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 15

No wake up call,  no schedule really,  most of the people from the tour already left and are on their long flights heading home or wherever they’re heading. We head downstairs to have breakfast and a couple people from our tour are still here.  enough for us all to sit at a table.  Feels weird not seeing everyone that’s usually here.  I feel kind of sad actually.  It’s like…  The people I’ve seen every morning for the past two weeks are gone.  I’ll probably never see them again.  It’s oddly sad to me.  

Getting up early and having to rush to eat our breakfast and get on the bus.  I really loved that for some weird reason.  Maybe I feel sad  because I’m used to that schedule and I’m a guy who once I get in a pattern and schedule, I stick to it.  So I feel sad because I’m out of schedule right now and it feels wrong.  Not seeing anyone from our group anywhere,  not having a certain time to have to get ready for.  I feel weird about it all.  I kind of feel like how you feel after you finish a show after binging it on Netflix or maybe watching it every week for years.  You get used to the habit of seeing it at a certain time or you get used to the characters being around you but once you finish it you start to feel sad because it’s like they’re gone.  That’s the best way to describe how I’m feeling.  

I keep thinking about what’s happening next.  Because on the tour, we were in a different country almost everyday.  We woke up around 6 everyday after the wake up call in the room.  We’d hurry and get dressed and then we’d hurry and eat our fancy breakfast.  Then we’d all get on that coach bus of ours,  ready to see what’s next. Something very different each day.  That’s so against my nature but for some reason I loved not knowing what we’d see next.  I loved being in that schedule and pattern,  hearing the plans from Mario as we drove out of the city we’d stay in.  Ugh,  This is a weird feeling I’m having.  I wonder if there’s a word for it. It kind of also feels like a break up in a way.  Looking at the pictures of my trip and wishing I could go into the picture and live it again.  Very weird feeling. 

Well,  since we have no schedule and we have already ventured through Sofia,  where we’re staying.  we’re just hanging out in our room for a little bit.  fortunately we only have about an hour flight today.  Not even that bad.  I thought we’d a have a lot of travelling but I guess the place we’re going isn’t far.  We’re going to be there a night I think?  Hopefully.  Then we leave and have an extremely long day of travelling that I’m so not looking forward to.  

I miss my girlfriend.  Haven’t been able to skype her here because I share a room with my grandma and I don’t want her listening.  The time zone difference is crazy between me and her.  It’s usually 3 hours but now it’s much more.  

I’ve just been laying in my hotel room for hours.  I’m kinda of done with this trip.  I’ve had an amazing experience that I’ll never forget but I’m just wanting to go home now.  Not much else I’m interested in where we’re going.  I don’t think a 10ish hour car ride tomorrow is going to be worth it.  Wish we could have left when everyone else did.  But oh well,  nothing I can do but just try to enjoy the time I have left in Europe. 

Getting on and off the plane was pretty easy. It was only an hour flight and it barely took any time at all.  We arrived in Bucharest and we got a taxi ride to our hotel.  The taxi driver was incredibly nice and offered to stop for us to get water and he told us where things were and stuff.  But he ended up charging us more than necessary I think.  The currency here is about 3-4 times an American dollar.  

the night life here is great.  Music playing everywhere you go. There’s a bar right outsidw our room and I think the music will be playing all night probably.  I really think this place would be almost as good as Split,  Croatia but my grandma wouldn’t leave me the fuck alone.  In Split I peft her at the hotel and walked alone outside while people were partying and I wanted so bad to do that here but she wouldn’t just go back to the hotel room.  But oh well,  I got some good pictures and I walked a decent amount evem if it was slow having to wait for her old ass. 

The people here are really nice. The girl behind the desk in the hotel said she’d get us breakfast to go because we’re getting a tour early in the morning before their breakfast.  I want to come back to this city by myself or with some friends.  I really like it here for some reason. 

Well,  it was a long day and mainly didn’t do anything but the things I did do were fun so that’s good.  Dracula castle tour for tomorrow and then coming home the next day. 

My Trip: Day 14

Today’s been a pretty good last day with the people of the tour.  We woke up and we had a decent breakfast in the hotel.  Then we all gathered to go out and walk to the market.  This was the only annoying part of the day.  

I was expecting this to be a day where we all just split up and do our own thing. But they were trying to make it a big group deal.  It was fucking annoying because we just wanted to go shopping while the old farts wanted to go see the museum and stuff.  And us young kids were using our phones to lead them to where they wanted to go.  But all they did was complain the whole time about how they thought we were not going the right direction.  They were over there looking at their maps and the position of the sun while we were using our GPS.  A long story short,  we got there and we left them there.  

Me,  the girls,  and their grandma and aunt all walked to the market area and we looked at all the shops.  One of the girls is really,  really bossy and she tries to make her younger sister do everything.  I feel bad for the sister because she gets annoyed and I feel like she thinks everyone takes her older sister’s side.  When really I’m taking hers.  Then she kind of pouts and walks with the grandma the whole day.  Which is slightly immature but I kind of don’t blame her.  

Anyways,  I bought a wallet made out of a German newspaper that was made in the 30s.  Plus some other stuff like magazines and stuff.  The stuff in the store was made entirely out of recycled material.  I really liked it actually.  And my wallet is really cool. 

We walked about 7 hours and we took the subway back to our hotel.  Then I just kind of rested and took a shower and then we went downstairs to have a beer.  

Then at 6:50 we all gathered around the lobby and got ready to get on a bus to take us to our restaurant we’re having our goodbye dinner at.  Still can’t believe this is the last night with these people.  The days have gone by so so fast.  

The dinner was good but maybe not as good as ao was thinking it’d be.  I was hoping it’d be more like the Vienna vineyards like the first night we stayed here.  It wasn’t as good and we only go one glass of wine so…  What’s even the point.  

No but the food was good and we got to spend our last moments with our new friends.  As were given several courses of food and also got to watch the entertainers dancing and singing.  They also danced in fire or something like that but I didn’t get to see that part. 

All in all,  it was a good last night.  Many memories were made on this trip and I’m so happy I went.  

This isn’t officially my last day of the trip but it pretty much is the last day because for the next couple days it’ll just be me and my grandma.  It won’t be that fun anymore. 

My Trip: Day 13

No more wake up calls in our room.  Though we do have to take our bags down to the lobby at 9:15 and then get on a bus at 9:30. Not sure if it’ll be a coach bus with another guide or what.  But we’re going to a monastery and then I guess we just walk around.  Today may be the last day I hang out with the girls but I’m not sure. I’m not excited to have to spend a couple more days with just my grandma and I’m not excited for the super long trip back home.  But oh well,  I won’t remember any of the bad stuff of this trip later in life.  I’ll only remember the good. 

Well the monastery was pretty lame to be honest.  We drove like an hour or more just to get to it and we stopped an unnecessary amount of times.  And the new guide talked the entire time.  She knows a lot,  I’ll give her that.  But still.  The drive just didn’t seem worth it.  I wish we just did our own thing today.  But the monastery was pretty old and I guess it looked pretty cool.  We saw a few monks and stuff.  It was all a pretty religious place.  Lots and lots of information was given to us about it. I don’t think I retained any of it though.  

On the way back we went to a restaurant and it was pretty good.  I got a chicken fillet.  One of the girls ordered a chicken skewer and the waiter asked if she wanted one. She said yes assuming he meant one serving or one plate but when the food came she only had one single skewer.  I feel like that happens a lot in Europe.  If that sort of thing happened in America the waiter would have asked if they specifically wanted a single skewer.  I bet Europeans think we’re so dumb because we ask for stuff that isn’t right because we think they’re saying something else or whatever. 

On the way back the bus stopped so people could use the restroom and there was a giant stork nest.  There’s a lot of those around here for some reason.  We passed a lot that were on the telephone poles.  They’re really big and many storks sit in them.  It’s kind of cool to see.  They may not be storks but whatever.  I have no idea. 

We finally got to our new hotel and it’s definitely no 4-5 star hotel like we’ve been having, but that’s fine, it’s not that bad.  We’re here for two nights.  I pretty much layed down and stayed there for the rest of the night.  I haven’t rested that much on this trip other than going on the bus.  Plus nobody invited me to go anywhere so I just stayed laying down to text my girlfriend for a while.  Sort if a boring day.  Probably my least favorite day of tge trip but oh well.  The trip is almost over and it’s different when we don’t have a set schedule each day.  

These past two weeks went by so quickly.  Thinking back to staying in Vienna our first couple days it feels like that was so long ago.  But thinking about the whole trip as a whole it feels like it went by fast. If the trip will be like it was today then I’m excited to get home.  But I’ll still miss Europe when I’m gone.  Who knows when I’ll be back. 

My Trip: Day 11

After a so so breakfast,  we all gathet onto the bus for what is supposed to be another long day on the road.  My phone barely charged last night so this will be a fun ride not being able to listen to music once it dies.  Not sure if I mentioned it but the lake that’s next to our motel is so huge and it has waves that sound like the ocean.  I walked down to it last night with the girls and it even smelled like the ocean.  But I guess it’s just a big lake. We had the window open this morning and I woke up to the sound of the waves crashing.  It was sort of nice,  different to say the least. 

We get in the bus and drive for who knows how long.  The time goes by pretty fast and I can never really tell how long it’s been.  We stop at a gas station to go to the bathroom and spend the rest of the currency we have from Macedonia.  Which is called “denar. ” One euro or dollar is around 66 Denar.  And the stuff in Macedonia is very cheap.  I had a Burger and fries for about 5 euro.  

Anyways,  we get to the capital of Macedonia,  a city named “Skopia” or “Skopje. ” It was sort of nice I guess.  Back in the 60s I think,  a giant earthquake hit the city and 80% of it collapsed during the summer.  And they rebuilt a lot by the time winter came.  And now they have a lot of modern and old looking buildings.  We went on a tour and saw a mother Theresa museum and a LOT of statues.  They had some initiative that was supposed to finish in 2014 where they were to make a bunch of statues.  And they did,  there were probably too many statues to be honest.  They were nice but they were just spread everywhere and I didn’t really think it looked good. 

After the tour me and the girls and their grandma and aunt went and ate.  This was when I had the 5€ chicken sandwich/burger thing.  It was pretty good,  the fries were different.  It was like they were hollow.  We had to rush back to the bus and one of the girls got a crêpe to go and a stray dog followed her all the way back to the bus.  This part of Europe has stray dogs everywhere.  It’s really sad actually.  They usually will have a tag on their ear that means that they were taken and given shots so they are at least not going to have rabies or something.  Mario  our tour guide said that these dogs can usually easily get food but what they normally want is attention and a new home.  They follow people around and of course they want food but they also just want to be around you.  It’s very sad,  I saw a cute little puppy laying under a fig tree eating figs that fell down.  I wanted to take it home so bad.  This is the same for cats in other smaller towns,  lots and lots of stray cats.

Well we got on the bus fot about two hours before we got to the border.  We had to go through two. The border police officer would come onto the bus and take our passports.  Then mario came back in and gave them back,  then the next border we’d do it again with another officer.  The first officer was nice.  He saw that one of the girls,  Jasmine,  was working on a Sudoku puzzle and he helped her with one.  But the second officer was sort of mean looking and I think he was the one who was asking for all of our luggage to be taken out of the bottom and looked at.  But thankfully mario talked him into only taking a random three and he looked through them and that took a little while but then we were off. 

We didn’t stop until we got into Sophia, the capitol of Bulgaria. The time here is one hour ahead of what we were used to the whole trip.  This is our last stop on the tour with Mario and Charlie our coach driver.  We say bye to them tomorrow actually and I’m kind of sad about it.  

We got into our hotel and it’s pouring down rain.  We got our room key and freshened up before coming back down for dinner.  This is usually how it goes when getting to a hotel late.  This trip is fast paced and not a whole lot of time to rest.  The buffet dinner was okay but not a whole lot of variety.  Which will suck if we have to eat it for the couple of days we stay here.  I was happy at dinner because one of the girls,  Holly.  Was actually talking to me.  Or maybe I finally made an effort to talk to her but it was nice.  We even stayed and talked when the other two left.  Which I was very surprised that she stayed.  Usually she runs off with them.  I was probably red in the face because it’s hard for me to talk but I did all right.  She was red too,  and didn’t make as much eye contact as me.  

That was a good end to the night.  I just went back upstairs and charged my phone and went to bed. 

Tomorrow our wake up call is the lastest it’s ever been.  And then we go on one last tour of the city in the morning. 

My Trip: Day 10

We started our day off by having a pretty good buffet breakfast in our hotel in Tirana,  Albania.  The breakfast was way better than the dinner that the hotel served last night.  This morning was nice because we didn’t have a super early wake up call and we got to check out around 8:30. 

We got into the bus and got a tour of the city we stayed over night in.  The local guide showed us the history of the area and what it used to be.  We We walked around a museum and there were a few cool things.  Some old WW1/2 guns.  

After all of that happened,  we walked back to the bus and we were on our way yo the border out of Albania.  On the way,  we stopped at this nice little café type thing that was family run.  Mario,  our guide told us how he’s watched this café progress and grow so much bigger as the family made more money.  I’m sure that’s so nice to see.  A family start off pretty small and then make it big.  

Anyways so we got through the border and met the next local guide as we entered his country of Macedonia.  We drove the bus to Ohrid,  which is a beautiful little town with a lot of history to it.  The guide showed us around and I got lots of pictures.  I have gotten quite a few postcards the last few places I’ve been.  I’m going to try to make a habit of collecting postcards so I can see where I’ve been in the world.  

After the tour was over we drove a little bit to the hotel we’re staying in that’s on the side of the massive lake.  When we got into our room the first thing I saw was the beautiful view of the lake.  It has pretty strong waves and it sounds like the ocean.  Smells like it too.  Weird that it’s just a lake actually.  

Anyways that’s pretty much what I did today.  My stupid battery on my phone is dying yet again so I’m just going to sleep now.  Yet another bog day planned for tomorrow.  

My Trip: Day 8

We got to wake up an hour early but I still woke up around the same time. Tbe dinner here was pretty good but the breakfast was just normal.  Nothing special.  Today we go on another tour but some people are just skipping it so I kind of would rather that.  And go see game of thrones stuff for my friend.  

I was invited to hang out with the girls last night but I fell asleep early unfortunately.  So I wasn’t able to.  

But today they didn’t want to go on the tour so I asked if I could join them.  Really glad I did because we walked all around old town Dubrovnik. we paid to walk around the huge wall around the city.  Where they shot bits of Game of Thrones and also Starwars.  We went into lots of shops that were pretty much the same as each other.  I got my sister a bag and I got a few postcards.  

But the town was absolutely beautiful.  Lots of different little walkways that had shops and restaurants.  We ate at a little restaurant,  I had a salad and so did one of the girls and the other one had a pizza.  They don’t cut your pizza for you here so that’s a little weird. It’s our last day in Croatia so we just tried to spend the rest of our Kuna.  Later tonight we have the boat ride while some of the people on this trip who are apart of the symphony will play music while we eat. 

Wow,  that boat ride was amazing.  Soft waters,  sunny skies,  great food.  What more could someone want while having a nice three course meal on a boat. They offered a choice of chicken, fish,  or vegetarian.  I chose chicken so I got this nice piece of chicken along with some other stuff.  They also gave unlimited drinks.  Reason I say unlimited is because most of the dinners we’ve had had required us only to have a limit of one drink with our meal. But on the boat we could have all we want.  

I’m not an experienced drinker,  I’m 20 and I have had problems with my dad drinking in the past and a whole lot of other stuff so I stayed away from it. But here it’s legal so I just decide to go with the saying “when in Rome. ” and I try to drink.  So I had 4 glasses and I was fine at first.  I didn’t know 4 was a lot.  Maybe it isn’t,  but my tolerance is really low.  But I started to definitely feel it.  The girls asked me to go on top of the boat with them and I was just thinking oh boy.  But I somehow made it up there.  I didn’t want to seem like some drunk young kid so I really tried to act normal.  The girls realized I was drunk and they were laughing.  They kept asking me questions and they’d watch me try to act normal.  It was a really good time.  

Later on they asked me to hang out in their room and we talked and played a game called never have I ever.  Which was sort of fun,  ot taught me a little more about them. 

All in all it was a great place to stay for two days. Dobrovnic is amazing and the buildings are all pretty old. They shoot a few major movies and shows here and they really try to push that onto tourists.