Um…it’s been a while?
Man oh man, it’s been a minute since I did a monthly review. I dropped them when I started the podcast, mostly because I needed to make decisions about how much work I could handle while I was traveling so much (I was basically on the road constantly from the end of June through the beginning of November). But something happened in November, a story I really want to share with you all, and I realized that these monthly reviews were so important to me because they let me tell you a little bit about my day-to-day life that doesn’t fit into larger articles. So I’m bringing the monthly reviews back. TBD on when I’ll be able to fill in July-October, but I will try to get those done, too.
November: What I Got Up To
November started with the last five days of my big Romanian adventure. I have more to say about it later in this post (Romania is the reason I need to bring these reviews back). Then I spent the rest of the month in Sofia, Bulgaria, getting some much-needed work time, puppy time, boyfriend time, recording time, and catching up on Vikings time. Two bouts of flu, two rounds of massages, a complete re-watch of the last two seasons of the Tudors, and one shopping trip to H&M later, and I’m feeling like my pre-Romania self again. (Almost…).
Pic of the Month
Not even close, this is my highest performing picture on Instagram in the two years I’ve been posting travel photography.
- Poiana Brasov – a ski resort town outside of Brasov in Transylvania. I’d never heard of it before we stayed there, but I had the best pizza and spa day with some amazing friends. Hot tubbing in the snow is pretty spectacular.
- Riding horses and watching a horse show at Potcoava, a horse ranch outside of Bucharest. It was my second to last day in Romania, and it was awesome to ride a horse for the first time in ten years. I definitely want to do more of it next year.
- Watching Harold and Kumar on a bus headed towards Sofia, hightailing it out of Romania and canceling a trip to London in the process. It’s a great feeling when you’re stressed and in a bad spot, and then you make a move to fix it.
- Going to the opening night of the Christmas Market in Sofia
Last week, I went horseback riding at @potcoava.ro and watched a thrilling horse show. Did you know that many statues with Roman emperors sitting on horses feature a Romanian horse from the Carpathian Mountain region called the Hucul? The Romanian horse tradition is thousands of years old. It was fun to sit amidst the Carpathian Mountains and think about this fantastic local history.
- Getting the flu…twice
- Being in a very bad situation in Romania that nearly caused me to break. I can’t say too much, but there was inappropriate behavior from someone on the trip that would get you sent to the Senate Ethics Committee if you were a US Senator. It didn’t happen to me, I just know about it. Last year I mentioned how a small act of sexual harassment happened to me on the streets of Athens, and I broke down. Even though I wasn’t the victim, this trip put me in that same headspace, except I had to travel with it for two weeks. Watching men behaving badly is so 2016, and not being able to say anything about it broke my brain and my heart. I can’t fix it. I can’t even get the person in trouble/fired/outed. I can only say that I was disgusted, and I won’t be working with that person again (obviously). I’ve written some pretty explicit rage posts detailing what happened, but lawyers have advised me against posting them. It’s also affecting my work from the trip. I’m posting articles about places I genuinely loved, but there are places I missed because I was so ill with the flu and so disgusted with this person, that I needed to be away. It has affected my view of the country (unfortunately), which I really loved before. I firmly believe people should travel Romania, but I am not fully over how upset this trip made me.
- Episode 14: New York’s Central Park Guest: Ariel Viera from Urbanist Live
- Episode 15: The Lost City of Cahokia Guest: Bill Iseminger, Assistant Site Manager at Cahokia
- Episode 16: The Painted Churches of Moldavia Guest: Ciprian Slemco, Owner of Hello Bucovina
- Episode 17: Banqueting House: The Place to Kill a King Guest: Leanda de Lisle, author of The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr
- Elyton Hotel Review: a Slice of Birmingham History
- Moonshine and Breadmaking: Visiting a Traditional Irish Farm
Travels with Lucy
I spent most of this month hanging out with my dog. After being away so much, I pretty much took her with me wherever I went. It was dog heaven.
November by the Numbers
- Home Cooked Meals: 43
- Days hanging out with my dog: 25
- Sick Days: 9
- Seasons of TV Binged: 7
- Balkan Bus Rides: 3
- Countries: 2
- Spa Days: 2
- Christmas Markets: 1
- Continents: 1
- Members of the Patriarchy left unthwarted: all of them
- Mexican Restaurants: 0 =(
- Rewatching old tv and movies about the Tudor dynasty
- Podcasts about Carthage
- The sparkly dress I bought at H&M
- Dua Lipa
My last picture from my trip to Romania-roosters in Ciocanesti. So often travel is about seeing famous places, but it’s the quiet way people live their lives that can be just as intriguing. My month of being still in Sofia is drawing to a close. I have a small Bulgarian adventure planned for the next two days, then I’m off to Tunisia. 🇹🇳 Stay tuned!
My Favorite Pic
My favorite pic was this one of the ski resort town of Poiana Brasov. The pic is okay, but the memories of that day were some of the best I had in Romania.
The beautiful ski resort town of Poiana Brasov in Transylvania. When we were there, I went and relaxed at the adorable @telefericgrandhotel and then ate a seriously delicious dinner at their restaurant. There's nothing quite like a massage, hot tub in the snow, and a billion spring rolls to perk a girl up. The massage was #sponsored but the spring rolls were my own, #notsponsored dream come true.
I went to Bansko, Bulgaria for the past two days, breaking my month-long travel break. Today I head to Tunisia, to see all eight of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. Then I’ll ring in the holidays back in Sofia.
Download my Normandy eBook!