This is a chapter in my life that hasn’t been written just yet, but gosh am I looking forward to it. Followers of my blog will have probably caught on to the fact I’m not very happy with my current career path and that I intend to change it. I’ve discovered it takes a lot of guts to leave a place you’ve been for so long, to break away from something you know and feel comfortable in even if you don’t necessarily enjoy it anymore. Motivation helps. In January 2014 I fully intend to hand in my notice and spend the money I’ve been saving on traveling Europe, in the hopes that when I run out of cash I’ll have figured out what it is I want to do afterwards. Risky? Yeah, a little I suppose but knowing there’s an end in sight is the only thing that keeps me going to work at all nowadays.
So, in light of today’s Daily Prompt I thought I might put a few of my planned destinations down in writing. All of these are in Northern Europe, which I’d hope to travel through in about a month or so. If anyone has any tips or favourite hang outs in any of these cities, leave me a comment and let me know!
All right, so this may be cheating a little as I used to live there but it’s the only place I can imagine starting my journey. A way to ease me in if you like and it’s a massive city with so many places I haven’t explored yet! In London I will prepare for travel by reacquainting myself with everything that makes me English. I will wait in queues and tut when I miss an Underground train and have to wait the whole two minutes for the next one. I will sit in St. James’s Park and feed the ducks. I’ll browse the bookshops on Charing Cross Road and geek out at the Science Museum. Good times.
I’m more interested in the hot springs than the famous Icelandic pub crawls and I fully intend to spend time lounging around the Blue Lagoon. Whale watching would be a must and I’ll have dinner sitting at the Raw Bar in the Fish Market at least once. Obviously, seeing the Northern Lights would be amazing but I’m not counting on it (someone I know has tried four times without success), but perhaps I’ll get lucky.
I will certainly visit Karl Johans Gate but sadly will not be staying at the Grand Hotel (I’ll probably be sleeping on a park bench in fact, if reports that it’s more expensive than London are anything to go by!) I’ll visit the Royal Palace though, in the hopes that I can absorb some of that decadent sense of living through osmosis or something. A boat trip around the Oslo Fjord will be a nice treat too.
I’ll have a good go at exploring all fourteen of the bridge connected islands which make up Sweden’s capital. I’ll spend my days walking down narrow, cobbled streets and ducking in and out of Nordic style cafe’s. Old Town will be my destination of choice, hanging out in bars like Och Himlen Dartill to get the best views. I’ll spend at least a day taking the Storybook Train, because as I’ve admitted to before my mental age is roughly seven.
One of the first things I’ll do here is climb to the highest point in the city (which just so happens to have a bar on it, because where else would you put one?) and take advantage of the Ateljee Bar. Not so into stripping off in front of strangers so I’ll give the famous saunas a miss and head to the Academic Bookshop instead, where I’ll doubtless trade more space in my backback for books instead of clothes.
I’ll come clean, the majority of my time here I will spend trying to get that song from Anastasia out of my head, but that wouldn’t stop me from enjoying myself! I’ll spend my time exploring some of the more eerie old sections on Zayachy Island (nothing like a few stone vaults for inspiration for a little ghost story or two) first off. Unsure if I’ll be in town for the White Nights Festival or not, but regardless a trip to the Mariinsky Theater will be a must, though I have no knowledge of opera or ballet. It’s the principal of the thing.
There are so many cities I’ve missed out that I want to jump to in between these, but I’ve listed the ones I’m most excited to see. The idea of a nomadic hermit is a bit of a contradiction I suppose, but nevertheless I fully intend to travel and see as much as I can while avoiding as many people as possible. I’m sure it won’t be that difficult!