At the end of August I was feeling a bit drained. I just had ACL surgery in April, and had only recovered a few short weeks when we started traveling Europe hard. I moved abroad to travel and I wasn't going to let an injury stop me! There was one trip I was particularly excited, and if I'm honest, nervous about because I had no idea what was in store. I was hosting my very first trip in Europe. Readers from all over the world were coming to travel with Michael and me in Portugal. We traveled the far reaches of Western Europe- Lisbon, Porto, and Lagos. What transpired was not only a crazy, cool destination, delicious food, tours, and some blogging, photography, and Instagram training, but, most importantly, lifelong friendships.
The trip was so good, I knew I had to do it again.
Which is why I'm thrilled to announce…
We're going to ITALY!!!
I would love for you to come travel with me to Italy. Specifically, Rome, Florence, and Cinque Terre. Now, let me tell you all that's in store.
This is your official invitation to come with me from May 21 – 28 to Italy!
When: May 21 – May 28, 2019
Where: Italy, specifically: Rome, Florence, and Cinque Terre
Workshops: Blogging and Social Media Secrets to Success and a Photography Tour (with Michael) including an Editing and Instagram Workshop.
What's included? Hotels, breakfast, transportation, guided tours, 3 different meals (one in each location – think fancy dinner in Rome, wine and lunch in Tuscany, and a casual laid-back meal in Cinque Terre), welcome happy hour, an ambassador (who lives in Italy!) to help along the way, maps, guides, and recommendations for each stop.
Why: A great way to travel, meet other passionate travelers, and learn!
Who: YOU! You are welcome to go solo, bring a friend, or significant other. Michael will be there so of course, men are welcome as well!
Right now, and for only the next 30 days, the trip is $100 off. The price WILL be going up in one month. Also there is limited availability and I do expect spots to fill up quickly.
I wanted to share a bit of what's in store for us in Italy and explain a bit more about the Portugal trip. We all met the first night having never met before! I think we were all a bit nervous to see what this would really be like. But that night we all piled into one room and spent hours chatting. At first I thought this trip would be about traveling and learning, but it turned out to be so much more than that. We all made lifelong friends.
What to expect:
Travel – Because I've been to Italy a few times I wanted to make sure we hit up the highlights but also explored some very hidden gems. Not only will we get a tour of the Colosseum, we'll also find the best spots to sneak away from the crowds. Since there's a trip ambassador we can ask questions, get recommendations, and be led to the best spots. I remember in Lisbon our ambassador took us to the COOLEST rooftop bar on top of a parking garage.
Learning – I'll be hosting 2 workshops (and Michael will be hosting a photo workshop, see an Instagram Husband and true photographer in action!). The workshops will focus on blogging, Instagram, photography, and editing. I wanted to make sure these are well rounded so that you get the most out of the trip.
Food & Drink – You simply can't go wrong in Italy. We will try all the delicacies this region has to offer. We have meals planned in each location as well as a wine tour in Tuscany. Which is basically the best thing in the entire world. We'll be tasting wine in the Chianti region of Tuscany and if I don't look like this I'm doing it wrong:
Friendships – To me, the crowning glory of this trip is the friendships you make. Think of this a bit like those incredible friends you made at summer camp. Except this one has much better accommodation. We'll be staying at 3+ star hotels (everything feels much more like 4+ stars as each hotel is scouted and up to snuff for our arrival.)
Basically, you don't have to think! You just need to sign up and let this be the trip of the lifetime.
Right here you can find out all the details, timeline, workshops and more.
I can promise you this experience won't stop at exploring Italy or learning some social media, photography, or blogging skills. I want to travel with YOU. I want you to come away from this trip with a renewed passion, friends, and enthusiasm for life.
Here are some testimonials from our alumni of this year's trip (some will be joining us again in Italy!):
Julie @julie_holder “The last 10 days have been surreal. I booked this trip to get out of my own head and to take a break from my life. I thought I would really just be hanging out with the group on tours but mostly doing my own thing in a country I’ve never been to. In reality, I couldn’t have imagined doing what I had planned. This group of travelers have been the most inspiring, intelligent, and genuine people I could only have hoped to meet. I’m so thankful for this journey that has pushed me outside of my normal and for the friends I now have in my life.”
Lauren @_laurengarin “Wow. The past nine days have been a whirlwind of new faces, new food, new views and most importantly… new friends. We all met as strangers. All coming on this trip for different reasons. To heal, to discover and to learn. Thank you @heleneinbetween for an incredible trip. Thank you for the encouraging words and so many memorable dance moves haha. Can’t wait for the reunion!”
Pearl @pearljeetkaur “10 days, 4 Nationalities (I think ?) But 1 travel destination – Portugal with Helene. I've been traveling solo since (wait let the calculator does it's work). But when I decided to support a dear blogger then and a dear friend now @heleneinbetween, I really didn't think much. Honestly, now I am sure this trip has supported me instead more than what I thought it would. The ‘American Games', The ‘What's your favorite…'questions, The laughing craze, The chilling by the pool, The modeling mode in Sintra, The incredible views in Lisbon, Porto, & Lagos, The thousands of steps we took together, The workshops, The late night catch up with roomie, The building of castle by the beach for our queen ‘crab', Damn I can't seem to understand what I will miss most But surely & forever, my new made friends – don't tell them but I truly do love them and already missing all.”
If I could sum up the Portugal trip in one photo it would be this one:
I think what surprised me about the trip was the diversity of the group. Yes, we had people from all over the world. But we also had a wide range of passions. There were people who wanted to make it big with their blogs, those super interested in traveling, and others that wanted to be part of the experience. No matter what, this trip was special to each and every person.
One particular memory stands out to me is when we were all on the bus heading to our next destination. I thought I'd catch up on a bit of sleep. But I was having so much fun chatting, playing games, and laughing that not once did I sleep. We spent time talking about life, dreams, hopes, and of course, traveling. It was one of my most memorable trips to date.
And I'd love for you to be part of this one.
What can you expect in Italy?
Rome is one of my all-time favorite cities and the history here is simply unmatched to anywhere in the world. We're going at the perfect time, beautiful weather, and fewer tourists, so we can truly enjoy all Rome has to offer. We'll kick off the trip by walking charming streets, eating pizza and pasta, and taking tours of arguably one of the most important places in our history.
Florence is one of the best cities in the world with some of the most astounding architecture. We have more in store than the iconic Duomo or Ponte Vecchio, we'll explore the hidden gems, shop, and dine in style. We'll also be hitting up the exquisite Tuscan countryside for a wine tasting that will knock your socks off.
Cinque Terre will be totally new for me. I've seen so many photos, read books, and watched movies about this beautiful destination and I wanted a new place to experience with the group! I've been to the Amalfi Coast and fell completely in love. I know Cinque Terre's colorful, coastal town will inspire us in so many ways. We have a photography tour here so we can capture the magic.
Here are some questions I wanted to answer:
Can I still go if I don’t care as much about the workshop aspect?
Yes! We’re seeing some amazing destinations, tasting lots of local food, and staying in beautiful places. You don’t need to go to the workshop if you don't want to! The trip is designed for you to enjoy it as you’d like.
What can I expect from the trip?
This trip will be a balance of exploration and relaxation, with plenty of time to learn and enjoy the photography aspect. We designed the itinerary to showcase the best sights, while still leaving you enough time for spontaneous outings (which often lead to the most memorable experiences anyway).
Can I bring a friend? Come alone? Come as a couple?
Yes to all of the above!
How much time do I have to decide?
When the trip sells out, that's it. You save $100 off the total cost of the trip for the next few weeks. Then the price is going up. I cannot guarantee or hold spots.
I'm honored and excited to host yet another trip. If it's anything like the inaugural trip in Portugal, then I can guarantee we are in for a trip of a lifetime!