For the past four years, I’ve been traveling in Europe and The Middle East. Now, I’m living in Carlsbad, California and am working a 9-5 job. Although I do love it, I’m honestly quite bored with my life. Sure, I do do some exciting (or rather, enjoyable things) like going to stand up and getting drinks with friends.
But I feel like I’m lacking that adventure that used to be a part of my everyday life.
For those four years, I lived in different cities where I ate incredible and unique foods, found cool cafes to study or read in, and saw a completely foreign culture and architecture. I stumbled across old libraries or antique shops, spent hours in art galleries and museums, took history tours, and visited wonky places. I took a trip around Ireland, a weekend vacation to Budapest, and went to Ghent, Belgium, solely to see The Ghent Altarpiece. I discovered my passion for art, specifically Belgium surrealism at the Folon Foundation in Belgium and the Albertina Museum in Vienna. I hiked a massive mountain in Austria with my friends and ate apple strudel at the cabin on the top.
I took a ferry to a small island in Ireland, where cows were abundant, people used horse-drawn carriages to get around, there was a dolphin that came to shore who you could pet, we climbed an abandoned ship on the beach shore, and I walked around an airport that doubled as a graveyard. After that, the ferry took us to see the Cliffs of Moher, which was included in the sixth Harry Potter book.
I showed up in Poland after never having thought of going but was so fascinated with the colorful city. I found a cafe that Charles de Gaulle used to go eat donuts at and had a sweet espresso and an eclair. I also went to the Polin Museum in the old Warsaw Ghetto and cried.
I went to London for two weeks where I went to a cybersecurity event at Chatham House, found a very disturbing museum, ate too much weird food, and decided that I wanted to live in London because it hits all my criteria for a dream city.
In August of 2017, my siblings, Julia and Rhett, joined me in London, Brighton, and Edinburgh. I had a more in-depth experience of the U.K. I fangirled over the Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh and had high tea at the Ritz Carlton in London. I chased street art in Brighton.
I met a boy named Theo who scared me, because I liked him so much, but showed me that I wanted to be in love. I drove a car in Ireland, very poorly, from Dublin to Belfast. I visited Christina in Amsterdam and helped her move into her new apartment. I met one of my best friends Diana at Amira Language School in Brussels. I then met a Norwegian girl named Maia at a beach in Nice. She flew to Rome to meet me for two weeks while I studied Italian there and then I met her again in Oslo.
I explored Antwerp, Belgium, but was stressed that my phone was going to die. I worked as an Au Pair in Paris. Although it ended badly, it was a good experience in the end and I did truly love the children. I decided that Tel Aviv was like San Diego in The Middle East. I found new foods that I loved, like hummus and currywurst. I studied Arabic in Cairo, Egypt for six hours a day. I rode feluccas on the Nile River and rented a yacht with my friends on the Red Sea. Then I went scuba diving in Dahab.
I camped out in the Sahara with a few friends and laid with my back flat on the sand, as I stared up at the stars. The next morning, when it was still dark outside, we climbed a huge, sandy cliff so that we could watch the sun rise over the desert.
I spent a month studying German in Berlin, where I visited one of the weirdest museums of my life, learned about German street art, and found a new favorite artist.
I went camping at Faaker See in the Austrian Alps, swam in the Mediterranean Sea in Israel, explored a bazaar in Jerusalem after wandering the old town. I lived like a millionaire in Dubai, where I saw the tallest tower and the biggest mall in the world.
I fell in love in Nice when I was 18. I visited family friends in Zwiesel, the small town in Bavaria where they would take me on all kinds of adventures. With the Haase’s, I spent a day at a lake in The Czech Republic, visited downtown Munich, found a real witch shop, took a small plane over the forest, went to their very old second house a few towns away, celebrated a wine glass ceremony, and went to a German fish festival. With Steffi and her friends, we drove to the border of that country just to buy cheap alcohol.
I visited places that I had always dreamed of seeing. But now, I see the same thing every day. Encinitas Boulevard as I drive to work, Ironsmith Coffee Roasters, San Elijo Hills, La Costa Oaks, and Captain Keno’s bar. Rarely anything else. So I need to find some way to have that adventure in my life or I will seriously lose my mind.