What I Learned From Spending 2 Months Traveling Alone in Europe

What I Learned After Spending 2 Months Alone in a Foreign Country

There’s something so romantic about going off to a foreign country or place by yourself. Or at least I always thought so???

Cue movies/books like Under the Tuscan Sun, Eat Pray Love, Wild, and the like.

I am such a sucker for that shit. As a hopeless romantic, nostalgic-obsessed introvert/INFP, I eat. It. Up.

I took my first solo travel trip to Europe three years ago, when I was 23. I went to Greece, Ireland, and Belgium over the course of 1.5 months and ate my weight in crepes. I met a ton of other travelers by staying in hostels, which was perfect at the time, but these days I’m not as keen to share a room with 10 other travelers and pray that none of them snore.

I also purposely wanted solitude and reflection time during this trip (and hostels aren’t necessarily the BEST place for that LOL). My goal wasn’t to make a ton of friends and see ALL THE THINGS like it was before – I really just wanted to meet other digital nomads (in real life/online), work on myself, reinforce healthy habits like meditation and journaling, establish myself as an online English teacher, and get my shit together with this blog.

And so, I traded in people for pets and was house sitting in various locations around England from mid-June to mid-August. I spent 2 weeks in Welling (near London), 1 month in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, 1 week in Chichester, and 2 days in London.

My time alone was and wasn’t exactly what I thought. Here are my main takeaways:

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A Day in the Life of a Digital Nomad

An Honest Day in the Life of a Digital Nomad
[Staithes is such a pretty English beach town]
So I never ever thought I’d make it to this point? Like being a ‘digital nomad’ has always been a kind of crazy dream of mine, but here we are (#living and #thriving, bby) and only having about one mental breakdown per day!!!!

Lol just kidding, although not gonna lie, anytime you go against the grain I think mental breakdowns are inevitable. Actually, I also had them when I was working a normal 9-5…so maybe that’s just #life?

Robin Hood's Bay in England
[Robin Hood’s Bay – a cool day trip from my current town] 
But ANYWAYS. Curious about what being a traveling house sitter/online english teacher/rainbow unicorn is all about? Here’s what I do to keep busy every day (and FYI, it’s not sitting at the beach drinking margaritas all day and pretending to work! And while I am actually near the beach right now, it’s in England so it’s far from the tropical destination you’re probably picturing…)

Every day is different obviously (that’s kinda why I chose this life? I get bored real quick) but here’s a kind of typical hodgepodge type day:

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VIP Kid 6 Month Update as a Traveling Teacher (Tips, Tricks, & What I Wish I Knew)

Traveling VIP Kid Teacher 6 Month Update & Tips, Tricks, & What I Wish I Knew

So, I’ve been with VIP Kid for about 6 months now, and I’m really enjoying it! It’s a really fun job, I love working with kids (although I’ve found that slightly older kids are what I enjoy the most – you can have actual conversations with them, and you don’t have to be as high energy to hold their attention as you do with the younger ones), and I LOVE that I get to set my own schedule. Here’s my thoughts and what I’ve learned:

VIP Kid Teacher
[This is a clip from my profile video! Yes, you have to make a short video about yourself to encourage parents to book you]
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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).

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8 Reasons I Won’t Miss Living in the Bay Area

Why I Won't Miss Living in the Bay Area
[Even though there’s a lot I don’t like about the Bay, parts of it sure are pretty!]
Ahh the Bay Area – land of start ups, the word “hella”, giant tech companies, the best burritos (yeah I said it), the Golden Gate, and so much more that I could never fit it all into one sentence without violating all kinds of grammar rules. It’s a wonderful melting pot of a place.

I grew up in San Jose and was living in Fremont the past 2 years. I will always love the Bay (and there are plenty of reasons I’ll miss it, too), but I’m also very ready to leave. It was a good run, but here’s why I’m not looking to return:

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Doing What I Want Instead of What I Should

Doing What I Want Instead of What I Should - Navigating My Quarter Life Crisis
[Prague is a great place for a quarter life crisis, in my experience]
Oh howdy ho, fellow blogreaders!

LOL who am I? Please ignore that sentence and read on. I promise the cheese stops there.

SO. There have been some pretty big, like WHOA life changes as of late, and I really wanted to address that before publishing the other posts I have waiting in my blogging queue! So here’s what’s up:

I quit my job, and am traveling through Europe for the next few months. How’s that for a big, giant cliche?

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How I Got My Job at an Environmental Nonprofit

Girl standing with nestbox with nest in it - how i got my job at an environmental nonprofit
[One of the duties at my job was monitoring nest boxes – however, I don’t do that as much now, but I really loved it! Baby birds galore. Although there were some dead ones, that was a bummer. And one time I got chased by wasps]
I work as an Education Programs Coordinator for an environmental nonprofit that promotes the education and conservation of birds. I never ever expected to be working in the job that I am, never expected to become passionate about birds (before this I was more of a mammals person – but I think that’s how many people in the wildlife field start out lol), and never expected what it’d actually be like to work at an environmental nonprofit.

I really really enjoy it (for the most part). But – before I get into what it’s like in the next article, here’s some background info to ~set the scene~

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