Today is my official two year anniversary of when I landed in the UK to start a brand new adventure. I am currently on a bus that is taking me from Gothenburg, Sweden – Copenhagen, Denmark.
I was reading some of my first blogs from when I was settling in at my grandparents house in Birtley, and what my first thoughts were after the big move. I feel like there are things I would like to say to Katie from the past.
1. “Omg spin class, how am I going to cope with no gym membership!?!?!?”
Seriously, get a life. Yes, I still enjoy a good gym session, but there’s no reason to get bent out of shape. Go skiing,hiking, climbing. Enjoy it.
2. “I just don’t know how to take the bus or trains, I just want to go home. This was a bad idea.”
Well done for sticking it out and conquering that mythical practice of public transport. And I’d still rather walk than take the city bus. Chances are you’ll be late either way.
3. “I’m going to sit here and Watch everyone enjoy a good meal while I have a pack of pre cooked chicken and an apple later. It’s fine.”
I still to this day won’t downgrade the paleo lifestyle. But it’s taken a while to understand the moderation that comes with it and the ability to balance. The overall goal for anyone health minded is to be genuinely happy, eating real food. The mistakes I easily walked into were depriving myself from easy healthy meals that came from grains like quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, or from greek yogurt, cottage cheese, Rye bread, etc. And most importantly, peanut butter. I would avoid these things and buy cooked meat/canned fish not considering the fact that they are mass produced animals that are fed things you wouldn’t feed to rats. Paleo is about 100 percent self sustained protien. Grass fed, no antibiotics, growth hormone treated, no BS. I feel like I can travel a lot easier now that I have somewhat found that balance. I don’t feel the Urge to binge on all the pastries and ice creams like I used to when traveling. Yeah, I’ll have a nice treat to go with my coffee…and then I’ll move on and not let it torment me like it used to. Chill out.
4. “How am I going to be able to straighten my hair!?”
Still love the straight hair. But wavy is nice. Baby steps.
Enjoying a “Fika” or a swedish coffee break, in Gothenburg. (Da Mateo coffee roasters.)
I also now have some tips and tricks that I have aquired on my travels.
1. Go for the free breakfast.
2. Check into the airport and spend the night if your flight is at a wierd time. You can save one night’s accommodation but be prepared to look like a troll and potentially annoyed by authorities.
3. Car share/ airbnb. It’s a money saver and you score some memories while doing it.
4. Pack ridiculously light. And put your bag of life belongings in storage at a hostel. It’s free. For a reason?
5. Window seat.
6. Coffee is cheap, and makes you think your not hungry. And lots of water.
7. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Even if they don’t speak much English. You never know who you can make friends with.
8. Walking/ cycling is the best way (in my opinion) to explore a city.
9. And always look for the highest viewpoint!
10. Always soak up the experience. You’ll always have something to worry about, but you won’t have many moments like the ones you encounter when wandering the planet.
I left balestrand by bus and eventually made it to Oslo I didn’t really plan ahead, and I am used to traveling in off peak times of the year when you don’t have to worry about last minute availibility. So I was lucky enough to find room for one night. I really only had one goal for Oslo, and it was to visit the mecca of all things coffee. The one coffee shop that I was told to go to by a barista at a independent coffee shop in Manchester. The experience was unreal. The friendly barista made a couple coffees with scales, and all the posh equipment. I stood there as he was describing the different tastes and aromas of each and how they differ. I did a bit of instagram research and read about how Tim has bought his own land in Columbia to start growing his own coffee beans. I brought up the subject and he told me about all the processes of how the coffee bean should be and how he will get to travel out there eventually. He also wrote me go to shops in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki. Then I was out the door. Caffinated.
It was a typical start for me in Gothenburg. I book a cheap hostel away from the good bits,and I just assume that it’s a lousy city. Ehh. It’s great. It’s got modern buildings, old buildings, coffee galore, gyms galore, the trendy shopping district Haga, roller coasters, lush gardens, and busy main streets full of happy people and gorgeous tall blonde men. And within an hours walk from the hostel, you can find yourself in the woods surrounded by ponds and green. Pretty cool.
I’ll be in Denmark in a couple hours where I’ll be staying two nights. The the plan is to fly to Stockholm, stay two nights, fly to Helsinki, two nights, then take a ferry to Tallinn.
I came up with a crazy route that I could do before I go home that involved flying from Riga to Brussels, flying to Krakow, and taking the train through Prague, Vienna, and flying back to Oslo from Budapest.
I’m not doing it.
Instead I took a look at my bank account and decided that I like money and had less than I thought. I quickly emailed the hostel I plan on staying in when in Tallinn, and I now have been booked into the staff accommodation for three nights free so they can see if I fit the part of volunteer work at their hostel. They exchange free accommodation plus extras for two shifts a week. Sorted. Time to just chill out in Estonia and let my Barclays account catch a break.
Days left before home time : 36
Countries visited: 18