A Packing Guide for the Perfect Paradise Vacation

Hello! I’m Nhi from LiveLove-Learn.com and I’m so excited to be working with Laura for this post. We have come up with our favorite must-have items and helpful tips that you’ll need on your next planned vacation, be it the Paris, New York or a remote beach in Fiji. You can also check out Laura’s post to read more about her favorite essentials for the perfect city getaway. From helpful apps to practical tips and items, she’s got the perfect list for you:

Packing list for your next city trip

Whenever I travel, whether it’s for 1 week or 1 month, I prefer traveling with only a carry-on and a backpack or purse. Many things dictate this: the risk of it getting lost/delayed, ridiculous baggage fees, damaged items. Though there are times when I have decided to check in my carry-on at the gate complimentary due to full flights. However, if I am traveling internationally, I usually prefer not to as my bag has gotten lost and delayed twice now. With that being said here are my top essentials for a week away for any summer trip or tropical paradise!

10 Things to pack in my carry-on:

  • 2-3 rompers and/or dresses (with 1 being able to be dressed up for a night out)
  • 3 tops/blouses
  • 2-3 bottoms: shorts or skirts (I prefer shorts as they can double for hiking purposes)
  • 1-2 bikinis/swimwear (depending on if it’s predominately a beach getaway or not)
  • 1 beach towel if you’ll be staying at a rental that does not provide one
  • 1 pair of flip flops (useful on many occasions)
  • 1 pair of nice flats or low-heeled sandals that can also double as comfortable walking shoes and going-out shoes
  • Nude and/or black undergarments since they tend to match everything
  • Basic toiletries (sunscreen is a must have here) & very little makeup that is sweatproof and/or waterproof
  • A waterproof bag to keep all my belongings safe with me when I’m in the water or if I choose to do any boat like excursions. (Phones, cameras, wallet, etc…)

Some may be thinking, that’s not nearly enough! Remember you have to mix-match your tops and bottoms to create multiple outfits and maximize its use. Neutral pieces work best, but 1 or 2 colorful pieces can also a nice touch when paired with a neutral piece. If all else fails, well, that’s when I utilize myself as another packing method. I simply wear things that are chunkier to pack or things I think I might need, such as a chambray button-down, a light cardigan, a jacket or jeans for unexpected chilly days/nights. I’ll layer my tops since I can always take it off if needed, but planes tend to always be on the chillier side for me.

Things I wear on myself through the airport:

  • 1 pair of long pants/jeans + a comfy tee + chambray shirt
  • A pair of walking shoes – If you don’t own a pair of Toms, I am in love with them for this purpose. Casual, cute and it goes well with just about anything! Plus they work well for easy to moderate hikes if needed.
  • 1 light jacket/cardigan
  • My favorite large brimmed hat (because they will be squished if packed!)
  • My favorite beach bag

    Don’t forget to stop by to say hello and check me out on Social Media 😊

    Instagram | Twitter | Blog


    Author: Nhi Tran 

15 pictures to inspire you to visit Amsterdam

While in Amsterdam, I was constantly shooting everything and couldn’t put my camera away for longer periods. Every few steps you see a new cute house, a bike leaning against a bridge, an adorable café and so on. Wandering through the streets, drinking coffee by the stream and exploring all the amazing little boutiques and shops – it was great. Here is some inspiration for all of you out there :*

Coolest Beer garden of all times where the customers docking their boats for an after work drink and burger: Hannekes Boom

Hummus feast at the market – YUM!

Free concert at the Concertgebouw

Blue tea house in the park : Blauwe Theehuis

One of many many super cute cafés

See you next time, Amersterdam!

Stockholm Bucket List

Sweden’s capital encompasses 14 islands and couldn’t be more picturesque. There are so many possibilities to have a fabulous time in and around the city and walk away with great memories and a load of nice photos which I would like to share along a few recommendations now.

Rent a canoe and explore the lakes

The whole city is surrounded by water, so you need to get in it in order to get the most out of your stay. It’s super fun to go canoeing through streams and lakes.

Stroll through the little alleys in Gamla Stan

Stockholm’s old town is a dreamy wonderland for all architecture fanatics. Take an afternoon to walk through charming alleys along orange houses.

Enjoy a coffee at Stortorget

Don’t count calories that day! 🙂

Sit back and relax. Do something good for your sweet thooth.

Watch the brown bears play

At Skansen Zoo you can witness cute little brown bears, elks and many other animals. Located on the peninsula Djurgården where you can also find a theme park with cool roller coasters.

Catch the magic hour

All the historic old buildings are enlighted so nicley during the magic hour. Grad your camera and shoot it up.

Take a walk along the water or go on a boat tour


If canoeing isn’t for you that could be an option. You get incredible city views from on a whole new level and with such a large amount of water, I think you would miss a whole lot if you didn’t go in.

Cool off at the ICE BAR

One drink is already included in your entrance ticket

That’s something different. A bar where everything is made of ice – the walls, the tables, the bar and even the glass your drink is in! For the frosty minus degrees you get an extra thick cape before entering. Such an awesome experience and definitely one of my highlights during my stay in Stockholm.

Why it’s important to meet locals and how to be friends with them

Interacting with locals and making international friends is one of my favorite things about traveling. I’m more than happy to say that I have got friends all over the world and I try to stay in touch with every single one of them. Sometimes it’s more contact and sometimes less, but I make sure I don’t loose touch with them.

Vsisting a well known sight or going to that famous beach is fun, too but being invited by locals to eat a home cooked traditional meal or hanging out in their favorite bars without any other tourists, that’s the real stuff. Those are memories that last a lifetime.


Our local guide and friend explaining hoe they grow rice

Locals know their home country best, they can tell you everything about the culture and traditions and they will be curious about your stories, as well. It’s a cultural interchange and in the best case you walk away with a new friend.

When I lived in the US, I met a lot of my best friends. Some Americans and many Au Pair friends from mostly anywhere but Germany. I met people from Colombia, Spain, Austria, New Zealand, South Africa and many other countries and I still talk to almost all of them. To some I talk every day, to others just once a month but I try to stay in touch with everyone.

Many cultures united for a BBQ in the USA

Same when I lived in Bangkok to teach English. I’ve made such great friends there. Some crazy Thai people I can call friends now among people from somewhere in the wolrd I met at English Camp.

Read next:

English Camps in Thailand

And I learned so much about their lifes and cultures, religions and traditions. More than books or the internet could have taught me.

When traveling in Indonesia a few weeks ago, I met a couple from Tunisia that lives in Paris. My friend and I traveled with them for two days and I
still talk to them, planing a trip to visit them.

That’s the best part, visiting them is always an excuse to travel. Go back to that country you love and stay with them or invite them to your home and show them around, travel to e new place together and meet up there – no matter what but make sure you stay in touch and make it happen because it is so worth it!

Some guidelines to a friendship with a local 🙂

  1. Make sure you respect their culture, traditions and religions even though they might be very different from what you’re used to
  2. Learn some words of their language. Every local will break out in a smile when you greet or thank them in their language
  3. Be open minded for their way of doing things, you chose to visit THEIR country
  4. Always remain polite, sometimes missunderstandings can arise between two cultures. But no matter what the other person says or hw they act, be nice
  5. SMILE! Be happy about a new friend
My lovely Thai students at English Camp
Our Indonesian tour guide quickly became a friend
One of my favorite Thai friends. This girl s at least as crazy as me haha


Bali Bucket List

In the heart of Indonesia there is an island that couldn’t be more vibrant and exciting. From waterfalls and hikes to shopping, massages and yoga – Bali has it all. I completely fell in love with that place and would like to share some of my highlights to do there.

Experience the surf vibe in Uluwatu

No matter if you are an experienced surfer or just enjoying to observe the others in high waves while sipping a cocktail – Uluwatu Blue Point is your spot!

At night you can party hard at Single Fish or for a more chilled evening, head to Angel Martz Sport Bar where you can buy your drinks at the store for cheap money and smoke a shisha.

If you’re not into surfing or in need for a break, stroll along gorgeous beaches.

Don’t forget to visit the Uluwatu Temple right by the water. It’s stunningly beautiful – PROMISE!

Visit the Gilis

Gili Air

Gili Trawangan also referred to as Gili T is the biggest of three island and more for the party crowd. Gili Air is perfect for relaxing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Gili Meno is the smallest and least touristy one. Mostly locals make vacation here.

Enjoy food and shopping in Ubud

In the middle of Bali, you’ll find food and shopping heaven. Perfect for good, cheap local food and you can get your souvenir shopping out of the way.

Read next:

Shop Till You Drop In Bali
Eat Your Way Through Indonesia

Sekumpul Waterfall

Also a visit to the monkey forest is a must when in Ubud – Watch yourself, they seem cute but they’re quite aggressive. Pay them respect and give them some space and you’ll be fine!

Chase waterfalls and hot springs in Lovina

Sekumpul Waterfall

Best to rent a scooter and explore on your own. Traffic isn’t as a bad as in Ubud and public transport will cost you much more.

Hot Springs

Get a massage in Seminyak

I’ve had many massages so far but none comes even close to the one from this lady on the picture in Seminyak. It’s a super small tent by the pool at Puri Cendana Resort Bali and there are only two masseuse but oh my those women work wonders. I highly recommend to visit them. They are often booked out, so make an appointment for the next day when you arrive!

At night you’ll see sunsets like this! My absolute favorite spot in all Bali when the day ends.

Enjoy some down time in Canggu

This place in west Bali s super laid-back. Learn how to surf, grab good food, do yoga classes, hit the markets and simply enjoy the sunny side of life.

Love Anchor Market
Canggu Market (local market)

For the ink addicts there’s a special treat in Canggu. Tacco Tattoo Tuesday at Deus. The name already gives it away – iy you buy a Tacco on a Tuesday you get a free Tattoo

Another thing to do near Canggu is visiting Tanah Lot for sunset. It’s quite packed but still a nice sunset and cool temple.

Hire a driver to take you to some temples

That’s a good activity when you’re in Ubud as it’s the middle of the island. Find a group and book a driver from the street for the whole day. Then tell him to take you to the best temples. He will also have some information on the places for you – win win.

Gunung Kawi
Ubud Water Palace
Pura Tirta Empul Tmple

Enjoy Bali 🙂

Shop Till You Drop In Bali

I’m usually all about saving money but while in Bali I coulnd’t help but shop some items. Good materials and jewelry are pretty cheap there so I simply had no choice ha! You can get a nice dress of Rayon for the same price as an average H&M dress of viscose.

Here and now I want to share my best finds with you guys and tell you where to find the best deals.

In the caption of the single pictures I’ll write down the city where I bought it, name of the shop and price.

Canggu – Love anchor market – 250k IDR

I saw this dress and fell in love! Already got a similar one with zucchini on it so the lemon pattern convinced me on first sight haha

Ubud – Ubud market but really anywhere – 170k IDR

My fabulous dream catcher. It sure was a hassle carrying that big thing in my hand for the last one and a half weeks of the trip but oh my, SO WORTH IT! Every time I go to bed and look up, it brings me joy.

Seminyak – some street shop – 40k IDR

Just a pair of really cool touristy fake sunglasses by ‘Ray Bandito’ 😉 I have a tendency of losing sunglasses so it’s best when I buy them cheap!

Ubud – some boutique (forgot the name) – 300k IDR

A nice little dress of rayon fabric in red and white pattern with ruffles on the bottom tuck. Unfortunately I cannot come up with the name of the boutique but there are so many in Ubud and Seminyak, it’s hard to keep track.

Ubud – YIN Jewelry for the soul – 150k IDR

This is, in my opinion, the best shop for jewelry. It’s a chain and they have three stores in Ubud. My ring was only 10€ and is 925 silver.

Ubud – Ubud market – both for 60k IDR

I was never much of a ring person but kinda got addicted in Bali. These however aren’t of silver.
Simple trick to make them last longer: Reply a layer of your top coat on the inside of the rings!

Seminyak – The Shang – 240k IDR

Felt like I wouldn’t find something like that back home in Germany for the same price so I bought it.

Seminyak – The Shang – 100k IDR

The bracelett is from the same store and matched really well with the shirt I bought plus it’s made of brass, so I’m hoping it will last long.

Canggu – Love anchor market from Natha Design Jewelry & Accessories – 230k IDR

One of my absolute faves is this necklace with a purplish fluoride stone!

Other boutiques chains I liked were ‘Piña Colada’, ‘Lost in Paradise’ and ‘Blink’ for jewelry.

You can find anything from sarongs to decoration for your home in Bali. I really liked Ubud for shopping. You have a large variety of souvenirs at Ubud market and many many boutiques with jewelry and nicer clothes and decorative items.

Happy shopping everyone!

2016 Travel Throwback

Ever since I lived in the USA for two years, I caught the travel bug and completely got addicted to that entire lifestyle. 2016 was incredible and I was lucky enough to have had some terrific adventures which I want to share with all of you!

January – March: Thailand

The year started off with a teaching gig in amazing Thailand (read more about this awesome job!). I got to spend a good amount of sunny days in all party of Thailand while it was winter in Germany. The best thing was that I got paid to travel to non touristy cities and areas of the country through my job.

Khao Yai
With some students in Pechaboon

Even better were the amazing people I met, both work colleagues and students. It was so insiring to meet all these kind and cheerful kids that treated you like a rockstar 🙂

my crazy and lovely work colleagues at AYC English Camp
Locals we met on a field trip, totally fell in love with that little girl!

April: Chicago

Honeycomb at Lincoln Park

After a great adventurous time in Thailand I found somewhat cheap flights to Chicago and just HAD to go see my friends and host family for a few weeks. I had a blast! I consider this my second home, first being the world itself hehe

June: The Netherlands

My friend Christina and I explored beautiful Holland for one week and visited Amsterdam, Zandvoort, The Hague and Rotterdam where met great people and enjoyed a good time in every place.

Christina and me enjoying th sunset from our hosts’ rooftop in The Hague

& Tarquinia, Italy

Another place, another job. The summer of 2016 I spent working as a kids tour guide in Italy and Spain.

July: Spain

Tough beach life!

5 awesome weeks that summer just playing games by the beach and dancing in the clubs – all paid for!
Read about my summer job as a party guide here 🙂

September: Belgium

Beautiful Brussels

After settling in at college I took a long weekend trip to Belgium and explored the beauty of Brussels, strolled through Ghent and met up with a friend in Bruges. The small size of the country and good train connection makes it so easy to hop from city to city in no time!

Most captured place in Bruges

After that trip I concentrated on a new chapter of my life, college. For the next four months I was having a routine with going to work and studying but of course this didn’t last long and I started on a new adventure through Asia in the beginning of 2017 🙂

I’ve got a feeling that this year will be even crazier with many fabulous trips and both new as well as familiar places – soooooo excited!

Hope you all follow along the journey and maybe I can inspire some to visit new destinations as well :*

15 ‘Drop Everything And Go’ Pictures: Washington D.C.

When is the best time to visit Washington D.C.?

I would say cherry blossom time anytime you ask me. It is easily the most touristy time but also the most beautiful one. Walking around Tidal Basin in center D.C. when everything is blooming in the prettiest pink is simply amazing. But see for yourself:

But not only the cherry trees are blooming wonderfully.

The center of Washington D.C., where all the magic happens, is also super walkable. Stroll along the impressive US Capitol Grounds and pick a couple museums to visit – they are ALL free of charge!

If you don’t feel like walking, get yourself a bike and explore further distances

And if you happen to visit on a Sunday, definitely head over to Meridian Hill Park better known as Malcolm X Park to watch the drum circle!! People from all over meet to play the drums and other instruments, some people dance to the beats. It is soooo much fund to watch.

Last but not least: Have a delicious burger at famous Ollie’s Trolley

I visited Washington D.C. in the second week of April back in 2015 and hit just the right time to see all the blossoms but be sure to check in advance when they’re supposed to bloom because they could be earlier. Whenever spring decides to set in.

Here comes a little taste of the drum circle:

Eat Your Way Through Indonesia

While traveling in Indonesia for the past month I was able to try a lot of local dishes which in my opinion is a great way to experience a country – food!

The Indonesian cuisine is not only Nasi Goreng (fried rice) which I honestly couldn’t get enough of. But there are many more dishes to explore, mostly consitent of either rice or noodles. Don’t worry, you still get a big variety of different tastes.

Here are some of the more common dishes you MUST try during your trip:

17161111_1901325213433249_1360438678_nIt’s a toasted sandwich with mashed up bananas or other fruits inside and a delicious breaktfast dish

RAMBUTANG and all the other fruits
Indonesia equals fruit heaven! Walk up to a local market and get your fruit dose for the day: Bananas, Dragon fruit, Mangos, pine apples and many more. This one on the pictures is called Rambutang and they also make a spicy salad with it consisting only of the fruit itself, limes and chilly (see below).

BUBUR RAYAM (balinese rice)
Balinese rice in soup topped with chicken and peanuts, very yummy. I only found this dish one time in a really small stand in northern Ubud. Actually it was a kiosk and we asked if they cook there, too. Not even sure if it was a Warung (Indonesian word for restaurant) or if they just cooked for us haha

Pancakes made out of palm leaves, yea you heard right. The green little things are the pancakes with palm sugar and grated coconut on top. Served with fried banana. We had that on the way to Sekumpul waterfalls, near Lovina in northern Bali.

Mixed veggies with spicy peanut sauce, rice and tempeh. The last is a traditional soy product, basically a cake made out of soybeans, super healthy and extremely tasty.

Served in various combinations it is a mixed plate with all sorts of yummy things on it. Mostly rice, different choices of meat, veggies and tempeh.

YES, this is the ‘cat-poop-coffee’ but seriously you NEED to try it before you judge. After all it’s the most expensive coffee in the world! Read about my experience here.

This soup is one of my faves. Noodle soup with meatballs and green veggies. Nice change from all the rice!

BABI GULING (Suckling Pig)
This dish on the other hand wasn’t for me at all. I still tasted the suckling pig since it is very traditional and if you have a strong stomach I recommend to try it as well and share your experience because tastes are very different!

A Indonesian dessert which, if made properly, is very very tasteful. I had one bad one first and thought I just don’t like it. My friend told me to give it another try. So I did, and the second one was so different!
It is a COLD (first one I had was warm..) dessert: Black rice in coconut milk, sometimes topped with ice cream.

PIA (Black Bean Cake)
17101849_1901325260099911_800186618_nYou’ll need to keep your eyes open wide if you want to find this little treat. It is a a cake with a black bean paste inside and kind of sweet tasting and super filling, ideal for long travel days. Look out for boxes in local kiosk stalls that resell the chips and soft drinks which they bought at the grocery store.

Best on a hot beach day!!! No more words needed, I think.

I feel like I overloaded this post already, so I’m going to stop myself here and now! Eat and explore as many dishes as possible because Indonesia truely is a food heaven on earth.

Okay one last thing, actually two 😀


both ice cream…
..as well as cold coconuts

Now I have nothing more to add other than: ENJOY YOUR MEAL :*

Photoline: Alaska

Alaska was probably one of the best choices I made while I lived in the USA. The state is so different from any other and stunningly beautiful. And since a picture says more than one thousand words, I’ll share my favorite captures here to hopefully inspire you to add this place to your bucket list.

Me, admiring Mendenhall Glacier
Me, admiring Mendenhall Glacier


I could have glanced at the glaciers for days and days..In fact, I have done that!
I could have glanced at the glaciers for days and days..In fact, I have done that!


Kayaking here will take your breath away.
Kayaking here will take your breath away.
Above the clouds on our flight back
View after climbing the outer side of Mendenhall Glacier
View after climbing the outer side of Mendenhall Glacier


Couchsurfing is a real adventure in Juneau, the capital of Alaska
Ohh..the sunsets in Alaska <3
Pure nature, pure beauty


By far the coolest way to get to Alaska is taking the Marine Highway Ship from Bellingham, WA. Here you can read more about that option!

My friend and me, all packed up and ready for a 3-night journey to Alaska

I hope to have inspired some of you that Alaska is worth a visit!