Travel

So, my first post is dedicated to something that, over the last few years, has challenged me more than I ever could have imagined, offered me the chance to discover new places, cultures, and new things about myself, and it will always continue to fascinate me…

Travelling.

Over the last few years I have lived and worked in Hamburg, Bratislava, and Cartagena in Southern Spain, worked a two week teaching contract in two very different parts of Austria, and during these periods abroad, I have taken the opportunity to visit many cities across Europe.

My experiences travelling have not always been positive and not always as fun and exciting as you dream about when planning a trip. For me, there is also a bitter-sweet sensation about travelling as I have often struggled with feelings of homesickness and feeling separated from close friends and family, often because I have spent long periods of time abroad rather than taking short holidays. But it is actually for this very reason that travelling has turned out to be such a great thing for me to have done. In three weeks’ time, I’m going to put my (perhaps short-lived) time as a TEFL teacher behind me, and return to the UK, where I see myself living permanently in the future. And when I return I am sure that I will be walking a little bit taller than before, have more courage of my convictions, independence and self-confidence.

Travelling has been an inspiration for me, and I have met some amazing people along the way. I’ve had ups and downs, learnt some new languages (Slovak, Spanish, Italian…), tried new foods (fried cheese in Bratislava and Prague; funnel bread in Budapest; Schnitzel in Austria; paella in Spain…), and done things I never thought I would do (like a lone bike ride across three borders during my visit to Feldkirch, and seeing the sun rise from a mountain top in Cartagena). I’ve lived in freezing temperatures (winter in Bratislava – although I think I actually got off quite lightly!) and much hotter ones (summer in Spain). I’ve experienced the loudness of Spanish people, the directness of Germans, the reserved nature of Slovaks, and found that everywhere I was welcomed with hospitality because, in the end, they really want you to enjoy living in their country.

Most of all, travelling has taught me to appreciate my home country and helped me to discover that, for me, home is where the heart is.

Finally, I want to include a quotation which initially inspired me to write this piece, but has now left me wondering what it really means:

“No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow” Lin Yutang

Does it means that you only realise how amazing your travels were when you come home and everything is boring and familiar? Or does it mean that travelling helps you to appreciate your home comforts? For me it could be a little bit of both.

And because I can’t really put into words some of the beautiful moments I’ve had when travelling, I’ve posted a list of my favourite places I’ve visited to date, and a collection of some of my favourite photographs from the various European cities I’ve visited.

Some of my favourite destinations:  

  • Germany – Hamburg, Berlin
  • Austria Vienna, Salzburg, Gaenserndorf, Feldkirch
  • Slovakia Bratislava
  • Spain – Cartagena, Granada
  • France – Paris
  • Czech Republic  Prague 
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5 thoughts on “Travel

  1. Yes I love travelling but so true living and working abroad is a completely different experience. I’m so glad that Spain has treated you well and you’ll be returning to the UK with many good memories…hopefully we’ll be able to travel a bit together in the near future. Good ol’ Lincolnshire – enjoy the beauty and comforts of it! Excited to hear more soon 🙂
    Lots of love, Kate xxx

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  2. Jo! This is an amazing blog. I loved it, and it’s so lovely to read just a little snapshot of what you’ve been up to and such an honest account of travelling. Would be really lovely to get together now you’re returning to the UK – to teach, amazing!! I’m around lots in tatts at the moment, so yes, would be lovely 🙂
    See you soon,
    L xx

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    1. Laura, thanks so much for your lovely comment! I’m so glad you like the blog and enjoyed reading 🙂 Definitely have to organise a meet up soon! It’s been too long! lots of love xxx

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  3. Aahh, I am in Australia and you just lived my dream and will continue to do so!!! You see, I am LONGiNG to visit England and Europe, especially England, every cent I have is going towards me traveling there!! Cannot wait!!!! Love your blog.xxoo Jennifer

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    1. Thanks for your positive comments about my blog – it’s great that you’ve enjoyed reading it! I hope you manage to realise your dream and visit Europe, it’s so diverse and every country has something different to offer, I’m not done exploring it myself yet 🙂 Keep saving because it will be worth every penny when you get here!! Good luck! Jo xx

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