2017 Went Out with a Bang
December was a great cap on a great year. I got to spend a lot of time in Sofia, explore a huge chunk of Tunisia (my first trip to Africa!), and spend the holidays with one of my oldest friends.
December: What I Got Up To
December started with the last few days of my great Bulgarian hideout. After being on the road way too much, it was amazing to just be still. But then, of course, I had to get moving.
We went to Bankso, Bulgaria for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday. It was a lovely escape from Sofia, and we got to see another one of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Pirin National Park.
Then I headed to Tunisia for two weeks. While there, I explored all eights of Tunisia’s UNESCO sites, along with rediscovering my love of couscous.
Then the month ended in Sofia. My friend Andrea, who I first met in the summer of 1996, came to Sofia to visit and celebrate Christmas. We baked cookies from scratch (they turned out okay) and binge-watched holiday tv. And of course, I showed her around Sofia a bit.
Pic of the Month
My most popular pic on Instagram was this one of the Rabat in Sousse:
On Facebook, my most popular pic was this one from the rooftops of Medina of Tunis:
- Driving through Pirin National Park watching the snow-covered trees pass by while listening to classical music on the radio like we were in a goddamn car commercial. Epic.
- Walking through the medinas in Tunis, Sousse, Bizerte, and Kairouan in Tunisia
- Taking extra time to wander around Sidi Bou Said, the magical blue and white Andalusian town on the coast
- Seeing the Tophet of Carthage in person…I got goosebumps
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Dark History: Did the Carthaginians sacrifice their first born sons? The Tophet of Carthage and other Punic cities contain thousands of small coffins with the skeletons of male children. Archeologists and historians are torn as to whether these children were sacrificed or died of natural causes. You can see the grave stones in the Tophet of Carthage, and examples of the coffins in the Utica Museum.
- Spending the holidays in Sofia (This is an old pic, though. We didn’t have a white Christmas).
- Ringing in New Year’s with my boyfriend in Sofia. I still can’t believe that I went on a Tinder date in Bulgaria in 2016 and it lead to something this amazing all the way into 2018. The world is a strange and wonderful place.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that December didn’t have any. Everything with Tunisia worked out pretty well, except for a few minor incidents. The holidays were lovely. I really can’t think of a major problem the whole month.
- Episode 18: The Civil War Defenses of Washington, DC Guest: David Plotz, CEO of Atlas Obscura & Host of the Slate Political Gabfest
- Episode 19: The Boston Witch Trials Guest: Nancy Mades-Byrd from the Witch Hunt Podcast
- Episode 20: Belgrade: Rise of the White City Guest: Alex Cruikshank from the History of Yugoslavia Podcast
- Episode 21: O Little Town of Bethlehem Guest: Nicholas Blincoe, author of Bethlehem, Biography of a Town
- My Best (and Worst) Travel Experiences of 2017
- Visiting Moldova’s Rudi Monastery in Photos
- Hunting the Struve Geodetic Arc in Rudi, Moldova (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
- Traveling to Ciocaneti, Romania: Bucovina’s Painted Village
- November 2017: Adventures & Updates
Travels with Lucy
Lucy needs a haircut. I haven’t found a groomer in Sofia that I trust. I asked an online group about it and was basically told that I was an idiot for wanting to get her haircut in the winter. So she still looks like a baby farm animal in need of shearing.
December by the Numbers
- Tunisian Louage Rids: 9
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites Visited: 9
- Houses of Worship Visited: 7
- Meals involving Couscous: 7
- Beds: 5
- Medinas: 4
- Seasons of Gavin & Stacey Binged: 5 (oh, there are only 3 seasons? Yes, I binged seasons 1 and 3 twice because it was with different people)
- Christmas Movies: 3
- Batches of Cookie Dough Consumed Raw: 2
- Countries: 2
- Continents: 2
- Dead Camel Heads seen Hanging in a Butcher Shop: 1 (thank the lord)
- Mexican Restaurants: 0 (Hope to rectify this very soon!)
- My new Samsung Phone (the iPhone is dead to me)
- Hannibal (more so than ever before)
- Finding tacos soon before I die from taco-starvation
My Favorite Pic
There’s something so serene about this street corner in the Medina of Kairoun:
I’m writing this from Thailand, the first leg of my Southeast Asia trip. It’s already proved to be insanely delicious.