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Goodbye New Jersey. Hello World! A record of my journey as I give up my job, my possessions, and life as I know it to go off and see the world!

Better to Fly Solo or With Somone Else?

LATVIA | Sunday, 29 August 2010 | Views [1794] | Comments [5]

First off, I would like to dedicate this post to my traveling partner in crime, Amy Dyer.

For the last 4 years I have been dead set on the idea that traveling by yourself is really the best thing you can do. There are many positives, the main one being that you only have to look after yourself and you can pretty much do whatever you want. The problem I always had when I was with someone else was worrying about whether they were having a good time or not and I always put their needs above mine. Also, I have had trouble simply finding someone that (a) wanted to go to the same places as me and (b) was willing to rough it in hostels, camping, lack of sleep, etc all in the name of saving some money.

So I set off on my journey alone. And in general it was great (except for my 2 weeks of complete depression in Scandinavia - just ask all my family members that I called). But then I was joined in Copenhagen by my friend Amy - and I think my perspective on solo traveling has changed.

Just to give you some background, Amy and I met a few years ago because we both taught math at the same school. We perhaps hung out maybe 3 times outside school, so I was a bit surprised when she expressed a desire to join me on my trip. And I was nervous….would she like the things that I did? To me, I could deal with some miserable situations, but this was her vacation, her holiday before she went back to work and I wanted to make sure that it went alright with her.

Well, we certainly did have quite the experience together. Really, we got to live through some of the things that I love about traveling. Certain memories include:

(1) Absolute pouring rain our first night camping in Copenhagen. Literally, it sounded like hail against our tents as we huddled together, went to bed early and slept through the night. I was really nervous that this was a bad omen for our adventure together but I couldn’t be more wrong! I will say though that I am so over camping for awhile!

(2) Successfully hiring and navigating a car through Denmark onto the Mons Klint. If you don’t know what these are, they are these gorgeous cliffs made of chalk - a teacher’s dream or nightmare depending on how you look at it. So the weather was a bit cloudy -it added a sense of “sexy mystery” to the mountains. And my how great we felt when we were able to get that car back to Copenhagen.

(3) The moment when we stepped off that plane in Vilnius and noticed the change from Scandinavia….and our complete bliss when we noticed the differences in buildings, churches, people, food, and prices!

(4) Making friends with these 4 Brazilian boys that gave us a run for our money in the clubs….twice! (Hey Amy - if you are reading this…..Fernando!)

(5) Dancing in a club in Vilnius that had a “foam party” in which they sprayed soap up to our knees. It was quite disgusting but a once in a lifetime experience (at least I hope I never get dirty like that again).

(6) Attempting to recreate the pose of every statue we came across.

(7) Wondering aimlessly in the parks in every country that we went to.

(8) Our not so successful second attempt at hiring a car and going to Klaipeda, Lithuania. Poor Amy did the best she could but those streets are just not easy to navigate. It didn’t help that google maps is not that fantastic with directions abroad. We literally drove all day just to get a glimpse of the beach we were shooting for (although it was quite a beautiful beach!)

(9) Getting to stay in a private, posh apartment one night in Vilnius because Pete at Jimmy Jumps hostel is awesome!! And how did we enjoy our stay? By washing our panties/socks in the sink - then air drying them the next day in the car that we hired. I wonder what everyone driving behind us thought as they saw our bras blowing in the wind!

(10) Enjoying a “holiday” within our holiday as we slept on the beach in Latvia.

Traveling with someone else can be nice because they encourage you to do things that you normally wouldn’t have thought about. If I hadn’t been with Amy I would have missed out on the cliffs in Denmark and the Center of Europe park in Lithuania. Also, traveling with someone gave me a bit more confidence whenever I got somewhere new. It was nice to have someone try to help you navigate around.

Another great thing about Amy was that she was open to meeting new people and socializing with the people at our hostel. I have encountered other people that travel with their friends and have no desire to break out of their shells and meet others.

So I am back on my own again and things are going fine. Thankfully the hostels at the Baltics are quite friendly and enjoyable. But I have learned from my experience with Amy that traveling solo is no longer required for my happiness. Perhaps I just hadn’t found that right traveling partner yet. My compliment. The yin to my traveling yang so to speak. I hope that someday I will get to meet someone else whom I can share more experiences with. Until then, I keep on trucking! Thanks for an experience of a lifetime Amy.

Tags: copenhagen, independent travel, latvia, lithuania

Comments

1

What about that really cool Australian guy you met in Riga who inspired you to go in the boat race when you couldn't be bothered leaving the hostel? He was definitely one of the coolest people I have ever met. And super good looking.

  Robbie Aug 30, 2010 4:22 AM

2

That was after she left! Doesn't fit the story- and Robbie was south African! I didn't meet a single cool Aussie in Riga don't know what you are talking about ha ha.

  Lauren Aug 30, 2010 4:37 AM

3

I was a little nervous asking to join you too! But it was definitely a trip I needed and you were a great partner - actually the perfect partner for this trip.

We shall travel together again. There are a lot more statues out there that need recreating and many more Brazilian boys to meet :)

Thank you for being brave enough to step away from the norm (people kept saying "You're going where? Why?") and allowing me to tag along for a little of my own therapy travel.

  Amy Aug 30, 2010 5:02 AM

4

Ah, we learn something new every day.....its a beautiful thing. Thanks Amy for showing up at the right time! Sounds like you were good karma. Miss you happy traveler.......hugs

  AV Aug 30, 2010 11:31 AM

5

Go Lauren!! Things are the same here. Ken is going to RVCC, Yosef is doing PSA stufff. I am doing Geneology. We all have larger classes. It seems to take forever to grade a set of tests.

Miss you, have a great time. We're all green with envy.

  Sharon Sep 21, 2010 6:45 AM

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