3 months, 23 cities, and 29 hotels. What a whirlwind. A crazy, beautiful whirlwind. As I sit here taking it all in and enjoying the Florida sunshine with my pup back on my lap, I can’t help but get lost in my memories. Sean and I have gotten many questions specifically around our travel route and where we stayed in Southeast Asia. The biggest question we’ve gotten is: “Is it really that cheap?” and the answer is a lot of YES and a bit of NO. It depends on what you want to do, how safe you want to feel while doing it, and where you want to stay. I will dive into each country individually in future posts, but I figured I would start my virtual diary (in essence) explaining our travel route in hopes that it will inspire you to get out there, and step outside of your comfort zone! Although I had a preconceived notion of our timeline and cities we wanted to visit, we generally flew by the seat of our pants. The only accommodations we pre-booked were the flights into Singapore and our hotel upon arrival. This was the BEST decision we could have made, as our “plan” uncontrollably and drastically changed 5 days into our trip.
There is no doubt that Barcelona is an absolutely gorgeous city! I mean Gaudi did wonders to the culture, look and feel of the city. To be honest, I really did like my time there. However, when you visit so many other gorgeous cities in Europe (like Amsterdam, Paris, Santorini, Venice, for example) Barcelona (to me personally) falls short. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I visited the busy city prior to hitting up so many other places in Europe? In fact, I wouldn’t visit Barcelona again unless I went FOR FREE (if it’s free, it’s for me). It was unfortunately disappointing, and left us underwhelmed beyond belief. There are simply way too many beautiful places in the world I need to visit before I ever even think of going back to Barcelona.
5 things I absolutely LOVED about Barcelona (in no particular order):
1) The ARCHITECTURE
2) Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi. Did I mention GAUDI? I mean did you see Parc Guell?
3. Barceloneta Beach
4. La Boqueria
5. FC Barcelona Futbol
5 things I absolutely HATED about Barcelona (in no particular order):
You hear it all the time, and I definitely wont be the first or last person to bring up what a sad time in history it is. With all of the darkness in the world, especially now, it’s hard to think love and kindness can be found in someone you do not know. A stranger, to be exact. We are all guilty of judging others. I unfortunately know I am, especially while traveling. It’s like you’re always second guessing yourself: Should I talk to that person? Will they like me? Are they nice? Will I be safe? Can they speak English? Can I say that one phrase I’ve been practicing well enough? Are they going to think I am a dumb American? These thoughts are normal, and a huge part of exploring abroad because traveling makes you vulnerable, and that is the beauty of it.
Traveling also causes you to get lost… a lot…which I highly recommend. Get lost willingly and purposely, get so crazy lost, you have no choice but to ask a local, and THEN find your way!! AND while you’re finding your way, you’ll find yourself, which ends up being the absolute best part.
Sean and I have been awe struck at how many times complete strangers have shown kindness to us while traveling abroad. Whether we asked, or not.
During our first extended travel trekking through Europe, we found kindness in Paris, and then it happened again and again and again.