I guess this means it’s nearly done.

In the last 61 days I’ve been to 8 different countries. I’ve seen museums and churches. I’ve danced in clubs on the beach. I’ve gotten off of ferries on the wrong stop. Swam in the Mediterranean. Through all of that I think my favorite memories that I’ve made are of the people that I’ve spent time with. I’ve met so many people and a lot of them are people that I know I’m going to keep in touch with for the rest of my life.

I leave tomorrow morning to head back home. I have a 15 hour flight from Rome to Chicago and then from Chicago to Seattle. I’ll be home 10:30pm Seattle time.

I’m not sure what to think about heading home. Don’t get me wrong I miss my family, my friends, and real life. Yet at the same time I’ve been having such a good time here and there are so many things, so many people, that I’m going to miss.

After 2 months of being on my own being a real adult it feels weird getting ready to head back to a more… regular life.

There have been things that I meant to do but didn’t. Places I wanted to go but didn’t. But at the same time I did things I never imagined, went places I didn’t expect. I really want to say a huge thanks to everyone who’s supported me in any way.

I’ve heard so many people say that they couldn’t possibly do what I did. And to be blunt, that’s crap. Admittedly I didn’t think I could do it. You can ask Taylor how many times I freaked out and said that exact thing. But within a week I’d figured it out. I’m not claiming to know everything about this trip and I’ve certainly screwed up quite a few times. But everything that I did I learned from. I believe that anyone who wants to can travel and even if it’s as simple as going to a place you’ve always wanted to go you should do it and tell me all about it!

I don’t know what I’ve really learned from this trip other than how to take care of myself and deal with those mistakes that I did make. But I do know that I feel more like an adult.

I left home for this trip before I really got a chance to really think about what I’m going to do in the next year or so. I guess when I get home I really do have to think about it. I do know that as soon as I can I want to come back and see the people I’ve met, do the things I didn’t do.

I never expected that after two months I’d want to stay so much. Before I left I was so scared about the little things. I was convinced that by now I’d be so ready to come home and now I’m actually leaving. It’s like I’ve been gone forever but at the same time I just got here.

I’ll be posting some pictures soon and maybe I’ll post again soon. I’ll try and keep posting on here!

Hopefully I’ll be headed on another trip soon!

To everyone back home I’m excited to see you!

To everyone I’ve met here, I’m going to miss you guys and thank you for making this trip amazing. I hope to see you soon and if you’re ever in Seattle (Or on the western half of America) please let me know!

To everyone thank you for supporting me in this whole thing. It’s been the trip of a lifetime although hopefully it’s really just the beginning.

Maddy

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5 days in Croatia and a change in my itenerary!

So getting to Croatia ended up being a bit of a pain but there were some silver linings. I was supposed to get on a boat from Bari, Italy to Dubrovnik, Croatia on Tuesday July 28th. That didn’t end up happening. Long story short there was a missed train, a very early phone call to my moms, a bit of crying in the Venice train station, and it ended up that I was scheduled to take the next boat from Bari which left two days later. My amazing mom booked me a hotel because I wasn’t feeling great and needed to relax a bit before heading on. I spent a day in bed relaxing, went to a movie which I didn’t understand and ended up waking up early to try and head to the ferry terminal. After getting lost near the luggage terminal and finding out I had over 6 hours before I could even pick up my tickets I set off to find food. I explored the old town, by explored I do mean got lost, got some food and headed back.

When I got to the boat terminal again I still had 2 hours before I could do anything so I sat outside and started talking to the four guys that were on the next bench. They were headed to Croatia as well and it ended up that I hung out with them all night

Eventually we all did get on the boat and set sail for Croatia. The boat was overnight and we stayed up pretty late eventually ending up in the cabin that I’d got because no one else was in there. We somehow fit 8 people in my tiny cube of a cabin that was  meant for 4 people. We got to Croatia at 8 am and all piled off the boat and headed to get food and try and see if the guys could get rooms in my hostel. They did and we left our stuff at our hostel.

Just for the record if you’re in Dubrovnik stay at the Dubrovnik Backpackers Club. It’s family run. Everyone is so hospitable and They make you breakfast every morning that’s incredible! Website is here

We basically spent  2 full days on the water getting slightly burned but also having a ton of fun. On our second day we attempted and failed to get a boat but ended up just swimming again. Our third day it was time to head to Split so we caught a ferry (Barely) And headed off. Got off the boat no problem start walking around trying to find our hostel… and we were on an island… we’d gotten off early and that was the last boat. It was 9pm and we were stuck in Hvar. Not a bad place to be stuck. We did find somewhere to stay and the next day we finally got out boat!!! We headed to Split that evening and a train the next day and here I am in Zagreb.

The change in my itinerary is that I’m now going to Budapest. Not entirely sure how it happened but the guys invited me to tag along so I am. So tomorrow I’m off to Hungary!

Maddy

It’s been a while!

I’m sorry It’s been so long! I’m nearing the end of my trip and my wifi hasn’t been great! I thought tonight I’d give a small run downs of some highs and lows, favorites, and that sort of thing.

  1. Favorite Place/What I’ve liked
    • I don’t know that I can narrow it down but my favorite places for Art were Paris, Florence, and as of today Venice is on that list as well.
    • For architecture I think Barcelona takes it!
    • For parties Barcelona took that as well.
    • For just in general I’ve loved everywhere I’ve been. Lisbon and the Cinque Terre were so relaxed. Madrid had amazing culture and I made some amazing friends. London was so amazing in everyway. Again it was the feel of the place and the things around.
  2. Favorite Views
    • All of my favorite views involved climbing up to the tops of Churches. I’ve done this now in 3 different cities.
      • First was Saint Paul’s in London which I posted about here
      • Next was La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona which is a Gaudi church that is still being built over 100 years after it was started. The church was beautiful and the view from the top of the Nativity facade was amazing. Not to mention just the architecture of the church in general
      • The most recent one that I climbed up was Il Duomo (or The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) in Florence, Italy. This is the biggest church in Florence with 463 steps to the top and while that wasn’t a very good day that was a highlight of my trip so far. The views were incredible!
  3. Favorite Hostels!
    • I’ve had pretty good luck picking hostels! A few weren’t amazing but many have been!
      1. Sant Jordi Rock Palace in Barcelona
        • INCREDIBLE. I stayed here twice. It was clean. Great location. Fun people and Just overall an amazing place to stay. Every night you get free entry to one bar and one club and even before that it’s just an amazing place to have fun! Also it’s next to a 24hour market so no matter what time you want ice cream or chips or whatever they’re there!
      2. Generator Venice
        • This is where I am currently. It’s another place where the people are really cool and it’s got amazing views. A kitchen and a bar downstairs. Just overall it’s been a good experience.
      3. TOC Hostel Madrid
        • Honestly I’m putting this here for 3 reasons. I made some amazing friends. The bed was comfortable. The showers were magical. The rest of it kinda was mediocre. It wasn’t set up well with it feeling a lot more like a hotel than a hostel. It took a long time to make the friends that I did make. The lounge is also a few rooms connected and it felt too closed off for me. However if you’re in a group I can see it being better!
  4. Overall High
    • This whole trip has been incredible. I’ve loved meeting so many people from all over the place and I know I’ve made at least a few friends that I’ll be in touch with for a long time to come I hope!!! I’m excited for the next 16 days (That’s all I have left!!) and seeing more places and meeting more people!
  5. Low
    • Well I’ve been having really bad allergies and I hurt my shoulder at Il Duomo… But if you want that story I’ll tell you another time.

What I want is some questions from you! On here the first time you comment I have to approve it. It’s just a precaution however after your first comment I don’t have to approve it anymore!  If you don’t want to do that feel free to message me on Facebook or comment on my instagram or just text me!

I’m setting up a flikr now so that I can post all my pictures somewhere more public and easier than on here… if you want the most up to date where I am when check out my Instagram. I post almost everyday at least once a day. I think I’ve only missed 2 or 3 days total.

I need to go to bed seeing as it’s 1:30am here in Venice. Tomorrow I head to Bari, Italy to catch a ferry to Dubrovnik, Croatia (Where Game of Thrones is currently being filmed!).

I’ll post again when I get good internet again!

Maddy

Unfortunately no Wifi!

Currently I’m in the Cinque Terre staying in Riogammoire (the town farthest south). Unfortunately my hostel here doesn’t have Wifi so I’m writing a quick post on my phone (also no AC but I’ll talk about that later). I’m heading to Florence tomorrow so I’ll hopefully have wifi there so I can post something substantial. 

A very sunburned Maddy

Halfway through!!!

Soon I’ll be posting some pictures and a full runthrough of what I’ve been up to on the first half of this trip! But I wanted to do a quick post thanking everyone who’s been reading this and everyone who’s supporting me in every way! I’m missing home a lot but this has really been the most incredible time of my life!

Tomorrow morning (8:30ish ugh) I’m heading towards Nice for the night where I’m staying in a REAL hotel so I’ll have a bit of privacy, which I’m excited for after nearly 3 weeks of sharing rooms… really it’s 5 weeks though because even at first I shared with Suzanne! (Love you).

The other change that’s been made is that instead of going to Greece I’m going to be going to Croatia! While I’m sad that I wont be able to see Athens and Santorini I’m also very excited to be going to the place where they have been filming Game of Thrones!!! They also might actually be filming while I’m there which just makes me Giddy. I should start getting ready for dinner or something. Heading to bed early today which everyone knows is weird for me. But I’ve got to head out early tomorrow.

Maddy

A Little Bit of Rambling and Homesickness

I think the hardest part of this trip hasn’t been being alone or away from home although both those things are hard. It’s been falling in love with a city or the people and then after a few days having to leave again. Tomorrow (technically already today) night I’m heading  to the airport to fly back to Madrid for the night and while I’m very excited to be back in Spain I’ve really liked Portugal. Lisbon is so laid back and the people are friendly. It’s somewhere I could see myself staying for a while.

I’m glad to be heading back to Spain where I’m going to meet up with Jess and get Tapas and Churros and then on Sunday I’m going to go to the Prado and/or the Rene Sofia before heading back down to Barcelona for a few days before heading off through southern France to Italy and the Cinque Terre.

I keep meeting people who are so shocked that I’m here alone. Everyone keeps saying that they could never do this and honestly I didn’t think I’d be able to! But it’s so freeing and it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. Yes I’m one of the youngest people that are doing this (Especially for this long) but being here isn’t like being alone back home. You meet so many people in Hostels and even when you don’t it’s as easy as hearing someone speaking english and asking where they’re from or if you can use their map for a second.

Lately I have been missing home a lot. I think it’s mostly because I haven’t been feeling too good and that’s been hard. Normally I’d cuddle up in bed and do nothing all day. Maybe make my moms go get me chips and pop and we’d watch movies together or eat junk food. And while I could stay in bed all day here it’s a bigger deal. I mean you only have so long in one place and the more you don’t leave the room the less you can see. There’s always more to see, more that you want to see. I think what’s made it easier is having my parents there to Skype or talk on the phone with, friends texting me, and having this blog to express myself when I find I have something to say. It’s been good having a way to keep in touch with everyone because I start to get sad when I’m feeling alone then I get a text or a phone call and it’s enough to make this feel worth it. It’s all going to end up being a story I can tell for the rest of my life.

I should get some sleep I have to check out of my Hostel in about 7 hours. If you’ve got skype you should message me!

Maddy

So many descriptors for how I feel.

According to WebMD I’ve been exhibiting many of the signs of heat exhaustion over the last three days. This has led me to feeling pretty cruddy and I haven’t been enjoying Lisbon as much as I’d wanted to. I have gotten a few things done. I’ve gotten lost some more. Got Nick his Portuguese Magic cards. Bought a new purse because mine broke. And a hat because sun hurts me. Went to an okay museum called MUDE (Not Nude which I was trying to find on the map only to find out that I was very very wrong). Eaten some more at the cool food court place. OH and gotten lost more. OH and Vanilla ice cream and Lemon sorbet is officially my favorite ice cream combo ever.

The Museum is focused on Design, both interior and fashion, and it’s free so I thought It’d be something good and maybe I’d find AC. I didn’t find AC. The Museum was not bad it just had the potential to be so much more. to go into more detail. The building is an old bank which was pretty cool except that it really felt like they just gutted the place apart from a few railings and desks then shoved “historical” stuff into it.

The ground floor had designs going through the years which again could’ve been amazing if they’d given more insight than a long paragraph that no one was reading and then just put some stuff on a pedestal with no real reason besides that they were from the same 20 year period. They did have some cool things but if they’d used the room to it’s full potential it could’ve been amazing.

There was a pretty cool exhibit in the basement which was colorful and showed one designer, Christian Lacroix’s work throughout the years. It was great except that when I picked up the big thick laminated descriptions that were set out so you can WALK AROUND WITH THEM I wanted to read it from the beginning and the guy working scolded me for wanting to start over.  He then clarified that he just meant I couldn’t leave the area with it. Which I never intended. Really he just pissed me off so I put it down and left that area. Maybe I should’ve stayed and just done what I first intended but instead I walked up to the 2nd floor (still hoping maybe I’d find AC or a bench) and there was a pretty cool

Europeans number floors weird so the basement is -1, the ground floor is 0, what American’s would call the 2nd floor they call 1, and so on. I’ll be using the European way because that’s what I’ve gotten used to.

So on the 1st floor was a admittedly interesting floor with interior design stuff like a chair made out of cardboard. Not like a normal chair it was all curly and cool, probably my favorite thing in the whole museum. And a table that when the chairs were pushed in it looked like a cube with murals on the sides and you could barely tell where the chairs were. They also had portraits of architects which would’ve been cooler if they included a description of buildings they designed.

The top floor had things all made by Portuguese designers and admittedly by this point I was feeling pretty sick and out of it so I didn’t look very much. I quickly headed downstairs and found water and headed back to the hostel for a nap.

I think the coolest thing about the Museum was the building. As haphazard as it was it was cool to look at and i wish they had used it more to their advantage.

I’m going to try and sleep now because it’s almost 3am (I slept a lot all day okay?!) or maybe I’ll watch a bit more netflix.

Missing home a lot right now!

Maddy.