Brazil, South America, Travel

Travel Plans: Having My Cake and Eating It Too

Life is one big, weird adventure. Plans fall through, dreams are postponed, exchange rates change, people have babies, get pets, lose and gain friends. Life is roller coaster with all that that implies, the head rush, the slight nausea, the terrified, but elated screaming, its all there.  The only real constant in life is that life is unpredictable. And I got to experience that a little yesterday. As I mentioned a couple of posts back the exchange rate between the British Pound and the Norwegian Krone forced me to eliminate or postpone most of my 2016 travel plans, in favor of paying my tuition fees, rent and having something extra to live for. I gave up on Vietnam, I almost gave up on Barcelona and to be honest I felt down. The money I had worked hard for and saved up specifically for  travel was now all of a sudden out of my hands and bitterly put to use just to cover a failing Krone rate that was out of my control. But then life is, and will always be, unpredictable, sometimes for worse, sometimes for better.

From our Epic Italy Adventure in 2014
From our Epic Italy Adventure in 2014

Last night I was skyping my Brazilian friend Laura, an amazing girl I met during  my first year at university and also one of my dearest friends. She had discovered she had a couple off weeks of from university in Rio De Janeiro and by pure coincidence her vacation were on the same weeks as my Easter Break. We laughed about it and decided to check the tickets on Skyscanner for fun, because we had long discussed me visiting her, but it never seemed to happen. And the tickets were relatively CHEAP! .  550 pounds return  with British Airways from London is  way less than you would expect to pay for a direct return flight. After a quick phone call to my parents and grandparents where I got them to swear to not give me any actual gifts for Christmas or my birthday, but instead some money to help pay for the flight later – which they were all for – the flight information was filled in, the tickets were paid for with some of my savings and BOOM. TWO WEEKS IN RIO DE JANEIRO HERE I COME!  😀

As you read this I am on my way to Stockholm, but I am still shellshocked. Absolutely shellshocked and in awe of how lucky I am. After losing any and all travel plans for 2016, the dates, the tickets and the trip falls into my lap and I get a Birthday/ Graduation trip after all. I’m having my cake and eating it too, despite being a students and poorer than ever. With the help of my kind family who are willing to contribute a little to the flight tickets, and Lauras lovely family hosting me for the full two weeks, and getting to see one of my dearest friends in person for the first time in almost two years… I’m set to have the trip of a lifetime. I know it’s a cliché to be “blessed” at this point, but there is no other word for it. I’m blessed to have such a supporting family, such generous friends and such loving people in my life who help make my dreams come true and cheer me on in all my endeavors. Let the countdown begin! Xxx

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Travel

What to do, what to do, where to go…

Good evening, ya’ll! I’ve had the day from hell at work with 10 hours of constant talking so tonight I needed to dream a little and think forward, past this summer, even past the next few months. I’m approaching my third and last year in university and as such I’m also approaching my graduation trip. Since starting university I always knew that I was going to go travelling a little after I graduated and the time is getting close enough that I have started to consider my options. However, I’m struggling to choose between the destinations below… where do I go?

Picture borrowed from CNN. No copyright infringement intended.
  •  Peru and Inka Trail with/ or without the  Machu Picchu 4 day trek. This has been on my list over things I want to do for a good long while now, but it’s quite an expensive journey as well as quite a challenging trek. I need to be in better shape than I am now if I’m going to do the trek and… well … if I’m going to South America I might as well stop by Brazil and Rio de Janeiro to visit a friend there too. This trip  it would be  2 weeks minimum, possibly 3.
  • European City Break (possibly Barcelona, Spain  or Warsaw, Poland). I haven’t visited Warsaw or Barcelona yet, but these are also on my to-see list. If I can’t manage to get a longer trip to happen (finances or timing or whatever reason) I will probably do one or the other for 4-5 days. I´m hoping to go to at least one of them in 2016 and a possible time for that would be after graduation.
  • vietnam-experience-map-600x600
    Borrowed from contiki.com

    Vietnam Exploring Asia is also on my to-do-list and Contiki offers some interesting packages. The trips are suppposedly full of all the best local experiences and sights, but it will possibly be a  little too tourist-y for someone who likes to explore outside tourist areas. However, as a 21 year old female I’m not sure I would feel comfortable travelling to Vietnam on my own and this group trip therefore seems like a viable option.

  • Working holiday in New Zealand or Australia. Now this is a big one. It’s also an adventure that I´m not sure I will be ready for right after I graduate due to wanting to pay back some of my student loans (Norwegians have to pay  international student fees at universities  in England which turns normal happy teenagers into miserable debt slaves of doom). I wanted to put it in this list though, because it’s something that’s been on my mind for years. If there ever was a time for 6-12 months in Oceania it would be just after finishing uni, but before starting my Grown Up Job (gaaaah help).

I’m leaning towards Vietnam at the moment, but I really don’t know what would be the most worthwhile trip to take. I just know that I’m itching to travel, to explore, to discover. I’m once again craving a new culture and new impulses. Due to my long distance relationship and my family being so far away I also know that a lot of my travel budget will be spent on journeys  to and from loved ones, which is why a city break might be the best choice. However, I also know that I should travel while I can and while I have the freedom to do so, before my Grown Up Job swallows me whole. I should follow my wanderlust to the far corners of the world and see the places I dream about. But if so, which of these should I visit first and what dream do I follow?

Do you have any tips or opinions on these? Any advice would be much appreciated! 🙂 xxx