Sorrento

After a short coach ride along the stunning coast of Southern Italy we arrived in Sorrento.

I’m no longer in the triple share room. I’m pretty bummed about it because Mollie, Stephanie and get on so well. Now I’m in a double room with a girl named Alex.

Most people wanted to nap before going out at night but I convinced a couple of girls to walk about the town with me. It was windy but the views were worth it! The water is so blue and its fastinating seeing the houses built into the cliffsides.

We returned about an hour before we needed to meet for dinner so I took a power nap!

Where did I stay? Sisters Hostel on Via Francesco Caracciolo (No website)

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Before dinner we tasted Aperol Spritz, a traditional italian aperitf. It’s a cocktail with prosecco, aperol, soda water and a slice orange.Then we headed to this massive resturaunt for a four course dinner and lots of wine! After dinner we headed to a local bar where we crashed a 1 year old birthday party! The bar was very strange…and we quickly found out why… all of the patrons were 16 year old boys from New Jersey! That didn’t keep us from dancing and flirting. it was all in good fun!

Living life simply in Pakbeng, Laos

Waking up at 545AM is pretty rough when you partied until 2AM the night before. A lot of my tour mates are hung over but I’m fine.

Where did I say?

Phet Sok Xia Hotel

Today we made our first boarder crossing. After about three hours getting visas we finally made it safely into Laos.

Tip: Get your Visa in advance to avoid the hold up.

After a short bus ride we disembarked and then hopped onto large tuk tuks to make our way down to the river. It was a wild ride and a great way to be introduced to Laos.

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Then we boarded a boat and began our journey down the Mekong River. Cruising down the river was so relaxing and peaceful. The mountains and scenery of Laos are breath-taking. My tour mates and I played cards, charades and some ice-breaking “Get to know you” games. Time flew by and after 6 hours of cruising and two fabulous home cooked meals aboard we reached Pakbeng.10647069_10152735689670813_6311954148698961704_n

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Our first “Guest House” experience was what I expected most of our accommodations to be like. I thought we would be staying mostly in hostel like places. But until now we have been staying in five-star resorts. Phet Sok Xai was small, simple and a little old. But it was charming and authentic. My new roommate Becky and I really enjoyed it. However some of our more high maintenance tour mates were not so impressed.

Some how I pissed my roommate Laura off. So now she doesn’t like me. She wanted to trade roommates. I honestly don’t care where I sleep. It’s a bed. I’ll room with whoever. I can adjust. But luckily Becky’s roommate hates her too. She also can’t figure out why. So now she and I are roomies.

That night we had a great family style dinner that was free! Afterwards we ventured into town to find bakeries. We bought croissants and chocolate rolls for breakfast the next morning. Then we hung out on the veranda and talked about life, family and our dreams.

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View from our hotel at dusk

It was pretty fantastic.

Side note: My feet have begun swelling. I’m not sure why. I’m not isolated. Many of the others are having issues with swelling feet. All I can do it elevate them to bring the swelling down.

Overnight Train to Northern Thailand

Last night we headed from Bangkok to Chiang Mai via an overnight train. The ride was amazing. Contiki had a private car. The long journey gave us a chance to play some games and get to know each other more. At night our tables and chairs turned into the most comfortable beds! Laura and I played rock, paper, scissors and I won the bottom bunk with the window.

I woke up before the sun and was able to see the sunrise over the beautiful Thai countryside. It was very euphoric as I listened to my ipod and watched the hills roll by. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world.

Exploring on my own

This morning Jenny was very sick and tired. She did not want to get out of bed so I decided to explore Paris alone. 1175478_10151783226075813_678355807_n

I made my way to Notre Dam.

Travel Tip:

  1. Avoid the lines to enter Notre Dam by taking a free guided tour! 1146608_10151783226670813_516677365_n

I arrived just in time for a English tour and was able to beat the long line of solo travelers waiting to enter the cathedral. We were taught about the exterior architecture and then led inside. Once inside I left my tour group to explore on my own. It was a very cathartic experience. My mother is home battling cancer. So I lit a candle and prayed for her recovery. I sat in a pew for awhile and just watched the church goers and tourists. It was very peaceful and moving. As I was leaving the bells of Notre Dam began tolling.

I forgot to mention that I felt very French and beautiful today. I dressed in a black dress, tights and sweater. I’m pretty sure people thought I was French. 🙂

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I tried to go to the Musee d’Orsay but it was closed. So instead I ate lunch on a park bench. I had the most amazing sandwich in the world. It was so fresh, delicious and filling.

I continued to wander around Paris aimlessly. I eventually made it to the red light district where I was propositioned by some seedy french men. That’s when I decided to call it a night. I ended my trip in Paris drinking wine and eating crepes alone in a cafe. And that was okay.