AK Monthly Recap: August 2023

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What does summer time journey appear like to you? For me, July is the time for a couple of fast journeys, however August is once I go away to relax out and take away myself from the world.

In this month, there have been two massive journeys: the top of my Montenegro and Croatia journey, which was all about having fun with the perfect of the Adriatic; then a two-week journey to Copenhagen and Greenland, all about having fun with the sting of the wilderness.

Let’s check out what made August 2023 nice!

Kate taking a selfie wearing a pink jacket and hiking near a still green lake in Greenland.
Enjoying the moraine hike close to Eqi Glacier, Greenland

Destinations Visited

  • Perast, Montenegro
  • Dubrovnik, Cavtat, Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan, Croatia
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Kangerlussuaq (and the Greenland Ice Sheet), Aasiaat, Manermiut, Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat, Oqaatsut, and Eqi Glacier, Greenland
Perast, a small town on the Adriatic with lots of boats in the bay and a tiny church steeple sticking up.
I cherished the city of Perast, even on a wet morning.

Highlights

Celebrating my thirty ninth birthday in one of many prettiest small cities on the Adriatic — Perast, Montenegro. It began out a bit wet, however cleared up and turned out to be beautiful! Charlie and I bought lunch at a mussel and oyster farm within the Bay of Kotor, did a ship journey across the bay and to Our Lady of the Rocks, went for a stunning swim, and loved a tasty dinner out.

A beautiful return to Dubrovnik. I’m all the time blissful to go to Dubrovnik, and this time I bought to check out one thing particularly cool — the Sky Bike Dubrovnik, the place you experience a motorbike on a tightrope on Mount Srd’, overlooking the town. We additionally loved a personal day journey by boat to the gorgeous Elafiti Islands — a marriage current from Charlie’s Croatian colleagues!

I additionally bought to hit up a few of my favorites — strolling the partitions (now an eye-watering 35 EUR ($38) once I paid 70 kuna ($10) on my first go to in 2011), and Dubrovnik Eat with Locals for some fabulous meals and friendship.

Getting to know Cavtat. Cavtat (SAHV-taht) is a small seaside city near Dubrovnik however a world away. It’s quiet, chill, and a lot cheaper than Dubrovnik, with a direct boat to the previous metropolis for 20 EUR ($22) round-trip. I actually preferred it! Definitely a superb possibility for individuals who need to expertise Dubrovnik however hate crowds.

A small Greenlandic town with brightly colored cottages against a steep green mountain.
The city of Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island was one in all my favourite locations in Greenland.

Good instances in Copenhagen. With three visits this summer time, Copenhagen is changing into one in all my better-known cities! Some highlights had been visiting the cool worldwide out of doors meals market at Reffen, trying out the beach-like surroundings at La Banchina, revisiting Tivoli (with rides this time), lastly visiting the Glyptotek, and spending time with Copenhagen associates.

A visit to Greenland that I’ll treasure without end. There is SO MUCH to say about Greenland, and I’ve been writing a giant submit in my head for awhile. That might be coming quickly, relaxation assured about that!

This was my massive main solo journey of the 12 months. Greenland is the form of place that makes you are feeling such as you’re on the finish of the world. The tourism trade there’s nonetheless very younger. The nature is totally gorgeous. It’s the form of place that leaves you privileged.

Again, I need to save the majority of Greenland for future posts, however my private highlights had been mountaineering solo at dawn on volcanic Disko Island, crusing across the icebergs of the Ilulissat Icefjord (UNESCO World Heritage Site #175!) at sundown, experiencing the huge quaking Eqi Glacier, and attending to know what it’s wish to reside at this fringe of the world.

Dubrovnik's old city, with orange roofs and surrounded by a big wall, set in the sea.
The view from our Dubrovnik house.

Challenges

FOOD POISONING. Charlie and I each bought a somewhat violent spherical of meals poisoning once we had been in Dubrovnik.

It’s so irritating when you’ll be able to’t determine the particular wrongdoer. Was it the oysters we had at lunch? Was it the grocery retailer sausage roll that morning? Was it the native water, because it seems secure native water shouldn’t be all the time secure after a storm, and there had been a storm the day earlier than?! Who is aware of.

Missing a day in Disko Island and getting caught an additional day in Aasiaat. I knew that weather-related cancellations should not uncommon in Greenland, however this one harm — Disko Island had been the place I had been trying ahead to visiting probably the most, and Aasiaat doesn’t have a lot to do on the town in any respect.

Prague’s airport lounges have been faraway from the Priority Pass. This truly occurred final month, however I forgot to put in writing about it. I like the lounge entry I get with the Priority Pass (a perk from my Capital One Venture X card, which is SO price it), and it saves a ton of cash as a result of I by no means purchase overpriced meals at airports anymore.

But Priority Pass quietly eliminated entry to Prague’s lounges. And the annoying factor is that they don’t talk this (they take the lounge off their app however hold it on their web site), so I’m on the desk and getting rejected like I’m a 19-year-old making an attempt to sneak right into a bar. FUN.

However, Charlie truly opened a elaborate Czech checking account that offers him lounge entry in Prague as one of many perks! Ha. Next step is so as to add me as a certified consumer.

Missing my cats. A LOT. I’ve been away from the cats so much this summer time, and I don’t prefer it. It’s time to make that point as much as them.

This month, Baliček the cat got here to stick with us whereas his household was away. This was his third long-term go to at our place, and he’s the sweetest, most loving cat on this planet. That mentioned, whereas all three cats appear to get alongside at instances, I’m realizing that Lewis actually doesn’t like him. Not certain how that’s going to have an effect on issues going ahead.

Oh, and likewise, Baliček will get severely anxious at driving in automobiles — and once we introduced him again, he managed to puke UPWARDS by the mesh on the provider. The provider was on my lap. That was enjoyable.

Three little gray tabby cats lounging on and around the bed, staring at the camera with annoyance.
Lewis and Baliček and Murray…not fairly three peas in a pod.

Blog Posts of the Month

Turning 39 with a Bit More Wisdom — Each 12 months I write a giant submit on my birthday. Here’s a set of issues I discovered this 12 months, a lot of them wedding-related.

22 Best Places to Visit in Sicily — So you need to go to Sicily — nice! — however you’re undecided precisely the place to go. This submit will present you a number of the greatest locations to go to and determine what’s greatest for you.

Most Popular Reel on Instagram

INSTAGRAM WENT NUTS THIS MONTH!! (Check it out — I’m @adventurouskate on Instagram.) I began making an effort with reels in mid-April, and this month it paid off.

My “Where Italians Actually Go in Italy” reel bought to 1 million views on August 5. My first million-view reel!! It now sits at 6.3 million views.

Then my “Sky Bike Dubrovnik” reel bought to 1 million views on August 16. It now sits at 8.1 million views.

Then my “Where I am at age 39” reel bought to 1 million views on August 27. This one truly went viral on Facebook greater than Instagram, and it was fast after which stopped. It now sits at 1.1 million views.

And the perfect half about that is that I FINALLY bought above 100k followers, the place I’ve been marooned, unable to develop past, for 9 years. Now I’m as much as 119k and rising.

What I Watched This Month

This month, mid-And Just Like That, I started rewatching Sex and the City. Which I’ve carried out so much through the years, however all the time the later seasons.

The earlier seasons hit MUCH in another way. Quite a lot of episodes and moments didn’t age nicely. But it’s a whole lot of enjoyable seeing their love pursuits within the earlier years — Timothy Olyphant! Will Arnett! Justin Theroux, twice!

Below Deck replace: We instantly vaulted into watching Below Deck: Down Under Season 2, because it’s airing at the moment and there was a serious incident that made information in a whole lot of publications. Currently in the midst of all of it and can reserve remark till the top of the season, however will say that Captain Jason and Aesha have only a pleasant friendship.

A huge iceberg lit up in pale yellow sunset light.
The icebergs in Ilulissat had been gorgeous.

What I Read This Month

After a lackluster few years of studying, this month was fairly intense. (Spending three days in a distant a part of Greenland with no web will assist out with that so much!) Here’s what I learn:

Strong Female Character by Fern Brady (2023) — Fern Brady is a Scottish comic who was identified with autism a couple of years in the past. This memoir is without doubt one of the most exceptional books I’ve learn in a very long time — a retelling of her life as she struggled to et by faculty, get alongside together with her household, maintain down a job, every part.

Autism presents in another way in ladies, which is how so many go undiagnosed. You’ve most likely heard that earlier than. But this memoir is a fully SEARING account of how a scarcity of analysis can destroy your life. Fern’s meltdowns contain destroying all of the furnishings in her home.

But what? She was a stripper for awhile, and talks about how being a stripper is a perfect profession for a lot of autistic ladies — you do the identical routine each night time! You have the identical conversations each night time! Lights are saved low! It’s actually arduous to get fired! You know precisely what males are in search of, no subtlety!

Anyway — extremely suggest this memoir. I discovered a ton and laughed uproariously all through it.

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen (2022) — In this novel, Ava Wong is an efficient lady who by no means did something improper — and now she’s a lawyer on who-knows-how-long hiatus, elevating a troublesome toddler as her surgeon husband works lengthy hours. Then Ava reconnects with an previous good friend, Winnie, who runs a enterprise importing the world’s greatest counterfeit designer purses from China to the US. Soon Ava has joined Winnie’s enterprise — however quickly the authorities are after them.

I loved this e book so much on a floor degree! It’s enjoyable and fast-paced and there’s a Gone Girl-style twist midway by (which implies to say, there’s a twist midway by).

One factor, although — a lot of this e book is unrealistic concerning the luxurious items trade. All of Ava and Winnie’s staff are one-time bag purchasers who purchase a bag, then return the faux instead, then by no means return to the store once more. Luxury boutiques are all about establishing deep, long-term relationships between salespeople and purchasers. You purchase from the identical particular person without end. They save issues for you. It simply appeared like this was ignored.

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (2023) — Have you ever seen how usually glamorous feminine stars find yourself courting and marrying often-schlubby SNL writers? That’s what this novel is about. Sally, a author at an SNL-esque present known as The Night Owls, rolls her eyes when star after star pairs off with one in all her always burping writers and even writes a sketch about these males punching above their weight.

Then she meets the newest host-and-musical-guest, Noah Brewster — a pop star identified for courting fashions. And consider it or not, he truly likes her. And so the recent singer dates a considerably schlubby feminine comedy author!

I’m a giant SNL fan, in addition to a Curtis Sittenfeld fan, so that you gained’t be stunned that I very a lot loved this. And I appreciated how a lot the writer did her analysis on the present — there wasn’t one second that made me suppose, “No, it wouldn’t happen like that.” It’s a enjoyable, low-stakes romance, and I like to recommend it.

A rare sandy beach in Croatia, lots of kids and adults swimming in the clear turquoise water!
Lopud Island, close to Dubrovnik, has sandy seashores — a rarity in Croatia!

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (2023) — In this novel, Miri’s spouse Leah, a marine biologist, has returned from a submarine expedition gone improper — she was trapped on the underside of the ocean for six months. But after returning, she’s not regular. She insists on sitting in baths all day, ingesting saltwater, and refusing to work together with the world.

This is without doubt one of the stranger books I’ve learn in a very long time. Part science fiction, half horror. Leah retains making an attempt to determine what occurred on the backside of the ocean with Leah — and it slowly turns into a meditation on her grief. An odd one, and I nonetheless don’t fairly know what to think about it, however the writing is gorgeous.

In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (2022) — Silvia Vasquez-Lavado turned the primary Peruvian girl and the primary brazenly homosexual girl to summit Mount Everest. Before her Everest climb, she led a bunch of sexual abuse survivors on a trek to Everest Base Camp. But behind the climbing, her life was a large number — she was ingesting closely, hiding her sexuality from her household, and repressing her recollections of sexual abuse as a baby.

Note: this e book incorporates graphic scenes of kid sexual abuse.

After studying Into Thin Air, concerning the 1996 catastrophe on Mount Everest, I resolved to by no means, ever, ever entertain the potential of climbing the world’s tallest mountain. So it was fairly one thing to examine an expedition that was truly profitable.

Silvia is an extremely pushed girl. I cherished the story of her leaving Peru for America and rising within the ranks in Silicon Valley. At the identical time, although, she left a LOT of wreckage behind her, and doesn’t present any accountability. And as a lot as I would like her to be sober, I doubt she is. (Same with Matthew Perry after studying his memoir.)

Does that imply that flawed individuals who do superior issues can’t write memoirs? Not in any respect. But this one left me feeling a bit uneasy.

The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin (2004) — This was a reread for me. In this novel, Steve Martin tells the story of Daniel Pecan Cambridge — a person residing with extreme compulsions that impression his life. He takes lengthy winding routes across the neighborhood as a result of he can solely cross a road from curb to curb. He doesn’t perceive social cues. He makes intricate mathematical magic squares. And then when his therapist and her younger son have an emergency and want his assist, every part adjustments.

I am keen on Steve Martin’s writing to the moon and again — partly as a result of it’s so completely different from his comedy. And this e book is good and great and it has one in all my favourite shocking heartwarming endings.

Rereading it a couple of decade or so later, although, and having learn a number of books by autistic authors, it provides me a whole lot of doubts, particularly because it ends with Daniel having “recovered” considerably. Is this story a practical take a look at an individual with autism or OCD? Probably not. Should we be celebrating a neurotypical particular person writing about an autistic particular person making their conduct extra palatable for the plenty? Probably not, both.

I nonetheless love Steve, although, and there’s a whole lot of good on this little e book.

Skyline view of Prague, little church towers poking over the landscape in front of the river.

Coming Up in September 2023

ZERO TRAVEL THIS MONTH! Between the weddings and summer time journey I’ve been go-go-going since late April — I’m fairly anticipating a relaxation, and plenty of kitty cuddles.

But this month I’ve one thing massive deliberate — Czech driving faculty. It’s time to me to get my Czech driver’s license, and since you’ll be able to’t switch over American licenses (for the dumbest purpose — as a result of Americans write the month and date in a distinct order from the remainder of the world), I have to undergo the entire driver’s ed course of.

The excellent news is that I might be FINALLY studying to drive a guide automotive! Guess it will kill two birds with one stone — I’ll learn to drive stick and drive in Prague, two issues which might be majorly intimidating to me. I’m doing an intensive course and must be completed by mid-October.

Beyond that, September is a good month to spend in Prague, and my associates and I’ve a whole lot of plans. Beer festivals (sure, a number of), seeing Bill Burr and Cobra Man reside, a personal go to to the beautiful Strahov Library, particular dinners out. I’m trying ahead to all of it.

What did you stand up to this August? Share away!



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