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What We’ve Been Up To: October 2017 Review

With the exception of a few very memorable days in Romania, October was a month solely dedicated to Italy!

Italy now officially beats out Mexico as the country other than the USA that we have spent the most cumulative time in: as of the end of 2017, we will have spent more than two months total in Italy since we started traveling full time in May 2016… and after the October we have had, we solidly expect that amount to continue rising over the next few years.

Where We’ve Been:

Rome, Florence, Arezzo, San Gimignano & Bologna, Italy

Bucharest, Romania

Highlights of October 2017:

Our time in Florence has been packed full of highlights, from riding a Vespa for the first time through the Tuscan countryside to eating plate after plate of pasta smothered in pesto to admiring the masterpiece that is David.

It’s impossible to pick a single highlight from our time in Tuscany, so I’ll give a blanket shout-out to the food: we have eaten incredibly well here, and enjoyed every second of it.

Our time in Bucharest was also a major highlight: we were hosted by Experience Bucharest for three days to explore the city, and loved having the chance to explore this funky, quirky, tons-of-fun city that reminded us a bit of our beloved Ljubljana.

We even got to climb Romania’s Arch de Triomphe, which was opened especially for our group of bloggers–typically, it is closed 364 days out of the year!

Just as much of a highlight as the city itself, though, was getting the opportunity to hang out with all kinds of amazing people, turning internet-blogger-friends into IRL friends and making brand new friends along the way.

I’ll be writing more about our experience in Bucharest in the future, but for now, to sum it up, we had a blast, and don’t be surprised if we head back to Romania for more travel in the future! The mountains and the villages of Transylvania in particular are calling our names…

Bucharest, Romania

Challenges of October 2017:

Handling the sleep deprivation during and after Bucharest! A packed schedule and tons of interesting activities around every corner meant that we made it back to Florence completely exhausted and a little worse for the wear–it took a few nights of solid sleep for it to wear off!

Other than that, though, we truthfully had a pretty easy month–renting our apartment in Florence for a whole month has allowed us to keep what feels like a downright leisurely pace, sightseeing a couple hours a day during the weekdays and working the evenings.

Florence, Italy gelato

Best Money Managing Move:

I feel like every time we stay still for awhile I end up talking about how good it was for our wallets in this section of the monthly review… but it’s true, slower travel really does pay off!

Not only did having more time in Florence allow us to stretch out our sightseeing costs such as visiting galleries, etc, across more days, the monthly discount for the Airbnb apartment we rented less than a ten minute walk from the Duomo brought the total price down to only around $42/night after all taxes and fees.

To get a private apartment with a full kitchen (that we have made ample use of, saving us even more money) in such an amazing location would have cost much more per night without taking advantage of the longer time period.

Most Popular Instagram Photo:

Everyone loves the Colosseum–including us! We were even more impressed by it than we expected to be.

October 2017 Posts:

11 Marvelous Things to Do in Malta — We did very little research before our trip to Malta, but we found no shortage of things to do in the tiny island country once we arrived!

Quick Malta Travel Guide: What to Do in Malta, Where to Stay & More — Planning a trip to Malta? Start here!

26 Things I Did While I Was 26 — This was my second year of sharing my annual birthday tradition on the blog, and I’m glad that I continued. I suspect I’ll share one next year, too!

Food, Food, Food: Delicious Experiences & Things to Eat in Florence — With how much we’ve talked about food during our month in Florence, is it any surprise that our first Italy post of the year is all about eating? We’ve eaten some amazing things and had some great food-centered experiences during our stay–here’s what we’ve been up to.

Things to Eat in Florence: Cooking Class in Tuscany

What’s Next:

About a month ago, I made a poll on Instagram Stories asking whether we should end this leg of our European travels in Belgium or Paris.

Truthfully, I expected Paris to win by a landslide, but it ended up being a virtual tie: the poll ended around 52% to 48%, with Paris pulling out a very narrow lead.

Well, we finally made a decision… and we’re going to Belgium!

After leaving Florence, we’re going to make a quick stop in Venice for a few days and then head to Belgium, where we’ll split our time between Bruges and Ghent.

We’re excited to experience Flemish architecture, learn some history (we really know astonishingly little about Belgium), admire the canals, and of course, eat plenty of Belgian Waffles and Belgian Chocolates.

After that, it’s back to the USA for the holidays: we’ll definitely be visiting NYC, Austin, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City, with plenty of other short trip ideas being tossed around to go in between some of those.

Family time (and hopefully catching-up-on-projects-and-writing time) will take us through the New Year, but come January, who knows? Let’s just say that multiple continents are on the table as possibilities.

Bologna, Italy

Many thanks to Experience Bucharest for hosting us on our trip to Romania! All opinions are, as always, our own.

20 thoughts on “What We’ve Been Up To: October 2017 Review”

  1. Wow, you guys have had a busy October, though a fulfilling one too. Very true about taking an apartment nearer to the centre in Florence, it works out cheaper especially for short-term renting. Have a great time in Belgium, enjoy the frites and beer!

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  2. Wowsa what an incredible month! I am very envious! Look forward to more info and tips for Bucharest as that’s somewhere I am definitely planning to visit Spring 2018. Lovely photos and inspirational – if not a little jam-packed – itinerary. Keep on enjoying Europe – especially ‘moules frites’ in your next stop!

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  3. I don’t know if i’ll ever make it to Romania – long story but I was one denied entry – however, your post really sounds so interesting. More than that, really jealous of all the travel you did in the month. Some truly splendid places, and glad to see you both have an amazing time exploring them. All the best for your travels to come…

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  4. Sounds like your guys have had a good month and saw a lot of Italy. I am a huge fan of Rome, San Gimignano & Bologna, you just fill like you have stepped back in time. I was supposed to be in Bucharest, Romania for the Experience Bucharest as well but I was waiting on my new passport so I needed to cancel at the last minute. A shame though as I might have met you guys. Have a great trip back to the USA catching up with your family

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    • Ah, it would have been great to meet you! Maybe one of these days. 🙂 Italy is truly amazing–one of our favorite countries, we’re already talking about when we might come back again.

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  5. Wow, you guys had a jam packed October and a one which will stay with you forever. Romania I have heard is really beautiful and Transylvania has also made it to my bucket list very recently. Love your pictures, and hope to read more on your travel stories.

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  6. Your Colosseum photo is a beauty and deserves those likes! You should have a good time in Belgium, both Bruges and Gent are beautiful locations. My most liked IG photo used to be a picture of the colorful houses in the central square of Bruges, it could be yours too in November! Enjoy the Belgian waffles, with nutella is my favourite.

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    • Oh, Jeremy will be alllll over those nutella waffles! Lol. I think you’re right–Bruges could very easily be a contender for top IG photo of November, it looks amazing! It will be competing with soon-to-come Venice photos though, so it’ll have some stiff competition. 😀

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  7. As half of the UK will tell you, 52% to 48% is not a virtual tie – it is a landslide.
    The other half will agree with you that is so close that it is effectively a tie.

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  8. You have taken stunning shots of Bucharest and Italy, specially the ice-cream and Colosseum one. I visited Rome, Florence and northern Italy but missed Bucharest. Renting an AirBnB stay just near to Duomo must be so great as it is so comfortable and with private kitchen.

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  9. I love your photography, that flower picture was looking so pretty and ice cream one with crowd behind is an excellent click. I haven’t visited Romania yet. Looks like you had a whole month of happiness. I have heard a lot about beautiful places in Romania and now I have seen them.

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  10. I seriously loved Italy, their culture and especially their food ha ha. Florence was of my favorite places when I went Because it felt a lot more authentic than Rome or Venice did. I didn’t like either of those. Sounds like you had a great month and that you were on your way to a great rest of the year too. I remember eating pizza for breakfast probably three or four times and I was in Italy one of the highlights for sure ha ha.

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    • We’ve heard a lot of people say that! We personally loved all three cities, but Florence is definitely the one we would want to stay in the longest. We’ll just keep going back to Venice for a few days at a time!

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