Spain

Where Am I Headed in 2018?

On my 2016 travel wish list, there was Napa Valley, Colombia, London and Thailand. While I went to other places too, I ended up in San Francisco (kind of close to Napa Valley) and Colombia. My 2017 travel wish list consisted of Ghana, Miami, Canada, and Cuba. In 2017, I went to Ghana, Miami, Vancouver, and more. There's no denying that my theory works! Put it out in the universe and it will come to you. This year is no different. I've thought long and hard about what travel goals I want to accomplish in 2018 so here we go!

Confirmed Travel

I don't have any. LOL. I have no flights booked. None. Nada. Not a single one. Shocking, I know. I have a few personal things going on right now and my schedule is a bit uncertain. So I've intentionally not made official travel plans. But don't get it twisted. Travel will definitely occur. Lots and lots of travel!

Wish List
(in no particular order)

Los Angeles

I visited LA in 2016 after road tripping from San Francisco and loved it so much. Beaches, warm weather, and laid back vibes...all things that make me a happy Ashlee. I'm putting this on my wish list because I want (read: need) to go back sooner rather than later.

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Budapest and/or Croatia

Both of these places have been in my thoughts for years. YEARS. I hear they are beautiful countries, with amazing architecture, history and nightlife, all things I love to explore when visiting a new destination.

Budapest  Photo Credit: Lonely Planet

Budapest
Photo Credit: Lonely Planet

Thailand

It's high time I get to Asia. Seriously. I'm not sure what's taken me so long, but I definitely need to get to Asia soon and what better place than fan favorite, Thailand? I put it on my wish list for 2015 travel, but everyone and their mother booked trips over the last few years which was a bit of a deterrant for me. Still, everyone who goes to Thailand seems to love it so I'm sure I'll be no different. 

Photo Credit: Kuoni Travel

Photo Credit: Kuoni Travel

Spain

Spain seems to be one of those countries that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime. Art, history, city life, and amazing food are amongst the great things I've heard about Spain. I'd also like to visit a few of its islands, including Ibiza, San Sebastián, and Valencia. 

Photo Credit: Condé Nast Traveler

Photo Credit: Condé Nast Traveler

Sri Lanka

This one may be a little far fetched but I am putting it out there in hopes I can actually make it happen! I've heard this island country is beautiful, with tons of wildlife and amazing beaches. And because it's a gateway to Southeast Asia, there are a few other countries I can visit before or after.

Photo Credit: RIU

Photo Credit: RIU

South Africa

Because I can always go back. Again, again and again!

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What places are on your 2018 list? Start thinking and planning!

 

How to Tackle Mallorca, Spain in 18 Hours

Each time I mention to someone new that I am studying abroad in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, I am met with the same response – “How can you get any studying done in a place like that?” While my typical response is to laugh it off and launch into an anecdote about the trials and tribulations of the Spanish university system, I must admit these people do have a point. Palma, the capital city of Mallorca, is a vacationers dream, boasting everything from perfect weather and untouched beaches to mountain hikes and delicious food.

As much as I would love to argue that you need a lifetime to understand what the island has to offer, beggars cannot be choosers, and visitors are often on a tight schedule.  So, in the interest of making the most of a short time on the island, here is the best way to tackle Mallorca in 18 hours!

The Cathedral

As one of the largest cathedrals in all of Europe, you couldn’t miss this one even if you tried. The massive church rests atop the old city and looks out over the Mediterranean. As spectacular as it is from the outside, the inside is really breathtaking. Avoid the ticket lines and get in for free by attending one of the daily masses. Upon arrival, simply ask the guards what time the next mass is scheduled for.

Las Ramblas and Passeig del Borne

Walking down these picturesque streets will have you falling in love with Palma in seconds. With towering trees overhead and flower markets flanking each side, it’s easy to feel like you’ve somehow ended up on a movie set.

Plaza España, Plaza Major, and Plaza de Cort

One thing that any Spanish city has an abundance of is plazas. Get lost in the winding streets and you will undoubtedly find yourself in one of these unique centers of the city. Each plaza has its own personality and its own offerings (shopping, restaurants, museums), making it worth it to find as many as you can.

Rent a Bike

Palma is filled with bike shops where you can rent a ride for the day for as little as 5 Euros. This is one of the best ways to move about the city, specifically to see the coastline. You can easily ride along Passeo Maritimo to see the ocean, and continue down to the outskirts of the city for some tapas right along the water. On the other end, you can ride all the way to the Porto Pi shopping center and stop at the Museo Histórico Militar de San Carlos for magnificent views.

Hop on a Bus

Whether it be the public bus or the hop-on-hop-off tourist edition, buses are often one of the best ways to get around the city easily and inexpensively. Take the public EMT bus line 3 to Cala Mayor or a little farther to Illetes – both gorgeous beaches to spend the day a little outside the city.

Grab Lunch

Mallorca is famous for its food, and the capital is filled with restaurants for everything from a quick tapa to a luxuriously long comida.  My recommendations are:

            Tapas - Casa Gallega, Tast, Bar Bosch

            Coffee Stop - La Molienda, Tudurí

            DinnerNemos, Arrocería Sa Cranca

No matter how long you are there, Mallorca is enchanting. Embrace the tranquila lifestyle, relax, and enjoy your trip.

- Abby Rasweiler