Traveling can be a great, beautiful and wonderful eye opening experience. But do people ever talk about the not so glamorous side of traveling?
You know- when your stuck in traffic trying to get crosstown in London to make your flight to Spain? Or when your staying in an air bnb in Amsterdam and can’t figure out for the life of you how to use the washer and end up fucking up all your underwear? Or accidentally drinking the water in Morocco and having to go to a pharmacy in Romania just to get meds so you’ll stop shitting your pants?
Nope. Not a peep of this. Well all of these these instances are true and have all happened to me so let’s get into it.
I hope I took the right doses because Google translate did not help with this one
I’ve been to Morocco twice. First time I was a cautious Cathy. Didn’t drink the water, didn’t use ice cubes in my drinks and didn’t even brush my teeth without a bottle nearby. Luckily I escaped unscathed. The second time I was a little more ballsy and had been already traveling for about 2 weeks at that point. I brushed my teeth with the water, ordered ice in every drink and even let a little shower water get in my mouth after a particularly rough hike and I felt fine! Until I didn’t. Towards the end of my Morocco trip I started to feel a little funny, which I merely chalked up to travelers stomach (yes, it’s a real thing). When I got to Sevilla a few days later I knew something was definitely wrong so I stocked up on some trusty digestive cookies (a real Spanish staple) and kept it moving. However it wasn’t until a week later when I found myself in Romania driving back from Draculas castle that I knew something was wrong.
Clearly too excited to notice the rumbling going on beneath the surface.
As we were rounding a corner entering a small town I thought to myself “this is it. This is the moment when your life will change forever because you’re literally about to poop in your pants”. My life flashed before my eyes and I actually almost cried. Real question. Have you ever almost shit your pants? Like clenching your butt cheeks, praying, vision going blurry shit your pants. It’s like you can see the future and it’s not bright, you know from that moment on your life will forever be divivded into two parts like BC and AC. BS and AS – before shitting and after shitting. Just imagine for a second what your life you would be like if you actually pooped your pants at the age of 27 and were not drunk or had a serious illness. Anyways, In the middle of her story I blurted out UHIHAVETOFINDABATHROOMLIKENOW.
Luckily my travel companion knew me well enough to know that it was an emergency, we found a somewhat abadoned restaurant, waddled our way inside and the rest is history. When we got back to Bucarest we made a beeline to the nearest pharmacy. Lucky for me Europes pharmacies are very different from Americas. In these pharmacies you walk in, tell the pharmacist what’s wrong with you and bam. You got your meds. No questions, no prescription, no nothing. So to the pharmacist in old town Romania. Thank you for saving my intensities, my dignity and my wallet. Although I have no idea what these boxes say because I speak approximately 0 words of Romanian, as far as I’m concerned these are little miracles in a box and cost a whopping $4.
So ladies an gentlemen the lesson here is to never drink the water in Morocco, always have a pepto bismal handy when traveling and never be ashamed about trying to explain to a random Romanian stranger that you need meds to stop you from violently pooping your pants. It happens to the best of us.
The only thing I could eat in Bucarest
Currently raging in Romania, be back soon!!
My friend Chris is a real laugh. Like he makes me cry on a regular basis. I really wanted a place to showcase all his greatest sayings, so I thought why not here.
One day we’re walking down the
mean smelly streets of New York. I’m probably drunk and Chris is probably trying to save me from getting hit by a cab (as per usual). At this point he’s already mentioned how he used to have “stables” and is “the man of these streets” (I can attest both of these things are true”. Somehow the topic of being dickmatized (look it up) comes up and he says.
When you’re cooking with fire, you know it’s hot
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chris.
I went to London this past weekend. I think I liked Dublin more (more of that later) it’s a very international city with tons of foreigners – I was really hoping to hear more of that adorable English accent. It also snowed, rained and hailed while I was there – like make up your mind please. Plus the air bnb was freezing and didn’t have any soap? (It’s the little luxuries I look forward to) on the bright side the food was amazing and the clouds made for great photos.
Follow along as I begin my travels in Spain!!! (and read more of my stuff at 20some.com)
We’ve all been there, sitting in your office, scrolling through Instagram, BuzzFeed, Elite Daily and viewing picture after picture of beautiful people on the beaches of Italy, coliseums of Greece, or the luxurious streets of Paris. The headlines are screaming out at you – “I quit my job to travel! Here’s how I did it” (insert photo of two girls holding up a peace sign with some ninth Wonder of the World in the background). You think, “Wow this can be me too!”
You eagerly open up the article and begin reading, again thinking “Wow, I can totally do this.”
Here’s how they usually go:
“All it takes is a ton of motivation, a strong will and my parents’ credit card! LOL. We searched kayak.com until we found a great deal! Packed a bag and bought a one-way ticket, from there we worked odd jobs (and blogged along the way) and we were able to travel for one year! No steady job! It hasn’t always been easy but we did it!!”
Cool. I’ve basically learned nothing from this article and I still think it’s virtually impossible to quit my job and travel. So, I’m just going to go back to pretending that I understand excel and actually listen during meetings.
Well, despite these unhelpful resources, I retained the desire to quit my job and live abroad. And I’m here to tell you that, after a lot of my own research and preparation, I’m actually about to do it. But unlike these girls on Instagram who sell tea for a living, I’m a real life person with bills and a dad who will not be letting me use his credit card. I’m also here to tell you that it is possible no matter who you are, but it does take a lot if planning, discipline, and motivation (insert peace sign photo here). Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Make the decision and start planning.
My planning actually began over a year ago. Last summer, I decided that I wanted to travel, spend all my money, then come back to “real life” and get my shit together. So, I started saving a little bit of money to do just that. At this point I had no idea what I was going to do or for how long, but my ideal timeline was three months.
After spending a year abroad in Spain during high school, I knew I wanted to go back. I started researching programs that would allow me to go to Spain for three months (since you only need a tourist visa if you are going to a country for this amount of time). I stumbled upon CIEE — a program that a few of my friends had done after high school. There was a 3-month volunteer program for people right outside of Madrid that allows you to stay with a family and volunteer to teach English at a local school! (aka major money saver.)
I decided this was the program for me, since I definitely want to brush up on my Spanish and start out with a solid home base before my travels. As anyone who has traveled abroad before can tell you, it’s pretty easy to move around Europe once you get there. So I figured I would do the program, then spend maybe a month or two traveling.
Solid plan right!? Maybe. I would still basically be without work for 3 to 5 months with little to no income as I mentioned before. So that brings me to…
Step 2: Start REALLY saving money.
Even if you don’t know where you want to go, or for how long, or have any solid plans in mind for a program or a path of travel, start saving $100 – $200 per paycheck, any bonuses, tax returns, whatever — just save, save, save. When you have a solid cushion in your savings, purchasing a one-way plane ticket for $400 doesn’t seem quite so scary.
Now, in lieu of writing a 15-page essay of what I did and how I did it, I’ll treat this more like a guide (and advice column of course) as I go and learn how you all can make it work, too. I’m about a month away from my departure date, so things are getting more real than ever, but I’m also here to tell you that anyone can do it.
If you’re feeling the itch, don’t scratch it by going out and shopping. Save your money. Sure it’s hard, you might not get to accept all those brunch invitations or eat out every weekend, but I’m sure when you’re enjoying a croissant in the Swiss Alps (why not?), you’ll be glad you didn’t try to drink 15 mimosas in 30 minutes with your six drunkest, closest friends.