travel tips

How to Plan For a Big Adventure

Today’s post about planning your next adventure was written by Kate Stull of Popforms. Her article is packed full of great advice that I am finding so helpful as I start to plan my next big trip.

How To Plan for a Big Adventure: a guest post by Kate Stull >> Life In Limbo

Every summer, I travel to France with my boyfriend’s family – and every summer, without fail, the weeks leading up to the trip are complete chaos. Luckily, when I use that time to set goals and make practical plans to improve my trip, those chaotic early weeks usually result in a more fun, more adventurous, and more relaxing vacation.

The better you plan, the more prepared you’ll be, and the fewer decisions you’ll have to make in the moment, when you’re supposed to be having fun! In the last few years I have collected a few key tips that help me make the most of my time leading up to a trip, and of course, during the trip itself.

Today I want to share my four favourite tips for taking care of the boring stuff early, so that you can have a more fulfilling and amazing vacation.

Start early and make lists

I start making lists weeks before any big trip I have coming up, so that I have plenty of time to remember things that are so easy to forget until the last minute, like cell phone chargers and prescriptions.

Find a journal or notebook, and start recording your ideas as you think of them. Even if it feels silly to write down “pack toothbrush” (how could you forget your toothbrush, right?), it’s good to get in the habit of writing down your good ideas as you have them.

The more notes you take on simple stuff, the more notes you’ll start to have on bigger things too. Think about it: if you’re writing down “pack toothbrush”, you’ll be much more likely to make notes on when you’ll need to do things like renew your passport or buy train tickets. Revisiting your notes often will make it so much easier to remember the important things that will help your trip run more smoothly.

Think about money (more than you think you need to)

You’ve probably already budgeted for things like plane tickets for your big trip, but have you thought about what you’ll eat while you’re traveling? Or where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what costs are associated with the place you’re staying? I almost always end up spending more on travel than I expect to, simply because it’s easy to forget many of the small costs of living that can add up quickly when you’re without your usual home base.

For example, if you’re staying with family on your trip, you can probably expect your accommodation to be free – minus the cost of cooking a nice dinner, perhaps. But if you’re staying in a hotel not only do you have to budget for that, you’ll also need to feed yourself three times a day. Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend on food each day. Can you go to restaurants and coffee shops, or should you be buying baguettes and preparing little snacks to carry in your bag as you sightsee? If you’re camping, you may think you won’t be spending much, but there are still costs to consider. Do you need firewood? Bottled water? Are there nightly camping fees?

In your planning notes, try to write down every single thing you think you’ll need to spend money on during your trip. Record it all, down to a $2 subway fare. The more you think about this stuff in advance, the less you’ll be making decisions on the fly, and the less you’ll be unpleasantly surprised by expenses.

How To Plan for a Big Adventure: a guest post by Kate Stull >> Life In Limbo

Plan out your work and fun time

If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere, you’ll probably be able to keep working even during your travels. And while it is awesome to get paid while you’re exploring a brand new place, it’s also too easy to get completely sucked into the work mindset and not live your adventure to the fullest.

In the weeks before your trip, think about what you’ll need to get done for work while you’re gone, if anything. What needs to be finished? What has a deadline? What is flexible? What are your manager’s and peers’ expectations of what you’ll accomplish while you’re gone? And if there are things you’ll need to do while you’re away, when will you get your work done?

Don’t assume you’ll just figure it out on a day-by-day basis. That makes it incredibly hard to make spontaneous choices while you’re traveling. It’s better to plan that Monday and Tuesday will be work days holed up in your hotel room, while Wednesday through Friday will be reserved for travel. Alternatively, you could try devoting your mornings to work and your afternoons to exploration.

When you make a choice in advance about how you’ll spend your time, your trip will be far less stressful. You’ll be able to communicate to your team about what they should expect from you, so you won’t get any surprise urgent emails right before you head out for a day trip. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy free time completely, knowing that your work is taken care of.

You don’t want to feel guilty for having fun when you think you should be working, or spend all your time working and wishing you were having more fun. You want to be present, whatever you are doing.

How to Plan for A Big Adventure: a guest post by Kate Stull >> Life In Limbo

Set an intention and write it down

Too often in my life, I have found myself going on trips both big and small just because someone else invited me. I never gave much thought to why I wanted to go somewhere, and as a result, I often found myself wasting time doing nothing, or just sitting around in cafés to fill the time between scheduled activities.

Travel is an incredible opportunity, and the more you know why you want to be somewhere, the more you will get out of your time away.

Now, this doesn’t mean writing down a long to-do list of sights you must see or things you must get done. Instead, think about how you want to feel. What do you want to be able to say you did when you get home? What one theme or word would represent a successful trip for you?

Whether you’re going to Hawaii for a week or living abroad for months, this really works – just scale it to the size of your trip. Try to think of a theme or an intention, and record it. That way, it’s cemented in your mind and you’ll be able to stay present and aware during your travels. If your goal is to relax and connect, write that down. Revisit your notes often, and make it a point to do things that are in line with your intentions.

Do the boring stuff early, so that you can have fun later.

Travel is supposed to be fun, but it can quickly become stressful if you’re making decisions about things like money, schedules, and work in the heat of the moment. By planning your trip and being practical in advance, you can ensure that all the right choices have already been made and that you’ll feel free to soak up the amazing experience of being in a new place.

And that’s what it’s all about.

What do you do to plan for an upcoming adventure? What’s your favourite way to stay organized while making plans?

Kate Stull is a blogger and the co-founder of Popforms, a company building tools to help technical leaders be more amazing at their jobs. She also just launched a Kickstarter for The Spark Notebook: a notebook that combines the function of a big life-planner into a beautifully designed, simple notebook. Whether you’re planning how to get work done abroad, or you’re just looking for a beautiful space to plot your next trip, The Spark Notebook is a perfect place for your big ideas. Check it out here! 

10 Tips For Backpacking Through Europe

Backpacking Europe

If you’re travelling through Europe alone, check out my top tips for solo travel!

It’s the new year, which hopefully means some of you are gearing up for a big adventure, possibly one in Europe! I had such an amazing time on my trip: I got a chance to try new foods, make new friends, and spend some quality time with me, myself and I. It was a wonderful learning experience. Along the way, I picked up a few pieces of information that made backpacking through Europe a whole lot easier!

There are a ton of great tips for backpacking through Europe on the interwebs. Nomadic Matt has a great overall guide. Divine Caroline also has a good one here. And of course, James and Susan of The Savvy Backpacker are unparalleled when it comes to backpacking travel tips! Their Complete Guide (which is startlingly comprehensive) is here. Also, Neverending Voyage has a great guide to budgeting while traveling

All that said, here are my two cents’ worth! Check out my tips: 

Money

  • DO get a Visa Debit card: Don’t worry too much about getting your currency before you arrive. My best advice is to get a Visa Debit card – a debit card that has Visa-type accessibility. Meaning, anywhere they accept Visa, they will accept your debit card. Once you get to your destination, simply hit up the closest ATM, and you’ll have all the local cash you need. Try to take out money in larger amounts if you can so that you can avoid ATM fees! In my experience, all European ATMs have an English language option, so you don’t need to worry about that too much. (Ps. don’t forget to tell your bank you’re leaving the country!)
  • DON’T look like a tourist: I never carried a money belt, except for a couple occasions when I was physically in transit (for example, in the airport). If you’re are seen fumbling with your money belt, or walking around with your head in a map, totally distracted, you may become a target for pickpockets. Don’t assume that just because you’re wearing a money belt doesn’t mean you can’t be the victim of theft! You can still be distracted and robbed if you’re not careful. Be discreet when looking at maps – you could even sit down at a cafe or park bench to figure out your route before you go. Keep your wallet in a zippered compartment inside your zippered, ideally cross-body bag, and stay alert and aware. 

Languages

DSC_0549_2

  • DO learn a few key phrases: You will go such a long way if you can say “hello” and “thank you” in the language of the country you are visiting. When you’re backpacking Europe, I think it’s important to show some respect when you visit a new place. A new city might seem like just another exotic locale where you can have fun, but it’s also home to a whole group of people with a culture that you should make an effort to understand or at the very least, acknowledge. Take the time to learn how to greet people! Also, if you have any special needs, learn the words for those too. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, like me, you might want to learn the correct word, so as to avoid awkward situations.  
  • DON’T worry too much: Incredibly, I very rarely had an issue with language. This is a product of all the tourism that happens in Europe, for better or for worse: everyone seems to speak English. If you visit smaller, less touristy places, you’ll find there is less English, of course, but in that case you can always download the iCOON iPhone app (which is a picture dictionary), use Google Translate if you have wifi, or just gesture wildly (a personal favourite). 

Packing

  • DO pack light: My #1 tip for safety, efficiency and speed! Read more about my decision to travel with a carry-on here. You can also see my full packing list here!
  • DON’T bring books: Maybe you’re not a total book nerd like I am, but reading was one of my favourite activities to do on my trip. Of course since I was travelling with a carry on bag, there was no room for books! Invest in a small e-reader (I traveled with my iPad mini) and download books as you go. If you can’t afford it, then bring one book with you and trade it in at hostels. Most hostels have a small library where you can take a book if you leave one! Bonus tip: if you belong to a library, download the OverDrive app to one of your devices or access your library’s ebook library on the browser of your computer. That way, you can borrow books from the library even if you’re in another country, get to read new things and save a lot of money in the process!

Navigation

DSC_0071

  • DO download Ulmon apps! If you have a smartphone, download the Ulmon app whenever you visit a big city. Inside the app you have a fully loaded city map complete with restaurant listings and major sightseeing spots. You can “pin” addresses or locations with bright colourful dots so you can find your way to them later. The best part is, all the information is available offline, when you have no wifi or 3G service. Actually, no, the best part is that you can actually navigate using the app even when you have no wifi or service. That’s right. It can find where you are and act as a compass as you walk towards new sites. Don’t ask me how it does it, but it does, and works wonderfully, and it’s free! Definitely download as many of these as you need. 
  • DON’T forget to plan ahead: Not every city has an Ulmon app, and even if it does, it won’t be much use to you if you don’t know the address of your hostel. Remember to write down the names and addresses of where you’ll be staying prior to arriving in a new city, as well as instructions on how to find them! One thing I liked to do was research instructions and addresses ahead of time, and then screenshot the page on my phone so I could have all the information for later when I had no wifi or service. Taking photos of important information like door codes, locker numbers or parking spaces can be really helpful. 

Hostels

  • DO ask fellow travellers for recommendations: Hostels can be so hit-and-miss, and even though HostelWorld and other booking websites show reviews of people who have stayed there, there’s no substitute for getting a recommendation from a fellow backpacker. I stayed in some of the best hostels based on suggestions from other backpackers, which is really useful in cities like Rome or Paris where there are a hundred hostels to choose from. So if you meet someone who has been somewhere you’re going, get their opinion on where you should stay. 
  • DON’T forget locks: I’m not going to try and scare you, because I never was stolen from, but I think that bringing your own locks is important. Remember to bring a small suitcase lock and a padlock. The suitcase lock is great not only for your suitcase while in transit or at hostels without lockers, but is also great for lockers whose clasp is too small for a bigger padlock. Also, hostels will charge for locks (and some won’t even have them) so you’ll save money if you bring your own. They don’t weigh much, but they’ll give you some peace of mind if you feel strange about leaving your stuff unattended in a hostel without lockers all day.

***

And there you have it, my favourite tips for backpacking through Europe. A trip like that is a heck of a ride, and the better prepared you are for it, the more fun you’ll have during it. One last set of do’s and don’ts: do take the leap and plan an adventure + don’t let fear hold you back! Yes it’s scary, but it’s totally worth it.

What are your top travel tips? Are you planning any travel adventures for 2014?  

10 Tips for Solo Travel

DSC_0079_7

While on my great adventure, I learned quite a few lessons about myself, other people, the world, and, of course, travelling! I recently received a question from a girl asking if I had any tips for travelling and sightseeing alone in foreign countries, and while I am still a travel novice at best, I thought I’d throw my two cents in about what I learned on the road. This list covers a few different topics from safety and security to handling loneliness, and I’ve tried to aim it at all solo travellers, not just us female ones!

1. Stay in smaller hostels

The idea of meeting more people when you stay in smaller hostels sounds counterintuitive, but it’s absolutely true. My very best experiences – the places I met the most new friends, felt the most comfortable and the least lonely – were at smaller hostels. I loved places that felt more like apartments, with just a few rooms and a kitchen where people would cook and hang out. Whenever I stayed in a place like this, I would end up meeting lots of people to sightsee with, go to dinner with, and go out at night with.

In bigger hostels, ironically, I met far fewer people. The common spaces are so big (more like a bar) that it can be a bit more intimidating to hang out there alone, and even if you do, the atmosphere isn’t conducive to making friends. While the facilities are usually great at hostels like these, the tradeoff is that you’ll be spending a bit more time alone (in my experience). Sometimes I was more than willing to make that tradeoff, other times I wished I was staying somewhere smaller.

If you use a site like HostelWorld (which I used for all my bookings and highly recommend), the smaller hostels will usually have good reviews but not be “HostelWorld Recommended”. I liked to take the time to read through reviews – look for ones from solo travellers that talk about ease of making friends, and friendliness of staff. Some great small hostels from my trip were Olga’s Place (San Sebastian, Spain), Victoria Meublé (Nice, France), and Hostel Brikette (Positano, Italy).

2. Join group activities

Just look for the red umbrella!
Just look for the red umbrella!

More often than not, hostels will run group activities: usually walking tours and pub crawls at larger hostels, and informal outings (usually led by the young surfer dude who works at the hostel) like group dinners or going out at night at smaller hostels. Not all of these will be a fit for your personality, but stay open to all activities that might be suggested to you.

Some of my favourite things to do were to take the Sandeman’s New Europe Free Walking Tour my first day in a new city. Not all cities offer them, but a good number do, and often I made a friend either before the tour or during it. If not, it was an interesting and educational way to spend a few hours. In Amsterdam, they offered a nighttime walk through the Red Light District, which was an awesome way to explore the area at night without having to walk around by myself at night. Finding tours or group activities can be a great way to get a sense of a city’s character by night if you’re not comfortable exploring it on your own.

3. Be smart and alert

I don’t think that travelling alone in a foreign country is as scary as people make it out to be, and fortunately, nothing bad happened to me on my trip. I had a few truly uncomfortable moments, usually when oblivious (or not so oblivious? hard to tell) men tried to talk to me, follow me for a short time, or approach me when I was walking home alone at night. Fortunately, nothing dangerous or scary ever happened.

But whenever I was out on my own after dark, I made sure to be careful and smart. Apart from my first ever night of solo travel in Paris (when I hadn’t expected to be out late and got off at the wrong subway station and was terrified because I was lost), I never went out late if I wasn’t familiar with the area and/or didn’t know how to get back to my hostel. I never walked if I could take public transportation close to my door. I took a taxi if the alternative was finding a night bus in a place I didn’t know very well. I was always very alert and aware. If I had been spending time with friends, they were usually kind enough to walk me home, or at the very least insisted that I send a message when I had arrived safely. I never took any risks, and was always careful when I decided how and when to get home at night. I always made sure to listen to my gut impression of a city – in Lisbon, for instance, I simply didn’t feel comfortable being out after dark, but in the smaller town of Montpellier, I felt more at ease. The times I was out after dark alone were usually truly lovely times, like listening to music at a street festival or riding a water bus.

Often when I was out at night it was with new friends – it’s ideal if you can find people to spend the evenings with! And many times, I simply chose not to go out too late, usually because I was exhausted from sightseeing, wanted to catch up with family or friends, or just because I didn’t feel like it.

Don’t be afraid. In general Europe is not some horribly scary place where bad things happen – no more than the rest of the world, anyway. As long as you’re smart, don’t take too many chances, assess rewards vs. risks, and don’t be afraid to taxi home, I’m sure you will have a wonderful time.

4. Travel light

I’ve explained this one in some detail here, but I think it’s worth repeating. Not only will travelling light save you stress, it will also make you feel more independent and in control. In my whole three-month trip, I don’t remember getting help with my bag once, except perhaps from friends or family who insisted on carrying it after meeting me at the train station. It was heavy, it was my own little monster, but it was manageable and I could handle it myself. This was very important to me.

I never wanted to feel or look vulnerable. I didn’t want to struggle with my bag and have my attention be split. Having a backpack allowed me to navigate new places with my hands free which is wonderful for looking at maps or reading directions. I think travelling with a backpack of a manageable size and weight also means that you won’t be preyed upon – you’re moving fast, and you’re alert and aware. Plus, it’ll save you a few headaches when it easily fits into luggage compartments and under hostel beds.

5. Befriend the solo traveller

some lovely new friends I met in Florence!
some lovely new friends I met in Florence!

Most likely, this will happen naturally, but in case it doesn’t: solo travellers are the best kind of friends for other solo travellers! Keep an eye out for people in your room or hostel who are travelling alone, especially other solo female travellers if you’re a girl. They are great travel buddies because they understand the struggle of taking selfies in front of important monuments and the occasional (though not always!) boredom of eating alone. They tend to be game to join up for the day and are usually very interesting people with very interesting backstories.

With solo travellers, you also don’t feel like you’re interrupting something or intruding, the way you sometimes do when you befriend best friends, or a couple. Though I must say that I made friends with pairs of friends and really kind, lovely couples on my trip, so there’s no one hard and fast rule except: be friendly to everyone! But I did find that many natural friendships occurred with other people flying solo.

6. Be friendly

I know it sounds painfully obvious, but it’s not always. Travelling alone can be pretty lonely at times, and if you don’t make an effort, it can become a vicious cycle until you move on to the next place. You can help yourself out by staying in smaller hostels, where you’re more likely to be swept up in the friendly tide of people, but you also have to make an effort to be friendly.

Smile at people. Say hello. Start conversations. Ask where people are from and where they’re travelling and really listen to their answers. Ask what their plans for the day are, and if you can join them (see #5 – this is usually more comfortable with other solo travellers!). This is not my natural setting – I can be quite introverted – so I know it can be really hard, but on the road, things change. If you want to make new friends, you have to make an effort! I often had to remind myself to be open and say hello (the #1 thing you can do) because my knee-jerk response is to keep to myself and do my own thing. But the key thing to remember is that everyone wants to make friends, they’re probably just shy too.

So keep smiling! Be prepared to spend a chunk of time exploring on your own, and embrace that – I actually prefer being alone while sightseeing because I get to decide how long I want to spend somewhere, if I even want to go elsewhere, when to eat, when to rest, etc. But I think you’ll find that with a little friendliness, you can make some truly great friends.

7. Let someone know where you are

my constantly-changing schedule!
My constantly-changing schedule!

Not for every minute of every day, but I liked for someone to know at least the city and the country I was in. This helped me feel connected to home when I felt very far away, and made me feel a little more tethered and safe. This tip might not work for everyone, especially people who are more free-spirited than I, and who are planning their trip day by day. But I made various changes to my itinerary as I went along, and still liked for my family to have a loose schedule of where I was going to be when.

I also had the habit of sending my mom a text message or email when I arrived safely in a new city and had found my way to my hostel – she liked to know, and I liked that someone knew. I rarely told anyone which hostel I was staying at because I usually booked my hostel only a few days in advance of my arrival and it would have been more complicated to keep my schedule updated with all those details.

8. Book hostels in advance

I never arrived to a new city after dark, and I never arrived to a new city without having booked a bed in a hostel. Both of those things were non-negotiable to me, because I simply didn’t want to put that added stress on myself. I knew I would find it too stressful and tiring (my bag was heavy!) to walk around to different hostels asking for a bed, when it’s so easy and straightforward to book online! Especially since I was travelling alone and would have nobody to split the work with or strategize with.

That being said, I didn’t have all my hostels booked before I left on my trip. I was tempted, because I like to have things planned, but I resisted the urge and I’m so happy I did. It allowed me so much more flexibility to change my plans, and staying longer or shorter times in different cities. Like I said above, I usually booked my hostels about a week to a few days before arriving there. This sometimes became frustrating, especially when I got a great hostel recommendation from other travellers and the place turned out to be sold out when I tried to book it, but I always managed to find a good place. It gave me so much peace of mind to not have to worry about accommodation along with all the other mental chaos that comes with being plunked down in a brand-new city.

9. Connect with loved ones

My lovely mummy being silly

When you’re on the move all the time, trying to soak up the culture and spirit of a new place, it can be hard to remember to take time to slow down and refill your tank with love and conversations from your loved ones. Before you know it, you might hit a low point and desperately need some of that love, but suddenly everyone is at work, or at school, or asleep (dang time difference!) or otherwise preoccupied with living their busy lives.

This happened to me more than once. I could be flying along, loving everything, making friends, and then suddenly I’d have a bad day or be staying in a bad hostel, and I’d be feeling the loneliness more than ever, but my favourite people back home were busy. This was not their fault, and it wasn’t mine either, but a better strategy is to try your best to keep in touch, keep reaching out, keep replying to emails and Facebook messages and making Skype dates. That way, if you come back to the hostel after a long day, you have replies to your messages and SnapChats that can perk you up, make you feel loved, and bring you back to your happy self.

It’s so easy to forget to reply when you’re constantly on the go, but that might leave your loved ones to think “hey, she’s totally happy and out having adventures! I don’t need to worry about her”, while you’re on the other end, craving connection.

10. Embrace being a solo traveller

sunset in Tuscany
Sunset in Tuscany

My #1 tip for solo travel is to embrace it. Look for the positives, find the bright side, relish in your freedom and independence, truly enjoy your time alone. When you’re alone, you get to decide what you do, when, where, and for how long. You get to eat gelato at 10AM and not have anyone say anything about it. You get to take photos of absolutely everything and not have to jog to catch up with anyone. You can sit on a step in the drizzling rain and listen to classical music played by a 4-piece string quartet. You can have a 3 course lunch that involves sangria and lasts 3 hours. You can stop and sit on a park bench and read your book for as long as you like. You can stand in line for a food truck and eat on the grass in the park. You can wander a street festival or market as many times as you want (for me, it’s usually many times).

Of course, you can do most these things with other people, but embrace the fact that you don’t have to consult anyone – you can do what you want, when you want. Some of my very best memories from my trip are of times I was alone: floating on my back in crystal blue water, hiking a really difficult trail and rewarding myself with pizza and beer, watching the sunset over truly exquisite countryside, listening to French people play Celtic music while eating a sweet onion fritter at the best street festival in the world. So embrace your freedom and your independence, be brave, and enjoy this truly special time.

***

I’d love to hear your tips on travelling solo and/or being a solo female traveller, specifically. What have you learned? What would you do differently? What would you like to know? Let me know in the comments below!

Munich, Germany

You’d never guess from these photos, but for the majority of my time in Munich, the weather was miserable. And after a solid two and a half months of absolutely perfect weather (I can count on three fingers the number of times it rained or wasn’t a sunny blue skies day) it was a bit of a rude awakening to find myself in a much colder, much rainier climate. I didn’t have many cold-weather clothes with me, and my little canvas shoes got soaked through in no time at all. I also felt myself getting sick, so I did a lot of sleeping, and one of my two days in Munich was spent indoors at my hostel (the first and only time I did this on my *entire* trip!) with a quick trip to the train station for food and to ask about train reservations.

But it wasn’t all bad, by any means! The train ride from Venice to Munich alone was reason enough to visit Munich – I was lucky enough to see some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery I’ve ever seen. It’s all lush and green, with enormous mountains towering on both sides of little villages (and even littler trains) and mist everywhere. It’s inexplicable, but it’s gorgeous. I spent the majority of the ride nursing a tea in the dining car, gazing out at the countryside. It was lovely.

In Munich itself, my experience varied. My first day, I marched out into the city, only to be met with rain seemingly every time I stepped outside (which, obviously, subsided as soon as I ran for cover – at one point it was actually laughable, the consistency with which this phenomenon happened). There was thankfully a stretch of sunny skies weather in the afternoon and I got to explore the English Gardens, Munich’s largest and most beautiful park. It’s a great park: people everywhere jogging, eating, climbing up to the gazebo on the hill, and even surfing!

After being in Italy for almost a month, I was craving something other than Italian food (Italy doesn’t have much good food of cultures besides its own!) – specifically, Asian. My first night, I was too tired to venture very far in the pouring rain, so I went across the street from my hostel to a very German place: think pretzels, schnitzel, waitresses in dirndls, big family-style tables and lots and lots of beer. It was extremely busy, so I got the single vegetarian dish on the otherwise totally-carnivorous menu – mushroom gravy with a dumpling. I took it back to my hostel bed and it turned out to be a lovely, hearty meal. The other nights, I ventured out to Asian restaurants and was psyched to be eating fried rice, spring rolls and curry. Amazing.

When I initially planned to stop in Munich, it was because I’d had it recommended as a nice city en route from Italy to Amsterdam. At the time, since I’d be stopping there in September, it didn’t even occur to me that Octoberfest might have been on. Turns out, it wasn’t – it started two days after I left. It was a shame! But I was excited to keep moving and keep my rendez-vous with my cousins in London and relatives in Wales. It was cool to see them setting up the fairgrounds (right near my hostel) for the festival, but after meeting some of the people who came to Munich for Octoberfest (including one guy who threw up all over himself and his bed next to me in the dorm room) I decided it was probably for the best I didn’t go this time around – I’ll just have to come back with a few friends another time. :)

Favourites:

  • Jasmin Asia Cuisine: delicious food, amazing service, peaceful restaurant.
  • MiMi Asia Restaurant: a quiet neighbourhood place, full of locals, where I had a really amazing curry
  • English Gardens: this park is so wonderful to explore! Don’t miss the surfers near the entrance to the park.
Scroll to Top