2018 Travel Recap


It’s hard not to reflect this time of year and for me it’s been quite a pivotal year.  From ending my contract at my local TV station and launching this blog to traveling the world with my mom and partnering with some incredible brands along the way. I feel EXTREMELY fortunate for everything that’s come my way in 2018. But I feel most fortunate for the places I’ve traveled to.

I put together a little video and tried to pack in about 2 months of travel into 2 minutes. Let me say it was easier said than done. But it was quite the reminder that I have A TON of content that I still need to share with you lovely humans.

So without further adieu, here’s what my 2018 travels looked like:

Some notes: In 2019 I still plan to slow motion twirl in dresses. So if you’re not into that, sorry… it’s a staple. Also truly HUGE SHOUTOUT to Linda Pawelski (my mom) for being the best damn travel videographer/photographer. BLESS this woman for putting up with all the times I asked her to take these videos of me. She complained only slightly and despite the annoyance did a kick ass job.

Okay so if you’re more of a reader I’ll give you my thoughts on all these awesome spots I hit up. Clearly I need to do destination guides, recaps, reviews etc. So I’m gonna get started on that, PROMISE. Until then, here’s a little snippet from each spot.


Cancun, Mexico

I kicked off my 2018 travels with a little trip to Mexico for my good friend Emily’s wedding.  This was my 4th time to the country and I was pumped to be back. I was also excited to be there as a real functioning adult and not as a crazy college party animal. The wedding was stunning, the resort we stayed at (Finest Playa Mujeres) was dreamy and the weather was perfect.

Things not to miss:

  • Day trip to Isla Mujeres (be sure to rent a golf cart and cruise around the island)

  • Enjoy the resort you’re at (truly how often do you get to just sit down and read a book in the sun?)

  • Rent a Catamaran and go snorkeling (the water is insanely blue and it’s super relaxing)


Nashville, Tennessee

My best friend Carson Love (Check her out: Styled By Carson Love) lives in Nashville and I was way overdue on a visit to see her. So I figured no time like the present and drove down from Chicago for a SUPER quick (I’m talking a little more than 24 hours) stop in the country music capital of the world.  I have to say Carson was THE BEST tour guide. We had a jam packed day and hit all the major spots. Sadly, I couldn’t stay longer than a day so we had to pack it in. But if you’re visiting you need at least a weekend to hit the major spots. I will also say we did zero country music things since I hate country music...so you won’t find many of those recs below lol.

Things not to miss:

  • Five Daughters Bakery (the best donuts in town)

  • The Showroom Nashville (Rent AMAZING outfits from this super cute shop for your perfect GNO look)

  • Stay at the Noelle Nashville and make sure to visit their rooftop bar, Rare Bird

  • Check out my good friend Anna’s shop Whiskey Water (super cute, one of a kind, rock and roll vibes)

  • Get some bomb pizza at City House

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This trip was just BEYOND. It’s a trip my mom and I have been talking about for years and we finally got to experience this country together. My mom had been twice before and absolutely fell in love with the people, the culture, the history, the food, everything. So I knew I needed to experience it first hand. It’s hard to summarize here but India blew my expectations out of the water. If you’ve ever considered going -GO! If you haven’t - YOU SHOULD.


Things not to miss: Omg there’s a lot….


United Arab Emirates

I’ve always wanted to visit Dubai and it was the perfect country to tack on to the end of our Indian adventure. My mom likes to call Dubai “Vegas on Steroids” and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the city. Everything is over the top, the biggest, the tallest, the fastest. The hotels are out of this world, cough cough Burj Al Arab, and the city itself is a modern marvel.

Things not to miss:

  • Seeing the city from the sky in a Seawings plane

  • SHOPPING (Both in the Burj Khalifa and the old spice souk)

  • Take a boat cruise out to The Palm

  • Go out to the desert and drive in the sand dunes (with a guide of course lol)

  • Head to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque (make sure to FULLY cover up if you’re a woman)

  • Have a 23k gold cappuccino at Emirates Palace Hotel


New York City

It has been YEARS since I visited New York City and I figured it was time for me to fix that. Plus I found a $100 round trip flight so that sweetened the deal. I went to visit my travel buddy Rachel (The Vacationista) and attend the Fohr U conference. I also strategically planned the trip during peak fall leaf season so we could do all the basic b*tch fall activities. I was in heaven.

Things not to miss:

  • Seeing the city at night at Westlight in Brooklyn

  • Taking a trip to the Catskills and leaf peeping

  • Wandering around Chelsea Market

  • Dinner at Park Avenue (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)

  • A flower filled cappuccino at Remi Flower & Coffee

  • Dinner at Palma in the West Village

  • Eating a rainbow bagel at The Bagel Store in Brooklyn



This was honestly a pretty random trip and not one I expected to take this year. But when my mom and I found out we could spend Halloween in Dracula’s Castle we were all in.  We traveled all across Romania and spent most of our time in Transylvania. The country is stunning. Forests everywhere, mountains, castles and forts. I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this country. And if you feel like you’ve seen it all in Europe but haven’t been to Romania, add it to your list.

Things not to miss:

  • Bran Castle “Aka Dracula’s Castle” (This is the castle Bram Stoker based dracula’s castle off of)

  • Peles Castle (We didn’t go here because it was closed for maintenance but it’s stunning and you shouldn’t miss it)

  • Bucharest (it’s called the Paris of the east for a reason)

  • Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (sounds lame, it’s not)

  • Carturesti Carusel (the most Instagram worthy bookstore you’ll ever see)

  • Sibiu (the sweetest and most charming town in the country)


Prague, Czech Republic

I honestly am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been to Prague before this year. I remember when I studied abroad EVERYONE was visiting Prague.  But for some reason I never went. I totally missed out. But now I’m so happy I got to experience the city with my mom and during the fall. This city has quickly become one of my favorites in the world.  The city is stunning and the castle is breathtaking. But honestly, we loved the food the most lol (truffles on EVERYTHING). I would highly recommend this city to anyone visiting Europe, it should be at the top of your list

Things not to miss:

  • Truffle hunting with Prague Truffle (honestly this was one of the best “tours” I’ve ever been on

  • Have a photoshoot around the city (book through Airbnb experiences and spend the morning shooting around some of the most iconic places in the city)

  • Lunch or dinner at Restaurant Zvonice (it’s inside a 600 year old bell tower and the truffle risotto is to die for)

  • Have a sweet treat at Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa

  • Dinner at Kampa Park (it has a stunning water level view of the Charles Bridge)

  • Walk around the Jewish Quarter

  • Eat a chimney cake


Istanbul, Turkey

This was the second time my mom and I were in Istanbul and it was a SUPER short trip.  We had a forced layover in our flights and decided to make a little trip of it. I can’t say enough about this massive city.  But first let me talk about the elephant in the room, WE FELT TOTALLY SAFE. I think that’s the number one question I got when I told people I was visiting Turkey again. Listen, everyone is different but in the two times I’ve visited this city there has been not one single moment where I felt unsafe.  I can only speak for myself but I hope to encourage all of you to think about making a trip there. The city is full of history and culture and it’s completely unique. We learned that the world’s second elevator every created was in the hotel we decided to have tea at. How cool is that? (The first elevator is in Paris in case you were curious lol).

Things not to miss:

  • Walk around the Grand Bazar and buy souvenirs (I could spend hours here)

  • Have tea at Pera Palace (where the elevator is)

  • Visit the ancient Basilica Cistern (featured in the movie Inferno)

  • Marvel at the Hagia Sophia

  • Spend an afternoon at Topkapi Palace

Putting this video and post together has reminded me of two things:

  1. I am SO LUCKY to be able to travel the world with my best friend and see all these incredible places


Get ready, cause 2019 is the year of travel!

Adventure Awaits!