The day after I post this will be my 100th day abroad.
That’s one hundred days of exploring, seeing new places, meeting new people, working, laughing, eating great food, and being free. I have stayed in six countries (not including my day trips to Switzerland and Austria, which are more than worth a mention!), three of which I had never seen before, and now I am on the last leg of my trip.
I am writing this from Barcelona, and in about a week I will be preparing to head back to America, and then more specifically back “home”. It feels like I am preparing to undergo a test of faith and personal strength.
It’s difficult not to begin to focus on the negatives. That is why I wanted to dedicate this post to some of my favorite moments that I’ve experienced abroad.
Meeting so many wonderful people in Ireland and being given a true Irish welcome (and breakfast!)
Staring over the Cliffs of Moher in awe
Castles, so many castles (and possibly meeting a ghost in one of them)
The many teas
Meeting a seal in the harbor at Skerries, Ireland
Spending time with a dear friend in Ipswich, England (and trying a chia bowl for the first time)
Sitting in the sunshine in the park with said friend and enjoying an ice cream punctuated by talk about the workings of the universe
Arriving in Italy in one piece after my first international plane ride solo
Attending a mushroom festival in the mountains of Liguria and having a sudden lightning storm turn out all the lights while people cheered and sang
Meeting so many kind people at the B&B named Bella Vita in Bracco
Cooking lunch and dinner with my Work Away host and having a good laugh at my knife cutting skills
Spending every other day on the warm Italian beaches (and shell hunting there)
Gelato, all the (café) gelato
Making the daily morning espresso (and nearly burning it way too many times)
Meeting my fellow Work Away volunteers and becoming such good friends
Making pizza together
Arriving in Germany after a terrible twelve hour bus ride and getting to fall asleep safe and warm
Spending time in Germany with some of my best friends and really feeling at home
Picking fresh apples off of the tree
Meeting a willow tree for the first time
Taking a cable car up the mountain in Austria
Walking along Lake Constance (in Germany and Austria)
Making apple bread (more specifically making it look like a dinosaur)
Going to a medieval festival
Visiting the Rhine Falls in Switzerland
Visiting the medieval town of Perouges
Visiting more beautiful castles
Seeing the view over Lyon
Arriving in Barcelona and being greeted by Sagrada Familia
All the spicy food in Spain (how I missed spicy food!)
The massive outdoor markets
The experience of helping teach others how to speak English
There were so many more moments, and there are sure to be more before I touch back down at “home”, but these have been some of the highlights of the last 100 days that have made me thankful again and again for deciding to take this trip.
Thank you to any of you who decided to follow me on this journey so far. More adventures are still to come, even if I don’t know what they are yet.