3 days in Reykjavik

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Iceland is super trendy.  In the past decade, there’s been a >300% increase in the amount of visitors to Iceland — it’s almost to the point where you barely see any locals.  Because I have the worst FOMO ever, I needed to go here before tourists overrun everything and American chains start moving in.  Everyone in my family had already gone (which is not a reason to travel, but again, FOMO), so off I headed to Reykjavik for an Icelandic adventure.

all is full of love…

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Rome if you want to…

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Rome is a polarizing place.  For some, it represents the peak of romance, beauty and charm. For others, it’s a crowded, tourist-laden nightmare.  I think its real appeal is that it’s both; it’s a city of contradictions.  There is a mix of ancient and modern, sometimes seamless in execution (turning on a busy street and seeing the Parthenon) and others not so much (the futile attempt of expanding the Metro due to delays in the name of archeology). It’s very urban, but yet has simple charms similar to those found in Italy’s most rural countryside villages.  There are so many relics and ruins; it’s often a little overwhelming! But, if you take a step back to enjoy the moment, it’s a city that can leave you breathless.  You will understand why it’s called the Eternal City.

Take a Roman holiday…

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Japan part Ni: kyoto, nara, osaka

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In honor of Sakura, the internationally renowned spring cherry blossom season, we continue our journey through Japan.  Next destination: Kyoto.  One of the most magical cities in Japan, it feels like you’re a character in a novel from eons ago when you’re here.  Literally, if this city does not make you feel like you’re in Memoirs of a Geisha or Shogun, then Sayonara, Felicia.

Kyoto has a dark magic feel to it, the city of geishas.  You just know there’s secrets hidden in the dark, wooded architecture.

If these rice paper walls could talk…

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3 days in Vancouver

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I’ve been fortunate to travel to Vancouver, BC multiples times in my life for work; it’s one of my favorite destinations because of it’s ease and modern sensibilities.  And the food!

Sitting on the water, it’s an ideal metropolis that offers everything you could want. Spending a few days here will give you a great sampling of all this city has to offer, and it’ll make you want to come back again and again.  And you totally should…

They’re not canuckin’ around here.

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3 days in New York

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New Year, New York.  Sometimes I feel it’s a little futile to write a guide of New York.  Obviously there’s a lot to do, see and eat, that you couldn’t possibly cover everything in 3 days or 3 weeks or even 3 years.   The magic of New York is that I find something new every time I’m there, often by just wandering around aimlessly.  It’s the easiest city in the world to do that, you can meander for hours and be entertained by just that simple action.  That’s why I love it so, there’s so much to take in, it keeps the flight of ideas going.

Here are my must sees when I’m in New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made.

Start spreading the news…

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3 days in Boston

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I think I’m going to Boston, I think I’ll start a new life.  So are the lyrics of the Augustana hit from the early 2000s that fill my head every time I go here.  It’s a great city for new starts and rejuvenations, being both young and vibrant whilst steeped in history and tradition.

One if by land, two if by sea…

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24 hours exploring Charlotte’s web

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Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the country’s financial centers which draws in a lot of young professionals and individuals with money.  With a growing population, the demand for restaurants, attractions and entertainment rises, and the city has stepped up.  It honestly does not feel like much of a Southern city, other than its hospitality, the downtown feels like mini Wall Street with its city of skyscrapers.

The cool thing about this city is that there’s a real sense of humor about it. There’s quotes all around town, and whimsical public art displays.  Not what you might expect from a city that boasts the Nascar Hall of Fame.  The unexpected it what makes this city so special, and a great place to spend a short weekend.

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24 hours in Prague

Prague is probably the most popular destination in Central Europe.  It’s a great city filled with spectacular vistas and bridges and churches.  It’s the city of a hundred spires, packed to the brim with Medieval churches, a castle, cobblestone paths.  It’s very walkable, and the beer is cheaper than water (it basically is water?) .   It’s a european city, so there’s also a thriving red light district and sex museums–fun for everyone, question mark.  What do you expect, it was the capital of Bohemia at one point.

Praha is a classic destination, with art, culture and architecture abound.  I spent a much too short 24 hours here, and while there are other cities I prefer, this is certain a must see for anyone traipsing around Europe looking for a good time.

The devil wears praha

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weekender in Omaha

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Omaha is not just something Peyton Manning yelled a lot while he quarterbacked for the Broncos.  It’s also a lovely metropolitan area in the corniest state the Midwest–literally, not figuratively.  It is comfortable, young, hip, and up and coming. So up and coming that Facebook is going to open some sort of offshoot HQ there in the next few years.

I had briefly traveled to the Cornhusker state for a weekend years ago, but one of my favorite friend couples lives there, so I visited Nebraska’s most populous city again to hang out with their family.  It’s a very family friendly place, and you can see why it’s becoming more and more popular amongst young couples.  The pace of life is decent, there’s a lot of industry and tech moving into the area, and proud Nebraskans are opening up cool restaurants and shops all over the city.

Omaha, Omaha set hut!

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3 days in Pittsburgh

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Steel City is good old fashioned blue collar town, and it’s a good time.  The people are genuine, there’s innovation in food and industry and healthcare.  Sports culture can’t be beat there.  I’ve been to the ‘burgh a few times, for assorted work related trips and a wedding, and I’ve had memorable visits each time.

won’t you be my neighbor?

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