My Favorite Travel Memories (Part 1)

It recently occurred to me that I can't remember the last time I went on a trip that wasn't for work or to visit home. I guess my weekend in Breckenridge counts, but prior to that, I don't think there was anything since good ol' Eurotrip in the spring of 2012. WHAT THE HECK?! Everyone says to travel while you're young, but listen, my student loan deferment just ended (so I'm now short several hundred bucks a month) and any time off work shrinks my paycheck. So for the foreseeable future... I'm stuck where I am.

Life as a millennial: ain't it glamorous?!

All that being said, I'm really missing the days when I could hop on a train and be in another country. So today I'm taking a walk down memory lane and revisiting a handful of my favorite moments from my travels. :)

My favorite travel memories

+ On our last night in Paris, Amanda and I swung by the Eiffel Tower to see it all lit up. What we didn't know, however, is that it sparkles. Exiting the metro and turning a corner to see the Eiffel Tower lit up and sparkling is a moment of breathlessness I will never forget.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

+ I went to Israel on a birthright trip, which meant I traveled with two dozen other Americans and a handful of Israeli soldiers. Israel has a mandatory draft, so everyone joins the army before going to college. These soldiers were the same age as all of us, but while we were in college, they were thinking wistfully of the day they could finally go back to school. That alone was quite a realization. But one day, we were on our bus between cities and I was sitting next to one of our soldiers. We were chatting about basically nothing. Pop culture nonsense, TV shows, what-have-you. And it was somewhere between our discussions of That '70s Show and Friends that it hit me like a truck: this girl is me if I'd been born in Israel instead of America. I'd be watching That '70s Show and training in the military instead of watching That '70s Show while complaining about schoolwork. That one inane conversation changed so much about the way I see the world. We're all exactly the same but for where we're born and the life circumstances that presents us with. It's incredible.

Dead sea mud, Israel
Two students, three soldiers, and it's impossible to pick who's who.

+ An equally life-changing moment was visiting Dachau, the concentration camp. I'm a Jewish girl that walked into the gas chamber, and was alive to walk out the other side. Had I been a Jewish girl in that exact spot a mere 65 years previously, I wouldn't have had that luxury. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

Dachau concentration camp, Munich, Germany

+ It would be totally remiss of me to NOT mention some of my Olympic travels, right? ;) One that has a special place in my heart is seeing my first Olympic stadium: London 2012. I made sure to get my butt over there about a week after I'd arrived in the city to study abroad. While I could see it from the windows of my flat, I was so jittery and excited on the way over... and I may or may not have cried a little bit when I finally got there.

London 2012 Olympic Stadium and Orbit Tower

Give it some time and I'm sure I'll be all nostalgic and putting together a part two. ;)

Travel Tuesday

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  1. That story of you sitting next to the soldier in Israel actually reminds me of a speech Angelina Jolie gave when accepting an award. She also mentioned that there is another girl in the other side of the world who is probably a better actress than she is but because of where she lives she isn't given the same opportunity as herself. It is crazy when we think about how much opportunity we have compares to the rest of the world. I guess that's why we should make the most of it!

    Hsiao-Ting (

  2. great post! I'm sad I didn't get to see the eiffel tower sparkling, but we were to cold to stay longer and I didn't know :(

  3. Amazing post! I really wish I could travel more like you. I actually have seen the Eiffel tower lit up and it is so beautiful!! The Israel travel and the gas chambers would probably be my favourites. It's amazing the things that happen depending on our location or time...

    The Life of Little Me

  4. Dang, you have some amazing travel memories! Especially the birthright trip it sounds like. It is interesting to think about all the "what ifs". And sounds like you met some unforgettable people too... that's what really makes a trip for me :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. these are some great memories for sure! x

  6. Aw such lovely stories! I totally feel you on the loan payments, they kill! And I'm regretting not seeing the eiffel tower lit up before!

  7. A really captivating posts, that not only wants to make me travel the world - but also learn from the people of the world. It's amazing how educational travel can be and what you can kind along the way!