How I Travel

I don’t have a secret formula to seamlessly smooth travel.  My trips aren’t seamlessly smooth, so I don’t use formulas.  They’re fun, and you don’t need predictability for that.  More than once after a trip, I think, “Next time, I’m definitely not going to do [fill in the blank] again.”

I’ve been complimented on my ability to explore and many of my friends turn to me for travel advice.  They tell me I’m a free spirit.  They expect me to know the answers when it comes to what flight to take or which city to visit.  They question how I venture off alone.  Well, how do I not?  I have a bad case of wanderlust.

I don’t believe that I’m free as the wind, or brave, or that I know what I’m doing, or I that have the answers to their questions.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  I haven’t mastered the art of packing or un-feeling goodbyes.  I don’t know what will work out and what will not.  Decisions cause me to knot up with anxiety and multiple choices leave me mentally gridlocked.  But, somehow, I figure it.  It’s a figure it out as it’s happening sort of thing.

Last night, when chatting with a friend, he asked how my itinerary for the last trip went.  I thought for a moment, and realized that it would be much too confusing to try and explain.  I was all over the map.  No exaggeration.  My parents have given up on keeping track of me, and when I phoned them this morning, their surprised response was, “Oh! You’re back?!”

Yes. I’m home.  But this is the last three weeks of my life, itemized.

September 19:  Los Angeles

  • Booked flight on XL Airways.
  • Booked EasyJet Flight from Paris to Porto, Portugal
  • Spent hours and hours looking for a cheap place to stay in Paris.  SO HARD TO FIND!
  • Took Virgin America Red Eye Flight from LAX-JFK

September 20: New York

  • The trip begins with Jimmy.
  • Day hanging out in Brooklyn, New York
  • Red Eye XL Airways Flight from JFK-CDG (Paris) with Jimmy Lowe.  Flight was delayed 5 hours.

Delayed Flight

September 21:  Paris

  • Arrived in Paris at 2p local time. Train to the city.  Found Oops! Hostel.  Rainy.

Paris in the rain

September 22: Paris

September 23:  Porto, Portugal

  • Early flight from CDG- Porto
  • Checked into Sheraton Porto.
  • Figured out it was easy to cheat the tram line.
  • Walked around Porto taking pictures
  • Sat in a cafe laughing, talking, and hiding from the rain
  • Really liked Porto


September 24:  Lisbon, Portugal

  • Late afternoon train ride from Porto to Lisbon
  • Checked into Sheraton Lisboa.  Restaurant/Bar on the 25th floor became the favorite spot. And the special Sangria recipe.
  • In Lisbon it’s impossible to jump the tramline.
  • It’s safer than I thought it would be.

September 25:  Lisbon, Portugal

  • Free Walking tour
  • Favorite Gelato shop
  • Sat upstairs at the rooftop bar watched the rain.

Gelato in Lisbon

September 26: Lisbon, Portugal

September 27: Where now?

  • Jimmy flies home to New York.
  • I fly to Paris in an attempt to get back to LAX to meet up with Emily.
  • The flight from Paris to LAX is full and I get stranded in Paris.
  • Wishing I wasn’t alone.
  •  Creepy Air Maroc pilot.  Creepy enough for me to be ALMOST happy forking over 133 euro for a hotel room.  Terrible being stuck in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

September 28:  What?

  • Thought I would go to Istanbul, but then changed my mind and stayed in Paris one more day.
  • Vintage stores, Notre Dame, walking the city at night. Wishing my travel buddy was still around.

Le Louvre at Night

September 29:  Ljubljana, Slovenia (it’s pronounced LUBE-LEE-Ah-NUH)

  • Getting to CDG is an all day event.
  • Arrived to my Ljubljana AirBnb rental, met the flat’s owner who stayed around and chatted for awhile.  We rode bikes to the main part of the city and then had a delicious and cheap meal.
  • Did laundry at the flat.
  • Immediately loved the city.
September 30: Ljubljana
October 1: Emily Arrives
  • Rode bikes.  Got a little lost.  But then I found myself again.
  • Bought jeans and a shirt.  Tired of wearing the same clothes every day.
  • Ate the best gelato.
  • The city was alive.
  • Flew out of Ljubljana in the evening to meet up with Emily in Munich.  Spent hours and hours figuring out if we wanted to go to Istanbul or Vienna.
October 2:  Istanbul
  • Istanbul it is.
  • Made the comment that it was funny that Taken was set in Paris and Taken 2 was set in Istanbul, and I had been in both within a weeks time.  Emily didn’t see any humor in that.
  • Gave my email to the Passport Control officer.  Who does that?!
  • Had someone at the airport holding a sign with my name on it.  It was a 25 euro sign…that was the shuttle price.
  • Checked into the hotel, found lunch, walked around, took photos
  • Ate at Dubb Ethnic Restaurant for dinner.
  • Met Ismial at his shop.
October 3:  Istanbul

October 4:  Istanbul

  •  Spice Market
  • Cemberlitas Hamami
  • We back to Mustafa’s shop and drank tea and chatted.
  • Late night smoking Nargile, drinking tea, and Baklava.

Spice Market

October 5:  Istanbul
  • Starbuck’s Iced coffee craving
  • The Palace
  • Taksim for Fal
  • Passed a Tattoo & Piercing Shop where we met Arthur, who pierced my nose, then took us to the Coffeehouse so Emily could have her fortune told in a cup of turkish coffee.  Arthur translated what the Johnny Depp look alike said.
  • Emily is over Istanbul.
October 6:  Munich
  • Catch a very early flight from IST to MUC.  As soon as we arrive we catch the train to Karlsplatz, where we eat breakfast, and then go to buy Dirndls.
  • Delores helps us pick out Dirndls, telling Emily it’s “good up there” and telling me, “you need socks.”  Wah wah…
  • Check into The Westin Grand. Change into our Oktoberfest outfits and venture out.  We don’t really have any idea what to expect.
  • After being un-welcomingly adopted by a young Italian, we caught sight of four stunningly tall and handsome young men.  Not just one or two, but all four gorgeous, tall, dressed, of course, in Lederhosen.  I know I have a weakness for European men, and for some reason Lederhosen is just hot.  We were hoping to stumble upon a couple of German hotties.  Seek and you shall find:)
October 7:  Munich
  • Walking tour in the rain
  • Room Service lunch
  • Swam in the very cold pool
October 8:  Fly home
  • Lufthansa flight MUC-LAX.  12 hours, and Emily was sick:(
October 9:  Hermosa Beach
  • Woke up at 3am. Not on purpose.  I don’t think I’m on California time yet.
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte…what can I say?:)
  • Walk by the beach
  • The gym
  • Bike ride
  • Gelato (can you tell I love Gelato?)
  • Mani and Pedi with my BFF
  • It’s 8p, and I can barely keep my eyes open.

So, in summary, I would just like to say that I took A LOT of flights over the last 3 weeks.




train from OPO-LIS







That’s too many.

About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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