Destination Wedding Photographers – Caroline + Ben Photography » Destination Wedding Photographers with a passion for love, life and adventure.

Category Archives: Personal Travel

This is my travel blog! I am based in the great city of Austin, TX but have a desire to experience many cultures and countries. All photos are taken by me or Ben and showcase my obsession with traveling the world to experience new cultures and expand our minds. I love taking photos of our adventures while discovering the hidden gems off the beaten path of the tourist listings. I truly believe that the world would become a better place if people traveled more. I am lucky enough to be able to travel for work as well as for pleasure. I would like to inspire people to travel more with this travel blog and hope that people can get an insight in to the countries that I have enjoyed so far. I have a pretty long list of destinations so come back here for more adventures to come! This quote pretty much sums up my thoughts.

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” -Paul Theroux

~Caroline

I am writing this blog post a bit late, 9 months late, so excuse my brevity for this particular country – it deserves more words than I can give it at the moment.

I have now spent over a month in Florence alone, Italy is simply an enchanting country and often times the only country in Europe that people want to visit more than once. My personal opinion, in comparing European countries, it has more bang for your buck (unfortunately I do not mean that in the financial sense). It has a lot to offer, beautiful beaches, delicious food, amazing history, nice people, stylish fashion, scenic landscapes, and of course amazing and cheap wine! We mainly visited on this trip for a wedding in Sorrento but I’m glad that we were finally able to visit a different part of the country that we may have never visited otherwise. I’m not going to lie, my favorite part of Sorrento was the lemons and the tomatoes, beyond amazing.

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The caprese in Italy is simply amazing, I almost ordered it at every single meal.

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This is the best sandwich place in the world. Fresh ingredients, made to order, hidden behind the flea market on a side street in Florence. It does not get any better than this, we ate here 3 times in 5 days. Bondi Focaccine.

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My birthday dinner from Borgo Santi Apostoli in Florence.

 

We took a 2.5 hour train from Amsterdam to Paris. We had in an amazing time in France mainly due to being with good friends and eating good food. We spent a few days in Paris with an amazing photographer friend, Stacy Reeves, and her husband. She showed us some of the best spots in town to eat which is really my favorite thing to do in another country. It was surprisingly hot in Paris while we were there, it never gets as hot as Texas can but without AC every where it starts to feel as hot as Texas! After Paris, we took the 5 hour train down to Nice where us and some other friends from Texas spent 6 days relaxing on the sunny, rocky, topless beaches. We drank wine, ate dried sausage, and took a side trip to Monaco. With the exception of the first 3, all of these were shot with my iphone:)

 

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Monaco

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Monaco

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Duck dinner from au petit sud oest with a sampling of creme brulee. The best duck we have ever had, it fell right off the bone.cafe de musees dinner

Dinner from cafe de musees.

french desserts

Ahhh the desserts of France!! The French know their desserts! To the left is something I never would have ordered but I’m so glad Stacy did. It is a ____, like a fluffy whipped milk in a sweet cream. The top right is the popular grenata, similar to a slushy but without the artificial flavor. Last but not least, macaroons. The best flavors and combinations, so amazing, definitely one of my favorite desserts.

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Dinner from L’ecole de Nice.

na yucca dinner in nice france

Our last dinner in France from Ma Yucca. There seem to be a lot of restaurants in Nice with a Japanese influence. Ma Yucca seemed to have the best ratings on Trip Advisor and it did not disappoint!

We recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary in the city where it all started over 7 years ago, Florence, Italy. For over a year, we have been recording one second of video every day. We have missed a few days here and there but it represents our lives pretty well. Some days are mundane while other days are so exciting we had a hard time picking just one moment to represent the day. I began recording on July 10th, the day Ben“re-proposed” to me at our final wedding dance lesson and surprised me with a small ceremony with 3 of our closest friends where we signed our marriage license. Our destination wedding soon followed on July 27th, 2013 in Costa Rica.

Over the last year we have traveled to 16 different countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Caymen, the Netherlands, France, Italy, & Monaco) and 7 different states. We have photographed almost 50 weddings and met some amazing clients from all over the world. Based on this condensed version of our lives you can tell that we eat a lot of sushi, we travel, we shoot a lot of weddings, we love our cats, and we bike a lot. This is it, this is our life together and we are looking forward to a lifetime of adventure and new experiences ahead.

You can see we surround ourselves by our amazing family, friends and talented artist from all around the globe and we are so grateful to have all these people in our lives. We love you. Cheers to many more years!

 

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I walked off the plane on July 1st lost, tired, and delirious from the 8 hour red eye flight from Houston to Amsterdam. I have not traveled alone since Ben & I have been together (February 2009 to be exact). I put my 40 lbs gear bag above the seat myself and I tried not to lean my head on the shoulder of snoring stranger next to me. I found my way to my new apartment where I would be living in Amsterdam for 11 days sans husband; only after standing in the airport for 30 minutes soaking up the wifi to feel connected to people again. It was unusual to feel so alone at first. After arriving to my tiny Amsterdam apartment above a cheese and deli shop around 9am the bed was screaming my name. It’s one thing to adjust to jet lag and to a new time zone with people influencing you to get out of the house but when you’re alone, it’s a lost battle, so I succumbed to a three hour nap.

I could needlessly walk this blog post through every event of my trip but have found the idea of that to be boring; since most of what I experienced on my trip was internal and indescribable in many senses. In short. I met new people, my mind has been opened and has grown, my brain was tested and tried, I gained my identity back, & I found myself amongst a sea of locals and tourists in one of the craziest and best cities in the world, Amsterdam.

Bikes, cheese, green light district, red light district, dykes, apple pie, Heineken, herring, pea soup, bitterbolen, french fries with mayo, koffie & the color orange. An amazing culture and one that is truly unique and its’ own.

I spent 18 days total in the city and would be content if I never had to leave. Most of this time was spent traveling alone although 8 of those days I was busy taking a Dutch language intensive course in an attempt to be able to speak the language some day. Learning another language has helped me understand my heritage and has massaged my brain. My brain was forced to work in ways that it has, dare I say, never worked before. I appreciate learning something not photography related for once after being out of school for 5 years.

I cannot recommend traveling by yourself enough, especially to someone who hasn’t quite figured everything out yet. In that time I have also fallen in love with the country that my grandparents were born in and I have grown to love my independence as well as my husband more than ever.

During our recent travels we have had a lot of people tell us how lucky we are to be doing what we do and how they only wish they could do the same. Yes, we are blessed, truly, but if you want to go see the world there are many ways to make it happen. So my best advice is to just DO IT!

Here are some random outtakes from our trip with descriptions below them. I did not take many photos so some of these were taken with my iphone. “The best camera you have is the one you have on you.”

If you’d like to read about the food we ate on our trip head on over to this blog post on our new Amsterdam centric blog.

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Zaanse Schans
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Zaanse Schans
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Zaanse Schans
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Conor Oberst at the Paradiso
photos-of-amsterdam (7 of 10) Rijksmuseum

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View from the Hilton Sky Lounge
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photos-of-amsterdam (5 of 10) My dutch language classmates.