Google Earth is perhaps the greatest thing to happen to the world in the history of the internet. Seriously. Sometimes, when I am frustrated with the price of flights to Europe, or when it is Sunday and I have nothing else to do but wait for the laundry, I’ll play around in Google Earth as a way to release my wiggles about not being able to beam myself instantly to Paris and avoid paying the ludicrous airfare. It’s like traveling (sort of), only without having to put on pants. And it works (sort of!), only without any of the gratification of you know, actually being there. Plus, I get to visit places I’ll likely never actually get to in real life (and revisit places I have), despite my delusions of one day combing the globe and making my way through a string of foreign lovers (disregard that last part, Boyfriend).
Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden (say cheese!)
Brasov, Transylvanian Alps, Romania
Grote Markt, Brussels, Belgium
Big Ben, my other boyfriend, London, UK
Arcade, Westcliff-on-Sea, UK (I beat my cousin in air-hockey here!)
As you can see, I’m not a tropical island, beach getaway kind of girl. Give me concrete, museums, and random European countrysides any day of the week over fighting to extract sand from places sand should never be. Maybe because I’ve been a city dweller my whole life, but I really love urban environments, crowded streets, and not having to slather spf 75 all over my paste-y figure.
In all of my traveling, I’ve come up with the following list of essentials to get me through a vacation:
If you’re going to be walking around a city, the best thing you can do is wear comfortable shoes. I’ve had three pairs of these Vans, and they are by far the lightest, most comfortable shoes to walk around in. The sole is cushion-y and the canvas material doesn’t rub and isn’t constricting. Unless you’re going somewhere in the winter when everything is gloomy and overcast, you’re going to need a good pair of sunglasses, too. These are my favorite. I have two pair. Why? Who knows, but I do. A good bag is obviously ideal, and this one by Marc Jacobs (love of my life) is lightweight since it’s made out of nylon, but can hold anything and everything you’d want to stuff in it: napkins from restaurants you go to, your camera, a map to discreetly check without outing yourself as a tourist, a patent leather Passport holder, and extra band-aids (the last thing you want to ruin a nice stroll around the Tuileries or old cobblestone streets is a giant blister on your heel). This one can either be worn cross-body so you can have both hands free for taking tons of pictures, or under your arm for safety in crowds.
You know what can ruin a nice vacation faster than anything else? Traveler’s Diarrhea. Yes, I went there. Uncomfortable topics of conversation, this is what they look like! Just carry a box of Imodium and if you’re going somewhere risky, drink bottled water.
What am I forgetting? What are your travel essentials? This list goes hand-in-hand with this post, the perfect outfit for flying. Considering I don’t travel with kids, my list probably looks drastically different from those of you that do. Don’t worry, I usually carry a ziploc bag of Cheerios for myself.