Looking back on 30 years

I had been dreading this day for the past 6 years. It’s finally happened. I’ve turned 30. My hair didn’t automatically turn white at midnight, and my face didn’t erupt in wrinkles. I actually feel pretty much like the same adventurous fool I spent all my 20s being.

But for posterity, I thought I’d look back on the last 30 years of adventures. I have to say, I can’t complain. To date, the gnome and I have I’ve been to:

151 cities
Through 20 US States
And 34 countries
Across 5 continents

I liked some of these places so much, I stayed there. I’ve lived in five cities in three countries over the course of my 30 short years. So which are my favorite places?

There are two countries that I love more than any other: Iceland and Thailand. I hope life brings me back there soon, and I wholeheartedly recommend them both as excellent travel destinations. But some specific cities around the world have secured a special place in my heart like Krakow, Copenhagen, Montreal, Tokyo, and Gibraltar.

Of course, I haven’t fallen in love with every place I go. Some of my favorite places to hate include Philadelphia, Patong Beach, Ancona, and (gasp) San Francisco. That’s right. Fuck that place. I’m 30 and I can say whatever the fuck I want.

I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences over the years:

I spent a night camping in the Sahara Desert
Took a bath in a natural hot spring in freezing temperatures in Iceland (and then again in Budapest, and then again in Zurich)
Went to Oktoberfest in Munich (Loved that so much, I’m going back this year)
Saw the Northern Lights in Iceland
Rode a sailboat around Santorini
Took part in the Yi Peng Festival in Thailand
Got a tattoo with my best friend in Bruges
Hiked up not one, but two, mountains in Machu Picchu
And there’s almost no travel experience quite like seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

I’ve had some of the best meals of my life in:

New Orleans at Acme Oyster House
Savannah at Lady and Sons
Chiang Mai at The Chef (and pretty much all the street food in Thailand)
Copenhagen at Geist
A Berber campsite in Morocco
And every restaurant in the Greek Islands where I had pasta carbonara and yogurt with honey.

And I’ve encountered some of the best people in the world in:

Dublin, Ireland
Akureyri, Iceland
Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
And I’ve met some pretty swell people in Prague, too

I have to say, a girl can get used to this lifestyle. So let’s see where the next 30 years take me. There’s still a whole lot of world left to see!






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