Into the Wild

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Unexpected, unusual, compelling… are the first three words that come to mind from my personal experience with Jon Krakauer’s telling of the story of Christopher McCandless.

While I know this book won’t be for everyone (critics were rife when this book was released in 1996), I know that for me, I found this book hard to put down and it certainly sparked a few thoughts towards my own travels.

into-the-wild

McCandless as depicted in the film adaption, “Into the Wild”.

Into the Wild

I read this book on a full day bus trip through Japan recently and instantly knew it was a story I wanted to share with WOW readers and the WOW Book Clubbers. I also knew instantly that the story would not suit everyone, but I found the book so engaging and intriguing that I thought at the very least, it was a good read that would keep you engaged and interested to find out how the story ends.

It was a couple of years ago when I first saw the film adaption of Into the Wild and in complete honesty, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it then. I was a lot younger then and found the story slightly uncomfortable, as it made me question my reality, society, and the purpose of my own life.

But reading the book struck a different cord for me. I didn’t find the story uncomfortable or confronting, but rather it forced me to question my own path and the reason why we travel.

For me, travel is a way to understand the world in which we live, to educate myself based on first hand experiences, and to open my eyes to new sights, sounds, tastes and experiences. This book was a way to understand that on a deeper level, based on McCandless’ unrelenting desire to “live off the land”, belong to nowhere and no one.

I personally don’t relate to Christopher McCandless in many ways, but I did find his story intriguing. As someone who is close with my family and friends and would never close the door to an old life to start a new one, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around his decision making and with so much of the book and public information surrounding McCandless being speculation, I’m not sure I ever will.

The book puzzled me to some degree but I finished it feeling thankful for my own life – the relationships I have with people at home and how I am able to upkeep them whilst travelling. I suppose for me the book described everything I would not like to be: detached, in complete solitude and perhaps even ungrateful (?)

For me solo travel is about the relationships you form for the long term, so in that regard I could relate to Christopher McCandless, who seemed intent with keeping some of the relationships he formed alive (albeit via postcards). But he always kept people at arms length and in contrast for me, I find beauty in vulnerability and opening yourself up to relationships/friendships to let them take their course.

If you lose a person in your life or a friendship turns sour, life goes on. It simply must.

After all, life is not what happens to you, but how you react to it. 

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are your thoughts about McCandless’ decision to leave his family without warning, despite his close relationship with his sister?
  2. Do you believe McCandless’ fate was inevitable given his lack of preparation and concern for the reality of the Alaskan wild?

  3. What do you make of the author’s decision to go to the location where Christopher McCandless passed away?

Sound off in the comments below!

Hopefully see you all next month! We’ll be reading “Lunch in Paris”.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

The most Romantic Regions in Europe to Explore

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When I think of romantic locations around the world to explore with my partner, my mind immediately wanders to Europe. The likes of Paris, Rome and Venice are incredibly romantic city explorations, however some of the best destinations to explore with your other half are tucked away in the countryside, offering nothing but relaxation, great food, great wine, and of course, great company!

florence

Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is a region in Italy that is just bursting with great food, wine, history and art. Out in the countryside you will find many great vineyards to visit, explore, and taste your way around… whilst cities like Florence are sure to keep the romance alive with the beautiful bridges, terracotta rooftops, and amazing gelato!

The landscape of Tuscany is as pretty as a picture, with rolling hills, lush greenery, and charming little villas available to rent should you really wish to go off the grid.

colours in france

Provence, France

If you’v ever pictured yourself in a purple coloured dream, then make your way to the region of Provence in France during the summer time when the area comes to life in purple lavender and other purple coloured blooms. Located in southeastern France, this area is also home to many great vineyards to explore, with bicycle being a great way to travel between a handful in one day.

The area is bursting with charming little villages to check yourself in to, such as Gordes, Vaison la Romaine, Les Beaux de Provence and Uzès.

Romantic Regions in Europe | World of Wanderlust

Lakes District, Northern Italy

Stretched across Northern Italy is the incredibly romantic, incredibly photogenic Lakes District. This is a great area to explore for a spot of romance, especially given there is so much diversity within the region. Lakes in the north are characterised by high mountain ranges, whilst the southern lakes are flat and expansive.

You can choose to visit the Lakes District in Italy year round, as the weather conditions remain mild throughout the year and the scenery is stunning, changing slightly with the seasons. Lake Maggiore is the longest of the lakes, stretching an incredible 65 km in length. The most well known is Lake Como, offering impressive villas to stay in with glorious gardens to explore.

A Quick Guide to Capri | World of Wanderlust

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Colourful cliffside houses and impressive spring blooms are what set my heart on travelling to the Amalfi Coast in the lead up to summer and I can’t even begin to put into words how magical and impossible romantic this part of the world is! The Amalfi Coast starts at Naples, continuing onwards to Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and neighbouring islands Capri, Ischia and Procida.

The best reasons to explore this particular pocket of Italy are food (Naples is the birthplace of Pizza), views, incredible beaches and great short day hikes to walk along the coastline.

france

Champagne Country, France

Lying to the East of Paris is Champagne country, the area of France that is devoted to producing impeccable French champagne and thus offering great opportunities to sample some of the finest! The area is filled with both small and large champagne producers, with arguably the most well-known being Moet (pronounced MO-ett, by the way!)

A great way to see this part of France and much of France in general is to travel by vehicle, though you will soon find that car rental in France is quite expensive in comparison to neighbouring countries. Should car hire be out of your budget, there are a day tours on offer from Paris or you could purchase rail tickets for another kind of adventure (trains in France are incredibly clean, safe and reliable!)

Hallstatt

The Austria Trifecta

There are three standout locations for me when visiting Austria and those are Salzburg, Hallstatt and Vienna. But before I go any further, I have also heard wonderful things about Innsbruck but so far myself have not been, so if you’re looking for a fourth location in Austria this comes highly recommended from anyone and everyone I speak to!

Austria is an incredibly romantic country to visit, with the Imperial and striking architecture of Vienna, followed by a long walk through art history and a dabble in kaffehaus culture. Onwards to Salzburg, you really could not find a city in the world so incredibly picturesque, as well as filled with music history at every town (this is after all the birthplace of Mozart). If you’re looking to get more off the grid and enjoy small town life, you really cannot go wrong with a visit to Hallstatt, which is according to me the most romantic lakeside village in the whole world!

Santorini

Greek Islands

Idyllic islands and impeccable beaches – how could you go wrong with a trip to the Greek islands!? With a scorching summer sun and oodles of salt water to dip in to, there’s little wonder as to why this is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, especially for couples on vacation and honeymooners.

Popular spots include Corfu, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos, with lesser known but equally beautiful spots such as Rhodes, Skiathos, Hydra, Patmos, Naxos and Paros. The options are endless!

sintra_cascais_day_trip

Portuguese Coastline

Located on the coastline of Portugal are some of the most charming cities, towns, and incredibly romantic beaches in the South. Your first point of call should be Lisbon, Portugal’s charming capital with endless streams of colour, charm, and friendly locals. From there you cannot miss a short day trip north to Sintra and Cascais, followed by a trip south to Portugal’s most loved holiday destination: The Algarve.

South of France

French Riviera

France is indeed so romantic that it deserves two places on this listing, as each pocket of France continues to offer something different to couples on their Europe explorations. The French Riviera is one such pocket that couples flock to for the summer sun and endless romance. You can expect pebble beaches, expensive real estate, and recognisable locations like St Tropez – fancy!

Gent Belgium

Flanders

Last but not least, the incredibly underrated but highly romantic region of Flanders in Northern Belgium. I first visited this area solo some five years and have since returned a couple of times, again solo, but am still just as in love with this area as I was the first time.

Highlights include the impossibly charming town of Brugge, nearby Ghent, Antwerp, and of course a brief stop in Brussels.

10 Quotes to Inspire you to go Chase those Dreams

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Sometimes you just need a collection of words to inspire you to get up, go, and chase those dreams of yours.

Over the past few years one of the most common emails/comments I have received in bulk are those asking what gave me the courage to ditch my university degree that I had worked so hard for and go out there on a limb to chase my dreams.

The truth is I don’t really know… a sudden burst of courage, I suppose. And perhaps a little dose of “what have I got to lose?”.

If you’re in need of words to inspire, today, I bring you ten.

If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.

Untitled design Quotes to Inspire you | World of Wanderlust Quotes to Inspire you | World of Wanderlust Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picaso. Travelling in the wrong direction | World of Wanderlust Quotes_To_Inspire Say yes to new adventures Oscar Wilde Quote | Quotes to Inspire Quotes-to-inspire The right direction | World of Wanderlust

A Guide to Paris by Neighbourhood

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Knowing where to stay in a city and explore as diverse and as densely populated as Paris can be a minefield. So to help you make the most of your time in the city of love and lights, we’ve broken down the city by neighbourhood to showcase where is good for what, why, and most importantly… what you should eat there! Use this guide to help you navigate your way through the city that nowhere quite compares to and ensure you are always on the right side of town.

Neighbourhood_Guide_Paris Louvre

1st arrondissement

The first is the heart of Paris, and by reputation the most exclusive neighbourhood in the city. Staying in this area means you’ll be a stone’s throw away from all of the landmarks but you’ll also pay dearly for this luxury in hotels. Apartment rentals on the other hand are cheaper within this area, so be sure to check out what is on offer through Air BnB or a local site such as Paris Attitude.

What to do: Visit the world famous the Louvre, be wowed by the stain glass windows at Saint Chappelle and meander the manicured Palais Royal gardens.

Where to eat: Breakfast at the healthy epicerie Claus, lunch at Soufflé serving only the French specialty it is aptly named after and dinner at three Michelin-starred Le Meurice restaurant.

Arcades, Paris

2nd arrondissement

The second is trendy, bustling and brimming with shopping arcades and cafes.

What to do: Peruse the quintessentially Parisian market street rue Montorgeuil and weave in and out of the old-world shopping arcades.

Where to eat: Breakfast at speciality coffee shop Lockwood; lunch at Japanese favourite Hokkaido, and dinner at Frenchie, an on-point wine bar and eatery.

Paris by neighbourhood

3rd arrondissement

Trendy and up and coming, the third is an extension of the popular Marais neighbourhood – both a great area to stay and especially eat your way through the newly established eateries popping up in this part of town.

What to do: Visit the recently renovated Picasso museum and peruse the goods at Merci.

Where to eat: Breakfast at vegetarian favourite Café Pinson, lunch at Beaucoup, and dinner at clandestine eatery Derrière.

Place des Vosges

4th arrondissement

Home to the hip and happening Marais area, the famous Notre Dame cathedral and the idyllic Ile St Louis, the 4th neighbourhood isn’t a cheap area to stay in but it’s central, compact and has oodles of Parisian charm.

What to do: Meander the cobbled backstreet of the Marais and all its vintage stores, take in the gothic architectural gems such as the Hôtel de Ville and Notre Dame and visit the former home of Victor Hugo.

Where to eat: Breakfast at typically French Au Petit Fer à Cheval, lunch at falafel expert l’As du Falafel and dinner at the chic Parisian restautant Chez Julien featured in episodes of Gossip Girl.

Paris by neighbourhood

5th arrondissement

Known as the intellectual district, teeming with students and thinkers who frequent the historic university la Sorbonne. The 5th is a good place to stay with its mazelike back streets and abundance of eateries.

What to do: Visit the historic pantheon, climb to the top of Jean Nouvel’s architectural masterpiece the Institut du Monde Arabe, have mint tea in the mosque and walk through the picturesque Jardin des Plantes.

Where to eat: Breakfast at the trendy Strada Café, Moroccan feast for lunch at the Mosque and dinner at Bodega Tapas.

St Germain

6th arrondissement

Undeniably charming, the 6th is an ideal neighbourhood to base yourself as it’s a beautiful area in its own right and also within walking distance of the Seine and many of Paris’ landmarks.

What to do: Stroll through the scenic Jardin du Luxembourg, explore the areas St Germain and St Sulpice and uncover all of the hidden charms and back streets in this quintessentially Parisian area.

Where to eat: Breakfast at fun and funky Colorova, lunch at traditional Café de Flore and dinner at expensive but worth every penny Relais Odéon.

Paris by neighbourhood

7th arrondissement

The 7th arrondissement is home to the iconic Iron Lady and consequently receives a lot of hype. Its proximity to the Eiffel Tower doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best area to stay in however, as restaurants, cafes and bars feel sparser than in other neighbourhoods.

What to do: Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, visit Napoleon’s tomb at Invalides, get your Impressionist art fix at the Musée d’Orsay

Where to eat: Breakfast at trendy Coutume cafe, lunch at traditionally French Cafe Constant and dinner at nouveau cuisine restaurant L’Arpège.

Paris by neighbourhood

8th arrondissement

The 8th arrondissement is a shopaholics dream with the famous shopping avenue, the Champs-Elysees running through it as well as the very chic and equally expensive avenue Montaigne. Shopping in this area costs a small fortune as does staying in it.

What to do: See which exhibition is taking place at the Grand Palais as it’s nearly always incredible, traverse Pont Alexandre III and have a picnic in the gold gated Parc Monceau.

Where to eat: Patisserie-laden breakfast at Ladurée Royale, lunch at Japanese haunt Taisho Ken and dinner at Michelin-starred Pierre Gagnaire.

Paris by neighbourhood

9th arrondissement

The 9th is a large, bustling area teeming with great bars, cafes and restaurants and is the neighbourhood where all of the cool crowds flock, especially come the weekends. It’s a great location to base yourself, if speciality coffee and mixologist cocktails are your thing.

What to do: shopping in the famous department store Lafayette, watch a performance at the gold-adorned Opera Garnier, explore St Georges and meander along rue des Martyrs.

Where to eat: Breakfast at Café Marlette, lunch at trendy Buvette and dinner at tapas bar Artisan.

Paris by neighbourhood

10th arrondissement

The 10th is the hippest area in Paris. There are some very cool places to hang out but also some rougher ones. Be careful if choosing to stay here as some parts can be quite hairy.

What to do: Stroll along Canal St Martin and explore the speciality coffee shops around the metro Jacques Bonsergent.

Where to eat: Breakfast at Aussie favourite Holybelly, lunch at la Chambre aux Oiseaux and dinner at Caribbean-inspired le Comptoir General.

Paris by neighbourhood

11th arrondissement

One of the liveliest areas of the city with an abundance of bars and a buzzing nightlife. This area is fun and full of youngsters but also has some sketchier pockets.

What to do: Bastille market and explore the bustling streets around Oberkampf.

Where to eat: Breakfast at Steel cyclewear & coffee shop, lunch at sought-after Septime and dinner at Italian star Ober Mama.

Paris by neighbourhood

12th arrondissement

Affordable and well-connected to more central areas, the 12th is a good option for those on a  budget.

What to do: Stroll the charming, pastel-hued street Rue Crémieux, walk the Promenade Plantée, watch an art house film at la Cinematheque Francaise and visit the Musée des Arts Forains.

Where to eat: Lunch at French classic Amarante and dinner at pizzeria Pink Flamingo.

Paris by neighbourhood

13th arrondissement

A cosmopolitan area of town with a selection of reasonably priced eateries from around the world, including Chinese, Cambodian and other predominantly Asian cuisines.

What to do: Visit the Francois Mitterand library and meander down the charming road Buttes aux Cailles with its host of restaurants, bar and cafes.

Where to eat: Lunch at Vietnamese Pho 14 and dinner at South East Asian Lao Lane Xang 2.

Paris by neighbourhood

14th & 15th arrondissement

These neighbourhoods are more residential with little else to do. There is however something to be said for their quiet and safe streets which provide a tranquil place to rest your weary head.

What to do: Visit the underground caverns of skeletons at the Catamombs and get your fresh fruit and veg from the Raspail market.

Where to eat: Flawless coffee for breakfast at Hexagone café, lunch at seafood restaurant Axuria and dinner at a cabaret show at Fracasse.

Place de Trocadero

16th arrondissement

The largest arrondissement in Paris and one of the best to stay in. The side closer to central Paris is within easy walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and a mere few strides away from the Eiffel Tower. The 16th is a beautiful neighbourhood of spacious and classically Parisian apartments housing wealthy families and chic couples.

What to do: Peruse the Monet collection at the Musée Marmottan Monet, have a picnic at the beautiful Chateau de Bagatelle, cycle in Bois de Boulogne and get your modern art fix at the Palais du Tokyo.

Where to eat: Breakfast at pretty Carette, lunch at former train station la Gare and dinner at haute cuisine restaurant Histoires.

Parc Monceau

17th arrondissement

The 17th passes from up-market to rough very quickly. The part towards Monceau is beautiful, Batignolles is lovely but St-Ouen is rough around the edges.

What to do: relax in the gold-framed Monceau gardens and visit the Musée national Jean-Jacques Henner

Where to eat: Breakfast at Pastelaria Belem, lunch at excellent Gare au Gorille and dinner at oyster specialist l’Huitrier.

Paris by neighbourhood

18th arrondissement

Parts of the 18th are reminiscent of postcard Paris with charming steps and the iconic Sacré Coeur and others are havens for pick-pocketing among other crimes. Avoid Barbès-Rochechouart and Port de la Chapelle but don’t be put off by the up-and-coming corners.

What to do: Climb to the top of Sacré Coeur and wander the backstreets dotted with artists at work and cafes.

Where to eat: Breakfast at the brilliant Bal Café, lunch at New Yorkesque Barbès Brasserie and dinner with a view at the Terrass restaurant.

Paris by neighbourhood

19th & 20th arrondissement

Not an area I would recommend staying in but one worth visiting especially for the Père Lachaise cemetery.

What to do: Explore the diverse Buttes Chaumont gardens and find Oscar Wilde’s grave at Père Lachaise.

Where to eat: Breakfast at Café Lomi, lunch at traditionally French le Baratin and dinner at hip hotel Mama Shelter.

Photography and words by Faye Bullock

Where to Honeymoon in Italy

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You couldn’t possibly go wrong with a honeymoon in Italy – the home of romance and La Dolce Vita! Italians have been serving up romance on a plate since time began, with an impressive landscape that features the likes of the rolling hills of Tuscany, the jaw-dropping coastline of the Amalfi Coast and the effortlessly impressive city on water; Venice.

Choosing a destination or handful of destinations to honeymoon in Italy is the hardest choice of all – the rest, you will be delighted to learn, comes easily. Italy is hard not to enjoy, oozing with charm and always featuring mouth-watering cuisine… there really isn’t much not to love. So, wondering where to honeymoon in Italy? We’ve got you covered!

Honeymoon_Italy_Guide Guide to Lake Como | World of Wanderlust

Lake Como

Lets begin up North in the Italian Lakes District with Lago di Como (Lake Como), an unquestionably romantic lake with plenty of towns, villages, villas and castles to explore to keep you busy for at least a few days. You can choose to take it slow and spend the majority of your time checked in to your lakeside villa or make your way out onto the lake to explore the history and culture of the area by visiting one of the public villas such as Villa Carlotta, or making your way by ferry to the most charming lakeside town of all: Bellagio.

florence

Tuscany

Rolling hills, vineyards, endless streams of colour… you really can’t go wrong by taking your Italian honeymoon through Tuscany, especially if travelling by car. This region is best explored at your own pace, taking the time to take it all in, sample the local wines, food, and even learn a new hobby such as painting or ceramics, which are both popular in this area. Florence is at the centre of Tuscany and provides a great destination to base yourself for days trips, but ensure you allow yourself at least a few days to explore the city itself as it is without doubt the prettiest large city in all of Italy.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre has quickly become a cultural phenomenon of sorts with many travellers flocking to the colourful cliffside to see what all the fuss is about. Due to its increasing popularity over the past few years it would be best to visit out of the high season (June, July, August) if possible or you should consider a day trip visit throughout your travels to avoid the chaos of it all. Sure, it is still as gorgeous as the pictures suggest, but to relax and unwind on your holiday you might prefer to base yourself in a more quiet location a little off the beaten path.

Guide to Positano | World of Wanderlust

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast would have to be my top pick for a romantic getaway in Italy, though is best combined with other destinations such as a city escape in Rome, a few nights meandering the streets of Venice, and five to seven days to unwind on the Amalfi coast.

Upon arrival be sure to stop in at Naples for the best pizza of your life (Naples is indeed the birthplace of the breaded snack), stay a few nights in Sorrento or Capri, and journey onwards to the true and unquestionable gem of the coast: Positano.

Sicily_Italy

Sicily

As the largest of the Italian islands it is little wonder Sicily has a lot to offer visitors, especially honeymooners who are looking to escape the tourist crowds and opt for a more local experience. You can still expect crowds and plenty of them in the summer time, however will be rubbing shoulders with more Italians than foreigners as this is a holiday hot spot locals. Although surrounded by three seas you can expect much more than just a beach vacay in Siciliy, as you will also find mountains & hills to add to the magic of the crystal blue waters in Italy’s deep South.  (image)

venice

Venice

An obvious choice, this list would not be complete without mention of Venice, the city built on water that continues to entice honeymooners year after year. Sure, Venice is busy and sure, this takes away from the magic of it all… but this is all part of what modern day Venice is: a living museum for travellers to come and experience in a time warp of sorts. Looking at booking a glorious five star hotel to lap it up? Save your money and splurge elsewhere as 3 and 4 star hotels in Venice offer just as much charm and character, especially if you can find one that has stayed in the family for generations.

verona eats

Verona

A city that is said to have inspired Shakespeare, Verona is impossible romantic, full of charm, and a great onwards destination from Venice (though don’t expect to escape the crowds as Verona is still very popular in the summer months). While still a city vacation, Verona is much smaller whilst still packing in a lot of charm, especially in the evenings when the city comes to life in a craze of al fresco dining.

Where to Honeymoon in Italy - Puglia

Puglia

To escape the crowds and enjoy a more local experience, make your way down South to Italy’s boot and explore the Puglia region. With dramatic scenery and fantastic local cuisine, you can’t have anything but a fabulous experience in Italy’s deep South and if you’re looking to get off the beaten path, this is where to do so. Expect a plethora of olive groves, minimal street signs and a relentless summer sun that will leave you feeling oh so Italiano in no time at all!  (image)

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

10 Amazing Travel Home Decor Items from Around the World

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Of all the travelling I have done over the past few years through six continents and 67 or so countries (I honestly have lost count), I don’t have more than a few souvenirs to show for it. Long ago I decided to stop buying cheap snow globes and magnets, instead opting to spend all my travel pennies on experiences themselves, and taking only memories or photographs home with me.

However there have been a few items over the years that I couldn’t resist to buy – now treasures in my home that remind me of adventures passed. Most of these spark a conversation with visitors in our home, who are intrigued to learn where an item is from and the story behind it. So I’d love to share with you my most prized possessions from my travels as well as where you can buy them online!

Travel Home Decor

1. Nappa Dori Suitcase

I first saw this Nappa Dori suitcase online and immediately had my heart set on purchasing it for my office. Although it doesn’t have its own travel story, I’m intent on taking it along with me on road trip adventures around the island on which I live, as it has a sense of authenticity and just reminds me that life is one big adventure. I can’t wait to show you what it looks like in a few years after it has been lugged around on a handful of adventures!

2. Moroccan Rug

Recently on my travels to Morocco I came across these beautiful blankets of every shape, size and colour of the rainbow. Unfortunately I didn’t have any room in my suitcase (I was already sitting and jumping on it to squeeze everything in), but fortunately I later found an online Etsy store by a Parisian couple who travel to Morocco to source the rugs and come back to sell them to customers online. Needless to say – a purchase was inevitable.

World Globe | World of Wanderlust

3. Antique World Globe

There is one item on my desk that I always need nearby, not just as a point of reference but as a starting point for inspiration, and that is my antique world globe. My grandmother bought me this globe at least 4-5 years ago, as she is very aware of my passion for travelling the globe and thought it would be a nice gift. Although it wasn’t sourced from an adventure of my own, I hold it close to my heart as it reminds me of my connection to home!

Travel Home Decor | World of Wanderlust

4. Antique Compass

If there is just one item in my collection of travel trinkets that I am openly obsessed with and proud of sourcing, it is my authentic antique compass I purchased from a souk market in Muscat, Oman. Although it doesn’t work in anymore in the slightest, you’ve probably seen it pop up in one or two of my instagram photos – that’s because I take it everywhere! I’m in my own disillusion that it always points to home – just a reminder I like to have on the road that home is never too far away.

Mapiful

5. Mapiful City Maps

I’ve made it no secret that I am obsessed with maps of any kind – city maps, country maps, maps of terrain… you name it. I love geography and learning as much as I can about the world in which I travel, so I cannot explore a new city or country without a map to show me where I am, even though I often ignore it in terms of telling me where to go (getting lost is half the fun!)

Travel Home Decor | World of Wanderlust

6. Bronze Moroccan tray

Another item inspired by my travels to Morocco is a bronzed tray I purchased shortly after my trip, when I again couldn’t fit any purchases in my case so instead went searching online after my trip. I You can find a similar one here.

glasshouse candle

7. Scented Candles

One of my favourite travel related items to buy for my home has been these Glasshouse location scented candles. You can purchase scents that remind you of a place you have visited, like Coney Island in Brooklyn or Tahiti – the options are endless! I have tried a few scents over the past year with my favourite still being Coney Island. (You can find a similar New York scented candle here).

Travel Home Decor | World of Wanderlust

8. Moroccan Wedding Blanket Pillow Case

One thing I did manage to squeeze into my suitcase in Morocco was a wedding blanket pillow case. Originally I had wanted to purchase one of the ornate wedding blankets themselves, however as these were far too thick and heavy for my already 8 kilograms overweight suitcase, I decided to settle for one of the small cushion covers for a reasonable $25. This now resides in my living room on one of our armchairs. You can purchase similar ones (slightly more expensive) online here.

Laduree | Home Decor

9. Laduree Print

For the Paris lovers (myself included), you can’t go past these cute little prints of Laduree’s favourites from this Etsy store. I purchased three of these prints (in varying designs) for my office and they’re a constant reminder of my favourite city in the world!

Home Decor | World of Wanderlust

10. City Name Prints

Another set of prints I’m loving from this Etsy store are these city name prints – simple, elegant, and suit any decor.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Europe’s Most Walkable Cities

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Ever wanted to arrive in a city and rely on nothing more than your own two feet to get around from A to B? This is indeed my absolute favourite way to get around cities, especially in Europe as there is just so much to discover above ground. Sure, you should make the effort in Russia’s capital and former capital Moscow & St Petersburg respectively, as these cities’ subway stations are a work of art in themselves… but these cities are best explored above ground, walking between attractions, coffee shops and boutiques.

Mirabellgraten

1. Salzburg, Austria

I’ve made it no secret over the years that Salzburg is one of my favourite European cities, but what’s more is that it is a fantastic city to walk around, even in a thick blanket of snow! I first visited Salzburg in the shock European Cold Wave of 2012, but even then the city was glorious to walk around – albeit well below freezing, of course! In summer the city really comes to life, though this is also when the crowds begin pouring in, especially on day trips from Vienna. Thus the best option is to stay a few nights in Salzburg and explore in the early mornings and just before dusk, when you will find you often have some parts of the city to yourself. Be sure to visit the Mirabell Gardens on foot, as well as meandering through the endless alleyways of the Old Town. Should you wish to explore beyond the city, a Sound of Music Tour is a must for fans of the film.

Amsterdam_Winter

2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam is a favourite of many travellers and I myself am no exception! Whilst this city is not best seen by walking (that falls second to the seeing the city by the canals), the city is incredibly well suited to walkers and even cyclers should you dare rent a bike and do as the locals do! If walking is more your style, this city is quite expansive but can easily be covered in a few days, especially as it is relatively flat. Be sure to take a map as before you know it you’ll wind up in a completely different area to that anticipated, but also don’t be afraid to get lost at times, especially in idyllic neighbourhoods such as Jordaan.

Oxford

3. Oxford, England

Located just a short drive, bus ride or train ride from London, Oxford is entirely possible to visit in a day, especially if you like walking discoveries. This city has so much to offer in terms of history, architecture, and many great academics have once called Oxford home so it is bursting with intrigue. Harry Potter fans should head straight for Christ College, whilst Lewis Carroll fans will have plenty of points of interest throughout the city to enjoy. All in all this is a great city to discover on foot as there is so much to see at every turn, and geographically speaking the inner city itself is quite small. Should you be interested in travelling further abroad in the area, here are the best things to do in Oxfordshire.

Venice

4. Venice, Italy

Venice is a city that is best explored on foot – hands down, no questions asked. Whilst a gondola ride is a right of passage for visitors, the best way to actually see and experience Venice is by exploring the narrow alleys and seeing where you wind up. Never mind getting lost, you will always find your way back one way or another! Just be sure to be open to the idea of getting lost as the best of Venice is beyond the tourist attractions and in the heart of the neighbourhoods themselves.

Brugge

5. Brugge, Belgium

One of my all time favourite cities in the world is the glorious, extremely picturesque, more-a-town-than-a-city, Brugge in Belgium. This is a small city that is very flat and thus easy to get around on foot, though beware of those harsh winters! Up in Northern Belgium the weather can get quite bitter quite quickly, so be sure to wear plenty of layers if visiting outside of the warmer months. The entire Historic Centre of Brugge is UNESCO listed, so you’ll find adoration at every turn.

Art Nouveau in Paris-13

6. Paris, France

Although a huge city to navigate your way around with plenty of little pockets that should be granted an entire day of exploring each, Paris is a city that is still best seen on foot – with the added aid of a metro stop or two of course! Paris is incredibly large so I wouldn’t recommend trying to visit the entire city on foot (unless you have a few weeks to explore), however there are a few neighbourhoods that deserve exploring for at least a half day each. St Germain des pres, Montmartre and the Latin Quarter are all worth exploring, though in all fairness this list could go on forever!

Prague

7. Prague, Czech Republic

I’ve never met a person who has travelled to Prague and not fallen in love with this city. Prague is another great European city to explore on foot, despite a noticeable climb to the top of Prague Castle (albeit a worthwhile climb for those city views!) Be sure to explore both lesser town and the old town centre, as there is much to see beyond Prague’s main attractions, discoverable almost immediately as you leave the main streets.

florence

8. Florence, Italy

Florence steals the heart of all who enter. As arguably the most photogenic Italian city, Florence is bursting with life and colour at every turn. It is entirely possible to walk around all of the attractions in Florence in a few days, however be sure to allow time for many gelato stops to refuel along the way!

Cinque Terre, Italy

9. Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre has quickly become an Italian staple for visitors touring the country. The area is a collection of small towns that can quite comfortably be reached on foot, though do expect some steep inclines as you will be traversing the Italian coastline. Also note that walking is required here, as roads have little access in the towns themselves.

edinburgh

10. Edinburgh, Scotland

As one of my personal favourite cities in the United Kingdom, I can’t possibly begin to tell you how much I adore Edinburgh! If you can withstand the occasional down pour, Edinburgh is a great city to explore year-round the the winters are dark with a mysterious sense of beauty. There will be some inclines to get the best views over the city, but all in all walking is the best way to explore Edinburgh.

Nyhaven Copenhagen

11. Copenhagen, Denmark

From the colourful seaside area of Nyhaven through to royal castles with impeccably dressed guards, there is so much to explore in Copenhagen on foot. This city gets extremely cold during winter due to its’ northerly location, however if you can brave the cold (and make many hot drink stops along the way), you can certainly explore Copenhagen year-round.

munich-2

12. Munich, Germany

As one of my favourite German cities and not just because of Oktoberfest (!!!), Munich is the perfect gateway to exploring more of Bavaria. The city itself is gorgeous to walk around and the attractions are minimal, so you can just wander at leisure.

alfama_neighbourhood_guide

13. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has really picked up in tourism over the past few years and as a huge fan of the city myself, I find it pretty easy to see why! This is a city filled with colour and the friendly locals make this even more enjoyable than you’d ever imagine. Alfama is a great neighbourhood to explore on foot for half a day, combined with some time in the city centre and heading up the coastline to magical Sintra & Cascais.

ljubljana

14. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is what I would consider to be Europe’s most underrated capital city. Whilst small in size, this city certainly packs a lot of charm into a small area, making it one of the most walkable cities in Europe and without a doubt one of the most charming.

Stockholm town

15. Stockholm, Sweden

Finally Stockholm, an old favourite that I fell head over heels with upon first visit and would jump at the opportunity to return! The Swedish capital has a lot to offer visitors, though as it is surrounded by water you will need to add a few ferry rides in their in order to see it all! The Old Town, Gamla Stan, is the perfect place to spend hours wandering and people watching at one of the charming cafes.

Angelina Paris

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If there were ever an institution in Paris as dedicated to the sweet life as Angelina, I would love to hear of its existence. Angelina is one of Paris’ most renowned tea houses, having established itself in 1903 and continuing to wow customers and loyal clientele to this day.

For more than a century the tea-house has welcome Parisian aristocrats, celebrities, and dedicated sweet enthusiasts through its iconic wooden doors opposite Jardin de Tuileries. Of course nowadays there are a number of Angelina’s throughout Paris and even now in other countries, but nothing comes close to scheduling a rendezvous at the original Angelina itself.

In the summer you will have to patiently wait in a queue just to get in the door (its really that popular) but in the winter you can not only enjoy less crowds and wait time, but also delight in the winter warmer that the tea house is so famous for: the chocolat chaud.

There’s no denying that Angelina is a cliche: a typically french patisserie in an enviable location and widely recommended by guidebooks and fans alike. However if you’re looking for the best hot chocolate in town, a fantastic pastry selection and are happy to pay more than you should to indulge, then there’s no way you should miss a visit to the famous tea house on your visit to Paris.

Angelina_Paris_Hot_Chocolate

Chocolat Chaud

Lets begin with the menu item Angelina is most famous for: the incredibly thick, rich, and somehow not overbearing chocolat chaud à l’ancienne dit “l’Africain” (or simply, the old-fashioned hot chocolate). At 8.20€ a piece it doesn’t come cheap, but the hot chocolate is a dessert in itself and comes with a serving of fresh whipped cream on the side to allow you to sweeten the drink to your liking.

Mont_Blanc_Angelina

Mont Blanc

Another classic on the menu is the highly celebrated “Mont Blanc” pastry dessert, which is the dessert Angelina is most famous for (perhaps equally to the chocolat chaud). The dessert describes itself as a meringue with light whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli. This is a pretty loose description of what I would like to call an incredibly indulgent, thick consistency, extremely rich dessert which does not leave you any room for hot chocolate. Be sure to choose one or the other (or visit twice) as both the chocolat chaud and mont blanc are incredibly rich and overly infulgent. To dine in you will pay 9.20€ or to take-away 6.90€.
Angelina_Paris_Pastries

Joconde

If you’re looking for a sweeter and much lighter dessert (although still incredibly indulgent), then you can’t go past the colourful creation known as a Joconde. This dessert consists of a macaron base and top, filled with cream and raspberries. Although it might look light and fresh the dessert is still plentiful, so perhaps better to share! The price is 6.90€ to take away.

Angelina_Paris

Paris-New York

Another gorgeous dessert from the pastry selection that caught my eye was the Paris-New York. This dessert considers itself to be a chou pastry with pecan praline light cream and a crunchy pecan praline centre. For those of you with a sweeter tasting palette (and less rich), this would be my dessert of choice. The price is 9€ to dine in or 6.90€ to take away.

Angelina Paris

Macarons + Ice Cream

Angelina also sell a range of macaron & ice cream flavours, though if you ask me neither of these are much to rave about and you will certainly find better on offer throughout Paris (Carette for macarons & Berthillon for ice cream).

Locations in Paris:

Paris Rivoli

226 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris

Paris Rive Gauche

108 Rue du Bac
75007 Paris

Versailles – Pavillon d’Orléans

Château de Versailles, 1st Floor at Pavillon d’Orléans
78000 Versailles

Versailles – Petit Trianon

Parc du Château de Versailles, Petit Trianon
78000 Versailles

Musée du Louvre

Musée du Louvre, Aile Richelieu, Café Richelieu
75001 Paris

Aéroport Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle

Terminal 2E et S3
95700 Roissy-en-France

Musée du Luxembourg

19, rue de Vaugirard
75006 Paris

Palais des congrès

Palais des congrès, 2, place de la porte Maillot
75017 Paris

Galeries Lafayette

40 boulevard Haussmann
75009 Paris

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

A Guide to Museums in Paris

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Museums in Paris amount to a whopping 153 in total, with many more galleries and exhibitions, so it’s little wonder that the art scene can be overwhelming. There is a museum for every interest; a vampire museum, a taxidermy museum and one dedicated to the underground sewerage system. Quirky museums aside, Paris is home to one of the most competitive art collections in the world spanning every century and every movement. Here is a guide to the top museums categorised by Impressionism, Renaissance Art, Modern Art and Sculptures to help you to uncover your favourite artists and paintings in Paris.

Museums in Paris Guide Musee de l'Orangerie

Museums in Paris Guide

Impressionism: Musée de l’Orangerie

The Musée de l’Orangerie is most famous for its large tableaux of Monet’s water lilies. There are rooms dedicated to these pieces where natural light pours in from the glass room highlighting how truly striking his paintings are. The museum is also home to an abundance of other impressionist painters such as Cezanne, Matisse and Modigliani.

Musee d'Orsay

Musée d’Orsay

A former train station, the Musée d’Orsay has since become one of the most famous museums in Paris. It houses a large collection of Impressionist painters such as Manet, Renoir, Pissarro and Caillebotte. There is nearly always a wonderful exhibition being showcased so check the website before you go and make sure to arrive early to beat the long queues. Don’t miss the grandfather clock on the upper level and the view of Paris through its hands.

Other Impressionist museums include the Musée Marmottan-Monet, the Musée National Gustave Moreau and the Musée de la Vie Romantique.

The Louvre

Renaissance Art: The Louvre

The Louvre was once the palace and home to the French monarch but it has now become one of the most famous museums in the world, arguably housing the largest art collection in the world. Many flock here for the famous three: the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo but I would recommend getting lost in the sculpture halls or one of the Renaissance halls. It is intimidatingly big and would take countless visits to see every piece of art, therefore I would recommend visiting one section at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself.

Le Petit Palais

Le Petit Palais

Similar to the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais were built for the 1900 Universal Exposition to showcase the best of Paris at the time. The Petit Palais now houses a museum with a beautiful collection of French and Italian Renaissance art as well as sculptures and tapestries. If you’ve got time, have a pot of tea in the courtyard surrounded by the pretty gardens.

Musee Jacquemart Andre

Musée Jacquemart-André

Edouard André, a banking heir, and Nélie Jacquemart, a celebrated painter, collected pieces of art from their travels around the world to fill their mansion. Their staggering collection of Italian Renaissance art, French art and Flemish art fills the museum and is now open to the public to view. (Photo by Recoura)

Pompidou

Modern Art: Pompidou Center

The Pompidou center is the biggest modern art museum in Paris and houses the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe with artists such as Kandinsky, Miro and Dali on show. The building itself has become an icon of modern architecture in the city with its glass material and exposed pipes snaking around the exterior of the building. (Photo by Rue Rodier)

DSC00223

Palais de Tokyo

The Palais de Tokyo is noticeably one of Paris’ coolest museums. It always holds thought provoking exhibitions, has a photo both in the entrance hall and also houses a fantastic restaurant which always receives rave reviews.

Musee de l'Art Moderne

Musée d’Art Moderne

This museum is significantly smaller than the aforementioned Pompidou center but no less worth a visit. It showcases a competitive collection of contemporary and modern art and many works by Matisse, Klein and Braque. Don’t miss the masterpiece la Fée Electricité by Raoul Dufy which shows the history of invention, ideas and electricity over the centuries, photographed above.

Picasso museum

Picasso museum

The long anticipated Picasso museum finally opened its doors to the public in 2014 after a lengthy 5-year refurbishment. Art lovers rejoiced at the opening of this museum dedicated to the works of the great Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. The museum houses 500 of Picasso’s works, sculptures and pieces of modern art by additional artists.  A visit to this museum is a must, not only for the art but also for the building itself with its honey hued interior, marble columns and ornate staircase.

Other modern art galleries include the Yvon Lambert gallery and the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain.

Rodin museum

Sculpture: Rodin museum

The Rodin museum is a favourite for many and is the sculpture museum to visit in the city. Auguste Rodin’s sculptures are located both in the museum and dotted throughout the gardens, the most famous of which is le Penseur, photographed above.

Carnavalet museum

History: Carnavalet museum

The Carnavelt museum tells the story of Paris, its history, its citizens and its quirks. It does so through its old-worldly furnished rooms and objects on display which share fascinating tales of Parisian history in an eclectic way. Located in Le Marais district, Carnavalet is a great museum to combine with an afternoon stroll in one of Paris’ most happening neighbourhoods.

Photography by Faye Bullock unless otherwise stated.

Japanese Beauty Secrets

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Of all the things I thought I would learn in Japan, I would have thought a new beauty regime would be the last of them. Whenever I travel to a new country I try to be open minded to everything about a new culture so that I can gain new ideas that I might not be exposed to back at home in Australia. One of the things I couldn’t ignore in Japan was the cleanliness and self-awareness that is so deeply engrained in the culture – which led me to research more into Japanese beauty products when I was in Japan last month.

First of all I should probably note that this is not in any way a sponsored post, but I love to share what I learn around the world and sometimes that extends from travel tips to my other interests – beauty, lifestyle, photography, FOOD (capitals necessary!!!) I suppose I just want to be clear from the outset that my interests extend beyond travel and often from time to time you will see (more and more) posts that don’t directly relate to travel here on my blog, despite the name, World of Wanderlust. There’s usually a direct link back to travel like how I discovered these products on my trip to Japan, but sometimes the link won’t be so clear and you might find yourself reading about my make-up routine.

So with that out of the way – here’s what I learned about beauty and skin care in Japan and why I splurged on this Japanese brand of beauty products during my stay!
Japanese Beauty Secrets | World of Wanderlust

I’ve actually had this rice enzyme powder for more than 2.5 years, but prior to my time in Japan I had never used it. The Rice enzyme powder arrived in my post box a little over a couple of years ago and while the packaging looked nice, I had no idea what it was or its function – so I stored it away in my skincare collection and never thought about it again.

As it turns out this product is a cleanser that takes a gentler approach than most skin cleansers. You simply place a small amount on your (clean) hands and add a little water to see it foam up, ready to be applied on your face.

I find this product much less invasive than most cleansers and the small size of the powdered bottle makes it super easy to travel with – so I’m dubbing this my new travel cleanser for this year!

Japanese Beauty Secrets | World of Wanderlust

This is by far my favourite product from the Tatcha range and a testament to the skincare range.

One thing I noticed in Japan was that skincare is extremely important, as is always keeping your hands clean. Moisturising products are extremely popular in Japan but take a deeper, more intense approach – such as this overnight memory serum that is said to stop the clock.

I’m sure it doesn’t really stop ageing signs but it certainly leads you in the right direction! I’ve been applying this every night before bed (with the cute little gold applicator) since I was in Japan and wouldn’t miss a night without it! It certainly feels as if it firms your skin and each morning I wake feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Tatcha | Secrets to Japanese Beauty

To be completely honest I don’t see much of a difference between this product and the aforementioned memory serum, so I wouldn’t suggest you purchase both items and instead select one, as the Tatcha line is quite an investment (though investing in my skincare is one I am willing to make!)

I like this product too for day use, but I really don’t think it is necessary to use both this and the memory serum.

Japanese Beauty Secrets | World of Wanderlust

This is a product I have been using for years and I’m sure you’ve probably read about it before on this blog (I’m close to a full-blown addict to the Tatcha dewy skin face mist!!!)

I always pack the dewy skin face mist in my carry-on case or handbag and spray my face 2-3 times after wiping my skin with a hot towel, right before stepping off a long-haul flight.

I absolutely swear by this product to combat jetlag and make you feel fresh in a matter of seconds!

Japanese Beauty Secrets | World of Wanderlust

This review was not a paid sponsorship with Tatcha. The post includes affiliate links should you wish to purchase any of the products mentioned.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!