“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
Monthly Archives: April 2013
When I was younger, I was a good writer. A little unpolished, sure, but strong. Clear. Lately, I’ve felt like I lost my voice. I reread the articles on this blog and yawn. It’s like reading a grocery list. Where is the passionate voice of my youth? Where is the descriptive, and yes, even elegant (sometimes) prose of my teenage years? Maybe more importantly, why can’t I seem to get it back? If I’m going to have a successful travel blog, I need to be able to go beyond telling readers about the places I go, I need to take them with me on the journey. I want people who read my blog to smell the thick, slightly sweet scent of ozone, rain, and decaying plant life when I hike through the Amazon. To taste the tanginess of sauerkraut I buy from a tiny shop in Berlin. To hear the blaring horns and hawking street vendors as I stroll down a busy street in Chang Mai. To feel the Australian sun beat down and the sweat rolling off the tip of my nose when I’m slaving away on a pearl farm near Broome. To experience the spiciness in not only the food of Brasil, but the air, the clothes, and even the way the people move.
I need to lose the fear of not fitting in that we all tend to acquire as we grow up. I want to shed it like a second skin. I’m already doing something with my life that is hugely different from what society tells me I should be doing, so why is it so difficult for me to be true to my inner writing voice? Maybe because I’ve tamped down the somewhat formal, certainly old-fashioned style of writing that felt so good to me for so long that I’ve forgotten how to write that way. Maybe I shouldn’t be looking to go back to that style at all, but instead find the voice that is right for me now.
I was looking through photos trying to find some inspiration for a travel article when I found this picture…it was a candid taken at a school dance in college. My girlfriends and I are rocking it out (I’m in black, drink to the sky), a look of absolute bliss on all our faces, jammin to the music. This is how I feel when I’m traveling. 😀
No, that wasn’t a typo. Today I learned about a bus company that services a good portion of Western Europe on the cheap. This is great news because the closer I get to my departure date (well, haven’t officially set one, but 98% sure it’s going to be during the last week of August), the more I freak out about the money issue…in fact, about 5 minutes before I was informed of Busabout, I started whining (in my head) about how much a damn Eurail pass is going to cost me. Turns out Busabout goes to most of the places I want to go, is cheaper, and is super flexible. They also have sweet package deals for festivals like Pamplona, La Tomatina, and Oktoberfest and awesome adventures like Greek Island Hopper, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, etc.! Definitely something to look into.
The biggest drawbacks I can see are that the buses only go in one direction so no backtracking and they only run from May-October though some of the packages run longer . Anyway, something to think about if you’re headed to Europe this summer!
I’ve really gotten into the idea of working on a pearl farm while I’m in Australia. I don’t know why this idea has lodged itself in my brain, but it has and it doesn’t seem to be budging. I know it would be really hard work, but I’m kinda craving that…a job that is hard as hell, but at the same time, very straightforward and when you leave work, your workday is done. Lol There is no bringing oysters home with you to open later. The days are long (10-12 hours), but the pay is good. Another perk, room and board is usually taken care of. Can any Aussies or backpackers who have actually worked on a pearl farm in Australia point me in the right direction?
It’s laundry day, hence the underpants thing ;-P. London and France are relevant too. I am definitely going to both on my trip, though I’m not sure where in France yet. London is pretty much covered. I’m staying with a buddy of mine and as a long-term tourist to the area (He’s from Scotland), I’m sure he’ll be able to give me the low down on what I have to see. France on the other hand, is a different story. I’ve been there twice, but was pretty young so I’m excited to see the country through different eyes. I know I’ll be visiting Paris for a couple of days which is awesome. I’m obsessed with the art in Paris and I’m not just talking about what’s in the Louvre and d’Orsay, but the buildings, the streets, and the people too! I’m only able to visit that oh-so-marvelous (and extremely expensive) city because of the generosity of a couple I know who have hotel points that expire at the end of the year that they don’t have time to use (thanks mom and dad!) I also want to visit Mont St. Michel, but I’m not sure that will be possible on 50$/day :-(. What I’m trying to figure out is where else to go?? Suggestions are more than welcome, they are encouraged! Just keep in mind I am on a limited budget lol.
If you couldn’t tell from my recent posts (and lack of), I’ve been very uninspired lately when it comes to travel. Maybe I have travel planning burnout. Maybe I’m frustrated that my friends and family don’t really seem to “get” me or why I’m doing this. Maybe I’m just being lazy. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever the reason, every post I’ve written lately has been pulled begrudgingly from my brain. That changed today. I was sitting on the floor of the Barnes and Noble in the travel section (duh) trying to kill the 45 minutes until I needed to leave for work when this 60 year old woman comes bouncing down the aisle. She was looking at some maps that were, of course, on the bookshelf that I was leaning up against. I apologized for being in her way and told her to let me know if I was in her way. She assured me I wasn’t. I went back to skimming through Lonely Planet’s Europe on a Shoestring. A few minutes later, I noticed that she still hadn’t found what she was looking for. I asked her where she was headed. She turned toward me with a big smile and explained that she was going to a few countries in Eastern Europe. I pointed her in the right direction. She asked where I was going. I explained that I was going on a RTW to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and South and Central America. “How exciting!!” she exclaimed with a genuine look of glee on her face. “It is exciting” I thought and just like that, my travel melancholia of the past couple weeks completely disappeared. When this is what you think and dream about day in and day out for months, or even years, it can become easy to lose sight of just how awesome your trip is or will be. Sometimes you can shake yourself out of the monotony of planning and see what drew you to your trip in the first place. Other times, it takes looking at your trip through the eyes of a stranger you met in Barnes and Noble to see your trip from a fresh prospective