The time is fast approaching. I leave for my solo trip to Amsterdam next Wednesday. This will be my first completely solo trip and I’m still unsure about how I feel about it but they say “life begins once you step outside your comfort zone” so that’s exactly what I’m doing.
I have booked my hotels/hostels for the time that I’m away. I did that back in March and even had a hard enough booking places then, despite the fact it was a few months in advance. May begins tourist season in Amsterdam & many other places in Europe, so if I have one suggestion for anyone that doesn’t just want to wing it - book your hotels or hostels early, especially if you want a private room. Like most of my trips, I booked my hotels through Booking.com. I will be staying in Hotel Pax for the first part of my trip and then Hotel Prinsenhof for my second part. Both located in good distance to the city centre. I have a private room with shared bathroom in both hotels - mainly because I wasn’t feeling the whole “dorm” thing while I was traveling alone, I wanted it to somewhat feel like a vacation.
The other thing I have booked in advanced is my Viator tours that I wanted to do while I was there. I’ve always booked through this website & have never had a problem with it. You can book any types of tours you want from day trips, multi-day trips or even museum passes for about any country/city you can imagine. I choose to book a few day trips:
All tours were relatively good priced, I mean I would never be able to travel to Brussels for a day on my own for $75.00. The best part of this site is you don’t have to book WAY in advance, unless the tour fills up (which is unlikely because most are offered on multiple days) then you can book a day before you leave for your trip and all the meeting points are centrally located.
Last but not least, I plan on booking my Anne Frank House ticket in advance. I have read in several places that the line to get into this attraction is ridiculous but if you buy a ticket in advance you can skip the line that has everyone waiting in it to purchase their last-minute tickets. Obviously this seems like a must-see for Amsterdam so I don’t want to miss out or waste a day waiting in line.
I will try to update my blog on my adventures while I’m away as much as possible and of course post pictures when I return. Stay tuned :)
Alright, so I didn’t get to update my blog again while I was still in Vegas.. mainly because my family was constantly doing something & when we weren’t we were exhausted! The last time I updated this we were about to go to Dick’s for dinner.. a restaurant that pretty much treats you like crap but it’s hilarious! Then my sisters & I went to Thunder Down Under, which was actually hilarious. At the end of the show they even let you get a picture with all the guys (of course for an extra cost) it was a lot of fun!
On Wednesday (Halloween) my siblings and I took a plane tour to the Grand Canyon, although the plane was sketchy and I wouldn’t recommend it for people that are scared of flying, it was amazing to see! After the tour we went and relaxed by the pool at our resort until after dinner when we headed down to Fremont Street for a street party for Halloween. My family dressed as a 6 pack of Molson Canadian beer.. it was hilarious & lots of fun. Fremont Street was packed with people & it was a great event for people of every age. My step sister isn’t 21 so it was something that we could include her in & it was cheaper then going to a club or something. They also had hourly Halloween concert type shows they put on & their were a surprising amount of kids around.
Thursday, we were all pretty hungover from Halloween so we just chilled & relaxed all day. At night we went to a steakhouse called Galagher’s in New York, New York for dinner. It was very expensive but the portions that you got were ridiculous! Everyone’s steaks were huge & I’d recommend sharing them between a few people & just ordering a variety of sides for everyone to share. After dinner, we went to see the Cirque Du Soleil show called “O” at the Bellagio. Another flawless Cirque show - it was all done in water & was amazing!
Friday was our last full day in Vegas. We finished up touring different hotels & casinos on the strip and went to Margaritaville for lunch. After that we headed to the airport for our red-eye flight home. Overall it was an amazing & fun trip. I didn’t really know what to expect as many people usually don’t go to Vegas for an entire week & usually don’t go with their families but there was so much to do and keep everyone entertained. I’m sad to be home!
On Saturday October 27, my family of 6 flew to Las Vegas for a week long family vacay! So far since we’ve been here we’ve accomplished quite a bit. On Saturday we got in pretty late but we got picked up at the airport in a limo and drove around the strip to get our first look at it (well at least for those of us that have never been). After that we headed to our hotel, The Grandview Resort. It’s a bit aways from the strip but good for our family since we have a 2 room condo style place. Our first full day in Vegas we went down to Fairmont Street to check out “Old” Vegas! We spent the majority of the day there - checking out all the cool, old places. We also zip lined down the old strip for $15/each & then headed to the Pawn Shop from the TV show Pawn Stars. The line actually wasn’t too long to get in & although it was much smaller than you would think it would be from what you see on TV, it was still cool too see. At night we headed to the Hard Rock Hotel because Pauly D from Jersey Shore was there for a guest appearance.. although he was super late we got a picture with him & it was worth it!
Our second day in Vegas we woke up super early & headed to go skydiving!! My siblings and I all did it and it was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done! The place we went to was called Las Vegas Extreme Skydiving and everyone there was really nice & super fun! The experience was for sure worth what we paid for it! After skydiving we headed out for lunch at a restaurant at the Southpoint Casino which is walking distance from our hotel and then went down to the strip. We visited the Venetian, MGM, New York New York & The Mirage while we were down there - which took up the majority of the rest of our day. In the evening we went to an Italian restaurant in the Southpoint Casino called Don Vito’s which was really good!
Day 3 (aka Today) in Vegas my Dad & step Brother headed to the SEMA car show for the day and us girls went shopping at the south outlets in Vegas. The outlets were pretty good - some places not having the best deals but still managed to buy quite a bit between all of us. A lady told us that apparently the outlets on the north end have the more high-end stores like Gucci and all those other stores I could never afford so I don’t think we’re going to go there! The afternoon today was spent by the pool at our hotel. Tonight we are going out for dinner at Dicks.. a restaurant on the strip that pretty much treats you like shit but supposedly it’s supposed to be quite the unique experience. After dinner my sisters & I are going to Thunder Down Under.. which should also be pretty interesting!
I’ll update this again sometime in the near future :)
I know I haven’t updated this blog in awhile. Mainly because I’ve been busy and also because I haven’t gone on any exciting adventures recently. I took a while off from focusing on how badly I wanted to travel to exotic places and focused on getting a job since I just recently graduated. Now that I have a job I have a few trips in the works - Vegas with my family, NYC and potentially Europe next year. Not sure when but I’ll be sure to update you!
You’ll also recognize a girl who travels by the fact that she’s always amazed at the world around her, no matter if she’s in her home town or in a place that’s totally new. She sees beauty all around her, not just the ones featured in travel guides or shown in postcards. A girl who travels has developed a deeper appreciation for life. She won’t judge you, or pressure you to do the things you don’t want to do. She know too much about the importance of identity and self-efficacy, and she will appreciate all the more if you won’t pretend to be who you’re not.
She knows she’s been to a lot of places, but she’s humbled by the fact that the world is still a big place and she’s only seen a smal part of it. Seeing this in her can make you feel all right with yourself too; there’s no need for you to do more, to be more. What you are is enough.
Check out one of my good friends articles in the Packet & Times in Orillia about her recent travels to India. It sounds like an amazing place, I want too visit now!
Envision yourself eating a plate of homemade pasta while you overlook the Coliseum in Italy or catching a glimpse of the Eiffel tower as it twinkles amongst the night sky in Paris. How about enjoying a pina colada on the black sand beaches of Hawaii? I bet all of these sound absolutely amazing right now not only for our sanity but because believe it or not traveling is actually good for us.
Although traveling isn’t a necessity in the average persons life and for most isn’t even an obtainable dream. Traveling is something that provides us with a type of satisfaction that you can’t get from a new pair of shoes or a night out partying with your friends.
There are about 7 billion people on this planet, living in approximately 196 different countries. There are over 6900 languages being spoken every day and over 4,500 different religions that people are practicing. There is so much to learn from different types of people around the world and you can only learn so much from Google-ing or reading. This whole world is a classroom and traveling gives you the opportunity to embrace it and learn from it. I mean you can read an entire book on Italy and never know what it is really like until you see the Coliseum for the first time or sit on a gondola as a local rows you down a canal in Venice. You can learn so much when you travel, the opportunities are endless and it really gives you a whole new appreciation for different cultures and people.
Traveling around the world can give you a much better understanding of how the rest of the world is doing and give you a new perspective on how you can live your own life. With traveling comes perspective and sometimes we often lose sight of the greater picture living the hectic lifestyles we lead. We often forget that there is more to life than school, work and bills. The world is huge, wonderful and chaotic and there are infinite amounts of things to see and do - and no matter how bad we think we have it, we live better than many other parts of the world. We often forget that there are still countries that don’t believe women should have rights or expect you to believe in one type of religion. Traveling in a weird way knocks us back to reality, reminds us how lucky we are and how we should never take anything we have or do for granted.
When you come home from an amazing adventure you feel rejuvenated. Traveling is like self-medicating yourself. Whether you are physically or emotionally hurt or overwhelmed or stressed - when you travel all of a sudden the things back home you were dealing with don’t seem like such big issues and you can foresee a life beyond them. It’s funny how a change of scene can make things at home seem a lot different and how sometimes you just need to escape from the familiar and throw yourself in a situation you aren’t immune to, to put you back on track.
I have been lucky enough and blessed with a number of opportunities that have allowed me to see several parts of the world already in my lifetime – and although I understand traveling isn’t realistic or obtainable for everyone right now, it is defiantly something you will never regret doing. Traveling will give you so much more then just the souvenirs and photographs. It will provide you with a hands-on learning experience, it will change your perception of this world we live in and it will rejuvenate you.
Remember “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”