Tag Archives: Vienna

A Postcard Synopsis of Backpacking Central and Eastern Europe

Well, the first stint of my nomadic life abroad has come to a close. Let’s call this The Central and Eastern Europe Edition. I chased busses, jumped bathroom stalls, slept in the houses of countless strangers, lived like a vagabond from country to country and made some of the best memories of my lifetime. I delighted in meeting dozens of new and wonderful people, and indulged in trying delicious (and sometimes not so delicious) local cuisines. I learned a lot about the cultures and the history of the countries I visited, and I explored cities and countrysides alike. As I often say, my eyes have had a beautiful life.

With this trial-run of backpacking travels I proved to myself and many others that when you are determined to make something happen, you can do it! There is no need to live in fear, simply seize the day!

When I was about halfway into my travels, I wrote a postcard to my beloved grandma, Oma, and in the limited 2inch space I tried to recap my highlights for her. There were dozens of amazing things that had happened in the first few weeks, but those that made the cut for the postcard went something like this:

– Stayed with a local fisherman in Croatia and cooked octopus salad

– Bathed for hours in the luxurious and relaxing baths of Budapest

– Cooked meals from garden ingredients and visited a baby blue church in Bratislava

– Experienced both Latin and Czech culture in Prague, and saw a church decorated with the bones of over 40,000 people in Kutna Hora

From there, I continued on with my travels to Austria, Slovenia, and Italy. If I had only two square inches for postcard highlights of my time in the countries that followed, they would be summed up as such:

-Tried on an astronomically expensive drindl and visited a cat cafe in Vienna

– Discovered roasted chestnuts in Ljubljana, Slovenia and put my crew/rowing skills to use with a rowboat on Lake Bled

and finally 

– Enjoyed a vespa ride around the Italian countryside and indulged in every gastronomical pleasure that Italy had to offer

Of course there was so much more that took place in these 7 countries and 6 weeks of travel, but to see more details, without the “postcard highlight” overview, take a look at the blog entries for:



Kutna Hora



Lake Bled

Veneto Region Italia

Living Life on a Scale of 1 to 10

My family has always classified things on a scale of 1 to 10, starting with my brother and his ratings for our outfits. I remember growing up and getting ready to go out, trying on different clothing combinations and relentlessly asking my younger brother to rate them. His straightforward, no hesitation, honest reactions were always a good gauge to see where I stood. So when I set off to travel the world it came as no surprise when my mom asked me, “Holly, how scared are you for this trip, on a scale of 1 to 10?”

My answer was perhaps the surprising part. When I thought about it, I really wasn’t scared at all. Fear barely registered on the 1 to 10 scale. I had already taken the scariest steps; quitting my job and wrapping up my comfortable life in Costa Rica had not been easy, but these were a necessary part of the process in order to pursue my dream of traveling the world.

As I set out on my travels around the world, I receive a constant stream of questions …What am I going to do? Where am I going? How will I get there? Where will I stay?  Do I have a boyfriend? Am I doing this alone? What do my parents think about this? Am I scared?…

There are so many people in the world who make decisions strictly out of fear of the unknown. They let their fears limit their potential. I don’t want that for myself. If you would ask me, “On a a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you for this trip?” my answer would undoubtedly be 10. I am embracing the unknown as the opportunity that it is. I love that my canvas is blank and I am in charge of painting it in whatever form I would like.

 Each day I meet new people who bring new possibilities to my life. My path for the coming days, weeks and months changes daily, sometimes hourly. However a personal motivation that serves as a guiding force is that each day I learn something new about the world, explore a different place, and leave a positive impact on those I come into contact with along the way. I am excited to be traveling the world, and I hope you can come along and enjoy it with me, whether as a co-traveler or a follower from afar.

I wonder what my brother would rate this outfit?  :) This was taken while trying on an extravgantly expensive drindl dress in Vienna, Austria.