I am One Seriously Lucky Person 53

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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 revelationย 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.


Venice Posters on a Brick Wall, lucky overland traveler

feeling like my life should be posterized


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….


Venice Grand Canal Rialto Bridge

wandering, eating, drinking and photographing


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.

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About Michael Hodson

Iโ€™m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

53 thoughts on “I am One Seriously Lucky Person

  • Linda

    That’s a nice tribute to your parents. They will really appreciate it. As a mom I know I would.

    Loving reading your blog at the moment. Your happiness must really be reflected I think.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Well thank you, Linda. Easy to give a nice shout-out to my folks. They’ve been very cool and helpful since I started wandering around (and before, of course).

  • Kymri

    Count your blessings indeed! Both of my parents died before ever getting a single stamp in their own passports, yet they always unquestionably supported my passion for travel, and I am so blessed for it. How wonderful that you honor and recognize your parent’s support in a blog post, they must be proud!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Kymri, that’s a cool little story about your folks. Love that they didn’t get a chance to leave the country, but loved you for traveling around. Very nice.

  • Caroline in the City

    My love for Croatia is almost embarrassing. I can’t even explain why. Get to the islands, and fast! I have to live vicariously through those in the Northern Hemisphere summer.

    Also looking forward to Train Challenge posts!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I am going to hit a few islands for sure. I did a little work in Zagreb on my way down… and kinda feel in love with that city. Totally shocking. I’d have thought I’d only have liked the seaside towns, but it reminded me of Budapest and Vienna — two of my other favorites.

  • Holgs

    I have to keep reminding myself this trip not to keep going back to the places that I like & instead explore new places. Croatia is definitely one of those for me. Great meeting you in Venice – look forward to catching up again possibly in Portugal, unless of course I relent and end up back in Croatia anyway…

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I’ll be here for weeks, if you roll on back down. If not, then Portugal at the end of August, for sure. Great meeting you as well and can’t wait to shoot with you.

  • Debbie Beardsley

    Oh you poor guy being stuck in Croatia! Sounds wonderful and good to hear that you are loving it. I am planning to visit in 2012 so will be looking forward to reading your posts.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      It is a wonderful country. A lot more expensive than the last time I was here, but great nonetheless.

  • RenegadePilgrim

    Have you ever looked into getting your visa’s while you are traveling? For instance, I didn’t have time to get my India visa before I left for my trip last year, so I found out that I could get it at the Indian Embassy in Rome. Yeah, I had to stay in Rome for a week, but it was worth it. I can’t imagine sending my passport off to the US while in another country. I had a situation after I left Rome last year where I was asked for ID by a police officer in a train station in Sulmona and if I had not had my passport, that could have gotten ugly. I don’t think they would have liked a photocopy! Croatia is definitely on my list for future travel. I have heard it is amazing and they aren’t on the euro, so it’s more affordable.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      You can get most visas while traveling (and I have), but the Russian visa is a particular problem. You basically have to get that one from your home country, ergo me having to send my visa back to the States this time.

  • Mikeachim

    Good man.

    And enjoying the moment and feeling it like that….is very sane.

    Well deserved, mate. And long may it continue.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Well normally my sanity derives from wine and cigars, so I suppose this is much better for me.

  • MaryAnn

    You are truly blessed! You are living your dream while most of us do more dreaming than living. Many men your age are up to their necks in mortgage payments, midlife drama, children dramas, suburban claustrophobia, and jobs they mostly hate. Enjoy the path you have chosen but don’t be afraid of change. I’d love it if you found a travel loving woman to share your adventures with.

    As a mom, I know your parents are proud of you and appreciate it that you appreciate their support!


    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Am very proud of my parents also. They have lead, and are leading, pretty incredible lives themselves.

  • twoOregonians

    It’s encouraging to hear you thank your family. The people in our lives truly make the experiences possible and worth it. We are so blessed. (Also – interesting note about Croatia. It’s not on our itinerary for now, but after likening it to the comfort you felt living in NZ, I’m super-curious. I’ve never in all my life felt as home abroad as I did living on the South Island… Such fabulous people.)

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Well, nothing really compares to New Zealand, in my eyes, but Croatia is right up there. And its easy for me to talk nicely about my family… they rock!

  • Angela

    I know what you mean, I’m very lucky too, my parents are as excited as I am about my travels and support me in every single decision I make.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Its nice to hear that. I’ve heard some semi-horror stories about unsupportive parents regarding travel and it tears me up a little bit.

  • Virginia

    You’ll never know how much I enjoy your blogs, I am not one bit jealous of not being able to experience your travels as you are so gifted with words I feel as if I’m there. Your parents are fortunate to have such an humble son and you are fortunate to have such wise and supporative parents. Stay safe and know you are in our prayers.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Awwww, Virginia, thanks so much for the complement! I appreciate your following along with my travels.

  • Anthony

    This post made me smile ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s good that you had that moment where you realised that. Enjoy every second of it

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Thanks, Anthony. Writing it made me smile also. And arriving in Croatia made me smile even more ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nomadic Samuel

    Michael, I often write of my misfortunes as well; however, as you mentioned, these posts can often convey a sense of not appreciating the experience. I’ve even taken travel for granted at times but all I need is a reminded of how lucky I am to gain some perspective.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I think I heard from my readers enough to know… I best start writing a bit more on the positive side for a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Jenna

    It’s so nice to sit back and reflect on the things we have to be grateful for. I wouldn’t mind being stuck in Croatia for 3 weeks either! I have been there just once, but I love that feeling of being in a place where you think to yourself, I should move here. I just experienced that this week.

  • Annie

    Croatia is my dream. I think I have told everyone that by now. Even though I haven’t been there yet I know that I’ll love it and, unlike Paris for which I worry that I’ll be disappointed because of my high expectations, I feel like the longer I wait to get there (within reason) the better it will be because I’ll be a more level-headed traveler and I’ll soak it in.

    I hope that you enjoy your time there, in my opinion you’ve picked the perfect place to spend your 3-4 weeks without a passport! As for the rest, we are all pretty lucky to know that we have the capability to follow our dreams exactly as we want!

    Promise to take lots of photos and write a lot about Croatia?

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I shall take loads of photos and write a good bit about it — though, as you know, with my writing time lag, those posts might come months from now!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Well, sometimes I might forget a bit, but right now, I am fully in the moment. Thanks!

  • Cam

    Enjoyed this Michael – suppost systems are so important. Glad you’ve found a new place that feels like it could be home!

  • Jayne

    Croatia truly is a wonderful place to be ‘trapped’! Will you get to travel around much? Promise me you will go to Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split and Zadar…

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I will hit most of those, for sure. Maybe all of them… and some out-of-the-way places also, hopefully.

  • Leif aka The Runaway Guide

    You are damn lucky! All of us who have been able to shed the shackles of a sedentary life and travel the world are. However, I know what you mean, life is relative. But when ever I look back on my travels, and see the whole picture, it’s always a Dali. From a certain angle it looks like a nightmare but on the whole it is bizarre, beautiful, mysterious and in need of completion. In other words, when I am on the road and getting caught up stressing over the details and inconveniences, I try and remember adventures past and it reminds me to be grateful. In any case, have fun on the coast of Croatia, I love it there too.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Yea, the thing that people don’t realize back home is that it isn’t all wine and roses on the road. There are plenty of downsides also. But that being said, I need to emphasize the positive more often and aim to do so from here on…. kinda ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Lisa | LLWorldTour

    But you are wrong. I am the luckiest person you know!
    I had to bring it back down to snark a little bit, didn’t I?!

    Seriously, nice post Hodson. I, too was super fortunate to have the support of my mom & dad and knew that, at least, I’d never be homeless when I returned.

    Croatia is awesome. I have not been in like 10 years, but the people were great. My ex-boyfriend and I took him mom, who’s parents were born there. We tracked down some long lost relatives in a tiny village near Bosnia (got lost and drove into Bosnia too–that was tough since all signs are in Cyrillic–but hey, we were in Bosnia!) and hung out all day and did shots of sljivovica of course. Funny thing is, they didn’t speak any English and I’m still not convinced they were true blood relatives…probably just friendly, bored country bumpkins. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Where are your posts about that experience?? I’d love to read that whole story.

      And ya, it doesn’t suck to be you either.

  • Nomadic Chick

    I hear you and agree with Ayngelina, you remind me why I’m doing this crazy journey. I’ve never had so much fun even in the face of sickness, some heartbreak & logistical nightmares.

    Let’s keep going, my man!

  • Penny

    I love train travel as well. And I don’t mind the time it takes to get there, except when I’m on a rather old train ( euphemism) and I have to go to the bathroom.

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