Posts Tagged With: RTW

Venice

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10 things you’ll do as a backpacker that you wouldn’t normally do

1. Wear dirty undies, possibly inside out

2. Steal toilet paper from a public bathroom…especially if you’re heading to a region with substandard toilets

3.  Pee in the water…any water bc hey, you’re a backpacker, it’s fine

4. Have sex in a hostel dorm, or hear others who are having sex in your hostel dorm

5.  Lie about some aspect of yourself. Your job, your bank account, your availability, whatev. Sometimes a simple lie is more effective than a complicated truth

6. Eat at McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, etc because you’re craving something from home

7.  Use ductape in place of stitches…the kind of stitches that hold together your backpack or the kind that holds together your flesh

8.  Eat something that you would prefer not to know the origins of

9.  Talk to someone for literally hours without thinking to ask their name

10. Hitch hike, crash on a stranger’s couch (hello, couchsurfing), and trust people that you don’t know to not steal your stuff ( every time you leave your stuff not locked up in a hostel)

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Greetings from London

Hallo! I’m sorry I haven’t updated my blog, especially as I began my rtw on Thursday,but the last weeks leading up to my departure and the first few days in London have been a whirlwind! Once I get to Nice on Thursday I’ll have a bit more time and start posting some videos of my trip thus far. Until then I’ll keeping taking loads of photos and videos and writing down all the things I want to tell u when I have a reliable Internet connection. Heading to Paris tonight so I’m sure to have some interesting stories! Ciao for now!

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Is it hard to do?

The most asked question I get about my trip is “How can you afford it?”.  The second most asked question is “Is it hard to do?”  I usually have a couple smart ass replies ready…”I don’t know, I haven’t left yet” is one of my favs. Maybe what I should say is “No harder than living a life I’m not meant to live”. 

I actually don’t think it will be as hard as one might think to leave the safe and normal world of “home”.  After all, I spent countless summers at sleep away camp growing up.  I uprooted myself from the only home I had ever known to move 900 miles away for college.  I moved another few hundred miles away for grad school. I’ve spent about 6 months total exploring every country in Central America (5 of those months on my own).  I regularly go on adventures by myself.  Eating dinner out alone does not intimidate me. I am woman hear me roar.  

No, the actual doing isn’t what worries me.  I think it will be far harder to convince myself that I deserve to live the life I want to lead.  It seems like many of us are very good at convincing ourselves that we aren’t worthy of what we really want. It’s something we are brought up with.  Society convinces us that we have to work extremely hard for most of our lives, usually doing something we hate, before we deserve to enjoy ourselves.  Pretty much every religion teaches us that we aren’t worthy. After all, what are humans, but lesser, unworthy versions of gods?  Is there a religion out there that doesn’t employ some version of ‘Catholic Guilt’ to shape it’s followers’ actions?

***Side note: Please understand that I am not attacking religion. I believe that there is some kind of higher power out there, though my definition of God is probably more loose than most.   I believe in an inclusive world and support the idea that many religions may be ‘true’.  Who’s to say my God isn’t your God and his God and her gods etc. with a different ‘face’. Anyway, back to the main topic***  

My point is/was that believing that I’m ‘worth it’ is something I’ve struggled with all my life and is a topic that many have difficulty broaching.  Believing that I deserve to live this transitory, nomadic, spontaneous, irregular, chaotic, anything but ‘normal’ life that I desperately want and need and crave has been an uphill battle and I’m not at the peak yet. But I can see it. I’m getting closer.  Immediately shooting myself down is now not always my first response. 

So. Is it hard to do, deciding to leave everything you know behind to jump into the unknown? Yes…but not for the reasons you may think

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Found it.

I call this one!

I call this one!

Today was a good day.  I went to my niece and nephew’s “Grandparents’ Day” at school with my awesome sister-in-law and baby nephew and learned what the older two have been up to. Afterwards, we went back to their house and goofed around for a while.  As I was hanging on the couch with the older kiddos (the baby and my sis-in-law were taking a much needed nap), I had an epiphany.  This is why I have to travel long term.

You might be saying, hold on a second…why did hanging out with some of your fav people on the planet make you realize you have to travel more, thus leaving them??? Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but just hear me out.  I realized that coming back to them after being gone just makes those normal moments even sweeter.

Also, I want to be the best me I can possibly be for my niece and nephews…traveling makes me the best version of myself.  It makes me more compassionate, more patient, more spontaneous, less stressed, more self-confident, and more stable (which sounds crazy, i know, being more stable by pursuing a lifestyle that is anything but).  I want to be someone that my wonderful niece and 3 lovely nephews can always look up to and count on.  They are the most important people in my life and even if I didn’t think I owed it to myself to follow my dreams, I owe it to them to show by example that they can follow their dreams.

So, to wrap this up, I found it.  I found my inspiration for why I should take this trip even though sometimes I second-guess myself and think this whole idea of mine is bat-shit crazy.

🙂 I feel very calm and content for the first time in days.

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Eurail…euright or eurong…

After making the decision to stick to Western Europe for the first portion of my trip, I realized I needed to make another big decision…how I’m going to get around.  I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about the value of a eurail pass that I have no idea if it will be worth it.  A 2 month pass with 10 days of travel is $908, a 2 month pass with 15 days is almost $1200. It might just be better to look for a combination of point to point rail passes and cheap airfares via ryanair or some other budget airline.  

This trip is about being spontaneous and free to go whichever way the wind blows me so I hate the idea of being tied down to a specific route. What if I meet some awesome people on the road and they’re headed to Nice and I have a ticket to Venice? That pretty much defeats my goal for this trip. One of my favorite parts of traveling through Central America was that I never booked anything in advance, except for the 10 days my parents visited my in Costa Rica.  I had a loose plan, but there was so much room for negotiation. For that reason, I think a Eurail pass is not for me.  

If you have a very definite path mapped out with a lot of long travel days, a pass might be worth it. Just keep in mind, even with a eurail pass, you might be faced with additional fees for some of the trains (especially overnights). You also may need to book legs pretty far in advance.  

Ok, another decision made! Man I’m on a roll ;-).  Even though I’ve decided not to use a eurail pass for this trip to Europe, I may use one on a future trip, so I would still love to hear from anyone that has used a pass in the, er, past.

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The U.K. is a parallelogram…

Stay with me on this…I was doing a little research on London, which made me think of England, which made me think of the U.K., which made me think about all the different ways we have of referring to that area of the world, which made me wonder about which terms actually refer to which places.

England, obviously is a country. Great Britain is actually the name of the island upon which  the countries of England, Scotland, and Wales reside. Britain and U.K. refer to an area that includes the island of Great Britain, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands.

Thus, the U.K. is a parallelogram. For those of you who are fuzzy on the definition of a parallelogram, it is a simple quadrilateral with 2 pairs of parallel sides.  This means rectangles and squares are parallelograms, though a parallelogram is not necessarily a rectangle or a square.  Similarly, all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. This is because rectangles are parallelograms with 4 angles of equal size and squares are parallelograms with 4 angles of equal size and 4 sides of equal length.

So, by this logic, the U.K. is a parallelogram, the island of Great Britain is a rectangle, and England is a square. Why go through all the trouble of relating these areas to shapes? Because I’m a huge nerd. And because, in my experience, Welsh and Scots get really mad if you refer to them as English (lol rightfully so, since it’s a different country), so the last thing I want to do is offend someone. And because it’s fun.

 

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