The steeper the climb, the bigger the reward, which was certainly true when I visited the (very elevated!) medieval city in Carcassonne, France.

Because there was so much to see, I didn’t always have the time to share much more than photos. So, here’s a final mish-mash of experiences and observations.

A spontaneous train stopover led me to the French Riviera and Nice – which was nicer than I’d ever imagined.

Even if you just stay for short while — or pop over on a day trip — Venice is worth the extra time and expense. You’ll never see another place quite like it.

When I left Rome and headed back north, I wanted to spend just a little more time in Florence and also explore places like Fiesole!

Just like my visit to Rome’s Colosseum, seeing Pompeii in person was both incredible and surreal.

My first stop in Rome was an easy choice, and I’ll never forget the moment I turned the corner and the Colosseum came into view.

I’ve had a lot of fun buying popular skin care products in other countries. Here are some beauty finds that won’t break the bank.

After a very long flight that changed in Singapore, I said baai baai to Hong Kong and bonjour to Paris.

I arrived in Hong Kong in the midst of record-breaking cold weather, but the warmth of the people made up for the bone-chilling temps!