2017 Sea of Atlas Travel Recap
As the year closes, one thing we love reflecting back on is our adventures throughout the year. In 2015, when we hopped across the pond for this kind of life— a life where travel was at the core—I never could have imagined that we would check off as many places as we have from our list. After getting our first taste of a European travel season, we aimed and succeeded at jampacking 2016 with as much as we could. This year was no different. We've fallen completely in love with this wild and crazy world of ours. Travel is what has helped us stay positive through the negativity of the current political climates and tension. It has opened our eyes, hearts, and souls to so much outside of ourselves. Travel makes you feel large and small at the same time. In all the best ways possible. It helps you discover who you are but also humbles you into realizing there's so much beyond what is just in front of you. It shows you the complications of the world, of cultures, of conflict, of love, of life. Without a doubt, our move to London to travel was the best decision we've made so far. I am looking forward to the many years ahead of continuing just that. But until we begin our next travel season in 2018, let's look back...
RIGA & CESIS LATVIA
For our first trip of 2017, we headed to Latvia for a March escape! It was definitely a cold one but the lack of crowds and our day trip out to Cesis made it all worth it. Riga was a quaint beautiful old city and we were quite captured by the architecture. I loved the muted color palette and the whimsicalness of the rooftops. Cesis took us even further from the crowds as we wandered through the old castle with a candlelit lantern in hand. Truly dreamy. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend away and getting back into our travel groove.
I snuck away with my good friend for a little girls weekend in Lisbon. Having already been to the colorful and lively city, I was excited to get to show someone it's magic and enjoy it for a second time around. Lisbon is definitely one of those cities that I could continue to go back to time and time again. It doesn't seem to ever get boring!
BUDAPEST & SZENTENDRE, HUNGARY
Four days in Budapest was just what we need in April! There is something about the light in this city that makes it extra dreamy. We wandered around both sides of the river soaking in all that we could from the old cobblestone streets to the new modern structures and old thermal baths. Through our years of travel, we have realized how important it is not to just travel to cities and have been making a point when it is possible to check out a nearby small town for a half or full day. By just staying in a city, you miss a lot of unique parts of a culture and country. I think about how I would feel if someone came to England and based all their knowledge of the country just off of London. Or someone went the NYC and that was the States for them. Anyway—back on track—we took an easy train ride out to Szentendre which was one of our favorite parts of the weekend. The small artist town is full of beauty and inspiration. A perfect place to venture to!
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
I know I mentioned the light in Budapest but...Prague's light is extra extra dreamy. Especially on Charles Bridge at sunrise. It's surprisingly took us longer than it should to get to this wonderful city but we quickly fell in love with it. You can see why it is one of the most popular cities in Europe. Our long weekend enjoying the magic of the city had us exploring the castle, learning about the history, willingly watching a disappointing clock show, finding side streets, and hunting for the best views.
PARIS & VERSAILLES, FRANCE
Paris is just a train ride away from London and we kept kicking ourselves after our first visit that we hadn't gone back. Our second visit took us there in a cold rainy November but showed us Paris shines brightly all year round. But for our third trip down to the city of romance, we decided to see it in May when the trees would be green and the parks lush with flowers. It was my favorite trip there to date. We've gotten comfortable with the city and enjoy its charming streets. This time around we also made a point to get out to Versailles. The gardens were everything you'd hope them to be!
THE LAUTERBRUNNEN VALLEY, SWITZERLAND
Switzerland is a trip that we gush about often. While it's beauty is no secret, we were still caught off guard. The alps, the lake, the rivers, the mountains, cities, and towns—they could not be more charming. Switzerland forces you outside into its streets and onto its trails. We spent the first part in Lucerne enjoying the charm of the city and even getting a surprise lake day with the warmer weather that rolled in. For the second half, we made our way up into the mountains basing ourselves in Murren for day hikes and exploring. Every inch and second of this trip was breathtaking and inspiring. The alps will always have a home in our hearts.
Now, let me start by reminding you that we had been to Venice before and we unimpressed. Something about our feelings toward the city felt wrong and we knew we needed to give it a second try. So this year, it was time for just that! Spoiler alert—we could not have been more wrong our first time. While Venice is packed with tourist, it is still charming as ever. Get lost along the side canals and alleys. Enjoy the gelato and the pasta. There is no where quite like it! This time around we decided to venture out to the other islands nearby, Murano & Burano. These colorful dreamy spots left lasting impressions on us! We don't think you should go to Venice without a visit.
In June, we met my sister in Bergen, Norway. It was the rainiest weekend of our lives (even the Norwegians were making this claim) but we made the most of the trip. Following Norway in Nutshell, we made our way to Flam for a night where the following morning we finally saw the sun. It stayed around just long enough for us to do some kayaking in the fjords. Though the sunshine is nice (and perferred), it was wonderful to see the fjords covered in a foggy mist. We felt like we got to experience the real Norway.
BOSNIA & CROATIA
This year we decided to finally take a two-week trip. It made perfect sense to head back to Croatia to see more of a country we have grown to love as well as to see what Bosnia had to offer. We started out in Sarajevo, made our way to Mostar, then crossed the border in Croatia to enjoy both Split and the island of Hvar. It was an interesting mix of places to travel to. Sarajevo was deep with history from the recent war, Mostar continue that story further with more serene locations, and Croatia offered us an opportunity to wander, swim, and relax.
We finally got our act together this year and started to make a point of seeing more of the UK...particularly England this time around. Whenever we have time off, we tend to jet off to another country (usually hoping for some warmer or sunnier weather). It is easy to take where we live for granted but we are putting an end to that. I can honestly say I have fallen more in love with our surroundings. There is nothing like the English countryside or seaside. We enjoyed weekends and days trips to Yorkshire, The White Cliffs of Dover, The Seven Sisters, and Bath. It inspired us to keep going for our 2018 travel year and we already have a couple trips up our sleeves we will tell you about next month!
And that is not all! We still have a few trips from our 2017 travel season to share with you. Trust us that they will be coming your way soon! You will have our Croatia & Bosnia trip recaps soon along with our weekend to The Dingle Peninsula in Ireland and our sunny week in Portugal in The Algarve. We can't wait to continue to post and hopefully inspire more people to get out there and see the world—even if its just the next town over because sometimes that is just as eyeopening and beautiful!
We hope you all had a wonderful 2017! Rico and I look forward to sharing more in 2018!