An Open Letter to Paris

Dear Paris, We’ve met before, but this time was different. Last time was all museums and bouef bourguignon and museums and crêpes (but not Nutella–at 13, I hadn’t acquired a taste for it yet) and churches and baguettes and museums. This time I didn’t have the pressure to visit all the attractions, to learn the…

royal palace landscape

Dam Square

Dam Square is the center of Amsterdam’s energy–it’s always bustling with Dutch people on bikes, tourists ducking into souvenir shops, and street performers attracting large crowds. Our first hostel was a two-minute walk from Dam Square, so we spent a lot of time in and around the plaza. I think every time we went I got…

Planned or Spontaneous? The Best Way to Travel

My parents raised me to be a traveler. I’ve experienced almost as many countries as I have birthdays, and many of those trips were with family. My mom takes planning a trip to the extreme, filling a binder per trip with daily itineraries and pre-purchased admission tickets and Google Maps printouts and Rick Steves city guides. I learned from…

When in Amsterdam…Get a Tattoo

“I kind of want to get a tattoo while we’re here,” Matt told me on Thanksgiving Day as we wandered the streets of Amsterdam. I wasn’t shocked–Matt is constantly coming up with impulsive ideas and acting on them–but I was a bit skeptical that he’d actually follow through. Choosing a tattoo design can be a…

Amsterdam in 9 Squares

In November, I traveled to Amsterdam with my roommate/travel buddy Matt. Even though the weather wasn’t great, we both fell in love with the city’s vibe. Here are some of the highlights, as seen on my Instagram: We got to simulate what it was like for Jews in WWII: going into hiding, being found, and getting sent…

How To: Be a Tourist In Europe

So you’ve decided you are going to travel to Europe this summer. Congrats! Maybe you’re not the 1%, but you’re at least part of the wealthiest 5% of Americans. You deserve to celebrate that. Here’s how. First, fly to one of Europe’s capital cities. It doesn’t really matter which one, everything in Europe is just old churches anyway.…

Cats and La Catedral: Toledo, Spain

I’m a cat person. I’m now getting over vestiges of my childhood fear of dogs, but I’ll always be more comfortable around cats. Except for a two month stint between the death of our beloved Blackie and the adoption of playful Naomi, I’ve had cats continuously since I was four years old. The last place…

My Spanish Namesake

There I was, minding my own business (and by that I mean blatantly staring at every person walking by) while having a late lunch in Sevilla. The sun had finally descended behind the restaurant, and for the first time that day the plaza was comfortably warm instead of exhaustingly sweltering. I took a sip of…

Function + Beauty = Casa Batlló

The Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudí’s most famous work of architecture, but it definitely isn’t his only design that attracts tourists to Barcelona. Casa Batlló is sometimes called the “House of Bones” because of its facade, which has skeletal pillars and balconies. The green and blue tiles that cover the facade also give it an…