Dylan Schoettley

Venturing Off

Dylan Schoettley

Traveling is one of the greatest things to do on this planet. The advantages are endless, except for emptying out bank accounts. Meeting new people, seeing the world through someone else's eyes, understanding new perspectives, experiencing different cultures, and getting out of the beloved comfort zone, are the main reasons for my venturing off into the unknown.

While traveling, I have made a promise to myself to stray away from tourist traps and commercialized areas. I want to experience the culture, the way of life, the true destination that I am inhibiting for a short period of time. That is true travel.

I will write true and meaningful blogs, or at least try. Writing blogs are not for personal gain, but to open the door of travel for others. If you don't enjoy them, don't read them. If you do like them, all the better and I hope they inspire you to venture off into the unknown. Enjoy!


Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Como July 27th 2012

Back in the 16th century there was a traditional rite of passage; so to speak, that many young aristocrats took throughout Europe called the Grand Tour. The Grand Tour consisted of exploring the Europe and learning new topics that books or professors could not teach. Through first hand experience, students on the Grand Tour would learn about foreign culture, languages, and history by immersing themselves in new lands. The tour usually start in England, then went south passing through France and Italy, then coming back up through Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. There was one city/region that was a little different from the rest. A city that was north of Milan in the Lake District, called Como. Como is a picturesque town that sits on the southern most tip of the Lake Como, and that is ... read more
Promenade Garden

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan July 21st 2012

It has been a few days since I have written in this bad boy. There is reason for that. What I want to do is write stories to entertain, not the boring play-by-plays of every little thing that I have done abroad. If you want something like that, you can go buy a Fodor's, Rick Steve's, or Lonely Planet travel book. I want to give you something unique. Over the past week and a half, I have been to Amsterdam, Brussels, Nice, and Milan. Now I am relaxing on the beautiful shores of Lake Como. Everyday has been an adventure that's for sure. But stories don't always come along with adventures, no matter how different they are. Amsterdam-whatever you have heard about Amsterdam...that was my trip (plus an amazing bike ride out into the country side ... read more
Bike ride out into the country side
Vuex Nice

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 13th 2012

July 13th was the day that I left Nantes for the last time. As the train picked up speed, putting distance between the place I called home for the last five weeks myself, I couldn't help but feel a pang of sadness come over me. Everyday that was spent within the city limits provided a completely new and rather exciting experience. Even though I will not physically be in Nantes, the lessons I learned there will stay with me until my last days. I have met people from Australia, China, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, and even Morocco. Every person I met from a different country seemed so different, but at the same time so alike. As college students, we just want to live a decent life, have fun, enjoy a drink and be with ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona July 10th 2012

Five weeks into this adventure, and I leaving France for the first time. Just as the French way of life was taking roots, I was going to pull them right out. The past few weeks have been rainy and cold in Nantes, my arms and legs that have been covered up with long sleeves and pants and were begging to see some sun. It is kind of weird trying to go somewhere warmer during the month of July. My apologies for all those withering away back in America, that thought probably sounds just dreadful with the heat wave. Nonetheless, I was ready for some sun. A novel destination was awaiting me in the South. As the airplane tires came to a stop, my fellow passengers (wrapped up in fall clothing from the brisk weather in Nantes) ... read more
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catlunya
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catlunya
After getting rather lost

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 2nd 2012

Some say that the Parisians are the best explores of Paris. Even though they walk the streets everyday, they always seem to find a new alley to wonder down where a new experience is awaiting to be discovered. There is even a word that describes this practiced art, le flaneur. To flanuer is to walk, to stroll, in an unhurried fashion. For the rest of my weekend trip, I decided I was going to be a Parisian. Well, at least try to act like one. I decided that this would be the best way to see Paris, I would become the ultimate flanuer. First thing first, how do I hide myself in the crowd and blend in as a city dweller? After spending a week last year here, and the past two days, it was so ... read more
Unknown cathedral
Notre Dame Crowd
Crypt of Notre Dame

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris June 28th 2012

Perhaps you have experienced this before. It is the perfect summer afternoon, you have some errands to run, so you hop in the car, crank up the tunes (I mean blast the tunes), roll down the windows, put your shades on and enjoy the drive to wherever you are going. Arriving at your destination, you park and turn off the car, still singing, and feeling like a million bucks. Going about your business, you are as happy as a clam. As time progresses you begin to forget about the state that you left your car stereo in. It is time to get into the car, but boy are you in for a surprise... As you start up the car you are greeted by the deafening noises of blaring speakers that your ears aren't adjusted to yet. ... read more
My lap of luxury!
Claire and I biking away
The Gardens...

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire » Saumur June 24th 2012

Ahhh, where do I even begin? The weekend of June 21st-24th, 2012...or something like that. Leading up to this weekend I had zero clue what the plan of action was. Leaving was France was my first choice, but that didn't happen. Transportation around Europe is very cheap...if you book two months in advance of the departure date. However, if you wait until two DAYS before leaving it is extremely expensive, only royalty can afford these prices. Well, or young college kids who poorly planned a weekend trip and give in to the pocket busting prices. Perhaps Greece should look into similar means of revenue. So with my peasant budget I began scowling over the internet trying to find the perfect place for a weekend visit. For some reason or another, only big cities seemed to stand ... read more
My pilgrim route
Somewhere in France, somewhere in time

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen June 20th 2012

A long, long time ago there was a famous man who went by the name of William the Conqueror. Perhaps you have heard of him? Well this William the Conqueror, William I, or some liked to call William the Bastard, decided that he should build himself a beautiful castle. I often think I should do the same, but I don't have an empire so it would seem a little silly to have one. Where to build? Because he was the ruler of such a vast territory, he had many options. I can see him walking around pondering this question just a few years short of a thousand years ago, "On the sea, in the forrest, in the mountains? How about Caen!" Caen, Really Bill? To avoid all confusion, due to the multiple names that he goes ... read more
Chateau Caen
Ruins of smaller buildings that weren't  so lucky
Old School

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen June 16th 2012

Ah Caen, the city that... I know nothing about. It was close to the beaches and easily accessible. Making it to the correct address was a relief. But I did not have the key to the apartment that I was renting for the weekend. The owner's mother was to meet me there and give me the key. Looking at the call button list and having no clue what his last name was, or what floor he was on, I got a little nervous. An elderly woman was about to enter the building, so in broken French I asked if she knew a Chris that lived there. Blank stare. Then she started rambling away. I skipped trying to find a middle language and showed her the name on my phone. Still nothing. Shortly after that, another woman ... read more
Canadian Monument
German Bunker
Paths of Memory

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen June 15th 2012

After a week I Nantes, I was finally settling in and getting a grasp on the day-to-day routine of the locals...Just kidding. I still have no clue what is going on around me half the time. Everyday is an adventure. Life would be so simple if the locals spoke English and the signs were readable, but that is the beauty of it. I have to figure it all out. It is like trying to understand a new concept, a new way of life. While on my daily adventures I have missed trains, gotten yelled at, gone the wrong direction on trains, and probably said inappropriate things in French to the locals. Best/worst of all, I have definitely walked more this past week, then I have during my whole life. My grandest of all walks was last ... read more
My long night walk home
Downtown Nantes on  a beautiful day
Beautiful running train by the apartment

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