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My Top Moments from the last DECADE

Last post, I wrote about goals and my plans for the upcoming year. I reflected on my the last twelve months but this time, I wanna reflect back on nineteen of my favorite moments of the decade! I thought it would be fun to start (or end depending on where you live) the year with a post reminiscing on the last ten years.

19. Graduating High School -2010

It’s crazy that I graduated high school and college in the same exact decade but hey, a high school diploma is something I’m really proud of. Shoutout to Olympia, class of 2010 X

18. Enlisting in the United States Army -2011

Probably one of the highlights of this decade simply because without the military, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

17. Learning to Bartend -2012

Still one of the funnest and best jobs I’ve ever had, slangin’ drinks back for people had to be one of the most stressful yet exciting jobs yet. I also met a ton of super cool people throughout the years.

16. Getting accepted into FSU -2012

Okay, probably one of the highlights of the decade because growing up FSU was my dream school. Some people want Harvard, I wanted to be a Seminole.

15. Deploying -2013

One of the most humbling experiences I ever had in the military was my deployment. We didn’t go anywhere crazy but it taught me some major lessons in life and it’s how I learned how to do VTC’s.

14. Graduating from FSU -2014

I took 45 credit hours over the year I was gone and then commuted from Orlando to Tallahassee my final semester at FSU. To walk across the stage was a huge goal of mine and it felt GOOD.

13. Landing my first contracting job -2015

Ahh, without taking this leap I would have never met some of my best friends or even live in Kuwait.

12. Starting my blog -2016

When I moved overseas, I wanted to be more spontaneous and I wanted to be able to understand my feelings more so I started this blog. Tea Time with Tia was born and I’ve had a lot of awesome support since I started it! My first post ever, is linked here.

11. My first trip to Dubai -2016

This was a last minute trip for me and that introduction to Dubai set the tone for every other time. I flew with a back pack and just said fuck it, stayed in my friends hotel room and spent 36 hours there.

10. Smoking in Amsterdam -2016

I’m not a huge smoker but if you visit Amsterdam, you have to try this at least once.

9. Visiting Ireland during St. Patrick’s Day -2017

Everyone needs to do this at least once. You probably won’t have time to visit anything “touristy” but drinking your way through Ireland is a unique yet fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

8. Going to Europe with my best friend -2017

One of my favorite trips of the decade and probably when I started to transform from blogging about life and start blogging more about travel. We traveled through France and Italy for two weeks, I’m already looking forward to the next BFF trip! However, a travel tip is don’t travel through Europe with a suitcase and buy a back pack like everyone else.

7. Becoming a Cat Mom -2018

We adopted four cuties in July and they’ve been with us ever since!

6. Visiting Petra -2018

Petra is one of the seven wonders of the world! I’m looking forward to going back and visiting again soon, the entire city of Petra is magical.

5. Hiking Adam’s Peak -2019

This is how I started my year, climbing over 5000 steps to the top of a mountain in Sri Lanka. It’s definitely one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever completed.

4. Going on my first real solo trip -2019

I went to India for nine days by myself, it was eye opening and worth it. I wrote a ton of blog posts on my trip, two still pending if you’re interested in a solo trip to India.

3. Walked around the streets of Barcelona -2019

Barcelona is a city of culture, taste, good food and good people. Walking around the city not only got my step count up but was the best way to discover the city of Barcelona.

2. Celebrating Michelle’s Birthday in Ibiza -2019

For those who don’t know, Michelle is my roommate and one of my best friends. Ibiza is a beautiful place and even if you’re not a big partier, it’s still worth a visit. There’s more to do than just party and celebrating Michelle’s birthday was really fun.

1. Starting my Master’s Degree at FSU -2019

Yes, I realize there was a lot of school in this decade but getting reaccepted in FSU for the MSIT program was a huge accomplishment. I’m excited to graduate next decade 🤪

So there you have it, my top nineteen moments of the decade, nineteen moments for the year 2019! Cheers to ending the year ten years wiser, ten years better and ten years funner! Whether your new year has already begun or you’re still waiting for the clock to strike midnight, happy new year to you and your family from me and be safe! This last decade was a fun one, I can’t wait to see what the next one brings! Until my next post, inshalla.

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Travel

What to do in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city in Spain and the largest city in the Catalonia. This exciting city offers everything from amazing culture to beaches to nightlife and it can be a bit overwhelming to say the least. We spent about four days in Barcelona exploring and adventuring this majestic city, whether you love to party or just immerse yourself in culture- there’s something magical for every one when you wander the streets. These are my must see things to do whilst visiting Barcelona!

12. Visit Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach is home to the infamous W Hotel, many bars and clubs and the only casino in Barcelona! We explored the beach for a day, then hit up the clubs and casino afterwards. Make sure to have your passports readily available if you plan on visiting the casino!

11. Walk around the city

Our hotel was located near the Sagrada Família, which is about twenty minutes away from the Gothic Quarter. We’d set out on foot, when we got tired we’d stop in either a hotel rooftop bar or a little tapas bar and grab a drink before we kept going. Trust me, the best way to explore any city is on foot!

10. Visit Sagrada Família

One of the most famous pieces of architecture by Antonio Gaudí and it’s not even done yet! Over 140 years of construction has transpired since Gaudí first became involved with this project and once completed, will be the tallest church building in the world. If you plan on visiting, the best thing to do is buy your tickets online from either the Sagrada Família tourist website or one of the other smaller companies such as get your guide. Tickets range from €17 to about €66, depending on the package or ticket type you get. I personally think any ticket with the audio guide is worth the money!

9. Visit Caso Batlló

Caso Batlló was another one of Gaudi’s famous works of art, built between 1904-1906. The house now belongs to a Barcelona family. The entire house alludes to the marine world, the house has sea shapes representing the waves of a stormy water throughout. There are three different packages you can purchase before visiting, all of them include a guided audio tour but we chose the gold package for 39€ because it included an extra VIP room and a free photo. My advice is to book your tickets online because it’s 4€ cheaper and go early in the morning. We went around 1230 and it was packed!

8. Visit Palau de la Música orefeó Catala

Also known as the Palace of Catala Music in English. The concert hall was built by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, a Catalán architect that drew all of the shapes and designs in the concert hall himself. This beautiful concert hall became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1977 and fits 2138 people total. I’d recommend going on a guided tour, it’s 20€ and the only way you can see the famous balcony with the flowered columns. The tour itself is about one hour long but completely worth it, you learn a ton of great information and you get to hear what the concert hall sounds like during a real concert.

7. Hangout in El Born

This cute, trendy neighborhood is located between Gothic Quarter and the Ciutadella Park. There are a ton of cute stores and tapas bars that will keep you occupied for hours! It’s definitely a must see and not nearly as busy as the Gothic Quarter!

6. Visit the Cathedral

The Barcelona Cathedral is hands down one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in the city of Barcelona. Also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, this beautiful piece of art is a great example of early Catalan Gothic architecture. To enter the actual church, it’s actual free however if you’d like to visit other places whilst inside then you must buy tickets. It’s 3€ to visit the choir, the temple or the terrace and 7€ to visit the temple, cloister, choir, terraces, chapel, and Sala Capitular museum. My recommendation is to get there early, around 0830 and purchase the 7€ package!

5. Walk around Gothic Quarter

Hands down one of the cutest areas in Barcelona filled with so many cute bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants! We got here EARLY because the medieval streets are so tiny so once it gets packed, it gets packed.

4. Go see El Món Neix en Cada Besada

This mural is a hidden gem located literally two minutes from the Barcelona Cathedral. A work of Joan Foncuberta, the mural consists of around 4000 pictures printed on ceramic tiles. The best part is, it’s absolutely FREE to visit! I think you can go here anytime, we went mid-afternoon and managed to get a few shots with no one in them.

3. Have a drink at Cotton House Hotel

Easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing hotels in Barcelona, their cute bar is open to the public. The hotel is located in the historic centre of Barcelona, about a twenty minute walk to Gothic Quarter.

2. Relax in Parc de la Ciutadella

Whether you want to have a picnic with friends or just relax and listen to the sound of nature, Ciutadella Park is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. On the grounds of the park, there’s the zoo, the Catalan Parliment and the Museu d’Art Modern. The park is huge and there’s so much green, it’s peaceful. If you’re feeling worn out, this is a great spot to relax before taking on the city again! The best part is the park is free to visit!

1. Take a photo at Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona

Literally a one minute walk from Parc de la Ciutadella, this masterful piece of architecture was built by architect Josep Vilaseca. Taking a photo is completely free and if you get up close and personal, you can admire all the details of the Arc.

There were a lot of things I wanted to do whilst visiting Barcelona, but was unable to do. We were only there for four days so some things we missed that I’d love to go back and do are hike to Bunkers el Carmel at sunset or sunrise for a majestic view of the city, visit Park Güell, watch a Flamenco show, and eat in Las Ramblas! Barcelona is a city filled with something for every type of traveler! My tips for visiting this city are to buy tickets ahead of time, keep your belongings close because YES people pick pocket often there (Cole’s passport was stolen), and keep an open mind! There’s so much to see and do in Barcelona, everything we did was so random especially because we mostly walked around the city versus taking a cab. Overall, Barcelona is a must-see when visiting Spain and I hope this post helps you plan your trip there. Until my next post, Inshalla.