Three weeks of travel without a destination

I have seven weeks left in Europe before I board a plane to my beloved California. A place I think off fondly and  a place that conjures beautiful visions for people who have never been but have seen plenty of images from films and Television. When I tell people where I’m from, they have a twinkle in their eye and their face lights up. A reminder that where I come from is a place where people from around the world fancy visiting. Returning home will be another adventure; a new beginning for me in so many ways. 

I have less than a month of work left and my 9 hour work week at my high school is going to be reduced as my most of my students have exams.

Life is good.

But I know a HUGE transition is upon me. That is, when I return home.

Bay Bridge, San Francisco

Before I grace California with my presence and see my family and friends, I have 3 weeks of travel awaiting me. Three  unplanned weeks. Despite pondering what I may do and where I’ll go for the last couple of months, I haven’t settled on anything nor really know where to go. I have the entirety of Europe at my finger tips and no plans.

Ironic? Maybe.

Well, my only solid plan is to visit my dear friend in Belfast, Ireland for a week and then…

I’ve been toying with the idea of relying solely on public transport so I can be flexible in my travel style. I can stay if I like it, and go when I want. One of my favorite things about travel (and life) is you just never know what’s going to happen or who you’re going to meet. Boarding a bus or train seems more convenient and flexible than dealing with long lines and security at the airport with the additional worry of, is your carry-on small enough.  I’ve drawn up a tentative plan- Ireland (visit friend)- Scotland (solo)- London (family and friend) and have pondered Berlin, Helsinki or Prague but I’m slightly overwhelmed. It also appears my “master” plan of buses and planes is likely not the easiest, cheapest or most logical with my various destinations.

For the first time in my life I prefer to travel with someone, to share the experience, to have company,and to get into “good kind of trouble” together. I’ve had my fair share of solo travel and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Solo travel has made me who I am today, allowed me incredibly rich opportunities to learn about myself and my world, meet folks I likely wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t alone and push past my comfort zones.

But I’ve surprised myself with reaching a point in my life and in my travels where I want to share experiences with someone. I had hoped my three weeks would be me visiting friends in Europe but looks like our schedules are not aligning and I’m left to create new plans.

Ok. Fine. Sounds good. I can do just that.

But here lies the absurd. I have time and some money but I lack the spirit; the energy.  I feel slightly guilty. My life is pretty good when my worries (for the moment) are where I’m going to travel to, even if I don’t have a clue… yet. This may seem strange when most people can only dream of having time off of work or having some extra cash in the bank to jet-off. It’s quite the dilemma to have, except I’ve just about reached burn out.  There are plenty of places I’d love to visit but I’m well aware of wanting to relax, refocus and re-energize before I can fully appreciate new sights, new cultures, new foods, and meeting new people.

I’ve got three weeks and I’ll be figuring out a plan somehow, soon. I also have this feeling that I need to aprovechar because I don’t know when I’ll be back in Europe. Then again, life has reminded me this year that we just never know what’s waiting for us around the corner.  A year ago in May, I never imagined I would board a plane three months later to live in Basque Country.

Life. It’s full of beautiful surprises.

If you had three weeks of travel time but wanted to chill rather than do a lot of sightseeing, where would you go? Have a great beach spot or tranquil place you’d recommend?


23 thoughts on “Three weeks of travel without a destination

  1. Pingback: Transition time: What comes next? | Roamingtheworld

  2. Hi, Lauren. I think Barcelona and surroundings are a very good place to relax: Barcelona has a beach, parks and terrazas. Gerona and Tarragona are beautiful towns. And Mediterranean sea has nice beaches. Of course, dont forget the good food of this area.

  3. For relaxing beaches maybe try Greece and you’ll get the chance to see what people have to say about the Eurocrisis while you’re there, taking advantage of it 😉

    Not too far from there, my friend and I spent an amazing couple of days on the island of Vis in Croatia last summer, and there’s a small island named Bishevo nearby that has some very laid back ecotourism going on, which seems like something you might be interested in.

  4. Lauren, You are amazing and brave. I would love to have been so adventurous in my younger years. Incredible. I love your story. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time making the best of memories in the last few weeks.

    • Yes. So many places to see! I’m still figuring out my “exact plans” and sometimes I think 3 weeks isn’t enough! lol

  5. Greece and Turkey if you haven’t already been. Look, enjoy your last few weeks of real freedom without feeling guilty because the truth is you don’t know when you’ll have this opportunity again! I’m excited for you and wish you all the luck in the world, as always 🙂

  6. To me, Amsterdam is literally the most beautiful city in the world…and if you go now, the weather ought to be beautiful…unlike when I went and there was two feet of snow on the ground.

    • Thanks for reading. I haven’t been to Amsterdam nor have I really been drawn to the city but…

  7. Nice. As in the coast of France. It’s Cannes cheaper, shabbier, chiller beach-town sister with a Viking themed Irish pub (true story) and a lovely, if somewhat rocky beach.

  8. If I were going to Ireland, Scotland and London anyway, and had some friends/family there, I would stretch out the trip over the three weeks and explore those places in more depth, rather than just a quick hop-scotch. Enjoy!

  9. I’d rent an apartment for a couple weeks and live like a local in Paris! The weather should be just lovely, and it’s a city you could take in – with time – by foot, getting to know all the little alleyways, parks, neighborhoods and eating raw milk cheese that have been prohibited in the States.

    • I had thought about that. Live like a parisian for a few weeks. Bought my flight to Ireland but still nothing is set after that… But I know it will all fall into place!

  10. I’m Australian, and I love my country, so I’d probably stay here. There are so many amazing places to go, plus I couldn’t ‘chill’ in another country. Everywhere is so far away for us that we can’t take travel for granted and I’d want to see everything in a foreign country rather than just relaxing.
    In Aus I love the flinders rangers and fleurieu peninsula in SA, Kangaroo Valley in NSW, Alice Springs and Ularu, and the beaches anywhere!

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