I’m Back From Europe: A Brief Recap

I’m Back From Europe: A Brief Recap

It’s been a week since I’ve landed back on US soil. And it’s taken me this long to sit down and start writing about it. Mostly because I don’t know where to start. It’s daunting to summarize what I saw, what I did, and what I’ve learned during those 97 days abroad. So let me begin by breaking it down by numbers (disclaimer: numbers are totally not my strong point).

97 days
14 airports
14,027 miles flown
42 hours on airplanes
26 hours on trains
10 trains
2 buses
1 ferry
2 Airbnb’s (3 if you count the one that I stayed at twice)
2 friend’s houses
8 hotels
8,500+ photos

Places visited:
Reykjavik, Iceland
London, England
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bristol, England
Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland again
Belfast, Ireland
Northern Ireland Coast (Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Giant’s Causeway)
Newbury, England
Paris, France
Barcelona, Spain
Interlaken, Switzerland
Jungfrau, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Venice, Italy
Rome, Italy
Pompeii, Italy
Amalfi Coast, Italy : Positano, Amalfi
Athens, Greece
Crete, Greece

And yet, here I sit in my New York apartment once again, feeling almost as though I never left. But I know I’ve come back wiser, re-energized, and obviously a wee bit older with a slightly more damaged liver and a new view on living abroad. And on the United States.

To sum it up, that was the quickest 97 days of my life. I didn’t sleep much but I saw more than I ever imagined I could pull off in three months while still working a full-time job and not going into debt. I saw natural phenomenons, snow-covered mountains, and ancient cities that are nearly twelve times older than the United States. I tasted some of the most amazing food I never knew existed, met some incredibly hospitable people while spending time with friends both old and new, and drank enough Guinness to safely assume my body could snap into relapse any day now. I walked across a rope bridge in gale force winds, showed my mom her first international experience, and participated in the chaos that is St Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Of the 14 total weekends I was gone, I spent just four in London and ten traveling around Europe. I quickly adapted to waking up at 3am nearly every Monday morning to catch a flight back to London and straight in to work a full shift. It was a whirlwind of three months, but the best experience of my life.

I’ve learned a lot on this trip. I’ve learned that exploring without a cell phone is not nearly as difficult as it sounds. Turning off the GPS and disconnecting from Twitter and Facebook let me get lost in the city and the moment and enjoy wherever I was with no interruptions.

I’ve also learned that Europe is ridiculously expensive and living there while still getting paid in US dollars is NOT recommended. I spent a shit ton of money, but every penny was absolutely worth it.

I’ve also rekindled my love for New York City, and I’ve got a newfound respect for the United States.

So stay tuned for tons of stories, tips, babblings, and pictures. But in the mean time, here are just a few highlights.

Sunset in Crete

Yes, I took pictures and GoPro’ed the sunset in Crete. Two nights in a row.

 

This would be so much cooler with about 50 less tourists in the photo.

This would be so much cooler with about 50 less tourists in the photo.

 

Feta and honey saganaki and pan-fried cheese in Athens. OH. MY. GOD. AMAZING.

Feta and honey saganaki and pan-fried cheese in Athens. OH. MY. GOD. AMAZING.

 

Showing off my awesome sunburn in the hot tub. Oh, and that's just the Parthenon in the background, no big deal.

Showing off my awesome sunburn in the hot tub. Oh, and that’s just the Parthenon in the background, no big deal.

 

The mind-blowing beauty of the Northern Lights in Iceland.

The mind-blowing beauty of the Northern Lights in Iceland.

 

These were the people who inspired my own jumping spree all over Europe.

These were the people who inspired my own jumping spree all over Europe.

 

I drank so. Much. Guinness. And learned how to pour the perfect pint at the Guinness Academy.

I drank so. Much. Guinness. And learned how to pour the perfect pint at the Guinness Academy.

 

The beautifully lit Colosseum.

The beautifully lit Colosseum.

 

Westminster Abbey on a cold, rainy evening. So like, every evening in London.

Westminster Abbey on a cold, rainy evening. So like, every evening in London.

 

What good is a vacation without a few days in a Greek paradise?

What good is a vacation without a few days in a Greek paradise?

 

 


6 Comments

  1. Rae May 14, 2013

    This is really cool. Something you think only happens in movies. You’re pretty cool and live an awesome life. Enjoy it, and i will enjoy living it through your words. :)

  2. Just Visiting May 14, 2013

    Thanks Rae! I had an amazing time and definitely feel very fortunate to have had such an awesome opportunity! Can’t wait to share all of the pictures, videos and stories, and hopefully help other people live a life “that only happens in the movies.”

  3. esquared May 17, 2013

    +1 or +10 (for countries visited). Am jealous. Just lived vicariouslly through thyour posts. May visit for France for 3 days (woohoo), which is spare change compared to your travels , in a couple of weeks. Welcome back, nonetheless.

  4. Just Visiting May 18, 2013

    I miss Europe already. I got so used to the convenience of having so many amazing places so close by. I’m trying to plan my next week-long trip and everything I choose just seems pale in comparison.

    Sounds like a quick trip, but I hope you make it over to France in a few weeks, any trip is still a trip! Next time I visit there I need to explore more than just Paris. And thanks for checking the ol’ blog!

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