Europe MUST SEE List

I feel so lucky that I have been able to travel around Europe for most of my life. My first-ever international trip was to Ireland when I was 10 months old, and I recently studied abroad in Austria and got to see so much of Eastern Europe that everyone overlooks. I've pretty much seen it all, and the parts that I haven't seen yet I hope I will see soon!

If you're planning on going to Europe, here is a round up of my MUST SEE cities (especially in your twenties!):


London, England // London is one of my all-time favorite cities in the world. I would move there tomorrow if I had the funds! London is rich in history and culture but is an easy adjustment to those traveling from the States. Plus, there are an amazing amount of day trips from London! (Some suggestions: Warner Bro's Harry Potter Experience (!!), Highclere Castle (from Downton Abbey), and Oxford College)


Paris, France // Paris is, of course, one of those cities you will always want to visit in your life. I've been as a child, as a 20 year old, and I know I will take my own young family someday. If you are able to, I cannot recommend going to Paris in your twenties enough. You can still do all of the sightseeing, but some of my favorite memories from Paris are nights when I bought a baguette, a block of brie, and some salami and I ate it underneath the Eiffel Tower while drinking cheap wine and watching it sparkle. (My parents would never have done that!)


Venice, Italy // The great news about Venice is that you can definitely see it in a day, or you can spread things out and make a trip of it (there are tons of day trips to more Italian islands, as well as more inland locations like Verona!). Like Paris, some of the best memories I have involve a cheap carton of wine (literally... 1 euro!) and hanging my feet over the edge of the canal and talking about life.


Munich, Germany // I'm partial to all of Germany, but Munich is absolutely my favorite German city. The region of Bavaria is so incredibly beautiful and Munich is the hub for all of that! Neuschwanstein Castle, Berchtesgaden, etc. It's all so beautiful! Plus, the nightlife in Munich is amazing, and there are a ton of seasonal festivals to go to.


Salzburg, Austria // Even though it could be a day (or two) trip from Munich, Salzburg deserves it's own spot on this list. First of all, it's where I studied abroad. (I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a "different" place to study!!) Second, the Sound of Music was filmed there. Not only is it nestled up in the foothills of the Alps (gorgeous mountains every where you turn), but everywhere you look you can recreate a part of the movie! It actually gets pretty annoying when tourists do this - but I'll admit it... I did it too. Many times.


Bratislava, Slovakia // One of the things that I loved about studying abroad in Austria is it's central location. So many Eastern European countries are a 3 or 4 hour train ride away, making it so easy to explore a part of the continent that is often overlooked. Bratislava is one of those places. It's actually sort of a suburb of Vienna, Austria, so it could also be a very easy day trip! Bratislava has a TON of history and culture, and fun fact, most of the "Prague Spring" during the downfall of the Soviet Union/Czechoslovakia happened in Bratislava, not Prague! (It's also on the Euro, which means you don't have to change currency like you would if you were going to Prague.)


Budapest, Hungary // Budapest is becoming a more and more popular location and I totally understand why. It's pretty inexpensive to go to, has a ton of culture and history, and an amazing nightlife. They're known for their "ruin pubs" AKA bars in rundown warehouses and destroyed buildings. It sounds creepy, but it's actually so cool. Another thing Budapest is known for are the hot baths! These are fun to go to and people watch!


Krakow, Poland // Poland was also high up on my "favorite places I visited" list. The country is so beautiful and also an inexpensive location. One of the reasons I liked Poland so much is the history. I had the chance to go on a tour to Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps. It was an incredibly emotionally heavy day, but I truly think that everyone needs to visit the camps at least once in their life if they are able. There are a gazillion reasons why I would recommend Poland to someone, but that is definitely #1.


Athens, Greece // I'm obsessed with Greece! I went twice while I was traveling and it was beautiful both times. Greece has the most interesting history, and Athens is packed full of it. If you're going while abroad, take your international student ID and you will get free entry to almost all of the archeological sites (the one exception being the Olympic Stadium - but don't let that discourage you from going... I literally cried real tears when I was there). If you're not a student, there are still tons of ticket packages you can get, too! The best part about Greece by FAR though, is the food! Greek food is incredible and amazing and I literally ate so much when I was there that I'm pretty sure I put on a few pounds. No regrets though!! I hiked it mostly off when I visited the Acropolis 7 times (3 to see the Parthenon, the rest to watch the sunset from the hill!). PRO TIP: Wake up extra early and be the first person at the Acropolis! Your pictures will be SO MUCH BETTER without as many tourists photobombing!


HONORABLE MENTIONS: Prague, Czech Republic; Florence, Italy; Santorini, Greece; Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, the Netherlands

There are so many more cities that I could recommend to you, but these nine really are amazing. Please do not hesitate to ask me if you need hostel recommendations or any advice you need for backpacking Europe!

Are there any cities that you would definitely add to this list?

Looking Forward: 101 in 1001

Inspired by Mackenzie Horan, from Design Darling, I've decided to make a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. These next few years are bound to be pretty exciting for me, so why not document it?


Start Date: July 2, 2016
End Date: March 30, 2019
20/101 Completed

PERSONAL (5/20)

001. Graduate college (Completed December 2016)
002. Take a makeup class/ get my makeup professionally done
003. Create a practical budget (Completed 2018)
004. Find a philanthropy I'm passionate about
005. Reconnect with my favorite high school teachers
006. Get my very own dog
007. Stretch every day for a month
008. Successfully run a half-marathon
009. Clean out my closet (for real this time)
010. Invest in a "big girl bag"
011. Save up for a Mac desktop computer
012. Find a kickboxing gym that I like
013. Back up all of my important files and pictures (Completed May 2017)
014. Wipe my laptop hard drive
015. Go one month without personal spending
016. Volunteer at a food bank
017. Read for 30 minutes before bed every night for a month (Completed January 2017)
018. Pay it forward somewhere
019. Invest in five wardrobe pieces
020. Learn to meditate  (Completed May 2017)

TRAVEL (4/21)

021. Move to a new city (not Columbia, not Atlanta) (Completed September 2017)
022. Take a trip to South Africa
023. Visit the Grand Canyon
024. Take a trip with my mom (Completed June 2017)
025. Go to San Francisco
026. Take an official tour of somewhere I've already been
027. Make travel guides of the places I've been
028. Come home for the holidays (Completed December 2017)
029. Take a road trip
030. See Mount Rushmore
031. Visit New York in the summertime
032. Ski Patagonia
033. Cruise from South America to Antarctica
034. Go to the new addition (Diagon Alley) of Harry Potter World (Completed December 2017)
035. See the Northern Lights
036. Hike the Incan Trail
037. Take a Gone With the Wind tour in Atlanta
038. Experience Las Vegas
039. Take a trip with just Tracy
040. Go wine tasting in Napa Valley
041. Go to the Kentucky Derby

PROFESSIONAL (9/14)

042. Get a "big girl job" (Completed August 2017)
043. Move my portfolio/reel to the new blog (Completed November 2016)
044. (Completed January 2018) Start a savings plan
045. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails (Completed January 2018)
046. Learn photoshop (Completed January 2018)
047. Begin freelance writing for an online publication
048. Get business cards (Completed September 2017)
049. Get new headshots taken (Completed September 2017)
050. Send my reel to 10 different news stations (Completed Fall 2016)
051. Re-do my wardrobe
052. Be invited to be a guest speaker somewhere
053. Set up a savings account (Completed July 2016)
054. Save $20 for every goal crossed off
055. Figure out how to work Google Analytics (Google Analytics Certified, July 2017)

FRIENDS & FAMILY (0/12)

056. Send Tracy a care package
057. Have my mom teach me how to sew
058. Write 20 handwritten letters to friends
059. Make a family cookbook
060. Cook a three-course meal for my mom and dad
061. Take everyone in my immediate family to dinner
062. Give 5 "just because" gifts
063. Attend the wedding of a close friend
064. Be in the wedding party of a close friend
065. Make my grandma's famous eggnog
066. Find a workout class to do with friends
067. Go to Disney World with friends

JUST FOR FUN (2/34)

068. Watch all of the Star Wars movies
069. Go to an NBA game (Completed February 2018)
070. Watch the sunrise over mountains
071. Watch the sunrise over a beach
072. Watch the sunrise in a foreign country
073. See the Nutcracker
074. Pick up my flute again
075. Read 30 new books (14/30 -- The Vacationers by Emma Staub, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay by JK Rowling, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, Room by Emma Donaghue, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler, The Circle by Dave Eggers, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman, Into The Water by Paula Hawkins, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan)
076. Learn to bake Macarons
077. Take swing dance lessons with a significant other
078. Knit a scarf (and then some)
079. Make brownies from scratch
080. Join a book club
081. Go to a fashion show
082. Learn to play poker
083. Take a cooking class
084. Watch all "Best Picture" nominees
085. Attend a TED Talk
086. Catch up (or finish) Downton Abbey
087. Read 10 autobiographies/memoirs (4/10, Lion by Saroo Bierley, American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent by Tamer Elnoury, Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur, Yes We (Still) Can by Dan Pfeiffer) 
088. Watch 20 documentaries (2/20, Amanda Knox, Somm)
089. Have a picnic
090. Go berry picking in the summer
091. Go apple picking in the fall
092. Learn to fold a fitted sheet
093. Master a signature cocktail
094. Master a signature meal
095. Learn to drive stick
096. Attend a black tie event
097. Do an outdoor yoga class (Completed April 2017)
098. Cook every day for a month
099. Take a SoulCycle class
100. See 3 new Broadway shows
101. Learn calligraphy