I spent a week traveling with my friend, and then moved on to traveling by myself. Honestly as fun as my first week was, traveling by myself was one of the most rewarding experiences. I think it forced me to be overly social, it forced me to put myself in awkward situations and it forced me to meet some of the best people out there. The amount of friends all over the globe I have come home with, the amount of memories I have with people from just two months is incredible. Ill admit I had my fears of traveling by myself, feeling lonely, feeling bored…all those fears were removed within moments when I was going for lunch, going to museums, making plans with strangers.
As for a break down of my travels, my favorite moments, I really can’t choose.
Out of the seven countries (Scotland, England, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Greece) here is my breakdown.
Scotland; although the weather was rather gloomy, the country is green, green as green gets. It’s absolutely gorgeous and the buildings are all so old and picturesque. I loved it here, and my friend’s family and friends in Scotland were all so inviting and lovely to stay with. In fact in Scotland everyone I encountered was super nice, charming bunch of people! I would go back in a heartbeat!
England; I ended my travels here; it was bittersweet being in London. I knew my trip was over, I was also pretty sick with a cold and I wasn’t overly interested in spending any more money on site seeing. I did go see everything; I just didn’t spend my money on seeing “all” of everything! It was good though, the people were fun, and the city was all cobblestone and old buildings. I don’t know if it’d be a place I’d make sure I hit next time, but its not a place I’d look over.
Netherlands; Everyone has heard of Amsterdam, everyone knows it as the red light district, where weed is legal and where everyone runs to party. For me Amsterdam was a city with great people, lots of backpackers, and lots of strangers to travel around with. I had fun there, I met a lot of Aussies, had some crazy nights out and many laughs. I also got the pleasure of meeting up with 3 different friends. Two girls I had played soccer with when I was 13-16, and one girl I had met at a wedding in Mexico nearly two years back! We had some good nights out, it was really good to meet up with them on my travels! I thoroughly enjoyed Amsterdam, and I think it really is all in thanks to the people I was lucky enough to meet!
Belgium; I’ll make it straight to the point, as a young lady I felt really uncomfortable walking the streets by myself after the hours of 6pm. I felt unsafe, and it really was a pity that only a few guys can make you feel like this and kind of ruin what little time you have to see the best of the cities. I think had I been in a bigger crowd I might have felt safer, but for me…I will easily overlook Belgium next time I travel.
France; although I only went to Paris, it was really cool seeing everything that I have seen in the media up close and personal. I felt like I was just confirming that these landmarks are actually real. I enjoyed the markets and the street vendors; the amount of aspiring artists in this city is insane. Just goes to show and remind you how hard it really is to make it ‘big’ as an artist. The downside to Paris was the expense; they thrive of tourists and will rip you right off. Paying through your teeth just for a bottle of water. Oh well!
Spain; I went to Barcelona with my two friends who I use to play soccer with. Hilary brought her boyfriend who brought his friend. So us five had 5 days to spend in Barcelona. We spent the days at the markets; I split off and did my own touristy things a few times. In the evenings we spent our time drinking down at the port. We would just sit up talking half the time talking about absolutely nothing or about all the good times we had back in the “day”. I really enjoyed seeing the girls again and I think it made my trip to Barcelona full of good memories. Aside from hanging out with the girls I did enjoy the city itself. It’s such an artsy place; the architecture, the hopeful artists and you cant forget the nightlife! ;)
Greece; I met the most people here, had the wildest nights and the best laughs. On the island Ios…within 4 hours of arriving I decided to go tubing out on the water with a big group of people. I had gone 5 or 6 weeks without a single injury and here I was out on the water tubing. As I went over a large bump out on the water, a guy’s knee found my face and the collision allowed my teeth to puncture a whole right through my lips. Here is the blog from the day it happened!
Within four hours of being in Ios i went straight to the beach with my roommate. We got asked to
be part of a tubing competition. The place I'm staying at is like a beach resort, all inclusive. So it has so many activities going on! Tubing is my favorite thing, until now haha. Seeing as the winner got a free dinner for two I had my game face on, I was ready to win. On each boat was 3 tubes tied to the back, completely normal. We all had life jackets, everything was safe. Well, aside from the fact that I was there and I'm prone to stupid injuries. Well everyone had gone and now me, my roommate Jill and this random guy were hopping on. We went out there and these guys were ripping each corner exactly like Jerry (Kelseys dad) would, desperately trying to make us fall off. On this one particular corner, he whipped out to my opposing side, then whipped back to my side super quick. In doing that I had two tubes coming at me, nothing out of the ordinary but as the guys tube was coming for the bumps on the outside I hit a bad one which flipped me so when I came down (still holding on might I add) I made contact with his wonderfully hard and boney knee. In doing so I placed my teeth through my lip. Literally, I wish I was joking, but nope, this hole in my lip immediately started gushing blood, clotted blood not runny blood it was soo gross. I didn't cry once though, it was more a oh fuck, this would happen to me. I got into the boat and the guy went to the first aid kit only to find it full of sand and dirt! Haha, no thanks! They asked me what happened and I said "not sure what part of his body I hit but my mouth fucking hurts".
They couldn't see what was wrong cause there was so much blood, once we got into shore I jumped outta the boat and went to the guys, the ooo's and ahhh's over my face really didn't help. When I got to the guy who "takes care of these situations" he grabbed some gauze and wiped away the blood. He was looking at it going "hmm looks like you might be lucky it's only a small scrape!". I wanted to believe him, but no, this was not the amount of blood or pain a small scrape would cause. After getting some iodine on it, he realized it was cut straight through, that was when he asked "do you have anything you need to grab before I take you to the hospital?" haha, stitches time!
We got in the truck I told him not to let me see a mirror. I didn't care what I looked like I just was worried the blood or something might make me nauseous or go into shock. Half way through the car ride I turned to him and said "totally random, but are my teeth still in order and not chipped? My parents paid good money and would be pissed" he laughed. Luckily my teeth were still good lol.
When we got to the hospital, and by hospital I mean a shack with a plus + sign hanging above it. Apparently that is the qualifications required these days! We went straight into the one room, the guy told me to hop on the bed. Now I don't understand doctors, you see blood and bruising already, couldn't you try and be gentle?! Seriously he grabbed my lip lifting it up and down checking the damages on the inside and outside. By now I was shakey from the pain, kind of nervous too. I don't like trusting strangers! Especially when it's my face ahaha!
He got out a needle, fuck my life is all I could think. As he got out the needle I said "ok, word of caution warn me of these things I don't want to see them... Also since you drove me here..you're now entitled to hold my hand" ha, they both chuckled and the one guy grabbed my hand while the doctor went to town. 4 needles later I was numb in the mouth and he got out the needle and thread. I think he's qualified to do stitches on the body, not the face haha. Oh well. 10 stitches in the face...
The poor guy who was holding my hand probably was disgusted by me, my palms were so sweaty and he had to be holding them! After it was done I said, "sorry bout my sweaty palms I don't even know your name. But I'm Sarah! Nice to meet you" his name was Jamie.
After this all he cleaned it and bandaged it, and I was set to go until tomorrow when I had to check back with him. No pool, no ocean, no water on my face... I think he forgot I came to Greece for those very things. Oh boy..
I have some solid whip lash, a bruised chin, cheek bone, eyebrow and of course lip. I look super cute, all the boys are lining up. Whoever said milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard clearly never had 10 stitches and a swollen face.
Either way Greece was amazing, gorgeous, and the water was perfect temperature. The crazy wild nights, the heart to hearts with the strangers all allotted me to decide the Greece wins over for best “overall” travel experience.
Now all you narcoleptics and all you without...you may be curious how little narcoleptic Sarah managed while she was gone. I am happy and thrilled to say that narcolepsy never got in my way of anything. I was tired on some days, but i was also on vacation and had very little deadlines to meet. Catching the train around was sometimes worrisome, i feared falling asleep, missing my stop...etc. I am lucky to say the least and grateful that I've got it under control for the time being. I just hope it remains this "easy" for some time to come!
Now I best be off, will update soon as I will be back at College in two weeks to start Soccer season again! Excited to say the least!