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Published: April 12th 2010
saying goodbye is never easy....so much has happened in this amazing year.
we quit our jobs march 20th of 2009, said goodbye to my family in minnesota and drove to ohio (making a quick stop in chicago to say goodbye to our bff sarah and a last meal at our fave vegan restaurant, chicago diner) and spent the next 2 weeks with tages's family. they drove us to new york city where i said goodbye to my bff jan and my aunt dorothy and we flew to london, england on april 15th. we spent the next 7 months exploring europe. during that time we backpacked across the netherlands, romania, hungary, serbia, bosnia, croatia, germany, poland, czech republic, austria, turkey and england. we flew back to new york mid-november for a short 4 day stay and then flew out to mexico where we spent the next 4 months. we took trains, planes, buses, subways, trams, boats and moto-taxis. we swam (or at least put our feet in) 5 seas: the north sea, black sea, adriatic sea, sea of marmara, and the mediterranean sea. we crossed the atlantic ocean, swam in the pacific and saw countless lakes and rivers including the danube and
the gulf of mexico. tages and i read over 60 books (combined) during the year including the entire harry potter series and random books we found along the way, some good (rhiannon argo, danielle steele, micheal moore, cristy road, margaret cezair-thompson, charles dickens, sarah macdonald) & some not great (jackie collins, nora roberts, dan brown) but it was fun to have time to read them anyways. i also tried to do one brave thing a month like swimming in a nudist beach in croatia, jumping in the cold Black Sea and going to a punk show by myself in budapest. that's not including quitting our jobs for good and moving away from my parents in minnesota (i love minnesota but i will never move back). we went on one incredible brewery tour in hungary, two tequila distillery tours in mexico but tried over 40 different types of beer all over europe and mexico. we saw countless beautiful old towns and ancient ruins that were so old it made my head spin. we viewed churches and mosques, heard the call to prayer on the street for the first time and even saw a church made entirely of bones. we saw many
breathtaking mountains and traveled up quite a few of them, as well. we joined organized tours that we thought we would hate but ended up loving most of them. we made at least one friend from each country we visited and many more from countries we didn't go to like russia and india. we even made american friends that we would have never met in the states or even probably bothered to meet at first glance. there is just something about traveling that makes you more open minded to making friends and meeting new people from all walks of life. we had a couple colds, one severe sunburn (just me), traveler's diarrhea, elevation sickness, lice, a strange pulsating bump and luckily only one trip to the hospital but for the most part were really healthy year round. we had friends and family visit us all along the way which really energized us and helped us keep going strong. we learned so much about different countries' histories and culture which is what we set out to do. i hope we did this with as much respect as other people all over the world did for us. i feel so lucky that
we were able to do something like this. picking up and leaving that daily working life and setting out on a grand adventure is something i have always dreamed about doing. and we did it. and we survived. and i can say it was one of the best years of my life. and we are ready to do it again!
tages's favorite places: netherlands, mexico and romania
emily's favorite places: mexico, romania and bosnia
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