HomeAdventureAK Month-to-month Recap: March 2024

AK Month-to-month Recap: March 2024


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This was the most important journey month I’ve had since we obtained again from our honeymoon! Shoulder season is at all times the most effective season for exploring and analysis, and March was the proper time for a visit again to Italy.

Let’s check out March 2024!

Kate taking a selfie in front of a window displaying the big Florence Duomo, surrounded by orange-roofed buildings.
Having fun with the view from the Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo Tower!

Locations Visited

  • Prague, Křivoklát, and Beroun, Czech Republic
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Pisa, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Rome, and Tivoli, Italy
The skyline of Siena, a city of brown buildings and roofs, and a big piazza with a tall brick tower in the middle.
Siena, Italy, which is NOT within the e-book — too well-liked! Different cities in Tuscany are, although!

New Free Italy Information

This month I launched a model new book: 23 Offbeat Locations to Go to in Italy. One in every of my passions helps vacationers get off the crushed path in Italy, and uncover a number of cities that don’t have the loopy crowds of Florence or Venice or Positano.

This e-book has mini-guides to 23 offbeat locations in 17 areas of Italy, in addition to info on touring Italy and a few of my favourite journey ideas. And I really like the “Go right here, not there” part. You THINK you need the Amalfi Coast, however you ACTUALLY need Tropea!

You possibly can join it right here, and it’s free! I hope it evokes you to journey extra deeply in Italy!

The city skyline of Florence with its Duomo, towers, and the green Arno River, underneath a cloudy sky.
It was so good to be again in Florence once more.

Highlights

An superior, super-fun return to Florence and Rome. I deliberate 5 days in Florence and 6 days in Rome to do a ton of analysis and pictures so I can develop my Italy content material in two of the preferred Italian locations.

First off — it was March and each cities have been SWAMPED with vacationer crowds. There’s virtually no low season in Florence and Rome anymore, and you need to know that earlier than you e-book your journey!

Except for that, it felt so good to do an extended, in-depth, solo keep in Florence for the primary time since my semester overseas, 20 years in the past. I’ve been again to Florence a couple of occasions during the last twenty years, however this was the primary time I felt like I had the time and house to essentially see what Florence means to me now.

And I did EVERYTHING (besides the Pitti Palace and the Galileo Museum). I climbed all of the towers, visited tons of museums, and did a pleasant day journey to Siena and San Gimignano with Walks, which was comped.

Siena is someplace I’ve visited earlier than, however I’ve by no means been contained in the church — however I went this time and I used to be BLOWN AWAY. A maximalist masterpiece stuffed with a lot decor and shade and artwork, it’s now certainly one of my favourite church buildings in Italy (although I nonetheless love Parma’s cathedral). Be sure you get the cathedral ticket that permits you to climb the museum’s tower, too.

The tiny walled town of San Gimignano, surrounded by green Tuscan hills on all sides.
San Gimiginano from above.

San Gimignano was a brand new spot for me, and it’s a very fairly little Tuscan city — although it seems prefer it exists totally for tourism. I didn’t see a single enterprise catering to locals. Climbing the principle tower was value it, too.

Subsequent up was Rome, and Charlie met me there for his birthday after a couple of days. One of many massive highlights was the Galleria Borghese, which I’ve needed to go to for many years. Seeing Bernini’s sculptures in actual life for the primary time was SO shifting.

The largest spotlight of all was Walks’s Key Grasp’s Tour of the Vatican Museums, opening the museums for the day at 6:00 AM. This was additionally comped (via Charlie, not me), and it’s an EXPENSIVE tour, however holy shit — attending to be alone within the Vatican Museums along with your tour group and information? Watching the lights activate for the day? Getting an opportunity to open every door?! Getting quiet time within the Sistine Chapel???

This is without doubt one of the finest issues I’ve EVER performed in Italy, and I’ll keep in mind it without end. It’s one probably the most once-in-a-lifetime actions I’ve ever performed whereas touring. I requested our information if Charlie may open the door to the Sistine Chapel, because it was his birthday, and he liked getting to do this.

Past that, we loved heaps extra spots in Rome and did a go to to Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

St. Peter's Basilica in the far distance, with an orange sunset lighting up behind it.
Sundown from Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome — particularly value it in March, when the solar units earlier than it closes for the day!

Good occasions at ITB in Berlin. ITB is the world’s largest journey present, and I really haven’t been there since 2013, regardless of dwelling solely 4.5 hours away by practice. I went to some networking occasions, obtained to see tons of my mates, and the Berlin climate was INCREDIBLE — vivid blue skies on daily basis! That by no means occurs in March!

Even so, I’m fairly certain that I gained’t be returning to ITB subsequent 12 months. Not fairly sufficient worth to justify the journey, even when it’s so shut by.

Visiting probably the greatest Easter markets within the Czech Republic. Do you know that there are Easter markets within the Czech Republic, too? They usually happen in the identical spots the place Christmas markets happen, together with on Outdated City Sq. in Prague.

Charlie and I visited Křivoklát Fort within the tiny city of Křivoklát, 90 minutes from Prague. It was such a enjoyable market, with a number of meals, musical performances, and all types of springy issues on the market, together with fantastically painted eggs.

A Czech castle in the background, and in the foreground is a courtyard covered with stands at an Easter Market.
AK Month-to-month Recap: March 2024 25

Challenges

Sickness hitting arduous. I obtained sick in February and it lasted into March. By the point I obtained to Berlin, I felt completely higher, although I masked at my networking occasion to be on the safer aspect. Then it hit AGAIN after coming house, a mixture of tummy stuff and chilly stuff and it even become bronchitis for the primary time in my life. Glad THAT’S over.

Getting rejected for my license. After passing my driver’s take a look at approach again in November, I needed to wait a couple of months for my residency to course of (there have been issues that I gained’t go into right here, but it surely was primarily a paperwork situation). Paperwork settled and residency card in hand, I went to the workplace to get my license, loaded with each piece of paperwork I may consider to show I reside right here.

And…rejected! They needed one more particular type from the Ministry of the Inside. So again I went to select it up, and went again to the license workplace, and this time it labored!! I can decide up my actual license on April 17.

Florence's Duomo cathedral, shot from the bell tower nearby, so it looks like a close-up.
AK Month-to-month Recap: March 2024 26

A little bit of a catastrophe in Florence. I had simply sufficient time to {photograph} the view from the Boboli Gardens and Bardini Gardens, then come again to the Palazzo Vecchio for my appointment to climb the Arnolfo Tower (as you’ll be able to inform, I used to be photographing all of the views).

Italy is disorganized and infrequently a bit misogynistic, and this story is an ideal instance of that: I noticed an indication saying the underside exit of the Bardini Gardens (nearer to the Palazzo Vecchio) was closed till March 15. Good, I assumed — it was March 19.

Then I obtained to the exit and no one was there. There WERE a couple of individuals on a patio (technically outdoors the backyard) uphill from the exit, and once I requested them if there was an exit, the person insisted that an individual was there. I stored saying no, there wasn’t, and he walked with me to the exit and was shocked that no one was there. Dude, I wasn’t mendacity.

I begged them to let me exit via their patio. I used to be going to be late for my tower climb and I must climb all the way in which uphill via the backyard to get to the opposite, further-away exit. They refused. “I’m actually right here,” I informed them. “Simply let me stroll via your door!” They wouldn’t.

Superb. I climbed all the way in which uphill and drenched in sweat, I went out the principle entrance (after rapidly ranting “Oggi è diciannove marzo! Il segno, è chiuso al quindici marzo! Perché? Perché il segno oggi???” to the bemused entrance desk individuals) and ran the entire approach downhill and throughout the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Vecchio.

I made it there with ONE MINUTE TO SPARE. And…seems I had booked the incorrect ticket. I booked the museum, not the Arnolfo Tower. AHHHHHHHHHH. I booked a ticket for the next morning (I suppose I’d be climbing two towers in a row!) and drowned my sorrows in a gelato.

Berlin buildings and its TV tower underneath a bright blue sky.
Blue skies in Berlin in MARCH? What’s going on??

And…there was virtually an incident on the way in which again from Berlin. Again in 2010 once I was planning for my first journey to Southeast Asia, I visited a journey physician to get vaccines and speak about meds to deliver. She really helpful Imodium, however informed me that it’s more healthy to let diarrhea occur, and solely take it if I needed to get on an extended bus journey.

Nicely…I obtained hit with main gastrointestinal misery on my closing day in Berlin, the run-into-a-random-restaurant-and-find-the-toilet sort of misery. I used to be supposed to come back again by practice, however there was a practice strike, so I had no alternative however to take a 4.5-hour bus journey.

It took practically 14 years for that physician’s recommendation to come back into play — however I ended up at a pharmacy asking for Imodium, and including, “It’s as a result of I’ve an extended bus journey.” (And it labored. Phew.)

Murray and Lewis, two gray tabby cats with white bellies and white paws, curled up on a white bedspread.
Murray and Lewis, sleepy and cute as at all times.

Weblog Posts of the Month

32+ Enjoyable Issues to Do in Buenos Aires, Argentina — Buenos Aires is HUUUUUGE and calls for a number of days of your time to see it correctly. That is how you need to spend your time.

15 Finest Day Journeys from Prague (based on an area!) — My picks for the most effective methods to spend a day trip and about from Prague. Every little thing from cool cities to spa cities to mountaineering locations!

KAte and Charlie taking a smiling selfie in front of fountains at an Italian villa.
Having fun with the fountains and gardens at Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

Guide Membership This Month

Our subsequent e-book membership will happen on Sunday, Might 19, 2024 at 1:00 PM Japanese Time. Observe that that is NOT Mom’s Day; that’s the week earlier than. We can be studying the novel Household Lore by Dominican American creator Elizabeth Acevedo.

“Flor has a present: she will be able to predict, to the day, when somebody will die. So when she decides she needs a dwelling wake—a celebration to deliver her household and neighborhood collectively to rejoice the lengthy life she’s led—her sisters are stunned. Has Flor foreseen her personal loss of life, or another person’s? Does she produce other motives? She refuses to inform her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila.

However Flor isn’t the one individual with secrets and techniques: her sisters are hiding issues, too. And the subsequent technology, cousins Ona and Yadi, face tumult of their very own.

Spanning the three days previous to the wake, Household Lore traces the lives of every of the Marte girls, weaving collectively previous and current, Santo Domingo and New York Metropolis. Informed with Elizabeth Acevedo’s inimitable and incandescent voice, that is an indelible portrait of sisters and cousins, aunts and nieces—one household’s journey via their historical past, serving to them higher navigate all that’s to come back.”

You possibly can join right here. It’s free and open to all (although I’m now maxed out at 25 members as a result of I don’t need to pay for Eventbrite — we by no means have that many, although). Hope to see you there!

Most Widespread Reel on Instagram

After a while off, I’ve dived again into being way more lively on Instagram. I made a reel from Florence that did notably effectively — all about Michelangelo’s finest and laughably worst sculptures!

You possibly can comply with me on Instagram at @adventurouskate. I’d love so that you can comply with me — I’m making an attempt to do extra cool stuff in that house!

What I Watched This Month

In March, I primarily caught up on the ultimate season of The Crown. And truthfully, I’ve actually loved The Crown, particularly the episodes that educate me about occasions in British historical past I knew nothing about (just like the landslide at Aberfan, and the time when the fog overwhelmed London), however I feel they misplaced the plot within the closing season.

The Crown has at all times had fairly a little bit of fiction thrown into it, however the closing season went off the rails with these wild fantasy sequences. And it was approach, approach too sympathetic to Charles. It seems like this sequence ended with a particular agenda. Anybody agree?

Past that — I completed watching all of the Oscar motion pictures. What a fantastic 12 months for movies.

The Roman Forum, with acres of Roman ruins, in the middle of the city.
So many ruins within the coronary heart of Rome!

What I Learn This Month

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski (2019) — Why do girls expertise burnout in a different way to males? That’s what this e-book solutions. It’s an in-depth take a look at how stress manifests in girls, and what we have to do to really get well.

There are such a lot of medical research which have by no means been utilized to girls. The rationale? Menstrual cycles may have an effect on the outcomes. How ridiculous is that this?! We’re half the inhabitants!! That’s why I at all times love diving in to analysis on girls particularly, and the way issues differ for us medically.

I extremely advocate this e-book for all girls. An excessive amount of good info in it.

Two O’Clock on a Tuesday on the Trevi Fountain by Helene Sula (2024) — On this memoir, Helene was dwelling a typical 9-5 life in Texas along with her husband and canines, however dreaming of touring the world. However would there be a approach for all of them to maneuver to Europe, preserve the comfy elements of their way of life, and switch it into an enormous journey journey? There can be, and that is the story.

Helene is a pal of mine, and I’m so completely happy for her success! Should you’re in search of a how-to-move-abroad information, you gained’t discover it right here — however the e-book is extra of a reminder of WHY we journey. It’s coated with experiences of her life in Heidelberg, Germany, in addition to throughout Europe, and the moments that present us there may be extra on the market than what the everyday American way of life has to supply.

And in the event you’re in search of journey inspiration however you will have a partner or pets — this reveals that you just don’t need to go it alone, like most memoirs, however that you would be able to deliver your associate and fur infants with you.

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung (2018) — Nicole Chung was positioned for adoption as a child by her Korean mother and father dwelling in Seattle. She was adopted by white mother and father and raised in a small city in Oregon, the place she by no means felt like she slot in. This e-book is about how she started the seek for her start mother and father as her first little one was about to be born.

I’ve come throughout Nicole on Twitter lots, and she or he’s change into a significant voice for transracial adoptees. This e-book delves into the 1000’s of feelings that come out of adoption, and discovering your start household as an grownup. It’s not a clear-cut story of happiness; it’s sophisticated and layered and I’m certain it is going to evolve however stay sophisticated for her without end. It is a nice e-book to learn to grasp life after adoption a bit extra.

And I gave up on a e-book that I actually needed to learn — Chain Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. I began it as an audiobook however discovered it actually troublesome to comply with, so I began the precise e-book…and whereas it was simpler to comply with, I simply couldn’t get into it.

View of Prague's skyline, with cathedrals sticking above the orange roofs, and lots of trees with white cherry blossoms.
AK Month-to-month Recap: March 2024 27

Coming Up in April 2024

Spring is my absolute favourite time of 12 months in Prague — particularly April and Might. I really like the climate, the flowers, and the fantastic feeling of with the ability to spend time outdoors after spending a lot time away.

So these previous couple of years, I’ve tried to reduce my travels outdoors Prague throughout this season. Reduce, by my requirements, anyway, that’s.

I’ve two super-quick worldwide excursions: first, I’ll be touring to Berlin to see creator Elizabeth Gilbert communicate (and I booked a VIP meet-and-greet along with her, too!). I don’t need to keep in a single day, so I’m taking the bus out and in (and getting again to Prague at 4 AM or so…)

For the second, I’ve been nominated for Blogger of the 12 months on the TravMedia Awards in London. I’ll be doing a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it journey the place I’ll be flying in, attending the awards, staying over, and flying again.

Towards the top of the month, Charlie and I are going to France for 5 days! Our mates purchased a home within the French countryside, and we’ll be visiting them. As a result of they’re in a reasonably distant space, we determined so as to add on a couple of days within the Loire Valley beforehand, and we can be staying within the city of Amboise.

Charlie and I’ve each needed to discover France in additional depth currently (you guys understand how I at all times, at all times appear to finish up in Paris), so we’re excited to go to these new areas.

And one other massive factor: Charlie and I’ll rejoice our one-year anniversary on April 28, and on that date, I’ll change into eligible for everlasting residency within the Czech Republic. Subsequent massive challenge!

Any plans for April? Share away!



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