Cartagena was a city I was dying to visit after seeing it's colorful doorways and picturesque streets flood my Instagram feed. After spending a few days in Bogotá, my sister and I flew off for this tropical destination. We were more than ready to escape Bogotá's chilly and rainy weather for some sunshine and warmer temperatures. Plus, being the beach bums that we are, we were just excited to be close to a body of water again - especially when it's the Caribbean sea!
One of the things I was most excited about when I first moved the D.C. was getting to see the cherry blossoms bloom. Even though where I grew up was only a 4 hour car ride away from D.C., I never made the drive up to see them. But now that I actually live here, I have no excuse this year!
If you don't already know, I'm a huge advocate for solo traveling. Taking the leap to embark on my first solo trip to Madrid was one of the best decisions I ever made, and it opened up a whole new world to me. It's a completely different experience compared to when you travel with your family or a group of friends.
If I had to a pick a favorite Italian city, second to Florence, it would definitely be Bologna. As the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna is often overlooked for its more touristy counterparts. But this city actually has so much to offer with half the amount of tourists! Also, why would you not want to visit a city nicknamed La Grassa ("the fat one")?
Ah Rome...the Eternal City of ancient ruins, rich history, and an overwhelming amount of tourists. Ever since I watched Audrey Hepburn's romantic adventure in Roman Holiday, I've dreamed of my own wild escapade. Eating gelato on the Spanish steps, riding a scooter through a piazza...you know, just you're average Italian fantasies.
About an hour away from Venice, Burano is a little fishing village that's probably the most colorful place on earth. It's claimed to be the happiest island in Italy, and maybe even the happiest town in the world! But I wouldn't doubt it because once you set foot on this island, it's impossible to not feel a rush of happiness and be awestruck by your surroundings.
After spending a couple days in Bangkok and a side trip to Ayutthaya, Ashley and I continued our journey to our last stop: Chiang Mai. Located in the northern part of Thailand, Chiang Mai's mellow vibe was a pleasant break after hectic Hanoi and Bangkok.
On our way to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, we decided to make a pitstop in Ayutthaya. About a 2 hour train ride away (tickets are a mere $2!), Ayutthaya is home to a world heritage site. Centuries ago, Ayutthaya was a flourishing kingdom and the second Siamese capital.
Our second day in Bangkok started like any other. We woke up later than we said we would, laid around in bed for an hour checking every social media app, and eventually got dressed because our stomachs were calling out for breakfast. After getting some food, we decided to hit up our first temple on our itinerary which is when our trouble started...