In the year of 2015 I have been lucky enough to travel to 7 different countries. Here are some best moments from it.
April in Vienna and Graz, Austria.
For April it was surprisingly warm in Austria. You could see people in shorts and tops. And if you had come here expecting relatively cold weather, you better start taking off your clothes. Believe me or not (better believe) the highlight apart from the good weather was the fact that you can wonder around the city by feet, without using GPS or a map, but still find amazing places overall. Doesn’t matter if you are in Vienna or in Graz, you can walk around alone and still feel like the spirit of the city surrounds you. You can find museums, monuments, unbelievably beautiful parks and really nice people wherever you go. If Austria hadn’t been in my travel list, I would’t have ever known how simple it is to love it!
July in North Norway.
Summer in North Norway was unbelievable experience. Polar day is a thing. It could be called a highlight, but I am rather going to call it a brightlight. It seems so surreal that you are sitting on a bench and enjoying the mountains which are everywhere you look (if you are, for example, in a little town (commune) called Narvik). Imagine to have two times more energy than usually just because you get sunlight for 24 hours a day. Imagine a walk on the top of the mountain while barefoot…
August in Poland.
In August I spent 2 weeks in Poland which gave me a chance to acquaintance contrasts of this country. Starting from big cities like Warsaw and Krakow till complete opposite- a really small town called Klimontow. The thing is that in Europe we get a lot of urban cities with amazing culture and architecture and cities of Poland were no different. It surprised me with it’s great museums and restaurants, beautiful churches, creative people and free concerts. Even though the city life was rememberable, the real deal was the country side. Klimontow with it’s friendly people who barely could speak English, running chickens everywhere and the sound of the rooster who wakes you up every morning at 5 o’clock. Cities are great, of course, but, man, my experience in Klimontow was memorable for a city girl.
October in Belgium and Netherlands.
Although I expected to visit only Brussels, I had a chance to see a city called Namur. Probably the fact that it was absolutely unexpected, made it so memorable. As I consider myself as a low-budget traveler, I used Couchserfing to find someone who could host me. 4 days or so before my trip I found a man who used to host 3-5 travellers a week, but now he had taken a little break from it. Destiny , huh? One day he saw my request on Couchsurfings public page and decided to host me. Not only did he do that, but also he picked my up from the centre of Brussels, told me a lot of interesting facts about the country, showed me Namur and even allowed me to join a traditional Belgium dinner with his family. Kind of cool, isn’t it? My surprise was that I had been a little scared to use Couchserfing as a single girl traveler, but it turned out as a highlight of the whole trip to Belgium.
I guess this journey started already in Belgium when me and my friends took a buss from Belgium to Netherlands,
Amsterdam. The price of the buss was only 8 euros. And yes, of course it is cheap, but we didn’t expect the amazing side effects of ,lets say, cheap-ness. As a first, the buss was around 30 minutes late, which is okay considering that it was a really busy and rainy day in Brussels which could cause the delay. But then we got in the buss and first we noticed that the toilet was closed. After 10 minutes the driver explained: “Yea… we have a toilet in the buss, but don’t use it! It is full. And we don’t have a self-service coffee, but you can buy Snickers from me. Also we have a wi-fi on board, but sometimes it is not working. So you can try it. Maybe it is working now.. or maybe not.. So, just enjoy your ride! “.
December in Morocco and United Kingdom.
The main goal of this particular trip was to go to the top of the Atlas mountains- Toubkal. And the whole trip was
both hard and amazing. And simply beautiful. But if I had to mark the highlight, still I would say it was the people of Morocco. Call it a culture shock if you will, but it was something I never experienced. The salesmen and saleswomen acting like you are their best friend. Most of them barely could speak any English, but that didn’t keep them from trying to sell something. And they do not give up. They follow you around showing everything they wanna sell. They use phrases like: “Good price, my friend. Only for you” or “It is a good deal, trust me”, but my absolute favourite was: “It is same, same, but different!”. The culture shock made it all appear as something really beautiful and unique to me.
London, United Kingdom.
3 days after I came back from Morocco, I had to go to London. First it was +30 degrees (celsius) in Morocco, then it was -7 at my home country and then +15 in London. I guess you never get used to these sudden changes. This was not the first time in London for me so I was not up for tourist attractions and meeting as many locals as possible, but this time it was for being there and fitting in. And the feeling of it was my highlight. I decided not to use metro or any other public transport, but to walk everywhere. Firstly, it is cheap, secondly, it gives you a chance to see things you wouldn’t have if you used a public transport. I used some offline maps and help of the locals to get from one place to another. I saw crashed buildings, some homeless people who sat around a bonfire. I saw a guy who was dancing on the street alone in the night. I found a hiking trail by accident and even a place in Greenwich where you can get a present just for visiting this place. I guess planning is not meant for everyone. The best experiences I had had by not planning a thing.
7 countries visited in the year of 2015. Which could be the number for 2016?