Monday, April 29, 2013

i'm baaaack! {and sydney, part one}

after four months, 
fourteen countries,
and countless adventures...

i'm back in the states! 
{for the time being, at least}

i made it back just in time to graduate from byu {which will undoubtedly be a post or two in itself}, a little bit jet lagged, a lot more experienced, and a good x pounds heavier {thank you, gelato}. to be honest, my poor little body is still trying to figure out what time zone it is, and my brain is still trying to get a grasp of what continent it's on and what language i should be speaking. 

that being said, i had the time of my life the past four months. i've never felt so inspired, so young, so liberated, or so utterly exhausted on a regular basis. i've never connected with so many individuals from so many cultures. i've never seen prettier mountain ranges or more pristine cities within the same month.  i've never eaten copious amounts of such delicious cuisine. i've never worked harder in serving others or felt closer to christ.

i think i am still trying to fully comprehend everything i saw and witnessed and experienced; it very well could take me several weeks to decompress. but as i'm decompressing, i have heaps {as my aussie friends would say!} and loads to share with you all. besides the thousands of photos that will inevitably come your way, you can look forward to...

-gluten-free eats in madrid, rome, stockholm, + sydney
-how to {not} look like a homeless person whilst traveling
-traveling machu picchu
-an afternoon at the symphony in the sydney opera house
-adventuring through the bush in malawi
-falling in love in south america
-discovering scandinavian roots + one of my new favorite cities {think ikea x9382}
-revisiting my love affair with españa
-travel tips + the 2013 travel awards {think airlines, airports, hotels, etc.}
-introductions to hundreds of the cutest faces you'll ever see

so much goodness to look forward to.

but in the meantime, i thought i'd whet your whistle a bit by introducing you to a city that was my second-to-last stop on this world tour. it's starting to feel so summer-y here in the US, which reminded me of my adventures down under. so naturally, let's say hello to....
my darling cousin married an aussie last summer, so i knew i'd have to stop by her side of the world eventually. and then out of the blue, my awesome mom decided to come and meet me, spur-of-the moment {the perks of being an airline employee are never-ending!} and we quickly became acquainted with sydney.
this city is a fusion of international cultures, modern and traditional architecture, and some of the loveliest beaches. i'm still trying to figure out the vibe it gives off. but i do know i was pretty fond of it all. for the metropolitan center that it is, sydney is much less uptight than some of the other large cities i've visited. 
it is one of the cleanest cities i have ever been to, and with the harbors on nearly every side, it's really very scenic. also, it's easily the gluten-free friendliest city i've ever been to, so it jumped a few spots on the rankings in my book, just for that!


our first day in the city, the weather was absolutely perfect! eighty degrees and sunny, my body finally thawed out from its past week in sweden and germany {okay, i'm just being dramatic, but still... it was beautiful}, so we spent the day taking ferries across the harbors to explore the outskirts of sydney. 
these photos capture the modern side of sydney pretty nicely {and obviously the iconic harbour bridge and opera house... and you're right, i admittedly caught myself thinking about finding nemo every time we passed them}, but i can't wait to share with you the charm that the smaller beach towns and older buildings in the city bring!

i seriously can't wait to bring you along on all my travels of 2013. i know i've been very much missing in action as of late, but i'm back, happier than ever, with so many stories to tell and photos to share! i apologize in advance that this will quickly turn into an international travel blog of sorts, but really... it's what i do best.

thanks for sticking around!


Joscelyn said...

Yay, the Sydney blog post! Your photos are gorgeous, as always. I am still so glad you two were able to come and visit. Come back any time! (seriously, I don't mind).

Kirsten Wiemer said...

gorgeous, one of my dreams has always been to go to australia for some reason. now i really need to go! gorgeous photos.
glad you are back lady!


Rhiannon Lorenzo said...

gorgeous photos!

Hayley-Eszti Szucs said...

You are so lucky to have done so many amazing things. I look forward to the future posts :)
Hayley-Eszti x