Posts in travel
6 Things I Learned From Living Abroad for Six Months

as a lot of you know, I spent most of last year fulfilling a lifelong bucket list dream of living in Paris, France. my husband, Brett, and I had talked about living abroad someday as a non-negotiable must-do practically since the day we met ten years ago, and last year we were finally able to make it happen.

there were so many amazing things that came of diving in and moving to Paris - you can see my apartment tour here and read about my favorite language learning tools from all my French lessons here - but today I’m sharing some personal life lessons that really hit me in the feels while living there.

read on for my list of 6 major things I learned from living abroad last year!

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How To Learn A New Language (And Stick With It)

as a lot of you probably know, I’ve been learning French intensively for about a year now. I always had a fascination with languages and wanted to learn a second one, and over the past year I’ve started getting a bunch of questions about my favorite language learning methods.

today i’m sharing my favorite language learning resources and tools, plus the biggest tips and tricks that have worked for me and helped me stick with learning French over the past year!

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How To Travel With Just A Carry-On

i used to be the kind of person who had to bring my whole. entire. life. with me when i traveled. anyone else?

no joke, i used to end up checking two bags, going over the weight limit on both, and basically dragging my entire life with me wherever i went. totally exhausting! i finally got sick of the airlines losing my bag and waiting at baggage claim every trip and decided i was gonna be a carry-on only person.

though it definitely takes a little planning in order to really pull it off, i think it’s one of the smartest travel decisions you can make. read on for our top tips on how to travel with just a carry-on!

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Photo Diary: Baja Beach Party NYE 2019

happy 2019!! hope you all had a restful and wonderful holiday break. for a few years now, my NYE tradition has been hanging in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with some of my close friends to give the year a sunny sendoff. today i’m sharing a couple snaps from the week and two of my new favorite restaurants that you HAVE to try if you’re ever down in the Baja peninsula.

here are some highlights from the trip:

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5 Places to Get a Truly Legit Coffee in Paris

Paris is a city known for an endless list of amazing things- its beautiful light, the history, the hundreds of artists and writers who have created masterpieces there…the list goes on. one thing i didn’t realize until moving over here is that until recently, this city hasn’t necessarily been known for their coffee. i learned this relatively quickly, as it wasn’t long before i discovered that it was indeed possible to order a disappointing cappuccino. disappointing baguette? almost never. but the coffee scene was something that took me a minute to navigate.

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Photo Diary: My First Tour in Australia

today i'm sharing a few highlights from my first tour in australia! this was also my first visit to australia in general, so i was kind of freaking out in excitement about it. i was there for almost two weeks, and over the course of my tour i stopped in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. i am so crazy in love with this country now and i can't wait to go back! here are some favorite snaps from our travels:

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Travel Journaling: Inspiration and Supplies

when i was a kid, i used to bring a little notebook along on vacation (more than likely it was some super lit Lisa Frank one) and write about all the stuff we did on our trip. i SO wish i knew where those notebooks were. not only does travel journaling help you preserve awesome memories, it also provides a really cool on-the-go creative outlet. i find that when i'm traveling, i don't get as many chances to be creative unless i'm really mindful about it, and this new style of travel journaling that seems to be all over insta just might be the answer. the notebooks are small, easy to pack, and the pages are blank which means endless possibilities. my favorite journals are the ones that combine writing/diary entries, photos, and sketching or drawing. 

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Photo Diary: Cinque Terre Part II

a couple weeks ago, i shared part I of my Cinque Terre photo diary from earlier this year. this was undoubtedly one of my favorite trips i've ever taken, and considering i've been walking around NYC this week in 24 degree weather i thought it might be time to share more photos of these summery, sun-drenched italian shores. for the second part of our time in Cinque Terre, we stayed in Manarola, one town north of Riomaggiore (where we spent the first part of the trip). we did a lot of hiking along the cliffs which was breathtakingly beautiful, and ate an outrageous amount of pasta. so hopefully those canceled each other out. here are some highlights:

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Photo Diary: Cinque Terre Part I

this past spring i checked off one of my major bucket list destinations: cinque terre in the liguria region of italy. it was even more beautiful than all the photos i've seen, and the people (and the FOOD. and the WINE.) were absolutely incredible. i have so many photos from this trip that i'll be sharing them in two batches, but here are some highlights from my first couple days. i stayed in riomaggiore (the southernmost of the five little towns) for the first part of my trip, and it was totally magical.  

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Pack Your Bags: What To Bring For A Fall Weekend Away

as the former president of non-existant support group Overpackers Anonymous, i know a thing or two about bringing too much stuff on trips. that's why i'm starting this packing guide series, where i'll share my fave wardrobe picks and tips for bringing everything you need on your next adventure and leaving everything you don't at home. it's taken me a good 12 years of crazy coast-to-coast, over oceans travel to figure out how to pack a good suitcase, so hopefully this series can spare you some of the nightmare situations i've encountered along the way (helllooooo London trip 2009 where i tried to traverse the entire rainy city in suede high heel boots. poor choice to say the least)

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Look Fly In The Sky: Carry On Bag Essentials

not sure about you guys, but around this time of year i find myself on a lot of planes and in a lot of airports around the country. i think it's safe to say that holiday travel is always stressful AF no matter how you slice it, but we're here to help you keep that stress level to a minimum so you can fast forward to sharing those holiday spirits with friends and fam. we put together a fool proof list of our favorite airplane carry on bag must-haves so you're stocked up with all the essentials you need while in transit this season.  

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Roundup: Perfect Weekend Getaway Bags

in the spirit of the holiday season (also sometimes referred to as the incessant exhausting travel season) almost upon us, i've been thinking a lot about travel plans. one thing i've been trying (key word here is trying) to implement in my life is a packing discipline to help myself limit the amount of shit i bring with me when i leave my house. while i haven't mastered it yet, i think i've found the key to slowly forcing myself into minimalism: it's called the weekender bag.

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Photo Diary: Amsterdam

ohhhh, amsterdam. you are exquisite. this city is the first place i ever visited in Europe back in 2009, and i immediately fell in love. even though that first trip was in November and it was freezing and raining and i got hella lost, it was fantastic. this past summer, i got to see and explore the city in it's warm weather glory while on tour. here are some highlights:

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Kate Vs. Jetlag: Dublin Edition

there's something about landing in a different timezone after a suuuuper long flight that is kind of awesome. some part of me seems to enjoy the challenge of seeing how easily i can trick myself into thinking it's normal to be awake and walking around when i would otherwise be fast asleep at home. this past May, when i flew to Dublin, Ireland to start my 2016 European tour, I gave myself a full day prior to the first show (as I always do) to get acclimated. 

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Coffee Walk: Paris In May

coffee walk is a series where i'll be sharing snippets of my mini adventures in different cities, usually while on tour. since i'm a musician, i'm on tour quite a bit and one of my favorite things about tour is that it takes me to some amazing places all over the world. the only catch is, since soundcheck usually starts around 3pm, the only stuff i really have time to do in most cities is get a coffee and take a walk. 

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Coffee Walk: Good Morning New Orleans

we're back on the blog today with a little photo diary from one of my favorite cities in the entire world, New Orleans. i am totally in love with this city for a million reasons, but reason number one is probably that i got married here almost five years ago. we picked New Orleans because of its incredibly unique culture, architecture, food, and unparalleled expertise in having a damn good time. when we came through NOLA on tour this past January, I really only had enough time to grab a coffee and take a long walk, hence this latest edition of my 'coffee walk' travel post series. 

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Photo Diary: Snippets Of Switzerland

today i'm sharing some highlights from our couple days in Switzerland on tour last year. we didn't get to do much sightseeing since we were there for the shows (and spent a lot of time in the car driving past gorgeous rolling hills) but the time we did have was AMAZING. we played Solothurn and Zurich, and i absolutely cannot wait to go back to both and explore more of this beautiful country. We hardly got to see Zurich since it was raining and we got in late, so most of these snaps are from Solothurn. This town is honestly out of a fairytale, and it feels like a time capsule. We had a full tour crew dinner in the square one night as the sun went down, and I will probably daydream about the fig and pecorino ravioli I had for the rest of my life.

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Photo Diary: Barcelona Part III

the third and final installment of my Barcelona photo diary is here! i took soooo many pictures on this trip and it was incredibly hard not to post 5671 pics all over the blog. you can check out part I here and part II here if you missed them. i mentioned this in the previous Barca posts, but the best thing about this trip was the fact that we spent 10 whole days just hanging out in Barcelona. when we booked, i worried it could be boring to stay in one place that long, but that could not have been farther from the truth. i felt like we were JUST getting settled when it was time to leave! i would absolutely go live in this city for a year at the drop of a hat. 

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Photo Diary: Barcelona Part II

happy weekend guys! today i'm sharing part II of a three series photo diary from my trip to Barcelona last fall (if you missed part I check it out here). this trip was incredible in every sense of the word, and i literally cannot wait to go back. in part I i chronicled the first half of our stay, which was on the Barceloneta beach. i think my favorite thing about this city is that it has all the benefits and amenities of an awesome beach vacay while also having this amazing history, architecture and culture. i feel like that's kind of a rare combination and Barcelona is a perfect mix of both in my opinion.  for the second half of our trip, we packed up our beach bags and moved to an apartment in the Gracia neighborhood, which quickly became my favorite part of the entire city. 

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