December 10, 2012

My world travels

I decided to take a break from studying for my Physics final (ugh!) and write a little post about where I have traveled in the world.

I'll start off listing where I have been in the U.S.- Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee and California.

Canada, Mexico & Aruba- I first traveled out of the country when I was just a little baby to attend a family reunion in Canada. I obviously do not remember this. My next world travel was to Aruba, an island in South America, when I was six years old while my mom was on a business trip. Then when I was a little older, about 5th/ 6th/7th grades, I went on a few cruises through the Bahamas and got to go horse back riding in Mexico.

Ireland- When I was 10, my grandma took me to Ireland. We flew into Shannon and traveled around the southern coast of the country. I stayed in bed & breakfasts, saw lots of sheep, ate in pubs and even met my very first drunken man, who very kindly gave my Aunt driving directions in Dublin.

Australia, Fiji and New Zealand- The summer between the 8th and 9th grades I had the amazing opportunity to travel as a People to People Student Ambassador. It was by far the most amazing trip I have ever been on.

The resort I stayed at
-Fiji is absolutely gorgeous with crystal clear waters and lovely beaches. I loved kayaking around in the shallow waters, finding blue starfish, swimming in the river the movie Anaconda was filmed in and overall experiencing everything paradise has to offer. "Fiji" brand water was uber cheap there, too, which was awesome.

A classroom at the school
One of my favorite experiences was visiting a village. It was interesting to see that despite the beauty of the island, many of its residents lived poorly. Women in the village HAD to wear skirts (I had to wrap a sarong over my shorts as a form of respect) and were served food last. It was really interesting to see how others lived and how different the United States is. I also visited a school. There was no power or "proper" toilets. The students wore uniforms and many didn't have shoes.
 We attended a rugby game with the students. They were playing against a rich Australian school who had flown in for the game. Pictured left are two girls who posed for a picture for me while we were at the game.

I also went to an arts village. There I watched a man walk across hot rocks from a fire. Afterwards, I got to try different coconuts including barbequed coconut, and coconut milk. I also bought a hand carved wooden axe there that I still have today.
Holding lizards at a Zoo
Two men opening a coconut on Mystery Island

-New Zealand was very cold and rainy when I was there. This aspect may have made it my least favorite place I have ever visited, though I would still go back there in a heartbeat.

  One of my favorite parts of being in New Zealand was staying with a family. I stayed on a dairy farm with a family for 3 nights and got to see how the average family lives. They had two daughters (right), many cows and three cats. I got to see cows being milked on these big machines and got to pet baby calves. I also got to ride on an ATV. This may not seem that cool, but I am from the suburbs and this was the only farm I have been to.

Another night, I got to stay with a Maori tribe. Everyone from my group stayed on mattresses on the floor in this room (left). The tribe members taught me how to four strand braid and gave a demonstration of traditional dances. When we first arrived, we had to greet all the elders by rubbing our noses against theirs, which was cool since it was another new cultural experience.

We also did a lot of cool activities. I planted a tree to help conserve a forest, went street luging, repelled off a cliff,  and spent a day at an obstacle course/ camp. (None of the pics below are of me..)

 -Australia was another awesome place to visit. I only spent a few days there in Sydney, so if I ever return, I will definitely have to hit up some other areas, such as the outback.
The best way to explain these short few days is with some pictures.
Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe (I'm in the center-ish partially blocked by another girl's head)
Me with a koala!!
Feeding a wallaby

At the Olympic Stadium (Not in this pic..)
At Sydney Harbor, with the Opera House and bridge in the back

England, France and the Netherlands- This past summer, I went to London, Cambridge, Paris and Amsterdam. It was a really fun trip and I am looking forward to maybe visiting Paris again while I am abroad.
Big Ben

The London Eye

The London Eye

In a telephone booth

Cambridge- My family friend was a professor/ writing a paper at Cambridge University. So I got to visit Cambridge and it was very beautiful.

 We went punting (though a professional "drove"). On the way we saw some beautiful views of the school. This is one of the famous buildings. While there, I learned that only professors are allowed to walk on the grass.
The Anchor, where Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett often ate in the 1960s

The Eagle is a cool pub where WWII soilders signed their names on the ceiling
Paris- Paris is absolutely beautiful. Just gorgeous. A must see. Ahh, I want to go back! (though the people are rude..)

The most BEAUTIFUL view of Paris is from the top of the hill. It is a must see in life. So put it on your bucket list. I cannot even describe how gorgeous it is. This picture doesn't do it justice, but it is my favorite from my entire trip.

The Eiffel Tower
Macaroons... so delicious.. mmmmm

Notre Dame
Moulin Rouge

Amsterdam- I will wrap up this very long post with Amsterdam. The city is really awesome and has a really laid-back vibe. Its known for marijuana and the red light district, but there is so much more to it. There are beautiful canals, the Anne Frank house, cafes, and many museums.
I don't have a picture of it, but I visited the Anne Frank house. It was really cool to see a piece of history and actually walk through it.I learned so much and I think it is the coolest museum I have been to.
Some houses on a canal
Belgian Waffle with Nutella, bananas and strawberries, yummy!

We finished off the trip by taking a ferry (but really it was a cruise) back to London.

If you made it to the end of this post, CONGRATULATIONS! I know it was long, but I hope you enjoyed it and got to see a little bit of the places I have been so far. I can't wait to add to the list and have more amazing experiences.


  1. Quinn! This was amazing! I never realized you had traveled to that many places! Can't wait to continue to read about your adventures in Italy!!