2016 Travel Wishlist

I’ve been working on this post for awhile now, mainly because the list changes pretty much everyday. I have the worst attention span when trying to plan travel because I end up wanting to go everywhere and cannot decide how to prioritize! Just today, I’ve decided on like three more trips I want to try and squeeze in. However, here are seven trips I’m currently dreaming of – trying to see when I can squeeze them all in!

A weekend in…San Sebastian, Spain

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First off, it’s a foodie destination. And I love food. I first heard about San Sebastian in Conde Nast Traveler two years ago and have been trying to go ever since. It looks completely different from other places I have been and has it’s own unique culture – just the type of place I’d like to explore for a few days!

Exploring Castles in…Killarney, Ireland

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My obsession with Ireland grows each time I think about it. After spending a summer in Dublin and visiting countless times since, I feel the need to return every single weekend. I haven’t ventured beyond Dublin very much (just a day trip to Cork and a weekend in Galway), so the idea of staying in quaint Killarney and driving around the castles and exploring the Ring of Kerry seems like the perfect romantic weekend away from it all.

A Eurostar trip to…Ghent, Belgium

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After I fell in love with Bruges in May 2014, I’ve been dying to go back to Belgium. I heard amazing things about Ghent, but never actually looked into visiting. Once I finally did, though, I couldn’t stop! This city screams culture, culture, culture. I envision myself wandering around the small streets, exploring along the river, and maybe going for a kayak ride to explore. This is the trip I am most interested in planning at the moment!

A tour around…Japan

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Sean and I are in the process of planning a big trip to Japan in 2017 or 2018 (to be determined). We’re talking two full weeks, exploring as much of the country as we can – a mix  between luxury traveling and budget traveling. One of my friends recommended we go because she thought Kyoto was the most romantic place she had ever been. I started doing some research and fell in love…with all of it. Japan offers beauty, romance, adventure, history, incredible culture, and amazing food. It seems like the perfect place to explore with someone you love – and someone who loves traveling just as much as you.

Relaxation in…The Maldives

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This one’s a dream. But a beautiful one. The Maldives is something I would book with a Christmas bonus or a winning scratch card. I would love to head to there for a week and stay in a little bungalow on the water and just forget about the world.

Adventure in…Croatia

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A couple of my girlfriends and I are planning a week in Croatia for this summer. I never realized how much the country has to offer – hiking, waterfalls, beaches, sailing cruises, history, food, local culture. I’m currently looking into doing a trip which would take us to Split – Hvar – Dubrovnik.

A return trip to…Tuscany, Italy

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Sean and I talk about returning to Tuscany pretty much all the time. Last time we went, we stayed in Florence and went on a wine tasting tour one day which allowed us to experience the magic of the hills and vineyards. When we go back, I would like to rent a car and just stay in little Tuscan villages for a wine tasting trip. After spending a day driving through the vineyard towns in Alsace, I imagine that doing the same in Tuscany would be the most breathtaking thing I’ve ever done.

Do you have recommendations for any of the places I mentioned – or any other places I should consider?

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Daddy/Daughter Dublin

I feel like I should refer to my weekend in Dublin with my dad as a “bucket list weekend.” After all, I a) did things I had been wanting to do (see Once and visit Howth) and b) did my favorite things (Temple Bar, Croke Park). I like weekends like that because, while exhausting, they are jam packed and very memorable.

My dad and I made a plan to meet in Dublin one weekend because I wanted to see Once and thought it would be great to see it in the city where it takes place. I flew over after work on a Friday just for the weekend and we definitely made the most out of the short time. He picked the Temple Bar Hotel as our accommodation and it was…loud. Situated directly above a bar on the main street of Temple Bar, we could hear partying into the early hours of the morning. The beds were so comfy and the location so perfect though that I barely minded.


On Saturday, we took the train to Howth, a small fishing village on the coast. I had been meaning to go since I studied in Ireland in 2013, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. So, we went out there, grabbed breakfast,walked for a bit, and ended up in the pub. Shocker.


When we got back to Dublin, we freshened up before heading to the Arlington Hotel (one of our favorites) for a snack and to watch the Ireland vs. Scotland rugby match. From there, we picked up fish and chips for dinner and went to see Once at the Olympia Theatre.



I’m a huge musical nut. I don’t know what it is about them, but I try to go to as many as I can. I absolutely loved the story line of Once and the production of it was amazing – they had a real bar on stage that audience members could grab drinks from during Intermission! They did a great job slipping in some comedy and the songs had me ready to download the album immediately. I’m definitely going to be seeing it again.

After the musical, we went to Merchants Arch – my absolute favorite pub in Temple Bar – for a quick drink before bed. They have the best live music, so it was the go to during my summer abroad and it’s the first place I go when I visit.

The next day, we did a bit of wandering around before going to Elephant and Castle for brunch. Brunch turned into pub time at Auld Dubliner (another favorite). Next on our list was the hurling match – Galway vs. Tipperary. It is believed that Tipperary is the Hogan homeland, so we were ready to sport the blue and gold (maybe yellow, but in Hogan fashion, we go with blue and gold. Beat Army!). I went to hurling and Gaelic football matches frequently when I was in Ireland, but this was my dads first time and I’m so excited I had the chance to show him the if reduce Croke Park atmosphere.


There is a pub near Croke Park called Phil Ryan’s at Hogan Stand. Naturally, this is the only pub I have ever been in before/after matches. We went to Phil Ryan’s for a couple of pints before taking our seats in Hogan Stand to watch the action.



I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad so entertained. We go to sporting events all the time (baseball, hockey, football, everything) but hurling is unlike any of those and he was so into it! I had such a blast watching and being in that environment again, and even though Tipperary lost, it was definitely the highlight of the trip!

After the match, we went back to Phil Ryan’s, which is always best after a match. Then, we took on Temple Bar for our final night! I am such a fan of Dublin and am so happy I had the chance to pop over with my dad. He is in England next month so I’m already trying to find out what we can squeeze into that weekend!

p.s. A little secret about me – no matter how many times I’ve been to Dublin, I always leave with a bag from Carrolls, the famous souvenir shop over there. This time, it was an Irish wool scarf and a Caed Mile Failte sign for the new flat 🙂