Friday, February 15, 2013

Post-Valentines Day and BOOBS

Ciao ciao ciao wanderlusters!

I know I promised a post about my adventures in Berlin, Germany last weekend and don't worry there will be one coming! This week has been packed with university, homework, going to the gym, getting some sleep and just as of today, a new job! I went for a second interview this morning and ended up staying for my first day of training and then getting the job! It was a lovely day. I now work for a communications firm here in Prague that is a British based company so I get to work with some pretty cool and diverse people.

After only my first few hours on the job, I love the company, the office and the fantastic people I work with. I cannot wait to actually start next week! With an internship, a new job, university, new dedication to the gym, a social life, writing for various websites, blogging, traveling and sleeping, I am about to the world's busiest college student! But I love to be busy so it's okay.

How was everyone's Valentines Day from around the world? I went to a wonderful cafe/restaurant called The Globe, if any of you are ever in Prague, I most definitely recommend it. It is an English restaurant with most of the staff either being British or American and the atmosphere is great. Really relaxed and the food is delicious for great prices. They also have phenomenal apple pie with ice-cream, a definite must get when going there. If you are into goat cheese salads, that's what I ate last night and it was hands-down of the best I've ever eaten. Can't wait to go back! The Happy Hour there is also fantastic, really cheap for cocktails (49-99 crowns, which is $2-$5 USD). I treated myself to a Sex on the Beach and a White Russian, yummmm.

Two of my blonde Valentines! Princess Di and the future ambassador of Norway/France/the world!

What did you and your significant other do? Or if you are single what did you and your friends do?! I love to hear these stories! Valentines Day is actually called Friends and Love Day in Spanish which I think is perfect because it's a day that's meant to be spent happy and grateful for the love that surrounds you, not for feeling pitiful and sad that you are not romantically involved with someone.

Tonight, the girls and I are headed to an art exhibition called BOOBS. Yes, it is art about all different types of boobs, so we will see what surprises are there.

Travel on wanderlusters and happy Friday!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Study Abroad 2013

Good morning wanderlusters...or good afternoon to the European/elsewhere wanderlusters!

I got back to Prague from Berlin late last night then woke up super early for an 8 o'clock uni class which I almost passed out in several times. However, now I'm sitting in my favorite coffee shop contemplating what I should write for my "letter of motivation" towards my Fall 2013 study abroad application. Sadly, the Perth, Australia university was not offered but after thinking about it long and hard, I decided that since I plan to move to Melbourne, Australia in the summer or fall of 2015 (after I graduate uni) I might as well go somewhere I will not get the chance to live in in the future. 

So far, my top three choices are universities in: South Korea, Hawaii and Uruguay...because let's face it, when do you get an opportunity to live in these countries?! 

Have any of you traveled to either of the three? I figured that living in Europe I should broaden my horizons to places other than other countries in Europe to get the full "traveling/living with wanderlust experience."

Well, I'm back to uni now and tonight will write about my weekend in Berlin with the girls. Expect a post tomorrow morning! 

Travel on wanderlusters!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Gym and Berlin

After a long, exhausting day at uni yesterday I decided it was time for...the gym. Yes, the gym. That word that everyone either loves or hates. The gym and I have a love-hate relationship in recent years. Right now, we came to an agreement and are in a love relationship. I feel though by the end of this week we will be back to a hate relationship. I guess we will see what happens, hopefully it will continue to be a love relationship because I am paying for a 12-month membership!

Early tomorrow morning, some girlfriends and I are leaving for Berlin, Germany...first time for me...for the weekend for a little R&R. So excited to be actually in and exploring the country I was born in almost 19 years ago! It'll be a fantastic experience despite the weather forecast for the weekend. Nothing can stop me from traveling though. A new post will be up Monday about our adventures, review and what YOU should do when you go to Berlin, Germany!

Travel on wanderlusters!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tourist Traps

With my morning green tea in hand, I browsed through the Yahoo! News articles and stumbled upon this one...pretty good! But then again, I always love myself an article travel related.

Happy reading and travel on wanderlusters!

A Roman Recap

Good-morning wanderlusters! I barely got any sleep last night...must be because I am so excited for uni to start again today! Please know that was completely sarcastic, haha. So, I decided to get up early, make some egg, onion, cheese, tomato and seasoned concoction of a breakfast with a big cup of green tea and some Swedish House Mafia to get me going. I don't want to jinx it but it looks like it might actually be a nice, sunny day here in Prague! I'm kind of tired of being a vampire in my dark cave of a apartment, you know? Bring on the sun! My last morning in Rome was so beautiful, I got to drive by the Colosseum with the sun rising behind it and see the St. Peter's Basilica since we didn't make it out there on Sunday afternoon. The Pantheon and Vatican will have to be for next time!

Now is the perfect time to write about my week long trip to Rome, Italy. In one word, it was superfantasbulousmazing. I took the airline Wizzair from Prague to Rome in the morning. I'll just be honest and say I was not at all impressed with this airline. Granted, I should have read some more reviews before I bought the cheapest ticket I saw, the ticket I bought back in October was about $60 (USD) but if I were to buy a ticket after October, the price would have gone up to about $180-$200 (USD) and I would have absolutely not paid that price now that I know the airline. First, they changed my flight randomly about 5 times; they changed the dates and times, forcing me to stay longer. Yes, I'm glad in the end but what if someone was on a time-crunch or had work or school and could not stay that long? An airline should not be just allowed to do, trapping their customers or forcing them to pay a ridiculous fee for cancelling the booking. Wizzair seemed pretty reliable and desperate with their additional fees. Next, they suggested being at the airport anywhere from 3-4 hours early because sometimes they decide to leave earlier than printed on the ticket. I get being there about 2 hours early so you can comfortably do the check-in, go through security, find your gate and etc, but since when is it normal that an airline who has already changed your booking up to 5 times can change the time on the day, without any notice, leave earlier than printed?! My flight, thankfully, left as printed on the ticket but from reviews I read, there were some pretty pissed off customers. Another thing, to take any bag larger than a standard tote bag or backpack, you had to pay 10 euros, it doesn't sound much at the time but when you calculate that into your week in Rome and then 10 euros for the trip back, it quickly adds up. So I had to pack lightly in a backpack, and it seems like a majority of the passengers were forced to do the same. If you are hungry or thirsty on Wizzair, be prepared to whip out your wallets because even water is NOT free. I got some dirt tasting coffee with one sugar, they seemed to be angry that I wanted more than one packet of sugar, for 2.50 euros. I'm sorry but some of the delicious pizza and gelato I got in Rome was 2.50 or less! Insanity. The flight itself was fine on the way there. On the way back was a different story. I get squirmish on the plane if there is turbulence or if it feels weird taking off, which happened on the way back almost inducing a very premature heart attack. We took off and for about 15 minutes it actually felt like the plane might just fall out of the sky and crash, the pilot was turning and doing all sort of readjusting, almost like it was only his 2nd or 3rd time driving a plane. People were being loud and obnoxious, it resembled an American frat party with the guys hooting and hollering and just being overall disrespectful to everyone else and especially the cabin crew. Yes, it's their fault but it tends to oversee the quality of the airline. When still in Rome, the plane was late causing customers to be angry and rant in Italian or Czech and one of the check-in employees started to get attitudes with a calm woman who simply asked a question, this causing everyone in line (about 100 people) to stare with jaws dropped. All in all, if you have any other options than Wizzair, take them. If Wizzair was not the worst airline I have ever flown, it was most definitely a runner-up.

Other than the airline, Rome was full of sun and semi-warm weather, great food and great company. I slept on a small IKEA couch for the week at my friends house so I was so happy to come home to a nice, big, blanket and pillow filled bed but it was all an experience. I experienced some great nightlife, delicious food, those "crazy Italian men", Vespas whisping past you, all the extravagant and ancient buildings and architecture and just a week in the life of an average Italian. Pretty cool stuff, pretty cool stuff. Definitely an experience I will love to share with others in the future. I had an almost scary incident with a taxi when I first arrived all started outside in the rain and clothes that were all too thin for cold rain. My friend was going to come to the Termini Station to pick me up and so I waited and waited and waited then decided enough was enough and I would go inside to get some WiFi and see what was happening with her. Turned on my phone...welp at the future phone bill...and she tol me to take a taxi and she would pay for it..fair enough. So, I power-walk outside to the taxi line waiting behind a massive family, all of them frantically speaking Italian and throwing their hands up in the air. First taxi guy says he has no idea where my destination is and speeds off, then a man, who was standing with the other taxi drivers waiting for their next victim, and he told me "come with me, special price 30 euros". SWEET! I accepted and we begin to walk away...away from the other taxis in the taxi line that is. Hmm, strange...? I got this weird feeling in my stomach as we inched farther and farther away from the taxi line and began to think, "where on Earth is this Italian taking me?!" We are walking and he keeps looking back and giving me a stereotypical creepy smile. RED ALERT, RED ALERT, I thought in my head. So, finally, we get to this back alley-type of parking lot...where is station wagon is parked and there is no meter in his car, aka it is a fake taxi. Immediately, I thought of that crazy movie Taken and thought "well this is about to be Taken 3, no way am I doing that!" Before even getting close to the passenger door I told him I wanted normal taxi and he insisted on "good price, good price", told him "no, sorry" with a trying to remain calm but internally freaking out smile plastered on my face and with that he crumpled up the paper with the address on it, threw it at me and I quickly walked away and back to the taxi line. I ended up paying 60 euros for a taxi, which is RIDICULOUS but my friend paid me back so it was okay. Pretty much the most "exciting" thing to happen other than exploring, eating good food and you know, everything I wrote above.

Rome is definitely one of my new favorite cities and I will be returning in the very near future. I recommend it and suggest you spend about 4-8 days there to get the full effect of an "Italian lifestyle".

Travel on wanderlusters!

P.S. I find out about Australia either today or tomorrow...SO EXCITED! Fingers crossed x2!
P.S.S. If you want to follow my travels and daily adventures on Instagram, my account is:  shelleahlenka

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Winter Essentials Travel Packing List

Here for you wanderlusters is a winter essentials travel packing list...if you have to fit in a small suitcase or even backpack. How would this all fit you are wondering?! Well, wear a different outfit, or one from the below essentials and then your leather jacket under your winter jacket to the airport or train and boom! You have yourself enough clothes for 8 different outfits and some extra money that you didn't have to spend on paying for extra baggage fees! A win-win situation in my travel guide book.
Travel on wanderlusters!

Oh, Roma!

Ciao bellas and bellos!

It's my last day in Rome so I have a little down time to write to all you wanderlusters before heading to the Pantheon, Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica. However, I'll give you the FULL run down of my trip tomorrow or Tuesday morning before running to get my uni books.

Yesterday, we started a little later than expected but we made it to the Trevi Fountain, with a delicious gelato in hand and then to the Spanish Steps. It's truly breath-taking seeing places like those for the first time in person especially after seeing them in countless movies, on other people's Facebooks' and on sites like Pinterest. I was so overwhelming happy when I was standing there, jaw dropped, just staring at these beautiful places. It really reminds you how lucky you are to be able to travel and just live, not many people in this world are lucky enough to travel or get this, even brave enough to travel! Made me take a moment and thank everyone in my life who made my dreams, my passions come true. Granted I am only in Rome but just alone in the past year I have traveled more and MOVED to a foreign country and that would not have been made possible without the love and support of friends and family back in the United States, and of course the places and people that hired me to work for them which made the financial part of my trips possible.

Anywho, back to real time, as I said before, seeing the Trevi Fountain and making a wish then sitting/walking on the Spanish Steps were two things that I could check off my travel bucket list and it was so fulfilling to have done that!

I've met some lovely, lovely and interesting people during my week in Rome and I am so grateful to have had this experience. In coming days, I will post more pictures of my trip and reviews and things to do. Now on to the Pantheon, Vatican and St. Peter's...then it's time to get some shut-eye and catch a flight back home to Prague!

Travel on wanderlusters!