I’m back, and looking forward to sharing my amazing travel experiences since taking a one way ticket to Europe and deciding to move from NYC! Yes, I am definitely a thrill seeker and taking such a big chance did not come easy, but I am so glad I did. I was not satisfied with my life anymore and wanted to explore more of what life has to offer. Since I left NYC I have seen many things and I have been so busy traveling that I did not know where to start off again. So let’s start off with when I arrived in Zurich Switzerland after Iceland.
I had no idea how beautiful Switzerland was. I mean, it’s not every day where people say “My dream is to go to Zurich, Switzerland!” Usually people would insert Paris, London or some other romantic place like Venice. But I can assure you that if you come in the summer time and walk along the water, you will fall in love with this beautiful paradise. The first two photos are from the water and then where I went and got some wine while soaking in the amazing experience. Right next to us was a wedding going on and I completely understand why they chose that location, it was breathtaking. I spent a couple days in Zurich, walking around and shopping a little but also seeing the fancy hotels and nightlife. I must say that everything is extremely expensive, possibly more expensive than NYC!
The other photos of the waterfall are taken at the Switzerland Schaffhausen Rhenfall, somewhere between Zurich and the Germany border. I was amazed at this place as well. I casually had a glass of wine watching the waterfall and looking at a Castle, no big deal. I was wearing my Free People off-white pants, some crochet shoes and a Banana Republic denim vest which I think makes many outfits come together. I think it was a great outfit for a wonderful afternoon of sightseeing and relaxing. If you want to take a sneak peak at some of my other travels you can visit my instagram which shows many more pictures http://www.instagram.com/catherinewanders
So I took a leap of faith, I knew in one week I was about to go on a one way trip to Europe, and I was going for an indefinite amount of time. I was unhappy with my life in NYC. Sure, I had a nice cozy apartment on the Upper East Side, I had gone to a great college, and I had met some amazing people in the 5 years of living there, but I knew I felt empty. What I really wanted to do was travel the world and live my dreams. I finally was in the perfect opportunity where I had money saved and little responsibilities so I could just say my goodbyes and be on my way. I got to the airport and I was nervous because the last time I was flying to Germany the flight was so delayed that I was going to miss New Years Eve in Berlin, so I decided to take my winter-black luggage to Cancun Mexico instead, where I had a full day of Margaritas and the full night of New Years. I knew this time around, this Euro trip was testing me because of course, there were more delays. We were delayed 3 hours until the airline told us they booked a hotel for the night near JFK airport. I still had time to back out, to crawl back to my apartment and be safe, without taking this big leap of faith. But no, I was determined that this was a great decision for me, and so I made it to the flight the next day but had to have yet another layover in Reykjavík, Iceland. I was honestly terrified that I had to have yet another hotel stay-over because this was making my trip a total of 40 hours from door to door. Ouch. I also had limited time, about 5 hours layover but it took about an hour to get to my hotel and luckily a shorter amount on the way back to catch my flight. On the way to the Hotel it was amazing to see how the sun was still out even at 1 in the morning! The sun was only down for about 15 minutes around 3:30 am and then quickly rose again.
Here I took photos of the hotel they booked for me. This hotel was directly in the city center, directly in the middle of all the fun happening since I arrived around 1 AM. I had to walk through many hallways to get to this so I was a bit freaked out I was going to get lost.
The main city Reykjavík was full of 20-somethings flowing out of bars and rustic club scenes. When I first came out of the hotel I felt so awkward being alone and in somewhat of an american-girl outfit as opposed to the rather vampirish black outfits everyone was wearing. The music was booming the few streets filled with nightlife activity. I needed more liquid courage before I could step into any of the packed places so I started my evening at a more mellow bar at the end of one of the streets. Inside was a group of eclectic people dancing in a circle with a DJ playing and rainbow disco lights twirling around. I made my way to the bar and focused my attention on the bartender nearest to me. He was a good looking guy with blonde hair so light it looked white, on his head and his beard. He luckily spoke english and was so friendly, I asked him many questions about the life there. He said he was 25 and loved visiting LA and Las Vegas, he still was not sure what he wanted to do with his life, but he said Bartending was good because they all get paid an hourly wage so it is okay to work in a slow bar. Also other good jobs there are importing and exporting. His name when translated into english is SnowBear! I thought that was so funny. His instagram account begins with Snowbear so I guess he was not kidding. Some guys next to me overheard our conversation and are my from hometown Boston. Of course we had some shots of delicious Icelandic vodka together and spoke for a bit, but I was not in Iceland to speak to people I knew! I wanted to know more about the culture. Snowbear told me to visit across the street to a club that was upstairs a wooden two story building. So I finished my locally brewed beer (which was about $7 USD and $10 Iceland currency) and said my goodbyes to the Bartender and the Boston boys who were here to play in a Symphony Orchestra. I was luckily more brave this time as the liquid courage was settling into my blood stream and I walked up the staircase into the mosh pit of EDM dancers. The inside was seemingly small but lots of different people crammed into a foggy laser lit room and hip, deep base electric music. I felt a little bit like eyes were on me by the bar, a single female with men circling. Quickly I got myself a vodka red bull (since I knew I was not going to sleep in this layover) and found myself a group to dance with. With this group I felt safe, no one was trying to touch me or anything, just simply smiling and dancing and including me in their fun. One of the group members really wanted me to come to some music festival happening later in the month in Iceland but I knew I would not be able to come back so I said thank you but I had to leave. I quickly went back to the hotel to check in with the desk that my ride was coming to pick me up on time, once I had confirmed that, I knew I had about 45 minutes left to enjoy. They recommended I got to American Bar, ha-how funny. This place was far more packed than any of them and had an actual velvet rope line going. To my surprise, I walked in the line the exact same time these guys did from my flight from JFK. They took my hand and we skipped the line as they payed off the bouncer. They were all about 24/25 years old guys traveling in a pack of 4 on a trip that would last a month and a half. Once we were inside it was packed with beautiful, tall girls who could certainly be models in NYC and really obnoxious men who got into a fight in the middle of the place. It seemed so silly. But luckily I got to chat a bit more with the American guys after we had a drink together. We exchanged information and they sent me their travel itinerary where we may be crossing paths again. I said my goodbyes and headed back to the hotel and safely made my way back to the next plane to Zurich, Switzerland.
I was in midtown today around Bryant Park and just happened to walk by the New York Public Library, such a beautiful place! I saw all these tourists posing in front of the steps, and I realized that my outfit was somehow perfect for this setting of neutrals and blacks. So of course I joined in on the tourist action and asked a lovely french woman to take my picture, and to my surprise she actually did a fabulous job and got really into it! We did not really say anything to each other because of the language barrier but she stooped down from many different angles to get her desired shots, she was too sweet. I am wearing one of my favorite color blocked dresses and over it a beautifully crafted Alice & Olivia long sleeveless blazer.
I am in love with the shorelines of Hawaii, they all seem to have some type of story behind each branch, tree or rock placed along the water. Here you can see someone wrote “Aloha” to the right of the tree trunk, partly why I just had to take a snap in front of it. Here I am wearing two separate pieces that I made into a set, some beautiful summer shorts with a lovely trim and a backless nude crepe top.
I have been anticipating my cousin’s wedding for quite some time, especially since it was in Kauai, Hawaii! It is such a beautiful island, just like my beautiful cousin Seiko! The reception was on a gorgeous piece of land that had the beach in the background and the party on the trim grass overlooking the paradise. There was definitely some difficulty in understanding exactly what someone wears to a wedding in a tropical place, especially if you are not sure if it is in the sand or not! Luckily, heels was an okay decision and so I wore my seasonal favorite from Via Spiga purchased at Bloomingdales, and then I somehow found this dress while shopping in SoHo right before leaving for my trip. I love it because I knew I could not wear white or black, but I definitely was not in the mood for a print, so nude all the way! The delicate sequins in the front also wrapped around the straps to the back, a nice detail that had me say “Yes to the Dress!”
I have been loving neutral tones, and this BCBG Maxazria top seems to be just the right combination of texture and color to match these suede-like H&M drawstring shorts. One of my favorite companies is BCBG Maxazria because I believe they have amazing taste and continuously have beautiful selections with the seasons, which always keeps me excited for more. Here I am in my room with my painting I made of a more psychadelic female in contrast to the white door and nude walls and simple makeup. I love this as a summer look!
I decided to dress in color and it was funny because everyone on the Upper East Side seemed to be wearing the gray-scale and completely casual. Sometimes it is not so bad to stand out, and wearing this ModCloth.com dress was a bold move of mine. If you are going to wear color you better be prepared to wear it with confidence. That I did as I sipped my delightful champagne and ate at the outdoor seating of a french restaurant.
Visiting my mother last weekend was not all green grass and trees, but in fact some really adorable cultural places as well as new restaurants, buildings and more. One of my favorite areas near where my mother just moved is Georgetown, Washington, DC. These photos do not exactly capture the adorable little streets but I was certainly happy to be walking around in my new Zara cow heide cheetah heels (I am obsessed with cheetah print!) and my Carol J navy leather handbag and my Forever21 dress which shrunk in the wash, haha oops!
Very rarely am I in a suburban town where all there is to venture to by foot is the park across the street. I love pairing sneakers with dresses and so I threw on one of my mother’s dresses and paired them with my Nike sneakers, or rather “tennies”. I have been living in a concrete jungle for 5 years and it does feel nice for my mind and body to be somewhere more quaint. Inside her house we leave the windows open and beautiful chirps from birdies are everywhere, and the sound of wind whistling by. I am happy to take this time in Maryland near Washington DC to have mother-daughter time in a place that is peaceful. I am happy she just moved here.
About an avenue or so near central park somewhere in the upper east 70’s streets is this delightful french restaurant Orsay. I happened to be wandering around buying time until a meeting a couple hours later, so I got my nails done and headed into this place. It was a sunny day out and I was wearing the perfect amount of covering for my arms and of course a playful short length in my dress. I love how the colors go from light to dark, making it an easy dress to match other pieces to, such as my MIA snakeskin shoes and my 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Medium Satchel which I got while I was in the Hamptons last summer. Cheers to this beautiful weather and trying out new places!