom.
I move my feet forward and back in my snug boots. The board responds to my subtle commands. Ahead, an untouched slope of powder swirling around evergreens beckons.
At the top of my winter break experience list was to go on a snowshoe hike. Park City is the perfect place for this and most people strap on their snowshoes and scale backwood mountains for hours.
This post is a little late, considering it's almost Christmas! However, I want to preserve these memories before they die in my iCloud!
When I pictured Cape Cod- I pictured New England fall colors, horizons of ocean blue, and quaint lighthouses dotting the shore …
Two weeks ago I realized I would have a four-day weekend off in October and my mind started to do some fast math. We might just be able to swing a trip to Mexico!
New Haven + Boston + Old Friends