After day 21 (out of 41) of traveling, everyday felt like I had been beaten up, repeatedly, hence the delayed post. A theme I noticed throughout Europe (minus Scandinavian countries) was misogyny and an extreme lack of respect for women. If you harass me and throw a sexual comment my way, you should feel blessed if I continue walking without putting you in your place. On my last night in London, after objectifying me, a man said “well you could smile at least.” No. I will not take your bullshit. Visiting these big cities has made me even more independent and a feminist and someone who won’t take any nonsense. These types of things happened daily. I wonder if it would have been different if men traveled with us. I’m not trying to elevate myself by saying “omg wow I’m so pretty poor me I get hit on so often.” This is an actual issue, I just had never experienced it before. I drive everywhere in LA and living in South Central, I don’t walk around much at night. I can totally empathize with this video now.
Anyway, I digress. Europe is life changing. I love America but we don’t have character and history. There’s something beautiful about walking around a city and knowing that the buildings date back to the 14th century. It’s breathtaking. How could you be unhappy when surrounded by so much beauty?
Barcelona is a glorified Santa Monica. The food is crappy (I don’t eat much seafood) but the men are much better looking. The clubs were super touristy…like Katy Perry? Really? It’s 2015 y’all. But I could actually live there. I tried to use some of my fab Spanish skills and the waitress corrected my misuse of “to-mah-to” with “to-ma-te.” Also, why don’t they speak regular Spanish?! What is Catalan?!
(hat, Urban Outfitters; dress, asos (now also at Nasty Gal); earrings, Istanbul; sunglasses, Miu Miu)
I got my best photos in Nice, tbh. Nice was the kind of city you have to really immerse yourself in. We stayed for 4 nights which I wasn’t too excited about beforehand, but it ended up being not enough. I could see myself spending a summer Nice. It didn’t even really feel like France. I think I’m more of a Southern France kind of gal though. I returned to Paris again this year and wasn’t impressed, but more on that later.
(dress-For Love and Lemons)
PRAGUE is the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to. I fell in love. I have a penchant for Eastern Europe/Russia/underdeveloped countries so when I got to our Airbnb and it was old school, I was like .
Side note: I’m still really bitter that I didn’t get my Russian visa in time and couldn’t go to St. Petersburg. Also pretty bitter that Expedia didn’t give me a refund. F you Expedia.
I bought this top from a trendy little boutique called Leeda. Prague apparently has a handful of independent designers and boutiques. I wish I had had time to explore more of the fashion scene.
I didn’t notice many women in Prague, minus tourists.
There were many homeless men begging on the bridge from where I took this photo^. But the way in which they were begging broke my heart. They were faced head down on their knees with their hands or a hat out in front of them. They were all in such a horrible state with dirt on their skin and clothes. One man had been in that position for so long that he was shaking. When I saw that I couldn’t help but cry so I gave him some money and also came back with a muffin. The city makes you feel like you’re in a fairytale but I wonder what it’s really like to live in the Czech Republic, as a local.
This was such a cool experience. I had my photo developed onto a piece of glass at The Gallery of Art, Prague. They apparently used the second photographic process (ever) to do it. I took a video of the photo coming to life as they immersed it into a solution. I now have my very own creepy 1800s-esque photo of me with beady eyes! Score.
The most glorious dress I’ve ever owned (sry mom). This dress was one of a few, made to order. Waited months for it! So worth it. I feel like a slightly more conservative Miley circa 2013 while wearing it.
(top, Urban Outfitters; jeans, 7 for all mankind)
No photos. Nothing happened. I was there for less than 48 hours. It rained.
Denmark probably isn’t the happiest country in the world. The word “happy” translates to “content” in Danish so the research or survey used to obtain these results is flawed–something I learned from a friend who studied abroad there.
Stockholm was beautiful but SO damn cold. Sodermalm was so hip I was giddy walkin’ around seeing groups of people covered in tattoos wearing all black and Cheap Monday skinnies. Everyone looks like this guy. I’m pretty tall (5’8) but I felt so short among those sky scraping Scandinavian women.
I went to Stockholm by myself so I unfortunately didn’t get to experience any of the nightlife. Fun fact: the alcohol is extremely overpriced in Sweden because of the high rate of alcoholism. When I’d be walking around at 4 or 5 pm, people would already be at the bars. The first person I met in Stockholm was the chick who checked me into my hotel and she was from PASADENA! She moved there for her boyfriend. That must be love because let me reiterate, it was damn cold oh my lord.
The store hours are so strange. Some stores just don’t open on Friday or Sunday and have odd hours like 12-5 pm. I really missed capitalism when I was in Sweden.
Don’t be fooled this denim jacket is lined with sherpa and I was wearing a cardigan underneath. I didn’t prepare for the arctic weather that I was thrusted into.
Me and a really old boat! (Vasa Museum)
Gamla Stan #nofiler
This was my third trip to Paris and still, I’m underwhelmed. I think Americans romanticize Paris more than necessary. In reality, it’s pretty dirty, Parisians aren’t nice and I felt like I was going to get robbed by gypsies on the metro. Oh and no one wears deodorant which doesn’t seem like too much of a problem until you go to a club.
I have a friend that moved from Laguna Beach to Paris for university. It has been so interesting watching her turn into a local that wears all black and treats tourists like shit. It’s hilarious especially because she’s blonde, petite and looks super approachable. Merci (it’s a really cool store)
Santorini was gorgeous. Obviously. I took a detour here because I didn’t get that Russian visa. Being alone in such a romantic place was a strange situation. It was all couples or families. I feel like I would’ve liked it more if I wasn’t alone. I did meet some great people who were also traveling alone. One guy from Canada had been traveling for two and a half months by himself.
I climbed to the top of a semi active volcano and swam in the Aegean. I’m afraid of heights and the ocean. We had to swim to a hot spring because our boat was too big to drop us off there. I literally felt like I was being pulled under and couldn’t breathe but because I’m a masochist, I went through with it anyway. And it just so happens that that is one of the highlights of my trip. Take risks, ppl.
I can’t even write anything about London because I love it so much, words do not suffice. One could spend a lifetime in London and not run out of things to do and see. London’s home.
Tea at the Ritz (No, I don’t have extensions.)
You know how this castle looks like a CGI on Downton Abbey? It looks like that in person too. It’s unreal. The queen’s cousin, Almina Herbert, lives there so there’s a bunch of mismatched frames with family photos inside; it actually feels like a home. She was apparently casually walking her dogs on the day that I visited, but I didn’t see her.
Highclere Castle, Newbury
(top, TOPSHOP; skirt, asos; trench coat, Monki)
(dress, Zara; earrings, Badgley Mischka)
(Nails-WAH Nails London)
Oblix at the Shard
The Hoxton Hotel, Shoreditch
Spitalfields Market, Shoreditch
S/O to everyone who actually read this whole thing.
Oh and I’m now taking applications for a European husband (I need a European passport)…jk not jk