Where We’re Going in 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear readers!! We made it to 2014 and it’s going to be an awesome year! I’m coming off of a New Year’s Eve high where Jave and I spent the night dancing samba with caipirinhas and Champagne in hand as we shook our booties to the hip-swaying rhythms of a live samba band.

I’m so excited about all that’s in store for me and Jave this year – business opportunities, opportunities for personal growth, travel opportunities. Not to sound trite, but I’m so grateful for THIS year, THIS day, THIS moment! And I’m so happy to share some of our upcoming travel plans with you for the first part of this year.


First up, we’ll be spending just about the entire month of March in Europe. This will be Jave’s first time on the continent. The first time I went to Europe was about 13 years ago (wow – that’s bananas!) with my dad and brother where we took part in a package tour that took us to six countries in 10 days – not the ideal way to see and experience Europe. And while nearly a month still isn’t a lot of time to see and experience all that we have in store, at least this time we’ll be seeing and experiencing Europe on our own terms as opposed to being limited by a prepackaged itinerary. And if all goes as planned, my parents will be joining us for a portion of the trip, if not for our entire itinerary. So, here’s the plan…


I’ve always wanted to visit Copenhagen, but not necessarily as a part of this trip. But when we saw dirt cheap airfare from L.A. to Copenhagen on sale, we couldn’t resist. We figured that it was best to get to any European city that we could for an affordable fare, and then book cheap flights and train rides to our other European destinations.

Source: http://yorkshireviking.tumblr.com/ via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: Yorkshire Viking on Tumblr via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Since booking our roundtrip flight to/from Copenhagen, I’ve been doing my homework, and I’m really looking forward to learning more about this city. On our itinerary: Nyhavn canal, Amalienborg royal palace, smørrebrød, Christiania – Copenhagen’s “free town” – and so much more! Oh, and in an effort to cut down on expensive Scandinavian costs, we’ll have our first ever stay in a hostel. Should be interesting…


After Copenhagen, we’re headed to Berlin where I’ll be attending ITB, a huge travel trade show. Attending ITB will be a first for me, and I’m hoping to learn a lot in a short amount of time. And while this won’t be my first time in Germany, it will be my first time in Berlin.

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

I’m looking forward to discovering this gritty, hipster city while seeing some of its historical points of interest including Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and some of Potsdam’s palaces and parks, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


The Budapest leg of our journey is going to be a whirlwind given our limited amount of time in the city. When first planning this trip, I was trying to decide between Budapest and Prague. Every single blog post and TripAdvisor review that I’ve read about Budapest is so positive whereas reviews of Prague have been mixed. So we decided to place our bets on Budapest.

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Pictures of this city are hauntingly beautiful and I can’t wait to see and experience Budapest for myself. We’ll be staying centrally at a hotel on Vaci Utca – a touristy pedestrian street that’s known for good shopping. The city’s historical sites, a visit to the opera house, traditional Hungarian food, and lots of coffee breaks (even though I’m not a big coffee drinker) are all on the ‘to do’ list. And do it, we shall!



The France leg of our trip has been a long time coming and will definitely be one to mark off of my bucket list. From Budapest we’ll head to Paris where we’ll be staying for five nights in an apartment in Le Marais. I’m super, duper ecstatic to get a taste of life as a Parisian. It’ll be nice to explore Paris by foot and public transportation and to see all of the places that I either missed or didn’t get to fully savor when I was there the first time around. In Paris, the plan is to eat really well, slow down a bit, and volunteer. I’m hoping that our non-French speaking selves will be able to keep up with the Parisians!

Source: http://weheartit.com/ via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: http://weheartit.com/ via Dana Carmel on Pinterest


When we leave Paris, we’re heading to the French countryside where we’ll be staying in a former hunting lodge on Île de la Barthelasse in Avignon. The place we’re staying at looks absolutely fabulous and it’s very well reviewed, so I hope that it lives up to the hype. Our plan is to slow things down even more for the few nights we’re in Avignon before heading to our next destination.

Source: Michéle Ulmann at http://ulmann10.canalblog.com/ via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: Michéle Ulmann at http://ulmann10.canalblog.com/ via Dana Carmel on Pinterest


We will only be in Marseille for one day, but our plan is to explore some of the city’s gritty neighborhoods, explore its beautiful calanques by boat, and perhaps find a good place to try Corsican cuisine. From reviews I’ve read, a lot of people seem to have negative opinions of Marseille, but I’ve learned to never judge a book by its cover! Based on my own research so far, Marseille looks like it might be my kind of city.

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Cote d’Azur

We will be roadtripping from Marseille through the French Riviera with stays in St. Tropez and Nice and stops along the way in St. MaximePort GrimaudCannes, and a hop across the border for a quick visit to Monaco.

Source: https://pccdn.perfectchannel.com via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: https://pccdn.perfectchannel.com via Dana Carmel on Pinterest


Much like the Budapest leg of our trip, I’m pretty certain that our time in Rome is going to be quite hurried. It will be my first time ever in Italy, and for the short time that we’re there, I intend to satisfy all of my gastronomical, hedonistic desires by eating as much pasta and gelato as I can. I’ve literally mapped out all of the well-reviewed restaurants and gelato parlors within a 20-minute walking range of our hotel which is located near the Spanish Steps. I mean business! Of course, Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Vatican, and all of the notable sites are also on our agenda. After Rome, we’ll head back to Copenhagen for a few nights before our departure back home to L.A.

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest


Del Norte Coast

Visiting California’s Del Norte Coast (all the way north not too far from the Oregon border) has also been a lifelong dream of mine. The chance to see the redwoods in one of the Redwood National and State Parks is what’s drawing us to the area! But a boat ride along the Klamath River and an environmentally-related volunteer experience are also top priorities while there.

Source: Ed Post on Flickr via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: Ed Post on Flickr via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Random Dates Throughout the Year

More of California…

While Los Angeles is my biggest “frenemy” and I often gripe about living here, one thing that I don’t gripe about is living in California. I’m a Cali girl and I know that this sounds a bit braggadocious, but California is THE most beautiful state that I’ve ever visited in terms of the diversity of our landscape. Mountains, deserts, forests, lakes, oceans, and concrete jungles included – we Californians really have it all! So apart from our trip to Del Norte, Jave and I will be exploring more of our beautiful state this year. There will be winery trips, a trip back to my old stomping grounds in the Bay Area, hopefully a trip back to Monterey and Carmel – two of my favorite destinations in California – and there will even be a camping trip in the wild! And, of course, there will be more love/hate experiences to share in L.A.!

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

Source: via Dana Carmel on Pinterest

While there will be more travel in the latter half of the year, those plans have yet to be solidified. So I hope that you’ll stay tuned to see how our plans unfold…


Where are you going in 2014? Also, please feel free to share your suggestions and/or recommendations about our upcoming travel plans.


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38 Responses to “Where We’re Going in 2014”

  1. Becky Padmore March 18, 2014 at 2:13 am #

    Oh wow what a year lined up, some of my favourite places here! When you visit Copenhagen make sure you visit their very cool Meatpacking district it’s full of great bars and restaurants.
    Becky Padmore recently posted…Top 10 cool and unusual hotels in Las VegasMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel March 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

      Thanks for the suggestion, Becky. I’m back in Copenhagen now and time permitting, we’ll check it out!

  2. Monika Sharma March 13, 2014 at 2:15 am #

    This is just 3rd month of this year but still I didn’t dedicated where to make trip of summer 2014, I was just thinking for a better place but this post really helped me !

    • Dana Carmel March 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

      Glad it helped you and I hope you have happy travels wherever 2014 takes you!

  3. Zori February 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    What a great list! Berlin and Budapest are great choices. If you’re flexible with time I recommend you to visit Belgrade while in Budapest. RT ticket with train is just 26 EUR and now there’s direct air line with AirSerbia.
    Zori recently posted…A guide to Timisoara, RomaniaMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel February 4, 2014 at 7:03 am #

      Zori, if only we had more time. I would definitely love to visit Belgrade, but I don’t think that we’ll be able to squeeze it in this time around. Thanks for the recommendation though!

  4. jill January 15, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Oh man, your travel plans make me want to go back to Europe asap. I haven’t been back in years! Here’s to a great 2014!
    jill recently posted…Favorite Things TbilisiMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 15, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

      Thanks, Jill. Hopefully your plans for the year will allow you to get back to Europe. But wherever you go, have fun and be safe!

  5. Erin O'Leary January 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi Dana, I just loved reading this post! First of all, I think you made the right choice with choosing Budapest over Prague. I taught English in Poland last year and this allowed me to take 2 mini backpacking trips around Europe. The first one was to Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava and the second I traveled to Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Paris and Barcelona. Prague feels very touristy as opposed to Budapest, which had an unique charm. Berlin is so vibrant and incredible! I had to go there for my work visa, but I fell in love instantly! Enjoy your time! It sounds incredible! I wish I could’ve made it to Italy while I was in Europe, but it’s all the more reason to go back some day! Happy Traveling! :)
    Erin O’Leary recently posted…Weekly Photo Challenge: WindowMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

      I’ve heard that about Prague – that it has a more touristy feel than Budapest. Wow – how awesome would it be to take not one, but two mini backpacking trips around Europe, but I guess living in Poland lends itself to such privileges! I was last in Europe several years ago and fell in love with Amsterdam when I was there. It would be nice to squeeze it in again this time around, but our itinerary is packed. Anyway, I hope that you’ll stay tuned on the blog for posts about our journey. Thanks for reading!

  6. Mary {The World Is A Book} January 9, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    What an amazing European itinerary you have planned out. We were in Copenhagen in 2012 and loved it. If you can squeeze in a day trip to Malmo, Sweden, try to do so. It’s a charmer, easy to get to and you’re adding another country :) We also loved Frederiksborg Castle and try to see the Changing of the Danish Guards. I’m glad you’re exploring more of our wonderful state this year too. I couldn’t agree more with you, we do live in the best state :) Wishing you both a lot of memorable adventures in 2014! Safe travels!
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted…5 Free Things to do in Los Angeles with KidsMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

      Ooh – thanks for the reminder about the changing of the guards. I have to look up the info to see what time they go through the whole pomp and circumstance because we’d love to see that. Thanks for the well wishes, Mary!

  7. Rosemarie January 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    Oh I’m so green with envy! It’s my dream to visit Europe but we have always put it off due to extremely expensive flight tickets from South East Asia. I shall live vicariously through yout posts. Look forward to reading them!
    Rosemarie recently posted…Shimla – Summer Capital of IndiaMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      We’re just the opposite because I always dream of visiting Asia, but just haven’t prioritized it properly like we should. I’m determined to get to Asia in 2015 though! Until then, we’ll live vicariously through each others’ posts! 😉

  8. Becky Padmore January 9, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    What a great year lined up Copenhagen, Berlin and California are some of my favourite places so can’t wait to hear how you get on!
    Becky Padmore recently posted…Top 10 cool and unusual hotels in Cape TownMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      I’ve heard so many great things about Berlin, so I’m really hoping that it lives up to all of the hype!

  9. Agness January 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    Wow guys. Looks like you are going to explore a lot of Europe which is amazing as I am back in Europe in August and I’m also planning on going to Copenhagen :). If you need some travel tips on Germany, let me know. I know a few nice places in Berlin to explore.
    Agness recently posted…Philippines – Singapore – Indonesia: Planning The ItineraryMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

      Yes – so glad to be getting back to Europe to see and experience it the way that really want to this time around! I’ve heard great things about Copenhagen and I’m really looking forward to going as I’m sure you are as well! 😉

  10. memographer January 7, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    Oh, Paris! my beloved Paris!!! Very exciting plans, Dana! Happy 2014!
    memographer recently posted…Photo Essay: A Portrait of the Hanoi Street PeddlerMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Very exciting, indeed! Thanks and a happy 2014 to you as well!

  11. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com January 6, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    I spent almost 3 months in Europe in 2012, and boy, do I really want to go back! You sure have a lot of travel plans this year. Enjoy 2014!
    Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com recently posted…The Best of My Travels in 2013My Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 8, 2014 at 6:50 am #

      I hope that you make it back to Europe someday soon! Yes, we have a busy March itinerary and I’m really looking forward to having almost a full month there which is the longest we’ve been able to travel in a long time!

  12. Freya
    Twitter: HolidayNomad
    January 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    Dancing the Samba is definitely a great way to start the new year, love the pics :) WoW 2014 looks like a great travel year for you, you’re European trip looks great but you left out Belgium 😉 I absolutely love California, it’s one of my favorite states although I have to admit that I did not like LA very much. Happy travels in 2014
    Freya recently posted…Looking back at 2013 and forward to 2014My Profile

  13. Monique January 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    I am so excited for your trips in 2014 and can’t wait to follow along! We had an amazing time in Nice and to my surprise, we also had an amazing time in Rome!

    Looking forward to your posts about Berlin, as I’ve never been and can’t wait to see it through your eyes.

    Happy travels! :)
    Monique recently posted…Seattle City Pass: yes, it’s worth itMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

      I’ve heard many great things about Nice, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it all for myself! 😉

  14. Mike January 3, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Oh my gosh what a lip-smacking, travel-enticing post, Dana! Love the pics of you and Jave getting your Samba on. I learned about that dance from Dancing With The Stars several years ago. I’m so excited for you two and I hope it works out to connect up with your parents! I can’t wait for your Berlin post but, of course, all of your upcoming destinations are awesome. Staying in a lodge in the country, a possible boat tour, and eating! You guys are gonna love the Northern California coast too! :)
    Mike recently posted…Things That Go Bump In The NightMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 3, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      While I’m really looking forward to Europe, I’m also REALLY looking forward to the redwoods. I can’t wait to behold the redwoods for myself! And I hope that you’ll enjoy my upcoming posts on Berlin.

  15. Marisol@TravelingSolemates January 3, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Wow, what an amazing European itinerary you’ve got! I’m sure Jave will have a blast on his first Euro trip. Glad to hear you’ll be staying in Le Marais in Paris. That’s one of my favorite neighborhood in the city. In Budapest, don’t miss to experience their traditional bath/spa. In Rome, Trestavere is my new favoritre neighborhood. Check it out for its charming streets, art scene and wonderful trattorias. I can’t wait to hear all about your culinary adventures in your destinations. I’m already salivating just thinking the deliciousness that’s awaiting you. Happy 2014 to you and Jave. Wishing both of you more happy and exciting travels.
    Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted…Iceland: Exploring the Lava Tube Cave of LeidarendiMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 3, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

      Thanks for the tips, Marisol! We’re definitely hoping to squeeze in a trip to a bath in Budapest, and I’ll have to look into Trestavere. I need to start my diet plan so that I can lose weight in an effort to make room for the weight that I’m sure I’ll gain during our trip! 😉

  16. Eduardo@Andaremos January 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Hey, where do I sign up for this tour? You are going to love Paris. I love the city. Every time I climb out of a metro station onto a new street, my legs freeze and I stand there for a few seconds to admire the new surroundings. Don’t believe everything you hear, I found French people to be very friendly and helpful. I don’t speak a word of French and I did not need it. I know food is a very personal thing but I have not been very lucky in that department. I am glad I found good Asian food to rescue me.
    Eduardo@Andaremos recently posted…Jamón y mucho más – some Spanish delicacies in MadridMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 3, 2014 at 6:53 am #

      I’ve been to Paris before but was only there briefly. I fell in love with the city during those few brief days, so I’m definitely looking forward to falling in love all over again. Hopefully we won’t have any issues with not speaking French either – I did the first time I was there though!

  17. Dorothy January 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    I’ve been to both Budapest and Prague and definitely liked Prague better. But I think you’ll enjoy Budapest (although I hope they’re not having a heat wave like they did when I visited…it was far too hot for coffee! In fact, they were giving away free water on the street because it was so hot!).
    Dorothy recently posted…Happy Solstice – Sundays in My CityMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 3, 2014 at 6:48 am #

      I’ll be there in early March, so I think all of the coffee breaks will come in handy. Curious to know why you liked Prague better?

  18. Leigh January 2, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Sounds like you have a terrifc year lined up. For hostels in Europe I would highly recommend the books by Hardie Kargas. It’s called 1000 Hostels: Britain & North Europe Hyper-Guide. He gives you all the info you need about each hostel – and many have private rooms.

    I have more adventures in Canada planned so I can finish my book – including two trips to northern Canada, 2 weeks in Newfoundland and some time in our prairie provinces. And come the fall who knows what trip might appear out of nowhere!

    All the best for 2014.
    Leigh recently posted…In Ansel Adams Footsteps: My B & W Experience in Yosemite NPMy Profile

    • Dana Carmel January 3, 2014 at 6:51 am #

      Thanks for the hostel recommendation. We already booked our hostel in Copenhagen, but I still have one more reservation to make for one of the legs of our trip. I’ll definitely have to check out the book.

      I’m looking forward to reading more about your Canadian adventures and gawking at your gorgeous photos. Happy travels!


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