It is a Thursday evening and our first flight to Istanbul, Turkey is less than two months away. It is starting to become more and more real by the day. I keep thinking about our car ride to Buffalo and our arrival at the airport, and how nerve wracking it’s going to be. That once we get on that plane – after a few stops in a few airports along the way – the next country that our anxious feet will touch down on will be that of a land which we no nothing about. It’s exciting to know that we will have only ourselves to rely on. That we have to break language barriers and adapt to any situation that is thrown at us on the spot. I finally get to stop talking from my chair, sitting at my laptop and thinking about what the world is about. I am finally going to be able to step out of my comfort zone and learn and grow on the fly. The idea of writing in the middle of all of these feelings is even exciting. Maybe being frustrated, and stressed and just being able to document every little emotion and experience, whether positive or negative, so I can paint the best picture I can possibly paint of our travels makes me wish our departure day would come even sooner.
Me and Alyssa’s idea of backpacking is a little different than her mum’s idea of backpacking – or it could be that we are less experienced. Alyssa’s mum is wanting us to pretty much plan our entire trip to the tee, daily budget and all. And we are just not that kind of people. I’m not one to be very spontaneous and impulsive, but there is no way I could have fun sticking to strict schedules and daily plans for two and a half months. Now, we are not experienced backpackers – this is in fact both of our first times backpacking, and we are doing it fairly long term – so we can honestly say we do not know what we are doing, but I think that’s the whole beauty of it. That we have no idea what to expect and to just go with the flow.
Most of our big stuff is already planned, like our initial flight to Istanbul and the other flights we are taking throughout Europe (like from Athens, Greece to Rome, Italy) and a few hostels in the busier cities that we needed to book to secure a spot. But we really want to just hang out and enjoy the beautiful cities that we have the privilege of staying in across Europe. Yes, I cannot wait to see all of the beautiful monuments and some of the amazing sights that are available to us on our travels (usually for a fee), but I would be just as happy to walk around the streets with locals and drink coffee and eat each countries delicious foods and sit around, and just kind of do what the locals do. I am much more interested in daily, average life than the tourist attractions. I kind of just want to live with these people that spend every waking day in these beautiful cities that are chalk full of culture and vibrancy. I want to be apart of there culture, not watch and observe from a distance, and a touristy perspective.
I think a large portion of time will be spent getting to these places and settling down, so we will be just happy to sit around and maybe do some reading. That may sound like a waste of time, but I think we make our fun, no matter where we are. That is one of the best parts about being with Alyssa, that no matter what we do, even if its nothing at all, we still have fun and enjoy any time we spend together; and cherish every moment. Ten hours can feel like ten minutes. I can’t wait to see the museums that litter the streets of these cities, but I also can’t wait to drink wine and sleep, so I guess we have to see how our daily itinerary turns out. And I would much rather it that way, each day just planned as we go. We can plan what we must, and the rest we will leave to the wind.
And possibly the tourist offices.