Roadtripping Croatia’s Adriatic Coast

Roadtripping Croatia’s Adriatic Coast

The Adriatic Coast stretching through the Western Balkans is considered to be among the most scenic drives in the entire world. With miles of clear blue waters on one side and towering mountains on the other, my weeklong trip spent driving up the coast of Croatia was one of my most memorable travel experiences so far. Croatia is currently one of Europe’s trendiest countries. Recent international attention garnered through shows like Game of Thrones or pictures of Croatia’s biggest party,…

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How to Stay in Shape While You Travel

How to Stay in Shape While You Travel

As a yoga teacher and fitness instructor, I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet. However, as an expat and lifelong nomad, I also find myself on the road a lot, hanging out in airports between long flights, and generally wanting to indulge in the local cuisine of every place I visit! But traveling and staying in shape can go hand-in-hand with a few simple adjustments. This way, you can enjoy the trip without packing…

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Southern Balkan Roadtrip Itinerary

Southern Balkan Roadtrip Itinerary

A 2-week roadtrip through the southern Balkans: Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Greece   The Balkan Peninsula is truly a captivating corner of the globe, full of unique surprises and hidden gems to offer international travelers. One of the easiest ways to enjoy this region of the globe is to rent a car and see it for yourself! In this post I have mapped out a two week itinerary starting from Tirana, Albania and routing through Macedonia, Bulgaria, and northern Greece….

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Off The Beaten Path: 7 Places to Visit in the Balkans

Off The Beaten Path: 7 Places to Visit in the Balkans

The Balkan Peninsula is an area of indescribable richness, complexity, history, and natural landscapes. With so many incredible cities to visit, it can easily become overwhelming when trying to plan a trip through the Balkans. Instead of sticking to the well-trodden capital cities of these Balkan countries, here are 7 unique places to visit on your next trip.   Kotor, Montenegro Perhaps no city on earth possesses such a unique charm as the quiet coastal town of Kotor, Montenegro. Just…

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How I’ve Changed Since Moving Abroad

How I’ve Changed Since Moving Abroad

Moving away to a new country will bring a lot of changes to a person’s outlook on life, and this was definitely true for me. Last year I left the state I’d lived in for 23 years and went to live in a vastly different culture. Now that I’ve been abroad for a year, I’ve noticed all the big and small ways my paradigm has shifted and been transformed by my year abroad. In no particular order, here’s all the ways I’ve…

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That Time I Traveled to Italy, The Alps, and Montenegro

That Time I Traveled to Italy, The Alps, and Montenegro

One of the primary reasons–actually, arguable, the ONLY reason–that I became an international teacher is because it affords me SO many opportunities to travel. At any given moment I’m only a few short weeks away from another international adventure, and in three short months I’ve managed to see all four corners of Albania, plus a few trips to the neighboring countries. In this blog post I’ll tell the stories of some of the things I’ve been doing when I’m not…

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Traveling in Albania: 15 things you NEED to know before visiting

Traveling in Albania: 15 things you NEED to know before visiting

In the past several years, Albania has quickly emerged as a top destination for adventurous travelers eager to see a corner of the globe that has been, until recently, entirely closed to outsiders. As an expat who has been living here for almost a year, these are the tips and facts I wish I had known before I traveled here. I hope you find them useful if you ever plan a trip here! 15 Things you NEED to know before you…

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15 Things That Surprised Me About Albania

15 Things That Surprised Me About Albania

One year ago, I packed up my comfortable life in the US and moved to Albania, a place where I knew no one and had never even been… Since then, I have a myriad of culture shocks that have been simultaneously startling, amusing, baffling, and delightful. As more and more tourists come to visit this undiscovered Balkan country, I thought it would be helpful to share my impressions with other foreigners planning to come visit. Enjoy! 15 Things that Surprised Me about…

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11 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Kotor, Montenegro

11 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro: An overlooked gem I had no idea I would fall in love with. Quaint and charming, we visited in late Fall and were virtually the only foreigners in the city. Kotor is often ignored, nestled between tourism giants like Croatia, Greece and Italy–but I think a trip to the Balkans would be incomplete without stopping by this gorgeous waterfront town. Here are 11 photos from my recent trip to inspire you to check out this amazing city. You won’t regret…

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That Time I Learned What Community Really Meant

That Time I Learned What Community Really Meant

For me, “community” has always been one of those abstract buzzwords that sounds nice in conversations, but ultimately is too vague to mean anything concrete. “Build a sense of community!” is the cliche cry of various projects or social groups, and I’ve always viewed it as the idealistic slogan of optimistic, yet slightly impractical, leaders. I put it in the same category with other vague but nice-sounding catchphrases like, “make the world a better place” or “have a positive impact”—which everyone…

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That Time I Went to an Albanian Hospital

That Time I Went to an Albanian Hospital

This month I also had the unfortunate experience of testing out the American Hospital in Albania. I have mild seasonal allergies occasionally, but last week my eyes decided to manifest a major allergic reaction. I left school Monday afternoon concerned about increasing swelling around my eyes. I took two Benadryl and went to sleep. I woke up at 3am with eyes completely swollen shut. I called in sick to work, scheduled an appointment at the hospital online, took two more…

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That Time I Missed the South

That Time I Missed the South

First off, let me say: I’m not homesick. I am truly having an amazing experience here, and furthermore, I’ve technically been away from home for the past five years living in Knoxville. It’s not that I enjoy being away from my family and the lake, but I know I’ll always come home to it. My roots run deep there, and I am satisfied with looking forward to returning. But instead of being homesick, I am finding a new sort of…

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That Time I Reflected on Being an Teacher in Albania

That Time I Reflected on Being an Teacher in Albania

We’ve been in school for a month now. Overall, I am still loving life, extremely happy, and highly satisfied with the authentic joy I find in teaching. But, that’s not to say there aren’t very real, vivid challenges that I deal with on a daily basis. In this blog post, I will explore the unique triumphs and minute tragedies I have encountered here so far. First, I will say, I LOVE teaching. This, of course, isn’t new—but I love it…

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The Time We Celebrated Eid Al-Adha

The Time We Celebrated Eid Al-Adha

So, before I explain why I’m gloriously out of school today, I’d like to begin this post by saying I REALLY respect how Albania does religion. In a nutshell, Albanians are extremely moderate about religion. They don’t really care who’s Muslim or Christian, they don’t fanaticize their own beliefs, and they certainly don’t want to impose their own religious beliefs on anyone else. They have a beautiful “live and let live” attitude about religion, thinking that a person’s beliefs are…

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That Time I Cried in the Grocery Store

That Time I Cried in the Grocery Store

It finally happened. I had my first meltdown. In public, no less. Here’s what happened: It takes me at least an hour to buy a few basic things at the grocery store because all the labels are in different languages… Sometimes Albanian, sometimes Greek, sometimes Italian. I was using the GoogleTranslate App on my phone, which allows me to take a photo of the text of a food label, and then it will translate it for me. Standing in front…

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