Wow I can’t believe it’s already June! And tomorrow is my birthday!
This year is going by so quickly. I would say that one thing I don’t like about travel is how fast time goes (time flies when you’re havin’ fun!).
I actually enjoy being a homebody sometimes and always try to make sure I balance my time going places and being home. It’s so easy and affordable in India to jump on a train and go check out a new town but after 3+ years here places are starting to blend and I find myself feeling tired when I do this.
I wrote a post at the beginning of the year about what I thought I’d be up to in 2016 and I wasn’t too far off. So far this year, I went to 5 countries, only 2 of which were new to me:
- India Goa which doesn’t really count since I live here
- Turkey Istanbul for the World Tourism Forum & to explore
- Sri Lanka for a visa run with Ben where we did lots of underwater adventures
- Jordan which was an amazing last-minute adventure with Ben
- Singapore for a friends’ wedding with Ben
Goa, Nilaya pool
Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Friends’ Wedding, Singapore
I had more listed which I’ll be doing still and a few new opportunities have come my way! So here’s what the rest of my year looks like so far, most of which is in the US.
The rest of 2016 travel plans
Sadly I’ll only be here for a night. I saw a flight option which was way cheaper but had a 17 hour layover in NYC. My friend Ann lives there and said I could crash at hers and I haven’t seen her since I moved to India! It will be so good to meet up and see where she lives.
I was invited to a trip around Florida for 9 days by their tourism board along with 3 other bloggers. I have only been twice; to Disney as a kid and to Daytona beach for my 22 birthday actually with Ann the girl I’ll be seeing in NYC! I’m excited to explore more in the US as I haven’t done that since I started blogging. I don’t have my itinerary yet for this trip but know I”ll get a little beach time and “nature” time.
I am going to be in Ohio most of July and the first half of August. I’m from Ohio and will be so happy to see all my family and friends (and friends’ new babies!) while I’m home. Last year, I wrote about post about what I ate in Ohio while I was home and I”m going to do the same this year because I am in love with pub food (basically what we eat in Ohio) and every meal there makes me happy!
My friend Rachel here had a baby while I was gone!
I have a bachelorette party in Vegas one weekend, and the way flights worked out it’s much cheaper to fly there on a Tuesday so I’m going a lot earlier and working with some brands out there. The bride, my BFF, is coming early as well so we can explore the “non party” side of Vegas a little bit.
Family trip! Last year we went to Toronto which as a lot of fun and wanted to try somewhere else that was a little unique for us and ended up on Nashville. It is my mom/dad, brother/his wife, Bre, and me and Ben. We’re going for just 3 days and will be eating lots of BBQ! My brother has been before which is cool because he can show up around a little bit. I think Ben will be surprised by Nashville since he hasn’t really traveled in the US much and is a stranger to country music. His favorite food is BBQ ribs so this is a dream for him.
Back to India from end of August through mid September! I will have lots of work to catch up on I’m sure and it will be raining in Goa all month so it’s a good time to just relax.
blogging in Goa
WHAT!! I know! It’s crazy exciting. I was invited on a boutique tour of Israel with Vibe Israel for a week starting September 15th. I cannot wait to explore this country and really feel a pull to this part of the world after my time in Jordan so this is just perfect for me and the blog! The tour is completely up my alley focuses on trendy boutique experiences, food, shops, and hotels. I’ll be showing you the trendy young side of Israel.
Ben’s sister is getting married at the end of September so we will be going there for the wedding and I’ll be going straight from Israel over. It’s so nice to see all his friends and family and I wish he got more time off work to see them ever longer. We’ll probably try to stay 10 days or more if we can push it.
I am randomly going to Latvia! I’d been talking with the tourism board about coming to visit the next time I was in Europe and it worked out well that at the two weeks in London I can head over for a week and explore a few cities in this beautiful country. I’ll be checking out a spa town, a coastal getaway, a castle, and the capital city of Riga.
I am so excited to say I’m going to Morocco. I was thinking to myself I really want to go somewhere different that I don’t know much about.. I’m always in Asia! My friend whatsapp’d me saying hey we’re in Europe at the same time and flight to Morocco from London are sooo cheap… let’s go shopping!” I said yes right away. I’ll go back to London from Latvia, meet my friend Tia, who owns a shop in Goa, and we will go to a few towns in Morocco. It was a lot of fun to plan. We’ll have 10 days then come back to Goa via London.
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It’s cool to hear about your plans for the rest of the year, I’m in the process of getting some rough plans together myself. I’m just curious, do you and Ben live together in India or do you only see each other when you meet up on your travels?
Hi Sandy! Yes we do live together in Goa and luckily we can travel together a lot too but it’s probably 50/50 traveling alone or with him!
you need to come to memphis for bbq! if you’re in nashville you have to try hot chicken — hattie b’s is my favorite, but i have heard prince’s is the best and the hottest. when are you planning on being there?
I’d love some Memphis BBQ! I’ve read about hattie b’s and have it on my list of places to try although I have no idea what hot chicken is haha! I’ll be in nashville august 6th weekend
Sounds like you have an awesome rest of the year planned! Excited to follow along on your adventures :)
Thanks Rebeca, planning is always the fun part!
Sounds so exciting! Israel! That’s so awesome! I can’t wait to hear about the boutique side of it all. Especially the Food!! Enjoy being home. I’m back in NY now for a month and it always feel so strange at first! haha
I bet, NY would be so fun to come back to! Ohio is where I”ll be most of the time in the US and I live out in the boonie’s so it’s really relaxed.. always nice to be home!
Girl if you did a meet up in Vegas, I’d be down. What better way to get to know each other than over fancy cocktails?? :)
Hey Sebrin, that would be cool – I’ve never done a meet up! Wonder how many girls in Vegas read the blog hmm I”ll be there about 6 days so could do!
Happy birthday for tomorrow Rachel! (It is my birthday then also) I love reading your blog. You remind me a bit of myself and when I found out we share the same birthday, I thought it was about time I left you a comment, after months of loving reading your journeys. From one India addict to another – Angela x
Hey Angela, happy birthday!! Thanks for commenting, I really love getting to know the people who read my blog so thanks for introducing yourself. I hope you have a great bday!
Sounds like a fantastic few months you have planned. I look forward to following along!
Kate | http://www.petiteadventures.org/
Thanks Kate! :)
OK, all these sound awesome, but you know I’m most excited to read your take on Nashville, right? ;-)
I am and I’ve read so much from you blog and jotted it down to a word doc! It’s too impossible to fit it all into 3 days though – but we will certainly try!
Ohhh, you’re coming to London! I love the photo you included of the Thames. So representative of the dull weather! You might be lucky though. September can throw out some curveballs! :)
That’s what I’ve heard, it would be so nice to have sunny weather! Last time it was sunny we went to the cutest little pub in Tonbridge Wells that I’m sure people from the UK might not be as impressed with, but I was!
I still love a good old-fashioned British pub – especially when I’ve been away travelling for a long time! When you catch a sunny day and can sit in the beer garden with a glass of wine or cider, there’s nothing better!
I am so jealous of your travel plans! After meeting lots of Israeli people when I was in India (mainly Pushkar), I’ve been really wanting to visit. I can’t wait to read your posts about it!
I’m not surprised, there are so many Isrealis traveling in India and living in Goa :) I also got intrigued after meeting so many Isreali friends here.
I love that you included going home to Ohio in your post about your summer travel plans. I am from Michigan and am always trying to leave the Midwest when I can. It was nice to be reminded that sometimes there are fun things to do in your home state. I am actually headed to Istanbul this month….any good sites that you saw that were off the beaten path?
haha yes, it is funny that way! I only get to see the midwest one a month each year. In Istanbul, I did see some through a unique tour & wrote on it, but my memory is failing. If you search Istanbul on the homepage you’ll find it! It’s in the mini guide.
I can’t believe you’re going to support the Israeli regime and occupation. Disappointed. Goes to show that traveling doesn’t in fact make someone more worldly. Lost a reader today, but I’m sure that doesn’t bother you since you’ll be supporting an economy that supports ethnic cleansing and murdering women/children.
There are things I disagree with in many countries but if I only traveled to countries without issues then I wouldn’t travel anywhere. It doesn’t mean I “support the regime and occupation”.
Rachel I just can’t get enough of your angles, advice, and pictures! long time reader dreaming of getting to your level of freedom someday! I will be hitting you up when I make my trip to India! Thanks!
Thanks so much Nick!! Definitely let me know when you head this way!
I love your blog its full of handy advice! After travelling in my 20’s we settled to have 2 boys, now 5 and 10yrs old and suddenly had the mortgage and so on! no regrets but now we are planning on taking the kids out of school. Travelling for 3 months down from Delhi then 3 months living in Goa! I have made a full itinerary this is what I always do on our travels I become obsessed researching all aspects of the road trip. Last year we did an Iceland road trip with the boys there first alternative holiday! We all absolutely loved it. a week of magic…One quick question if you don’t mind my India trip is beginning in January 2020 – as we need to save money & boys will then be 12 & 8 yrs old. which means we will be in Goa for March, April, and May. Because I hoped to see Kerala in the Monsoon, for the last month. I am a little concerned that it will be to extreme in Goa in those months before Monsoon? Should I change our itinerary to August to January? We plan to return to India again after so maybe catch the monsoon in Kerala next time. x Stacey
Hi Stacey, April and May are definitely the hottest months in Goa of the year, 100+ with full humidity and all the best restaurants will be closed. As for Kerala, you cannot swim in the sea in Kovalam, Varkala etc in June as it’s too dangerous. Have fun though it sounds like a good trip!