I don’t have a secret formula to seamlessly smooth travel. My trips aren’t seamlessly smooth, so I don’t use formulas. They’re fun, and you don’t need predictability for that. More than once after a trip, I think, “Next time, I’m definitely not going to do [fill in the blank] again.”
I’ve been complimented on my ability to explore and many of my friends turn to me for travel advice. They tell me I’m a free spirit. They expect me to know the answers when it comes to what flight to take or which city to visit. They question how I venture off alone. Well, how do I not? I have a bad case of wanderlust.
I don’t believe that I’m free as the wind, or brave, or that I know what I’m doing, or I that have the answers to their questions. I don’t know what I’m doing. I haven’t mastered the art of packing or un-feeling goodbyes. I don’t know what will work out and what will not. Decisions cause me to knot up with anxiety and multiple choices leave me mentally gridlocked. But, somehow, I figure it. It’s a figure it out as it’s happening sort of thing.
Last night, when chatting with a friend, he asked how my itinerary for the last trip went. I thought for a moment, and realized that it would be much too confusing to try and explain. I was all over the map. No exaggeration. My parents have given up on keeping track of me, and when I phoned them this morning, their surprised response was, “Oh! You’re back?!”
Yes. I’m home. But this is the last three weeks of my life, itemized.
September 19: Los Angeles
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- Booked flight on XL Airways.
- Booked EasyJet Flight from Paris to Porto, Portugal
- Spent hours and hours looking for a cheap place to stay in Paris. SO HARD TO FIND!
- Took Virgin America Red Eye Flight from LAX-JFK
September 20: New York
- The trip begins with Jimmy.
- Day hanging out in Brooklyn, New York
- Red Eye XL Airways Flight from JFK-CDG (Paris) with Jimmy Lowe. Flight was delayed 5 hours.
September 21: Paris
- Arrived in Paris at 2p local time. Train to the city. Found Oops! Hostel. Rainy.
September 22: Paris
September 23: Porto, Portugal
- Early flight from CDG- Porto
- Checked into Sheraton Porto.
- Figured out it was easy to cheat the tram line.
- Walked around Porto taking pictures
- Sat in a cafe laughing, talking, and hiding from the rain
- Really liked Porto
September 24: Lisbon, Portugal
- Late afternoon train ride from Porto to Lisbon
- Checked into Sheraton Lisboa. Restaurant/Bar on the 25th floor became the favorite spot. And the special Sangria recipe.
- In Lisbon it’s impossible to jump the tramline.
- It’s safer than I thought it would be.
September 25: Lisbon, Portugal
- Free Walking tour
- Favorite Gelato shop
- Sat upstairs at the rooftop bar watched the rain.
September 26: Lisbon, Portugal
September 27: Where now?
- Jimmy flies home to New York.
- I fly to Paris in an attempt to get back to LAX to meet up with Emily.
- The flight from Paris to LAX is full and I get stranded in Paris.
- Wishing I wasn’t alone.
- Creepy Air Maroc pilot. Creepy enough for me to be ALMOST happy forking over 133 euro for a hotel room. Terrible being stuck in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
September 28: What?
- Thought I would go to Istanbul, but then changed my mind and stayed in Paris one more day.
- Vintage stores, Notre Dame, walking the city at night. Wishing my travel buddy was still around.
September 29: Ljubljana, Slovenia (it’s pronounced LUBE-LEE-Ah-NUH)
- Getting to CDG is an all day event.
- Arrived to my Ljubljana AirBnb rental, met the flat’s owner who stayed around and chatted for awhile. We rode bikes to the main part of the city and then had a delicious and cheap meal.
- Did laundry at the flat.
- Immediately loved the city.
- Grocery shopping, made breakfast at the flat, wrote a blog.
- Went to a museum. It’s free on the last sunday of the month.
- Visited the castle. Nice views of the city.
- Used the citywide bicycle rental system and rode around a bit
- Drank tea at a cafe along the river.
- Love this city.
- Feeling happy. Feeling lonely.
- Made dinner at the flat and talked with the roommate.
- Rode bikes. Got a little lost. But then I found myself again.
- Bought jeans and a shirt. Tired of wearing the same clothes every day.
- Ate the best gelato.
- The city was alive.
- Flew out of Ljubljana in the evening to meet up with Emily in Munich. Spent hours and hours figuring out if we wanted to go to Istanbul or Vienna.
- Istanbul it is.
- Made the comment that it was funny that Taken was set in Paris and Taken 2 was set in Istanbul, and I had been in both within a weeks time. Emily didn’t see any humor in that.
- Gave my email to the Passport Control officer. Who does that?!
- Had someone at the airport holding a sign with my name on it. It was a 25 euro sign…that was the shuttle price.
- Checked into the hotel, found lunch, walked around, took photos
- Ate at Dubb Ethnic Restaurant for dinner.
- Met Ismial at his shop.
- Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia
- Grand Bazaar
- Went to Mustafa’s jewelry shop.
- Met up for tea with the passport control guy.
- Ismail went with us in a Taxi to Takism Square.
- Baklava and Nargile
October 4: Istanbul
- Spice Market
- Cemberlitas Hamami
- We back to Mustafa’s shop and drank tea and chatted.
- Late night smoking Nargile, drinking tea, and Baklava.
- Starbuck’s Iced coffee craving
- The Palace
- Taksim for Fal
- Passed a Tattoo & Piercing Shop where we met Arthur, who pierced my nose, then took us to the Coffeehouse so Emily could have her fortune told in a cup of turkish coffee. Arthur translated what the Johnny Depp look alike said.
- Emily is over Istanbul.
- Catch a very early flight from IST to MUC. As soon as we arrive we catch the train to Karlsplatz, where we eat breakfast, and then go to buy Dirndls.
- Delores helps us pick out Dirndls, telling Emily it’s “good up there” and telling me, “you need socks.” Wah wah…
- Check into The Westin Grand. Change into our Oktoberfest outfits and venture out. We don’t really have any idea what to expect.
- After being un-welcomingly adopted by a young Italian, we caught sight of four stunningly tall and handsome young men. Not just one or two, but all four gorgeous, tall, dressed, of course, in Lederhosen. I know I have a weakness for European men, and for some reason Lederhosen is just hot. We were hoping to stumble upon a couple of German hotties. Seek and you shall find:)
- Walking tour in the rain
- Room Service lunch
- Swam in the very cold pool
- Lufthansa flight MUC-LAX. 12 hours, and Emily was sick:(
- Woke up at 3am. Not on purpose. I don’t think I’m on California time yet.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte…what can I say?:)
- Walk by the beach
- The gym
- Bike ride
- Gelato (can you tell I love Gelato?)
- Mani and Pedi with my BFF
- It’s 8p, and I can barely keep my eyes open.
So, in summary, I would just like to say that I took A LOT of flights over the last 3 weeks.
train from OPO-LIS
That’s too many.