I leave in T-minus 18 days for Europe.
I never thought the day would actually come where I could say those words. It's absolutely thrilling. My dream of backpacking is finally happening. I'll explain first a few specifcs about my trip you may potentially be wondering about..or perhaps you don't care, in that case, skip a few down :)
I will sharing this adventure with a few different people, lets have a few intros shall we? First, my younger brother Chris. Fresh off from completing a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail he is as eager as I to continue his adventure. Another travel buddy is a spritely lad who goes by the name of Robert Aubrey Wilkinson III, or as I call him, Robbie. Robbie is a close friend of mine from my college days. I have seen him sporadically over the past few years while he worked and lived in Huntsville, AL. We have maintained a friendship since he graduated Tech in 2008. Robbie is one of the most interesting people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Last spring, (he apparently was feeling the same travel itch as I), up and quit his job to go pursue a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail as well, small world..He made it all the way to PA before deciding to cut his trip short. I can't wait to spend substantial amounts of time with him again. He is a bundle of fun and adventure. Our final travel buddy is Nicole, a friend of our families for years now. She is an emerging photograhper in the Nashville area (check out her stuff!http://www.nicolegaglianophotography.com/)
Nicole legit has just about all the exact same tastes, likes, and interests as myself. We have the same love for music as well as the same kinds of music, clothes, outdoor activities, photography, and of course travel. Nicole already had a trip planned to Cortona, Italy to join some friends at a Villa for a week or so. She decided however that wasn't quite enough and wanted to come a bit earlier to backpack around with us! I am very excited to get to know her much better.
That's the group, the fab four. I will now layout the general idea of what will be taking place (so far we've only got the first 3 weeks mapped out to any extent)
We will be arriving in London, England the night of Sept 11. We will have two nights and one full day spent in London before hopping a plane to Santorini, Greece on Sept 13th where we have a hostel booked and ready to go just a 100 yards from the shores of the beautiful azure blue ocean. We are thinking of spending around 5-6 days here..we'll see. From this point, travel methods become a little hazy. We will either hop a ferry or another plane to Budapest, Hungary and from there most likely train to Prague in the Czech Republic. We are hoping to spend a couple days in each city, they are supposed to be simply marvelous (we've also discussed Vienna and Salzburg). Nicole has then put in a request to visit and hike to the Cinque Terre in Italy. This is a gorgeous 5+ hour hike to see the cliff villages of Italy. Um hello..we were happy to oblige. Once through with that we will be meeting up with Nicole's friends in Cortona. I hope to spend at least a few days in this lovely city and then at last part with our 4th member, sad day :(
From that point, the three amigos will continue on doing whatever in the hell we please. We each have countries/cities we would like to see but if anyone has any suggestions of unique places they have visited or heard about, please don't be shy, comment and let us know! Also if you have friends, family, or even acquaintances living abroad who would love to put up some wonderful, kind, backpackers, please do email me and give me their contact info! firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people have asked me what my plan is for when I return home, also when am I returning home? My answer is simply "No clue". Currently I have no set date for my return. I have a one-way ticket purchased and suppose I'll wait till it feels right before I buy that ticket back home. As for what I am anticipating..both me and my brother have saved money to travel, but we don't have all the money in the world. In order to stay for longer than the original planned out 3 weeks, we will be utilizing the internet as much as possible. We've both decided that WOOFING and www.couchsurfing.org seem to be the most available methods of traveling for very very cheap. Therefore we will be doing both. I'm also planning on meeting and making as many contacts as possible as we travel around. As long as you're open to opportunities, doors can open anywhere and everywhere.
I anticipate my time abroad lasting around 2 months. I want to use this time as almost a "trial period" to determine if this is the kind of life I want to live longterm. If I determine that to indeed be the case, it will help to give me direction when I return home and start looking for a way to make a living. I am extremely interested in using the capabilites of the internet to my advantage to create a business where I can work from anywhere..that will certainly continue to roll around in my thoughts. I do know what I am interested in and what I am good at. The plan for when I return home is (if needed grab a small part time job just to stay afloat) to make it my job to find the job of my dreams. I am fully confident in my ability to do this and yes I am fully aware of the work this will take :)
I plan to post at least one more blog before leaving that will hopefully include some pictures of what I will be taking with me in case anyone is interested in that. I also plan on taking my netbook with me abroad so that I can continue to blog of my adventures and keep everyone in the know about what we are up to.
So no worries my friends, exciting tales of adventure are soon to follow!
Till next time,