Hello From Croatia

Sunset in Greece
I am currently enjoying the last week of my trip to Croatia but wanted to stop by to announce this months Travel Tuesday theme. Next Tuesday our themed prompt is, What is your Travel Bucket List! Link up with us and share a post with what is on your travel bucket list. I am looking forward to reading what everyone has to share next week!

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Welcome to Travel Tuesday!

Travel Tuesday

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Each week Bonnie, Sammy, Van and I will select one post each from all the linked up posts the week before that we enjoyed especially. Please make sure to head over to their blogs to see who they picked!

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Ready to link up!

HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:
1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. GRAB the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie in a link!
3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT.

TIPS:
1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!
3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!

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The Day Sydney Was Painted Red

Welcome to Travel Tuesday!

Today I am stealing H’s photos and sharing his experience during a dust storm in Sydney, Australia.

Red Dust Storm
In 2009 Sydney turned red over night as strong winds carried dust from the east of Australia, a very rare and incredible occurrence. When H told me about it and showed me his pictures my first thought was, I would have been terrified if I woke up to this! H said he had woke up around 5 am to and when he looked out his window and saw all the red dust he had no idea what was going on. Of course this didn’t stop him from rushing outside to take these amazing pictures.

Red Dust StormRed Dust StormRed Dust Storm
H said that after a few hours a lot of the dust has blown away so the color wasn’t as bright, but it was quite the clean up for the city. It may have been messy but it looks beautiful!

Red Dust StormRed Dust Storm

Question of the Day?
Have you ever experienced a weather phenomenon?

I am currently enjoying some much needed beach time in Croatia. I may be a bit slow responding to comments but will be back to normal blogging when I return! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

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Welcome to Travel Tuesday!

Travel Tuesday

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Each week Bonnie, Sammy, Van and I will select one post each from all the linked up posts the week before that we enjoyed especially. Please make sure to head over to their blogs to see who they picked!

traveltuesdayspotlight_mountwhitney
This week I am spotlighting Camille from Challenge Mantra and her post about Mount Whitney. If you are a fan of hiking your going to love this post. Full of beautiful photos and helpful tips I am now adding Mount Whitney to my list!

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Ready to link up!

HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:
1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. GRAB the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie in a link!
3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT.

TIPS:
1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!
2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!
3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!

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I Got Scammed in Greece

A few weeks ago Sammy from To The Days Like This, one of my lovely Travel Tuesday co-host, tagged me with a list of travel related questions. Since I am currently rushing through airports and heading off for my two week trip to Croatia I figured this was a perfect way to kick off my vacation by sharing my answers to these travel related questions.

1. What adventures do you have coming up?
Did I mention that I am currently on my way to Croatia! H and I are spending two weeks visiting Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, and Split. I can’t wait to do some exploring of this beautiful country, try all the different food and relax on the beach.

PrimostenCroatiavia
Another adventure I have coming up that I am looking forward to is a visit back home to Oregon this Christmas. It will be over a year since I have been home and seen my family and I am already counting down the days.

2. What is the hardest thing about traveling?
Often times the most difficult part about traveling for me is deciding where I actually want to travel to. There are so many places on my travel list that I am dying to see, but I think this is a good problem to have.

Travel Quotevia

3. Is there a place that everyone raves about that you’re not interested in traveling to?
As I mentioned in the previous question, my travel wish list is long, and there are not many places that aren’t on it. I will admit that for awhile I didn’t have that much interest in traveling to China. However after college a few of my close friends moved to China to teach English, and after seeing their amazing pictures and hearing all their stories China is now high up there on my travel list.

4. Do you prefer travel books or internet research?
I prefer internet research, mainly for the convenience and the fact that you can do basically all of your trip planning online. Being able to read reviews from other travelers about the places I am traveling to has helped give me a lot of insider tips!

5. Have you made any life long friends through traveling?
I have made some great friends through traveling! The people you meet while traveling is one of my favorite aspects of traveling. You never know who you will meet or when you will be having breakfast in a group of people representing 10 different countries.

Australia FriendsFriends from around the World

Even now, while I live in Iceland and am not just traveling here, I have made some great friends that I know I will stay in touch with if I move away. And of course my favorite life long friend I have made through traveling is H :)

6. Would you say you are a budget traveler?
I would say I am a budget traveler 75% of the time. When it comes to accommodation and flights I will shop around until I find the best deal. Actually experiencing the area to the fullest is where my money goes when I travel. Admission fees, boat tours, delicious food, and maybe some shopping at local markets is where I prefer to spend my money. You can read more about my travel style in this post.

7. Have you ever been scammed while traveling?
Unfortunately yes! When H and I arrived to Athens it was late at night and we had been traveling all day. We had to take a bus into the city and then take a cab to our hotel, it was exhausting. Basically we were to tired to have all our brain power switched on at this point.

Greece Bus
When our bus dropped us off at 1 am we were so happy to see two cabs, one with the lights on the others turned off. Of course we hop into the cab that said it was on duty while the friendly cab driver loaded up our suitcases. As soon as our nice cab driver got back in the car the second cab driver rushes over opening H and my’s doors, taking our luggage out of the trunk and yelling at our nice cab driver in Greek.

I was basically terrified.

Apparently mean cab driver was the first in the cab line so even though his lights where off he was the cab with priority. Nice cab driver didn’t argue so off we went into mean cab drivers car.

Things were going okay, minus the fact that I was now wide awake in the back seat with my pepper spray in hand. Mean cab driver went on telling us the sights we were passing on our 5 minute ride to our hotel. When we arrived mean cab driver pushed a bunch of buttons on what was the strangest looking meter ever before telling us it was 17 Euros.

Ummm what! H and I argued a bit with him, no way was it 17 Euros for a 5 minute cab ride. Mean cabbie argued that he gave us a tour bla bla and since H and I were too exhausted to argue more we handed over 20 Euros for the cab driver to give us change back.

Before I knew it the meanie was getting back into the cab saying, “yes I keep extra for tip.” Ummm no, you keep no extra for tip! But off the mean cab driver went, scoring 20 Euros for a 5 minute drive. The worst part was when we went into our hotel and asked the reception how much the cab should have cost and we got the answer, “maybe 4 Euros max.”

Yes we got ripped off big time on that one cab ride!

8. Favorite travel quote?
Travel Quotevia

This quote is one of my favorites about traveling! I love when I go somewhere that leaves me speechless. I am sure I will have some of these moments during our trip to Croatia!

Question of the Day?

Tell me your answers to these travel questions!

I am currently enjoying some much needed beach time in Croatia. I may be a bit slow responding to comments but will be back to normal blogging when I return! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

Lessons Learned From Blogging

After reading Margo’s wonderful post about why she blogs it got me thinking about my blog and what it means to me. I started my blog a month after I moved to Iceland as a journal for myself to remember this time in my life and as a place for my family and friends to follow along with my adventures abroad. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started blogging!

A whole new world has now opened up to me and my blog has turned into so much more than just a journal. I have found a community that I can completely relate to on this crazy expat adventure, learned about cultures from all over the world through my blogging friends posts, and gained confidence in knowing that my abroad meltdowns are totally normal and my blogging friends don’t think I am crazy (at least I think so). In addition to all the wonderful connections I have made through my blog writing in my little space has taught me so many things about myself.

I am Creative
I always wanted to be that person that would come up with great ideas, make amazing crafts and tackle DIY projects for fun. My craft skill level though has never been my strongest quality and outside of writing, which I have always loved to do, I would have never considered myself a creative person.

Writing for my blog has challenged me to come up with new post ideas several times each week, create a blog design, and edit my pictures, even adding text over some of them. Reflecting back on this I have realized, I am really creative!

BloggingBlogging at your favorite local cafe is the best way to blog!

Maybe it is the confidence I have gained from blogging but my creativity has pushed into other aspects of my life as well. As one who use to avoid crafts I am now the one pinning craft ideas and actually doing the crafts I pin! From Christmas decorations to creating new recipes and making an awesome birthday basket for H I am starting to finally consider myself a creative person.

Don’t hide from my feelings
When I am feeling homesick or overwhelmed with my surroundings I tend to push the feelings away and not acknowledge them. I am notorious at avoiding how I feel. Before I used to just add on the work shifts or plans with friends, but now that I have so much more free time hiding from my feelings is not as easy.

FamilyWho wouldn’t miss this adorable bunch!

Blogging has really made me face my feelings head on and deal with them instead of running from them. I can’t write about how wonderful things are if I don’t truly feel that way. I have found myself admitting I am homesick or uncomfortable many times when writing a post. This has helped me express these feelings and get them off my chest before it is just too much. So thanks to you all who read those not so happy post and come back with supportive comments!

Being outside of my comfort zone can be incredibly rewarding
When I reflect back on my time in Iceland so far the most memorable moments to me are the ones when I was completely out of my comfort zone. Like all those unsuccessful friend dates I have gone on, uncomfortable events where I am the only non-Icelandic person in the room, or when I interviewed for my current job, being completely out of my comfort zone has brought some amazing things my way.

Iceland, Reykjavik, Sun Voyager, Mt. EsjanI am finally learning to embrace the uncomfortable feeling and just go with it!

I give blogging some credit in helping get me out the door. Once you say your going to do something you have to follow through with it and what better way to be held accountable than to write it in your blog! And you know what, I love getting out there and trying new things and being able to share it with you all! No matter how things work out I know I can come back to my blog and share my failures, embarrassing stories, and exciting experiences with you all and get the support to continue putting myself out there.

Photography is fun!
It used to always be H asking me if I wanted to take a picture and I was the one avoiding the pictures because I didn’t want to deal with the awkward posing and fake smiles. Taking the photo myself, pausing to find the perfect shot, it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

IMG_3904
Now I am the one taking the extra time to get the perfect shot, even creating my own photo shoots for my food! I am constantly asking H to take a picture of me jumping in the air or re-take a photo 10 times because I need the perfect shot for my blog. And you know what I love it! I can’t wait to get a new camera and take my photography further.

Be Present
Instead of just going somewhere and going through the motions I am now making sure I am really present in the moment. I want to remember all the emotions I felt and what I was experiencing so I can truly capture the experience. Coming to this little space of mine to write about what I am experiencing has helped me really reflect on my daily life outside of just the big moments.

Winter in IcelandAs simple winter walk home captured in all its beauty. Enjoy the little things, they are some of the best memories.

Starting my blog 7 months ago at a time when I was going through a major life change is one of the best decisions I have made. The benefits blogging has brought me are priceless and I know they will only continue to grow over time. So to all my bloggers out there, people may think we are a bit crazy but this little community of ours is amazing!

Question of the Day?
What has blogging taught you? Do you consider yourself a creative person?

Linking up with Treasure Tromp and the Grits Blog.