Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The first portion

I have been terrible at keeping people updated.  It wasn't my plan to be kept occupied by new friends the entire time I was here, however that appears to be what happened.

The flight went relatively well.  I was so exhausted though, that it was difficult for me to not feel emotional the entire flight.  However, as I have learned from an author whom I greatly admire, you cannot let yourself fall apart otherwise it becomes habit to do so over and over.  So I was attempting to successfully put that idea into practice.  

Once I arrived though, I found that my bank card wouldn't let me withdraw any money, so I had a few hours of complete internal panic.  Not only did this affect myself, but my family since they were trying to do things for me.  Since I don't yet (although I'm getting one today) have a mobile phone that works, I wasn't able to tell them I had eventually made it to the hostel (even though it was nearly 3 hours later).  

Speaking of getting to the hostel... I have never rode on any form of public transportation in my life.  And here I am, going off just a few hours of brief napping on planes over the last 2 days and trying to figure out the transportation system.  I thank Clive from the bottom of my heart for the excellent directions he gave me.  I did not once get lost.  I did learn you have to ask questions a bit right at first.  This I hated doing, because you open your mouth and people know exactly where you're from.  But I eventually made it with little problem.

I've never been so friendly in my entire life.  It does help that where I'm currently living is on top of a pub.  All I have to do is go sit down at the bar, chat with the bartender for a bit and suddenly there you are talking with three total strangers.  It has been quite the experience, of which I have made some incredibly fantastic memories.  It's funny because I really haven't done much touristing things.  I prefer having a slow morning, laying in bed spending time waking up, then getting a little breakfast and eventually going out to have a look around at things.  What I find really fun is to get a coffee a newspaper, and spend the 40 minutes it takes to get to central London just chilling out.  It makes you feel as though you're a real Londoner.

I've spent a lot of my time hanging out with this lovely Australian guy name Luke.  We met the second night I was here, first night for him.  Found out through visiting with others that he is also an elementary teacher, but actually has his degree and has taught before.  That's actually what he is doing here for right now, before he earns enough money to go do more traveling all over.  It's been nice having someone to pass your time with.  While at first I thought this wasn't accomplishing exactly what I thought I would, how could I expect that I was going to keep completely to myself the entire time.  This is a time to meet new people and spend time with them having grand experiences together and making memories that will last a long while.

As far as the more touristy places go, I have seen the National Gallery, the British Museum, Trafelgar Square, and Buckingham Palace.  It's been so much fun seeing all these little places seeing how old everything is!  The British Museum was just so excellent seeing all the Ancient Egypt things and knowing that thousands of years ago other people were really using those things and have touched them and everything.  It's just incredible the feeling you get when seeing these objects.  

This entire experience has felt surreal.  I can't seem to get it into my head that I'm in Europe, in London with all these old buildings surrounding me.  I wouldn't give this back for the world, it has been amazing so far.  I don't know how I'm going to go back.  I love it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

In Detroit

Here I am, in the Detroit airport.  I get to chill out here for the next 4 hours.  I haven't slept in a bed since I woke up at 6 p.m. from a three hour nap I had.  As difficult as it is to do though, it's nice to be able to sleep on the plane.

I've got to say, I feel like a ridiculously stupid person going through security.  They don't tell you what to do with everything, just expect that you know.  It's a good thing the woman was nice about it.. I would have felt rather impatient with myself if I were her.

I can tell you all right now, I'm very nervous.  The end of this next flight will have me in London where I don't know my way around one bit.  I am thankful I get there at 7 a.m. when there will be plenty of daylight available.  

Then I will sleep for hours.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm leaving tonight!  It will actually be more like very early Monday morning.  It's crazy to think that the time is here, after all the planning and discussion that I'm really getting on that plane and will be in another country in a little over 24 hours.

I want everyone to know (if I haven't told you already) that I love you all so much.  I will miss everyone terrible.

People have asked about postcards.  I want to send them whenever I can, so if you could send me your mailing address I would love it!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

How can preparing be so difficult?

I have known that I will be going on this trip for a long time.  Months, in fact.  I've had more than enough days to get ready, but I seem to find it virtually impossible to do so.  You would think my level of motivation would be a great deal higher, but all I can do is think about all the things I should be doing.  

Good grief, I'm going to europe!  This should be something I'm packed for weeks in advance.  

However, I do enjoy going to the store to get things.  

I have never experienced something people refer to as "short timers" until this moment.  Every day to get up and go to work is simply next to impossible.  I don't want to be there, I'm anxious to get out.  I can only think of the joy of not having to work for six weeks.  I don't enjoy driving and relish the day when I can walk or ride a bus/taxi/tube/train/ferry to get wherever I must go.  I more than willingly will give up the responsibility of moving a vehicle around.  

You know what I look forward to the most?  No alarm clock.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Loose Itinerary

So many people have inquired as to where I will be when they are told I will be traveling in Europe.  For a while, there wasn't even a tentative plan.  All I knew was that I would be flying into London with little planned past that point.  This seems a frightening idea for most, including myself.  While there is the possibility for a great amount of excitement, it's scary to not have things planned.  I think it is human nature to at least have some sort of plan, that way there is less room for the unknown to creep in and cause potential damage.

Just so you all know, here is what I have planned so far.  It is likely I won't know any more until I actually get there.

I fly out of the U.S. Monday January 19th 2009 and arrive in London, England Tuesday, January 20th 2009 (To make all aware, I will be traveling 8 hours forward in time).  I will spend those next 10 days in London.  

After that on Friday, January 30th 2009, I will move onto Torrino, Italy (Northern Italy area)where I will join Lauren to celebrate our 20th birthday's, which will be the following day, Saturday, January 31st.  I am unsure as to how long I will be in Italy.  I will likely be there anywhere from 1-2 weeks, however if I feel the need to move on any sooner or later, I will do so.

Eventually I will end up in Northern Ireland area where I will be staying with an old family friend for a while.  Again, I could be there anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.  It just depends on what happens.

The joy of being on such a trip alone is the flexibility of coming and going however you feel would be best for yourself.  Considering that is the goal of the journey, I find the great amount of loose planning to be welcoming instead of frightening.  There are times with I wish real life could be this way.