This is not really a geeky post because I cannot think of anything particularly geeky to write while sitting in the airport with noise swelling around me and a woman doing her nails a few seats down in the waiting area. I mean seriously who thinks it is a good idea to paint your nails in an airport waiting area, the smell of that stuff can be potent and potentially bothersome to to others. It is up there with spraying perfume in public spaces, put it on before you leave the house because I do not want to sit next to that on the plane. I digress.
So obviously I am in the middle of traveling and it has been a rushed journey to get here. I am just feeling anxious, because I almost always do before I travel. I think about what if I forgot something important, and what if my luggage does not get there, etc. Then do we have someone taking care of our cats and what if something happens at the house. A thousand different things will travel through my mind. At the same time I love to travel, or at least go to new and interesting places. My anxiety for travel only lasts until I either am on my final leg of a trip or get to my destination. There is a reason that around when I travel I tend to write about traveling because it is all I seem to think about. So in honor of the fact that I am traveling here are my top five places that I have visited and some of the travel stories to get there.
Germany (Heidelberg, Cologne, Berlin)
My sister spent a year doing a student exchange in Germany and at the end my parents and I went and visited her. She showed us around the country and Germany was incredible. Great food, great beer, great architecture and an amazing history. Berlin was the most poignant as you go from East to West Berlin and see the effects of World Wars and the splitting of the country.
Now we did a lot of travel through the country, but there are a couple of items that really stood out to me. One is that on the flight to Europe we were on a plane where if the seats in front were leaning all the way back we could not physically get into the seats behind without a bit of limbo. The other was returning from Potsdam right outside of Berlin and noticing that no one was sitting in the central area of this train car. So we sit down and after the train gets going we begin to notice why no one had been sitting there. There was a homeless man on the train and it smelled and I am not talking a little smell – I mean a powerful stink. When seats opened up on the sides we moved away to get away from the smell. We ended up laughing hysterically as people would enter and then leave the central part of the train car. It was an interesting ride.
St. Petersburg, Russia
This was an amazing trip. I was living in Copenhagen, Denmark on study abroad and the organization I was studying through organized a trip to Russia. We went to Moscow and St. Petersburg, but Moscow was modernized and much more like a city you could find almost anywhere. St. Petersburg felt so rich with history and discovery. It was such an incredible experience going to the Hermitage and the Winter Palace.
Now on this trip we were flying a Russian airline which I do not recommend because we hit a bit of turbulence and the overhead flew open and a couple of the bags came flying out. It did not give us much trust in the plane we were flying. Once we were in Russia there were a few incidents that some of my travel mates had, but other than that it was a great time.
I want to go back to Scotland, the rolling green hills, the wet weather, the amazing castles, the lochs, the cliffs, everything was beautiful and just so much fun. When I was in Scotland I was on a bus tour called the Haggis Tour traveling by myself with a bunch of other tourists. It was a great way to see the country and I got to experience a lot of different locations and legends. The great thing about the tour was the collection of legends and fairy tales that I collected and still have hand-written in a journal.
We traveled by a big yellow bus with Haggis Tour written across the side through the countryside of Scotland leaving from and returning to Edinburgh. The bus was actually a great way to see the country and the bus driver was hilarious. The bigger issue I had was the flight home. I ended up with delays and just so sick I was wearing almost everything I had brought with me because I could not get warm. It was one of the few times I considered going to a hospital because I truly was not sure I would get home. I did and ended up fully clothed, lights on, door closed at least, passed out on my bed.
This was an amazing trip, my brother and sister-in-law had been living in Thailand for a few years for work purposes so we got to visit them. Visiting people who have been living in a country is one of the best ways to go, because they can show you all the hidden secrets and gems. I got to play with elephants, snorkel, see amazing temples, and just see things that you cannot find many other places.
For the most part the travel for this were good and we traveled a lot. Flew a couple times to get around Thailand and drove a lot. Driving in Bangkok is possibly one of the freakiest things you could do especially when the car is American and they drive on the opposite side of the road. The only thing was that I got sick again on the flight home, which is particularly difficult when it is that long and we were doing a red eye. I ended up sleeping for 14 hours when we got back to the states, which made a world of difference.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia
This is the place that I could spend eternity in. I did a tall ship sailing trip for 4 days through the Whitsunday Islands and it was amazing. The water was so clear and blue, the Whitsunday was miles of white sand beaches, the snorkeling was some of the best that I have ever seen. I spent a semester doing a study abroad in Australia living in Sydney and planned a trip during break to go to the Whitsunday Islands, flying in to Porcupine. I loved it. I have repeatedly said if I had an image of heaven, for myself, this trip would have been it. I got to swim every day, never needed to wear shoes, the sun was gorgeous and the food was amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone going to Australia and the Tall Ship was a great relaxing way to travel.
This is one trip where I do not have any real horror stories. The one thing that ended up being a small worry is that they had had an outbreak of bed bugs in the town that they were trying to deal with. When we boarded the ship they sprayed our bags down with eucalyptus oil to get rid of any potential bed bugs. It was a short flight from Sydney and overall it was a really good trip, especially traveling by myself. It was also great because I really did not need to bring that much with me because I spent a good portion of the trip in a bathing suit.
So as you can see I have been a lot of places and have so many more that I want to go to. I do not know that I will ever not get anxious before I travel. I start making a list of what to pack at least a week or two before I leave, it is a mental list, but I will go over items in my head to try and make sure I do not forget anything. Yet still the day-of comes around and I still feel like I have forgotten something even if I haven’t. The great part is that once I get to my destination it does not matter. I either have it or I don’t and will just have to figure it out either way. The bit of anxiety is not too much fun, but the destination is worth it.