Tuesday, October 27, 2015

14 days + 9 countries = 23 things discovered.


 Do you guys ever just have one of those days, where everything just seems so surreal and perfect? Like, can this really be my day, my reality at this moment? I had that for 14 days! Okay, okay well not all of it was rainbows and butterflies but I was adventuring in multiple countries with amazing people,so nothing was "bad"!
 Okay so, in the middle of September of this year I took my first solo trip overseas.  I decided to go two weeks before the date that I was going to board a plane headed towards London. I spontaneously bought the travel tour through a company named Contiki. What drew me to Contiki was the fact that it had an age limit to join the tours, 18 to 35. Although I was solo traveling overseas I had hopes to meet people around my age, with my love for adventure and to explore beautiful Europe together.

Dude, guess what?! 

It happened! I met some of the most amazing people on my trip. My two roommates were from England, and two of my other close friends were from Florida. I met so many other amazing people from all over the globe. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the list goes on. 
Our badass tour went through 9 countries in 13 days, EPIC to say the least. I was down for the challenge and although I had a small bit of pre trip nervousness,  I got my ass on the plane and flew 11 hours into London. We started our travels off in London and went through Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland and France. I ate so much delicious food, laughed until my belly ached and was stopped in my tracks by the sights I saw. I discovered many things, some big and some small throughout my 14 days (including travel).

So here is a list of 23 things that I discovered on my overseas adventure:

  1. Traveling solo doesn't mean you'll be alone
  2. Nutella just tastes better in Italy
  3. Italian truck stops are unlike anything I have ever seen
  4. Space cakes in Amsterdam taste terrible but work AMAZING! (Hehe no shame)
  5. A lot of the worlds railway systems are similar. You will get lost, but somehow end up where you need to be. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  6. You don't know true freedom until you walk into the Anne Frank house and realize that they had none.
  7. Stressful things will happen while you travel abroad, like missing your train in Amsterdam after you have eaten a space cake and no one speaks English. Just LAUGH you are on an adventure, it seems stressful at the time but at least you'll have a story to tell. 
  8. Speaking of missing your train, ALWAYS negotiate your taxi prices before you get in! They will try to suck you dry.
  9. Always try the local coffee shops, you can get a Starbucks anywhere back home!
  10. Pictures really don't do the beautiful architecture in Rome justice. Go see them in person, you won't regret it!
  11. Make sure to map out a place to do your laundry, otherwise you WILL wear the same black shirt over and over again. Yes, that was me and I have no regrets! :)
  12. Good things are always around, you just need to look for them.  
  13. You will never get those perfect moments back, cherish them. Tell the people around you how amazing they are, savor that last bite of food and don't forget to smile.
  14. My favorite type of mementos are the non traditional ones. I bought an amazing drawing pen in  London, a pair of sunglasses in Austria, a cool skeleton sweater in Rome and some cool shoes in Venice. I love thinking about my travels when I see them.
  15. Don't wear your brand new shoes on a day where you are solo adventuring by foot. Ow, just ow.
  16. No matter what, take time to do things that you enjoy. If you enjoy nature, find a nice spot to relax. If you love beer, find a bar and try some local beers. If art is more of you thing, look up an art museum. You will not regret these things, they feed your soul.
  17. Take time to get to know people, usually their stories will surprise you. You will never know unless you take the time to listen.
  18. Make sure that you journal the same or next day, anything after that will be hard to remember the small details that you will enjoy reading back at a later date.
  19. Eat as many Macaroons as possible. You will miss them, like I do at this EXACT moment.
  20. Flying solo is fun as long as you make sure you have plenty of things to keep you occupied. Make sure they are charged. Nothing worse than an 11 hour flight and a dead iPad.
  21. Free Wifi is gold!
  22. The Eiffel Tower is so damn tall!!! I ran full speed down ONE level in order to try and catch an elevator and not miss the bus back to the hotel.The amount of time it took to run down one level was insane. (SPOLIER: I missed it!)
  23. Nothing compares to a sunset on the water in Switzerland.


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