The Life of Bon: I need a vacation, people!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I need a vacation, people!

If you are interested in sponsoring Life of Bon in February this is your last chance!  Speak now or forever hold your peaaaaaaccccccccceeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Have you gotten your copy of Gone Girl yet for our February book club?  I just ordered mine off Amazon and can hardly wait to get reading!

Hubs and I are off to find a warm restaurant with boiling hot soup so we can forget this whole month of January ever happened.  I mean seriously.  This morning Utah had freezing rain.  The roads were awful, and I was 40 minutes late for work.  FREEZING RAIN.  Who has ever heard of that?  I'm dreaming of June.

While we're eating I'm going to pin Hubs down on some vacations that I've been dying to plan.  We must must must plan an anniversary trip for March and I'm dying for a big traveling adventure come summertime.  My dream is Russia, as that is where Hubs served his mission, but I'll accept a less expensive location if that doesn't work out.  Tahiti ain't that expensive, is it?  There are two reasons I'm so freaking antsy.  Reason #1:  January.  Hello.  Reason #2:  My blogging buddy, Casey.  This girls traipses around all over the globe like it's nothing. She has one of the best travel blogs I've ever read.  It isn't the type that makes you sick and jealous- it inspires you to get your butt in gear and get on a plane already.  I adore her and she has such fantastic travel advice.  I'm hoping she'll let me and Hubs crash on her couch in Germany this summer.  What do you say, Casey?

Now read up.  Seriously one of my faves.  I can't speak highly enough of this girl and her traveling ways.


Hello there, friends of Bonnie...and therefore friends of mine! I’m Casey, the brains behind the blog We Took the Road Less Traveled. I’m just your average Southern girl turned expat, living abroad in beautiful Germany. Completely normal, right? It's not exactly where I thought I'd be spending 3 years of my adult life, but we definitely aren't complaining! My handsome Air Force hubby and I made the move 4,000 miles away from our families in North Carolina in the summer of 2010 and have been traveling fools ever since! We love life here in Deutschland and have had the opportunity to travel to some pretty amazing places. Just last year we visited 9 different countries! My wallet is currently in the corner crying, but it's worth it, I swear. So, how in the world do we manage to keep our sanity while traveling around the world? Good question. Lots of wine! You think I’m kidding? I’m not. Ok, so the wine and a few important tips we like to keep in mind while we’re far from home keep us grounded. Lucky for you, I’m going to reveal a few of them here today! If only I could share the wine too, huh? ;)

{Atop the Zugspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany-May 2012}

1// Be flexible. You may have planned and planned a particular trip down to the very restaurant you’re going to dine in every evening, but just as in everyday life, Murphy will strike! Murphy’s Law, that is. He’s always waiting around the corner to ruffle your feathers and turn a would-be fantastic getaway into a total suck-fest. So, learn to go with the flow. Roll with the punches. Fly on the wings of an eagle. One clich√© too many? Moving on...

{Feeling overwhelmed and damp in the hills of Cinque Terre, Italy-May 2012}

{An impromptu visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany-May 2012}
        2// Have realistic expectations. You’re not going to be able to do and see EVERYTHING you want to while traveling. Believe me, we’ve tried. My motto used to be, “If your feet aren’t bleeding by the end of the day, you’re not doing it right!” And then I got a reality check. And lots of Band-Aids. Come into each travel opportunity with a few “must-see” spots on your list and let the rest be “bonus sights.” If you see them, cool. If not, ehhh, maybe next time. Don’t wear yourself out to the point that you don’t enjoy your surroundings. You’re on vacation for gosh sakes! 

{Views from a walking tour of Prague, Czech Republic- May 2012} 

       3// Talk to the locals! We’ve found some of Europe’s best-kept secrets that no travel book will show you just from getting chummy with the wait staff or striking up a convo with a street performer (but please, dear Lord, give them a dollar or you’ll get a mouthful of not so friendly travel advice). They live there, why wouldn’t they know the best pub or picnic spot in town? Travel books are nice, but don’t let them dictate your entire trip. Go off the beaten path a bit and see what fun awaits you. Some of our most memorable experiences abroad have come from taking the “road less traveled.” HA! See what I did there? I know, stop it.

         {We found a Belgian beer mecca via a tip from a nice stranger. Hubs was in heaven!
-Bruges, Belgium-November 2012}

{View of the Rhine River from a hidden funicular ride to the top of a hill in Boppard, Germany-August 2012}

       4// Bring an umbrella. No matter where you go, it rains. London, it rained. Italy, it rained. Germany, it RAINS. If we waited for a day when the weather was perfect to get out and see our host country (or any country in Europe in the winter time), we’d never see anything. It’s the rainiest continent we’ve ever lived on. But, that doesn’t stop us. And don’t let weather stop you! Invest in a sturdy umbrella and raincoat (or two) and make sure they’re in your carry on. You can thank me later.

 {Admiring Big Ben, just before the bottom fell out-London, England-August 2012}

     5// Don’t let culture shock bog you down. Stepping off the plane into a foreign country can be one of the scariest things in the world (I cried in the middle of an airport in Uruguay one time, it happens). It could also be the most exciting. Do your research beforehand. Coming to a new country with a little knowledge of the culture and language can go farther than you’d expect. The locals appreciate when you make an effort to talk to them in their native tongue, however hard or embarrassing it may be. They also love to practice their English on you! Germans are notorious for never letting me speak German. It’s probably better that way anyways. Be open-minded and willing to try new things, no matter how wacky or un-American they may seem. We view the world through the eyes of our own culture and are often put off by the way other counties live, eat, dress, and what they believe. Because of this, we tend to shy away from certain experiences and often don’t get the most out of our trips abroad. While traveling, I challenge you to take time to appreciate your differences. Submerge yourself in them. I believe being a traveler can contribute to a person becoming well-balanced. Worldly. It can also make you appreciate what you have back home. After all, there is no place like it!

{Burano,Italy-Italian Blate-October 2012}

{View from atop the Arc De Triomphe-Paris, France-August 2012}

So, there you have it, folks. Everything you need to know about traveling abroad, whether you wanted to know it or not. You can blame Bonnie for letting me ramble. She's sweet like that. ;) Hope you'll come visit me over at my little slice of the interwebs…there’s a lot more travel nonsense going on over there! Auf Wiedersehen, Freunde! {Goodbye, friends!}


  1. 1. I wish I had time to read the book for book club. I currently have 7 books right by my bed that I am reading. Gone Girl is on my list, though. So that's good, right?
    Also, I just linked back to your bachelor post in my post about the bachelor today (I'm a little late, I know.) Love you.

  2. I started Gone Girl today! Good so far

  3. I've heard so many good things about Girl Gone ... have to find a copy.

  4. I feel like everyone has the January blues and needs a vacation right now! It just seems like there is so much winter left.
    And pictures of Paris make me want to go so badly it's not even funny.

  5. Awesome tips Casey - really enjoyed this post. And yep yep on the rain, oh man be prepared for it!

  6. We get lots of freezing rain here. It's loud when it bounces off our metal roof. Oh January....

  7. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Great tips I think the last one is so hard to grasp at times but also very true that if you are a tourist you might as well take advantage!

  8. I started Gone Girl and it's freaking me out a bit. I need someone else to read it so I can talk about it! When are you "meeting" to discuss it?

  9. I LOVED Gone Girl, but careful, I couldn't put it down. It consumed my life. I can't wait to hear what you think of the ending.

  10. FACT: I want to be a sponsor. Can you send me an invoice? Small ad space, please. Newest follower, I'm glad you found me so that I could find you!

  11. These photos are great, I MISS Europe!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  12. okay 1, you are gorgeous!!!
    2 now i miss europe
    3. i am in love with your blog
    now following! xo c&e

  13. We get little snow and almost all freezing rain here in southern Indiana. I miss snow!

    And I also miss Europe. I studied abroad in England during college and I would love to live there permanently.

  14. This post came at a perfect time for me because I'm planning my first trip overseas (London and Paris) for March! Thanks for the tips! :)

  15. i found you yea! thanks for following me too :) these pictures are fabulous! i miss Europe and Italy. I was there for 3 years (military station) age 13-16 and of course during the time of NO digital camera. oh i could have done some serious picture taking back then! maybe i will go back soon! my blog:

  16. Gone Girl is pretty entertaining can't wait to hear what you think of it!

  17. Pretty sure I'm jealous of all her travels! My dream is to be stationed in Germany one day.

  18. Bon Bon, if you are going to crash on anyone's couch in Germany this summer it better be mine!

    No offense, Casey. But I'm Bonnie's sister and I have priority. Where in Germany are you stationed? We just got to Stuttgart. Like 12 days ago.

    If it makes you feel any better Bonnie, it's winter over here too.. and lots of other places in the world. It's driving me nuts too. At least you have a car! And you can drive somewhere to get warm soup!!

    Casey you take great pics. And it looks like you have the added bonus of traveling sans children. That makes a huge difference in your travel enjoyment. Although we will still be doing it, trouncing around with our 4 and 2 year old and newbie who will arrive in July.

  19. I'm so happy you picked Gone Girl! I've actually had it on my tablet for awhile now. I finally have a reason to finish reading it!

  20. You should bring raincoat with you always even if your bag will be bulky because of it. I need to have a vacation as well but I am still choosing from the spas that my sister recommended to me.

    -Fillies Beamer