pantheon fontana fountain rome italy

A Tour of Rome’s Most Enchanting Fountains

Earlier this April, I wandered the cobblestone streets of Rome, Italy in search of ancient artifacts and baroque beauty. What I discovered was that Roman design is best embodied in a specific architectural piece — the water fountain.

From the oldest fountain in Rome in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere (dating back to the 8th century) to the most famous fountain of all, Trevi Fountain, here are some snapshots of the towering creations and flowing water streams I found during my recent Roman holiday.

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rome italy roman colosseum roma italia

La Dolce Vita in Italy!

From March 29th to April 11th, I ventured to Italy for two weeks of eating, playing, and exploring my way through the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice. The Eternal City is the last city in my trio of major European capitals on my travel bucket list—London was in 2015 and Paris was in 2016, so naturally Rome was next on the hit list. I was also curious to witness the birthplace of the Renaissance in Florence and wander about the winding canals of the floating city of Venice, so I extended my sojourn into a two week excursion to cover multiple destinations. Thus, my fortnight of an Italian extravaganza was born!

While solo travel in the spring is a tradition of mine, this particular trip was quite the spur-of-the-moment decision. Due to the sudden life changes that had occurred at the start of the year, I had originally postponed my trip planning as I tried to determine my next career steps. However, after encountering bouts of anxiety over the uncontrollable uncertainty of my current situation, I realized that I wasn’t ready to enter the next phase just yet. I needed a break. I needed a temporary escape. I needed a vacation.

So, three weeks before my eventual departure, I booked an open-jaw ticket from Vancouver to Rome, and from Venice to Vancouver—and added train tickets from Rome to Florence and from Florence to Venice—and I vowed to take a breather and mend my mind, body, heart, and soul through living la dolce vita in Roma, Firenze, and Venezia.

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The Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling’s imaginative universe of witchcraft, wizardry, fantastic beasts, enchanted objects, and spellbinding adventures comes to life in the muggle realm at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In April, my friend Zoey and I checked out the opening weekend of the new theme park expansion at Universal Studios Hollywood to explore the rides and attractions that allow fans to immerse themselves in and interact with the story of Harry Potter through a full sensory experience.

For a glimpse into this wonderful wizarding world, here are some of my photos from my day trip to the stomping grounds of the Boy Who Lived. Something magical this way comes…

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palais garnier opera paris france

Bright Lights of Paris

Everywhere you look in Paris, the city of light glows. As I wandered around, I found myself mesmerized by the endless illumination of the streets, bridges, buildings, and landmarks. From the street lamps that align the cobble-stoned sidewalks to the exquisite chandeliers that sparkle from the ceilings of the relics of its royal past, no piece is left unturned and unlit in La Ville Lumière. During the day, the bejeweled stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle shine bright and after sunset, the towering Eiffel Tower twinkles in the night sky, proving that no matter the hour, the magic of the capital of France does not cease to delight.

Here are some of the highlights of the lights of Paris spotted during my recent trip. Let there be light!

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La Vie En Rose in Paris

In Sabrina, the titular heroine Sabrina Fairchild (played by Audrey Hepburn) proclaims that Paris is for changing your outlook and for throwing open the windows to let in la vie en rose. The city of light and love is a reputed destination for adventurers who believe in seeing the world through rose coloured glasses and embracing new places and new opportunities with joie de vivre.

This spring, I ventured to see if such a grand notion on the life-altering effects of Paris is a true reflection of reality or just a romanticized fantasy. From April 25th to May 1st, I journeyed to the capital of France (and cultural center for fashion, beauty, art, architecture, cuisine, history, romance, and much more) for a week of extravagant exploration. Below is a summary of my jam-packed itinerary for the week, which included an endless list of internationally renowned landmarks, monuments, museums, and hotspots in the city’s various arrondissements (neighbourhoods). For my photos of the picturesque Parisian sights, click through to the hyperlinked titles below and check out my #BonjourParis2016 hashtag on Instagram. As you can see, Paris is a photographer’s paradise. Without further adieu, here is la belle vie!

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