Have you ever had one of those experiences where you feel like you’re literally living in a dream?! That’s what this Italy trip was like for me!
Last month, I got to spend a couple weeks traveling around this gorgeous boot shaped country with one of my best friends, Anna Jo! She’ll be moving to Boise, Idaho, very soon to work with Wipe Every Tear, an incredible organization that fights human trafficking. The Lord is doing such big things through this woman and I’m just so proud of her!!! This trip was a sweet way to celebrate the start of new seasons of life before we’re living on different sides of the country. (Insert fifty crying face emojis here.)
Italy really is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever go and was a photographers dream! Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, and Pompeii were our primary stops on the trip, with Venice and Cinque Terre being my personal faves! I was constantly inspired by the architecture, colors, and textures everywhere we went!
I could literally talk to you for hours about how much I want you to go to Italy, everything you should see and do, and how good gelato is… but until we get to meet up for coffee one day, here are a few photos and some things I learned!
1. Airbnb is amazing. We stayed at Airbnbs for 75% of our adventure, and only have great things to say! We met some of the sweetest hosts who provided so many helpful tips to us. Just make sure to thoroughly read reviews before booking to ensure a good experience!
2. Don’t watch the movie Taken before going to Europe. Just don’t.
3. Nutella croissants are everything. While I was slightly upset that Italy doesn’t have any Starbucks stores (I try to collect a Starbucks mug from every country I visit!) I quickly got over it after being fed Italian espresso and Nutella croissants at local cafes!
4. Every day in Italy is like “leg day” at the gym. Before our trip, when I was daydreaming about strolling the streets of Venice and throwing a coin into the Trevi fountain (Lizzie McGuire Movie moment anyone?!), I wasn’t thinking about the 10-13 miles a day we would be walking and how I should pack appropriate footwear. And while I’m proud to say that I survived the whole trip in a couple pairs of the cutest booties with three inch wedge heels (SO DUMB, CALLIE), I definitely will be packing some more practical shoes next time.
5. “Away is good, but home is best.” Jim Carrey is a lot wiser than me. He said, “I think everybody should do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” I used to look at pictures of Italy when I was younger and dream of going there one day. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen! But at several points during our trip when I was trying to soak in the sheer gorgeousness of where we were, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad that it didn’t “fulfill” me. The truth I learned was that no “extraordinary” vacation, adventure, or experience will compare to an “ordinary” life filled with love. I’m truly grateful for a job that let’s me see beautiful places, but my favorite place will always be home — snuggling my little brother or laughing at my dad’s lame jokes. Anyone can go to an extraordinary place, but living an extraordinary life is much better!
I really hope you enjoy these photos!!! Feel free to ask any travel questions in the comments section below, and I’ll do my absolute best to answer!
Gelato and I committed to a serious relationship with each other…
It was even Facebook official…
The doors were amazing…
My Lizzie McGuire Movie moment… making a wish at the Trevi Fountain!