My Trip: Day 17, Going home 

July 9th,  2017

Nothing to do today but fly and sit in airports.  I left our hotel in a taxi to the hotel as I said goodbye to Bucharest and soon to Europe altogether.  This was the trip of a lifetime and I probably won’t get another trip like this until I’m retired or have a long vacation from my future career. 

Travelling was an extremely fun and new experience that I will never forget.  It showed me what it’s like on the other side of the planet.  How different people live outside of America.  It made me feel small compared to this vast planet we live in. Discovery channel never really cut it for me in terms of showing how others live in Europe.  experiencing it in person is the real way of learning. Thia year has been so great so far.  I met my girlfriend and learned that my life wasn’t ao bad.  I traveled outside of the country and I lived on the other side of the state and experienced that.  I’ve really pushed myself to try new things and I’m proud of myself.  There’s more planned for me this year.  I hope to see my girlfriend this summer and I hope to go to Vegas for my 21st birthday in November and I plan to go skydiving.  I plan to go back to school in my hometown and find a job I can stay at for a long period.  

I have many plans for the future and I believe this year is the start of it all.  I needed to get travelling out of the way and broaden my horizon a little before I narrowed my sights back on school.  I needed this trip for sure.  Now all I need ia to see my girlfriend and I will be set on beginning my life.  

The first hour and a half flight was a breeze. The security in Istanbul was a breeze,  I got a pretty good sandwich and then we didn’t have to wait long for the next flight either. I got onto the next plane and remembered me and my grandma are sitting in row of three with nobody between us.  So far travelling today has been very easy.  Ans this is our long flight.  And it seems like it’ll go well.  Also I was looking at this picture of a cat I took on my trip and then I heard this meowing and I thought I was going crazy but really a passenger brought like,  three cats in their carriers and they’re meowing a lot because they’re scared.  I took a picture of one in it’s little carrier thing.  So cute.  It’s going to be meowing all flight. 

Ugh so we went on the first two flights,  one was 1 1/2 hours,  one was 10 hours.  Then our one we just got off of was 4 hours.  Too much flying for me.  Grandma didn’t plan well with the taxi at all of course.  So we’re just sitting around and she doesn’t know what she’s doing. 

I’ll be glad to be rid of all that once I get home.  I’m tired and just want to rest.  But this has been a good trip and I’m lucky to have been able to go.  

My Trip: Day 7 

Woke up early again,  or right around the time I’m supposed to.  Clearly my circadian rhythm is adjusted to this time zone now.  Went down and had breakfast.  It was way better than the dinner I had in the hotel last night.  I guess they are just better at making breakfast than they are at making dinner in this hotel.  Anyways I’m getting on the bus in half an hour and we’re going to go on a bus tour around Sarajevo.  Then we drive another couple hours back into Croatia through a couple border crossings again and we will end up in Dubrovnik.  I hear a lot of game of throne scenes were shot here so I hope I can get some pictures for my friend who watches that show.  I don’t watch it so I’ll probably find it hard finding the places to take the pictures. I hear we won’t be walking a whole lot today.  So that’s sort of good,  I don’t mind sitting in the bus and getting bus tours.  But the pictures are much better when we’re walking.  

We took the bus tour to a tunnel that was used here in Sarajevo.  They used to it get items in and out of here when the Serbs were holding this entire area under siege.  It was very interesting to crouch and walk under the little tunnel and to wonder how hard it would be to walk a lot longer than the ways we did.  It was interesting and scary to think about the town being surrounded.  Being shot if you walked outside.  Makes us see a different side of things,  we don’t have it this bad at all in the US.  

the unique tour guide was our guide again and he showed us a video of the people walking through the tunnel and also the town being attacked and buildings being shot by tanks and snipers. 

It’s been a long day.  Made a couple stops at a few little restaurants to eat or use the restroom  but mostly just sat in the bus the entire day.  For some reason the hours go by fast though.  We traveled from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik.  Crossed several borders while also learning about things that we pass.  Now I’m sitting in the hotel room which is sort of different from the others we’ve had.  I’m just glad the bathroom is seperate from the main room.  Because I don’t think I’ll be able to do that again. This room is pretty nice,  at least the view is and this hotel is hugeeeee,  probably the biggest I’ve been in.  

In an hour and a half we eat dinner in the hotel and Mario said it’s a huge buffet.  Most of the dinners and breakfasts we’ve had have been buffets but that’s alright.  It’s probably easier for them because we just can choose what we want to eat.  But apparently this one in particular is big.

I sat by the girls my age in the bus but we didn’t say anything. Grandma is trying hardcore to get me to hang out with them.  I’m not gonna just push myself at them begging for their attention.  If they ask me to go somewhere then of course I’ll go.  But I can’t tell if they even like me or want to hang out with me.  My grandma kept on talking about her not being sure what the girls were going.  Girls this and girls that.  Like I’ll hang out with them if they ask.  I don’t want my grandma arranging play dates for me. But one of the girls friended me on facebook,  oh actually right this second she asked if I wanna go to the beach.  I’m sure their aunt made her invite me but I won’t question it.  Better than being around here all night.  

I went with them to the beach.  I didn’t wear my swim suit because I’m scared of swimming in oceans and lakes and all that. Fear of the unknown.  But I layed down on a chair by their aunt and grandma.  It was super nice,  perfect weather.  The girls asked me to take a few pictures of them so I did.  One of the girls,  actually the one who wanted all the pictures.  Reminded me of my ex regarding getting her picture taken.  Always posing and wanting pictures taken of her.  Seemed a little high maintenance.  I really like her sister though,  even though she’s quiet and I’m not sure if she likes me. 

I had fun.  Oh and they even asked me to sit by them.  Well I guess the nice one did.  I doubt the two sisters would have but oh well.  The one who sent me a friend request is nice,  she’s talkative.  I’m happy I’m not totally alone on this trip anymore.  I’ve been sitting alone,  standing alone,  everything alone other than with my grandma.  Which I’d rather be alone than that.  Hopefully the girls keep inviting me places. 

Tomorrow we go on another tour around Dubrovnik.  This place is fucking beautiful.  I need to get some pictures of the game of thrones scene settings for my friend. 

My Trip: Day 6

I woke up about half an hour before the wake up call.  Which surprised me since I went to bed so late and get up early.  We had a breakfast that actually wasn’t that great.  Nothing compared to the other breakfasts we’ve had.  Now we are on the bus and heading to Bosnia.  We will cross a border or two.  I found it funny that our tour guide,  Mario,  who’s awesome by the way.  Well ge bought beer to give to the border police.  My grandma told me when she took a bus tour in the 90s,  her tour guide was usually an easy going guy but when they would cross borders he would become very nervous and I saw that same behavior in Mario when we crossed the border before.  Makes me wonder what’s going on with the borders.  Why give the police gifts?  

So we crossed the two borders easily. We’re now in Bosnia and we stopped in a town/city named “Mustar” it’s a fairly beautiful city.  I think what gives it its beauty is its big bridge over a very pretty river.  There’s a ton of little stores on each side of you as you walk along a narrow trail with hundreds of people walking.  It’s a very different atmosphere.  There were beggars sitting in the 91 degree weather.  Which I’ve seen before but these were very young children.  And a woman that was about my age and she was holding a couple month hear old child.  They were sitting in front of a store.  So I’m not sure if the store owners are family of them and make them sit out there.  I’m not sure if that girl my age had those other children as well as the infant or not.  I’ve heard of things like this happening but it was harsh to see them sitting in such hot weather.  Someone on the bus just said they think the beggars were gypsies. Anyways,  So the markets were interesting.  Everyone would be standing in the doorway of each store and they’d just be standing or sitting there. I didn’t get any food but I did get ice cream and that was pretty good.  It was 5 kuna for one little scoop.  Not sure if I was ripped off or not but it was good regardless.  

We left Mustar and drove two ours directly to our hotel in Sarajevo.  I’ve found that each of the hotels we’ve been to have been pretty different from each other.  I love how they did that.  When we opened the door to our room I walked in and was amazed at how big it was.  Probably the nicest room I’ve had in a hotel.  A cool light on the ceiling,  huge windows and just really cool things in it.  In 20 minutes we’re going on a tour and apparently the tour guide is pretty weird.  From what Mario told us.  We’re going to a mosque.  and the women will have to wear a head scarf and the men just cover their shoulders and knees.  it’ll be a unique experience for sure.  I am curious about how unique our tour guide will be. 

Another thing in Europe is in the hotel rooms they have you put your key card in a slot by the front door in order to turn on sometimes all of the electricity or sometimes just the air conditioning.  Maybe this happens in the US too but I’ve never seen it.  There’s a lot of things the US can learn from Europe in terms of energy saving and other means of helping the planet thrive.  I saw a whole parking lot with each parking space made out if these shaped bricks that have grass growing between them.  it’s perfect. Unlike our impervious surface filled parking lots that don’t soak in the leakages and other harmful things.  They have these types of parking lots.  And the hotels lights turn off if no ones moving around.  I know we’ve implemented this in some buildings but I’ve never seen hotels using this.  

Just got back from the tour.  The guide was definitely unique.  He had long hair and he had a unique facial structure with very few teeth.  And after every little rant he’d go on he’d always say “welcome to my country. ” in a sarcastic tone.  He seemed to dislike a lot of the people here.  He said the word “idiot” many many times.  He knew ehat he was talking about but I don’t know.  He was funny to say the least. 

Now I’m just sitting in the lobby waiting for dinner to be open for us.  I’m guessing it’s going to be really good. Based on the fanciness of the hotel room.  

The dinner was okay.  Not nearly as good as I was hoping.  But afterwards I went out with some of the girls that are my age and we just walked around and got ice cream.  It wasn’t as nice as hoe that sounded.  Not sure if I really fit in well with them.  But it was fun regardless.  I found the perfect gift for my brother.  I’ve been picky about presents for each of my family but I finally found one I knew My brother would love.  So in the 90s This place I’m in.  Sarajevo,  was under siege for 3ish years and snipers in the mountains would just shoot down at innocent people.  Anyways I got my brother a big pen made out of a shell of the giant ass bullets they used.  50 caliber I’m pretty sure.  He’s going to love it.  Now I just need to find a present for my mom.  Maybe her boyfriend too but I don’t know. 

I hope I get to do more with those girls but I just feel awkward around them.  No idea if they like me. 

Another day of getting up early tomorrow.  I swear we are busy ALL day.  From 6am to 10pm or later.  Very busy and fun.  

My Trip: Day 3

I’m sitting on the coach bus on my way to Croatia.  we’ll be traveling for 12 hours in the bus.  Our tour guide gave a long detailed explanation about the traveling plans and things we will need to know and do.  We just left Vienna which uses the Euro.  But when we get to Croatia we will need to change our money into the currency Croatians use.  There will be many things we have to do.  Such as,  women on the tour will need to buy and use head scarfs when we go into a mosque in an area that is mainly Muslim.  The men just have to try to cover up,  wear pants,  show no knees or shoulders.  We will have to go through several borders on our way because some places are EU and some aren’t and they’re separated by borders.  We may have to all get off and show our passport or the officer may get on and ask for our passports.  We will have to see. 

The guide also said that in restaurants they will give us a lot of food.  Because they want to make sure we have plenty to eat and they will sort of feel bad if no food is left on the plate because it will seem like they didn’t feed us enough.  Another thing I found very interesting was that you should ask for your bill as soon as they give the food.  Because the people never expect you to be in a hurry for anything.  They are never in a rush because they just live day by day.  They stay hours in the restaurant just eating and talking.  Nobody sits down hoping to get back up and leave soon after like us Americans.  Because the Bulkan people have gone through many wars and suffering and they all just live fully each day and try to enjoy everything.  It’s very interesting how different our cultures are.  I feel like there will be some stuff I may feel uncomfortable with on this trip because of how different it is to us. But that’s the reason for traveling. To experience something that isn’t home and isn’t something that you’re used to.  To see how people live on other parts of the world.  

We went through two border crossings.  I got my passport stamped when we went through into Slovania.  Then we went through another for some reason but the guy just scanned it electronically.  We stopped to pick up our local tour guide in Croatia.  We have a guide for the entire trip but sometimes there’s local guides who help us too.  After we got her we drove to this little restaurant in the mountains.  After passing many villages and random houses on the mountain side.  When we arrived we were greeted by the people and they gave us little pieces of bread that you dip in salt because it’s an old tradition that they used to do where you gave your guests that because it was thr best thing they could offer or something like that.  They also offered us a shot of something called Rakia.  Which is a type of fruit brandy.  It felt so good being greeted by the people like that.  We then got taken upstairs where we were seated. And the waiters proceeded to bring us plates and plates of food.  It was a three course meal but the first course consisted of many many little plates of stuff,  pickled peppers and cabbage.  Then we had some weird gelatin meat thing.  Pretty sure the gelatin was lard.  Then some really good baked beans.  and a meat platter full of cold cuts, the meat was all kind if different.  Sort of..   Like jelly or something. Not sure how to explain.  But anyways we had other stuff then the makn course came.  Duck and veal and potatoes and salad.  And some noodles that didn’t seem European.  It was all really good.  Then for dessert we had two different kind of strudel.  It was a great time,  I really love the dinners when they bring us rounds of food.  The waiters and waitresses were so nice too.  My grandma tried to say thank you in their language and she said the wrong word.  He said the right word and said “and you’re welcome. ” and smiled.  Super great hospitality here.  

Afterwards,  we drove to some really old village of wooden houses that are still up somehow.  And there was a little bit of history about some general guy.  Can’t remember his name.  Then we drove to the town where our hotel is, called Zagreb.  But on our way it started raining hard and lots of lightning and thunder.  It was pretty cool.  But we have a five mile walk tomorrow so hope it clears up. 

My Trip

Yesterday was the anniversary of the first of many times I was heart broken. But my life is different now.  Things have changed and I didn’t waste my time dwelling on the past. 365 days later I have my girlfriend now who supports me and makes me feel better when I’m feeling down.  And instead of touring a university,  I’m getting ready to go on my trip. 

I’m going on in two days.  I’ll be going to Europe, I’ll be going to Croatia,  Bulgaria,  Austria,  and a few others.  and I plan to blog each day that I’ll be there.  I’m sure there will be many angry posts because I’m going with just my grandma who I do not have a very good relationship with.  She invited me in hopes that maybe our relationship will get better but with my very stubborn and easy to hold grudges attitude I know that’s not going to happen.  I can’t stand to be in a room with her for an hour,  I know that I’ll be half insane by the end of this trip.  But who could say no to Europe right?  I have wanted to go all of my life.  I will try not to let her get to me.  Though that’s a lot easier said than done.  

But I’ll try to explain my day thoroughly and full of detail.  I’m also bringing my camera so I’ll get good pictures of all the sights I’ll see.  I haven’t even researched any of these places so we’ll see how it goes.