Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let's Go Away For A While

sagrada familia

the duomo

notre dame

la sagrada familia in barcelona | duomo in milan | notre dame cathedral in paris | somewhere in munich

i have to apologise to anyone who has started following my little blog recently expecting to see lots of beauty posts because for the foreseeable future this blog may not be what you signed up for. i've had to keep this under wraps as i'm leaving my job to do it and the internet is a public place and i wanted be professional and respectful towards my boss, but now that my whole office knows i can talk about it online as well. on may 23rd (one month.. ahh!) i'm leaving sydney and i won't be back until mid-october. i'm travelling across three continents in five months and for four of those months i'll be alone. this is my schedule:

  • cairo & various cities, egypt - 1 week
  • istanbul, turkey - 4 days
  • driving through italy from rome to venice - 10 days
  • mediterranean cruise departing from vence and stopping in bari (italy), katakolon (greece), izmir & instanbul (turkey), dubrovnik (croatia) - 1 week total 
  • island of brac on the dalmatian coast, croatia - 1 week
  • milan, italy - 2 days
  • geneva, switzerland - 2 days
  • paris, france - 3 weeks
  • london, england - 10 days
  • reykjavik, iceland - 1 week
  • boston, massachusetts USA - 4 days
  • new york, USA - 1 month
  • orlando, florida USA - 4 days
  • LA and san francisco, USA - i haven't booked my transfers yet but i have about 3 weeks to spend in the two cities and i plan to mostly be in San Fran

now if the itinerary looks a little unbalanced that's because i'm spending a month tagging along with my parents on their holiday, which is from istanbul through to milan. i'm flying out early for a week long tour of egypt on my own and then meeting my parents in istanbul and living a life of luxury (comparatively) before they head home from milan at the end of june and i start travelling in the fashion i'm more accustomed to, i.e. hostel dorm rooms and with people from airbnb.

in 2010 i went to europe with one of my best friends which is where these photos are from (check out my flickr that i haven't updated in a million years if you want to see more) and we covered twelve countries in two months. while i enjoyed every second of it and it's an incredible way to travel and fit in as much as possible, this time around i wanted to relax a bit more and just enjoy a city or country without feeling like i have to cram every sight and attraction into a couple of days. half of the places i'm visiting on this trip i've been to before, but this time around i'm spending a greater amount of time in the places that i've loved the most, and throwing in a whole lot of new ones for good measure.

if you have any tips or recommendations for places to eat, venues or bands to check out, places to shop (especially if it's vintage or op-shops/charity/thrift stores or record shops), sights you think are worth it, if you did a really cool walking tour or basically anything at all, i would love to hear it! so far i just have my transport and accommodation booked because i don't want to turn up in a city on my own with all my luggage and not have anywhere to leave it and lay my head down at night, but i've left everything else open. and of course, if you live in any of these cities and don't mind grabbing a coffee or a meal with me or showing me around for an afternoon that would be amazing! i would love to meet anyone who has the time to meet me! just leave me a comment or shoot me an email (jessbialkowski@gmail.com) and i can let you know what dates i'm around. :)

one of my favourite parts of this whole trip is that i'm leaving before the first day of winter and i get back long after it's over - something i've dreamed of doing for so long. 2014 is my year of the eternal summer.

grote markt

the queen's hamlet



stockholm library

grote markt in brussels | the queens hamlet in versailles | galerie des glaces in versailles | the queen's chamber in versailles | 
stockholm public library | the ceiling of a church somewhere in italy


  1. Wow Jess sounds like a lot of fun. Cannot wait to see all your photos and hear about your adventures too

  2. That sounds absolutely amazing, especially the road trip through Italy! Hope you have a great time and I'm looking forward to seeing photos from it! :)

  3. Oh my GOSH this sounds amazing, I am so envious arghhh. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime, I'd love to be able to spend so long in different places like this. Are you going to be updating the blog throughout this? So we can live through you, haha.

  4. Oh my goodness, what an exciting, exhilarating, flat out amazing trip you have planned! I adore the diversity of locations you're headed to and hope that you'll share about many of them with us here either from the road or one day when you're home after the fact. Short of Heathrow airport in London, I'm afraid I haven't been to any of these destinations yet, so I can't offer any pointers, but I can, and do very much, wish you the safest, most enjoyable, memory filled, uber fun trip ever!!!

    ♥ Jessica

  5. Oh wow, what an exciting trip! Will you be blogging as you go? I love the idea of a year of summer!

  6. I am so envious right now! That's so thrilling!! How awesome must be to do such an amazing trip like yours! I wish you could come to Portugal as well :) Anyway, how did your boss react? Does he know why the reason why you quit your job? I guess I'm a bit insecure when it comes to that... I mean, my work contract finishes in October and I want to do a big trip or even move out of Portugal for good after that. The thing is, I always wonder "what if things go wrong and I have to come back?"... Maybe because it's really hard to get a job here in Portugal. Will you be able to get your job back when you return to Australia or that's not on your plans? By the way, the Italian road trip sounds like a honeymoon to the self. Travelling alone is such a great experience... I can't bear being with more than two people when I'm travelling (and I don't even travel that much!). The mediterranean cruise has to be an epic thing too :D Enjoy it! xx

  7. This photos are breathtaking! And I'm extremely jealous of your trip...I've visited a few places on your list and they're amazing, you'll love them :)

  8. All of those destinations, it sounds like such an amazing adventure, and I am completely envious ^-^ I think about traveling the world so often, I want to open a savings account this year so that dream can become a reality. I use to live near Boston, and I wish I was still there so we could meet and spend the day in the city! I was never a local thiugh and haven't visited in awhile now, but I would have to say in honor of being in New England visit a Dunkin Donuts for an 'iced mocha latte with two Splenda' and a glazed donut. In Orlando, you must visit Disney World or at least SeaWorld if you have the time ^-^

    Your photographs are beautiful by the way, I hope you have a great journey around the world & that you will share it all when you return ♡

  9. Wow, your trip sounds amazing - I am practically catatonic with envy! I can't wait to see your travel posts. Beauty isn't really my thing anyway to be honest. This post has filled me with wanderlust x

    a sagrada familia

  10. Your trip sounds absolutely amazing. I want to hide in your luggage hahaha. Give me a heads up when you are in NYC! I go there every couple months and I would love to meet up with you if we are in town at the same time. Otherwise, if you feel like dropping by Chicago, we could get coffee or something =)

    Have a fantastic trip! I can't wait to see your photos!

  11. ah i remember those pics so well on your last blog! i envied your travels so much and really enjoyed your photo diary, hope you'll do the same again!

  12. You lucky so and so! Wish I could jack in the day job and travel for 5 months!

    I love travel posts, genuinely looking forward to reading about your adventures. You will HEART LONDON!

    Fashionicide // Fashion, with a difference

  13. Awww have fun in your 5 months adventure! The route sounds amazing. Having a year of eternal summer seems like my kind of thing ;) Can't wait to see your journey pics.

    the cat, you and us

  14. I can't help but feel envious of your massive trip, but at the same time, I'm so happy for you and also feel so proud and inspired that you're doing the majority of this on your own! I think it takes an incredible amount of confidence and guts to go travelling on your own, especially in foreign countries where you don't speak the language, let alone know anyone there. Plus, even just quitting your job! I think this will be one of the best things you ever do in your life and you'll totally be able to look back on this experience and think to yourself, 'Wow, I can't believe I actually did that!' You'll make so many memories along the way and I think it's so great to put yourself out of your comfort zone and just go for it and to meet new people.

    I think eventually I'd like to do something like this for myself too. I'm not sure when, but I think before I turn 30, definitely. I've always dreamed of living in Paris, but having been there now, I don't think I could do it for a year like I imagined, but perhaps 3-6 months. I'd love to base myself there and then travel around Europe going back to all those cities I loved and all the others I missed out on my first time there. In order to do this though, I need to save up some serious money with a full time job because being a casual at Myer just doesn't cut it! I'm indecisive about whether I want to buy an apartment too, but I think for now, I'll just take things as they come and see what happens. It's so hard being a twenty-something and trying to figure out what you want for your life, but I think no matter what it is, you just have to go for it because now is the time to live selfishly and follow all those dreams.

    I hope you'll find the time to blog bits of your trip and of course, include your shopping! I'm just so happy and excited for you!


  15. That sounds like a dream trip :) I live in Paris and there are so many places I love being a tourist in my own city, I'd suggest visiting : Opéra Garnier and Versailles are my faves. Also, Père Lachaise cemetary, les Buttes Chaumont, le Sacré Coeur and Montmartre, the Luxembourg Gardens and St Germain area, Canal St Martin, les Invalides, le Petit Palais, le Musée d'Orsay, the Galeries Lafayettes, le Pont Alexandre III, le Pont des Arts, le Marais, le Palais Royal, la Grande Epicerie,...If you're here on July 14th there should be fireworks at the Eiffel Tower (but it's super, super packed and they close the closest metro stations so it's hard to back home then...but worth it cause I love fireworks), in July there's also a cute fun fair in the Tuileries gardens ! And a non-touristy place I love : Bibliothèque François Mitterrand and the nearby Quai François Mauriac packed with cool bars and boats. I think queuing at Notre Dame and the Louvre isn't worth it, there are so manu other gorgeous churches and museums in Paris. Enjoy your adventure ;)

  16. Hi Jessica! I've been reading your blog for a while and I think your photographs are beautiful, but I'm kind of a lazy commenter...
    I live in Florence and if you're going to spend some time here during your road trip through Italy, I'd be happy to give you some tips on places to eat/see/shop :)
    Enjoy your trip!

  17. I love to travel, probably because I've never felt at home anywhere in the world. Italy is beautiful, but I've grown tired of Paris.

    / Avy

  18. Fabulous photos! Your trip sounds amazing and I can't wait to hear about it. :) Safe travels girl! xoxo