Month 1 Round-Up

I’ve just completed my first month on the road on my round-the-world trip.  Through this time I’ve had ups, downs, surprises, and lots of learnings.  I have gotten a lot of questions about favorite moments or opinions, so I figured I’d round-up the month’s highlights and …well… lowlights to give you an understanding of how it’s been so far.

There are a lot of things mentioned in here which I haven’t written about yet – bear with me as I get caught up!

Where I’ve Been:

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 10.28.02 AM

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 10.28.31 AMThe Route:

  1. Boston, MA, USA (leaving home)
  2. Reykjavik, Iceland
  3. London, UK
  4. Le Barroux, France
  5. Carpentras, France
  6. Barcelona, Spain
  7. Cordoba, Spain
  8. Granada, Spain
  9. Sevilla, Spain,
  10. Lisbon, Portugal,
  11. Sintra, Portugal

The first month was, admittedly, oddly planned.  My schedule was dictated by other people for a large portion, but going forward I am leaving things unplanned as much as possible.

Best Days: The first was my one day off while at the vineyard.  Woody drove John and I to the most beautiful spots in the area.  I took hundreds of photos.  We drove up Mt. Ventoux, which is part of the Tour de France and made it above the cloud line.

IMG_3832

IMG_5281Second was the National Day of Catalonia in Barcelona, spent with Brian and Oscar (who you haven’t met yet) in the middle of what felt like a rally.  The local Catalan built towers of people in the middle of town squares, which was exciting and absolutely terrifying – especially because we were close enough to get hurt if someone fell.  We had incredible paella at a recommendation in El Barrio Gotic and then spent hours at Parc Güell exploring and drinking sangria.

Worst Day: My first day in Barcelona.  I almost missed my train – literally made it by two minutes due to traffic in Avignon.  I didn’t have time to print my ticket before and had to embarrassingly explain this to the conductor.  I sat in the wrong seat, not realizing they were assigned.  Then I showed up in Barca and was relying on the Airbnb host to show me the local haunts, but it turned out he was out of town, so a non-local let me in and I felt totally stranded.  I hadn’t slept much for the three days before so I was exhausted and hungry, and finally got myself some food.  I then proceeded to try and get into the wrong unit when I got home later on.  It was embarrassing and lonely.

IMG_3997Most Ridiculous Moment: Steam cleaning the inside of a wine tank – I climbed through this small opening into pitch black with a flashlight, got covered in cobwebs, sprayed boiling hot steam all over the tank, covering myself and getting super light-headed as a result.  I came out completely soaked and said, “Woody, I’ve never had so many cobwebs on me.  They’ve solidified all over my body because of the steam!”  Woody proceeded to pat me on the back like I was being ridiculous and a bunch of cobwebs stuck to his hand.  It was perfect.

Food Item Consumed Most: Baguettes & Croissants.  No regrets!

Song On RepeatPoliça “I Need $” (I just like the song, but the title is pretty apt too)

Number of Photos Taken: 3372.  That’s an average of 112 per day.  Thank God I packed my Terabyte!

Best Moments: Having breakfast at the post office in Le Barroux.  My late night singalong with Chuck in our Seville hotel room (sorry neighbors)!  Iceland’s breathtaking beauty.  Hanging out in Steve’s apartment in London.

IMG_3752Best Meal: Woody made so many but probably the incredible omelette or squid risotto.  Second choice was tapas in Seville or paella in Granada.

Biggest Surprises:  People aren’t always available when you need them most.  You’ve just got to figure it out.

Time difference is a big deal.  You’ll never be in the same mindset as the person you’re talking to with a difference of 5+ hours.

The highs and lows are typically one after another.  If I have a great morning, I tend to have a really bad evening (and vice versa).

Biggest Takeaway: Write things down rather than letting them swim around in your head.  Embracing a feeling for a moment is necessary, but don’t linger on it longer than needed.  Let it all flow through you and don’t fixate on one thing.  (I wrote a “when you’re having a bad moment” note to myself, which is actually really helpful for me to keep things in perspective.  I reference it often.)

1SE (One Second Everyday): My friend Sam told me about this great app which allows you to sync a one second video with your calendar so you get a second per day. The app links each day’s second together to create a more vibrant type of slideshow.

I decided I want to do this and share it on a monthly basis, then eventually I’ll have one for as long as I travel!  It has become my favorite part of my day – trying to figure out what one second I should capture and share.  I love photos but never really gave video a chance, so this is a fun and different way to share my trip.  I started part way through the month and had some technical difficulties, so excuse the holes, but here’s my first one!

If you have any other questions about my first month of travel, please feel free to send them my way and I can try to answer them or include them going forward.  Cheers!

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