Just a quick little post of self-reflection, as I sit here in Zagreb, Croatia, waiting for my very first Croatian train to take me to the coast. And a quick side note: I love Croatia. I am seriously considering moving here for 3-4 months in 2012. Aside from New Zealand, I have never felt more comfortable in a place before. People have heard of the wonders of the coast before, but Zagreb has been a revelation that last few days. It is a beautiful capital and one that I could hang out in for weeks — and likely will back in a few weeks after the coast.
I flew over to Spain a couple weeks ago, in order to get somewhere to work on the final preparations for the Ultimate Train Challenge. I got to run with the bulls in Pamplona, with a great new travel blogging friend, Russ Brooks. Then I went up to San Sebastian for some great food and fun.
Then, after a few travel mishaps — helpful hint for those of us that don’t like to make reservations and advance plans… Europe during the summer might not be the spot for you, or me — I managed to make it to Venice, one of my favorite cities to take pictures in and get lost in, just in time to enjoy a party hosted by one of the amazing sponsors of the Ultimate Train Challenge, Eurail.com. They have been truly incredible to deal with and I’m going to post up a bit about their Gondola Giveaway and party in a separate post this week.
Then a fairly long dash of a travel day from Venice, to Trieste (going back there at some point, it looked really cool, and basically unmentioned in most travel guides), down through Croatia and over to Zagreb, the capital. I managed the last bed in the HoboBear Hostel here — again, this lack of planning and reservations is going to bite me hard soon — and finally got my passport and visa paperwork sent off back to the States to get my Russia, China, and Vietnam visa for the train challenge. So, I am now trapped with no passport for 3-4 weeks in Croatia….
I may be the luckiest person I know.
So, I know that sometimes I write about some of the downsides of my current lifestyle: the border crossing nightmares, the long bus rides, cold showers, bad hotels and hostel dorm experiences, and a few other of my regular mishaps, I do fully realize that I am living a pretty dreamlike life right now.
Which is the base reason that I’m not remotely ready for it to end.
So while I look forward to more travel mishaps, for those are the most interesting things to write about, rest assured that I am aware of my blessings, especially recently, because my parents have been even bigger stalwarts in assisting me in my travels. Its really great to have supportive parents back home that can help you with logistics from the States when needed. Many thanks, Mom and Dad. It is truly appreciated over here.