Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace: Imperial Splendour

Our first morning in Vienna, Austria, my husband and I were booked by his company to tour the majestic Schönbrunn Palace. The tour promised to expose us to the "Imperial Splendour" that Austria, and Vienna in particular, is famous for.

(The day's agenda was literally titled "Imperial Splendour" so that there would be no mistaking what we were about the experience that morning!)

The incredible Schönbrunn Palace is well-worth a visit if you are ever in Vienna. It is so impressive that it has made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list of attractions, and sees up to 8 million visitors a year - so don't expect to be puttering around the grounds alone! However, just because Schönbrunn Palace is busy does not mean you should skip seeing it.

Attending a Ball at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

As a little girl growing up under the influence of Disney princesses and romantic musicals, I always pretended to be a lady of culture attending a fairytale ball. I'd put on my best dress or costume gown, slide into my mother's high heels, and waltz around the kitchen while my parents did their best not to trip over me while they made dinner.

As I aged, I realized that in our modern society, princes inviting all maidens in the land far and wide to cha-cha though his castle is not exactly a common occurrence. In fact, dances of any kind can be a bit difficult to find. In my community, there are lots of charity auctions, gala dinners, and special events, but very rarely do these occasions include a dance of any sort, let alone a ball that matched my vision as a wee girl.

"Do balls even exist anymore?" I wondered, and I truly believed the answer was NO.

But then I went to Vienna, and I attended what felt like a royal ball inside a true-blue palace, where I wore a legitimate ball gown, and for the first time in my life, I actually felt like a Disney princess come to life.

Wandering Old Wardour Castle in Tisbury, England

Recently we were visiting friends who live in Shaftesbury, Dorset in England. Due to a hectic travel schedule involving both Vienna and Venice in under two weeks, my husband and I were only able to stay in England for a few days. The bulk of that time was reserved for catching up with Joey's high school bestie Jason and his wife and kids, as well as a day trip out to Stonehenge, which is about 40 minutes away from Shaftesbury. Needless to say, there wasn't a huge chunk of time left over for travel blog exploration.

But Jason's lovely wife, Emily, was immensely supportive of my travel blog and YouTube channel endeavours, and was excited to show me around the area so that I could make a couple videos and articles during my stay. A BIG shout-out to the beautiful and enthusiastic Emily; we loved staying with them and will hopefully repeat our stay in the near future!

One of the highlights of the Shaftesbury area is the Old Wardour Castle, a lakeside medieval stone ruin that is amazingly picturesque and surprisingly intact despite being partially destroyed during the English Civil War. Emily and I ditched the boys and headed out on a morning girls' trip to the castle to see what we could find.

Visiting Stonehenge: What to Expect from the Stones

Recently I was able to check off a big item from my bucket list: #24, See Stonehenge.

I have wanted to personally stand near the towering rocks at Stonehenge since I was a kid. My parents used to own a big coffee table book about the "unsolved mysteries" of our planet. Stonehenge was one of the chapters in that book, and the stones were presented with huge, brightly coloured photographs that featured the sun peeking through during solstice. It all looked so magical and beautiful, and that particular destination became a goal of mine.

Flash forward to today, and my husband and I found ourselves in England visiting our friends Jason and Emily in the town of Shaftesbury. Luckily for me, Shaftesbury is about 40 minutes away from the Stonehenge Historical site. So on a Saturday afternoon, we headed out on a bit of a road trip to fulfill #24 on my bucket list.

3 Reasons Why Bucket Lists AREN'T Morbid

As the owner, writer, and editor of a Travel Bucket List blog for nearly a decade, recently branching out into the exciting and dually frustrating world of running a YouTube channel, I have had many conversations about the nature of bucket lists.

Many people are excited that I have a travel bucket list and typically ask me questions such as, "What's on it?" or "How long is it?"

But there have been a handful of people that I've encountered personally, let alone seen comment online, who disagree with the notion of a bucket list. Some are even quite passionate that bucket lists are simply WRONG and the people who write them are pathetic. Yes, that's a comment that once was thrown casually in my direction.

Naturally, everyone is entitled to their opinion. And if you are someone who thinks bucket lists are a waste of time, that's completely fine with me. No one is forcing you to write one. But I love my bucket list - I actually have TWO; the one for travel that you see on this blog, and one for everyday life goals such as paying off my house mortgage.

Allow me the luxury of defending myself against some of the arguments that have been put forth against bucket lists and their use in people's lives.