Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season with family, friends or by simply relaxing and taking some time for yourself. Either way, welcome to 2018!
But first, a recap of the most exciting, adventurous or treacherous (side eye, life happens!) moments during my first six months living and traveling abroad.
While it's hard to narrow the list to just seventeen, here's my attempt to recap my Top 17 Moments of 2017:
17. Free Walking Tours - What better way to learn and see a city than on foot when time permits?! Moreover, it’s wonderful to burn calories without the pressure of burning calories, and to experience a new place at the same time. Add a DJ and jamming music and you’re on your way to summertime fine in no time. I thoroughly enjoyed the walking tours during my summer 2017 galavant through Germany, especially the one in Cologne with the Brooklyn DJ and all the jams! (See Blog Post: German Getaways: Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin in 6 days!)
16. Shopping in Berlin, Germany - Zara at Alexa shopping mall in Berlin is a must if you’re a Zaraholic. Very serious shopping happens here, meaning the store isn’t the most organized but it’s worth the effort. According to Zara's blurb on Alexa's site, "[t]wice weekly, the latest trends come to stores, and the international presence makes it possible to set limitless standards in fashion." Don’t say I didn’t inform you. It made this list. It’s real. (See Blog Post: German Getaways: Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin in 6 days!)
15. Miniatur Wunderland - I loved this magical place so much and absolutely recommend that anyone visiting Hamburg go! Give yourself at least a couple of hours (if not more) to enjoy the views...and indulge in a few golden-wrapped chocolates, which is part of the tour! (See Blog Post: German Getaways: Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin in 6 days!)
14. Visiting and bike-riding in Formentera, Spain - I witnessed nature’s breathtaking beauty expressed scenically and biking allowed me to explore much more of the island in the short time I had there (and burn calories at the same time -- win, win!). (See Blog Post: Go Two for One in Ibiza: Visit Formentera!)
13. First SeeYaa PopUp...extravaganza (ha!) - I was all over the U.S. of A for a quick surprise return — from Washington, DC to St. Louis to Florida. Add going to Las Vegas during the Mayweather/McGregor fight and then heading over to Made in America (for my first time) in Philly -- definitely a top 2017 trip. And since I technically lived abroad at the time, we'll just say the "US" in this case counts as "abroad" -- cool? On to number 12. . . . (See Blog Post:"Casper, is that you!?"... PopUp Success!)
12. MTV Music Week London - If you’re not hip to the London music scene, which features many international artists, get on it!
11. Croatia for Fresh Island Festival - Almost too much sauce for ya gal, but I hung in there and had an amazing time. (See Blog Post: Back to the Future in Croatia: Fresh Island Festival Fun!)
10. Booking Ibiza, Spain - Finding super cheap flights and lodging accommodations to visit infamous Ibiza, partying until the sun came up, and then basking in the sun on a bike ride through Formentera -- enough said! Shoutout to my "London beau" (at the time) for paying me a surprise visit in Ibiza...oooh. Cue International Players Anthem (I kid, I kid!).
9. Attending London Fashion Week - Seriously, I know you loved the Top Six L.O.N.D.O.N. Fashion Week - Street Fashion looks as much as I did. When I say folks stepped out fly, I mean superfly! (See Blog Post: New Boo: Is that you?! Oh heeey, London!)
8. Fireworks at Rhine in Flames in Rüdesheim, Germany - I really didn’t know what to expect but was fully down for the cause. Beginning with the hitchhiking adventure, I was just grateful it all went so well. (See Blog Post: Hitchhiking and Fireworks! Welcome to Rudesheim, Germany - Ever heard of it?!)
7. Diner en Blanc in London - Figuring out how to put the whole thing together (where to find all white outfits, buy a table and chairs, how to design our table setting, decide on a menu and travel on the Tube with all this stuff) just worked out seamlessly, despite the rain. I also met some lovely Londoners and expats and look forward to doing Diner en Blanc again -- someplace new. (See Blog Post: New Boo: Is that you?! Oh heeey, London!)
6. G20 Protest (Hamburg, Germany) - It was absolutely fate to be in Hamburg the first day of the protests and to inadvertently take the train to the heart of the protests (while attempting to find the best “hamburger” in Hamburg). This was an unforgettable experience. I was close enough to be in the action but had a guardian angel (in the form of a kind, generous fella) who helped navigate us away from any danger from the violence that broke out close to where I was. Talk about grace and favor! (See Blog Post: Welcome to Hamburg: Police, protests and tours, oh my!)
5. Finding love in London - Seriously, my first trip to London had me batting my lashes. And then returning to London for a weekend (turned month) after the phone incident Paris and feeling the same magic in London officially affirmed my love affair . . . with London. The cherry on top was meeting a for real new beau in London, ummm yess London! What's more is that I met this new beau the first weekend back in London and then after weeks of courting, he took me on a "first date" to Paris -- oh yes, please, and thank you! We all know Paris needed some redemption. (See Blog Post: New Boo: Is that you?! Oh heeey, London!)
2. GETting Kicked OUT of the Airbnb my First Day Abroad - Thanks to ol’ shady Swiss Mis(ter) and Ms. Jay (the illusive Airbnb hostess with the mostest -- drama, that is), this trip abroad took a totally different turn than originally planned. This top moments list wouldn’t have been the same without this shady bunch, and for that, I am so grateful because this has been the journey of a lifetime! (See Blog Post: Mayhem in Milan: First Night Abroad - Whew!)
In sum, my very first day abroad (as crazy as it was) was a good omen of things to come. The eviction moment didn’t last long thanks to Dee (see Blog Post: Mayhem in Milan: First Night Abroad - Whew!) and then Vee (see Blog Post: Relax, Regroup and Relate...in Germany). Having friends in the right places at the right time abroad was reaffirming and from the first crazy day abroad turned magical night, I knew then that I was and would be covered throughout my journey.
I hope you've enjoyed this year of adventure! I'm so very grateful for your support of this collective journey. Your support and readership truly means the world to me. Let me know where you’d like to go next (comment below!). This journey belongs to all of us and I am so blessed to be traveling together with you (yaa)...in 2018!
SeeYaa 2.0(18)! I hope you're ready...