August 30, 2013

Polish Wedding (& a few hours in Berlin!)

When Christian and I studied abroad in Finland, we weren't the only exchange students who met and fell in love. Our favorite travel buddies Denis (French exchange student) & Emma (a local Finn! aka Denis' souvenir from Finland) were another couple and Bob (Dutch exchange student) & Agnieszka (Polish exchange student) were too. 

Considering 3 couples came out of our semester abroad in Finland, we're convinced Lappeenranta is the place for love <3.

Anywho, just a few weeks ago...our dear friends Bob and Agnieszka got married!! It was a no-brainer that we were definitely going to travel East to Poland for the wedding. 

Christian flew out a few days early to hang out with his best friend (who lives in Wroclaw) and I came out later via overnight train (I love trains!). I left The Netherlands and 9 hours later I woke up in Poznan :). Shortly after, Christian and his friends arrived too. 

It was only a quick weekend in Poznan but we were able to squeeze in some Polish nightlife and chilling in the sun. Once wedding day came, we walked to the church and oh myyyy what an elaborate church it was!! At the reception, we toasted to the bride and groom, pigged out on a table full of Polish food, sipped on chilled vodka (there was a bottle at every table!) and well...later in the night, did some more pigging out...on a roasted pig! It was incredible and met every expectation I had about the sheer awesomeness of a Polish wedding (and it was in THREE languages: Dutch, Polish and English). 

It was quite incredible to be able to study with these two as they fell for each other then to be able to be a part of their wedding day.

The next day, I had to head back to Amsterdam pretty early. I had no complaints though because I flew out of Berlin and, after taking the 3-hour Warsaw-Berlin Express, I had a few hours to kill before my flight. Two words: Prater Biergarten! I loved this place when we first visited Berlin years ago and just knew I had to return--and I'm so happy I did. I'm now convinced that no pre-flight meal is better than a German bratwurst, kartoffelsalat (potato salad) and a couple white beers (carb overload anyone?) in a shady biergarten! But when in Rome...errrr Berlin, right?

*Drink a beer at Brovaria brewery in Stary Rynek (Poznan's main square). I got the beer sampler--delicious!
*Walk into a vodka bar for a quick shot between bar-hopping (only 4 zlotys or 1 EUR)
*Rent an apartment near the main square, there are tons to choose from--we booked via Air BnB (we are big Air BnB fans)

August 23, 2013

Picnicking in Paris

Sometime during our Icelandic roadtrip with Denis & Emma, we got on the topic of those amazing Parisian wine bars they took us to last Fall and where we should meet up in Asia next Spring. Then before we knew it, Christian and I had found semi-affordable train tickets to visit Denis & Emma in Paris a few weeks later. We tried to justify the cost by saying it would be our last European weekend trip before moving to California. Oh how I will miss these weekend rendezvous' in Europe!

The weekend worked out exactly as we hoped it would and we did just that: wine-bar hopped and plotted our reunion in Asia next Spring :).

We shared several bottles of wine (maybe more than several), charcuterie boards with pretty spreads of cured meats and cheeses and spent Saturday picnicking by the Eiffel Tower. 

Good friends, good food, good breakfast (thanks Emma!) good wine and trip planning? Life does't get much sweeter. And when Denis & Emma dropped us off at Gare du Nord for our return trip, the smiles on our faces couldn't get any bigger as we said the words "SEE YOU IN BANGKOK!"

My favorite wine bar of the weekend: the cute and bohemian Les Caves Populaires.

Enjoy this short video Christian whipped together from our Parisian weekend!

August 16, 2013

Video: Our trip to Iceland

Thanks to everyone for all of the tips and words of encouragement following our big announcement last week! Here and here in case you missed it ;). 

You may have noticed a few updates on this little blog of ours to prepare for all of our big changes and travel plans coming up, too. 

But today, after many nights of hard work from Christian, I am happy to share this amazing video Christian created from our Icelandic road trip

Starring Christian, our favorite travel buddies Denis and Emma and yours truly, this movie was shot with our fancy-schmancy Go Pro camera (highly recommended).

We will most definitely be shooting Go Pro footage all over Asia, too.


August 9, 2013

More BIG news!

Just a few days ago, I made a big announcement: Christian and I are leaving Amsterdam, getting married under the Mexican sun and moving to California.

And the last bit is just as exciting.

Christian and I are traveling around Asia for 6 months!

This Asian Invasion trip we’ve conjured up has been a plan-in-the-making for about 2-3 years. Actually knowing we’d go on this trip was the very reason I started Let’s Be Adventurers.

After my best friend passed away in April, we are more eager than ever to do this trip—life is for living. Devastation such as that is the very reason why some people say ‘live now’. Life is so uncertain and you never know what it will throw at you. 

After years of inspiration from other RTW trip bloggers, we are ecstatic and feel so lucky to be able to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip like this too.

Reaching this goal of ours has been an unbelievable feeling. Leave it up to crazy us to combine a destination wedding, a transatlantic move and a trip around Asia all after the toughest year of my life. It was something we had planned to do before Julia passed away and while we were so close to nixing all of these crazy plans, we decided to hit the ground running and just go for it—just keep swimming, right? While still grieving the loss of Julia, I know what has happened has made me feel a level of appreciation for life I've never felt before...and as each day passes, I feel stronger and stronger. This wedding, this move, this trip will be filled with so much love and unimaginable inspiration. And ultimately, I’m so so so excited that Christian and I get to experience all of this together.

In mid-November, Christian and I will board a plane for Nepal, then 2 weeks later, to Southeast Asia. At some point in the spring our travel buddies Denis and Emma will meet us and we’ll travel around Southeast Asia together. In those months we plan on exploring anywhere under the sun—Thailand (can't miss!), Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, anywhere—and will end the trip in China, Japan, finally Christian will get to see Petra, Jordan, we’ll stop back over in Amsterdam and Maastricht to visit friends and family then make the one-way flight bound for California. 

So…we need you...

Do you have any favorite spots? 

Must-visit destinations/hostels/restaurants/festivals in Asia? 

What are the most beautiful places you’ve seen or best experiences you’ve had in Asia? 

August 7, 2013

Some BIG news!

So Christian and I have some monumental news…quite a few things actually...

1. Well it’s no secret that we’re getting married in Mexico in only a few short months. That’s old news ;). But what is exciting is that it’s right around the corner. Friends and family are nearly all booked. Vendors are finalized. Stationary is ordered. Rings are bought. And we cannot wait to lounge on the beach in the tiny town of Los Barriles, swim in the Sea of Cortez and celebrate our wedding with our closest friends and family! Also happy to report that friend and fellow blogger Liz will be our wedding photog :)

And our next bit of news...

2. Christian and I are leaving Amsterdam! This move will be so bittersweet. Amsterdam has always been my favorite city and has always been good to me—besides the rain ofcourse ;)—and I’m so sad to be leaving it. However, we’re MOVING TO CALIFORNIA! San Francisco bound, baby! Christian works in Technology so moving to San Francisco was always an idea we knew would be a great move career-wise. I’m so excited to be able to rediscover California after being away for 5 years and I cannot wait to discover a new city with Christian. And we’ve heard that Amsterdam and San Francisco have pretty similar vibes. We are looking forward to living in sunny California, exploring nearby areas such as Yosemite, Napa, the Central Coast, etc., enjoying all the San Francisco has to offer and being a bit closer to my family and friends. At least for the next few years until we decide where to settle down.

3. This last bit of news I’ll save until later this week…stayed tuned!