It’s possible that writing a FAQ post comes off as totally pretentious, because my blog is not that big and I’m not at all famous and I don’t get asked that many questions. However, I think the Q-and-A format is a good way to summarize things without rambling on and on, so here we are. Plus, since I’m not really frequently asked questions on the blog, I’m going to mix in the questions that I am frequently asked in real life, by everyone from my Grandma’s favourite butcher to my ex-landlord.
What is this Great Safe Adventure you continually refer to?
It’s a reference from one of my most favourite books, Come, Thou Tortoise. I reviewed it here! The phrase makes me feel that the trip is (exactly as it sounds): both adventurous and safe at the same time. It brings it down a notch in my brain from “Terrifying, All-New Adventure”.
How long are you travelling for?
Three months! Beginning of July to the first week of October.
Are you travelling with friends or alone?
Both, actually. I am starting my trip with a friend of mine, and meeting up with friends who live in Berlin and Paris along the way! For the remainder of my trip, I’m going solo, but I’ve read that I’ll make friends wherever I go, so I doubt I’ll ever really be alone (unless I want to be!).
Are you scared to travel alone?
Yes and no. I’m not the kind of person who minds being alone (in fact, I love it), but I am a little nervous about navigating foreign metro systems and finding my way in cities where I don’t know the language. But I firmly believe that getting outside of your comfort zone every once in a while is the only way to grow as a person, so I’m feeling the fear and doing it anyways.
How can you afford this kind of trip?
I have been saving up for a long time. When I was living in and going to school in Montreal, I was waitressing at a busy restaurant, which means I was able to make enough money to take myself on this post-grad trip. I’ll also be on a fairly strict budget the whole time.
What are you packing? How much luggage are you bringing for a three month trip?
Where are you going?
Lots of places! Croatia (Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Split), Berlin, Paris, San Sebastian, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Girona, Montpellier, Marseilles, Nice, Cinque Terre, Venice, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, and Wales.
Why aren’t you going to X country? Why aren’t you going to more places?
Italy, Spain, and the South of France were at the very top of my list from the moment I started planning this adventure. I have always wanted to visit them, so they were my absolute top priorities this trip. Croatia, because the friend I’m travelling with is Croatian, speaks the language and raves about the coast! And I’m visiting friends in Berlin and Paris. The rest of the cities sort of fell into place based on recommendations from travel blogs and the routes that the trains run in Europe!
As for the number of places, I think I’m going to have plenty to keep me busy! I’m spending more nights in the cities that I am the most excited about (Paris, Lisbon, Barcelona, Florence, Rome) and in the cities where I am being graciously hosted (Berlin, Penarth, Wales). This timeline feels right to me – I didn’t want to be always rushing around, I wanted to try to experience each city as much as possible.
Why aren’t you going for longer? You could get a job waitressing or as an au pair!
I know I could. And don’t get me wrong, the idea really appeals to me! Who knows, maybe I’ll find a job and not come back (I haven’t bought my return plane ticket yet, but I’m keeping money aside for that) – it’s possible and it may very well happen! I don’t have any other plans or job prospects, so I have no real reason to come home except for running out of money along the way. So we will see. Considering this is my first big trip on my own, I am not making any decisions regarding jobs abroad until I’ve done a bit of travelling by myself and gotten my feet wet, so to speak. I’ve got to get my traveller’s legs before I decide!
What kinds of things are you most excited about doing?
Wandering around, people-watching, eating (of course!), reading, writing, taking lots of photos, seeing beautiful things, gelato.
Throughout the whole trip, do you think you will be blogging?
Definitely! I’ve downloaded an app to help me out with the process, and I’m hoping to update the blog fairly regularly. I can’t say for sure how often it’ll be, but a good bet is that I’ll update when I’m on long train ride travel days. So stay tuned for lots of photos (with captions, as a friend of mine insisted!).
Got any more questions for me? Ask away in the comments below or on Twitter, @spellett!