Life on the Road – Part 1: Reflections on Europe

The world is a vast and uncertain place, and it is impossible to know what secrets it holds for you.  The only certainty, however, is that you won’t be able to unearth any of these truths unless you’re willing to take the initial step and start exploring in the first place.  And just as every individual is a different person with a different background, every person’s experience will inevitably be both unique and specific to that person.  However, the act of travel itself is still a universal phenomenon that transcends countries and cultures, as it is an experience that drags each one of us outside of out comfort zones, forces us to reevaluate our views of the world, reexamine the values and foundations that makes each one of us who we are, and allows our spirits to grow and see the world with different eyes.

Now that I’ve had a few quiet weeks to reflect back on my trip so far — after having been on the road for nearly 4 months and having traveled through 24 different countries on 3 continents — I’ve found that for me, the small, unexpected occurrences, the people you meet along the way, and the scents and subtle sounds of a place often shine brighter than the monumental sights, the lavish museums, or the scenic vistas.  Further, I’ve come to know myself more intimately than when I left (a little hardship and lack of creature comforts always brings out the best and worst in people), I’ve gained a greater understanding of the world in which I live, and I’ve grown more comfortable with where I fit into that world.  My journey is still far closer to the beginning than the end and I have a great distance still yet to travel, but even so, I can already feel how my life has been enriched by my experiences over the last few months.

Train Stations — a sore sight only too common when traveling through Europe

I’ve learned to always carry at least 1 unread book with me at all times, as you never know when you’ll find yourself stuck in an airport terminal facing down airport delays, waiting by the side of the road after your bus has broken down, or when you simply need to politely send a signal to the overly-friendly person who’s insisting on chatting you up when all you really want to do it hide from the world

Traveling solo for any long-term period of time is far from an easy task, however, and it certainly isn’t for everyone out there.  Sure, one can easily stay at a nice four-star hotel, take taxis to and from the sights, eat in the hotel’s restaurants, and generally live a luxurious life insulated from the everyday comings and goings of life on the road, but that same comfort zone will inevitably act as a barrier blocking out many of the very characteristics that make travel so rewarding.  And besides, unless you’ve been lucky enough to win the lottery, staying at fancy hotels and eating at nice restaurants will decimate anyone’s budgets in a matter of weeks, so the thought of maintaining this method of travel for months, or even years, is usually out of the question.

Some hotels positively ooze charm and class…however, those hotels aren’t usually frequented by the budget travelers…

The crowds and queues can often be mind-numbingly long at times

At this point, I can pretty much go without the map for any new museum, as I can now simply feel the layout in my bones

The long-term budget traveler has to have a pretty high tolerance for discomfort to be able to last, or at least must possess a marvelous sense of humor.  The “discomfort” usually does dissipate after a few weeks, however, once you’ve grown accustomed to life on the road, but as soon as you return home, you’ll instantly rediscover all of life’s little luxuries that you may have forgotten about when visiting new countries.  I’ve been in the United States staying with family and friends now for the last few weeks during this holiday season, and here are a few example of the things I had forgotten about (though it would be tough to say I missed them):

  • Being able to sleep in a room by myself, without 3-7+ others snoring around me, coming in and out at all hours of the night, and generally making a ruckus when I’m trying to sleep.
  • Taking a shower without having to crouch down to fit, without having to continually re-push the faucet button common on many “water-saving” units, without having to wear flip flops to avoid the many little ever-present beasties that make their home on the tile floors, and without the hot water running out hours before I even wake up.
  • Having access to more than the same four outfits that I carry in my backpack
  • Being able to wander into the kitchen at night and munch away on whatever happens to be in the refrigerator or pantry.
  • Being able to understand the small talk around me when traveling on subways, waiting in train stations, or walking down the street (actually, scratch that last one.  Since I’ve been back, I’ve actually realized a like not being able to understand the meaningless babble that many folks spew out unconsciously).
  • Being able to frequent your favorite restaurants again (this one is a bit underrated in my opinion, as it was always a highlight for me to hit up my few special spots around town).
  • Never having to take a “night bus,” or even having to imagine the pain and misery that one entails.
  • Being able to understand the street signs, the menus in the restaurants, and the warnings posted here and there about how you shouldn’t do the one thing that you really want to do at that moment.
  • And most importantly, having your friends and family close-by.

Sunrise as viewed after roughly 10 hours of riding on a night bus

Life in the hostels — the coziness of a typical 4-bed room

Writing a blog comes with its own challenges, too, as it takes a significant amount of time to upload photos, find proper wi-fi connections, write the actual posts, and deal with administrative issues. Plus, if you ever shatter your hard drive (like I did in Croatia), you’ll have the exceedingly fun experience of trying to locate a computer repair store and then explaining what happened to the technician, all facilitated by the help of a translator who you hope understands the ins-and-outs of computer jargon.

If you’re willing to endure a small bit of pain and aren’t deterred by the fact that you can’t ever count on a plan or schedule working out exactly as you foresaw it, however, you’re in for some of the best times of your life.  I often compare the feeling of traveling to that of being a little kid again.  The entire world around your is new and foreign, you have no concept for anything that is occurring around you, you can’t identify that which has just been slopped down on your plate, and you can read any of the signposts along the way.  But it is exactly that sense of foreignness that leads to the thrill of discovery, of diving into the customs of a new culture, of immersing one’s self in the fragrant aromas and distinct flavors of a new cuisine, of sharing one’s experiences and swapping stories with new friends hailing from all corners of the globe, and of challenging ourselves to see what we’re really made of.  It is only when we put new challenges and obstacles in our way — one’s that we never would have encountered in our normal lives — that we are able to learn and grow as individuals.

Trying to catch a bus in Belgrade was a bit of a learning experience…

Can you guess what time I took this picture?

Let’s take a turn down “Tourism Street!”

As mentioned above, a few of my favorite moments from the European leg of my trip — the ones that will stick with me for years to come — were ones that I could never have expected or planned, but simply had to count myself lucky for being able to experience.  Though there are far too many to list, below are a few examples those that stood out the most for me:

  • While staying in Brussels, Belgium, my hostel window faced out to an interior courtyard, shielded from the sounds of the city outside and shared by the other apartments buildings on the surrounding block.  Every night, somewhere across this courtyard (I was never able to pinpoint the location), someone would spend several hours practicing the violin.  Luckily, my roommates at the time were night owls, leaving me alone to enjoy the simple pleasure of lying in bed with the window open, enjoying an impromptu violin concert each night.

  • While in Florence, Italy, I had the pleasure of rooming with two Canadian sisters who I’ll have a hard time ever forgetting.  Instead of indulging in the many culinary pleasures and Michelin-starred restaurants for which Italy is known, we took the exact opposite approach, showing that the amount of fun to be had has no relationship to the amount of money spent.  Each night, the three of us sat around our hostel room eating ramen noodles out of cut-apart water bottles (and cooked with water from the sink), drinking the cheapest bottles of wine we could find (of which we managed to spill on every bed in the room), and simply swapping stories about our travels so far, laughing at stupid jokes, and marveling at the little joys of life.

Putting the “Budget” in “Budget Traveler”

  • Going for a ride on the back of a motor bike through the tiny streets and alleyways of Marrakesh, Morocco, weaving in and out to dodge food stalls, donkey-pulled carts, pedestrians, stray animals, and the dozens of other motor bikes, all at a completely inappropriate speed.  I should have had my suspicions when the driver handed me an old, dented and dinged helmet that only had about half of its original paint still left in tact.  I did make it out of that one alive and unharmed, though I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the motor-bike parade that is the sidewalk in Southeast Asia.

More fun with foreign languages!

  • On a night bus from Istanbul to Goreme, Turkey, despite the broken armrests, the television in front of me that wouldn’t turn off, the intense heat being pumped out of the air vents making it feel like we were driving on the sun, and the old, moustached man singing and dancing to what looked like the Turkish version of American Idol, I was still reminded that people are people everywhere.  At every stop, we were delayed by 10-15 minutes, as the driver had to work his way through massive gatherings of people that had developed.  The crowds were dancing to the beat of drums and flutes, waving banners and flags in the air, and hooting and hollering at the top of their lungs — all to celebrate the homecoming of soldiers having just completed their military service with the Turkish Army.  Despite our cultural differences, various languages, and preferences for edibles, in the end, we all love our families, we all miss our friends when we’re apart, we all laugh at funny jokes, and seek out food when our bellies are empty.  It is an important lesson to learn when traveling in foreign countries: we’re really not all that different at heart.
  • Missing a train for the first time in the Cinque Terre region of Italy, and making a new friend in the process.  I’ve always prided myself on my punctuality (and I was early in fact), but jumping on the wrong train allowed me to carry with me a far better attitude for the remainder of my trip, as I now knew that the plan going south isn’t really that big of a deal.  It’s like getting the first dent in a new car — from that point forward, you’re liberated, as you’ll no longer be worried about it from then on.  Plus, I met a new friend (who also missed the same train after following me — sorry again, Karina!) that I never would have encountered otherwise, and had a blast hanging out for the rest of the day.
  • And finally, I can’t go without stating the obvious: the best memories and moments come from the company that we keep.  Even while traveling alone, I’ve found it far easier to meet folks on the road than while I’m at home, whether they be locals or fellow travelers from other far corners of the world.  I know I’m breaking the rules of my own list here, as this really isn’t a favorite “moment” per se, but it is still one of the most endearing and recurring experiences that I’ve been lucky enough to have.  I can now say I have friends I keep in contact with on 6 continents (I’m still looking for a friend from Antarctica!), and I’m thoroughly looking forward to those that I’ll meet in my future travels.

New friends out for dinner in the Djeema el-Fna Square in Marrakech

The aftermath of a night out with new friends in Nice, France

My stay back in Ohio has been a refreshing and relaxing break from the fast-paced and chaotic life of traveling, but even so, my legs are getting restless and I’m getting the itch to hit the road again.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to spend time with my friends and family, indulge in as many Columbus Brewing Company IPA’s as I could stomach, mow through a box of Pistacio Vera macarons, and sleep in a comparatively glorious bed at night; but my desire to get back out there and dive into the next leg of my trip has only increased exponentially since I first set out.  I have no idea what lies in my path for the future, but it is exactly that concept that keeps me going.  For the next leg of my trip, I’ll be heading to Southeast Asia, so until then, Happy Holidays and Cheers from Ohio!

Note: This picture was NOT taken in Ohio

Post Script: Freshly Pressed for the 2nd time!

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About andrewamiet

I'm a 29 (now 31) year-old former desk jockey who is now making my way around the world, experiencing all of the sights, sounds, tastes, people, and culture that the world has to offer.

104 Responses to “Life on the Road – Part 1: Reflections on Europe”

  1. Well said! I’m proud to be your brother!

  2. Oftentimes, it really isn’t about the location but the journey.

    Well written. Nice intro. Good stuffs! Great Blog.

  3. It is such a wonderful Christmas present to have you home with us. We are very proud of you.

  4. Those numbers are amazing: 4 months, 24 different countries and 3 continents. Unbelievable!

    But it sounds like you also gained incredible perspective from the experience. Congratulations.

    🙂

  5. Ahhhh Europe! Bet you had a great time 🙂

  6. You’re right…it’s the people that you meet while you’re traveling that really make the trip! I think my best memories from my travels have always been the people that I’ve met, and some I even still keep in contact with.

    Great post! What an adventure you’ve had so far! 🙂

  7. Well written with excellent pictures sir. Congrats on being on being “Freshly Pressed”!

  8. Your trip, though cramped and sometimes rather uncomfortable, seemed to have been a great experience. Treasure it!

    Happy holidays

    val
    http://valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

  9. No matter how many travel blogs one reads, another one is always welcome.
    To see the world through other person’s eyes is simply enjoyable.
    Thanks.

  10. You’re making me want to hit the road again. What fun you have had.

  11. Great read! Looking forward to Part 2…love the part of the ‘small talk babble’ that is better left NOT understood. Where to next!!??…

  12. Great stuff. A old friend of mine did this once, then went on to become a big rock star, after that he became a former big rock star. LOL . . you’ve stoked my wanderlust with this one. Could I pull it off again?

  13. Well said. Travel is the closest one can come to being a virgin again, as you discover places you’ve only read about. All senses are heightened as you take in new sights, smells, sounds, colors and flavors. Happy trails!

  14. I envy you, great article.

  15. Love the way your pictures tell the story. And I am guessing you took the sundial pic at 5:50 PM?

  16. Great blog!

  17. Extraordinary! Everything: Your courage to venture forth, your photos, your wry observations, your wonderful insights. Thank you for a marvelous vicarious adventure.

  18. I’m an American student studying in eastern europe for the school year and I have done a lot fo travelling so far. For the first time it is not with my family and im planning and paying for EVERYTHING. i can definately relate to living in hostels and some of the craziness that comes with travelling by yourself

  19. I love the Turkish stop sign and the fine shots of the beds. I was just in San Diego and there the beds were not even as nice as the hostel. Keep writing;)

  20. I agree wholeheartedly. Been some years since I made a soul journey, but plan to again soon. Everyone needs to get out there at least for a couple of weeks.

  21. I guess your travel voracity redefines the term discomfort. It’s something people tend to get around it; you just walk right into it consciously and make it a second habit. Travel stories always amazes me, the way you presented makes it more interesting. Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  22. Great stuff! I know several people travelling in Europe and they said it’s been a taxing but rewarding experience. Great to hear!

  23. inspiring! and this is coming from a girl living abroad on a contract debating doing the very same thing!

  24. Love this stuff. Next year I’m going to Italy. I just cannot wait and am jealous of anybody going any where.

  25. The Pencil Pirouette Reply December 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    When you do the Southeast Asia leg, please visit the Philippines. 🙂

    • The Philippines is certainly going to be a stop on my itinerary — I can’t wait!

      • I just did an entry on Bohol, a place you should definitely check out!:)

        • Great post — I especially like the sunrise photo at the end! The Philipines are definitely on my itinerary for a future destination (I’m kind of making my way in that direction, slowly), but I wasn’t really sure how to attack them. However, after reading you’re post, I belive Bohol will have to fit in there somewhere!

          • Thanks!:) That’s how early we had to get out of bed to see the dolphins. Pretty worth it though.

            Palawan’s nice too, that’s where the underground river (the one that’s part of the new 7 wonders of the world, i think) is. I was there last year but didn’t have a blog yet and so…no documentation nor nice photos. Whoops.

            Oh, great blog too. So inspiring!

  26. great blog! 🙂 i hope you’d drop by the philippines (especially the beaches down south if you’re a beach person – palawan, camiguin) on your southeast asia journey 🙂

  27. Love.this.post…

    It makes me want to hit the road again! And two cheers for the Canadian girls and Morocco (I’m Canadian and I’ve been to Morocco twice–beautiful country). Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  28. Sounds like an amazing journey! I hope I have the opportunity to do something similar someday. Thanks for sharing your incredible experience and pearls of wisdom!

    http://sywsoyouwanna.wordpress.com

  29. A seasoned and fool hearty traveler myself, I can not wait to read all your posts!

  30. I’m about to do the same next year, quit my job and backpack around Europe for a few months. Exciting.. Excellent post!

  31. it’s the first time i see a guy took the reflection of himself, lool.

  32. I think its only when we travel that we realise as Man(imals) that what we are meant to do and when we are at our best. I think at heart we are all nomadic…even if that means we just get to travel to work everyday or on holiday once a year. Nice post and congratulations on getting fresh pressed.

  33. This makes me want to do it again…I traveled alone for four months when I was 20, but only in four countries, Portugal, Italy, France and Spain. I still remember exact moments from that trip and it’s now 34 years later (and 29 additional countries later), like being the only woman anywhere in view in Evora, Portugal on Easter morning or the British journalists I met in Madrid who recognized my famous (to them) aunt through my laughter. Travel gives us the greatest adventures and memories — thanks for sharing!

  34. An excellent post!

    You will enjoy Southeast Asia. I just returned to North Carolina after living in Southeast Asia for 12 years.

  35. I must say, you look pretty happy in the photos. I think that you have a good perspective, seeing the details rather than getting lost in the excitement of the next big thing, the next big monument. You’re going a lot of different places – my own travels have largely been back and forth to places I’ve been many times which has its own value, getting to know a place for a while – everytime we go back to Paris or France in general, we become a bit more accustomed to the place. You might enjoy some of my notes on traveling at my blog Aller-Retour, dayreturn.wordpress.com

    Joyeuses Fêtes
    James LaForest

  36. Really great post and a wonderful experience. I’ve lived in several different countries and basically lived abroad for most of my life, and it really is an incredible experience. I know I’ll keep living like that for a while, especially since my husband is an expat like me! Congrats on being freshly pressed and have a merry christmas!

  37. Great post, man… Traveling for an extended period of time sounds great in the beginning, but you captured what’s REALLY behind the adventure… Kudos for that. It’s not for the faint of heart.

    Cheers.
    Dave Dunn
    http://blog.beentheredunnthat.com
    http://www.twitter.com/bntheredunnthat
    http://www.facebook.com/beentheredunnthat

  38. Very nice thank you for writing this. Your writing makes me imagine breaking out of my shell and living again.

  39. Very interesting. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on getting “pressed.”

  40. great post…I’ll be doing something very similar in a few months. Hiking the Appalachian Trail. Love the photos!

  41. Will keep posted til you blog about the Philippines. Known your blog for awhile. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  42. Very awesome. All the detail… the wonderful ups and downs, I’m ecstatic to travel once again. I’ve only been to London and Rome… visit the Philippines!!! 🙂

  43. Stumbled upon you from the Freshly Pressed section, and this post is totally awesome. I leave for some solo travels in Russia & China and then Southeast Asia next week (!!!) and very excited to see someone else heading the same way! I agree that missing trains in Europe is stressful…but I imagine it’ll be far more hilarious and insane in Asia. But I can’t wait to find out! I wish you the best of luck in your travels!

  44. Great opening shot and text!
    Enjoy the glory of being Freshly Pressed!

  45. I thoroughly enjoyed this…it brought back so many wonderful memories for me. Traveling is a door that opens your mind and heart to the whole world and all that’s wonderful in it. It’s my opinion that all those little inconveniences of travel transports us back to the way people have often lived. We’re blessed with alot of personal space here in America but it isolates us in a way that isn’t always the best…

    Thanks for the memories!

  46. Did you get the chance to give a complete stranger somehting of yourself….an emblem, a bit of change, or a nice story?…..I feel that is the essence of travel..I was blessed enough to share recently during my travel…giving freely places me in another zone….Merry Christmas!!

  47. I agree very much with what you said about humans being very similar everywhere regarding their basic feelings, thoughts, wishes. I have travelled a lot in the Middle East and people and it was eye-opening to see that we are 90% similar and maybe only 10% different from each other.

  48. Did you come to Malta? I just moved here and it is beautiful. See some of my photos of Valletta, the capital city, for example: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/valletta-capital-of-malta/

  49. Thanks for sharing. i envy you, positively 😉 btw, I am from South-East Asia, Indonesia, and I might be on one of those motorbikes in the parade. hehehe… you should try it when you visit my country. cheers!

  50. and now, I envy you. I’ve always wanted to visit Europe. But I have budget constraint. Hopefully in the future.

  51. A couple of years ago, I got the opportunity to go to Great Britain and France for two weeks. I know exactly what you mean when you say that the best things about traveling are not the great museums and sights necessarily, but the unexpected pleasures that happen along the way. One of my favorites was walking through Oxford in the rain on graduation day. I was cold and damp, but I wished I could stay there all day.

  52. Your posts are all too relatable to all travelers. Nice job putting them in words.

    Dont forget to stop by the Philippines on your next travel!! In the mean time, enjoy being at home. Theres nothing like it.

  53. so much fun bro….
    be carefull in your trip… 🙂

  54. This post is so interesting and inspiring. I love traveling, and this post just made me want to jump on an airplane somewhere.

  55. This was a great read as a future serial traveler… can’t wait to see your posts about southeast asia, one of the first places I plan on going

  56. Refreshing. You brought back so many memories,
    I revisited the Middle East and Europe while reading your blog.

  57. Congrats on being FP!!!

    We just moved back to the US from Germany, and so many of your experiences made me reflect back on our adventures. You are absolutely right, it’s the unplanned moments that become the memories that stick and cause you to smile later on.

    Our family lives in Cleveland (we’re currently in Kansas), and being back here just makes us itch to get back to Europe! I concur that it was kind of nice not being able to understand others’ chatter…

  58. Andrew,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, and love to see the ways in which you are discovering the world. I have reposted your link to a Tumblr project I have created that focuses on how people connect to one another (interconnectings.tumblr.com). Thank you for the piece!

    • Merry Christmas to you, too, Whitney! I like what you’ve got going so far on your site, so thanks for re-posting my piece. I feel honored. And I’m looking forward to reading some more inspirational stories from you in the future!

  59. Nice post, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed. We’ve been on the road (this trip) 8 months, and are just finishing up the past 4 or so in Southeast Asia. We will ring in the new year in Bangkok, then off to India. Amazing how similar reflections and observations on travel can be, regardless of where that travel happens! Enjoy your upcoming trip. Our blog should be linked below if you’re looking for thoughts on SEA.

  60. well said. love the creative ramen idea – i know what that’s like. enjoy SE Asia, it is a miraculous place of wonder. Siem Reap in Cambodia is my favorite. You could spend days staring at the trees. Enjoy. Happy Holidays!

  61. Sounds like you experienced some reverse culture shock when you came back to the states. Wonder why you found it easier meeting people on the road, jumping from hostel to hostel, than you do back at home. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that everybody traveling is exploring, whereas people at home just drift around in their comfort zones.

  62. You take beautiful pictures! Capturing action and the emotions.
    It looks like you had a life-enriching experience.
    I am jealous!

  63. Thank you for putting into words what I felt about my own European adventure these past four months. Although I had a slightly different experience than you – interning in London and only getting away to explore other countries/cities on the weekends, I really relate with your feelings on traveling and all that comes with it (the people, the food, the hostels, going alone…). Also – thanks for the follow. My adventure in Europe ended just 2 weeks ago and I am back in the states, so I wont be posting on that blog anymore. But desperately hoping to go back and itching to travel again!

  64. Great is the post and very inspiring

  65. Great post! You have some really interesting insights and fantastic tips & things to think about for potential travellers! I’ve not yet travelled for longer than a month or so, but I hope to… and I will definitely keep this post in mind!

  66. love the pic of the table w/all of the empty beer cans and glasses…looks like friends were there! warm fuzzies

  67. Excellent entry! I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. Thanks for posting.

  68. Thank you for sharing your travels.
    I’m an american hitch hiker
    Dawgrunner.wordpress.von

  69. great post! i agree, the best part of travelling is meeting other fellow travellers and the locals and seeing how they live. i envy your travels!

  70. I have really enjoyed following you on your journey through Europe. I enjoyed it so much that I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award, haha. http://rachelahanson.com/2011/12/27/versatility-in-blogging/

  71. Wow! This is such an amazing post. I just discovered your blog, and I love it. I had the opportunity to backpack across some of Europe just a few months ago while studying abroad, and it was one of the most enlightening and awakening experiences I’ve ever had. I loves your Ramen noodles in Italy story– my nights spent in hostels with new and old friends are some of the most simple and beautiful memories I have.

  72. I was really entertained by this post. Hope to do the same and have a life on the road sometimes!

  73. Makes my travel itch act up! (Well, actually it never stops acting up, but I’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures :))

  74. Wow, this is very inspiring! Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts on traveling. ;p

  75. amazing! would love to do europe solo one day!

  76. WOW! I’ve dreamed of traveling the world all my life. Until recently, I didn’t think it would ever be possible. But, I’ve finally thrown off that way off thinking and am working to get ready to travel the world and experience its people! I’m starting to learn Hebrew because I’d like to visit Israel. I plan to lean some other languages too. Just enough to get me around the country.

    I’ve joined http://couchsurfing.org and plan to start hosting people from other countries in my home. As soon as I find a way (the money) to travel myself I plan to go for it! I’m sooo excited!

    Did you discover cheap ways to fly, eat, etc.? I’d love any tips on traveling cheaply that you might have or any resources you can point me to.

    Wishing you all the best on your next adventure!
    Darling

    • Glad to hear that you’re taking the first steps towards making travel a significant portion of you life. The point at which you day-dream of all the places you’d like to go is only bested by the moment when you actually going there!

      As far as flights, I haven’t really found any truly cheap way to go. Once I have a rough idea of when I want to fly out, I usually start checking all of the various “compare flights” websites (i.e. – kayak, travelocity, etc.). Both lonelyplanet.com and bootsnall.com have great flight comparing tools, too, as well as forums on any other questions you might have. When speaking of flying, however, don’t forget that there may be other ways to get you where you want to go. For example, I simply bought a rail pass when I was in Europe to get around. Further, don’t rule out traveling by water (for example, you can take a job as a deck hand on a boat crossing an ocean, or get a great price on a re-positioning cruise).

      If you need any more inspiration, I’d advice reading “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts. Further, in regards to any of the nitty-gritty details, there are Round the World travel guides made by most guide book companies (Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, etc.).

      Best of luck learning Hebrew, and I wish you the best in all of you future travels!

      • When you are through traveling, you know you can write a wonderful book and get a spot on TV to air all of this. What a good writer you are. Incidentally, I know your grandma, Lucy.

        Much luck.

        Margery Cliffe Ohio

        • If I could swing a future job in the world of travel writing, I’d be more than happy — it’d be a dream come true. Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you like the website!

  77. I featured your blog. I hope you don’t mind me mentioning your awesome blog.

    http://sophomorejinx.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/my-amazing-race/

    • No worries — I’m actually honored you’d feature me. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog as well, and congrats on hitting 100 posts (I guess I’m 1 post early, but Congrats anyway!)

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    […] “Life on the Road — Part 1: Reflections on Europe” can be viewed here. […]

  4. Life on the Road – Part 3: Reflections on East Asia | Temporarily Lost - February 13, 2013

    […] “Life on the Road – Part 1: Reflections on Europe” can be read here. […]

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