• 30 Before 30,  Italy

    Wonder Number 8: The Colosseum

    Mom and I took the train into Rome first thing in the morning, and we got into Rome to spend the afternoon and next day there. We arrived at the train station, and walked to our hotel, which was close to the train station. I’m still scarred and don’t want to get into it, but it was a HUGE frustration. They “lost” our reservation but conveniently could send us to a super shitty hotel around the corner. I’ve rarely been so upset. (And yes, they got BURNED on my reviews.) But alas, Mom was a much better sport about it than I was, and we made the best of it…

  • 30 Before 30,  Egypt

    Luxor Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

    One thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time is ride in a hot air balloon – it seems so cool and so peaceful! When Hassan mentioned that you could do an excursion the next morning to take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings, I signed up immediately! It was only $100US per person, so I thought it was quite the deal! (That’s the standard price, too!) The wake up call was crazy early. We had to be down, ready to go, at 4:15. About 12 people from the boat went, and considering that the boat was sailing with minimal guests, it turned…

  • 30 Before 30,  Egypt

    Wonder #7: The Pyramids

    I cannot believe I have officially seen seven wonders of the world! (Though I’m in search of 8. 🙂 ) For a long time, I always kind of thought if I was going to miss seeing a wonder, it would have been the Pyramids (due to political situation, not lack of my desire to go). But alas, I made it! The Pyramids, even after all the other wonders, are an adventure unlike any other. The touts at the Pyramids are legend (in fact, alternate title for this post was “too many touts to count”), and legend in a bad way. They’ve been known to make seasoned travelers get scammed and…

  • 30 Before 30,  Egypt,  Jordan

    Egypt: Getting There is Half the Fun

    Getting around Jordan and into Egypt is no small feat. Most places suggest to go around Jordan and end up back in Amman, then fly to Egypt if you want to see it as well. But there is another way – there is a ferry from Aqaba to Nuweiba, which are both ports on the Red Sea. It can be an easier and cheaper way to get from Jordan to Egypt, especially if you want to do anything in the Sinai. For me, I knew I wanted to be in the Sinai for at least a bit, so I decided to go ahead and take the ferry. Alas… as I’m…

  • 30 Before 30,  General Travel,  Jordan,  Travel

    Wonder Number 6: Petra!

    I got to channel my inner Indiana Jones at Petra for two days. I’m so glad I took two days – the site is HUGE, and especially in the summer, you really can’t do a full day there! To get to the Treasury (which is what you picture when you think “Petra”), it’s a bit more than a mile walk (I think). The first part is just down a normal dirt path that’s nothing special, but then you enter the Siq. The Siq is the canyon that leads to Petra, and it’s an amazing entrance to the site. Nothing builds up the suspense quite like that twisting canyon – every…

  • 30 Before 30,  General Travel,  India,  Travel

    Wonder #5: The Taj Mahal

    I feel like one of the life lessons you learn just past kindergarten is that few things live up to their hype. The Taj Mahal was one of those things that absolutely lives up to and exceeds all expectations for it. On Tuesday, we set our alarms so we would be out of the hotel by 4:30 and in line at the Taj by 4:45. It was an early early morning, but so completely worth it. We were going for sunrise, but alas, the sun never did rise. It was a cloudy day, but it didn’t matter. Our group was the first one on the grounds that morning, so we…

  • 30 Before 30,  Life

    30 Before 30: The List

    As I’m writing this, I’ve got about 50 weeks until I turn 30. My twenties have been amazing – I have no regrets, I’m happy, and I feel no need to “find myself.” But I do feel a need for fun and adventure. So I’m dedicating my 30 before 30 to having more fun and appreciating how amazing life is. 1. Cultivate an opinion on which region of the world has the best wine I’m excited to pursue this one. I think it means drinking plenty of wine. 2. Jump off a cliff (literally) Because why not?