Reflecting back on this trip is like trying to recall the details of a really good dream. Between the infamous monuments, the food, wandering through the streets and the beautiful culture and people, my heart is so full from all of the experiences I had during my first trip abroad.
The two countries I traveled to, Spain and France, felt like two completely different chapters and gave me completely different, yet similar experiences. My intentions of going on this trip was to experience new things, explore new places, meet new people and ultimately wake up my mind. And this trip simply did all of that. My brain was like a sponge, hyper aware and constantly taking in all of my surroundings because everything was so new and different. This trip definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and now I’m left craving so many more experiences like this one. I’m left with my written words, photographs and the mentality of living everyday like it’s an adventure - getting out of your comfort zone and living life to the absolute fullest. This trip will always have a special place in my heart - so here’s my journey of my first time abroad, the experiences I had, what I learned along the way and some of my favorite photos in between.
Spain was the first destination on my first international trip and the entire time I spent there felt like I was in movie. I collected a lot of moments that I will cherish forever from sitting by the poolside, off-roading in an old Range Rover, exploring the colorful city of Córdoba to wandering through the streets of the nearest village. These sweet moments of Spain will always be memories I will never forget.
I was blessed by the connections I made with one of my friends who studied abroad in Oregon years before I came to visit her in Europe. I was able to stay with her and her parents in their beautiful home outside of a village near Carcabuey. That was definitely one of the parts I admired most was being able to connect to Clara’s world on another level and gain an authentic experience while I was abroad. I couldn’t believe I was even there and got whisked away from my reality and taken to this beautiful home in Southern Spain.
Once I arrived in Spain, I was immediately welcome into their home and greeted by kisses on both cheeks. I instantly fell in love with their two-story house, built with unique architecture and aesthetic. I couldn’t help but photograph some of my favorite details and spots around their home.
We spent a lot of days laying out by the pool, cooking delicious food from homemade falafels to peach pie and watching movies in their backyard with a projector. On a couple of days, we would venture off to the nearest village, walk through the streets and watch as the sun set below the mountains.
Before we left Spain, we took a day trip to the vibrant, colorful city of Córdoba and explored the beautiful cathedrals and the lovely patio gardens. We visited the Palacio de Viana with exquisite gardens, the Alcázar of Córdoba and the infamous Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba.
Everything about France felt so beautiful and timeless. The best part about visiting this country was that it was exactly how I imagined it, but so much better. From the intricate architecture, the smell of freshly baked bread, wandering through the Parisian neighborhoods, finding beauty on every corner, to seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night. This trip has been years in the making and to finally be there and experience this country for myself was truly magical and far better than I could have imagined.
While I was in France, I got to visit three different cities: Paris, Saint-Malo & Lille, go to two different music festivals and I got to meet up with two good friends of mine which made this trip feel even more like a dream. Everyday felt like a new adventure and that idea alone is a mentality I want to carry for the rest of my life.
During my first night in Paris I got to meet up my sweet friend Hannah. Our schedules lined up perfectly and we got to have tea and dinner together, wander around the city, take pictures and see the Eiffel Tower glimmer at night. It felt like a dream come true seeing the monumental tower for the first time and getting to experience that with a friend left me in awe.
While I was with my friend Clara in Paris, we would pack our day with so many places and sights to see. We went to go see a lot of beautiful monuments, museums, palaces, gorgeous gardens and stopped by Ladurée for the infamous macaroons.
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM my TRIP THAT FOLLOW ALONG my JOURNEY AROUND Paris AND HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE PLACES/monuments THAT i WENT TO.
ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Jardin du Luxembourg
MISCELLANEOUS + FILM PHOTOS
While I was in Paris, there would be days where I would venture off and explore the city on my own. During my “solo Sav” days, I realized I had subconsciously created a routine of going to coffee shops, visiting a park and taking pictures - the little things in my life that provided a sense of comfort and familiarity. You start to notice a lot when you travel alone. Although I was surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery and charm, the more subtle and simple experiences I had whether it was eating a croissant or getting to know the nice couple next to me at a cafe usually ended up being some of most memorable experiences I had.
Between the people, the food and love in the air, Paris is a city that will always have my heart, filled with some of the best experiences and memories I will never forget.
Words can’t even describe how happy how grateful I am that I turned my dream of traveling abroad into a reality. My trip to Europe had it’s ups and downs, but I am so incredibly grateful and I wouldn’t trade any of the experiences I had for the world. I will always look back on my first time to Paris and my first time flying such a far distance alone. So here’s to new beginnings, more adventures and turning more travel dreams into a reality.
Thank you so much for reading and following along my journey.