I’m going to try and make this really short and bullet listed so you’re all caught up and I can move on to current events. Ready? Ready.
Forwarning, the format will be “In (insert city/country/place), I (insert reckless behaviors/activities I participated in).
In Warsaw, I was fined 30 euro by polish metro police for not having a polish student card (instead of a regular student card) within 5 minutes of stepping foot in the city.
In Warsaw, I was unable to find vegan food and was starving so I bought 10 euros worth of pringles, oreos and various snack food for a 2 hour bus ride to Krakow.
In Warsaw, I accidently lost David at the bus stop and had a mini heart attack for about 12 minutes before he rocked up with my bus ticket.
In Krakow, I lost my debit card on a night out and someone in my hostel managed to find it in the street 3 hours later.
In Krakow, I helped 8 blackout drunks piece together their night and spent much of that weekend picking people up off the street/club floor/bedroom floor/couch/wall/etc.
In Krakow, I jokingly encouraged a very sexually frustrated couple that having an orgy with everyone in the hostel would be the best way to get over it. They were very disappointed when it didn’t actually happen.
In Krakow, I ate myself to death on baked perogies and consistently underestimated the effect of a euro-each-shot-bar.
In Poland, I found directions to my next hostel that included 2 buses, a shuttle and crossing the Slovakian border ON FOOT. Which I proceeded to do the next day on a whim.
In Zdair, Slovakia, I found my absolutely favorite hostel (The Ginger Monkey Hostel) and had one of the best (only) snowboarding experiences I’ve ever had.
In Zdair, I fell, shattered my phone screen, hyper-extended my knee, black bruised my elbow, destroyed my confidence, sobbed in front of a guy I really liked, slid down the mountain on my ass, and had possibly the worst skiing experience I’ve ever had. (It’s a balance, I suppose. )
In Zdair, I fell in love with mountains again. (And pink onsies) Ah, the High Tatras. How I adore you. It was hard to leave.
In Bratislava, Slovakia, I remembered how much I loved the humility of an underrated city in an underrated country with underrated people. Go visit Bratislava. Please.
In Bratislava, I realized I wanted my hair to be red again and thus got the ugliest hair dye job I’ve ever received from Bratislava’s top rated hair salon.
In Bratislava, I box-dyed my hair in the hostel bathroom sink. Twice.
In Budapest, Hungary, I befriended an english uni drinking society that didn’t know, at all, how to drink. They blacked out every night. Very very funny. I also blacked out a couple times. Less fun.
In Budapest, I realized I cared about David. (Who knew, right??)
In Budapest, I won bridges (twice) on the boat parties.
In Budapest, I started a beer tally and got to 13 beers, 2 bottle of wine, and 4 shots before I stopped counting. I stayed for australia day and drank for 20 hours straight (was trying for 24, but alas).
In Budapest, I learned how to pole dance (horribly).
In Budapest, after 12 nights, I booked a ticket to Zagreb and asked David to come with me… he did.
In Zagreb, Croatia, I saw the entirety of the city within an hour of getting there. I also ate my weight in oreos.
In Split, Croatia, I spent 3 days in a studio apartment making food, watching movies, laughing and worrying about the volume of my pee everytime I had to use the restroom.
In Split, Croatia, I remembered how much I missed the ocean. I also introduced David to porridge.
In Sarajevo, Bosnia, I made an incredible curry and walked around the city too much but didn’t do all the things you’re supposed to as a tourist. And that’s okay.
In Belgrade, Serbia, I learned how to make pasta.
In Nîs, Serbia, I waited in the rain and cold for two hours at an abandoned gas station for a bus to istanbul that was not actually going to come. I befriended a security guard next door and he called me a cab.
In Nîs, Serbia, I started to realize how close to the poverty line everyone in Serbia is. It was heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what life is like in that state of financial anxiety.
In Nîs, Serbia, I gave up on getting directly to Istanbul and booked a bus for Sofia, Bulgaria instead.
In Sofia, I went on one of the coldest, but most informative walking tours I’ve ever done. Did you know Sofia is over 6000 years old?? Me neither.
In Sofia, I made more pasta. Better this time.
In Sofia, gave up and just booked an overnight train to Istanbul. Which proceeded to be some of the worst sleep I’ve ever had. I was at passport control into Turkey for two hours at 3 in the morning.
In Eastern Europe and the Balkans, I made some incredible lifelong friends, I didn’t break any bones (but got damn close), I laughed too much, I drank to much, I kissed too many strangers for a stupid boat game, I fell in love with someone I actually cared about, I discovered so many great things about myself, I spent too much $$$ on buses, I got close to breaking, I got close to exaltation, I got close to ridiculousness, I got close to people I never expected, I learned some weaknesses (skiing..), I learned some strengths, I ate too many oreos, I had some perfectly long nights, I had some perfectly long afternoons, I put myself before everything else, and I found happiness in places I never expected.
Thank you for everything.
ALrighty. Tune in for an update on Istanbul. I’ll see you all again laterrr.