The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge: Day One.


I heard about this Best of 2009 Blog Challenge through the grapevine and when I read up about it (which you can do here) I decided I must participate. What better way to break in my new blog than by reflecting on the past year? (it makes sense in my head, ok?)

It’s December 1st and the topic today? Best Trip of 2009. I already love it.

2009 for me has been one big adventure. I’ve been to Vegas for my birthday, out to Wyoming to visit my bestie and her baby, to Michigan several times to see family and a ski weekend in Vermont with coworkers to test my running into walls abilities. But none of these trips compare to the biggest adventure of all: quitting my job, packing up my stuff and backpacking through Europe for over three months.

I tried posting about it while I was away but that didn’t really happen unless you count documenting my incident (and subsequent travel) with the Messenger. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully capture my ENTIRE trip–way too much happened. On top of that, I don’t even have a real desire to write about it; it was so life changing and…well I can’t even wrap my brain around how awesome it was. I feel like if I really revisit it, it will lose its specialness.

Yet, there are so many things that stand out in my mind, like:

How it felt to climb Preikestolen in Norway and actually do it, something I was unsure I would be able to do about half way through.

How it felt to not be able to communicate with anyone around me in Spain and having to actually use my little translator book to find out if I could leave a bag in the hotel after I checked out.

How amazing it felt to be able to do whatever I wanted. How, at 9 at night, an hour before I had to be at the bus station, I could decide that I wanted to stay another night and just not go. I had nothing tying me down, or making me go anywhere.

The great connections I made with people; how you would hang out with someone and for that night they’d be your best friend and then the next day you’d part ways to wherever else you were going and the cycle would start all over.

How excited I got over a sit-down toilet and hot water in Morocco after three days of squat toilets, smelly water and dirty beds.

The first rush of adrenaline when the camel lurched upwards and then the amazing peace of riding through the sahara under the stars.

When I rounded the corner in Paris and saw the Eiffel Tower for the very first time and jumped up and down squealing because holy shit I was in Paris. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world.

Being able to laugh so hard til I cried with someone I hadn’t known for very long over three kite surfers losing the battle to the wind.

Riding through the streets of Amsterdam after dark precariously perched on the back of a bike on the way to a party where I was the odd one out in a room full of friends; not feeling left out, but instead one of the family.

Being mesmerized by the most gorgeous boy with the most sultry eyes I’d ever seen while sharing beers and laughs until two a.m. in Bergen, Norway. Subsequently not being able to get his eyes, or how much of a sweetheart he was, out of my mind since.

Having the shit scared out of me by a complete stranger in the middle of nowhere Scotland and then having that same stranger become one of my closest friends over the course of two months of travel.

Getting my nose pierced in Edinburgh on the spur of the moment.

Going into every sex shop in Amsterdam’s red light district and getting high in a coffee shop.

Staying with a nudist stoner in Spain and getting naked in a Hammam in Morocco with a bunch of other women.

Seeing Anne Frank’s actual diary in person and how cool that was. Also how incredibly powerful that museum is.

How amazing it felt to be inside the Sagrada Familia, not because I am religious but because it was such a gorgeous piece of architecture that was still ongoing, by one of my favorite architects.

The power I felt after having my DSLR stolen in the Barcelona bus station but then stealing it back. I felt like I could take on the world.

There are so many things to remember, but out of all this, I will never forget how happy I was.

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8 Responses

  1. Your trip sounds amazing!!

  2. I LOVE this post.. it gave me goosebumps… such an amazing experience. and I can totally relate about not wanting to write about it.. I mean how can you really explain something that has had such an impact on your life? I feel so inspired, I might just step up to the plate and try this blog challenge myself!

  3. I love this post.

    Times a million.

  4. This is an awesome post. You had so many amazing experiences over in Europe. That picture? Beyond amazing.

  5. I am so envious! What an amazing journey and life changing experience.

  6. I want to hear the story about how your camera got stolen and you stole it back!!

  7. THAT is amazing. I’m still seriously considering a Euro-trip sooner than later, and this does not help me decide not to!

  8. Your trip sounds like it was so awesome. I am sort of jealous that I have a job, 2 cats, and own a condo, because if I didn’t I’d totally pack up and travel. What a great life experience! It’s something everyone wants to do, but can’t always get around to. Maybe one of these days…

    And the Sagrada Familia is amazingly beautiful!

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