My Picturesque European Adventure

November 20, 2011
greece, italy, spain, vacation

Last year I took an incredible trip to Europe. Spain, Italy & Greece to be exact.

It was the trip I had dreamed of taking for years but something always held me back…money, timing with work, and the idea that I needed to go with friends, family or a boyfriend.

After turning 30 I realized the “perfect time” to do it under traditional guidelines might never happen. I looked back at my 20’s and couldn’t believe that ten years had passed since I officially caught the travel bug after studying abroad in Australia. Ten years.

There were a few vacations in there…some destination weddings and weekend getaways, but no real travel. It scared me to death and was the one regret I wasn’t willing to live with. Suddenly I thought…hmm, being single and unsettled sure does have it’s upsides!

So, I adopted the “now or never” philosophy and got to work. Ironically, as soon as I booked the trip people came out of the woodwork to join. It wound up being the perfect balance of traveling alone and with company.

The cost of the trip has kept me home longer than I originally planned, but when I compare the experience versus the cost of 2 months rent in the city, it’s no contest.

I guess I prefer to spend money on experiences as opposed to things. Ok, I like things too. But experiences are more memorable.

I come from the school of “when you’re on your deathbed, you’ll likely remember amazing moments, not expensive things.”

Regardless, the trip was absolutely priceless.

I learned how to travel on a miniscule budget, and with lots of research and determination, I made it work.

It was the post-college backpacking trip I never took, and it was beyond amazing.

I didn’t stay in fancy pants hotels, and I roughed it in ways some people might not be able to stomach. But that’s what made it fun, adventurous and authentic.

Roughing it allowed me to turn what little money I had into six weeks of unforgettable travel.

A friend suggested I blog while traveling. It was such a great idea, but a massive undertaking I just wasn’t ready for. I already had one in planning the trip itself.

I entertained the idea the first few days, but service was sketchy on my  netbook and I wanted to spend my time exploring, not in an internet cafe.

Since then, I’ve been wanting to recreate my trip in some way so I could share the amazing places I visited and encourage others to embrace their inner travel bug…even if it’s local travel.

I did take some notes and about 8,000 pictures…no joke. So, I’m sure with a little visual stimulation I can recall the highlights.

There’s SOOO much out there to explore and it’s absolutely possible if you really want to make it happen.

I’m psyched to go through it all again. You can follow along every Thursday as I post a new part of the 6-week trip on my blog, www.littlemissmojo.com. I think you’ll love reading about it as much as I love reliving it. AND, the pictures are amazing, if I do say so myself.

The world is truly your oyster and I’m living proof that it’s do-able…NOW!

(On a side note, while writing this article at Starbucks (of course), I met an interesting man who’s traveled extensively throughout the world. We got into talking about our experiences and he offered to keep me posted on his “friends & family discount” with a certain upscale cruise line. Score! More importantly though, he rekindled the inspiration I found in my travels and in other travelers, and reminded me why I was writing this post. We shared a lot of common ground. We talked about the experience of traveling alone and how surprisingly special that was. People constantly asked if he got lonely traveling by himself. His reply…”being alone doesn’t mean being lonely.” It’s as true in travel as it is in life.)

xoxo
Sabrina Cohen
(aka littlemissMOJO)

About Sabrina_Cohen

2 thoughts on “My Picturesque European Adventure

  1. Avatar
    Catherine
    March 19, 2012
    Reply

    I’m so glad you finally took the opportunity to go on your dream trip, even if you did go alone. I’m 22 and made the big step of studying abroad three times. Once alone, twice with a friend. The best trip I ever had was the one where I was alone. I learned so much being myself and not having anyone around to tell me what to do. You must have had such an amazing experience. Italy, Greece, and Spain are such wonderful countries (full of amazing food, might I add) with such exquisite culture.

    • Avatar
      March 19, 2012
      Reply

      Hey Catherine, thanks for your comment!! Wow, you studied abroad 3 times?! That’s incredible, I’m officially jealous. Where were you? I have had a mix of time alone and with others while traveling, and both can be amazing and intense for different reasons. I agree with you though…there’s something about the freedom of coming and going as you please, at your own pace while you travel alone, and experiencing a new place entirely through your own eyes. Your time is particularly precious during those moments and it also makes for a particularly good time to reflect when you’re outside your usual environment. Spain, Italy and Greece were phenomenal. the food was spectacular! The food in different places is what stays with you the most sometimes. I’m re-creating that trip chronologically on my blog http://www.littlemissmojo.com. Check it out, feel free to share your insights, and keep traveling!!!

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