I had no energy to find a place to eat, so I ended up sitting in the hotel restaurant. As I waited for my food, I felt the urge to go back home.
If only they knew, sometimes travelling is not always a guaranteed good time. Sometimes it's breaking down in a vehicular, financial and mental fashion...
It felt surreal being at the same house that the von Trapp family once was. I was transported back in time. I could imagine them walking the exact same steps or looking at the same views.
In a pocket of the country strange and new, distant and odd to me, I felt like I belonged. We were not alone in the west, nor in this country, but rather a part of it.
Unfortunately, life had plans for me that did not involve taking a single footstep in my hiking boots.
I never questioned whether it was meant to be - I knew instantly I’d keep the baby, but I felt so alone and scared.
To me, Japan is a country of convenience, politeness, discipline and gorgeous landscapes. It’s the country where napping on the train during the commute is perfectly normal. It’s home to the most polite and helpful people I have ever encountered.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. - Oscar Wilde
Over the next couple of days, it didn’t get any easier, but I learned to love the challenge and accomplishment. Each night coming to camp I felt proud of myself for making it, and that sense of accomplishment kept me going.
We have a proverb in Romania that says: “Even drunk people have their own God.”
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Living in a place that was away from the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist spots gave me a greater insight into the Ecuadorian way of life.
If anything can save the world, I’d put my money on beauty. - Douglas Tompkins
I dream of other roads in other lands. Of another home. - Samuel Beckett
The next morning JP told me we would be climbing several 450 meter hills over the next three days. 'I thought the coast would be more coasty,' I thought, as panic and dread set in.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. - Mae West
I’ve never really told my family about my passion for travel as I don’t think they would understand. My parents still see me as a little girl, not as a grown woman.
If we tried to do everything our way, we wouldn’t be doing much here, so we are embracing it as much as possible.
At this point, I was desperate for money, so I started working in the hostel for free accommodation and took on any other jobs I could get.
A faint glow emerged on the horizon, a welcome change from the blackness of the night. Slowly, the landscape lit up. Never had I been happier to see the sunrise. Tears pricked my eyes and a warm glow flooded my body. I was so proud of myself for making it this far. But I still had a long way to go.
This cyclone of self-guilt leads me down all of the other times I’ve made similar decisions; charging into environments without maybe fully appreciating the circumstances until completely immersed without any way to back out. The first thing that jumps out at me is something that has shadowed my life over the past 7 years.
With my suitcase rumbling against the cobblestones behind me, we darted through the darkness of hidden alleyways, crossed time-worn bridges and passed glittering canals. Little did I know that Venice already had me under its spell.
The course weaved around the city, and gave me outstanding views of the Seine, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Grand Palace, Chateau de Vincennes, and of course I could see the Eiffel Tower in the background at many different points. It was a bit surreal, seeing all of these iconic landmarks that I had only ever seen in books and movies. Sort of like running through a fairy tale…
The physical challenge was enormous—but so was the mental challenge. I would try to occupy my mind throughout the day while I was running so that I wasn’t focusing on the pain in my body.
I depleted all the Euros I had on me (ready to be converted into Serbian Dinar when I arrived) to catch the next connecting flight to Zurich. Strong winds above the Swiss Alps left the pilot unable to land which meant I had to backtrack to Ghent if I wanted to get to Serbia at all. Sixteen hours later I arrived with no money, no luggage and almost no life left in me.