Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
128Trip End Oct 03, 2013
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I had an amazing time in Europe. Before arriving, I was not prepared to like it as much as some of the other places I had been because of the lack of challenges. To me, Europe was too modern and advanced to be full of any sort of adventures. After traveling here though, I have revised my opinion. I had an amazing time exploring the UK and the countries in central/eastern Europe.
Countries Visited- 10
Passport pages used- too hard to tell because in Europe, unlike the rest of the world, they cannot stamp in order
Transport taken- car, bus, plane, horse, feet, train
Where I slept- homes, hostels, hotels, pensions, buses, trains, airport
The best of:
Beaches- Kotor, Montenegro; Bol, Croatia; Bled, Slovenia
Countries- Scotland, Slovenia, Turkey
Cities- Istanbul, Turkey; Krakow, Poland; Budapest, Hungary
Town- Kas, Turkey; Bled, Slovenia; Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hiking- Zadair, Slovakia; Cappadocia, Turkey; Zakopane, Poland
Food- England, Turkey, Bulgaria
What I Missed the Most/ First world Problems
1. A washer and dryer
2. English speakers
3. Fruits and vegetables
4. Different clothes
6. A routine
7. Hot water
8. Less smokers and cigarette butts everywhere
9. Good internet
10. Cooking/ baking
After 367 days away from Canada, I arrived back on Canadian soil. Now is the time for one final reflection on my experiences. One of my friends introduced me to the concept of naming something everyday that you are grateful for. It can be something big or small. Over this last year, the most difficult thing about that concept would be coming up with just one thing. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to make this trip.
One of the first travel type books that I read, and one of the most famous is Eat, Pray, Love. I feel like that title can describe my trip perfectly. I tried new food all over the world. I tried everything from bugs to fish to exotic fruits. In Guatemala I learned about spirituality when I participated in a yoga/meditation retreat. I meditated with a chocolate shaman. I had philosophical discussions with many people. As with any travel, it is the people that make it. I met so many amazing people. I got to rock a baby to sleep in Guatemala, show kids in Panama how to use a camera, exchange bracelets with a boy in Thailand, and make puppets with a boy in Turkey. I met travelers and locals who all had a story to tell. I made life long friends on this year.
People always ask me why I went on this trip. I didn't get divorced or break up with anyone (that is everyones first guess). I have a family and friends that love and support me, and I have a career that I love. I am not running away from anything. I think I was looking for something more out of life, and I certainly did learn a lot. I have learned to be patient, to look up, to have faith that things will work out, the communicate, to take risks, to fail, and to succeed. I learned about perseverance, how to feel, how to give up control, and when to take control. I learned to be curious, to ask questions, to trust my instincts, to ask for help, what I am capable of, and most importantly, I learned what matters most to me in life. So while I am not a different person, I hope I am a better one. I hope that over the course of my trip, I was able to touch some lives and influence them in a positive way, in the same way that my life has been impacted.
I called this blog now or never thinking that this was my last big chance to travel. However, throughout this trip, I have met may life long travelers. I met a couple with a young baby traveling for a year when I was in Bolivia. I met people who lived all over the world with their parents when they were younger, and I met seniors backpacking everywhere I went. So while this trip may be the last trip I ever take that lasts this long, it is certainly not the last of my travels. When you travel, you don't tick places off of the list, you only add to it. Everywhere I go, people have a story to tell, and I want to hear as many as I can.
Thank you so much to everyone who has read, commented and supported my story.
P.S- My next adventure continues in Australia in November 2013... I am only in Canada for a short vacation!