After graduating from the University of the Minnesota with a BA in Psychology, I’m off on my long-awaited European Adventure. I plan to roam until money runs out; I have no return ticket.
"Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We'll wander back to home and bed."
December 17th 2011
Addictions are dangerously haunting. They control your emotions and warp your reason and guide you like a blind man's dog. They are a nightmare. On the sixth day when God created man, He created man's neighbor's worst nightmare. Why? Because man is an addiction. Once you meet fellow humans, you can't live with out them. You're an empty shell when you have no one to talk to, and stunning scenery and amazing adventures mean nothing when you have no one to share them with. On a trip in Europe you might spend three months looking forward to a visit from them, spend your time with them wishing they would stay, and spend the rest of your trip after they leave aching for them to come back. It'd be especially hard when you had a fantastic time ... read more
December 5th 2011
Cleanliness was never really expected on this trip, and eventually it wasn't even a priority. I stopped paying to use wash machines and dryers, and even sink laundry became less and less frequent. Sometimes when I rode night trains I even skipped brushing my teeth in the morning, and there was nothing I could do about my greasy hair. I knew that I was no match for Coco Chanel's newest scent, but never did I expect to be told by so many loving people so many times in one day that I stink. I have recently had the pleasure of being joined in Bavaria, Germany, by my grandma, my mom, my mom's French friend Valerie, and my cousin Maddie, all of whom were kind enough to enlighten me. I have been doing laundry ever since, and ... read more
November 14th 2011
I was getting into the swing of things, I really was. I was taking the bad with the good and enjoying everything I could. I was befriending strangers and hiking foggy mountains. I was sleeping on trains and feasting on unrefrigerated cheese. I was making plans and treating myself to excursions. I was caught by surprise by the half-way mark of my Adventure and worried that two more months wasn't enough. Sweden, Norway, and Finland werer beautiful, and Berlin was fun, and then-- I don't know exactly what happened. It's like I tried to sweep a tablecloth out from underneath a setting of dishes but didn't get it quite right, so all the dishes went crashing to the floor. It might be that I started to get too comfortable, formed expectations, and had those expectations smashed ... read more
October 25th 2011
Another pop quiz: Which of the following made Anna's train ride from Calais, France, to Copenhagen, Denmark, an epic disaster? a. The over-night train was booked because of locals taking advantage of a school holiday, so she had to take the 2:00 AM train. b. Sitting in the rail station until 2:00 AM so exhausted her that she slept through her connecting train. c. The connecting train she finally got on broke down. d. The total train ride took 32 hours. e. All of the above. The correct answer is.... E! EVERYTHING BAD HAPPENED ON THAT TRAIN RIDE. I was peeved. If you think that it couldn't get any worse, though... well, you'd be right, because since then everything has been a dream come true. I spent the weekend in Denmark with Ksenija, the niece of ... read more
October 16th 2011
Congratulations, you have the honor of being personally acquainted with one of those rare gems in the world who knows how to botch a vacation. When I set out on my little adventure, I had some high-flying ideal that I was going to spend four months soaking in the culture, learning everything that school never taught me, and growing as a person in the mean time. Ha! I like sunshine and beaches. I like chocolate and ice cream. I like having my own bathroom. I like spending money. I like relaxing. When I’m on vacation, I want to sit on the beach in the sunshine eating chocolate and ice cream until I go home to my own bathroom, tired after a long day of spending money and ready to relax. I do not want to fry ... read more
October 3rd 2011
I got that feeling this past week that everyone I met was an angel sent by God. There was a mass of people with friendly conversation, advice, and entertainment. Chris and Fiona were long-distance bikers from Australia who treated me to a tea party in their cabin on the ferry from Lerwick to Kirkwall. Rachel from the Scotland mainland showed me the seals in the Lerwick bay. Jana ("Yana") was a student from Germany who buddied up with me from Lerwick to Inverness. Denny was an adventure-leader who took Jana and me on a speed tour of Lerwick before giving us a lift to the ferry. Two nameless gentlemen in Skara Brae offered to share their taxi with us, paid for it, gave us tickets to the Stromwell museum, and then filled us in on Orkney ... read more
September 21st 2011
The water-guard spray for Gortex shoes does not work. Two wet adventures, two very wet shoes. Plus they reek of brine. Three weeks into my European voyage, I have made my way to the northernmost point of Great Britain: the Shetland Islands. The trip here has been fun and riddled with adventures. That is code for "Oh my God, help me." London was fine. There was some drizzle, some jet lag, some loneliness, but overall it was an entertaining and educational six days. I loved Windsor Castle, the British Museum, the Museum of London, and the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. I loved my tea and scones, for which I paid dearly (Tourist Lesson #1: Never pay more than £5 for a piece of bread and cup of bitter water). I loved walking in the parks. ... read more
September 1st 2011
First of all, I am graduated with a BA in Psychology. Second of all, I'm in London, and it's not raining! My character-building adventures started quite soon after my plane took off on Monday evening (August 30). During my layover in Ireland, for example, I met a man who, like me, had planned to travel to London without a return ticket in a no-commitment travel style; unfortunately, London Customs promptly kicked him out because they thought his lack of return ticket meant that he was coming to work! Of course I was alarmed and set out to amass as much proof as I could about my travel-only intentions. Eventually I just purchased a return ticket (for December 31st), but not before I had discovered another problem. Um, my credit cards do not have PIN numbers, so ... read more