What’s Up After Two Months of Travel?

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Today marks two months since I’ve left the US! In a way it doesn’t seem that long and some days it seems longer! This past month, I’ve visited Morocco, Italy and the United Kingdom (England and I arrived in Scotland last night). I’ve met up with more friends, and even got to see some friends twice (Cedric and Steve)!

Here’s a few tidbits from the second month of travel.

  1. Go-go-go! I’m still go-go-go. I’m writing this blog as I wait for my friend Jen who will be exploring Scotland and Iceland with me. We have a jam-packed six days in Scotland and some serious excursions planned for Iceland. I’m excited, but definitely a bit tired. Ready for some relaxation post Iceland and some non-travel book reading (and possibly that House of Cards!).
  2. Still carry-on only. My bag is hanging in there. I’ve bought a few things (most recently long sleeves for this Scotland and Iceland part) and just sent a few random t-shirts and things I’ve picked up back home. (Side note: it was much cheaper to mail in UK than France, but then again, I think the guy understood my English in the UK better than my French in France!)
  3. I enjoy travel a lot more when I feel better. As many of you know, I was not feeling great in Morocco. The mix of my stomach hating everything and the heat was not a good combo. I spent the last half of June feeling pretty drained and I was quite worried I’d continue to feel that way as I left Morocco. Fortunately, once I got some pasta and gelato in me, I felt much better and am therefore enjoying the trip much more. My stomach challenges have led to a few changes though…
  4. Itinerary changes. Given how bad I felt in Morocco, the thought of spending six straight weeks possibly not eating or having energy in Southeast Asia, along with how much I love Europe, has led me to make a few changes. I’m still working out the details, but it looks like I’ll head to Asia in late September instead of early September and I’ll spend more time in Italy. More to come later…
  5. Solo Travel. I think I’ve been solo for about 10 days each month on average, so I haven’t felt lonely yet. I’m getting used to a table for one. Some nights I’ll socialize and have nice dinners and others (like last night) I’ll bury my head in my phone and message with folks back home. I’m pretty sure there’s quite a few waiters who thing I’m weird, but I don’t really care! I did enjoy my dinner date at the most romantic restaurant in the world though!
  6. The blue dot of Google Maps is my friend. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to travel with a working cell phone. Given that I’m constantly on the go, I don’t have enough time to research each city in depth. So I’m often deciding what to do as I do it. Plugging in the address to Google maps and determining if I should walk, Uber or if public transit is the best! Uber is excellent as you don’t have to speak the language or worried about someone trying to pull a fast one with currency.
  7. Still waiting for my credit card. After saying such nice things about Citi rushing to send me a new card overseas, I’m still waiting for it. I have no clue where the first card went, while the second (expedited) card went to my mom in the US. Thankfully I have other cards, and I’m also grateful that this has been the biggest snafu thus far.
  8. Still miss my animal(s). Apparently I’m getting enough people interaction, but not enough pet time! Visited a cat cafe in London and that helped, but I miss seeing my furry friends every day!
  9. Still having fun. I’m definitely enjoying seeing new things and exploring the old. I’ve realized that each time I arrive in a new city I have an adjustment period where I’m like, “Now what the hell do I do?” After I spend about an hour getting situated in the room and then head out for a walk, I calm down and start enjoying the scenery.

Two months by the numbers

  • Miles walked – Approximately 141 (approximate total for two months 301)
  • Different hotels/B&Bs/apartments/tents/rooms/riads/guest houses– 15 (total of 26)
  • Grand Slam Tennis Events Attended – French Open (twice) and Wimbledon. (I also attended the Australian Open in January).
  • Currencies – Israeli Shekel, Jordan Dinar, Euros, Moroccan Dihram, British Pounds and the occasional US Dollar in Morocco and Jordan
  • Languages spoken – English (ha!), Hebrew (about 3 words…), Arabic (I think I’m up to 4 words), Berber (maybe 5 words!), Italian (pretty awfully, but I can order a perfect gelato!) and French (still with bad grammar)
  • Pictures taken – 4,000+ I’ve pretty much given up on my real camera and am using my iPhone. I need to go through these photos!
  • Countries visited  – Israel, Jordan, France, Morocco, Italy, England and Scotland
  • Cities visited – Tel Aviv, Petra, Wadi Rum, Jaresh, Amman (briefly), Paris, Honfleur, Saint Malo, Mont St. Michel, Rouen, Colleville Sur-Mer, Paris (twice), Annecy, Colmar, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Turckheim, Orschwiller, Rabat, Chefchaouen, Fes, Midelt, Meknes, Vouloubilis, Merzouga, Valley of the Roses, Ourika, Marrakech, Essouria, Rome, Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Lecce, Monopoli, Gallipoli, Alberobello, London, Coln Saint Aldwyn, Bibury, Cirencester, Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bourton on the Water, Stow on the Wold, Wimbledon and Edinburgh.

Any thoughts as we head into month three? Tips? Questions? Suggestions?

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4 comments

  1. Amazing journey Stephanie! I’m going to France in September and I’m going to hike for part of it, so I’ve been reading your packing list carefully as I’m going to backpack.

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  2. Great post. Question for you, what do you recommend doing about having a working cell phone in Europe. I’m about to buy a new phone for better pictures similar to your comment about ditching the camera which I found myself to be a little cumbersome when trying to keep.up on posting pics. I’ve seen some phones with dual SIM cards advertised and was wondering what was your solution to having a working cell phone. I currently have Sprint which worked well for text and data last time I was in Italy but if you have any better suggestions I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance and keep blogging!

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    1. Hi Yvonne! I switched my phone plan to TMobile so that I can use it while traveling. So far it’s working well, but I’ve heard of some folks who’ve had their phones turned off because they were using the phone only internationally. I was able to get a free iPhone 7 when I switched to TMobile, so all of my photos are with them. Keep me posted on when you start blogging. Looking forward to following!

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