Living in the Netherlands

Changes, risks, and other monsters under the bed

It seems to me that every other post I’m announcing some “huge” change in my life. Silly past Julie, little did you know of what was to come. Because what I’m about to share is BIG. Like, massive. Humongous, colossal, mondo, oversize, roomy, voluminous even. (And somewhere down the line, my synonyms stopped being appropriate for the situation.)

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a bit. My backpacking trip is just starting a few months earlier than planned, but to me it feels like the world stopped spinning temporarily. Actually, that’s a terrible analogy. It’s quite the opposite – the world is rotating at a much quicker speed, and the days are passing before I can take notice. There’s so much for me to research (visas, immunizations, and travel insurance to name a few. And a very special thank you to those that are helping me with these tasks!)

There’s also the matter of preparing myself mentally and physically. For one, I should probably be in much better shape. I rarely exercise, and eat far too much. I’m pretty sure the host father once compared my eating habits to those of a dinosaur, and I really can’t argue with that conjecture (except for the fact that I lack firsthand experience with dinosaurs. I can only assume he’s a time traveler, and that’s why he’s always talking about dinosaurs).

I guess it makes sense.. we're both herbivores and have short legs.

I guess it makes sense.. we’re both herbivores and have short legs.

But even if I had until September, I know I would feel the same mixture of anxiety and excitement. Or at least that’s what I tell myself to calm the nerves.

For those of you that are interested, this is what my upcoming itinerary looks like:

-June 4- 14ish: Paris to meet my dad’s friends (and maybe my uncle will even be there?! A girl can dream). And possibly Belgium on the way back up to the Netherlands.

-June 15- July 8: goodbye tour through the Netherlands. To everyone I’ve met here during my stay – let’s have a final drink together! I’m tentatively thinking of a farewell get-together during the last weekend of June.

-July 9- 19ish: meet my friend Jackie in Amsterdam, and tag along on her Europe trip! I’m also hoping to see my family in Frankfurt, and meet up with a friend who will be in Croatia at the time.

-July 20- early September: make my way down to Spain to do the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. Guys and gals, I’m really excited for this one.

-September 15- 28: London and Austria with my mom 🙂

-September 29: this is where the real challenge begins, as I somehow make my way to Vietnam to visit my old roommate. My cousin and a couple friends might join as well (*fingers crossed*). Trips to Laos, Thailand, Cambodia (!), China, and South Korea are also in the works.

I don’t know when I’m returning to California. I keep saying I’ll travel until I run out of money, and I’m just hoping I make it to SE Asia before that happens.

I do know that I’m excited beyond belief. I’m also terrified by the uncertain nature of my trip. But that seems to be exactly what I need right now, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

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2 thoughts on “Changes, risks, and other monsters under the bed

  1. Julie! This is awesome! You may be nervous now, but I know that will all go away when you actually leave. I always get really nervous before traveling.. not sure why. The unknown, I guess. Anyway, your plans look amazing! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to meet up with you afterall, but I may just have to go backpack in Spain with you.. I met a professor who did that trip last summer with some students and he loved it.

    Miss you <3! Take care!

    • You should SO join me for Spain — that would be incredible! My access to the internet is going to be pretty sporadic in about a week, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated of my Camino-related plans.

      And thanks for the words of encouragement. I need it for sure. Miss you!! Hope you’re doing well nikkibobikki ❤

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