Today is the 100th day since I almost got a heart attack at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when they tried to verify my return ticket. 100 days is so far the longest time I’ve been away from home.
For those who just tuned in, I’m at the moment on my own epic round the world trip!
Here you’re thinking, “You’re a really slow traveler.”
“Yes, that’s the only way to go, if you want to get to know the place a bit, rather than just being a passers-by.” I tell you.
“I mean, really slow, 100 days and you’re on your third country–Israel, Jordan, England.”
I have a confession to make. I’m no longer in London and is actually on my 8th country, but who’s keeping statistics? Ok, I am. My sisters are. And maybe some of you even care. I’m afraid I’m even a slower blogger than a traveler.
I haven’t been very diligent in blogging even before I started my trip. And this perpetual wandering got me so overwhelmed that I could hardly catch my breath, let alone to sit and write. But I’m learning, albeit slowly. You could probably see the effort that I’m posting more often. With my slow traveling, I think I will eventually catch up and be almost real time. The good thing is 100 days is still just the beginning. So stay tuned and wander with me. :)
who? what? where? when?
Right now I’m in Vienna, having breakfast at Om Kafe as I write this. Vienna is a beautiful city and I have an apartment in the center courtesy of Roomorama. I’ve been here for 2 days coming from Prague.
I had such great time in London, being local - taking the tube, drinking rosé and more than occasional pints – with my dear friend Nadine that I was in danger of growing roots. Eventually I did a 2-week trip to Scotland and neighboring cities in England. It was a wonderful and scenic journey. I also visited Randi & Melvin in Manchester.
Soon after I flew to Berlin and began my Europe trip. I know, UK is Europe but people in UK kept denying it. While I was there (in UK), many people asked me if Europe is part of my travel plans. I told them, I thought I’m already in Europe. Laughter follows.
Berlin was a great start and I again, find myself rooted for a while. My darling friend Rene organized a fantastic road trip around Germany. We drove for over 1,500km in 7 days. I even had the opportunity to drive a Beemer in the Autobahn. I’ll tell you about it, of course. I also met up with some Berliner girls, Nina and Steffi, whom I’ve met in another parts of the world before. I love these meetup efforts.
Finally I moved my ass to Poland. I was in 4 different cities and met awesome people whom I would very much like to keep as friends for a long time–Kasha who hosted me in Warsaw, Adrien, my adorable travel mate in Krakow, and Lidia who showed me the hidden Wroclaw. They all failed to kill me with alcohol but almost with love and laughter. To balance out all the partying during the week, I had the most pleasant and warm homey weekend with Kuba and his lovely family in Katowice.
Much hyped about Praha is next. It’s everybody’s favorite city. It’s the most beautiful city in the world. And coming here, I was expecting to not be impressed by over expecting. But I was wrong. It’s like Boracay. They hyped, you arrived and you joined the hype. I also met cool people whom I explored the city with.
Traveling is as much about the places as the people. I’m extremely lucky that at every stop, I’ve met some people (locals or travelers) who are great testaments to my time in that particular place. It’s better than the photographs.
Has it been life changing?
I know it’s going to be life changing, I said in my post before I began this journey. I pondered about this a bit.
Certainly the trip so far has been nothing short of amazing. Amazing experiences, amazing people, amazing stories, sceneries, food, beers, parties! Things that I would have not witnessed had I not embarked on this journey.
I’ve also learned some things along the way.
- If you don’t give in to illness, it will go away. Really. I’ve sprained my ankle (many times), hurt my back (from sleeping in bad mattress), but I overcame them without having to rest the whole day or see a doctor. I fought flu from the constant changing of weather with nothing more than 1 paracetamol. You learn about your body like you never would at home. Good health is the most important thing to have in your travel, more than money and iphone. Truly.
- I don’t get lonely. Maybe I’m not normal, certainly not in denial. I don’t have to be. I remember experiencing loneliness when I was in Barcelona in 2007. But not on this trip. There are stream of people I encounter everyday, specially when staying in hostels or taking a tour, but you don’t befriend them all. It’s impossible. But there are rare times that you meet special people.
- Your senses became keen. I remember how impressed I was with couchsurfer guests when they recognized roads when I take them on my car taking different routes. I’ve been kind of an oblivious person but I found I was the same even as early as in Tel-Aviv. I arrived the train station and recognized I’ve been there before based on the street vendors and the things they sold. I was with a host the first time and this time alone. It was natural for me to find the bus station. I amazed myself because there was no effort to remember direction at that time. I’m also no longer tensed coming to a new city, even if they’re not English speaking.
I don’t think these are life changing, but definitely interesting learnings for me. There were no lightning bolts or fireworks or profound realizations. But it is one hell of a great ride or a box of chocolate.
100 days and counting.