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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Liebster Award Nomination

Recently, I was honored to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Outside Suburbia. Not only was I incredibly flattered by this nomination, but also quite a bit surprised as I have not been active for a particularly long time. I have only been able to retell one of my trips and have already received so much love and enthusiasm! I’m very grateful and humbled by all of your support and promise that a new destination will be posted shortly! (PS. It has now taken me five tries to write this post, as my browser was simply not having it)

As per the rules of the nomination, I will now answer the questions asked of me:

1. To you, what gets better with age?

I truly believe that just about everything gets better with age. Cheese, wine, lifestyle, everything. But if I have to pick just one I would say relationships, not just those romantic in nature.

2. What is your favorite destination that you have been to and why?

I really thought that answering this question would be much harder, but it was a surprisingly easy choice. I’m hoping that this question excludes places that I have lived in because that would make the choice significantly more difficult. My favorite destination, thus far, is undoubtedly Santorini. The island is pure magic and photos honestly don’t do it any justice. Everything from the relaxed lifestyle to the calming serenity of the Caldera views are simply incomparable to any other place I have ever been. The island really caught me off guard by making such a lasting impact and becoming a stand-out amongst my travels.

3. What is your dream destination to visit soon and why?

This question is not as easy as to answer. My list is of places to visit is so expansive and only grows exponentially with every destination that I tick off. I guess I will have to choose the Maldives and Singapore. I suppose I’m cheating a bit, but in terms of travel segments they can be lumped into one trip. Also, I know Bae will be reading this and owes me a trip so *hint hint*.

4. Where is your dream place to live? Are you living there now?

This is also a difficult question to answer. The whole goal of this blog was to draw my attention away from the heartache of having to settle down and become a true adult. As of now, I am living in New York City and have reached the zenith of my plans that I have had for my life. In the past, I have been blessed with opportunities to live in Sydney, Monaco, and Albania–all of which I have loved in entirely different ways. While New York is definitely where I wanted to end up at this point in my life, I know deep down that I lack the ability to sit still. I’ve already started dreaming up my next move: California would surely be an adventure and quite realistic, or possibly back to Europe–London? My German is getting pretty good, so how about Berlin? I guess we’ll just have to see what life brings my way.

5. What is your favorite fashion trend right now?

I just can’t choose one. Despite my astrological dispositions, my ability to make choices is basically non-existent. I do find myself gravitating away from my signature all black everything to complete white-out. But I think my favorite “trend” is the fact that all trends are currently co-existing. I love that I can wear an a-line skirt one day, and then a fringed-out ensemble the next without committing a humiliating crime of fashion treason.

6. Who is your favorite fashion designer?

I consistently find myself erring on the side of simplicity and clean lines. I love just about anything created by Azzedine Alaïa, but Stella McCartney has been pretty on point lately. Despite this recent identity crisis, my style is normally defined by just a few words: edgy, black, leather, lace. So normally YSL (still can’t bring myself to say SLP), Balmain, and Givenchy are my go-tos. If I’m feeling particularly girly I’ll go with…never mind, I’ve already completely lost sight of the point of this exercise. See the problem with decisions?

7. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Text Bae if he’s not here. Check Instagram. Repeat until I’ve convinced myself to finally get out of bed.

8. If time machines exist, what year would you love to travel back to?

I relish just about every facet of pure, unadulterated glamour so I would probably choose the 20’s, and 50’s/60’s (please no more decisions!). I would never travel forward in time, at least not within my lifetime.

9. Do you have any hobbies?

My favorite thing to do is just lie on a beach somewhere and drink with friends. If I can’t do that then I’ll take having a good time with friends in just about every other context imaginable (as long as there are noms and drinks a plenty). But sometimes I just want to stay in bed all day, which normally consists of reading a new book or binging on shows.

10. What do you do when you are bored?

I’m assuming my friends/Bae are unavailable. I would probably go to the gym or go shopping (though I normally prefer to do the latter with people). If not, I’ll read a book or binge on shows.

11. Who is the number one role model in your life?

I’ve been blessed to have a constant stream of people that I admire in my life. Although, I have to admit that I’ve never come across anyone that I would want to be. I always find qualities in people that I would love to emulate in my life or in my character, but I have never wholly wanted to be someone in their entirety. I think this is an important balance, because I feel very blessed to be who I am and be able to live as I do. But naturally, shoutout to Mami and Babi as number one role models!

Well, that was much more difficult than I thought it would be. In accordance with the rules corresponding with the nomination, I now nominate the following people to answer the same questions:

All The Best Beauty

Another Chapter in the Book

Back To Spain

BoyinBreton

Chloe The Wanderer

Gentleman’s Ambition

The Hidden Closets

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The finale of the Grand Roman Adventure consisted of seeing the Colosseum (obviously) and more importantly, eating. While I normally like to check out local recommendations made by random people I meet along my travels, I do like to indulge in at least one, or five, exemplary meals. Normally, I will do my research beforehand and my go to website for this is Elite Traveler’s breakdown of the chicest restaurants around the world, broken down by city, and all normally boasting at least one Michelin Star. The choice on this particular trip was simple as the restaurant is located in one of the best hotels in the city. As we have a tendency to gravitate towards hotels with killer views and overindulgent ambiance, basically anything owned by the Relaix & Chateux group, Bae and I had considered staying at the Palazzo Manfredi for the duration of this trip. However, since the hotel is perfectly situated to overlook the Colosseum and the Imperial Forum it is tragically far from just about anything else of interest. So we decided against staying at the hotel but chose to dine at AROMA, a Michelin Star ranked restaurant located on the top floor of the Palazzo Manfredi.

The restaurant was exquisite in every way and truly deserving of a place on my list of favorite restaurants around the world. The views were stunning and we were able to get a reservation that befell the time of sunset, when the Colosseum would be illuminated by a breathtakingly gold sky. True to form and having learned absolutely nothing from his debilitating hangover, Bae dove head first into a leather bound wine menu about the size of an encyclopedia. Unfortunately, Chef Giuseppe di Lorio  has changed the menu a bit since our visit so I am unsure of what the initial plate consisted of–though obviously, lobster was a focal point. The main course was the “Entrecôte of Argentinian Kobe Beef and ‘Chianina’ beef filet with wine jus and ‘Ratte’ potatoes”. The dish was definitely one of the best entrecôtes I have experienced and perfectly cooked to my medium-rare (but mostly rare) preference, something I’ve discovered is a rarity when traveling abroad. The entire experience was perfection, to say the least, and an ideal end to my first Roman Holiday!

In case you missed it:

Roman Holiday: May 2014 Part II

Roman Holiday: May 2014 Part I

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Vatican City, 2014.

Vatican City, 2014.


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Let’s just say that Day II of my Great Roman Adventure started off less than ideally. After a great night of clubbing and partying, Bae and I awoke after just a couple of hours of sleep (I need at minimum 8-9 hours of sleep in order to be a semi-functioning “adult”) with very painful reminders of the reckless actions of the night before (hello, hangover). While a big continental breakfast seemed to be the cure to my maladies, Bae was paying dearly for his irresponsible avoidance of the liter of water I tried to drown him in before bed. There was no time to waste recovering, however, as I was very excited about the day’s one plan: visiting Vatican City. While I had been forewarned that the experience would be less of a spiritual sanctuary and more of a tourist madhouse, I remained committed to the one plan of the day. Not only was I excited to see the incredible artwork and architecture, but I could also easily add a new country (or sovereign city-state, whatever your preference) to my list. Once we finally made our way to St. Peter’s Square, my eyes befell not upon the magnitude of the basilica, but on the ridiculous size of the line of tourists waiting to get in. No amount of standing in line for a club’s bathroom or a humble Cronut could prepare you for this. Bae put his foot down and refused to wait in the line, but only an hour later we found ourselves passing through the barriers into the basilica.

Once inside, the view was as spectacular as one can imagine. I insisted on taking several laps in order to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything. Unfortunately, it was during one of these laps that I was politely asked to leave as my carefully chosen, extremely conservative outfit failed to meet the standard of modesty required. Naturally, I respected the wishes of the church and politely exited the building. Sadly, I’ve always had a very rebellious nature and my well-seasoned existence of bar-crawling and club-hopping have taught me a thing or two about walking out one door only to re-enter through another, so I did just that. During the final lap of the building, I noticed Bae actively trying to distract me from something so I went to further investigate and discovered that you can climb to the very top of the basilica’s dome! One can simply take an elevator to get to somewhere relatively tame and uninteresting, or one can live dangerously and take the elevator and then climb 320 ancient, claustrophobia-inducing steps. Much to Bae’s misery, I obviously chose the second option. The climb is exactly what one would expect from climbing 320 un-leveled stairs, surrounded by sweaty tourists in a tiny space devoid of oxygen, on the hottest day. The view at the top was nice but the amount of tourists everywhere really killed the whole experience. We spent all of five minutes at the cupola before embarking on the trip alllll the way back down. The final photo shows how cramped the staircases were. Once we managed to get back on solid ground and outside, Bae was really struggling with his hangover. The heat and strenuous physical activity really aggravated his condition and we had to sit in St. Peter’s Square for a decent amount of time while he tried to convince himself no to get sick in one of the holiest places we would ever visit. Once Bae was in a stable state, we immediately ran off to find the ultimate cure: pizza.

In case you missed it:

Roman Holiday: May 2014 Part I

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Rome, May 2014

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

Last May, I was introduced to Rome for the very first time. Although I had visited Italy several times before that, I had never seen the nations famed capital and was dying for a taste. Now as we all know “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and it definitely cannot be experienced in that time frame either; so a weekend trip to the eternal city was planned. Luckily, Bae and I happened to be living in Monaco at the time, so the flight was only about an hour long. Upon arrival, we broke up the city into three major parts with plans to spend a day in each part. Since Bae had frequented the city during his childhood, he decided to be my tour guide and show me how great his memory was (lacking would be an understatement). Our first stop was a charming little piazza where we stopped for some pizza (obvs) and a bottle of wine since it was already midday and appropriate to start drinking. After getting all of the touristy stuff out of the way, we finally made it to the most highly anticipated part of the trip: Via Condotti aka bankruptcy here I come. Unfortunately, I didn’t make any purchases as the heat and throngs of tourists had made me quite irritable but my disposition completely changed when I saw a man selling roasted chestnuts on the street–one of my favorite childhood snacks from Albania! As we walked back to our hotel to freshen up for the rest of the night, Bae decided to get a haircut because … when in rome (okay, I’ll stop). Almost two hours later, I immediately changed into the much more weather appropriate outfit of a backless romper and we headed to a hip little piazza lined with bars. The night ended at La Cabala, which as a club was pretty on point. The vibe was chic, the people were glamorous, and the drinks were strong: what more could a girl ask for?

Continue the journey:

Roman Holiday: May 2014 Part II