8 Reasons Why Barcelona Is The Best European City During Summer

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I’ve lived in Barcelona for two different summer periods now; in 2012 and 2014.  Honestly, no matter what time of the year it is, Barcelona is hands down my favorite city in Europe.  However, I’m going to focus on my top 8 reasons no other city can compare to Barcelona during the summer months.

1.  Piknic Elektronic

The Piknic

Sunday Funday right?  I don’t know how anyone could talk about Barcelona over the summer and not bring up the magic that is the Piknic.  Every Sunday locals, tourists, students, expats, and families all flock to Montjuic to get their weekly dose of electronic tunes.  I ended up going to at least 4 or 5 times this summer, each time getting better and better.  It’s unfortunate it can be kinda pricey, or else I probably would have been more.  There is an amazing atmosphere with tons of different people and styles of music, and pretty delicious Sangria.

2.  Barcelonetta Beach

La Platja

How many cities can you think of in Europe that have amazing nightlife right along the beach, excellent public transportation to get you home, and great weather throughout the night?  Not many.  I absolutely love the beach in Barcelona, both during the day and the night.  I love how you can sit and relax on the beach all day, and if you don’t want to move, you don’t have to.  Buy all different types of drinks, massages, souvenirs, and much more.  There’s also great beach volleyball nets if you’re trying to be active, and you can pay for beach chairs / umbrella rentals.  It can get a little crowded on the weekends, but it’s definitely one of the best aspects of a summer in Barcelona.  Some of the best hotels in Barcelona are located right along the beach, and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

3.  L’Atlandida on Thursday Nights

Lazers

The mega sized Ibiza style club is hands down the best venue that Barcelona has to offer — and that’s saying ALOT.  In a city which is widely known for it’s amazing nightlife, it can be hard to pick a favorite.  Not for me.  L’Atlandida will always trump that category.  The sound is incredible, it’s a wild atmosphere where everyone is down to straight rage, and then there’s the pool.  Swimming in L’Atlandida is always a blast, and I never go anymore without my pair of swim trunks on.  There’s no dress code, and drinks aren’t TOO highly priced.  You can grab a beer for 6 euros.  Not bad comparing it to other venues.  HYTE nights at L’Atlandida, simply the best.

4.  SONAR Music Festival

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Loco Dice at SONAR

Easily one of Europe’s best music festivals in my opinion.  The only problem is choosing where to go each night.  You can pay for a festival pass and have entry to all the day/night events, or you can choose from a multitude of OFF Sonar events.  Just by checking Resident Advisor during the festival, you’ll be rewarded by seeing at least 10+ events practically every night.  The line-ups are incredible, and definitely one of the craziest weeks of the summer.

5.  Balearic Island Weekend Trips

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The White Isle

Whether you’re jetting off to Ibiza for a week of quality partying, or planning a trip to Majorca — you’ll find the best deals flying out of Barcelona.  You could also look into taking the ferries over to these jaw-droppingly beautiful islands.  There’s countless beaches to explore, attractive locals to meet, and delicious food to eat!  I myself have only been to Ibiza, but next time I’m in Spain I’m defintiely heading over to Majorca or Menorca to see what all the fuss is about.

6.  Expats / Tourism

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Friends

The nightlife in Barcelona is amazing year-round, and there’s pretty much always tourists coming and going.  However, Barcelona is one of the top cities for Europeans to come visit during the summer, and the bar / club scene is awesome.  Just hit up a local bar, and you are guaranteed to meet some amazing expats, tourists, and study abroad students.  Over this past summer I was fortunate enough to meet some of the best Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, English, Irish, American, Belgian, and German people.  Everyone comes to Barcelona looking for a good time, and it’s such a great city to go out and interact with people from different cultures.

7.  La Terrazza

Where the locals party

If it weren’t for discovering L’Atlandida this summer, I would have definitely said that La Terrazza is my favorite club in Barcelona.  This open-air club has one of the best and most fun atmospheres I’ve ever experienced in a club setting.  The club has a decent sized platform right in the middle, with everyone else dancing around.  The resident DJ’s are always spinning some of the best tech-house I’ve ever heard, and the party seems to never stop.  The club says it closes at 6 A.M, but I’ve easily been there past 7 A.M grooving to quality music while the sun slowly rises.  If you go to La Terrazza, you have to stay until closing!  The last two hours the club is open is when it truly makes a lasting impression.

8.  The Sunlight

Sunny Days

The sun stays up for so long in Barcelona over the summer.  Yes, I know it’s like this for even longer in different parts of Europe, but it just makes the days seem so much longer.  My favorite time to head to the beach is around 6 P.M, and chilling there during the sunset.  The weather is nice, there’s an incredible breeze, and it’s beautiful.  It also helps when you don’t head out to the bars until midnight, and you can sneak in a quick nap before heading out.

9.  Costa Brava Getaway

Time to relax

This is the first time I was able to get out to Costa Brava, thanks to my close friend Tex & Julia!  We got to escape the chaotic madness of Barcelona for a couple short days, but it was absolutely perfect.  There’s lots to do, beaches to explore, and just a short car/ bus ride away from the city.  If you’re in Barcelona for a decent amount of time, get out of the city for a bit and head for a quick Costa Brava getaway!

30 MUSIC FESTIVALS in EUROPE TO EXPERIENCE BEFORE YOU DIE

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Looking for a list of the best music festivals in Europe?  Look no further.  Europe is home to some of the biggest and craziest festivals in the world, and it will definitely take you some time (and money) to cross off all of these from your festival bucket list.

1.  Tomorrowland

  • When:  End of July
  • Where:  Boom, Belgium
  • Website:  http://www.tomorrowland.com/global-splash/
  • Why:  If you need a reason why you should experience Tomorrowland at least once before you die, you should probably stop reading this list.  Arguably one of the biggest and best festivals world-wide, Tomorrowland is a theme park for electronic music enthusiasts.  Everywhere you go you hear quality music, beautiful stages, and meet incredible people.  Put that together with an amazing Dreamville camping experience, and the biggest names in Electronic music; Tomorrowland lives up to it’s hype.

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2.  Glastonbury Music Festival  

  • When:  End of June
  • Where:  Glastonbury, England
  • Website:  http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/
  • Why:  Another festival that needs no introduction, Glastonbury provides one of the largest and biggest line-ups throughout Europe.  Tickets are hard to come by, but if you manage to get your hands on one, you’re in for a treat.

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3.  MELT Festival 

  • When:  Mid – July
  • Where:  Ferropolis, Germany
  • Website:  http://www.meltfestival.de/en/
  • Why:  One of Germany’s newer festivals, MELT is a 3-day camping experience that will have a little bit of something for everyone musically.  Each year they’ve had nothing but stellar line-ups and top-notch production.  It’s during the peak of festival season, but if you can make the trip to Germany, it’ll be well worth your time.

Melt 2013 - Samstag

4.  I Love Techno

  • When:  Beginning of November
  • Where:  Ghent, Belgium
  • Website:  http://www.ilovetechno.be/
  • Why:  One of the longest and most well-known festivals in Europe, I Love Techno is a must for electronic music fans.  Held just a bit outside the beautiful city of Ghent, it’s the perfect place to make a weekend trip to for this insane music festival.  Bringing in a wide variety of music, spread across 6 stages during one epic night, you’ll definitely love I Love Techno.

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5.  Mysteryland

  • When:  End of August
  • Where:  Haarlemmermer, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.mysteryland.com/
  • Why:  Tomorrowland’s “sister” festival can not be overlooked when it comes to the best festivals in Europe.  The location is beautiful, there’s plenty of stages, and a wide selection of music to choose from.  Keep in commercial at the mainstage, or go hard at the Q-Dance stage for nothing but the best hardstyle.

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6.  Sziget Festival

  • When:  Mid August
  • Where:  Budapest, Hungary
  • Website:  http://www.szigetfestival.com/
  • Why:  8 Days of camping and listening to amazing music in Budapest; yeah that sounds perfect.  Not only is Budapest an amazing city to visit, Sziget is one of the largest and longest festivals in Europe.  You definitely need to tick this one off your festival bucket list.

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7.  Awakenings Festival

  • When:  End of June
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.awakeningsfestival.nl/
  • Why:  If you haven’t been to an Awakenings party, then that’s a damn shame.  They provide nothing but the best of underground music, and this 2-day festival will leave your feet aching in pain from non-stop dancing.

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8.  SONAR Festival

  • When:  Mid June
  • Where:  Barcelona, Spain
  • Website:  http://sonar.es/en/
  • Why:  Barcelona is easily one of the best cities in the world when it comes to electronic music, and SONAR is definitely the perfect evidence of this.  A combination of day and night events, mixed with a bunch of  “OFF SONAR” parties spread throughout the many clubs Barcelona has to offer, there is no better time to make a trip to Barcelona than during SONAR week.

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9.  Time Warp 

  • When:  Beginning of April
  • Where:  Mannheim, Germany
  • Website:  http://www.time-warp.de/
  • Why:  The “Mecca” of Techno.  If you want to hear nothing but the filthiest, heaviest, and most insane techno; head over to Mannheim for TimeWarp.  They have events in The Netherlands as well as Italy, but you got to make it to Germany to experience the real thing.  Germans love their techno, and this is guaranteed to be one of the craziest parties you’ve ever attended.

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10.  Sensation White

  • When:  Various Dates
  • Where:  Various Locations
  • Website:  http://www.sensation.com/world/en/
  • Why:  Sensation has become a world-wide phenomenon, with having events everywhere from Amsterdam, Bangkok, and South Africa.  A night where you dress in all white, and dance to groovy house music.  You’ll definitely get the chills when the lights go out, and you hear the words… “Welcome.  To.  Sensation!”

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11.  SONUS Festival

  • When:  Mid / End of August
  • Where:  Pag Island, Croatia
  • Website:  http://www.sonus-festival.com/
  • Why:  Sonus has only been around for a few years now, but it has easily made it mark as one of the best festivals in Europe.  The ticket earns you access to the 3 main clubs on Zrce Beach, with all the big names playing all day and all night.  These 5 days are very intense, but you’ll be rewarded with amazing music in a beautiful place.

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12.  EXIT Festival

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Belgrade, Serbia
  • Websitehttp://www.exitfest.org/sr
  • Why:  With a line-up that has a little bit of something for everyone, EXIT festival is absolutely crazy.  With prices low in Serbia, an amazing line-up, you gotta make it out to Belgrade to experience EXIT for yourself.

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13.  Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)

  • When:  Mid October
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.amsterdam-dance-event.nl/
  • Why:  This is more of an electronic music conference, but all the big names flock to Amsterdam.  The whole city gets painted up with yellow signs that say ADE, and every night there are endless options of which club to go to, and which DJ’s to see.  One recommendation, get yourself to an Awakenings event at Gashouder!

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14.  Dekmantel Festival

  • When:  End of July / Beginning of August
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.dekmantelfestival.com/
  • Why:  A 3 Day camping festival in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.  This festival can not, and should not be missed!

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15.  Monegros Festival

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  The Desert (2 Hours from Barcelona)
  • Website:  https://www.grooveparade.es/
  • Why:  This is a non-stop 20 hour rave in the middle of the Desert.  “When I came to Spain, and I saw people partying, I talked to myself, What the F%&^?”  This will definitely cross your mind, because people go HARD at Monegros.  A very large festival, with many stages and impressive line-up, you’ll definitely have a blast at this marathon desert rave.

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16.  Transmission Festival

  • When:  End of November
  • Where:  Prague, Czech Republic
  • Website:  http://transmission.cz/en/
  • Why:  Two words come to mind:  Trance + Lasers.  Transmission easily has one of the best laser shows in the entire world.  Mix that with thousands of trance music lovers, an amazing arena with perfect sound, and the biggest trance names– that’s the Transmission experience.  Oh, and it’s in Prague!  One of the most beautiful cities in Europe!

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17.  Bennacassim Festival

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Costa Azahar, Spain
  • Website:  http://www.fiberfib.com/
  • Why:  Benaccasim is another festival with a diverse line-up, awesome camping experience, and amazing atmosphere.  Definitely plan a trip to Spain one summer and check it out for yourself.

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18.  Extrema Outdoor

  • When:  Mid / End of May
  • Where:  Kelchterhoefstraat, Belgium
  • Website:  http://xofestival.be/en/home
  • Why:  Located in the beautiful countryside of Belgium, this camping festival is 3 epic days of amazing music!  Every year they bring tons of amazing DJ’s and a terrific crowd.

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19.  Valhalla Music Festival

  • When: Mid December (Before Christmas)
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.valhallafestival.nl/en/
  • Why:  Half-Circus / Half Rave.  This one-day party is unique, beautifully decorated, and brings amazing talent!

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20.  Creamfields

  • When:  End of August
  • Where:  Cheshire, England
  • Website: http://www.creamfields.com/
  • Why:  One of England’s biggest and well-known music festivals, you definitely need to find yourself in Cheshire at least once to experience this 3 day camping festival.  Boasting massive stages, with an even more massive line-up, you’re in for a damn good time.

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21.  Defqon 1 Festival

  • When:  Mid June
  • Where:  Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.defqon1.nl/
  • Why:  One of the world’s biggest Hardstyle festivals.  Warning:  do not attend if you do not like extremely fast BPM’s, or have a pre-existent heart condition.

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22.  Primavera Sound

  • When:  End of May
  • Where:  Barcelona, Spain
  • Website:  http://www.primaverasound.com/
  • Why:  Just at the beginning of festival season is this amazing 4 day festival in the great city of Barcelona, Spain.  Bringing in amazing live acts and DJ’s, you’ll love this experience.  There’s also one in June in Portugal if you can’t make it to Spain.

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23.  Secret Solstice Festival

  • When:  Mid June
  • Where:  Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Website:  http://secretsolstice.is/
  • Why:  Iceland is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the entire world, and Secret Solstice provides the perfect reason for music festival addicts to plan a trip!  Known as the “midnight sun festival”, Secret Solstice always bring a top-notch line-up, fantastic production, and incredible atmosphere.  While it used to be one of the more difficult countries to visit, budget airlines like WOW Air have made this trek much more possible!  Do yourself a favor, and make sure you attend Secret Solstice at least once in your life!  Book tickets now!

24.  Hideout Festival

  • When:  End of June / Beginning of July
  • Where:  Pag Island, Croatia
  • Website:  http://www.hideoutfestival.com/
  • Why:  Another festival hosted at the beautiful located of Zrce Beach on Pag Island, Croatia.  Bringing in some of the biggest names at amazing venues, a trip to Croatia over the summer is a must.

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25.  Roskilde Festival

  • When:  End of June / Beginning of July
  • Where:  Roskilde, Denmark
  • Website:  http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/music/2015
  • Why:  8 days. 130,000 visitors. About 170 acts. Spectacular art + events. International audience. Delicious food. Non-profit since 1972 – all profits donated to charity.

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26.  Balaton Sound

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Zamardi, Hungary
  • Website:  http://www.balatonsound.hu/
  • Why:  5 Days partying to a wide variety of commercial house and techno in Hungary.  Beautiful venue, amazing food, and one incredible atmosphere that is guaranteed to be a festival you’ll never forget.

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27.  ULTRA Europe

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Split, Croatia
  • Websitehttp://www.ultraeurope.com/
  • Why:  It was only a few years ago when ULTRA announced they would start a European edition in Split, Croatia.  This massive 3-day festival brings in the best mainstream trance & house artists at the mainstage, and thumping underground house and techno music at the Carl Cox + Friends tent!

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28.  Dance Valley

  • When:  Beginning of August
  • Where:  Velsen Valley, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://dancevalley.com/
  • Why:  If there’s one place that knows how to throw a proper music festival; it’s the Netherlands.  So many Dutch festivals have been listed already, but Dance Valley is a 1-day party that could not be left out.

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29.  Lollapalooza Berlin

  • When:  Mid September
  • Where:  Berlin, Germany
  • Website:  http://www.lollapaloozade.com/en/
  • Why:  Lollapalooza has already expanded with two different festivals in South America, and their next mission is brining it to Berlin.  With a festival as big as Lollapalooza, you’d be an idiot not to check out their European edition at least once!

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30.  T In The Park

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, Scotland
  • Website:  http://www.tinthepark.com/
  • Why:  Amazing music festival in a beautiful country, T In The Park is held over 3 days and brings in some of the world’s biggest names in a wide variety of genres.  If you find yourself in Scotland over summer, it’s a party you’ll never forget.

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*BONUS* Earth Garden Festival

  • When:  June 1-4, 2017
  • Where:  Ta’ Qali, MALTA
  • Website:  http://www.earthgarden.com.mt/
  • Why:  “Earth Garden offers 4 music areas with over 35 live acts, 35 DJs, 2 camping zones with all amenities, Jamming area, Healing Fields, Ethnic Market, Fun Park and a Food Court. This is the festival that kicks off your summer which guarantees loads of fun, unbeatable prices with the best weather conditions in one of Europe’s top destinations.”  READ MORE ABOUT EARTH GARDEN.

You also won’t find a cheaper festival to attend, as 4-day passes are only 25 Euro per person!!


So there ya have it!  A list of the top 30 music festivals, parties, and raves Europe has to offer!  How many have you been to already?  Do you think I’m missing any important ones I need to add to this list?  Let me know in the comments section!  Also, if you haven’t already, check out my post on 25 Music Festivals in America To Experience Before You Die.


Like this post?  Follow me on Facebook & Twitter for more adventures Around The World… 

MUSIC @@


Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30


10 European Music Festivals To Experience This Summer

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For those who know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m a big music festival junkie.  The atmosphere, the music, the people; it’s just an all around good time.  I consider myself lucky to have attended some of the biggest festivals in the world like Coachella, Tomorrowland, Amsterdam Dance Event, Sensation White, Future Music Festival Asia, I Love Techno, Mysteryland; just to name a few.  If there’s one continent that truly crushes it with throwing proper music festivals, it’s EUROPE.  Every one I’ve been to out there is insane, well organized, and always bring stellar line-ups.  With the global expansion of electronic music and the growing popularity of music festivals, there’s no better time to visit Europe than in the Summer time, and hit up a couple of these amazing music festivals.  But enough talk, let’s talk festivals…

1.  Awakenings

Where:  Amsterdam, Netherlands

When:  June 28-29

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2.  Benaccassim

Where:  Costa Azahar, Spain

When:  July 16-19

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3.  DEKMANTEL Festival

Where:  Amsterdam, Netherlands

When:  July 31- August 2

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4.  EXIT Festival

Where:  Serbia

When:  July 9-12

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5.  Glastonbury

Where:  Somerset, UK

When:  June 24-28

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6.  MELT! Festival

Where:  July 17-19

When:  Berlin, Germany

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7.  Secret Solstice

Where:  Reyjavik, Iceland

When: June19-21

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8.  Sonar Festival

Where:  Barcelona, Spain

When:  June 18-20

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9.  Sonus Festival

Where:  Pag Island, Croatia

When:  August 16-20

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10.  Tomorrowland

Where:  Boom, Belgium

When:  July 24-26

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The Best Year Of My Life: 2014 – A Year In Review

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Looking back on 2014 brings me nothing but amazing and life-changing memories.  I don’t even know how to express how much year this has influenced my life, but I will always look at 2014 as the year when I got it all “somewhat figured out”.  I’m only 25 (for one more month at least), but I can honestly say that I have a general idea of what I want out of life.  Travel is my passion.  Travel is my future.  Whether that be working on a cruise ship to fund more travels, opening up my own hostel, teaching english, or becoming a popular travel blogger (doubtful).  I’ve got big plans in 2015, and I can’t wait to explore more of the world.  But for now, enjoy my little recap of what I was up to for the past year.  7.5 Months in Asia, 2 months back home in CA, and 2.5 months in Europe.  Enjoy!

January

Started out the year in Bangkok.  Got an apartment to call a “home-base” while I began my online classes.  I definitely thought I’d actually be living in Bangkok more permanently, but then discovered that with some time management, I could travel and study simultaneously.

Dave the Buddhist #bangkok

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

Traveled to the islands for the first time.  Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, and Koh Samui.  All amazing in their own ways.  Was able to go scuba diving for my first time, as well as experienced my first full-moon party, which was quite an experience.

Scuba diving in the gulf of Thailand…CHECK #bucketlist #kohtao

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

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February

On the first of the month I began a short 12 day trip to Cambodia, beginning with an amazing couple days in Siem Reap exploring the Angkor Wat temples, and the famous sunrise photo.

Woke up at 5 a.m this morning to catch this famous sunrise #angkorwat #cambodia

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

After Siem Reap I made a quick day stop in Phnomh Penh, but continued my journey to visit a couple friends in Sihanoukville.  Serendipity and Otres Beaches were both amazing, and I fell in love with Cambodia.  It was a short stay, but incredible.

Orange things in #Cambodia

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

After my short trip to Cambodia, I hopped on a plane back to Bangkok to meet up with my friends on Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party (round two), as well as celebrating my birthday on the 14th.  My 25th birthday was still one of the highlights of the year for me.  My 26th is coming up in one month from now, and I have no idea how I’m going to top last years.

Throwback to sunrise after the full moon party #thailand

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After an epic birthday party in Koh Phangan, I decided it was time to head on over to the magical island of Koh Phi Phi.  I was only planning on spending a few days around Phi Phi, but got stuck there for a week or so.  I mean, how could I leave paradise?

Sunset boat ride back to Phi Phi #thailand

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Watching the sunrise after spending the night on Maya Bay, the filming location of the famous Leonardo Dicaprio movie “The Beach”.  Easily one of my highlights of the year.

What I woke up to this morning #mayabay #thailand

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March

This was easily the craziest and most fun-filled month of the year.  This was my last full-month in south-east Asia, and I lived it up to the fullest.  I began the month with an amazing trip to Hanoi and The Vietnam Backpacker’s Hostel Castaway Island tour to Halong Bay, which didn’t have the best weather, but met some amazing people, and had one wild trip.

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After an amazing / chaotic time in Vietnam, I headed on down to Bali, with a 24 hour layover in Singapore.  I really liked Singapore, and wish I had a bit more time there.  I ended up heading back to Singapore in October, so I got my fix.  It’s a beautiful city, but way too pricey for south-east Asia.

Spiral #bridge #singapore

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Once I landed in Bali, I had no idea what I was in for.  I had done zero research on what to do, and flew there just for 6 days to meet up with my travel crew.  They were posted up on the Gili Islands, so I cruised over and met them there.  I had an incredible day on Gili Air, and was easily one of my favorite days of the year.  Saw one of the best sunsets of my entire life.  It’s moments like these I’ll never forget.  The photo doesn’t do it justice, but it was a big highlight of my first backpacking trip in Asia.

The best day of my life #giliair #indonesia

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After a very brief stay in Indonesia, I headed up to Kuala Lumpur for Future Music Festival Asia.  It was a blast, but unfortunately the last day of the festival got cancelled.  The first two days were epic though, and had a blast exploring the city.  Ironically enough, I did not like the city too much during my first visit, and now I’m writing this post from KL, and love this city!

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After Kuala Lumpur, my travel crew Cathy and Ashley and I started island hopping around Malaysia.  We traveled to the beautiful Perhentian Islands, Penang, and Langkawi.  All of these places are amazing.  I think more backpackers need to visit Malaysia during their trips.  For some reason, this country does not get as much attention as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

I'm on my way to heaven… #aboveandbeyond #perhentianislands #malaysia

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Travel. Just do it. #Nike #langkawi #malaysia

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April

With just a couple last days in Bangkok, (which ended up being pretty crazy), my first trip to South-East Asia had come to an end.  I flew home for a family wedding.  Congratulations to my beautiful sister Stephanie and my new brother-in-law Bryce.  Their legal last name is actually Jones, which is funny, because I’ve been going by Jones since high school!

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Oh, but wait.  What else happens in California in April…?  Hmmm….COACHELLA.  For years, I had been missing out on the best festival in States, Coachella, because I had been living abroad in Italy.  Not in 2014.  Coachella absolutely lived up to the hype, and I had the most epic weekend with a solid group of people.

Beauty of #coachella

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May

This was a pretty slow month, as I was trying to figure out travel plans.  If you remember, I had a trip to South America planned, that had to be cancelled because I had two groups of friends bail on the trip last minute.  The highlight of May was easily my road trip to San Francisco with my buddy Kevin.  I hadn’t been up North since college, and it was a great drive on PCH, and a solid time chillin NorCal style.

Foggy days in #sanfran #goldengatebridge

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Driving on PCH from SF – LA was quite a journey. Long drive, but completely worth it! #carmel #bigsur #california #coast #roadtrip

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June

After my plans of traveling to South America were cancelled, I decided to head back to my favorite city in the world– BARCELONA.  Found myself an apartment with some great Catalan guys, and began my summer classes and Barcelona shenanigans.

Look who I found in #barcelona #florencereunion #lionsfountain #unclejimmys #funkychicken

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One of my favorite things to do every Sunday was head to Piknic Electronik up on Montuic.  Amazing day party with lcoals, tourists, and expats.  Easily one of the best parts about living in Barcelona over the summer.

Piknic Electronik #barcelona

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July

Continuing an awesome summer in Barcelona.  From L’Atlandida, Sundays at the Picknic, beach days, and club nights.

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Tourist photo. #sagradafamilia #barcelona

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And I Finally made it to Montserrat, which was one of the best day trips I’ve ever taken.  I couldn’t believe how many times I had visited Barcelona / lived in the city, and never visited Montserrat.

Day trip for some Hiking in #montserrat

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August

After an epic 8 day “goodbye party”, it was time for me to leave Barcelona, and begin my travels.  The first stop was Milan and Trieste in Northern Italy.  I had never been to either of these cities, and really enjoyed my time.

Well that's pretty neat #milan #italy

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After revisiting Italy, I made my way over to a country I had been dying to visit; Slovenia.  This country is absolutely amazing, and I fell in love with Lake Bled.  I made the joke that if I ever wanted to relax somewhere for a few months to write a novel, I would choose Lake Bled.  It’s relatively affordable, and Slovenians are incredibly nice.

I could stay here awhile #lakebled #slovenia #jonesaroundtheworld

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After a short visit to Slovenia, I got picked up by two of my good Dutch friends, and we made our way to Croatia for SONUS Music Festival.  This was definitely one of the craziest music festivals I’ve ever attended (and I’ve been to quite a few).  Shoutout to Joost and Stijn for an awesome week of camping, drinking, and non-stop amazing techno.

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September

After an amazing summer in Europe, I was dying to get back to Asia.  So I jumped right in — and began my backpacking trip in Sri Lanka.  This country by far exceed my expectations, and I had such an amazing time.  From exploring Colombo, Kandy, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Trincomalee, and Arugam Bay.  I wish I had more time there, but it would have cost too much money to change my ticket.  Shoutout to all the amazing people I met in Sri Lanka!  This was also the month I started my travel blog!  The birth of Jones Around The World!

"I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder." #Shrek #sigariyarock #SriLanka

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Walking. #srilanka

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Jones Around The World. #backpacker #travelblogger

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I also spent half of September in Kuala Lumpur, and this was actually one of the first blog posts I ever wrote.  Thanks to my friends I met in Langkawi, I had a free place to stay at an amazing condo, and met some incredible people.  It was this visit that made me want to move here.

To infinity pools…and beyond #Buzzlightyeartotherescue #infinitypools #TravelBlogger #Backpacker #Globetrotter #KualaLumpur #Malaysia

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October

Honestly, if I had to pick a favorite month of the year, I would have to say it was October.  I spent the majority of the month traveling through Bali and The Gili Islands.  Like traveling always does, I met the best people in Bali, and I still keep in touch with a lot of them.  There’s so many pictures to choose from, so I’ll try to limit to just a few.

Had a perfect day in #paradise #bali #Indonesia #TravelBlogger #Wanderlust #Globetrotter #JonesAroundTheWorld

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I'm the king of the cruise #GiliT #boozecruise #Indonesia

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Bali life is the good life. #potatohead #beachclub #seminyak #Indonesia

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Beanbags and beers for the sunset #seminyak #bali #indonesia #TravelBlogger #wanderlust #Globetrotter #nomadlife

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I like swimming.

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Thanks to everyone I met in Indonesia.  The times we’ve shared will never be forgotten.  I flew to Singapore for a couple days, then back to Kuala Lumpur for Halloween, which was an absolute blast.

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November

Another solid month traveling mostly through Langkawi, southern Thailand, and back to Kuala Lumpur for some rest and relaxation.  Langkawi is still one of my favorite islands in Asia.

We went chasing waterfalls.

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Head in the clouds.

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Pantai Cenang- Langkawi — I have 1 wife, and two sons: "Wifi", "sunrise", and "sunset"…

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After my time in Langkawi, I journeyed up to Krabi, Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lanta.  I had some really great nights here, but was plagued with some bad weather during most of it.  None the less, the beauty of these islands is breathtaking, and it was great to visit some new places, as well as revisit Koh Phi Phi.

Not the best weather day, but couldn't resist going for a swim

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Not many places to hike on Koh Phi Phi, but the walk up to the viewpoint is good enough for me.

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December

Oh, the last and final month of 2014 — and boy was it a good one.  I started December out in Cambodia, and had the best time.  Started in Phnomh Penh for a couple days,  and then worked my way down to Kep & Kampot.  The Majority of my time was spent in SIhanoukville and Koh Rong (which I think is one of the most beautiful places in the world).  For anyone reading this who has not been to Koh Rong, Go SOON!  Tourism is going to take over quick, and this paradise will not be the same in a few years.

Sunset in Kampot

Gotta love Cambodian sunsets…every night a different painting, and tonight's was especially great.

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Relaxing on Long Beach, Koh Rong.

Winter is coming….but not for me.

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Enjoying my time in Otres Beach, Sihanoukville

Fresh coconut and a book on this sunny afternoon. Beach life sure is great.

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After a crazy time in Cambodia, it was time to head to Koh Chang to meet up with my friend Cathy.  Althogh, this took two attempts as I missed one of the busses due to bartending until 4 A.M the night before!  Koh Chang was absolutely beautiful, and I would defintiely recommend backpackers to make a stop there at the Thai/ Cambodian border.  It’s a much better border to cross at as well!  I also got to meet up with two of my Dutch buddies from Eindhoven (De Gekste)!

2 Americans, 2 Dutchmen, 1 Boat, 5 islands, 3 bottles of whiskey, and tons of fish. That was one epic snorkeling trip

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New island. New beach. Looking forward to the next few days in Koh Chang

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After Koh Chang, Cathy and I headed to Koh Samet for a bit of recovery from the damage we did to our bodies in Koh Chang, as well as to rest up for the next adventure; Wonderfruit Music Festival.  This was Thailand’s first major music festival, and I had such a solid weekend.  Amazing people, incredible music, and an overall great festival experience.

Yoga Bass during the sunset during Wonderfruit day 2. What an awesome experience. Namaste.

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After Wonderfruit festival, Cathy and I headed to Koh Tao for Christmas.  I spent a total of 8 or 9 days there, and it was a pretty great time.  It was quite strange though, because the weather was actually pretty terrible.  But it always cleard up at night.  The food was good, the parties were good, and met some amazing people there as well.

On December 31st, I decided it was time to journey over to Koh Phangan for the New Years Ever celebrations.  I’ll be writing a seperate blog post about that crazy experience.  IMG_2340


 

Well, there ya have it.  The past 12 months of my life summed up in one blog post.  It truly has been the best year of my life.  I want to take this moment to thank each and every person I’ve met while traveling around the world.  You guys are what making traveling so amazing.  I honestly don’t have too much plans as of now for 2015, but I have a hard time thinking it can top 2014, but I’m damn sure I’m gonna try.

Thanks for reading!

The Pickpocket Huntress of Barcelona

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Barcelona is easily one of my favorite cities in the world, but there is one major problem in this beautiful city: pickpockets.  I’ve personally never been pick-pocketed myself, but I know a lot of people who have had this happen to.  Whenever I know people are heading to Barcelona, one of the first things I see is to make sure you watch over your belongings.  It can happen to anyone, and the pickpockets in Barcelona are highly skilled.  If you lose focus for one minute, it can be very easily to be distracted and have something sneakily stolen out of your bag.  The main rule I have when I’m in Barcelona, is basically to be “paranoid” at all times.  That just means when you are in a crowded area, understand that you can be a target!  As long as you are careful, nothing will happen to you!   Read more