Transylvania, Romania: An Affordable Fairytale

So far, I haven’t done a single blog post on a country we’ve lived in because condensing 1-3 months into a single blog post felt intimidating.  But today I decided to finally go for it and at least share part of our adventures in Romania with you all!  Romania was the very first country we “based” ourselves in while teaching with VIPKID.  We stayed in the capital, Bucharest, from October to December 2018.  It was great stepping stone for us because it has a relatively low cost of living, high-speed internet, pretty scenery (I wanted autumn leaves & snowy winters!), and an airport with tons of cheap flights.  We spent a lot of time teaching, but also did some sight-seeing around Bucharest and Transylvania.  I’m saving Bucharest for a second post because we did actually visit Transylvania twice (once in October by ourselves, and once in November with my parents), so this post is pretty photo-heavy already!  Anyways – on to our cheap European fairytale!

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Paris, France: Art overload (aka paradise?)

Tommy and I spent a couple weeks back in the Midwest while we were in the process of switching continents (we are now back in Asia!), so blogging once again took a break.  Whoops!  But I am still dedicated to catching up on each and every place we visited this past year, so I return with some photos from one of our longest-ago trips – Paris, back in late September/early October 2018!

As Tommy can attest to, you cannot take an art history major to Paris without them going absolutely bananas.  Over the course of 6 days, we went to 5 art museums and a whole bunch of chapels and other historic buildings that were either full of art or fell into the category of architecture-as-art.  (I also spent a lot of time eating cheese plates, drinking cheap wine, and talking about how romantic everything was.  I love France!)

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Torres del Paine: Rugged beauty in Patagonia

Some of you might know that our last 2 years of full-time traveling & teaching started with the simple idea to backpack around South America for one month.  While that idea never panned out, one location that I had begun researching really stuck in my head: Patagonia.  The beautiful, wild landscapes that dominate the southernmost region of South America just kept calling my name.  So when Tommy and I decided to settle in Chile for a couple months, I knew we needed to take a trip to Torres del Paine National Park – one of the most famous and awe-inspiring destinations in Patagonia!  The remote location and “natural” paths of the park made it one of our more challenging mini-vacations, but it was 100% worth it.

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Athens, Greece: The benefits of long layovers

One of the weirdest travel habits that Tommy and I have picked up this past year is looking for long layovers. It started on our journey from America to Europe, when WOW Airlines (now-bankrupt) had a steal of a deal from Chicago to Germany… with a 17-hour layover in Iceland. We decided to make the best of it and spent our afternoon soaking stress away in the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Ever since then, we’ve kept our eyes peeled for layovers just long enough to squeeze in a top attraction or two! On our way from Romania to Egypt in December 2018, we found another opportunity for a “free” mini-trip – this time to the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

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