Portugal has always been on my list of countries to visit.
One of my closest childhood friends, Andrea, is Portuguese American and I’ll never forget sitting in our Elementary school class eating the cookies she brought back from Portugal after visiting family abroad. It was my first encounter with a world outside of the United States and her stories amazed me.
My curiosity only grew as one of my closest adulthood friends, Ellie, traveled to Portugal
Our trip around the world has afforded me the opportunity to learn a lot of new things.
I’ve learned about how people live, what inspires them and what troubles them. I’ve gained numerous new skills, from scuba diving to farming to architectural and website design. I’ve seen old things from new perspectives and reinvented many of my long-held beliefs. I’ve put myself in uncomfortable situations on purpose and have come out better on the other side.
As our trip comes to an end we tow the line of the next adventure – continuing our growth at home.
While it’s one thing to step out into the world and experience the new, returning to the familiar and converting that knowledge to new life habits is completely different.
I know from experience.
After traveling Europe for 4 months back in 2010 I returned full of optimism and ready for change and while I did
We set off for Africa after leaving southern Spain
Morocco’s a place not easy to explain
Jon Pace came to visit, he’s our first and our last
The two weeks together went by way too fast
After arriving in Tangier we killed time on the beach
Marrakech to be the next destination to reach
We took an overnight train which was really relaxing
And arrived the next morning to a town far more taxing
Jenna and I hate being tourists.
Early on in the trip we paid our due to statues, museums, popular towns and other “must-dos” until we realized there was a direct correlation between misery and tourists attractions.
It wasn’t until we taught English in Vietnam (our third Helpx of the trip) that we had a three part epiphany…
Part One: We hate being on the tourist trail and museums are expensive.
Part Two: We love meeting locals
I said it and I meant it.
“Italy is just so… Italy”
Probably not my most scholarly choice of words in describing the country, but when we got off the plane in Rome, it was the first thing that came to mind. I felt like an extra in a romantic Italian film.
I had no expectations for the country, and yet it was exactly as I expected; the small white tables lining the streets where, at
Arrived from our brief layover in Doha, we began making our way to our next stop – a farm 40km north of Athens where we’d be working on another HelpX for about 3 weeks.
Our host had instructed us to meet him at a particular train stop – this is where we met the crew and from the beginning it was, well, crazy.
Theo has spent the past year developing his property into something he calls
August 27th was a special day on the trip that didn’t get much love.
It was the two year mark from our first date (first successful date, anyway) and we spent it sanding over-sized doors and learning how to make tzatziki at our Greece Helpx. Neither of us were complaining but being just a short ferry ride away from one of the prime romantic locations in the world, it seemed criminal not to indulge.
During the course of our trip we’ve met a lot of people that have been to India and their message is always the same; that place is crazy.
Some people absolutely love it and cannot get enough; a number of friends have traveled the country for 6 months or more at a time!
Others abhor the place will never go back; one of them provided me with a telling acronym of his experience in India…
After spending nearly 5 months in Asia both Jenna and I felt the time was right to move on. It’s truly a wondrous place but one that can tire you out in a hurry – which is why our next stop sounded all the more appealing.
Ah yes, Europe.
Different enough to stretch your horizons but not so different that toilets aren’t just a hole in the ground (I’m lookin’ at you Asia).