May 2017: Adventures & Updates

What I Got Up To


I started out the month of May riding a bus (with decent wifi!) from Odessa to Kiev, Ukraine. I explored the Ukrainian capital, made it on a last-minute tour of Chernobyl (after being told it was impossible), where I met a friendly fox named Simeon. The month got off to a great start, and only proceeded to get better.


I visited a friend from college in Berlin to see a New Pornographers show. We first saw the band together in 2007 in Kansas, so a chance at a ten-year follow-up in Germany was too good to pass up.  This was my fourth New Pornographers concert (her second). Afterwards, I babbled like an idiot to Neko Case and bought a concert tee, making the nineteen-year-old girl in me very happy.


At the end of the month, I went to Istanbul and hung out with fellow travel blogger travelingmitch. We spent a day exploring some of the cooler neighborhoods along the Bosphorus and eating all the food in Turkey.


When in Istanbul… #turkishbreakfast #galatatower

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In between, I explored more of Bulgaria. I went on an amazing Communist Monuments tour for Atlas Obscura’s Obscura Day and met the musician Low Deep T after his concert in Sofia.


And most importantly, I started collecting art again!


Horses in the fog at Buzludzha yesterday. #ObscuraDay

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Pic of the Month


My most popular pic on Instagram was this shot of the Ortakoy Mosque on the Bosphorus:


The Ortaköy Mosque perched on the edge of the Bosphorus #IstanbulDiaries

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On Facebook, it was these intense trees in a park in Kiev:



Places Visited


  • Odessa & Kiev, Ukraine
  • Berlin & Potsdam, Germany
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Sofia & Stara Zagora, Bulgaria


Istanbul's Blue Mosque this afternoon.

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  • Chernobyl! My first tour got cancelled, then every company I contacted told me there wasn’t enough time left to get on the list. Finally I was able to get on a group at the very last minute.  Seeing Chernobyl in person was amazing. It’s a time capsule of life in the late Soviet Union, but it’s also a decaying ruin showing what happens when man is gone and nature takes back over.


  • Obscura Day! Darmon from The Bohemian Blog lead an amazing tour of Communist sites in Bulgaria. I have a post coming soon with my photos from the day.


  • Learning about Turkish Breakfast! I’d been to Turkey before, but I hadn’t indulged in this 75 course tradition before. (I kid, maybe 40 dishes).


  • Seeing the New Pornographers in Berlin and Low Deep T in Sofia-so much good, live music!


My fourth New Pornographers concert! (2x in Lawrence Kansas, Philadelphia, and now Berlin!) !!!
My fourth New Pornographers concert! (2x in Lawrence Kansas, Philadelphia, and now Berlin!) !!!


  • Hanging out in Potsdam in Germany with my friend from college. We walked the grounds of the palace of Sanssoucci and then went to Cecelienhof, where Churchill, Stalin, and Truman held the Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II.




  • I slept through my flight to Berlin and had to book a last-minute ticket for double the price of the first one.  I should never book any flight where I have to wake up before 4am. It’s physically impossible for me to hear an alarm before 6.


  • Facebook is still causing me problems on my name change. We’re on round 8 or 9 of appeals. I will persevere!





Travels with Lucy

Not much news here. Lots of pics from the boyfriend of Lucy being cute while I was out of town. When I was in town, she alternated between sitting on my back and ignoring me completely.  She’s in need of a haircut, so it’s time to find a Bulgarian dog groomer.


May by the Numbers

  • Steps:  183K
  • Pieces of Artwork Purchased:  10
  • Communist Sites:  5
  • Beds: 5
  • Airports: 4
  • Countries:  4
  • Houses of Worship:  4
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites:  4
  • Georgian Restaurants:  3
  • Rooftop Bars: 3
  • Boxes of Bulgarian Wine (shared):  3
  • Concerts:  2
  • Continents: 2
  • Mexican Restaurants:  2
  • Turkish Breakfasts:  2
  • Spa Visits: 1



Current Obsessions

  • Using Philadelphia Cream Cheese while cooking like it’s not embarrassing (Europeans have no problem with “Philadelphia Cheese.” I’m trying to get used to it.)
  • Recycling candle containers from Ikea
  • How good box wine is in Europe!
  • Matching my lipstick, glasses, and shirt with my new H&M red lips shirt.


When your lipstick matches your shirt. 👌🏻#curvygirlstravel

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My Favorite Pic


My favorite pic was this one of my group exploring the crumbling communist monument o  Budludzha in the Bulgarian fog.


Exploring crumbling communist monuments in the fog. #ObscuraDay

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What’s Next

At the beginning of June, I went to Normandy for the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. I’m headed to Malta this week, and then at the end of the month I start out for a three-week Balkan road trip.



Want More?

Normandy: Commemorating D-Day in PicturesLast week I made my first eBook of photography. And it’s free! Download your copy by signing up here:





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May 2017: Adventures & Updates

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