After a particularly rough end to 2009, my best friend, Lara, and I decided to ring in 2010 the best way we knew how…with a trip to Europe. Our small plan grew to three countries over seven days: first, Ireland to visit my family, then Belgium to visit her friends, and finally, The Netherlands to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It fell perfectly into place, and on Christmas night we set off for Europe.
The High Line in Manhattan is one of my favorite parks in the world, and this weekend, I was lucky enough to visit it twice, both times taking people who’ve never been before. This above ground park is built into a historic freight rail line and runs up along the West Side of Manhattan from Gansevoort Street, in the Meatpacking District, up to West 30th Street.
It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon walking along the Hudson River or lounging on the lawn absorbing some vitamin D. Whatever your plans, there’s plenty to do above the city, with several food vendors and much to see, including several pieces of artwork. Plus, it’s always great to get a different perspective on the city, especially if you need a break from the hustle and bustle that much of New York offers.
By now, you should all know that I wear my heart on my sleeve and that I’m a hopeless romantic, especially while traveling. And, while you may have read the story of how I fell for someone in Vietnam, you may have also read that it wasn’t the first time I fell for someone abroad.
Yes, the story in Vietnam is the most recent, but, one of my favorite stories is one that began about a year ago in Scotland. The night started up with relatively simple plans. Lara and I met up with Fiona, a friend from college, for dinner at a local restaurant. The plan was to head to a pub, then meet my cousins and a few groups of friends we made at the street party. But, that’s not exactly how things panned out.
With the end of 2011 quickly approaching, it’s officially hit me that this year I will be ringing in the New Year…at home. And, although, I’m at peace with my choice to stay local, I will miss being abroad for a holiday that is honestly more fun when spent far away from home.
A few months ago, I wrote up a playlist for summer travel. Now with holiday travel upon us, I thought I’d create another list of songs to update your iPod with before heading off on the road.
Here are a few of my favorite songs, that are just perfect for time spent in transit during a hectic time to travel:
Whenever a holiday weekend arises, Lara, my friend and devoted travel partner, and I decide to hit the road. To us, there’s no better way to spend a long weekend than with a quick road trip somewhere new.
We find a place that best embodies the holiday, hop in the car, and drive. When we get there, we check out the shopping, call up friends who live in the area, visit some graveyards, historical landmarks, and parks, eat at the first restaurant we stumble upon, venture out and explore the night life, find good coffee the next morning, then do it all again or hop in the car and head somewhere new for the day.
“Let’s spend every New Year’s Eve in a different country!” was the vow my best friend and I made to each other last year at the strike of midnight. We were drowning away the sorrows of the past year with champagne in the center of Amsterdam, and welcoming in 2010 with open arms.
2009 was anything but perfect in my eyes. Full of heartbreak and confusion: exactly what one should expect in their mid-twenties. After moving in and moving out with my ex-boyfriend, moving home to my parents after a depressing break-up, meeting someone new on a cruise to Bermuda only to discover he had a girlfriend that he neglected to tell me about, panic attacks, and the normal drama of everyday life in between, I had had enough. 2010 had to start in a way that was unlike any other.
So, my best friend, Lara, and I decided to spend our Christmas vacation in Europe: visiting my family in Dublin, her friends in Brussels, and ending in Amsterdam for New Year’s because, why not? So, after an exhausting mini-Euro-trip, we ended up in the crowded Leidseplein square on New Year’s Eve surrounded by champagne and fireworks. It was the best New Year’s I’ve ever had, and aside from running away from the fireworks that anybody is allowed to shoot off, it was perfect. Which is why, that night we decided to go abroad for every New Year’s Eve from then on.
After that night in Amsterdam, things in my life started to look up. To start it all of, we even got bumped up to Business Class on the way home. 2010 was filled up with wonderful adventures and experiences. It was quite possibly the best year of my life.
This year we are headed to Edinburgh, Scotland. I cannot be more excited to ring in 2011 in this beautiful city.