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At present is my thirty ninth birthday. I’m celebrating at this time with my husband within the little city of Perast on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. There’s no place on the earth extra stunning than right here!
Most of this 12 months was outlined by one factor: the marriage. WeddingS, that’s. Charlie and I bought married thrice — an elopement in April, an enormous Prague marriage ceremony in Might, and a smaller Boston marriage ceremony in July!
We bought engaged in July 2022, so just about my whole period of being 38 has revolved across the weddings.
Annually, I do some sort of birthday submit that sort of sums up the 12 months. This 12 months, I don’t actually have an enormous recurring theme or information to share — so I’ll share a bunch of issues I’ve discovered.
The Prague marriage ceremony and elopement photographs are by Teru Menclova and the Boston marriage ceremony photographs are by Joe Gonzalez-Dufresne. We’re thrilled with their work and suggest each extremely!
Marriage ceremony Issues
Weddings don’t go by in a flash — American weddings go by in a flash. Everybody all the time talks about how your marriage ceremony goes by within the blink of an eye fixed, and to focus on the recollections!
On the finish of the massive Prague marriage ceremony, I appeared round at everybody and thought of the way it felt like the entire day was NICE and LONG. I had so many recollections and bought to spend time with everybody.
However the Boston marriage ceremony was over in a fraction of an prompt. why? BECAUSE AMERICAN WEDDING RECEPTIONS ARE USUALLY FOUR HOURS LONG. That’s how venues worth them out. Culturally, many of the world has for much longer marriage ceremony receptions! Even the British, our closest cultural relations!
Our American marriage ceremony reception began at 5 PM and ended at 9 PM. Against this, our Czech marriage ceremony reception began at 5 PM, Charlie and I left at 1 AM, and the bar workers have been disenchanted we left so early! Czechs go until daybreak!
For those who’re having a typical American marriage ceremony, plan for some sort of after-party. You don’t essentially should pay for it — we went to the bar subsequent door in Boston and everybody purchased their very own drinks. (Do inform the bar forward of time when persons are coming.)
Attempt to get married inside a 12 months of your engagement in the event you can. I do know this isn’t a risk for everybody, particularly if it is advisable save up cash otherwise you stay in a spot the place venues e-book out years upfront, but when you will get married inside a 12 months — DO IT.
Getting married shortly allows you to energy by way of the work and end it sooner so you will get on along with your life. I didn’t love the sensation of being in limbo thus far between engagement and marriage ceremony.
However one other good motive to get married sooner is since you don’t know what the long run holds. The whole lot can change on a dime. You might lose somebody you wished to be there. Have the marriage sooner.
Elope beforehand in the event you can. Charlie and I made a decision to have a tiny elopement for our civil marriage ceremony — simply us, two buddies, and our photographer. We initially did this as a result of Czech weddings should be finished in Czech, and we didn’t need to bore our marriage ceremony friends.
But it surely turned out to be SUCH A GOOD IDEA. That day, we have been in a position to focus solely on one another and our dedication. After the ceremony, we went to have champagne overlooking Outdated City Sq. at U Prince proper after, then hit up two of our favourite spots, Kantyna and Bugsy’s Bar!
The opposite marriage ceremony days, in contrast, have been all about our friends — caring for them, serving to them, ensuring the occasion ran easily. Not a lot about one another, regardless of it being, nicely, a WEDDING.
So in the event you’re planning on getting married, take into account doing the authorized marriage ceremony beforehand. And if your loved ones would freak out…no person has to know!
Select good distributors and allow them to do their factor. I didn’t have robust opinions about flowers, however I confirmed my Prague florist a cool bouquet I noticed on Reddit, went over the colours I favored, and requested her to stay to native and seasonal (nicely, seasonal at the least — all of the flowers within the Czech Republic come from the Netherlands, it seems).
She knocked it OUT OF THE PARK. I cherished these flowers SO a lot.
So what did I do for the Boston florist? Simply despatched them photographs of the Prague marriage ceremony photographs saying “One thing like this.” And THOSE have been nice, too!
Additionally, you don’t should micromanage the whole lot. When you have a very good band or DJ, they know the songs that get individuals on the dance ground. Your venue supervisor will understand how a lot meals will realistically feed your crowd. Your photographer is aware of how one can arrange a very good shot.
For those who don’t prioritize engagement photographs, you’re by no means getting them finished. Whoops, we forgot to set a date for our engagement photographs, they usually by no means occurred. Oh nicely!
It’s attainable to your bridesmaids to have distinctive, flattering attire whereas nonetheless trying like a cohesive unit. I didn’t need them to be in equivalent attire, however I additionally hate how mismatching attire look in bridal celebration photographs.
Seems you may look cohesive by selecting related kinds from the identical model: I selected Azazie, which has 1,000,000 inexpensive bridesmaid costume choices. I ordered a bunch of swatches, selected 5 colours that labored nicely collectively and assigned them every a coloration, and advised them to decide on any type that was lengthy and chiffon.
And it was so good to see my buddies decide the kinds they love, and look superb!
Flower children are so significantly better than ring bearers. What’s extra enjoyable — carrying rings or throwing flowers? OBVIOUSLY THROWING THE FLOWERS!
We knew we’d be having three children in our marriage ceremony celebration — a two-year-old lady in Prague, a four-year-old boy in Boston, and a five-year-old boy in each — and since there was no must alternate rings after we had already finished so within the elopement, we determined to have all three children be flower children.
They didn’t name themselves flower children — they merely advised everybody, “I’m throwing the flowers.” And so they LOVED their job and had a lot enjoyable each training and within the precise weddings!
How lengthy does it take to really feel regular once you say “my husband”? Or to not giggle when he refers to you as his spouse? That is nonetheless bizarre!
The variety of locations I might go to in Europe through the summer time is unfortunately dwindling. Kotor in 2023 is nothing like Kotor in 2012, thanks partially to it changing into a cruise ship port. There’s one slender street that runs alongside the bay, and it’s completely clogged with visitors.
Need summer time climate in Europe? I extremely suggest aiming for early June. Even September, as soon as an offbeat month, has change into prime season in loads of locations. Early October is one other nice selection for summery climate in locations additional south like Sicily, Puglia, and Andalusia.
However for journey in Europe, spring and fall is the most effective time to go to the favored locations like Paris, Rome, and Barcelona.
So the place do you go in Europe in July or August? Head north — suppose the Nordics or the Baltics — or head to the mountains. These months could also be excessive season in Copenhagen or Stockholm, but it surely’s nothing just like the crowds of Rome or Paris.
I really feel like individuals aren’t touring very off the crushed path nowadays. Charlie and I actually simply had this dialog whereas consuming burek on our guesthouse’s terrace, so forgive me for transcribing it considerably sloppily.
As soon as individuals began touring once more in 2021, there was one place in Europe that dominated above all: Italy. Massively so. Within the years since, we’ve each observed that persons are touring to the most well-liked locations in Europe, however aren’t going off the crushed path a lot.
what we’re seeing loads of, in each my influencer colleagues and common individuals? Amalfi Coast. Venice. Santorini and Mykonos. Paris, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, Budapest.
what we’re not seeing a lot of? The Caucasus. The Balkans (past Croatia and Slovenia). Romania. The Baltics. And even second-tier European cities like Strasbourg, Granada, Rotterdam, Brussels, Innsbruck, Torino. And we noticed a LOT extra of these locations in 2014-2018.
Plainly for the reason that pandemic started, individuals have been seized with the urge to journey to the Massive Names, the bucket checklist locations. Which I fully perceive. And we have now been besieged with “IT’S SO CROWDED!” items on social media in consequence.
So we’re truthfully questioning after we will see individuals returning to the quirkier locations. They may definitely use the tourism.
I used to suppose Iceland was overtouristed. I used to be unsuitable. Components of Iceland are overtouristed — Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, the South Coast, and the Lake Myvatn area are all very busy — however most locations aren’t.
However despite the fact that I visited in August, a lot of Iceland was empty, or solely had just a few vacationers. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula was extremely quiet, to my shock. Most of North Iceland was empty. The Westman Islands have been beautiful.
However even locations within the busier areas of Iceland, you may simply get off the crushed path. I feel the key goes to locations the place buses can’t go!
Kvernufoss waterfall was virtually subsequent door to the bus-filled parking zone at Skogafoss, but lower than a dozen individuals have been there. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon was extremely busy, however close by Fjallsárlón and Múlagljúfur Canyon have been empty.
January is finest as a no-travel month. We spent January 2022 residing in Puerto Vallarta and realized looking back that this wasn’t the neatest concept — January is after we get huge work power and have the will to hit the bottom operating for the 12 months. That doesn’t jive with Mexico!
January 2023, nevertheless, was spent based mostly in Prague. We bought a TON finished and have been able to hit the street in February. Which leads me to…
I’m not feeling the Mediterranean in winter. Certain, it’s the warmest space you’ll discover in mainland Europe, however our winter go to to Sicily was a lot colder than we anticipated.
Not one of the buildings within the southern Mediterranean are correctly insulated, so we spent the entire time working with blankets thrown over us. Going out to eating places, we’d be seated subsequent to a window, and chilly air would blow in by way of the jamb. Once we lastly bought right into a heated automotive, I sighed as a result of I hadn’t been heat for days!
Our pal Klara was spending the identical month in Andalusia, Spain, and went by way of related points.
Certain, there have been just a few days in sunshine that have been exceedingly nice. Simply the times, although. As quickly as night set in, it bought chilly it doesn’t matter what the climate had been that day.
So I’m a bit soured on the Mediterranean in winter, sadly. I’m open to different locations, although.
I need to fly much less. Considered one of my subsequent goals is to take an Italy journey by way of prepare — which might most likely encompass a five-hour prepare journey from Prague to Munich, then an in a single day prepare to Rome or Florence or Bologna. As soon as I’ve finished it, will probably be simpler to do it time and again.
I additionally need to get within the behavior of taking fewer connecting flights. For instance, there’s no direct flight from Prague to Rovaniemi, Finland — however I’d be open to flying from Prague to Helsinki and taking the prepare to Rovaniemi, or taking the prepare from Prague to Vienna and flying direct to Rovaniemi.
Past that, there’s SO a lot to discover inside prepare distance of Prague! A full day of train-ing can get you so far as Copenhagen or Verona or Zürich or Cut up.
Who is aware of — I’m turning extra Czech by the day. Possibly subsequent summer time I’ll be taking containers of schnitzel with me on prepare journeys.
My subsequent huge problem is getting my Czech driver’s license. Sadly you may’t switch an American license right into a Czech license, so I must do the entire course of, together with 28 hours or driving classes.
This will likely be my huge challenge of the autumn. And due to final 12 months’s Iceland catastrophe — I will likely be studying to drive a guide automotive. Lastly.
This 12 months I mentioned goodbye to my childhood house. My dad bought our house this previous spring and moved to a rental just a few cities away, near relations.
I’m effective with it, and SO glad my dad is completed with the entire ordeal that’s cleansing out and promoting a home you’ve lived in for 4 many years! However as anybody who has watched their lifelong house be bought is aware of, it’s bizarre to suppose I don’t have a house to return to in my hometown anymore.
At any fee, I’m glad that I did my challenge of strolling each avenue in Studying in spring 2020. (I imply…there wasn’t lots to do in spring 2020!) It gave me loads of time to mirror on the place the place I grew up and the way it formed me.
Shorts are superior — YES, even in Europe! For years I didn’t put on shorts as a result of I didn’t love how I appeared in them (DUMB!) however now I’m again and rocking them with regularity.
The traditional knowledge says that Europeans don’t put on shorts. That is each location-dependent and gender-dependent, however ladies in a lot of Europe do put on shorts. Sure, even in Paris and Milan.
However there’s a distinction between sporting denim cut-offs with a plain t-shirt and previous sneakers, and sporting shorts made from a pleasant material with a shirt and a belt and good sandals. When you have the intention of placing collectively an outfit, instantly sporting shorts seems to be lots nicer.
And all my shorts are from European manufacturers! Particularly Sézane and Maje.
I ponder how lengthy I’ll go earlier than I coloration my hair. The primary time I ever observed grey hairs was on my thirty fourth birthday, when Cailin gleefully pointed them out to me as I bought my hair braided at a seashore volleyball competition in Vienna.
I title my grey hairs Glynis. There are a handful of Glynises by now.
The previous few years, a number of of my buddies of their thirties and forties have chosen to go grey naturally. They’re badasses, so beautiful, and I like them a lot for bucking standard knowledge in a society that polices ladies’s seems to be so laborious.
Will I be part of them? I’m unsure. Up to now, my grey hairs are extra coarse and wiry. What is going to it appear like having two completely different textures of hair directly? I assume we’ll have to attend and see.
Coming Up This Yr
I’m excited to benefit from the ultimate 12 months of my 30s to the fullest. And to me, the concept of how one can stay to the fullest has modified over time. Much less about doing the MOST issues, or the extra excessive issues. Extra about having fun with life, even when life is a bit quieter than earlier than.
I’m typing this from Montenegro, and some days after I get again, I’m off to certainly one of my most adventurous journeys but — to Greenland. It is a solo journey and I’m so excited to expertise the Arctic for the primary time.
I’ll be spending 11 days in Greenland, visiting Kangerlussuaq, Aasiaat, Qeqertarsuaq and Disko Island, Ilulissat, Oqaatsut, and Eqi Glacier. There will likely be climbing, crusing round icebergs, glacier strolling, whale watching, kayaking, and extra!
After busy seasons of weddings and summer time journey, I’m staying put (or attempting to) from September by way of mid-November. There’ll most likely be a UK journey in there, however that’s it.
Then comes the honeymoon — a month in Chile and Argentina! Now we have just about finalized our itinerary: the Colchagua Valley, the Atacama Desert, Puerto Varas, Torres del Paine, El Calafate, El Chaltén, Buenos Aires, the Valle de Uco, and a fast day in Santiago to complete.
We’re enjoying with the concept of spending a month in Provence within the spring — and bringing the cats! It’s simply an concept for now, however the concept of exploring that stunning area for a month sounds so good.
Thanks for being right here for me, each day. I’m grateful to have you ever in my nook, particularly these of you who’ve been right here since I used to be 25.
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