Day 10 – What taste are your grateful for?
The taste of coffee. We didn’t have a good day yesterday (the reason why I didn’t get Day 10 up yesterday) so I didn’t get much sleep. I love coffee. I started drinking coffee on my first day of work back when I was 17. It seemed like the thing you do at work, drink coffee! I know there is some conjecture about if it is good for you or not. But when you have had a stressful day and a sleepless night I think it is the best thing in the world!!
What taste are you grateful for?
Day 11- What holiday are you grateful for?
Definitely my holiday in Europe. I was a very young and immature 22 when I went to Europe and that trip changed my life.
I went by myself. It was my first time abroad by myself so I joined a group tour – Kumuka tours. I did a Contiki tour in New Zealand and didn’t like the vibe. It just felt like high school. Girls chasing the boys, boys chasing girls, cliquey groups and everyone getting drunk. That didn’t appeal to me for my tour of Europe. I wanted to see a few different countries and actually remember what I saw, not be hung over the whole time.
I did a bit of research and found Kumuka Tours. A tour company that appealed to a wider age group. So there was a great mix of people on the tour. Young, old, couples, singles, friends. I connected immediately with the lady they roomed me with. She was 34, a professional single, from Queensland like me. We became fast friends and did everything together until she finished up in Rome.
The tour went: London, Paris, Interlaken (Switzerland), Annecy (France), Nice (France), Florence (Italy), Rome, Venice, Munich (Germany), Vienna (Austria) and that was where my tour ended.. But I was having so much fun that I threw caution to the wind and continued on with the rest of the tour. I gave my shocked parents and work a call to say that my 3 week holiday is now a 6 week adventure and that I would see them when I saw them.
After Vienna we went to Budapest (Hungary), Prague (Czech Republic), Berlin, Hanover (Germany), Amsterdam, Paris and back to London. I’m glad I stayed on the tour because Budapest and Prague really opened my eyes to how unbelievably different living in these countries are from living in Australia. Even though the iron curtain was lifted from those countries in the 90’s , you can still feel the pain of the not too distant past. There was an air of melancholy that permeated the streets, the building and even the people. Despite all that the people were friendly, the buildings and architecture beautiful and the countryside breathtaking.
I had been looking forward to driving through the Tuscan countryside the most and it was definitely an amazing experience (and the wine tasting lunch was definitely a laugh!!) it was actually not my favourite part of the trip. It was the unknowns and unexpecteds that wowed me the most. Going to the top of the Jungfrau in Switzerland. Seeing the David statue in Florence. All of Berlin, especially the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Touring Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
Once I was back in London it was a couple of days until my flight home so I relied on the friends I had made on tour to help me out with accommodation. I spent one night in London before heading out to Oxford and the Cotswolds for a couple of days with my lovely guide, the tour bus driver.
Being on my own and having to rely only on myself (and a few friends I made on tour) made me come out of my shell and feel more confident in myself. I was a different person when I finally got home. I knew I could do anything I set my mind to and started a fire in my soul that only traveling could tame. There is something so intoxicating about traveling that had a grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. And I can thank my tour of Europe for that. I have seen and experienced wonderous things and places and I feel so lucky because of that.