I’ve never had a real hometown but I’ve sure found plenty of places that  managed to leave an imprint in my heart. As this blog goes live, I’ll just be settling back in to the state closest to my heart- California! After over a year away from my beloved “home state,” I’m finally coming back with a fresh spirit recharged from traveling abroad. When reflecting on my recent travels, I believe Confucius put it best: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

I feel like that is exactly how I traveled in this past year, making a conscious effort to put all my heart into embracing and getting to know each place I’ve been. You know you have tried your best to get to know a foreign place when after you leave, you can’t help but feel you’ve left a piece of your heart there and can’t wait to come back.

So here’s to some of the places I’ve scattered my heart and what makes them special:

Japan

Tokyo

  • The funky style and shopping in Tokyo’s popular Harajuku neighborhood
  • The peaceful temples and shrines of Kyoto, with the beautiful backdrop of ancient Japan- tea houses, geishas, cherry blossoms and all
  • Any clear day with a breathtaking view of snow-capped Mount Fuji
  • Ramen houses, sushi, gyoza, onigiri, and the delightful snacks found on every street corner or convenience store
  • Crepe desserts filled with everything from ice cream to cheesecake, yum!
  • Hello Kitty novelty gifts on every corner. No seriously.

Sigma Love in Sydney

Australia

  • Lush botanical gardens in every city. In the summer time, they play movies outdoors after sunset and invite you to “Bring Your Own Wine.”
  • The dance club scene. No need for sugar-free Redbull, the energy is all there!
  • Cairns and the beautiful Great Barrier Reef with its warm and clear waters
  • Sydney and its beaches. Also a place in town called The Rocks- especially for the scrumptious Devonshire Tea and scones I found while traveling with one of my Sigma Kappa sisters.
  • Melbourne and everything about it! If I had to list just a few it would be Degraves Street and all the delicious food hiding in its laneway, Queen Victoria Market and the tastiest meat pies you will ever have, and Brunetti in Carlton- my all time favorite dessert bar literally in the whole world.
  • Tea, scones, crumpets and of course- fish and chips.

California

Where have you left your heart?

  • In N Out Burger (one of my first stops as soon as I arrive!)
  • Reliable sunny weather
  • Authentic Mexican food and proper margaritas
  • Pedicures and flip flops all year round
  • Disneyland (annual pass will be a must upon return)
  • Friends, Family and my Theta Beta Chapter

If you ever get to visit any of the above places, please tell my heart (and stomach) I said hello!

Where have you left your heart and what do you love most about that place?

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9 Responses to I Left My Heart In…

  1. Andie says:

    Mine is definitely in South America. I have been to Colombia and Peru and those countries are seriously the most beautiful and most underrated places I have ever visited. The scenery of the Andes just takes your breath away. The people are very friendly and so proud of where they are from. I’ve been to various places in Europe and Asia, but nothing really compares to South America. (Though to be fair, I ADORE Asia, and plan to visit again as much as possible)

  2. Alisa Belzil says:

    You said it! Home is home wherever your heart is. You learn this as a military brat :) There are pieces of my heart all over Europe. My youth was spent hopping from one charming country to another including Germany, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Spain, London, Belgium, and Italy! Greece was the most vibrant and my all time favorite place in the world. Black sand beaches with clear sink water, seafood and amazing cuisine, ancient ruins, busy city life, calm country and island life, and a melting pot of people and personalities just barely scratch the surface. One day I will return!

  3. Alisa Jordan Alisa Jordan says:

    I think mine would have to be London. I lived there for a few years and go back at least once a year since I moved. I haven’t found anything that compares for me- the people, the diversity, the museums, the parks, the shopping, the pubs, I could go on and on! I honestly think sometimes I must have been English in another life :)

  4. Teri Centner Teri Centner says:

    I left my heart in Stuttgart, Germany. I loved my friends, my job, the skiing, the travel — and most of all my European Alumnae Chapter sisters. (Like Alisa!)

    I’m happy I can keep in touch with Facebook and other social media, but I hope to live there again one day…

    • Janah says:

      Germany is so pretty, I don’t blame you for wanting to go back! I have a sister that is with the European Alumnae Chapter and she raves about them. Sounds like a fun group over there!

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