What’s up in four months of travel?

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I can’t believe I’ve been traveling for four straight months. Some days it seems like just yesterday I was behind my desk typing away… and now, I’m in a hotel typing away. I would say that this month feels a bit different. I think I’m starting to feel the continuous travel and am trying to adjust a bit. As my friend who just visited said, “You aren’t taking weekends!” I’m also starting to think about what’s next.

A few more observations from month four.

  1. Go.Go. A little stop.  I’m working on “taking weekends.” I actually took my first cruise in forever where I enjoyed just chilling out on the sea days (well the first one, the second one I was stressed about Irma, but more on that next). No books read… no Netflix watched. I did turn on the TV to watch stuff on Irma. I got to see my mom and friend, and my sister just arrived. Five countries this month (including a couple of repeats)… Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Malta and Greece. And I have my voice back!
  2. It sucks being away from home when a hurricane hits.  Kinda… not really, but…My family and many friends were in the path of Irma. Many evacuated, many stayed. I tried to provide what little help I could from afar, but just felt helpless and stressed. Having been in numerous hurricanes in my life, it’s not the same as being there, but I’m good at worrying.
  3. What’s she doing? I’ve decided that the folks in my hotel/guesthouses must think I’m an odd bird. Whenever I return to solo travel, I usually use the first day or so to chill out a bit, do laundry and update the blog. This leads to a lot of hours in the room and some questions as to why I don’t need housekeeping! I’ve also become very adept at hand washing and finding creative places to air dry clothing.
  4. Fan Girl Moment! Anyone who’s been to Europe likely knows Rick Steves. Well, as we’re heading to guest services on our cruise, who do we see taking his formal night shots… the man himself! Unfortunately he was filming so I didn’t get a chance to say much more than hi, but still exciting nonetheless. And Rick, my offer still stands on helping flesh out content for Puglia and Sicily!
  5. Travel style. I’ve finally decided on my trimmed down Asia itinerary, and I am actually trying to plan it so that I can maximize my time there. Reading about where to go as I hit the city just isn’t my style, so I’m plotting things out a bit more so I stress a little less, enjoy a little more and have a bit of a plan (I think I mentioned in post one that I like to have a plan!). I’ve definitely relaxed a little (OK a lot) with the details, but I am who I am (and that’s OK!)
  6. So, where am I going? I’m finishing up in Europe by spending most of my remaining time here in the Motherland (aka Italy), which makes me quite happy. I still have a few days that I’m not sure of at the end of the month (looking at weather reports and lodging prices), but I’ll be in Vienna at the beginning of October and then I’m taking off to see Kyoto, Tokyo (and Tokyo Disney Sea), Singapore, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Danang (beach), Hoi An and Hong Kong (including Disney). I’ll then head to Hawaii for a week in November before Thanksgiving. I’ve plotted it out this way to take a few less flights, get a few less stamps in my passport (down to three pages!) and maybe, get a little relaxation in (I added Danang when I took out Bali…). Let me know if you have any tips on day trips or side trips.
  7. Missing: Strong Wifi. After almost an entire month with little or unreliable wifi (and a hurricane as a major distraction), I’m really missing the wifi and cell service in the US (first world problems, I know). I have so much I’d like to write about on this blog, but my post on Bosnia took about four hours of photo uploading (including emailing smaller versions to myself to upload on WordPress, which means the sizes are off). So, I will wait until the next destination to do another post with more than three photos.
  8. Still miss my animal(s). Seriously… this is the hardest part about my travels. People can visit, pets are a bit harder. Thankfully we’ve seen lots of kitties in Croatia, Italy and Greece, so it helps (I think!).
  9. Different mind set. As we hit month four, my mindset has changed to start thinking about what will happen after the trip is over. I’m beginning to look at where I want to live, where I’d like to work and when I want it to happen. I’d still like to head to South America (and maybe Antarctica) end of December/beginning of January, but if I find an amazing opportunity, I’m OK with that. Strangely, I realized I enjoy working – and also using my brain and strategizing. So, if you know of any cool communications, change management, employee engagement or talent management opportunities, send them my way!

Three months by the numbers

  • Miles walked – Approximately 116 (approximate total for three months 537)
  • Different hotels/B&Bs/apartments/tents/rooms/riads/guest houses/cruise cabins– 11 (total of 48)
  • Flights taken: 13 total (only one this month!)
  • Currencies – (10) — Israeli Shekel, Jordan Dinar, Euros, Moroccan Dihram, British Pounds, Icelandic Krona (although not in cash), Norweigan Krone (also not in cash), Swiss Francs, Bosnian Marks and Croatian Kuna and the occasional US Dollar in Morocco and Jordan
  • Languages spoken (or I attempted to speak) – English, Hebrew, Arabic, Berber, Italian, French, Icelandic, Norwegian, Maltese, Gaelic, German, Bosnian, Croatian, Greek.
  • Pictures taken – 7,000+ on my iPhone. Getting a bit out of control…
  • Countries visited  – Israel, Jordan, France, Morocco, Italy, (twice) England, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Malta (twice), Ireland (including Northern Ireland), Switzerland, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece
  • Sneakers/ Trainers/ Tennis Shoes Abandoned: 1 – Left my Nikes in Sorrento and am now sporting some Adidas. Transition to European completed!

Please share your thoughts on Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.

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The man, the myth, the legend…

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