RTW Diaries: Month Two

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Another month, another travel round-up for you!ย Since you seemed to enjoy my RTW Month One summary so much, I figured I should continue the series — and the end of Month Two has already come and gone!


Here's a look at what I got up to during my second month in Europe:

Month Two

Countries visited: 3 (or 5) — Italy, France, and Greece (also the Vatican and Monaco, which are technically countries)

Cities (and towns and villages) visited: 15, give or take — Venice, Rome, Florence, Siena, Nice, Monte Carlo, Athens, Syros town, Mykonos town, Fira, Oia, Ios town, Naxos town, Apiranthos, Halki

Islands visited: 9 — Murano, Burano, Torcello, Syros, Mykonos, Delos, Santorini, Ios, Naxos


Favorite big city: Venice

Honestly, I never expected to love Venice. I'd heard tales of how crowded and smelly it can be during the summer time, and totally expected to leave the city uninspired. But you know what? I LOVED Venice. Yes, it was crowded. And yes, one or two small canals smelled a little weird. But this city is so unique and amazing that I was able to overlook the negatives and focus only on the positives. Venice is GORGEOUS, and I had so much fun getting lost in its maze-like streets.

Venice Grand Canal

Favorite small city: Oia

This Greek gem on Santorini is the one you see on all the postcards — the one with all the blue church domes set against the impossibly blue Aegean Sea. And Oia did NOT disappoint. One of my favorite days in the Greek Islands was when I went and explored this town, taking over 200 photos in just a couple of hours.


Random place I never intended to visit but did: Monaco

While I was in Nice, I found out that the independent nation of Monaco was only a 30-minute bus ride away — a bus ride that would only cost 1.40 Euro one-way. Of COURSE I had to go and check it out! Since it was so nearby, I had no qualms about simply popping into Monte Carlo to roam around for an hour or so. I felt totally underdressed in my beach gear, but am still glad I went.


Coolest (short) tour: VIP tour of the Colosseum, and Taste of Tuscany tour

This one is a tie, because I just can't choose between these two great half-day tours. The first was the VIP tour of the Colosseum I did with Walks of Italy in Rome. During it, I had a great tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and then got to see the Colosseum in a very special way — I got to go both down beneath the structure (where the lions and gladiators would have waited to enter the arena) as well as to the highest level up top. The Taste of Tuscany tour I did with Italy on a Budget Tours from Florence is a close second. On this one, I got to visit Monteriggioni, Siena, and the Chiani wine region with a small group of other travelers. A fun wine tasting and awesome home-cooked dinner were included, totally epitomizing Tuscany for me.

Colosseum in Rome

Best water-related activity: Boat trip on Santorini

In Santorini, my Intrepid Travel tour group decided we wanted to go out on a boat. So our awesome guide arranged a private charter for us with the wonderful Captain George. We had the little traditional boat to ourselves for 3 hours, which we spent dancing, drinking wine, swimming, and then slathering ourselves in mud from a volcanic hot spring (which left me smelling like sulphur for 2 days, but oh well). The evening ended just in time to watch the sun set from the donkey trail in Oia.

Santorini mud

Best beach: Villafranche or Perissa

This is a tough one, because I went to a beach just about every day in Greece. I'll say Villefranche (in the French Riviera) simply because it was the first beach I visited this summer in Europe and it was JUST what I needed after a hot day in Nice. It was also kind of gorgeous. My other favorite was Perissa on Santorini, with its black sand and orgasmically perfect water.

Villefranche beach
Villefranche beach

Biggest surprise: Burano

I took a half-day trip out to some of the islands that surround Venice. I had always heard that Burano — known for its lace-making and painted houses — was pretty. But I had no idea just HOW pretty and amazing this little island was. I spent my time on the island snapping photos like this one:


Weirdest experience: Fish spa

On Santorini, me and a couple of my Intrepid tour mates decided it might be fun to have little fish nibble on our feet for half an hour. And you know what? It WAS kind of fun. Also weird. But mostly fun.

Fish spa Santorini

Coolest ancient site I visited: Delos

The Greek island of Delos is nothing but ruins today. But it's OLD. Like, old enough that this is where the Greek god Apollo and his twin sister Artemis are said to have been born. It's also a pretty cool half-day trip from Mykonos.


Most expensive car I saw: A purple special edition Lamborghini

I saw more expensive cars in front of the Monte Carlo Casino than I had ever seen in my entire LIFE. But this one definitely took the cake as being the most ostentatious of the bunch.

Monte Carlo

Here are some other stats:

Flights: 1 (Nice to Athens)

Trains: 0

Buses: Lots, since I was still traveling with Busabout for half of this month; and I also took lots of public buses on the Greek Islands

Ferries: 8 (all in the Greek Islands)

Splurges: I may or may not have purchased an Italian leather bag in Florence… But it has a vintage map print on it! I cannot be held responsible for my actions when vintage maps and cute handbags are involved…

Photos taken: 1,394

Greek kitties patted: Countless

Times I nearly pulled my hair out thanks to terrible wifi in Italy: Also countless


Where to next?

I'm actually currently in Poland (sorry, I'm even behind on this post!), which was a last-minute addition to my trip. I will visit Warsaw and Krakow here for a total of roughly 10 days, and then will go back to London for a week before heading over to Ireland for TBEX (a blogging conference) and a bit of extra exploring at the beginning of October.

After Ireland? I have no clue. I'll still have about 20 or so Schengen days at my disposal, so I would be up for another week or so in Europe before the Next Step.

And what's the Next Step, you ask? You'll just have to stay tuned to find out!

What's up on the blog?

I'm further behind than ever on the blog — roughly a month behind my actual travels. I hope to buckle down in London next week though and try my best to get (somewhat) caught up. I have Italy posts coming up soon, a couple of videos to edit, and then of course tons of Greece content!

In the meantime, here's what I've published lately on the blog about this trip:

I think that just about wraps up Month Two. Thanks for following along!



Let me know what you thought of this monthly summary in the comments!



"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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37 Comments on “RTW Diaries: Month Two

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  1. Love this, and I want a pic of that handbag! I can’t control myself either when vintage maps are involved. It looks like this was a fabulous month for you – can’t wait to catch up at Tbex!!

      Haha, I’ll be sure to show you the bag at TBEX!!

      And yes, definitely a great month.

    Wow, what a busy month! Sounds like a load of fun and makes me wish I could afford to add a European leg to of my travels next year. Oh well, one day! And Venice and the Greek Islands will definitely be on my list!

      Yeah, Europe definitely isn’t cheap! But it’s definitely worth a visit one of these days, when you can afford it.

    Oh my goodness. I am reliving my trip to Greece through your pictures. Oia was such a beautiful place and I am so glad I went. It looks like you are having a great time, and I am glad your perception of Greece has changed since the last time you went!

    Thanks for sharing.

      I definitely fell in love with the Greek Islands. I still don’t think I’ll have any love for Athens… but I suppose that’s okay.

        I hear ya, we were there for about a week, and we could have been there only one day really. Also we got robbed there too, which really sucked. And we weren’t in the crazy heat which was good. But all in all, one day in Athens would have been sufficient. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Awesomesauce! I’m looking forward to all the Greece stuff soon. Now I’m starting to understand how blogging is some time consuming: I’m also at least a month behind on our travels, and there are days we do awsome stuff, and in the back of my mind I’m like “but there won’t be any time to write about this for the blog”. I know, first world problems!

      Haha, ah, the challenges of living an awesome life! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Wow! Really amazing trip! Europe is incredible and now when you visited so many places there and gathered so many memories and experiences, we have a lot to look forward to on your blog!

      Europe really IS incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of traveling here.

    “…tons of Greece content!” So looking forward to it! And that picture of Oia… I CAN’T BREATHE. I am so overwhelmed by its beauty and I’m just looking at a picture. I’ll probably have an emotional breakdown once I actually visit Greece. Love these round-up posts.

    Happy travels ๐Ÿ™‚

      The views in Oia were stunning enough to nearly make me cry!

    You’re experience with Venice sounds like mine. The city was never on my radar, but I went there on a tour a few years ago and loved it. Reading this recap makes me really want to go to Europe, especially seeing that photo of Oia Greece and knowing how winter coming (where I live) it looks pretty fantastic.

      Venice is great, isn’t it??

      And I would highly suggest the Greek Islands… they are fantastic! And also nice and warm. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Italian leather bag. Mmmmmmm. I like the idea of that.

      Hahaha of course you do! The one I bought would be far too small for you, though… So there’s no chance of you stealing it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Looks to be a fabulous time! Absolutely loved the blue sea photo of Greece!

      Thanks, Patti! I think that photo is going to get blown up and hung on my wall when I get home.

    Gosh, that shot of Oia is phenomenal. I need to prioritize that as my next destination!

    Good luck catching up on posts in London!

      The Greek Islands are SO amazing. Be prepared to be wowed once I get to my posts from there!!

    How great is Europe?? โ‚ฌ1.40 and twenty minutes to another country… I think that’s what spun me out the most the first time I was there.

    Also, no judgement on the map bag!! I’d have done the exact same thing!

      Yes it’s so amazing to be able to go to a completely different country in just a few hours here – SO different than in North America!

    Love these quick summaries. It gives me inspiration for a future RTW. . .if I am lucky ๐Ÿ™‚

    Man, you have been busy! Are you loving being on the road this much? I know you wrote some posts about it, but I am sure it can be overwhelming with keeping up with blogging and wanting to see everything!

      Glad to give you a little inspiration, Angela! As for being in near-constant motion, it DOES get really, really tiring. And I’m very behind on my work. But I definitely don’t regret any of it!

    I love your recaps, and this time it was special for me because I’ve been to many of the places you mention. By the way, I’m in love with that purple Lamborghini!

      I think it would be hard not to be impressed by that car!

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