After last year’s solo adventure to Italy and Switzerland, I returned to Kansas City a changed woman. I never imagined this midwestern girl from Super Small Town, USA would someday have a desire to see the world, and would actually follow through with it… alone.
This September I embark on a new adventure to other parts of Europe I’ve not yet had the pleasure of experiencing. With so many places on my bucket list, how could I ever choose? Well, let me tell you. It was no easy feat. Finances played a part. Connections with friends played a part. But ultimately, I stuck with my long-standing bucket list item and when hopping throughout Europe didn’t prove feasible, I focused on the region I’d already be in!
Currently, I am sitting at Toronto Pearson airport, and I’m feeling a bit disconnected – nay, A LOT disconnected – as my lack of free wifi prevents me from posting to my usual social media: Snapchat and Facebook. This airport is truly beautiful, and they provide an eating area with iPads at every seat so that you may, ideally, stay connected. You can also order food and snacks from them, all whilst charging your many electronic devices.
While I’m starving, I am evidently at an Indian restaurant, and nothing is really striking my fancy, and is more than I want to pay for a Butter Chicken Naanini. (What is “farm fresh poultry co-op chicken”, anyway)? Furthermore, while I can get to my email login using the provided iPad (Thanks, Toronto), the security settings have “detected some abnormal activity” and won’t let me sign in without sending a code either via text (which I can’t receive), or to my alternate email address (which I also probably can’t get into without the same debacle). If I was really motivated, I’d try to sort through it, or use my cool new pocket wifi from KeepGo. (Click on the link to learn about data options for international travel and get 15% off! In turn, I will get 300MB of free data! #everybodywins). As it turns out, I’m only motivated to stay here long enough to ensure a 100% charge on my phone and then find different food.
Not to mention, the shopping situation looks fabulous and I really want a fluffy neck pillow for my upcoming 10 hour flight.
So, where am I going, right?
Number one on my travel bucket list for all of my life and counting: Santorini. The sunset, specifically. In my travel research I learned this picturesque travel destination is completely tailored to honeymooning couples, so this should be
painful fun! Actually, I intend to drink enough Greek wine and eat enough kalamata olives that it doesn’t matter.
Second on the travel bucket list since meeting Karen in Rome last year, was Croatia – a Croatian island yacht cruise, specifically, as Karen had just completed one when I’d met her and had lovely memories and pictures to share. However, as I continued my travel research, I read reviews about mooring next to party yachts, hot and muggy cabins with wafting fuel fumes. I decided I didn’t want to be on a boat (with my flippy floppies), for a week. So I changed it up. Stay tuned for that.
Third on my bucket list: Spain, south of France, Ireland, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany…….. Unfortunately, there are too many places and there would be too much hopping; not enough relaxing.
So, I’m improvising and checking out a few places that I think will be equally (if not more) fabulous. I will have the opportunity to rendezvous with my college roomie in Slovenia (yaaaaaaay!), and check out a 3-day Busabout Europe tour after a short stay in Budapest. Yes, I am going to the thermal baths. Yes, I am getting a massage. No, I might not come back. (Ok, mom… I’m coming back).
Ultimately, every place I go and everything I will do will be absolutely fabulous because that’s what I am deciding. God has blessed me so greatly. He has blessed me with a job that allows me to make enough money and accumulate paid time off so I can live out my travel dreams. He has also kept me safe during my travel shenanigans and I firmly believe he will continue to do so. (Thank you to all who have shared concerns, given advice and sent up some prayers… better keep those going). #distractedmuch
I’m super nervous, especially after last year’s pick-pocketing incident. Consequently, I have probably over researched safety issues in this region, if that’s possible. I’ve always been a bit on the hypochondriac side. Being aware beats the alternatives. My travel will be much different than last year as I depended primarily on trains (and navigated them like a boss), but will be utilizing buses and taxis this trip. Furthermore, I can speak Italian. I can’t even begin to mutter a word of Greek, Slovenian, Hungarian or Croatian. Thankfully, English is widely spoken in this region and I’ll just have to be ok with being another jerk American that comes in and expects everything to be catered to me. (I hate being that jerk). I’ll at least try to learn a few phrases. That’s better than nothing.
So, enjoy the ride! I’ll try to keep it entertaining! I’ll also be posting on Instagram (which automatically posts to my FB) so check out #kiyasrxforwanderlust. Wifi gods willing (Greek joke) I will try to keep up with these blog posts and some Snapchanigans, so follow me @agirlandherwanderlust. It’s go time!