The highlight of our trip to Scotland was definitely our time on Isle of Skye. All of the other places we visited (Edinburgh, Glencoe/Fort William) were amazing, but Isle of Skye was utterly breathtaking!

We spent three full days driving all around the island, hiking as much as we could, and taking in the sheer beauty of Scotland’s nature. We saw waterfalls, cliffs, flora and fauna, a plethora of sheep, and even the occasional highland cow! There were unlimited views and minimal people, especially compared to some of our other European ventures. The Scottish people were INCREDIBLY kind and overall, I really have nothing but good things to say about the entire adventure. I’m so grateful for the opportunity for visit such a magical place!

Isle of Skye | Scotland

Kilt Rock/Mealt Falls

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The Brother’s Point

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Old Man of Storr

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Dunvegan Castle & Gardens

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North Coast

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Neist Point Lighthouse

Fairy Pools

Needless to say, 2018 was a HUGE year for us that was full of exciting change!  The moment that topped it all off was our move overseas from Virginia to Sicily, Italy in February.  So much has happened over the last 12 months, I thought it would be fun to relive the best of 2018!

I really loved going back through all of my photographs from this year and reliving so many memories!  So, without further ado, here is a recap of my 2018 including some of my favorite memories:


The Best of 2018

The BIG Move

  • 2018 started off with a BIG announcement that were moving overseas! The next month was completely insane as we shipped off all of our things, sold my car and our home, and made arrangements for our new digs in Sicily!  Once we arrived, we immediately moved into our Americanized-Sicilian townhome and patiently awaited the arrival of our car and household goods. That period of time was truly crazy!


Exploring Our New Home – Sicily

  • We began our time in Sicily with some trips around the island. I (sadly) didn’t get around to blogging most of them, but here are a few of my favorites:
  • Agrigento (photos below)
  • Catania
  • Taormina
  • Syracuse & Ortigia Island
  • San Vito Lo Capo & Erice
  • Enna
  • Caltigerone
  • Noto
  • and Cefalú

You can find “highlights” of all of these trips over on my Instagram, if you are interested: click here.

Exploring Europe

  • Our first trip off-island was fast-paced, fun, and exciting! We ventured to Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast (Positano) during Easter weekend.  It was a quick trip FULL of hilarious stories.  From visiting catacomb after catacomb, to our friends’ car getting locked in a parking garage before our trip to the airport.  Our Naples trip was one we will never forget!


  • Malta was GORGEOUS and a literal dream of mine. We traveled all over the main island, but would still really like to go to Gozo and Comino if we go back.


  • Lyon, France (blog post coming soon!) for a long weekend was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!! In particular, I enjoyed the shopping and the food, but I never got around to blogging this one. Whoops!

  • In the heat of summer, we visited one of my old faves – Berlin. Berlin is always amazing, the food is always delicious, and the weather is HOT in the summer.  Nevertheless, it was refreshing to hang out with my friends Pauline and Michele again, and meet Pauline’s boyfriend, Ben.


  • For our week long “vacation,” we flew to London for 24-hours (STAAAAAP, London, I love you!!!!!) and then to Dublin, Ireland, where we embarked on a 5-day road trip around southern Ireland. This was my favorite trip of 2018 for sure – the nature was just breathtaking and the people, so kind.   If you have ONE trip you could take to Europe, I’d recommend this one, hands down. See why I’m so in love here and here.


  • For my birthday, we jetsetted off to Sofia, Bulgaria – a country I’ve wanted to visit for a long time!! I got to visit with my college buddy, Rashko while I was there, and my best friend Ashley’s college buddy, Niya kindly picked us up from the airport and sent me lots of information about things to do. It was a cool experience and I’m so glad we went.  Blog post on this one is TBD!


  • In September, we flew to Munich to meet up with Ashley, John, Maddie, and Justin for OKTOBERFEST!!! I personally was not that excited about the actual festival before we went (I know, I’m so weird), but I actually enjoyed it and had a fabulous time!  The city of Munich was clean and beautiful, and the people were seriously, so kind.  Also, Bavarian food!!!!


  • TWO DAYS after our Munich trip, we boarded another plane for Paris, France. What a romantic dream trip Paris was!! From sunrise at the Eiffel Tower to strolls around the Louvre, Paris was everything I thought it would be!! Unfortunately, I did acquire some unknown “life-threatening bacterium” (words of my doctor) at some point during this trip and spent nearly three weeks recovering.  As I’ve said before, the bacterial infection (as horrible as it was – truly effing horrible), won’t stop me from returning.  As a matter of fact, I’ve already booked my next trip!


  • After Paris, we embarked on Barcelona, Spain (blog post coming soon!) for some R&R and more incredible food! We spent the majority of one day at the hotel spa (no regrets!) and the remainder of our trip jaunting around the city!  We also got to meet up with our friends Rachel and AJ and their parents for my first international photoshoot!!


  • CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN GERMANY was another item on my “bucket list” that I got to cross off this year! We flew to Berlin for a quick weekend trip to visit Pauline and Ben and THREE of Berlin’s MANY markets.  It was a dream trip and we can’t wait to visit more next year 😉


We are heading to one more place before 2019, but I’ll wait to post about this one until we have actually returned!

Volcanic Eruptions

  • We visited some of the other islands around Sicily. Stromboli (one of the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily), was our first island hop.  We ventured there for one night and a SEVEN, yes SEVEN, hour hike to the top of Stromboli volcano at night.  It was as exhausting and strenuous as it was enchanting!! We got to watch the volcano erupt many times, so it was worth it!!


  • We got to witness not just one but TWO volcanic eruptions!! On Christmas Eve, Mount Etna erupted with plumes of smoke, over 130 earthquakes and two fresh new craters spouting LAVA! It was an unexpected Christmas surprise that has kept many native islanders on edge!

Time with Family

  • Despite ALL of the above, my favorite moments of 2018 were with those I love. Being at home with Jordan, Birdee, and Chalupa was by far my favorite thing I did this year.  As all military families know, time (and holidays) together are not guaranteed.  I think this makes me appreciate every moment with them so much more.


My life has changed in so many ways over this past year, reflecting back on it all is really actually quite surreal. I think my biggest takeaway from this past year is that you never know where life is going to take you.  As a person who was extremely “type-A” for so long, stepping back and allowing life to take over a little bit has helped me to realize that sometimes the best things that happen to us are the unplanned ones.  I’ve also developed an even greater sense of YOLO (you only live once, right?!), that I’m a little bit overwhelmed with the fact that I will never get to see or do all the things I want to. So, for 2019, I aim to be more present in everyday life; to enjoy the little moments just as much as the big ones!

Sometimes I’m able to find flights that have long layovers in places I really want to go.  Originally, Jordan and I planned to take a 10-day vacation to London, Edinburgh, and Dublin this summer, but because of my illness, we ( I ) decided less time away from home was necessary.  Consequently, we augmented the vacation to an Ireland road trip for which I have zero regrets.  Our experience in Ireland was absolutely amazing, but I also really, really wanted to experience London.  Hence, I figured out a way to secure a long layover in the city on the way over.  With a long layover booked, I then asked myself: “What does one do with less than 24 hours in London??” I’m sure there are a lot of options, but I’m pretty happy with how we spent our day.

This was our first time to London, so I wanted to see everything!  But of course, there wasn’t time for that.  So, we decided to book one tour and then buy tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus to get in as much sightseeing as possible.


The Tour – Buckingham Palace

Our first stop of the morning was Buckingham Palace. I’m not a big follower (or fan) of celebrities, but I do have a special appreciation for the British royal family.  Buckingham Palace is where the Queen of England normally lives and it isn’t always open for visitors. So, when I heard the palace was open for tours while we were there, I signed us up! The tour covered the staterooms and featured a display of art selected by the Prince and Patron. The palace was GRAND. It was soooooo crazy to stand in the rooms seen in photos on the news and realize how insanely ornate they actually were. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed. But I’m mentioning it here because it was absolutely worth the visit – even if you don’t care about the Royal Family.

Pounds, Backside of Buckingham Palace, The BEST Mint CChip!


Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus

After our visit to the palace concluded, we did a little shopping at Harrods (or gawking – same thing) before finding the on the hop-on, hop-off bus.


There is a large selection on hop-on hop-off busses in London, but we went with The Original Tour.  We actually booked the tour tickets from the comfort of our beds the night prior.  So, it was quite convenient. The buses were a decent way to see all of the “sights” without having to figure out public transportation. We also got to ride on the top, which made for great views and personal excitement!



We spent the remainder of the day hopping-on and hopping-off and here are some of the sights we were able to visit:

Marble Arch, Queen Elizabeth Gate, The Shakespeare 



London Eye, Palace of Westminster, Westminster Bridge, The Shard



Tower of London, Tower Bridge, River Thames, Trafalgar Square 



So, was less than 24 hours in London enough? Enough to make me want to come back for more!  That’s for sure!

If you have any suggestions for “must sees/dos” in London, please leave your suggestions in the comments.  I can’t wait to return!

Things to do in London

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