May 2017: Let’s Catch Up

There are 2 types of readers…

The ones who travel…

And the ones who don’t….

You’re both important.

First, hello family and friends. 

Hello people looking to follow the story.  Hello people wanting to know where I am, what I’m doing, and when I’ll be back (btw the answer is not any time soon).  Hello people seeking inspiration about life and change and doing scary things and quitting your job and maybe even traveling around the world.  Hello.

Second, hello travelers. 

Hello planners and dreamers and doers.  Hello wanderlusters.  Hello adventurers.  Hello people looking to figure out what the heck there is to do on the other side of the world and even more importantly, how they can do it too.  Hello hello.

I’m 9 Months Late.

Since I’m 9 months into my trip and clearly very late to this blogging thing, I seriously have no idea how or where to get started.

Let’s recap…

In 2013, I backpacked through Europe for 5 weeks with a friend.  We visited: Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Munich (Oktoberfest), Fussen, Salzburg/Bavaria, Venice, Split, Corfu, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Katakolon/Ancient Olympia.  I have some tips typed up for these places so if you’re interested, comment below and ask!

In late 2015, I road tripped through California hitting all the top spots along the way such as Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley, Sonoma, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, San Simeon (Hearst Castle), San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Diego… and I’m sure I’m forgetting some places along the way, but again, I have tips if you’re interested so comment below and ask!

In early 2016 I started solo traveling. 

I did some solo travel in the Florida and road tripped through the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.  It was amazing and I was instantly hooked!  Check out my US adventures here.

PIN THIS

In August 2016, I left for my current epic trip around the world. 

This isn’t the exact order since I doubled and tripled and quadrupled back on some countries, but here’s where I’ve been so far on this journey as of May 2017.  And by the way, I only count a city if I’ve slept there or explored there… passing through doesn’t count!

Europe

  • Portugal: Lisbon, Belem, Sintra, Cascais, Lagos (Algarve Coast)
  • Spain: Seville, Valencia, Bunol (La Tomatina), Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, San Sebastian
  • Italy: Cinque Terre, Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, Amalfi Coast (Amalfi, Positano, Ravello)
  • Iceland: Reykjavik, Golden Circle, Vik, parts of the Southwest Ring Road, Blue Lagoon

South America

  • Peru: Lima/Miraflores, Barranco, Paracas National Reserve, Huacachina/Ica, Nazca Lines, Arequipa, Chivay, Colca Canyon, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Copacabana, Cusco, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu
  • Bolivia: La Paz, Death Road, Uyuni Salt Flats

SE Asia

  • Thailand: Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Krabi/Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao
  • Laos: Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Pakse/Jungle Trek, Don Det (4000 Islands)
  • Cambodia: Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Battambang, Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem, Kampot, Kep, Phenom Penh
  • Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Dalat, Hoi An, Hue, Phong Nha National Park, Ninh Binh, Hanoi, Cat Ba Island, Halong Bay, Ha Giang + Extreme Northern Loop (Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van), Sapa
  • Myanmar: Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Yangon
  • Malaysia: Langkawi, Penang…

That’s a lot to catch up on!

Anyone who has messaged me countless questions thinking they have been annoying me, omg you are amazing!  You’ve gotten me to type so much content without even realizing it.  Thank you and keep the questions coming!

PIN THIS

Who This Post is For…

Like I said, there are 2 types of readers: the ones who travel and the ones who don’t.  I have no idea who this post is for… maybe its just for me to sort my brain… maybe its to help someone else trying to plan a trip… who knows…

Normally I’d know. 

Normally I’d know.  Normally I’d have a plan.  Normally I’d be organized and meticulous and precise.  But normal doesn’t exist anymore.  There is no normal.  Waking up in a dorm filled with 19 other traveling gypsies and unsure where I’ll sleep tomorrow is my new normal.

And I love it!

Goodbye normal.

I used to be a type-A, overly detailed, highly analytical, pro/con, lets repeat something a dozen times, talk it out, spin my wheels crazy kind of person.  I used to be a person the planned every detail, budgeted every penny, and rarely acted on a whim.  Wait, that last part is a lie.  I often made huge decisions on a whim but my personality was far from spontaneous in my day to day life.  I was always the level headed person, the logical person, and the rational person you’d call when you needed a sound decision to be made.  I was that type of person that had their ducks in a row and life was working out just as it was supposed to.

Hello adventure.

I blew up that perfect life… booked a one way ticket… and didn’t look back…

Everyone thought I was crazy (some still do) and that’s okay, I like crazy.  People may think I’m irrational or illogical or living in a fairytale world, and that’s okay too, I love fairytales. Sadly, most people wouldn’t admit it but it felt like they wanted me to fail.  They waited for the homesick calls, the empty bank account, and the realization that I must come back to the real world some day.

Guess what?  They’re still waiting.

PIN THIS

I didn’t think I’d be gone this long.

To be honest, I really didn’t think I’d be gone this long.  I really did have that ounce of doubt stuck in my head, the kind that everyone around me continued to pour in.  I really did think I’d get homesick eventually, or broke, or somehow lost without a purpose (aka a job).  But magically, I’m not.

It feels like home.

I said this to my mom yesterday actually… “I still feel like I’m on a weekend holiday break.”  A WEEKEND BREAK!  It doesn’t feel like 9 months have passed.  It doesn’t feel like any time has passed, none at all.  And that’s how I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.  Because isn’t that the point of life?  To wake up every day excited?  To feel alive?  To feel like time is whirling by yet also standing still?

Despite all the not-so-fun stuff…

Despite the shared dorms and cold showers and squat toilets and smelly clothes.  Despite wearing bug spray at all times of the day, constantly sweating, and never feeling clean.  Despite sleeping on buses and ferries and trains and in cars.  Despite no personal space, very little privacy, and only having a backpack full of clothes.  Despite shitty wifi and power outages and rooms that are either too hot or too cold. Despite the snorers, the early morning packers, and the people who use plastic bags and zippers for everything.  Despite eating an ungodly amount of carbs and candy and junk food, an amount that I’ll never admit.  Despite the weight gain, the lack of exercise, and all things once considered healthy.  Despite the hangovers and missed buses and ungodly long mini van rides.  Despite riding next to chickens or someone puking or someone so sweaty you might puke yourself.  Despite voluntarily sitting on dirty floors, sleeping in public places, and sharing meals with every insect along the way. 

I love it!

Despite it all, I love it.  I love this life.  I love my new normal.  And that’s how I know its for me.

So here’s to the new normal!  Here’s to adventuring and exploring!  Here’s to creating the life you’ve always dreamed of.  Here’s to sharing experiences and hopefully meeting a few of you along the way.  Here’s to breaking boundaries and being fearless in the pursuit of your happiness, whatever that may be.  And most importantly, here’s to hoping my story will help you find your way 🙂

Here it goes…

Max Heart Signature

Post Your Thoughts