2010 was a huge transitional year for me. I was working for Yahoo!, and had been dating my boyfriend, Adam, for over 3 years. He was finishing his MBA at USC, and was offered a job in San Francisco. I was ready for a change, so when he asked if I'd move with him, I said yes! After being a Southern California girl my entire life, I was excited to explore a new city. Adam had some time in between graduating in May and starting his new job in July. I was going to quit my job to move, so we took this rare opportunity to think big. Round the world ticket big! We mapped a route through One World Alliance (American Airlines). We had 7 weeks to explore, so we decided to stay mainly in the hub cities. Like energizer bunnies, we covered over 17 cities and 12 countries in 49 days.
Towards the end of the 49 days of travel bliss, Adam asked me to marry him. Later that year, I got a killer job working at Sephora HQ. On the last day of the year, I turned 30. To say the least, it was a great way to end my 20s. A great relationship, an unforgettable trip, and a fabulous career! We just had our 5 year anniversary on November 5th, and it's been non stop fun and adventure.
Here is a snapshot of our travels that summer in 2010!
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Rio has a vibrant culture and amazing vistas. We sipped caipirinhas during the day at the beach, and at night at the samba clubs. I highly recommend going to see a futbol (soccer) game at the stadium with the locals.
Santiago is a clean and modern metropolis with the largest metro in South America. Explore Santa Lucia Park for a good view of the city, and sip Pisco Sours over a delicious Chilean Feast. There are some nearby wineries as well, we stepped outside the city into Pirque to try Coche y Toro varietals.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a city known for it's Flamenco dancing, steak and malbec. Visit Eva Peron's grave at the famous Recoleta Cemetery and then wander La Boca, a vibrant neighborhood filled with street art and colorful buildings.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Iguana is a magnificent place. The waterfalls are on the border of 3 countries, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. We saw the park first from the Argentine side, where you get to be up close and personal, and soaking wet. The second day we visited the Brazil side, which is more built up from a touristic perspective with clearly marked paths and trams. You get a better view of the breadth of the falls from this side but not as much of the intimate experience. These little creatures called Coati are all over the park, they are cute little guys, but beware they will snatch up your food!
Madrid has beautiful squares and a vibrant night life. We took a bike tour around the city exploring the different parks and museums. We went to see the famous Guernica painting resides in the Reina Sofía, it's 25ft wide and over 11ft tall. Powerful! We had many late dinners, and many late nights. The Spanish turn into owls after their afternoon siestas.
You just can't get better than Rome for site-seeing. The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, and so much more. Get lost in the cobblestone streets and enjoy late night pasta and wine dinners in this historical city.
Budapest is a gorgeous city, with it's Castle District that looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale. The city is divided by the Danube River, with Buda on one side and Pest on the other.
Santorini is majestic. It has a peaceful vibe with it's magnificent vistas of the surrounding Aegean Sea, and the infamous blue domed architecture. We scooted around the island in 80 degree weather and had some fab mediterranean dinners. Our favorite part was taking a sunset cruise around to some of the volcanic islands.
Athens is the home to Acropolis, an ancient citadel located above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. Explore this mountain then head over to The Plaka for a rooftop dinner at sunset overlooking the city.
Delhi was an eye opener. An overpopulated city with traffic like you wouldn't believe. An array of Oxen, bike taxis, foot taxis, tuk tuks (tiny cabs), cars, and random roaming malnourished cows. We didn't book any tours ahead of time, so we blindly made our way through the city and all it's poverty. It was definitely a cultural experience I won't soon forget.
The dead sea, jordan
The Dead Sea is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean. We arrived on a hot day, the sea felt warm and oily. The salinity is so high you float at the surface, bobbing like a cork or floating like you were on a raft. There are buckets of mud you can slather yourself in, their contents have healing properties that are great for your skin.
Petra is surreal. A city carved into the rock, and surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological site, and was featured in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Definitely add this to your bucket list!
Whether you're religious or not, Jerusalem is a city that will captivate you with it's rich history of biblical times. We wandered around the old city, and visited up to the top of Mountain of Olives, The Mary Magdalene Church, the Gethsemane Garden, the Church of all nations, the Ascension chapel, and walked Via De La Rossa, the road of suffering that Jesus took carrying his cross up the city to the point of crucifixion. At this point we went inside the Holy Sepeculre, where we see the Crucifixion spot, where the Christ body laid, and finally the tomb of Christ.
Boracay is a gorgeous and romantic setting. We stayed a Nami Resort that had the perfect view of the bright blue ocean from the balcony. We spent our days swimming in the ocean. We spent our evenings enjoying cocktails at sunset. Every night the sunsets brought a unique blend of colors—bright pinks, yellows, purples, and oranges. After having a fun out out with some honeymooners, Adam asked me to marry him on our walk back home along the beach!
Hong Kong is a clean country with towering sky rises and delicious dim sum. It has a posh club scene and a bustling vibrancy.