A Travellerspoint blog

Time to Leave

The Joys of JFK airport

overcast 12 °C

Our departure date arrives, and it's as hard as I expected. I go out to breakfast with some close friends, and then rush around for the rest of the day, doing everything last-minute as usual. Our moms take us to the airport for the very last goodbyes. Ruaridh and I check our bags, and walk through the airport looking for food. I'm not sure how I should feel - I want to be excited but I'm way too drained. I get a sandwich, but don't eat it. We board our Aer Lingus flight, and set off for Edinburgh with a layover in Dublin. The flight attendants wear bright turquoise and ask in an Irish brogue if I would ilke coffee or tea. The movie is Iron Man, and I get the first 15 minutes or so.
We enter Dublin airport, groggy from the flight and awkward napping. It's gray, windy and cold - the hills in the distance smudge with the darker incoming clouds from the west. The darkness makes the grass look bright green. After finding coffee, we walk down the vast, white corridor to our terminal. Ruaridh zones out, and I try to read but eventually do the same. We board a short connection flight, and our trip begins!

Posted by rwills89 05:56 Archived in Ireland Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

The Breakdown

This is what's going down - most likely.

This is the general idea:

Days of Travel: 119
Money Accumulated: About US$9000 each
Method of Travel: Train for long distances, bus for local, hitching if we have to
Accommodation: CouchSurfing, camping, hosteling, and some family in Scotland and Portugal

The Route:
Here's a link to the calendar: http://ical.me.com/ruaridh.gallagher/Europe!

Aug- Sept
We are starting in Edinburgh, Scotland and doing a loop up through the highlands, then making our way down the west coast and meeting Ruaridh's family at the end in East Kilbride.

Sept - Oct
After a few weeks in Scotland, we hop over to Dublin, now Europe's second most expensive city, for a few days. Then over to London - after seeing Cambridge and Bath, we will leave for Amsterdam and stay there for a few days as well. For the sake of Oktoberfest, we are shooting straight over to Munich after that.

Oct-Dec
After Oktoberfest, we are free to do pretty much anything, but it will most likely go in this order:
-Rhine Valley/Frankfurt, Berlin
-Prague
-Black Forest, more Germany
-Switzerland
-France
-Spain
-Portugal
And we depart for Newark from Lisbon on Dec. 20th!
...
...
We have quite a bit ahead of us. =)

Posted by rwills89 06:00 Tagged preparation Comments (0)

The Necessary Intro Stuff

sunny 29 °C

IMG_0397.jpg
It's almost hit me - I am on the other side of the Atlantic, staying with people I can't quite understand, and I won't be home for another four months. How exciting!!
I'm now on the 4th day of my journey, in a suburb of Glasgow with some relatives of Ruaridh. It's really amazing to see this pretty suburb at the foot of these vast, rolling hills dotted with sheep. But before I get ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning... the abridged beginning.
Last year I was a freshman at UMass Amherst. At some point I realized I was wasting my time, and laying in my dorm room, decided with Ruaridh to do exactly what we would want if we could do anything in the world - travel. I transferred to a community college back in New Jersey, and started working full time at a restaurant to pay for the adventure. This is the basic rough plan: Start in Scotland while it's warmest. Then Dublin, England, Amsterdam, Germany, Prague, more Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain and lastly, Portugal.
Several months later, the planning is over and the summer is coming to a close. This is when I begin to really freak out. The long, drawn out goodbyes to really close friends took an emotional toll. I would like to say I was on an emotional roller-coaster, but bumper cars would be more accurate - I crashed a lot. Example: I took out my backpack- the one I would spend the next semester living out of- and was so excited about the things I'd see with it - the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower, the Swiss Alps - and, playing with all the little compartments and zippers, decided to give it a test pack. At first, I could hardly fit an outfit and my sleeping bag, so I burst into tears. Then I took a nap. It was pretty bad. It always feels so weird when you're about to leave home for a while- trying to take in every little stimulus, you start to look at your room, your house, and your life in a totally different light.

Posted by rwills89 05:46 Archived in USA Tagged packing Comments (0)

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