Get your travel high with a trip to your local bookstore as Oui We Contributor Sam Spahr shares some of her favorite books set around the globe.Read More
After spending the last two years traveling America's most beautiful routes I feel confident in saying I've mastered the art of the road trip. How to pack your bags, your car, beauty tips while traveling, how to make it out of sticky situations in one piece and I'm in love with how good it feels to connect with the deeply routed people all over this big badass country.
I ended this year with a trip back to the country that spurred my interest in writing my book Wanderful to begin with - Spain - and here's the short version of how all of that came to be:
I spent the summer of 2014 finishing up my first book New Orleans Style. Here I was, given an opportunity to create something that would become my calling card as an author and in the spirit of my wanderluster Grandmother I studied the constellations, put my luck on a full moon and booked a one-way flight to the Mediterranean coast.
As I took off it occurred to me: every time I’d taken a trip I’d sought out a guide. Usually that came in the form of a book, or a magazine, and lots of google searching for travel blog posts on my intended destination - there were lots of lists of the best restaurants and bars, the museums to visit, and the tours to take - but what I hadn't found was a guide for the fashion loving bohemian types like me! Those interested in slow, experiential travel. So, I set out to make just that. Wanderful became the American road trip version of that, and what I wish for the readers is that they get out and see the wonderment that America has to offer.
2018 Dream Destination List
So now, 3 years later, it's the end of 2017 and I'm thinking where to next.?! I'm starting to brainstorm ideas for next projects and certainly intend to cover more international travel in 2018, and so to end the year Ben and I spent a few weeks in Spain - it's truly a country that sparks my inspiration like no other.
I've been poring through the Expedia blog to get ideas for 2018 travels and here's 5 destinations I'm adding to the list, and some of my magical girlfriends lending to that inspiration.
p.s. even if you're only planning one adventure this year, let these glorious destinations & ladies inspire the wanderlust in you.
My darling friend Keiko (yes the one that's alllll over my book) visited Santorini this year and every photo was a pure dream. I researched a bit and then this article grabbed me - romance? oui, please!
Glamorous seascapes, glittering horizons and white washed hillsides... I don't know what I'd do first: sample the local wines (the vines grow deep into the island’s ancient volcanic soil enhancing the flavors), swim in the Aegean Sea or rent a car to venture out to the blue umbrella-topped Red Beach and Oia.
This particular post on Italy has me wanting to spend weeks exploring the country but MIchaela's photos coupled with her the notes on Florence: a quaint apartment within walking distance of all one’s favorite gelato shops, tucked away restaurants with local fare of house-cured meats, and expertly curated cheeses and wonderfully stylish locals have me wanting to make Florence my first Italian destination.
Krystal is another one of my travel loving friends and my oh my does she ever make traveling look like an ethereal delight. Her blog is one of the most beautiful out there. Between she and Jasmine (my Aussie friend who's currently living life as a New Yorker) these two have given me a serious lust for Australia.
Krystal spent this holiday season traversing Australia, go take a look at her instagram to get some serious Australian summer inspiration, and in her recent post on Byron Bay she describes it like this: A coastal town, Byron Bay is located in the southeastern corner of New South Wales and offers all the sea-faring charm you’d expect it to — think Santa Cruz meets Montauk, with a dash of Venice Beach — where surfers live to surf [and] where families live in the most adorable beach-facing homes, shopping at the local farmer’s markets every Sunday." I want to go for the views (of course), the seaside meet jungle hikes and the bohemian inspired shopping throughout the area.
Amanda, who's gorgeousness graced the cover of my book (and who's also seen on lots of pages in the Pacific Coast Highway chapter), makes living the life of a world traveling photographer look incredibly connecting. This winter & spring she's leading Photo & Art tours and I'm fingers crossed, going to make one of these happen by end of Spring. Her Cuba tour includes balcony breakfasts, ocean swims, visits to artists collectives, and convertible rides. Si, si si!
Ana has been on a world traveling whirlwind this year. Go scroll through her 'gram for just a sec and you'll be hard pressed to actually decide which destination she makes look the best.
She visited Lisbon this year after discovering her grandmother's family originated there, and she shared her experience on "meadering" through Lisbon in this post. I researched a bit more, found this 48 hour guide to Lisbon, and coupled with the inspiration from Ana's photos - Lisbon climbed (easily) onto this list.
I can't wait to get the planning underway. I've got some good tools I've been using for booking too - so I'll be back to share those soon! In the meantime, any places you think I need to add to the list? Tell me, tell me, tell me!
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Amélie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It's a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind overcomes her. - from Amélie (2001)
Gosh I just love that movie...
I mean, c'mon what girl doesn't want to spend her days in the streets of Montmartre like Amélie?
A painting of Sacré-Cœur, the big beautiful basilica, and the Montmartre neighborhood behind it hung on my wall as a child. The painting was a gift from my dad, he's traveled to Paris often having worked here and in several other French cities over the last 20 or so years. It's a place I've dreamed of since my first childhood visit.
I woke up the other morning and decided it was the day I would visit a few of my favorite destinations, and well, those that were so beautifully depicted in the film as well.
I took the Metro to the Rue Des Abbesses station and wandered behind Sacré-Cœur to the cobblestone street in which the bluebottle buzzes along as the film opens. From there I made my way down to Le Grenier à Pain, the 2015 winner of "Best Baguette" in Paris. I loaded up my bag with a salmon and spinach quiche, and a baguette (of course) and ventured along to have a little morning picnic on the hilltop in front of the cathedral.
A bit later in the afternoon I asked the girls to meet me at another of Amélie's spots: Canal Saint-Martin. In the film she skips stones from the Canal bridge as Yann Tiersen's soundtrack plays in the background... It's a truly gorgeous scene.
Chelle and Hailee met me and we walked all along the Canal, watched a ship named Sandra work all the way down the locks, and then bought a bottle of rosé to toast to another amazing Parisian day.
It's been so nice keeping notes about these days to share with you guys. I've got museums and cemeteries to share, and a few other special little secret spots too. Thanks for reading you, it truly means the world to me! Bisous!
Hello bebes! It's official. I'm in Paris. I arrived just a few days ago after a whirlwind few days of U.S. traveling.
As miss Hepburn once said, this place is always a good idea, and truly! I believe it is. It's been quite some time since I've been here, however, Hailee, one of my soul sister friends from New Orleans moved here several years ago, and Chelle studied here too. So, between the two of them they've got lists of cafés, museums, gardens and hidden little restaurants that we're committed to spending the next week living in.
When we arrived the weather was drizzly, maybe 60 or so... typical Parisian afternoon I suppose. And from that day on the sun has twirled in and out as quickly as the horses on the carousel whirl by.
It's ok though... here it rains - you dash along, tuck in under an awning at a café and wait... and sip coffee, and wine, and daydream... and eventually the rain subsides and it's time to move along again.
Hailee's apartment is a short walk to the Eiffel Tower, so of course, before I could even think of doing a single other thing, I went straight for the twinkling lights and the carousel.
We spent our first full day touring the Luxembourg Garden (the chairs, the flowers, the hot chocolate around the corner at Angelina! Le swoon!) and then yesterday I strolled for hours along the Seine, wandering the quiet Sunday streets, arriving in the Tuileries Garden for a solo picnic. A great afternoon of solitude, which I find to be so important to gain a connection to a place.
More to come - including my packing guide and a travel guide, which I fully decided I'll only share if what I traveled with proves to be the right choices! These Parisian girls are hard to keep up with, wish me luck!
p.s. Bisou bisou to GG Boutique for dressing me for my first day here!