California Globetrotter

3-bavaria-towns-surrounded-by-medieval-walls-california-globetrotter-1


27 Comments

3 Bavarian Towns Surrounded by Medieval Walls

3-bavaria-towns-surrounded-by-medieval-walls-california-globetrotter-1

Germany certainly has no shortage of historic towns, practically unchanged since the Medieval times. And let’s admit it right now, many of us when traveling to Europe look for that authentic, historic feeling that will transport us back to a time that is long since gone. Many of us want to take a walk through a storybook town, that is beyond anything we have ever known.

But of all the picturesque, fairy tale towns in Germany, there are only three towns left still completely encircled by their Medieval walls all found in Bavaria. Luckily, all three are on the trail through Bavaria known as the “Romantischestrasse” (Romantic Road) which stretches from Würzburg to Füssen.

All relatively close together, they could easily be combined into a long weekend road trip if you’re as obsessed with half-timbered towns as I am.

The question now remains, which one should you visit if you’re short on time? Or which which one is less touristy but offers the same authentic feeling? Continue reading

2016: A Year in Review - California Globetrotter


75 Comments

2016: A Year in Review

img_0068

2016 has been another wonderful year, unfortunately it flew by so fast I actually felt like I didn’t have time to take it all in, soak up every moment and enjoy every minute. I certainly tried as best as I could to enjoy every single day and to slow down the time, but that is something completely out of my hands.

This year was a big year for us that had PLENTY of happy, joyous moments, many new adventures and lots of opportunities for which we are incredibly lucky to have had. So I want to take the time to show my gratitude to this beautiful life we live that has given us the chance to travel Europe. And I especially want to show my gratitude to my new husband who has been the most wonderful travel partner I could have ever asked for!

With each passing year, I feel that our lives continuously improve and grow and while there is so much more to be done, I know that for now, we should only focus on the here and now, but I can’t help but feel excitement for 2017 that will be filled with many new adventures, laughter, happiness and growth.

While I shouldn’t look to far into the future, I don’t want to look to far back into the past either. There were plenty of ups and downs throughout the year, on and off the camera, but that is no reason to dwell in the past either.

But a recap of our amazing year certainly doesn’t hurt that left us with long lasting impressions that turned us into story tellers and left pieces of our hearts everywhere we went. Continue reading

Strasbourg is THE "City of Christmas" - California Globetrotter


52 Comments

Strasbourg is THE “City of Christmas”

img_9911

If ever there was one place in the world that embodied the spirit of Christmas, it would most definitely be Strasbourg, France. Historically known as the town which held the very first Christmas Market in 1570, making it the oldest market in Europe.

Since 1570, the “Christkindelsmärik” (market of the Infant Jesus) has grown exponentially and today caters to some 2 million visitors every year, with hotels being booked a year in advance and selling out quickly.

The whole city is lit up with festive Christmas lights and half-timbered houses are extravagantly decorated, creating that extra holly jolly Christmas spirit. The smell of sweet mulled wine (here called Vin Chaud) wafts through the air, the mouth-watering smell of warm crepes entice you to be naughty and off in the distance someone is playing Christmas music on an accordion. Continue reading

GPSMyCity - California Globetrotter


23 Comments

A Travel App Changing the Way We Travel: GPSMyCity

img_7657

You need an App for something? You can bet there’s an App for that!

If you’re a die hard traveler, you have an app to help you with every leg of your journey. There’s an App to help you with your hotels, your flights, food, photos and more!

Remember that time you found that great article online of all the top must see destinations to visit, hidden gems or must-try restaurants, but left it all at home?

Since 2009, GPSMyCity, a Smartphone App that has provided over 5,000 DIY guided walks via smartphones in over 700 cities around the world! Each kind of walk such as “Sightseeing Walks” or “Shopping Walks” is comes with an offline travel guide guiding you every step of the way to all the best attractions, monuments and more! Forget those local guides!

GPSMyCity has been around for a while now, but like all things, they have stayed innovative, adapting to how users interact with their phones. More and more people rely on their Smartphones for everything. Now, GPSMyCity has begun reaching out to travel bloggers, like myself, to collaborate with travelers to turn their existing travel blogs filled with useful tips and information into GPS Guided Travel Apps!

I have been using GPSMyCity for a little while now and our travels will never be the same. Now, we can easily navigate through any new city to all the best locations and hidden gems and never miss a beat, carrying nothing but our Smartphones! Continue reading

A Taste of Europe Bucket List - California Globetrotter


69 Comments

A Taste of Europe Bucket List

img_7440

Let’s admit it, half of the reason why we have an addiction to travel is so that we can try new authentic foods that we can’t get at home (of equal deliciousness). PLUS, they say that “when you travel, calories don’t count“, riggght?

For some, trying new foods helps people to understand a culture better than visiting any ol’ tourist landmark. You wouldn’t have truly experienced a new city if you didn’t try the food. You would be missing out on some of the most jaw-dropping mmm, mmm, mmmmms.

I know that for Hans and I, whenever we travel anywhere, we always want to eat local cuisine. We either look for the place that has the most people which clearly signals good food, or we look on TripAdvisor for some of the top rated restaurants. Other times, I research either in my travel guides (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany) or I ask around for MUST-TRY food! After all, I don’t want to deny my taste buds a cultural experience of delicious food! Continue reading

The BEST Tips to AVOID Looking Like a Tourist - California Globetrotter


24 Comments

The BEST Tips to AVOID Looking Like a Tourist

IMG_7259

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

As someone who has been living abroad for just over 4 years now, I can spot a fellow American a mile away. You would think that by now with our world being one big multi-cultural society, we would all blend in. But unfortunately this isn’t the case.

While I know we all love to have our unique, one-of-a-kind look that makes us special when we’re home, fashion is mute when it comes to traveling. Sure, lots of people wear their best outfits while traveling to have that beautiful picture, but ultimately, when it comes down to it, to increase your safety, it’s highly recommended that one blend in.

But why should you bother AVOIDING to look like a tourist when traveling… when you ARE a tourist?

Well, for starters…

  • You might be taken advantage of by scammers looking for naive travel-newbies.
  • You might be harassed for being an American – wait…WHHHAT? You heard me. I’ll explain in a bit!
  • You might come off as someone who doesn’t care about another culture’s customs.
  • You might scream “I’m rich! Come rob me!”

Do these things REEEALLY happen? No not always, but it CAN and DOES happen to the best of us!

So, you’re headed out on your first adventure out of the US? How should you prepare? What should you pack? What should you NOT pack? Continue reading

Top 15 MUST-VISIT Audrey Hepburn Locations - California Globetrotter


41 Comments

Top 15 MUST-VISIT Audrey Hepburn Locations

IMG_7091

Unless your parents didn’t have Audrey Hepburn films in their massive movie collection or you’re not a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood glam or a fan of Classic films, it’s likely you haven’t heard of Audrey Hepburn…unless you were born anytime after the 90s.

As a little girl, I was bored out of my mind one day and started perusing my parents’ ridiculously large movie collection, I stumbled upon a pretty collection of 3 of Audrey Hepburn’s most famous films. I pulled them out and put the first one in the VHS player. (For those of you who are too young, a VHS player was how we watched movies before DVDs haha)

Ugg. It was in black and white. No matter, I was still bored so I watched the movie Roman Holiday. By the end of the movie, I was IN LOVE with Classic films and the era of Hollywood glam long since gone. And so began my obsession with Audrey Hepburn, who unbeknownst to me then, would become my life idol!

I wanted to be like her, act like her and dress like her. Unfortunately, the fashion from this era is long outdated and I was a kid. Over the years, I have searched out locations where she once was. While I certainly haven’t made it to all of the locations (7 of 15! – Although I was younger and didn’t know it at the time!), I’m here to share with you some of the top 20 Audrey Hepburn (film) locations that you can visit if you’re an über Audrey Hepburn fan! Continue reading

Your ESSENTIAL Guide to Europe - California Globetrotter


64 Comments

Your Essential Guide to Europe

IMG_6671

When is the best time to come to Europe?

How far in advance should I book my ticket?

Is it better to travel by rail or car?

Should I tip? How much do I tip?

Before I uprooted my entire life to move to Europe, I wanted to come as often as possible and there were some of the questions I asked myself whenever I did attempt to come over. But I didn’t have the money or the travel skills that I have now. After living in Europe for 4 years already (how did that happen) and counting, I’ve learned a lot and I certainly made my fair share of mistakes along the way and I’m here now to share with you what I know now that I wish I had known then! Continue reading

10 Things to Think About Before Moving Abroad - California Globetrotter


9 Comments

10 Things to Think About Before Moving Abroad

IMG_4856

If you’re thinking about selling everything, packing up and moving your life abroad, please do allow me to be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve already made the hardest decision and let me just say now how amazing of an opportunity it is!

At some point in life, we all want to move away either to a new city, new state or even out of the country. Some plan years in advance and research where they want to move, some move after visiting a country and falling in love with it and others move impulsively. But there are always questions you should stop and think about before jumping the gun. Continue reading

Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria! - California Globetrotter


56 Comments

Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria

IMG_4804Want to visit the beautiful Bavarian countryside, filled with fairy tale palaces and romantic roads dotted with idyllic towns? Start your trip with a day in Munich learning about WWII history before driving the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Würzburg before heading towards the fairy tale Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace. Then take a drive along the Bavarian Alps and visiting Germany’s highest peak – Zugspitze. Then head towards Berchtesgaden before crossing the border into Austria for a side trip to Salzburg. Before heading back to Munich, stop an enjoy one of many lakes, preferably Chiemsee.

If you LOVE fairy tale castles, medieval towns, beautiful scenery, WWII history or doing some outdoor activities either as a solo traveler, a couple or a family, then this is the perfect itinerary for your first visit to Bavaria!

Continue reading