…sharing my European travel stories

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Dalkeith Palace

This is my home for the next two weeks! The building is from the 1400s and couldn’t be more breathtaking.

This a photo from one of the staircases near the ballroom

20140131-082151.jpg My favorite room in the house, the library. Someday I will use this room as an inspiration for my own home.

And this is a view from my quaint little room on the third floor.

So far Scotland has been beautiful, and I’ve only been here for one day. Jet lag was set in yesterday, with over 30 hours of no sleep. But I’m feeling ready to go today! Let the adventure keep going!

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Familiarity in Foreignness

I just arrived in Amsterdam. My flight was 7 and a half hours from Minneapolis, USA. Not bad!

I have no idea how to describe my feelings while I was on the airplane. It didn’t seem real; until I landed in Amsterdam and started hearing foreign languages all around me.

This familiarity in foreignness makes me feel so happy and excited to start my adventure. Languages and culture are two of the most exciting things that I can think of.

After the layover in Amsterdam I am off to Edinburgh. I am ready.


Excitement in 7 Days!

In just seven short days, I will be in route to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I will begin a three month study abroad backpacking trip! After Edinburgh, I will be visiting London, Paris, Amsterdam, Freiburg, Verona and Vienna. I am very excited to start this journey, as I had the time of my life last year!

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

I am ready for a new adventure every day, to meet new people and gather new experiences from their culture and norms. I am a stranger in every city. I cannot wait to explore.


Travel books: Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day


I have only read a few travel themed books, but I want to share my reviews with you. I have only read European travel stories. Today I want to share one that is just okay. Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day, is a book written by Doug Mack, who traveled Europe with the guidance of a 1960’s travel book called Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.
Although this book seems very exciting, a man traveling based on a very old book, the author is very dry and uneventful in his travels. He is a great writer, but he is often quoting ways to avoid German food, OMG I don’t want to be in Amsterdam because I am an idiot American who thinks the whole city is about sex and drugs, etc.
He is always speaking of how timid and afraid he is of new experiences. He once talked about biking to the outskirts, local-area side of Amsterdam and how he was SO ready to be back in the city.

As an experienced and adventure seeking traveler myself, I often closed the book and shook my head in disapproval. He wasn’t very open minded while he was traveling, which bothered me the most. I pride myself on my open mindedness and ability to interact with locals.

I am disappointed in this book. It is still a well written book, so give it a try! Maybe you won’t view the author in the same light that I did.

I just finished another European focused travel book that was incredibly good! I will share that with you soon!
Do you have any favorite travel books?

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A New Year with Mulled Wine

Last night I rang in the New Year by making Mulled Wine. I had never made it before, but always wanted to since the first sip I drank in Camden Town, London, UK. I had it a few more times during my trip and fell in love with the flavors.

Just a brief description if you’ve never had the honor of tasting some, it’s a traditional drink made in Europe and typically only during the winter holiday season. Spices are brewed with apples or oranges in red wine. I prefer it with apples, as the oranges make it acidic and citrusy. But hey, you may like it that way!

There are so many different ways to make it, so just google it and try one out! …then let me know how it was!

If you’ve had it before, where at? Apples or oranges? Share your story with me!


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Husband Candidate Criteria

I have not shared this dream or fantasy with you yet, but I want to marry a sexy European man. Hopefully my euro trip will lead to me landing a good guy! Thanks to Huffington Post, my criteria has been made for me, kidding. According to the article,Best and Worst Lovers 101, my beloved German men are the worst lovers because they are stinky. Bummer. I have to admit, any European man is pretty much sexy to me. I don’t see any differences between the European nationalities.
What do you think?


Nostalgia of London


I vividly remember my awe and wonder while visiting my first European city, London. I had actually never left the United States before I flew to London in January of 2013. So for me, the whole experience was exciting and magical.

I remember being so mystified of their opposite driving! I think I looked the wrong way while crossing the street for the first five days. It took me a long time to figure the whole left side driving thing out.

Buckingham Palace was so unimpressive to me. Maybe I was expecting something much grander, I’m not sure. It still doesn’t seem like anything special to me. Sorry!

But all that gum on the sidewalks! Anyone who has traveled to London has had to notice the gum. It’s insane. I regret not taking pictures.

I also remember being so confused with the tube! Since this was my first major city, ever, I had a hard time navigating public transportation. I quickly became acclimated to the whole process, but I was fun being clueless!

A few friends and I mistakenly took a rubbish sign for a garage sale. So a few friends of mine were trying to figure out why the door wasn’t open to the house even though they had a sign out front. Long story short, we were idiots.

There’s nothing like going to a foreign place and feeling like a kindergartner, even in an English speaking nation. I look forward to London in February 2014, and not being such a typical tourist. Part of my mission is to fit in, to be a local. I can do it!


..and 32 days until I fly to Europe!

I have so much to do before I depart for Europe again in January! I am so excited to leave, I can hardly stop talking about it. I only shut up because I know it bothers the people who are always around me. Now you get to listen to me go on and on..lucky you!

Well my name is Leah. I backpacked Europe last semester for three months. I proudly went with an open mind to nine countries and about 18 cities. I had the time of my life learning about other cultures and ways of life. I’m fact, I can’t think of another experience that shaped my life quite like this did. I grew up in a very small town in Minnesota. I ventured off and didn’t come home the same person. But that’s 110% okay with me!

Throughout the next year, I plan on displaying photos and talking about all the experiences I had while traveling (the before, during, and after stages). Welcome 🙂

Can you guess where I was in the picture below?