There are places that are so picturesque that you can not take a bad photo. Then there is Big Sur. The ‘sur’real land along the central California coast stretches 90 miles long. You hear stories about the beauty of big sur. But this is not a land that can be told by stories. This is a land you need to fully soak in and one that needs to be explored. Big Sur is an actual slice of heaven.
You have no choice but drive on highway 1 along the coast. The roads are very windy and seem to go on forever, but that all just fades away. You get lost in the dramatic cliffs and crystal blue waters, forgetting that you are still in California. It is the most exotic place I have been, while still on US soil.
Big Sur truly has it all. There are tons of great hikes. The camping is some of the best in the world. You can even rent a lavish cabin on the cliffs. It even brings something for the top foodies. You have to check out Big Sur Bakery and also Napenthe. Napenthe has the food and the view. The bakery has everything one could ask for: great food, and a beautiful rustic atmosphere.
In my book Big Sur is a top wonder of the world. If you have not yet experienced the wonder, you are missing out on a magical and mythical place. Trust me…Big Sur will blow your mind.
Accommodation Tips: Unless you plan and book way in advance, It is hard to get a room in Big Sur. Camping is always an option, but the camping grounds book up as well. Or you can do what I did and stay in Monterey. The city is not a far drive from the top
of Big Sur. It is also a cute city to explore. Carmel is also an option. Both are usually on the more affordable side. If you are determined to stay inside of Big Sur just make sure to plan many months in advance.
The city that has it all. This might sound a bit impossible, but if you have had the pleasure to visit the southern city, Charleston, then you know exactly what I am talking about. I grew up in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Then after a few years at University of Tennessee I landed at the College of Charleston. After just moments I felt at home. The city does have it all. Everywhere you turn there is history, culture, food, fashion, THE BEACH, and just great people. What else could you ever want? There is a pause I get when I say my family all lives in Charleston. It is a pause of why did you ever leave? I ask myself this question all the time.
When you think of Greece, you think of the Greek Gods. The land was made for and by the gods. It shows in every city and every island. You can easily get swept away with its color and charm. And let us not forget about the food. I have eaten all over the world and the Greek Mediterranean diet is one of my favorites. I decided to concentrate on one island that I have been dreaming of going to for years. That island is no other than the amazing Santorini.
But before you enter the jaw dropping islands, you have to pass through Athens. I love athens. I have been here before. Since I was here for just one night, I wanted to live like a local. I seeked out some art and culture. Luckily enough there happened to be The Athens Art Festival. I decided to attend the African dance version of Swan Lake. After buses and trains and walking many miles. I was outside my comfort zone (which I love) and far from city center. I was of course lost yet again. I finally found the warehouse theaters, and it was worth everything. It was breathtaking, beautiful, and tragic. Happy with my night, I had to get ready for my early ferry to Santorini.
The island lived up to it’s very big shoes it had to fill. I could feel the Greek magic over take me as I pulled into port. I wanted to beach hop, and the island is way to big to walk. We figured 4 wheels were safer than 2, so we rented an ATV. We were a little naive. It was scary, but we managed to explored the entire island. I wanted to see the famous sunset and eat fish. I did both, everyday. I saw the red beach and the black sand. We toured and sampled local wines at Santos Winery. At the winery the views could be one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. We finished our last night by riding our ATV to a local outdoor movie theater. We had no idea what to expect, but were just excited to see an English movie. And it just happened to be Pompeii. We were there just weeks before. And the magical little theater might have been my favorite thing on the island. It was all outdoors with recliner chairs and jazz playing in the background. You could drink wine and beer and sit among new friends. We all couldn’t help but share in each other complete happiness in the moment. It didn’t matter what movie was playing. It was the perfect night.
I was very happy with my last hurrah of European island hopping ending in Santorini. I was once told by a friend that Santorini was the only place she had ever been that looked better in person than it’s google images. It is true. It’s hard to explain how gorgeous the island is without experiencing it firsthand. Everyone out there make sure the Greek islands are on your bucket list. The gods created them for a reason!
Once you step outside your world that you have built for yourself for another one..you will feel it. The travel bug is a real thing and I got bit when I was 16 years old. It happens when you walk the walk of lands you have never been before, or you get the shock of everything new and different. It’s exhilarating. It is my favorite feeling in the world. It’s a rush. You have no idea where you might be or even how to communicate, that’s my high. Try it. Try something new, something that challenges your normal vacation or weekend getaway. Let’s all live a little and get bit by that big fat travel bug.
I live for adventure. But I also know when I need to take a break and take time for myself. I just spent two weeks in paradise. Reading, eating, tanning, and enjoying cold crisp rose! We all tend to be a little bit of workaholics, but never forget to take a deep breath and look around and remember this is a good life 😉