accommodation, geography, journey, route, Travel

My 6 month map and me

Map Jun to Dec 17Well how fabulous, I finally found a website that allowed me to plot all the locations I visited on one single image!  A successful 6-month adventure, don’t ya think?

I hadn’t set out with a statistical goal in mind such as how many places to tick off a list.  Mine was more a duration exploring the continent.  I am back in good old GB for a 2 week holiday to see family and friends faces, to eat home-cooked favourites, to see a West End show or 3.  All the personal activities I’ve missed.  I’ve been surprised I didn’t have time to miss physical ‘things’ and technology enables us to communicate in exactly the same way I do if I was in my home country.  I didn’t feel far away at all.

If you’re interested then it’s been fun to look at some figures:

  • 184 days in Europe excluding my current time ‘at the folks’
  •   12 countries
  •   37 cities
  •   28 hostels
  •     4 hotels including 3 volunteering locations
  •     3 Airbnb
  •   85 days volunteering and help exchange
  •   42 train journeys
  •     2 plane journeys
  • Way too many local bus, tram and metro journeys to include!

Looking back, in no way did I stick to my initial plan of #slowtravel.  During the summer, I was more excited and inclined to stay in a city or town for 4-7 days and then move on, so many sights to see and supposedly so little time!  Working online or blogging, pah I’ll do tomorrow.  This should come as no surprise and now will be quite the change of focus to keep on adventuring.

Favourites!  Difficult to say because all destinations had plus points, sights that made me speechless, good beer and even better wine!  Prague was one of the most beautiful cities, Budapest one of the most cosmopolitan, Rothenberg ob der Tauber and Cesky Krumlov are immediate recommendations for weekend breaks or longer holidays.  If I list anymore this will become a copy of my route.

Bad memories usually fade but I really dislike sausages, not a fan of overnight trains, failing technology when you really need it to work, smelly food in a hostel… I’m clearly wearing my rose tinted specs, I’ve gone blank with my grumbles and groans.  Nothing was that bad, I lived a simple life, not much happening to moan about.

I’m going back to Poland in March 2018 and action always speaks louder than words.  I did fall in love with the country and the people; the food, not so much.

Hope you enjoy the photos as I blitz the upload with my mum and dad’s wifi.

It truly has been amazing, I am a different person.  I have seen much good in people, weirdly I have enjoyed spending time with people as much as I have satisfying solitude.  I have learnt their history and geography while being immersed in their country and culture.

I hadn’t met as many people ‘on the road’ as I thought I might; us solo travellers can be happily cocooned in our oneness and pairs insular in coupledom.  Albeit all very content.  Thank you to social media as those I have connected with, whilst our time may be short in proportion to our travels, I can easily keep in touch with you and see you again very soon.

I was horizontal in my relaxation during most of my travels.  I feel extremely lucky to have the freedom and opportunity that others don’t.  Let alone being born an English native speaker and a Brit [even though our nation really did do some despicable things in the past!].

I love being an explorer; the wanderlust remains and the travels continue.  The anticipation and research of a new location, the excitement to view a sight or sound that I’d absorbed from articles and images online or in a travel book.  You must know by now how much I love train transit and looking out the window as the scenery unfolds and there is so much to see in the world.

I love catching up and seeing family and friends but the itchy feet start after only a week.  Being in one place is not for me right now.  After the clocks changed, I registered how little I like autumn and winter even when not conforming to the London rat race dark commute to and from work.  I am flying south with the birds!

Ryanair booked Sunday 17th December to ATHENS for Christmas and New Year [via Poznan in Poland for a cheap deal].  Volunteering help exchange for 4 weeks, maybe more.  The general plan is to head north from mid/end of January to Poland by mid-March.  Much to see along the Dalmatian Coast or popping in and out of Balkan countries on my way up!  Details to be confirmed, it’s too early for specifics.

I’m searching for an NGO volunteer position or even better a cat rescue centre in Croatia – if you’ve heard or seen anything on your personal travels then please contact me.

I’ll be completing my Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Poland with AngloVille during March and following this, the international world will be my oyster.  That is a whole different chapter.

I set off in June to go ‘miles for smiles”; this has been 100% achieved!

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