There and Back Again

Alright, so technically I didn't write anything as soon as the trip ended, but I have a kind of valid reason, I promise.

First of all, I'll get the small talk niceties out of the way. Yes, the trip was great. I had lots of fun. My favourite part was probably a tie between London and Switzerland. I know I sound kind of robotic now, but the worst part of travelling is definitely having to say the same things over and over to people when you get back who want to know how it is. And I know I probably sound a bit ungrateful. Don't get me wrong, I know that each person that asks me probably doesn't think about the 20 people before them that asked the same thing, but it doesn't make it any less tedious.

I guess I didn't write anything right at the end of the trip for two main reasons. Firstly, I was being a bit lazy. I had plenty of time in airports and stuff to write, but I just didn't feel up to it. Plus I was playing my Nintendo Switch, which by the way is one of my best purchases in quite a few years. Secondly, I didn't really feel like my trip was over yet. I was only home for about 2 weeks before I got on another plane. I flew down to Kamloops to help my mom pack up her house so I could drive it back up to Fort St John where she bought a new one.

But I'm back from that now. Well, I have been for 3 days. But I'm finally writing something today because I'm back at work, so it really feels like I'm back! You know, it that horrible soul sucking way that work makes you feel like you're actually back to the grind. But I do have a lot to look forward to I guess. I've only been half-assing my New Years Resolutions up to this point, so it's time to turn up the heat.

I've got some interesting ideas for how I'm going to reformat the blog posts and change things up, but you'll have to wait and see how they play out. I've made the mistake before of talking about plans that never end up going through, so I've started a new practice of keeping my cards close to my chest.

I want to talk a bit about the second half of the trip though. Allow me to start off by saying that 30 days is a long damn time to travel. Especially the type of travelling we did. Since we were both still under 25, we couldn't rent a car, which threw a bit of a wrench into our plans. I won't go too much into the details, but let me just say that for my future travels I am really glad I'll be able to rent a vehicle. Training and planing between cities is a lot of fun... the first time. It get's pretty (for lack of a better turn of phrase) old pretty quick. I feel so ungrateful when I say stuff like that, but really all the big cities are mostly similar except for a few landmarks, so the longer you travel the harder it gets to find fun stuff to do.


The second half of our trip kicked off with a 6 day stay in Amsterdam. I really, really love that city, but 6 days was too long for just tourist stuff. We did a bunch of walking around on the first day, saw the museums and parks and stuff, and then we were basically done. Neither of us are big on the party scene, so a lot of Amsterdam's more well known attractions were not entirely enticing. We did end up renting some bikes and going up to Zaan to look at all the old windmills and things, which was definitely my favourite part of the Netherlands. We got to see one that was still a functioning sawmill.

So after our long stay with the Dutch we packed up and headed south to Switzerland. This was probably my favourite week of the trip, for many reasons. Switzerland is super beautiful, we got to visit with an old friend from grade school (who so very graciously let us crash for 3 nights on her couch, for which my wallet is eternally grateful), and since we got the Swiss Rail Pass travelling was a complete breeze. It was about 300 francs upfront, but we didn't pay for a single train the whole time, and most if not all of our excursion transportation costs were covered as well.


We started out in Lucerne, which I had been to briefly last summer to visit the same friend, and it remains my favourite part of Switzerland. Beautiful town, huge blue lake, enormous snow-capped mountains... what's not to love? On the second day we were there one of my friend's friends from school serendipitously was in Lucerne on the same day with a tour group, so we spent that day hanging with him and his girlfriend, doing touristy stuff. That was a really fun day, but it was by far the most expensive! Those tour groups may be cheap upfront, but all those excursions start to add up.


After Lucerne we went to Montreaux, near the French border. Countries like Switzerland and Belgium are so weird to me, where depending on which bordering country you are closest to determines what language the towns speak. So we went from Swiss-German speaking Lucerne to French speaking Montreaux. I have a hard time imagining what school is like, having to learn 3 official languages.


Montreaux was very nice, but it was nothing compared to Lauterbrunnen. It's a little town situated in this valley with sheer cliffs on either side, huge snow capped mountains towering above. Waterfalls litter the cliffs lead by one giant one right beside the town itself. Unfortunately we were there a bit early in the year so we weren't able to climb to the viewpoint under the waterfall, but it was still a spectacular view nonetheless.

After a bit of hiking around the area, including a gondola ride up to the top of the cliffs to the town of Wengen, plus one day of sickness where I laid in bed most of the day, we left Lauterbrunnen and went back to Lucerne for one night before heading to Copenhagen, and eventually home. It was my first time in Denmark, and I have to say that for as much as I heard about it, Copenhagen didn't impress me all that much. It wasn't a hole or anything, just not nearly as nice as some of the other European cities I've been to.


After a short 19 hour layover in Iceland, a flight across the Atlantic, and 2 more domestic flights I was home. And I was ready to be. 30 days is a long time to travel; to live out of a single bag. It was so nice to wear different clothing and to sleep in my own bed again. I would (and will) do it again in a heartbeat though. Travelling is something that only the last couple generations of humans have really got to experience in full, and I love it.