In the Fall of 2017, I departed for Slovakia on an exchange program with Rotary International. I kept a blog, documenting my travels, as well as Slovak culture and history. Now I’ve returned to Europe. Starting with a month back in Slovakia, I’m traveling across Europe

Featured Posts

Subscribe Here

Fill out the form below to receive email notifications every time I post!


All Posts

Rome of Antiquity

The sun had set on Rome by the time our bus pulled to a stop in front of the hotel. Orange tungsten bulbs and the occasional white flash of passing headlights lit the street, reflecting off pavestones slick from recent rain and casting a dim monochrome haze over the shadowed ...
Read More

Other Adventures in Barcelona!

Joyce "What you are thinking I am...I am," the tour guide at the head of our bus introduced herself. She had large glasses, a long dull-colored dress and a mass of messy hair spiraling down from the top of her head. She looked something like a cross between Harry Potter's ...
Read More

Barcelona and Guadí

Of all the cities we visited, Barcelona was one of the most touristy, yet the crowds were a cinch to escape. Swarms of these tourists and gimmicky vendors crowd the city's main promenade, La Rambla, and flow down the larger streets of the Gothic District, but a quick step off ...
Read More

Skanzen Bardejovské Kúpele

I have discussed the villages of Vlkolinec and Pribylina in prior posts, but it is worthwhile to compare Bardejovské Kúpele to the city from which it gets its name (which I discussed in the previous post) and the historic divide that existed in Slovakia between urban lifestyles and demographics and ...
Read More


"How far these city walls have come," I thought, gazing from the battlements of Bardejov, over sprawling development, towards the green pastures beyond. The fortifications of Bardejov's historic center were erected in 1300s to deter invaders after the city's great wealth—wealth accumulated from its lucrative trade position between Hungary and ...
Read More

La Tour Eiffel

The iconic iron-wrought structure had been present for my entire stay in Paris, peeking over a building or down one of the many streets we explored over the previous two days. Yet, the Eiffel Tower only became our destination on the last morning we spent in the city—and what a ...
Read More


Set on a hill outside of Paris' center, folk legend states the the location got its name when the bishop, Saint Denis, was executed by the Romans there for his christian faith (accordingly, "Mount of the Martyr"). Supposedly, after the executioner's blade fell, the man stood, picked up his decapitated ...
Read More

The Palace of Versailles

The beauty of Versailles is not contained to the world-renowned palace, in fact, it begins long before you reach the chateau itself. After departing from the hotel on the second morning of EuroTour, our bus traversed over a chaotic highway towards the outskirts of Paris. Eventually, the many graffiti covered ...
Read More

The Heart of Paris

After a twenty hour bus ride, we arrived in Paris just after dawn. The tour buses squeezed through the small roads of an outdated commercial district, pulling in front of a relatively attractive accommodation by the name of "Ibis Hotels". Unloading our things, we all expected to enter into cozy ...
Read More

EuroTour Summary

What makes an adventure? To me, it is exciting and unfamiliar experiences, a little bit of hardship, and good companions to help you through it all. By that definition, EuroTour was certainly the biggest adventure of my exchange. We battled sleep deprivation and illness, getting by on food of sporadic ...
Read More

Červený Kláštor

Just setting foot within the first courtyard of Červený Kláštor (the Red Monastery) it is evident why this place inspired legends. The orderly cobblestone underfoot and the warm hues of the tiled roofs and crumbling walls gave the impression of sanctuary against the wild green chaos around. Even though many ...
Read More

The Three Kings

My most recent trip with my host family took us to the border of Poland, however, not by the normal highway. We cut instead through the village of Ždiar, descending, on steep and twisting gravel roads, the northern side of the Tatras, opposite of where I live. This country road ...
Read More

Spring in Bratislava

As I write this, the trees on the Tatra slopes around my home are just budding. Their verdant hues now filling a landscape I had, quite frankly, forgot could be anything but dismally grey. However, this isn't my first taste of spring. A few weeks ago, my host father explained ...
Read More


Tucked into the hills of the Liptov region, the open-air museum of Pribylina offers a glimpse into what the lives of the majority of Slovaks looked like up until the early-twentieth century. This agrarian lifestyle still lives in the memory of many people here. My host-father, only in his forties, ...
Read More

Slovenský Raj

Waterfalls are abundant in the Blue Ridge Mountains of my home, but our paths force hikers on long detours through the forests to circumnavigate them, keeping everyone a safe distance from the potentially treacherous cliffs. This safety precaution is likely wise, yet, it is completely disregarded here in Slovenský raj ...
Read More

Sunrise over Štôla

There are three marks of a good photo; composition, light and moment. Composition takes practice and moment is in no small part luck, but light can be easy to find if only you are willing to rise early or stay out past dark. That is precisely what I did one ...
Read More

Spring Market in Starý Smokovec

(Above: Definitely not a Spring photo of Smokovec. The only one I have though, as I regrettably did not bring my camera with me.) Starý Smokovec is set halfway up the High Tatras’ steep slopes, overlooking the valley below and the gentle mountains beyond. It is a town of old ...
Read More

The Wooden Church of Svätý Kríž

The devoutly Catholic Austro-Hungarian Hapsburgs had long been intolerant towards other faiths and were especially resistant to Protestantism after the Reformation. However, a uprising in 1681 forced Emperor Leopold I to repeal the laws preventing the practice of these faiths in his domain and allow the construct of their churches ...
Read More

The Windows of Vlkolínec

Tucked into the folds of verdant, rolling mountains, the village of Vlkolínec (or “Wolf Village”) has been preserved by its remoteness. A pristine sylvan frame lines its grassy grazing fields, which for centuries supported the villager’s provincial lifestyle. The imperfect lines of the cottage walls suggest a rugged and simple ...
Read More

Havránok – Celtic Ruins

Partially restored since their discovery several decades ago, the ruins of Havránok overlook a vast swath of land. The Western, Low, and a bit of the High Tatras can all be seen from its hilltop perch. Ascending the steep grade, the first sight which greets you is a quaint wooden ...
Read More