My Thoughts & Reflections After 3 Months of Travel

Reflections after 3 months of travel in Europe
[Kriebstein Castle is a great place to reflect]
Fair warning, this is going to be kind of a rambly post…Lots of thoughts bouncing around in my brain. I feel a little scrambled eggs-esque about having been in Europe for the last 3 months and now heading home. There’s just A LOT to process and I’m also going through major chocolate withdrawals (I WAY overdid it on German chocolate and I’m trying to cut out sugar for a bit – wish me luck) so excuse my brain at the moment.

Here’s where I’m at, and how I’ve changed, after 3 months of travel!

I ACTUALLY (KIND OF) MISS HAVING A HOME BASE

Hamburg buildings
[Not gonna lie, I really enjoyed staying in Hamburg for almost 2 months and getting to know the city]
Our three months of travel was a little busier than I would have liked – we spent 2 days in London, then a week in Glasgow, a few days in Amsterdam, a week in Switzerland, a week in Prague, 2 weeks in Norway, and then the rest of our time in Germany (but we moved around pretty frequently while there).

After all that, I’m kind of starting to miss having a home base at this point (which I never thought I’d say)…I have no idea how people are nomadic for YEARS. I know I’m not totally done being nomadic at the moment, but I’d imagine that after about a year or so I’m going to NEED to have some sort of place to call home.

Going forward I definitely need to stay in one place longer – I know I sound like a broken record, but I’d like to have AT LEAST two weeks per place, ideally a month or more.

I’M MORE GO WITH THE FLOW

Hamburg
[Being oh so chill in Hamburg]
And the more I travel, the less I plan. I used to think I would NEVER get sick of traveling, but…Here we are!

And it’s not that I’m sick of it – I still want to live in and experience new places – but I don’t FEEL LIKE pushing myself to TRAVEL TRAVEL how I used to.

I just kind of want to be lazy about it all and go where the wind takes me. I don’t want to pound the pavement from 8AM to 10PM with a strict itinerary. I don’t really have a bucket list anymore, or a never ending list of places I HAVE TO see. I’m starting to hate airports and going through security with a burning fiery passion.

Norway
[Although I can’t wait to go back and explore Norway, the expensive prices toss it out of the realm of options for me]
I just want to go where it’s convenient and stay for a while, as long as it’s a place that’s pretty and that I feel comfortable in. I’m learning that it’s the moments experienced with amazing people that I remember the most, anyway. If I’m rushing around all the time, I just don’t enjoy it as much, even if that does mean I check off every single thing on my “must-see” list.

I DON’T DO THE TOURIST STUFF AS MUCH ANYMORE

Colmar, France
[One of the touristy places we DID visit was Colmar – it was really pretty so I didn’t care though ;)]
I’m learning that the tourist attractions are often just that. Yes, I’ll still see some stuff that you read in the guide books, but if it doesn’t involve nature or views or pretty buildings I’m not really interested.

I’d rather just explore side streets and lakes and cafes near our place of accommodation. I don’t love huge crowds and have found that in addition to that, lots of tourist attractions are way overpriced.

I’VE STOPPED PLANNING SO MUCH FOR THE FUTURE

Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland National Park
[Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany – never would’ve made it here had I planned our entire trip out beforehand!]
I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned throughout this whole thing. To not worry SO MUCH about the future like I used to. To just do what feels right NOW and live in the moment and not plan so obsessively. To just put one foot in front of the other and see where that takes me.

Of course I think about retirement, have savings, am currently working online, etc. and have a general idea of what I want my life to look like – I’m just not so worried about planning every second out like I used to be. I just have faith that good things will come and whatever is meant to happen will.

View in Saxon Swizterland National Park in Germany
[The view from Bastei Bridge was sooo pretty, especially in the late afternoon light!]
As much as I tried to plan before, I had NO IDEA I would end up here, where I am now. When I was 18, I wanted to work in fashion. I never guessed I’d do a total 180 and instead join the conservation corps and then get a job at an environmental nonprofit. And no idea that I’d be traveling now. Life just has a way of HAPPENING, and I want to be there to experience it – not so caught up in my own brain that I miss everything wonderful that’s passing me by.

Of course, this is all easier said than done. There are definitely days where I wake up like, WTF am I doing with my life. And occasionally wonder if I’m just wasting time, just gallivanting through Europe and not plowing through a set career path like a lot of my friends. But overall, I know those are just silly thoughts – this current path feels so RIGHT to me that I know I must be onto something.

SHIT WILL GO WRONG AND THAT’S OK

Stranded in Germany after our car broke down
[Stranded somewhere in Germany after our car broke down – we ended up having to take a taxi and two trains to get home! But only after waiting 45 mins for a tow truck driver, then being dropped off in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE by the company since everything was closed on Easter Monday]
Because it always does. But that’s ok! There was SO MUCH that just went wrong on this trip…From lost luggage, to missed buses, a lost phone, temporarily broken laptop, car problems, getting sick, overnight buses and red eye flights…

And normally, all of that would’ve really really frustrated me. It still does, but now I’m more apt to just shrug my shoulders or laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation instead of freaking out about it so much. No matter what happens, time will pass, and eventually you’ll be done dealing with whatever annoyance is currently happening.

Sleeping in Heathrow Airport
[Sleeping in airports is literally the WORST; this was at Heathrow Airport, and there was construction going on ALL NIGHT LONG]
As long as you and your health are ok – that’s really all that matters.

I LOVE BEING MY OWN BOSS

Cathedral at Prague Castle
[Being my own boss means I can work when I want and stop when I don’t – which allows me to travel and visit places like the Cathedral at Prague Castle!]
I am really really enjoying teaching online with VIP Kid and working on this blog. I was nervous I might hate it (not gonna lie, sometimes I enjoy working for someone else and having them tell me what to do – takes the stress off), but for now, I’m loving being able to set my own hours and experiencing the freedom that comes with it.

…Although that also comes with the self-discipline and self-motivation that I sometimes lack 🙂

But VIP Kid and house sitting provide a little structure, which is nice. I just need to get better at being my own boss when it comes to blogging 🙂

I’M STILL JUST AS OBSESSED WITH EUROPE

Festung Königstein (Fortress Königstein) in Saxony in Germany
[Festung (Fortress) Königstein is so damn pretty]
As much as I love to travel, I’m honestly just pretty happy to continue exploring Europe and don’t have a HUGE desire to travel elsewhere. I thought I might be over it by now, but NOPE. Still just as in love. Asia is starting to pop up on my radar, but I’m still into the rugged landscapes and castles and ruins and medieval architecture that is Europe. I’m not ready to part with it just yet!

Road with houses in Saxony, Germany
[Random road in Germany – I thought the dirt on the window made for some cool effects LOL]
Overall, I’m not really sure what the future will bring – I’m headed to the UK in June, since I love it there and it’s one of my favorite places (Ireland and Germany being my others). Maybe I’ll eventually even try and become an expat? Germany has a freelancer visa that I’m interested in (but of course then I’d need to have a thriving freelance business first – small details). Or I could just try and find a job in Europe if I’m really ready to settle somewhere.

Who knows – I’m just gonna roll with it!

Want to read my thoughts before starting this journey? Check out this post: Doing What I Want Instead of What I Should: Navigating My Quarter Life Crisis.

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2 thoughts on “My Thoughts & Reflections After 3 Months of Travel

    1. Thanks Aunt Beth! 🙂 Always appreciate your support. Hope you guys are enjoying Australia. Can’t wait to hear about it!

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