Two months before I departed, I resigned from my job. That’s why it was possible to do this trip. I won’t talk about the resignation topic in this post. It is a long story that require a new post. When I started the trip, I didn’t plan to spend 67 days, but 51 days. Why? A lot of things happened during the journey that made me decided to stay longer. I wanted to have more time in each city and its people. I simply wanted to experience more. For the first time, this was the first time I have all the time I wanted.
Time, I don’t want to be dramatic, but time is our most valuable thing that we have. I knew this concept before, but I never really grasped the real meaning behind it. It was more like life expectancy; time remaining on earth. Since the start, I was aware that my time in Europe was limited. I need to go back at certain point of time. But, instead of thinking about the flight back home, I was thinking more living in the each moment. Each day, I focused more on what could I did on that moment. I fully gave my attention to the things I did or people I connected with. It’s called mindfulness or awareness. And, this was important element on my trip, what made it so beautiful.
Where did I go? I went to Paris, Plum Village, Bordeaux, Milan, Verona, Venice, Bologna, La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Florence, Rome, Napoli, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Cologne, Rotterdam, The Hague, Antwerp, Brussels.
When did I go? 25th October – 31st December 2016.
Where did I stay? Combination of hostel, hotel, AirBnb, monastery guest house, and friends’ houses.
How did I commute? Public transportation : airplane, bus, train, and tram (city, intercity, regional, international).
How many luggage did I have? One medium size backpack (40L), 8-10kg in total weight. One woman handbag.
With whom I traveled? Alone, but I never feel alone. I met a lot of friends a long the way.
Solo traveling seems daunting when we hear it at the first place, especially for woman. Mostly it is about safety; robbery was the common concern, followed with people with bad intention. I remember my friend texted me before I flied back home. She told me not to help with other people luggages. It was because there were events that people brought narcotics with them and they put it in the bag that they asked a stranger (victim) to carry on. Then, police would arrested the one who carried the bag. But, I refused that kind of thinking.
I laughed and told her, “It’s okay to help carry the luggage, especially from the train to the platform. Sometimes, people need help, like elder people or disabled person. I don’t want to lose humanity because of those bad people.” This was true. I once witnessed a lady helped a family with disabled mom getting down a platform with a lot of luggages.
Yes, I am a stubborn kid. I still believe in humanity. I don’t deny that bad things happen, but I also don’t deny good things also happen. This concept is applicable everywhere. And, if it is not, this trip was the great opportunity to test it. And, since I write this story more like a memoir (writing past events), believe me, humanity exists.
Last but not least, I will take a different writing approach on this trip. Instead of too much preparing things, I will dedicate 2 x 1.5 hours each week to write about Europe trip and directly publish it. I feel it will be more authentic that way; without too much editing. So, I leave today’s article here, and I wish you have a nice day!