A little bit of Europe in my life

2 04 2017

Oh this blog, this painfully neglected blog.

I started this in 2010 to document my travels, and pretty much wrapped it up when I returned to Seattle in 2012.

I always intend to update but somehow never manage to find the time to. Well, I can’t say I will start regularly maintaining this, but I can try and fill you in on my last vacation… which happened about 6 months ago ūüôā

While living in Australia and New Zealand, I ended up bonding with these two lovely ladies (I’m turning over a new leaf and trying to not call everyone bad names it’s proving to be rather difficult) – Reyana and Bekah (pictured below with moi)



Reyana got married in London in October. Bekah flew over from Australia and I flew over from Seattle.

I have always felt a personal connection to London. I was born and spent the first four years of my life there. I studied abroad there in college, but hadn’t been back in about 10 years, so I was really looking forward to going.

I flew out of Vancouver BC, so my commute started about 10 hours earlier than it would have otherwise as I took the train up from Seattle. I also flew with a budget airline where you can’t select your seats, so I didn’t find out I had a middle seat until I was boarding the plane (a fact I wasn’t too thrilled about). 33 hours later with 0 sleep, we land. ¬†I manage to somehow get myself to my hotel, and 36 hours later head to dinner with Reyana, her family and Bekah and her fiance. ¬†I survive the meal without falling asleep, it was a miracle.

The next day is the¬†wedding. Bekah and I get up early to go to breakfast with her best friend in the city, and then its back to get ready. Reyana¬†rented out a local pub in the area she lives in. It was pretty incredible. She looked gorgeous, and they threw a great party. ¬†I may or may not have “caught” the bouquet (i.e. dived down and grabbed it when it bounced out of my hands) that Reyana may or may not have been aiming for me. ¬†(I’m still me however… which means there are no marrying plans at any point soon)


It was great to be reunited with Bekah and Reyana again, and to meet their significant others (Gary and Anthony). ¬†Sunday brought us to Bekah’s mum’s and off to see Bridget Jone’s. ¬†All that movie seemed to do was reinforce my desire to move to England… lol, I’m not kidding. ¬†It was nice to¬†be able to meet Bekah’s mum (although she wasn’t thrilled when her mother brought out the baby pictures) as well as hang out with Anthony for a minute.

Next day brings us to brilliant moment #50000216738492 in the life of Maria. I was flying to Barcelona solo. Why? Because I’m crazy and like to try and get at least one new place/adventure in every time I travel. ¬†I ask Bekah’s mother if I can use her printer. ¬†Only to discover that I was printing a ticket for a flight THAT LEFT 15 MINUTES AGO. This is yet another instance where unfortunately I’m not kidding. I had thought my flight was the next day. ¬†Nope. Luckily, I was in London and there are quite a few cheap airlines, so I was able to re-book the flight for $100 bucks (which is annoying don’t get me wrong, but not as expensive as it would have been if I hadn’t been able to use Ryan Air).

So eventually I DO make my flight to Spain. ¬†I’m nervous because its the first time in about 5 years that I have travelled alone. Yes, I know I can do it because I’ve done it before, but it doesn’t mean its any less nerve wracking to go into a country where you don’t know anyone or speak the language and hope that you don’t have to spend the next 4 to 5 days by yourself. ¬†I get from the airport to the hostel, and within 15 minutes of being in the hostel, I meet Siina:




who would become by new Finnish BFF ūüôā

I spend the next 4 days wandering around Barcelona with her. I try a bite of vegan donut (crazy for me, I know), get lost in all of Gaudi architecture, make it to the Gaudi park, have my fair share of tapas, wander around the roman ruins under the city, ditch out on a “free” city tour, experience communal paella, amongst more. ¬†Documentation Below:


I loved Barcelona! It was such a cool city. ¬†There was so much to explore. I would have to say though my highlight of it was my very last ¬†day. ¬†Siina had flown off to Berlin and I had one last day to myself. I decided to do one of the things that I like best, wandering around with music and no set destination in mind. ¬†So leaving all maps/logic behind I set off… and came across¬†Santa Maria del Mar¬†(Saint Mary of the Sea).

It was the only cathedral I ended up stepping inside.

Construction started in 1329 and finished on 1384


Words don’t really describe, but it was incredible. ¬† AND… I’m not just biased because of it’s fabulous name.

My last weekend was spent getting caught back up with Clem (another good friend from my time abroad, who I had just done a tour of the south with… yet another blog entry I am severely delayed in writing), and then properly spending time with Reyana and ¬†Gary, and finally having a quick 18 hour layover in Iceland before flying back to Seattle



There was a TON of really cool street art in Reykjavik, this was just one of the pieces I stumbled upon




Clem demonstrating her love for her husband Jon (by ignoring him and eating McDonalds)


All in all, it was a great trip. ¬†I didn’t really give myself any down time, but I also wouldn’t really have had it any other way.

It was my first trip outside of the US (not counting Hawaii) since I returned back to Seattle in 2012… and while it satisfied my immediate need… I still long to get back out there and travel again.

There we go, I finally managed another blog update, the next one will hopefully be before 2020.




2 responses

20 12 2018

Thanks For your followūüėć

17 01 2019

Great read. We have so many of the same photos of Barcelona. Reading this took me back to my time there. Sounds like a fantastic trip, so glad you enjoyed it!

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