19 weeks, 12 countries, 18 things destroyed and 16 dreams fulfilled
First of July 2013. I just came back from a 19-week trip. I call it a trip because both before and after I visited my home town in Slovakia. I left in winter and got back in summer. It was part of Adventure and Spa project when I visited 12 countries – Slovakia, Serbia, England, St. Kitts and Nevis, Germany, Spain, Italy, Tunis, USA, Mexico, Canada and San Marino.
This trip was diametrically different from any other trip I did before. And there’s a few reasons for it. Not only I spent less time on the beach than in 2011 and also less time in the nature than I spent hiking in 2012, but I also spent less time ”feeling happy” in my skin.
These 4 months and a half were the worst so far when it comes to feeling lonely on the road. I remember how I used to laugh at people when they were asking me about loneliness with an odd face. I never really felt lonely long enough to realize it. I did feel home-sick missing my family and friends but really lonely? Nah! At least not until this trip …
This trip changed it all. I found myself enjoying it all less on my own and thinking more of traveling with someone. I found myself wanting to have someone next to me to talk to each time I wanted to without having to go online for a Facebook chat. I found myself wanting to share my experience with someone else.
Was it because I was supposed to do this trip with a guy? Was it because I am getting older and I started to think of my age already? Was it because there are so many couples I met in every single place when traveling? Was it because I realized that travel bloggers and relationships is really a tough one?
What was the reason?
I had no idea. But I did know I felt more lonely than ever. I missed my family more than on other trips. I admit, I always have a little crisis and the home-sickness strikes me after a month or two on the road, it’s normal … but to feel like that almost every day? But to be honest, I don’t think it’s just about finding the ideal man. I was wishing for any person to travel with me, be it a girl friend or any other friend.
There were also days when I wanted to just slow down and spend more time in each place. It is getting impossible to write all the articles and do other parts of my blogging job when swapping destinations every 2 or 3 days.
Bad luck …
One more thing … I know I had a pretty funny year back in 2011 with so many misadventures, my laptop stolen, sunburn and many cuts when shavings my long legs. But I dare to say that this trip was the biggest mess so far. I destroyed many things by accident, and some fell apart by themselves and I had to buy new ones.
18 things destroyed:
- 1 pair of boots
- 1 pair of Diesel sport shoes
- 1 pair of ballerinas
- 1 shampoo made of just natural ingredients spilled in my suitcase and damaged 1 pair of nail clippers, 1 tweezers and a pair of earrings (I took them from my mum!). They all got oxidized so I had to throw them away – this happened already first week of my trip.
- 1 bikini
- 1 pair of leggings tore apart
- 2 pairs of sunglasses broken – the first one broke in San Francisco, the second one broke on my last day on the plane from Bologna to Bratislava when I was trying to push it into the bag.
- 1 cosmetic bag fell apart
- 2 16 Gb SD cards broken completely
- 1 Nikon D5100 lense broken twice – doesn’t want to focus sometimes. We fixed it when in Todos Santos but the last week of the trip in Emilia Romagna it started to fall apart again.
- 2 phone cases – half of the first one broke already the first 2 weeks of the trip, then in Barcelona I bought a new phone case and even though the shop vendor was 100% sure I could not break that phone case as it hadn’t happened to anyone else yet, less then 2 months after the case is broken too. Well, at least I am good at something 😀
- 1 pair of earrings – on the ferry from San Francisco to Napa Valley, hair got stuck around an earring and it flew away with strong bay wind after less than 24 hours after buying it in Sausalito!
I had bad luck with other things too:
- 1 broken heart in Napa Valley
- 1 debit card blocked twice – both in Todos Santos in Mexico
- 1 food poisoning that lasted for 10 days
- 1 bad sinus infection plus fever in Charlevoix and Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada and it was still healing in Bologna
- 8 blisters
On the trip I bought:
- 1 pair of flip flops in Vegas
- 2 pairs of nail clippers
- 1 pair of tweezers
- 1 pair of sport shoes in Ottawa
- 2 sunglasses in San Francisco
- 1 toothpaste in Mexico City
- 1 for mosquito bites in Mexico City – so expensive!
- 1 bikini in Bologna
- 7 snow globes (I am collecting them)
- 2 pairs of earrings
- 2 shirts
- 1 dress
Money spent …
Although I had many sponsors for my Adventure and Spa project, the trip was still more expensive than my other trips because North America is NOT cheap. Also because many things did not work out and I had to change the plans last minute which always costs more. And unfortunately, a few tourist boards and hotels turned out to be unprofessional and I ended up spending more money than I should.
19 weeks in 12 countries cost me 5,661 euro.
- attend 1 travel blogger conference – TBEX in Toronto and 1 travel market – ITB in Berlin
- spend 4,5 months without TV
- survive 3 months without make-up
- use around 15 plastic bags
- use 3 notebooks for notes on the trips
16 dreams fulfilled …
But on the other hand, for me it’s all about dreams and the little things.
On the 19-week trip I fulfilled 16 dreams:
- 1st real cruise ever – MSC Preziosa around the Mediterranean
- hot air balloon in Costa Brava
- Grand Canyon flight and hiking
- Las Vegas Strip
- helicopter over Las Vegas at night
- limousine around Las Vegas
- I enjoyed more than 15 San Francisco cable car rides
- San Francisco visit in general – it became my second favorite city ever
- Los Cabos visit – Los Cabos have been always very high on my bucket list and my first time in Mexico I did not visit it but this time I spent 2 weeks around 🙂
- swimming with dolphins in Cabo San Lucas
- snorkeling with sea lions on Isla Espiritu Santo
- Taxco visit and shopping silver jewelry there – always wanted to do it but 0
- Canada visit
- helicopter over Niagara Falls
- chocolate massage – got it at Chateau Mont-Sainte-Anne
- meeting with Taboo from Black Eyed Peas in Rimini