Hi! I’m Vera. I love travel, especially to international destinations. I get fired up by unique adventures, memorable experiences and discovering other cultures. 

Passports & Spice is my way to share it all with other intrepid travelers, along with my photography and travel tips. 

Recent Adventures

Flamenco Class in Spain: How I Found My Inner Carmen

Un, dos, tres, quatro; un dos, tres, quatro y… uuun, dos, tres, quatro! Our teacher was passionately clapping her hands while simultaneously tapping out the rhythm with her foot for us. I was taking a flamenco class in Spain. In Sevilla, to be exact. Next to me was my...

12 Awesome Instagrammable Walls in Chicago

There are so many reasons to love Chicago and its incredible street art is one of them. All kinds of wonderful murals and other colorful artwork are scattered all over the city's neighborhoods... on buildings, walls, underpasses, bridges, stairways. This art form has...

10 Cool Things You Should Do in Lisbon

I totally knew we would love Lisbon. Indeed, the Portuguese capital delivered, and then some. The city, which happens to be one of the oldest in Europe, is highly picturesque, full of incredible history and has both a distinctly local and cosmopolitan vibe. There are...

A Special Time to Visit Lisbon: The Sardine Festival

Lisbon has a serious affection for its patron saint, St. Anthony. Every June, the city honors him with the Feast of St. Anthony or the Sardine Festival, as it is also known. During this time of the year many of Lisbon’s streets and plazas, particularly those in some...

The Buzz About World Bee Day and Slovenia

Do you know what May 20th is? It’s World Bee Day! I’m excited about it because I love bees and honey and also because the initiative for this global celebration was started by my native country, Slovenia, which has beekeeping in its heart. This (Bee) Love Runs Deep...

Five Experiences Not to Miss at the Grand Canyon

I dreamed about seeing the Grand Canyon in person since I was a little girl growing up in Slovenia. It was one of the big items on my bucket list. I did visit it soon after I moved to the U.S. 20+ years ago and it was even more impressive than any of the pictures I...

Most Popular Posts

12 Awesome Instagrammable Walls in Chicago

There are so many reasons to love Chicago and its incredible street art is one of them. All kinds of wonderful murals and other colorful artwork are scattered all over the city's neighborhoods... on buildings, walls, underpasses, bridges, stairways. This art form has...

Our Family Cooking Class in Puerto Vallarta

Visitors to Puerto Vallarta usually come for the sun, the beaches and, of course, the colonial charm of the old town. Because I love cooking, not to mention Mexican food, I had another must-do for our recent vacation to Mexico: a family cooking class in Puerto...

Common Tourist Mistakes to Avoid in Venice, Italy

Venice has always had a special place in my heart. I visited many times when I was younger because I grew up in neighboring Slovenia and I could not wait to show it to my kids - who have never been to Italy before - on one of our trips to Europe. We finally had a...

Helpful Tips for Visiting Temples and Shrines in Japan

If you are planing a trip to Japan, chances are, you will visit at least one temple or shrine. They are everywhere and in addition to being places of worship, many temples and shrines are also big tourist attractions. In Tokyo, for example, Meiji Shrine and Sensoi...

Four Ways to Connect with Ernest Hemingway in Cuba

There was a long list of reasons why I wanted to go to Cuba. Ernie was one of them. Ernie, as in Ernest Hemingway, one of America’s most celebrated literary masters, famous for his legendary life style and quirky personality as much as his writings. Ernie, who also...

My Accent and 10 Reasons You Must Visit Slovenia

"Where is your accent from?", most people ask immediately after they meet me. I get a kick out of the fact that I can never get away with my accent in the U.S., after more than 20 years of living here, but I am asked if I am a Latina when I travel to Mexico, Colombia...

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