If there’s one thing I learned from three weeks of traveling it’s that traveling is not for babies. Every time we were lost, tired, our feet hurt, or we didn’t know where we were going to stay that night, my mom would say “traveling is not for babies”. It’s true. Here are a few thoughts from traveling that I want to throw out there. It’s a little choppy but that’s just how things like this work.
Throughout my travels, people always asked me where I was coming from. It was mostly people in tourist shops or when I was buying tickets for tourist sights, so it was all small talk and nothing personal. This interaction was difficult for me because I wanted to say Wales. It was uncomfortable for me to say that I was coming from Minnesota because I haven’t been there really since September. I have been spending all of my time in the United Kingdom and so I could have said “I am an international student studying in Wales but I am from Minnesota” but they don’t really care and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Everything is always different from what you except. I knew this before traveling but actually experiencing it is a different feeling. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have had expectations but it’s hard not to, especially when you have no experience of Europe except for the films, stories, and stereotypes that you know of. First of all, I wasn’t expecting to see so many selfie sticks. Teenagers, old people, married couples, families, everyone had a selfie stick, except for me. The best was seeing old people use selfie sticks. The funny thing is, they don’t really smile, they just stare next to the camera or off to the side. Bless them.
One thing I knew but didn’t fully realise was how much espresso they drink. They go to cafes or bars in the morning and drink espresso, and very slowly too. Since it looks like a shot glass, it seems like you should drink it fast, but nope, you just sip it. Espresso isn’t bad, but it doesn’t do it for me. Since I am American we do everything in excess, so I need 1-3 cups a day. If I’m feeling wild I drink four.
Traveling for three weeks gave me a lot of confidence, especially being alone in Scotland. If you walk around with enough confidence, no one will bother you. People don’t care if you look at a map in public, they might even help you. Don’t be embarrassed about it. Everywhere I went, people always walked up to me and asked for directions or help in another language. I explained that I only speak English, but it’s pretty cool (and flattering) when someone thinks you’re a local.
I’m really good at finding pennies on the ground, and that skill has now evolved into finding other things on the ground! Everything in the picture was found on the ground except for the bracelet in the picture on the right. In Italy, a man from Senegal came up to me and said he felt positive energy and vibes from me, and that he was having a bad day but when he saw me it instantly got better. He then gave me this bracelet. He was in Italy teaching French to young students. How kind is that!?
I apologise for how incongruent this blog post is but I wanted to mention all of this before I moved on to writing posts about other thoughts and adventures. Thanks for reading! Travel the world! Follow your dreams! Eat cake! Pet a cat! Smile at a stranger! Compliment someone! Compliment yourself!