Tuesday, July 29, 2014
a few thoughts...
Kind of a random scattering of things that have been kicking around in my brain about travelling & my trip - I've been having a lot of trouble writing this post & I think it's to do with the idea that I should have something profound, or at least really eloquent to say. You know - life-changing epiphanies, witty observations, secret things/places I discovered....silly, I know, but still, the thought is there. So I think the only thing to do is just go for it...
~ I travelled by myself - no companion, no tour group, just me - & I'm glad I did. There were definitely moments when I wished for a companion or two, someone to eat dinner with, or photograph in the nice light, or watch my stuff when I had to use the restroom, but for the most part it was good. I was quite pleased with my ability to find my way around & not dither too much when trying to decide things.
~ Since I got home a number of people have asked about how safe I felt travelling by myself, but to tell you the truth it's not something I really though about. Not that I'm a risk taker or anything, but maybe because I'm not. So I wasn't out after dark, or wandering around dangerous places, or getting drunk - I was sensible & aware of my surroundings, but not worried.
~ People were very patient with my lack of language-other-than-english skills & lots of people spoke at least a little English, so it wasn't too difficult to communicate most of the time. I did (attempt to) say hello, please & thank you in the appropriate language, although I wouldn't claim very good pronunciation. Of course, being fluent in French, German, Polish & Czech would have made things easier, but I don't think the lack had a negative effect.
~ & a few practical things: you have to pay to use public toilets most places (at least in the countries I went too) & the price varies, generally once you are in a museum/gallery they will be free (because you've already paid to get in); be careful buying water - sparkling is very common & if it's been bouncing around in your bag for a while...; having a calico bag/shopping bag is very useful, even just for extra water or your jacket; having a phone with google maps or the equivalent is very useful.
I think that's it for now - this post already contains way more words than usual - I might come up with more later of course, but I'm just going to be happy with this & hit the publish button :)