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The Next Adventure: Texas and Greece with a Side of London

Austin, Texas

When I heard that Nomadic Matt was organizing a travel conference I was curious. Attending TBEX in Toronto back in 2013 was one of the best things I’d ever done for this little blog. When I saw the line-up of speakers Matt had put together, I knew I had to go. Pretty much every blogger that I’d like to meet was going to be speaking. So that was settled, my next adventure is going to take me to Austin, Texas to rub elbows with travel blogging elite, learn some new things, and hopefully make some new travel blogging friends. And eat tacos. I legit plan to live on 90% tacos while in Austin.

I’ll actually be in Austin a week before TravelCon gets rolling to spend a few days with my best friends in the whole wide world at our annual girls getaway that we dub The Summit. We’ve been friends for 25 years but have been separated by geography for at least 15 of those. Nine years ago we decided to make it a priority to see each other at least once a year, hence the birth of the Summit. It’s honestly my favourite event of the year.

I’ll have a few days in between events where I’ll most likely scope out the best “coffices” to log some hours for my (awesome, flexible) day job punctuated with a day of river tubing with The Blonde Abroad and 40 other fine folks. What’s the best adult beverage for tubing anyway?

But…that can’t be it…

I knew that I didn’t want to come straight home after TravelCon. I didn’t want a conference to be my “big fall trip” so I started looking at places that were cheap to get to from Austin. My criteria: warm, ocean, somewhere I hadn’t been before.

I was waffling between Cuba and Mexico but kept debating because I’d be there during hurricane season and it wouldn’t be uncommon to get crap weather. Then… I made a discovery. Norwegian Airlines flies direct from Austin to London for less than half of what other airlines do. For $300 CAN I got myself a seat on a 9h red-eye to Gatwick. Cashed in some travel credit with WestJet and booked myself a flight home from London.  But what to do in between…

Santorini

Again…warm, ocean, somewhere new. I narrowed it down this time to Portugal, Greece, and Turkey. They all have their merits but Greece won out this time. Those white washed buildings and blue domes of Santorini just get to me but always felt a bit out of reach. One thing I’ve learned over the past few years of travel is that there are many ways to vacation somewhere. While some will splash out big bucks for hotels with caldera view infinity pools, I’ll be bunking down in a cave hostel for 1/10th of the price. But we both get to witness the same sunsets.

I’ll be spending 2 days in Mykonos, 4.5 days in Santorini, and 3 days in Athens. My only real plans are:

  • Watch a Santorini sunset with a glass of wine
  • Do the hike from Fira to Oia
  • Visit the Acropolis
  • Swim in the Aegean Sea
  • Visit the microbrewery in Santorini
  • Take too many photos
  • Eat ALL the Greek food and see if I can’t learn to like olives

London

I’ll spend two days in London on my way home, mainly so that I can refresh my fall wardrobe from the likes of Primark, M&S, Tezenis, and Uniqlo. I do love London in the fall.

Here’s where you guys come in. I want all your tips, tricks, and must-dos for Austin, Mykonos, Santorini, and Athens. Heck, if you’ve got some wicked London tips I’d love to hear those too. Have YOU been to any of these places? Where should I eat? What do I need to photograph? Are there any hidden gems I shouldn’t miss? How about overrated tourist traps? I want to hear it all. Leave me a comment or fire me off an email. And be sure to follow along on Instagram Stories and Twitter for real time updates once I hit the road.

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