15 Places to Visit Before I Turn 30

15 Places to Visit Before I Turn 30

If you haven’t gathered this by now, travel is kinda my thing. Some people buy cars or clothes as soon as they have a penny in their pocket.

But when one of my lovely clients pays an invoice, I just send out a mass text to all of the major airlines and say “Who wants my money this time?”

Obviously, I kid. If I was on a first name basis with any important people from an airline, I’d never be in one spot again.

I have traveled a fair amount over the past few years, but every time I look at a map, I realize how few places I have actually been.

Earlier today I read a post called “15 Places I Want to Go Before I’m 30” on Embark to Explore, another travel blog. You may have read my “30 Before 30” post on my lifestyle blog which is more of a general bucket list, but the post on Embark to Explore has inspired me to come up with a list of 15 places that I’d like to visit, as well!

Climb aboard, because we’re about to go around the world.

1 – Bali, Indonesia

Image result for BALI
Photo from thepointsguy.com.

This destination is probably super basic considering Bali is a very hot spot right now. But based on the research I’ve done, it’s for good reason.

You can rent a beautiful home for 6-10 guests for about $2000-3000 per month. Ideally, I’d like to spend a month there with a group of friends, but most of my friends are in school and on track to work regular 9-5s.

That being said, if you want to move to Bali with me for a month, shoot me an email. HAHAHA!

2 – Cape Town, Africa

Image result for capetown
Photo from steppestravel.com.

Cape Town is another dream destination. The photo I’ve seen are absolutely beautiful. I haven’t been anywhere in Africa, so this would be crossing the fifth continent off my list.

3 – Phuket, Thailand

Image result for phuket
Photo from nomadicmatt.com.

When I traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand a couple months back, I was planning to travel south to Phuket. Right after I booked, I got nervous and canceled my reservation.

Traveling around the world by myself was scary enough, so I deciding that adding extra legs to my trip was not going to make things any easier.

I truly enjoyed my trip to Chiang Mai, and I’m glad that I spent my entire time there. However, I’d love to head back and visit Phuket soon!

4 – Bern, Switzerland

Image result for bern switzerland
Photo from weather-atlas.com.

In the summer of 2018, I fell in love with the idea of Switzerland. I read Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms in my Western Lit III class.

Of course the picture that Hemingway paints of Switzerland is set close to the southern border, but the story led me to do some research. Once I saw pictures of Bern, it was immediately added to my list of places to go.

5 – Cinque Terre, Italy

Image result for cinque terre
Photo by wanderlustcrew.com.

Cinque Terre is an absolute dream destination for me. Although, I really prefer Southern Italy to Norther Italy, this destination is definitely going to bring me back.

This is another tentative destination for my trip this summer, so hopefully it will make the cut.

6 – Iceland

Image result for iceland
Photo from mentalfloss.com.

Last year, I wrote a whole series of blog posts about Iceland for a client site. Ever since then, I’ve been absolutely obsessed. Iceland is one destination that I really would prefer not to take on alone since it requires a ton of driving from one spot to another.

Ideally, I’d like to go in the summer to do all of the hiking and such. But honestly, I wouldn’t complain about a winter trip. I’d love to see the Northern Lights.

7 – Auckland, New Zealand

Image result for hobbiton
Photo from garykent.com.

For the past year or so, my eye has been on New Zealand. Recently, my favorite blogger took her fam on an RV trip through New Zealand and my mind was made up: I have to road trip through this gorgeous country.

So, I am not into Star Trek, but I am dying to visit Hobbiton, which is where the set of the trilogy was filmed. All of the photos that I’ve seen of New Zealand, specifically in this area, are phenomenal.

8 – Barcelona, Spain

Image result for barcelona
Photo from vox.com.

Barcelona is another spot I’m hoping to hit on my trip to Europe this summer. Maybe it’s cheesy but every time I hear Ed Sheeran’s song “Barcelona,” I have to physically restrict myself from booking the flight.

Airfare is so cheap from FLL to BCN so I am always on the look out for deals. If I don’t make it there on this trip, I will definitely find a time to go over the next couple of years.

9 – Peru

Image result for machu picchu
Photo from fodors.com.

I’ve experienced a great deal of South American culture living in South Florida, and a few of my very favorite people are Peruvian. Peru is so rich in culture and history, so I think it would be the perfect spot for my first trip to América del Sur.

10 – Costa Rica

Image result for costa rica
Photo from fodors.com.

Backpacking in Costa Rica has also been on my list for years. This past spring, two of my cousins went for spring break and their stories made me want to go even more.

I really want to stay in a tree house in the jungle. Costa Rica is a destination that I’d prefer to visit with friends, so submit your application if you want to join me.

11 – Tel Aviv, Israel

Image result for tel aviv
Photo from robbreport.com.

A food blogger that I follow travels to Tel Aviv all the time, so her photos piqued my interest. But over the past couple of years, several people that I know went on their Birthright trips to Israel.

According to Ancestry.com, mom is 2% Ashkenazi jew so I did some hardcore research to see if there was any way that I could qualify for a Birthright trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut.

12 – Pink Lake, Western Australia

Image result for pink lake in australia
Photo from misterweekender.com.

I visited Sydney, Australia when I was 18, and I was devastated when I learned that the Pink Lake was 36 hours away.

This spot has been high on my list since I was a teen. I am really hoping to backpack through Australia one day. At that time, I’ll make it a priority to hit this spot.

13 – Kraków, Poland

Image result for krakow poland
Photo from openx.com.

My maternal grandmother’s father (so my great grandfather) was Polish, and my family still keeps some Polish traditions (mostly related to food). I’ve heard wonderful things about Kraków and I am dying to visit.

And while, I’m there, I’d love to visit Auschwitz. It’s a little bit out of the city, but I’ve also heard that this is a historical spot that cannot be missed.

14 – Munich, Germany

Image result for munich
Photo from tavelzoo.com.

Oktoberfest has been high on my bucket list for years, so naturally, Munich is on this list.

Thanks to Ancestry DNA, I have found that my paternal grandfather’s parents immigrated from Germany. I am trying to track down exactly where they came from, but I found some people that share my last name that live in Munich, so I think that’s a pretty great place to start!

15 – Alaska

Image result for alaska
Photo from millionmilesecrets.com.

I have never been a cold-weather-destination kinda girl, but recently, it’s become more and more appealing to me. I’d love to visit Alaska sometime soon.

I’ve heard that Alaska is best visited by cruise. Cruises are definitely a ton of fun, but aren’t my go-to when it comes to travel.

Driving in snow makes me so nervous, so I think a cruise would be my best bet for visiting Alaska, especially if I go in the winter to see the Northern Lights.

Oh, The Places I’ll Go

I fully intend on visiting each and every one of these places in the next eight years, so stay tuned for photos, stories and travel guides.

Are any of these places on your travel bucket list? Drop your top destinations in the comments below!

Rural Pennsylvania — Visiting Family in Fall

Rural Pennsylvania — Visiting Family in Fall


Going Home to Rural Western Pennsylvania

Remember in Hannah Montana: The Movie when Miley goes back to Tennessee to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the #CelebLife and revitalize her soul?

Last week, I did that too. I made my way back to rural Western Pennsylvania, about an hour or so northeast of Pittsburgh.

Okay, so I’m definitely not a celebrity, but life has been crazy amd draining. Sometimes, traveling to familiar places can do wonders for you.

I spent nine days catching up with family and friends. Most of the time was spent with my grandparents, which was really nice. We ate at my favorite restaurants, visited my Amish friends in Smicksburg and took my little cousins for some fall fun at a local farm.


The leaves were absolutely beautiful. I was there from the time some of them started changing until most of them were on the ground.

Fall is my absolute favorite season. We don’t have fall in Florida so I make a point to travel to somewhere that has a change of season every fall!

Yes, my grandmother has three alpacas.

A Rural Pennsylvania Wedding

Shop this look: Booties, Dress, Denim Jacket and Leopard Barrette (Not Pictured)

During my trip to Pennsylvania, I had the honor of attending my cousin’s wedding. He and his fiance were tying the knot at Fairman Family Farms, a little barn close to Indiana, PA.

We really didn’t know what to expect because it was literally being held in a barn. I was prepared for a full scale rural Pennsylvania wedding.

I kept thinking about the radio commercial that talks about a couple renting a barn for their wedding and then showing up and the animals are still in there on the wedding day. My imagination began running a little wild What I pictured the event to be was a little more country than I’m used to, but it ended up being absolutely beautiful.

I got to catch up with some aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven’t seen in quite a while. It was really nice that I could make it because so many of my cousins have been getting married and having babies, but being in school up until recently made it hard to drop what I was doing to attend those events.

Times like these, I am especially thankful for my career path.

Cafe Contrary: My Favorite PA Cafe


It’s so strange how specific tastes bring back so many memories.

When it comes to breakfast, my standards are set high. My favorite restaurant from my childhood is called Cafe Contrary in Saxonburg, PA. It’s a simple cafe, but I crave it all the time.

When I walked in, the waitress who always took care of us when I was a child seated us. I didn’t think she’d recognize me without my parents because I’ve grown up quite a bit since we were regulars.

After she seated us and came back from drinks she asked how my parents were doing. She said she wasn’t sure if I was who she was thinking of at first. It was funny because when we first got there, I told me grandma that she had been there as long as I could remember.

They used to only make these godly cinnamon rolls on the weekends, but I went on a Tuesday and lucked out. The breakfast special and cinnamon roll were enough to send me into a minor food coma, but it’s always worth it.

leaves changing in western pennsylvania | Western Pennsylvania in the fall

It is always nice to visit the place that was my home for so many years. I can’t wait to go back next month!

Looking for an Airbnb to stay in during your trip to rural Western Pennsylvania? Check out this post to get $40 off your stay!

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