Thursday Thoughts on my Travels

~Here I sit in Bergen, Norway on a white cloudy day. It may seem like any other day to my family and friends back home but to me this day is extraordinary. I’ve been gone for nearly 2 months and home seems so far away. The rest of Europe seems so far away as well as I sit in the North contemplating my next move.

I’ve seen very small portions of 5 different countries; each one varying ever so slightly from the other. I’ve had ample time to reflect on my own inner thoughts and demons.  I no longer question whether or not I am doing the right thing anymore. All of the time and planning has brought me here to this very moment.

Although I have only just begun to tap into the cultures and ways of living, I have also gained an overwhelming amount of knowledge from each place I graze through.

The words evade me…

How can I put into words the emotions and visual pleasures I’ve experienced? So many feelings within my gut I can barely begin to explain in a transparent sentence let alone describe what I’ve seen or heard in my passing through these mysterious realms.

I’ve been surrounded by history and sophistication. The aftermath of victories, accomplishments, and defeat throughout many battles and wars have literally been at my fingertips and yet I could never actually come close to understanding the complexity of it all. I can lay my hands upon the ruins. I can read the engraved words in the stone. I can sit and bask in the elapsed time bubble that has brought me here.

My eyes can merely gaze in wonder.

In Paris, I slept in a building constructed in the 1800s that has been restored time and time again. In Barcelona, I realized a resistance had transformed the very flags in which the country of Spain had once honored. I discovered a language I had never heard of before. I stood inside a tunnel in Bury St. Edmunds, England, encompassed by ancient ruins which had been originally erected over a thousand years ago. I have recited tales of witches and ghosts in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Here I sit in Bergen, Norway on a white cloudy day writing these indescribable feelings the best I can. A beautiful little city enclosed by glorious green mountains, trees and lakes. Cold streams of water trickle down the slopes of Mt Fløyen. At night the entire city center lights up from the shops and houses nestled within the mountain side. The reflections in the harbor waters glow and dance with the wind.

My best explanation of my thoughts on my recent travels; they are vast, deep and full of fascination I wish I could convey. I am so incredibly grateful I have this chance to experience something so much greater than I could ever explain.

Travel now. Travel far. Travel; for it will show so many truths within ourselves. The world has so much to offer.

Thursday Thoughts: Starting the Trip of a Lifetime!

2 weeks ago I was sitting in a fancy hotel room in Vancouver, Canada, waiting for the anticipated flight to Paris, France. Now, I am sitting in an apartment in Barcelona, Spain with a handful of stories already under my belt. Where do I even begin?

Here I am, enjoying Europe. This trip is just getting started.

I honestly can’t believe I left everything behind. It feels so refreshing. I brought a small suitcase, which I left in Paris, and a big red backpack stuffed to the max. Everyone told me to travel light but seeing as how I may hit some different climates along the way I did not pack light at all. My backpack is pretty heavy so luckily I don’t have to carry it too far. With cabs to and from airports, I just have to worry about my smaller carry-on bags while I’m traveling around.

Paris and Barcelona in the winter are exactly the same climates as winter back home in Victoria. It’s a bit rainy, windy and there’s a slight chill in the air. Luckily the sun has made an appearance a few times.

My best friend, Lisa, has been by my side the whole way and we’ve had the Trip of a Lifetime! We’ve seen The Louvre,  The Eiffel Tower and Galeries Lafayette in Paris. We’ve also discovered the impressive Sagrada Família Cathedral, Park Güell and the beautiful beaches of Barcelona. Our feet have ached and our sleep comes early, but it’s been worth every second. Each day tells a different story. The faces we see and the paths we take change on the regular. Ah, the joys of traveling. Long line ups have definitely tested my patience but it is nothing I haven’t experienced before.

I feel more ready this time around. It’s been smooth sailing for most of the trip. A lot of people speak English and with a bit of broken French and Spanish; it’s easy to get around. Groceries and the everyday bottle of wine costs much less than I would have thought. The most expensive thing is accommodation. Fortunately, I have not had to pay much towards my temporary housing during the trip thus far. I have had an exponential amount of luck and people who care about me to generously put me in a safe and comfortable living situation at their own expense.

dsc_0007From the Eiffel Tower to the famous masterpiece, Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí, we have checked so many items off the bucket list. I feel so privileged to be able to travel to the fullest and cherish each moment like no other.

Now I can say I’ve dipped my feet in the Mediterranean Sea. I can reminisce about the views from atop the Eiffel Tower overlooking Paris. I can brag about the warm sun on my face on Christmas Eve in Barcelona Square. That is if the sun comes out again tomorrow.

 

Until next time, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday! Wherever you are; enjoy all of it. 🙂 Stay tuned for more stories of the long-awaited trip to Europe.

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