There are times I find myself staring at a map, just lost in the possibilities of the world and all of its wonders.
Then, the wanderlust begins to bubble up … to slowly seduce me into a world where backpacks, trains, hostels, waking up in a new city are the norm. Are romantic. These little tendrils of travel creep into my mind and plant their roots. They whisper to me at night, “Diana … book a flight … Diana … come to me.”
Like a hangover, I shake these thoughts away because, let’s face it, the beginning of 2014 saw me barely making it to Chiang Mai Gate, let alone across town … how in the world am I going to leave the country?
It’s been years since I booked a longer trip totally for me. Yes, I’ve bopped down to Bali and Koh Samui, but those don’t really count as trips, just tiny intermissions in my expat life. They aren’t adventures, or even real traveling in my mind. They just park me in a gorgeous location with a lounge chair and a cocktail and tell me to chill out. Then, poof, I’m back on a plane and back in the jungle.
Sure, there was the trip to Israel and then my trips back to the States twice, but it hasn’t been that unplanned, world-is-my-oyster type of travel.
And, truth be told, I miss it. I miss that air of waking up and anything is possible. I miss shlepping my bag up a bajillion flights of stairs and meeting my bunk buddies for the night. I miss late nights dining on fresh local cuisine and washing it down with the town’s alcoholic specialty. I miss being out in the world and not knowing what the day brings.
For months, hell, years, I’ve been putting money aside and not touching it. My rainy day/travel fund. But, what’s the use of having that fund if it just sits there, motionless?
For months, I have been telling friends of my desire to get back out into the world beyond Southeast Asia, to be mesmerized and enchanted by the cobblestone streets of Europe, to sip tiny cups of coffee at tiny cafes on tiny backstreets surrounded by medieval history, to rock up to a new city with no plan other than being there.
Yup. It’s time to travel.
Well, the endorphins have been flowing the past couple of months (thanks to The Comfort Zone Project and a healthy serving of the gym and a revamped lifestyle) and I finally have put my money where my mouth is.
No more whimsical day dreams of sidewalk cafes and coffee. No more fantasizing about the idea of sitting on the Mediterranean drinking good wine and dipping fresh baked bread into homemade olive oil.
I booked a flight. Hell, I booked heaps of flights.
In less than one month, I am off on a 30-day journey to Europe.
So … where am I going?
Well, I’ve been to Prague twice already, but I’ve got a dear friend I knew in Thailand who is living there, so I’m stopping there for a few days to do some off-the-beaten-path exploration. Then, I’m heading back to Israel, this time to explore the political side of things. After that, I’m planting my feet in Ljubljana and the Lake Bled area of Slovenia for a week of solo travel, then over to Venice where I will meet my mom and together we will head to hike around Cinque Terre. After that, it is more me time in Paris, Belgium and then back to Prague.
It’s time to step out of the comfort zone even further and allow my heart to lead the way as I navigate multiple foreign countries, currencies, schedules and goodness knows what else.
Time for an adventure!
Do you have any must-see/cool places to suggest? Be sure to leave a comment and share your tips!