Um, so remember when I said I was done blogging for a while? Well, I couldn’t resist sharing a monthly update of my trip! This is a real time update that covers the last 40 days. (My trip started February 20 so I figured I’d squeeze that bit in with March!)
I’ve spent the last five weeks in Europe. In short, Europe feels a lot less, well, thrilling after going to Asia. In fact, traveling here hardly feels like traveling at all; it more feels like a heightened and happier version of everyday life. I’ve spent the last five weeks wandering about in a happy daze, visiting friends, enjoying near daily doses of sunshine (weird right?) and picnicking in parks. And of course, I threw in a few random adventures like skiing in Switzerland and road-tripping to Wales with a bunch of British guys. As you do.
In short, everything has been delightfully familiar and I’ve felt so, so happy. Also, after many -20 degree Michigan days, I’ve been extra grateful for the balmy spring weather in Europe.
Where I’ve been:
NYC (2 days)
London (2 days)
Venice (5 days)
Switzerland (9 days)
London again! (2 weeks)
North of England (4 days, during my stay in London)
Wales (3 days)
Madrid (4 days)
Paris (3 days and counting!)
Seeing so many friends! I kicked off the trip with my college roommate/best friend, Alyssa (we had a ridiculously good time, needless to say.) I followed that up with seeing Edna and the Googlers in Venice, a German family friend in Switzerland, Amanda and my little brother Andrew in London, English friends in the north of England, blogger friends in Madrid and French, English and American friends in Paris. And thanks to their hospitality I only had to pay for seven nights accomodation out of six weeks!
Couchsurfing in London with a house full of Spaniards was ridiculously fun. We had several house parties in which we barbecued, made tortilla de patatas, drank vino and listened to Galician music. Plus, I got to speak Spanish for about three days straight!
Carnevale in Venice. While carnevale itself was a bit of a let-down (basically Venetian carnevale is occassionally seeing old people in costumes walk by, not quite the debaucherous outdoor masquerade I had envisioned) I got to spend a week in beautiful, canalside townhouse with an incredible group of American expats. So. Much. Fun.
Skiing in Switzerland. I grew up skiing every weekend and raced in middle and high school; Needless to say, skiing is my favorite sport. Also due to watching Warren Miller movies as a child I’ve been dying to ski in Switzerland; so, life made.
Spring in London. I spent a few weeks in London feeling the happiest I’ve felt in ages. I simply enjoyed the blooming flowers, leisurely picnics in the park and many, many food markets with Amanda (p.s. if Amanda ever gives you a food recommendation PLEASE take it. Girl knows what she’s talking about.)
Road-tripping to the North of England and Wales. I headed up to the north of England to see Lauren, one of my good English friends who also worked as an au pair in Paris. What was supposed to be a weekend turned into an entire week in which we road-tripped to York and Wales with a car-full of new English friends who share a love for the Arctic Monkeys and seaside Welsh towns. Sometimes it really is best to just ditch the return ticket and go with the flow.
Meeting Awesome Blogger Friends in Madrid. One of my favorite things about blogging is meeting other bloggers. And honestly, I couldn’t have enjoyed the company of my Madrid roommates, Amanda, Julika and Jessica more. During our long-weekend in Madrid, during which we stayed in an adorable, travel-themed apartment provided by Go with Oh, we partied at Kapital, ate metric tons of Spanish ham and basically all became best friends.
Returning to my beloved Paris. What can I say? There’s nothing better than spring in Paris. And there’s also nothing better than seeing some of your best friends after almost a year. In Paris I’ve been staying with a Parisian guy-friend who has been forcing me to speak French (ha) as well as allowing me to stay in his swanky apartment in Puteaux. It’s been so good to revisit my second home- and I still have four more days to enjoy it!
I won’t lie- there weren’t many lows. But no trip is perfect, so here goes:
In a last-minute packing mishap I forgot a lot of stuff, including my brand new Tieks! I’ve really got to pack more than three hours before leaving.
Um, my four days of solo travel in Switzerland kind of sucked. First of all, I currently hate solo travel and secondly I spent an absolutely fortune. Literally thinking about the money I spent in Switzerland makes me sick: a $60 hostel bunk I have to make myself, a $7 crappy salad at the grocery store. If you want to ski the Alps, head to France or Austria. Your credit card statement will thank you.
Not having a computer was equally a blessing and a pain the ass. I probably needed time away from the screen but running a blog remotely was not the best.
Gaining approximately 8 billion pounds. Um, all I have to say on that (rather hefty) front is THANK GOD for India.
And finally I have no idea what I’m doing after India so I’ve been freaking out about that. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do in June and July?
How cute is this octo-phant by Alexis Diaz? I loved exploring London’s East End for both the incredible eats as well as the incredible street art. Honestly if I ever move to London (which I’d love to do) I think I’d settle in the East End.
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