Quick Refresher

My last entry is from almost a year ago, while I was traveling in Barcelona. I spent the next few weeks in bliss. I found my true calling – traveling. The hostels I stayed in, the adventures I had, the people I met, all were amazing. I went to Nice, France after Barcelona. Took a train to Cinque Terra, Italy, then to Florence and Rome. Took an overnight ferry from Bari, Italy to Greece. Had a wonderful time with the study abroad group in Athens. Took a weekend trip to Santorini, Greece where I hiked a volcano, swam in a natural hot springs, rode a donkey up a cliff, and some crazy other things that I’ll have to post about later. After my time in Greece with some of the best teachers and students I’ll ever have encountered, I went to Paris by myself for a week. These were all so amazing and deserve their own posts, so hopefully one day, I’ll get a chance to document them! 

After that whirlwind, including the time in California with my family, I was heartbroken to come home. I didn’t even want to finish my last year at university. But enough money and time was already spent that it’d be a true waste to not graduate. So that’s what I’ve been doing: focusing on graduating and saving up money to go back out into the world of wanderlust. I also fell in love with a boy. Unfortunately, that is over. As much as I still love him and wish we had a future together, I know better. So, here I am, just about 2 months until I graduate college. I’d like to start this blog up again and really try to stick with it. I can’t promise much besides a good story here or there and some tips I’ve picked up on the way. My next adventure? It starts June 9th with volunteering at Bonnaroo, then a roadtrip to California to work and live in a hostel in San Diego for the summer. I plan on going to Europe or the UK for autumn. I’ll come back home for Christmas. Then at the start of the new year, I make my way to Australia for an entire year! I can’t wait for my new life to begin – as a nomad.

Here are a few pictures: me in front of the Colosseum in Rome, the remnants of Socrates’ jail cell, and the Eiffel Tower at midnight.
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¡Hola Barcelona!

I arrived in Barcelona yesterday in the afternoon after a long trip. I went with my family on Disney´s Magic cruise to Canada. We stopped in Halifax and St. John. Both were amazing, which I would love to talk more about in another post! Yesterday morning I got off the ship at 9 am. I spent the day with my dad and then got dropped off at JFK around 7 pm. The flight was horribly long. I believe something like 8 hours to Madrid. But with the time difference, I left at 10 pm and got to Madrid at almost noon the next day. I slept awful. The plane itself was absolutely fine, maybe some extra room would be nice. Then we had hop on the next flight to Barcelona. Once we were in Madrid, we were just completely engulfed in Spanish. I took three years in high school which barely helps. They talk fast. Not to mention, Barcelona is a bilingual city: Spanish and Catalan. It´s a big maze of one way streets and then streets that are just for walking and then big streets that the cars will legit run you over. It´s a little nerve racking, to be honest. The girl I´m traveling with, Kris, has a sister and brother-in-law who are living in an apartment in Barcelona for a month. ´They showed us around yesterday. We walked all over, mostly in the Barri Gótic and Las Ramblas areas. So many beautiful things to see just wandering around aimlessly. We went to a big market with all kinds of fresh foods. All the seafood was alive. A bunch of crabs, shrimp, lobsters… just hanging out on ice ready to be sold. No cages either, the ice makes them lethargic. So they just kinda move a little here and there. A lot of speciality foods were there as well, of course. But no, I am not a fan of seeing brains, stomachs, or fish heads being chopped off right there in front of me. Sorry, I am not that adventurous. Later that night, Kris and I headed out to a little bar which was so cute. The owner actually gave us roses! It was so sweet and I felt like I was in middle school and ready to write a note back of ´do you like me? yes? or no? circle one.´ Yes, I know, quite silly. Made it back to the hostel about 3 am. Overslept today through 2 alarms. Woops. I headed out to the Park Guëll and wandered around there for a few hours before getting off at the wrong bus stop back to hostel and wandering around because I was so lost. I´m back at the hostel now resting and making a plan for the next few days.

A deep sigh of relief that I really do like Barcelona. But, in a few days after seeing some more things, I´m very excited to head to France! Anyone have any suggestions of whether we should go to Marseille or Nice? Anything I absolutely can´t miss while I´m still in Barcelona?

Euro-Trip Update with Tips!

Wow, so much to do still for my Euro-trip. I still need to pay for everything! I will be buying the plane ticket tonight from NYC to Barcelona on June 15th. I get off the cruise around 9 AM and my plane departs at 10 PM that night! I found awesome deals with STA… a student travel site. But I still recommend Kayak to everyone else! Actually, Kayak has the same plane ticket as STA but for about $10 less! A total price from Kayak for NYC to Barcelona with one stop is $469! Wow! Best I’ve seen since I’ve started looking on SO many different websites. Kayak FTW!

I also found out about a little community called CouchSurfing! It is awesome, and a little creepy. Basically you make a profile for yourself. Make friends. If you are traveling somewhere and want to either meet up with locals there, you can do it on there. OR the crazy part – you can stay with them in their house/apt/whatever for free. You can also be a host and put yourself out there for people from around the world to contact you to sleep on your couch/floor/extra bed/whatever. It looks awesome if you’re adventurous enough to try it out! The girl who I am back packing with and I are considering it, but nothing definite yet.

Also, the two of us have decided to buy Eurail passes. We’re gonna get the Select Pass for Youth for 4 countries for 7 days (within a 2 month period). I hope it’s worth it. It costs $385. That’s pretty steep, but then again, we are traveling through 4 countries in less than 2 weeks. It’s gonna be quite the crazy trip. Hence, why I’m SO excited for it!

Do you agree with my recommendations or do you have any recommendations of your own?