From Big Freeze to Big Tease

It’s supposed to be spring now, right? It’s hard to tell based on the fact that we’re still having sub-freezing nights in London. The bright sunny skies outside today just add insult to injury.

My friends on the East Coast of the USA have had it worse though, and even this morning exasperated posts about yet more snowfall filled my Facebook feed.  And Boston, oh Boston… I love that town, but holy hell have they had a rough time this year.

It’s been an especially brutal winter, so it’s no wonder I’ve received messages from friends around the world asking about recommendations for destinations like Spain and Italy to thaw their frozen spirits.

So here I’ll offer a preview of sorts: Destinations that seem high on my friends’ and readers’ wish lists for summer getaways.

Namely:

  • Barcelona and Madrid
  • Cinque Terre
  • Amalfi Coast (shocker, I know) 😉

I’ll also give an update on my off-season travels to Paris and Malta.

Let’s plot our escapes together, shall we?

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Blue skies and sunshine, but don’t let it fool you, London is one chilly tease at the moment.

© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2015.

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A couple of updates: January 2014

In an effort to keep GoodTravelerKarma up to date and looking nifty, I have a couple of updates for you, dear readers.

First, sadly, one of my favorite places for apertivo in New York City is now closed. Arrivederci, Centro Vinoteca! I will miss the prosecco mojitos and truffle deviled eggs immensely. Any New Yorkers who know what’s become of this prime corner of real estate in the West Village, let me know!

In keeping with the Italian theme, I’ve finally managed to get a proper name and address for my favorite pizza place in Rome. Please find the updated Lo Scricciolo – Pizza Rustica Birreria. Now you will more easily find this little gem without my stellar directions: “With your back to the fountain, look up to the left little side street…”

Finally, if you happen to notice any of my recommendations have moved, closed or changed names, please let me know. 🙂 Grazie, mi amici!

© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2014.

My 2012 Year in Pictures

Just a few highlights from my travels and life in London this year… Enjoy!

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© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2013.

Resolutions

I love New Years. I mean, not really the forced merriment and expensive parties, but the fact that it always feels like a fresh start.

I’m not big on resolutions, especially because I usually can’t even remember what I resolved to do (or not do, more like).  But this year I need a resolution, specifically regarding the very blog you’re now reading. Namely, I need to blog more, make it a habit if you will. I have a new tablet courtesy of my company, so I can now be a lot more mobile on my travels and given any Wi-Fi connection. There’s really no excuse now! 😃

So look for more to come. Maybe some summaries of travels past but new, fresh blogs just the same. 😉

Happy 2013!

© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2013.

Six Months to 30

I’ve just passed the fateful six month mark until I turn 30.  Remember that episode of “Friends” where Phoebe has a list of all the things she wants to do before she turns 30?  Travel a mile on a hippity-hop for example. 🙂  I don’t have a list so much but I’m starting to think that I should.  One thing to add (and soon cross off) is Oktoberfest in Munich. Or, as I like to call it, the last time we can go truly wild while we’re still young in our 20s.  🙂  In addition to our Germany adventures, I’ll be visiting Amsterdam, Brussels and likely a trip back to Positano. 

Since I live in Europe now (yay, that was fun to write!) I would be remiss if I didn’t go somewhere for my birthday itself – and I think it should be somewhere I haven’t been yet.  On my shortlist are Venice, Prague and Madrid.  I’ve just set up a fare alert for the top European cities at a bargain price.  So… let’s see what happens, shall we?  If you’re up for it, set a price alert yourself and join me. 🙂

© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2011.

Flatwarming

Last weekend we got some friends together and had a lovely flatwarming party.  We cleaned the place from top to bottom, put out lanterns and candles in the garden.  My flatmate’s friend prepared us some lovely snacks and we got gussied up for a night out.  All in all it was great to show off our place and feel like we actually live here.

The final touch will be all of my things arriving from the states!  They gave me an estimate of two weeks – that was a week ago.  I feel like that’s rather ambitious but I do have a tiny ray of hope.  I’ve definitely learned that whenever I move to a new place, I have to get it feeling like mine as soon as possible, otherwise I continue to feel like I’m just passing through.

I have to say that I’m so proud of my place – I have a beautiful flat in a beautiful city.  🙂

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© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2011.

Settling In

I’m just over a month in since I’ve landed in London to start my new life.  I managed to get through the exhausting details of starting my new job, moving around in temporary housing, setting up a bank account, finding a flatmate and finally finding a flat.  An incredible flat.  A lovely and amazing very “London-y” flat.  In fact, it’s a much more beautiful flat than I ever thought I would be living in and it makes settling into my life here that much easier.

In between all of that I did actually manage to have some fun, including sampling the deliciousness that is Hummingbird Bakery, meeting up with some fellow Americans introduced to me by a friend back in New York, trying “speed flatmating” (which is exactly what it sounds like), frequenting my favorite local pub, The Duke of Clarence for Gin-dependence day on July 4th and exploring my new neighborhood. 

I continue to be impressed with how friendly and kind the British people and London residents in general have been to me.  I’m excited to continue to explore this incredible city and meet plenty more lovely people.  And now that I have wi-fi at home, stay tuned for much more frequent posts!

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© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2011.

 

Goodbye NYC, Hello London!

Leaving New York City on Tuesday, June 14th 2011 was much harder than I thought it was going to be.  When I left for the airport, the new tenant for my apartment was outside, waiting to go in and take measurements of the place.  Gulp.  When I arrived at JFK with three bags to check and two-carry ons, checked in and headed for the gate, it suddenly washed over me that I was leaving the only real place I’d known as home as an adult.  I came to New York in September 2004, right after graduating college in Boston.  I rented my first ever apartment with my own financial info (albeit with two roommates and a converted wall) and somehow survived those first couple of years.  NYC and I have had our ups and downs to say the least, but it’s a fascinating city that I hold in my heart.  I feel like I became an adult there and it was very hard to say goodbye to the life I created and the friends I made.

But now, after nearly seven years in New York, I’m starting a new adventure in a new city.  London is truly an incredible place.  I’m already loving the mild climate, even though it’s currently thunderstorming outside the window of my rental flat. 🙂  The people are so friendly, even though they keep making sarcastic comments about this city.  “Why did you move to London?” a man asked me yesterday.  “I love it here!” I said.  He replied, “You can keep it.” 

There’s an incredible history and culture here and I’m so excited to discover this city.  I know my friends will come visit me and that makes me prepared to fend off the loneliness that I’m sure will come at times.  And, I live in Europe, for crying out loud!  There will be so many cities and countries to visit from here, and I look forward to sharing them and my recommendations with you.  All you have to do is subscribe to GoodTravelerKarma to keep up with me!

Thanks, NYC, for everything – I’ll miss you.  Hello London!

 

© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2011.

 

Across the Pond

I read a piece recently by Rick Steves, Washington native, traveler and guidebook publisher, about traveling and making friends.  “Assume everyone thinks you’re interesting,” he wrote, and I think I tend to live my life that way.  I’m about to test this theory again as I begin another grand adventure – moving to London. 🙂

I am absolutely thrilled as living in Europe is something I’ve wanted to do for many years.  As you saw in my previous post, London Calling, I fell in love with the city when I was there in December and I can’t wait to explore it further. 

I’m making a great career move, working for a global team in a position I feel passionately about, and I can’t wait to begin this new phase of my life.  Although, it means these are my last several weeks in New York and I have to truly take advantage of them.  While you’re going to see a lot of New York love and nostalgia in the posts to come, you can also look forward to the many new updates from Europe in the coming months. 

A reminder to myself that through it all, the papers will get completed, the boxes packed and the flat mate found.  I must remember to…