Love Affair – Day 21 of the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project

When we travel, our senses are heightened. We feel more alive and we’re more free to do things we might not at home. We can be who we want. There’s an air of urgency to everything we do – we know our time here, in this place, and with these people, is limited. If we want to do something, we have to do it now. It’s no wonder then that many travelers have relationships on the road. Tell us about a “special someone” you met while traveling. 

Everyone has heard of hostel hook ups, it’s part of the fun of traveling when you’re single. There’s no sense of anything other than the present, there’s no expectations or chances to get to know someone quite well enough for them to really get on your nerves in only the way someone you really know can. It’s icing on the travel cake to be wandering around a city foreign to the both of you feeling that “new love” feeling, even though it’s fleeting and in many cases doesn’t last more than a few days or couple weeks at most.

I don’t think I’ll talk about any of that. Instead I’ll talk about the “special someone” who, being in her own relationship with someone she met traveling, said a few simple lines that always stuck with me regarding traveling.

It was my friend Jessica’s and my last night in London on our two week trip to England and Ireland. She had a crush on an Irish guy at the hostel and was spending quite a lot of time on the couch being smitten and I was somewhat left to my own devices in the common area. At some point I started a conversation with a girl who just happened to be from the same state we were. The usual “how long have you been traveling, what has your favorite place” type of travel questions were traded and after telling her that it was our last night, I asked when she was leaving and she said “well……my flight was yesterday but I decided not to get on it. I’ve got this Scottish boyfriend here and I’m going to see how that works out.”  To me that was amazing, I had never thought before that you even had the option of not getting back on the flight you were booked on. Now I know better of course but at the time that option blew me away and every trip I wonder…what if I didn’t get on the plane back? It’s nice to know that someday that could happen and it comforts me to think of that. She probably doesn’t even know the effect that simple statement made and doesn’t remember me I’m sure, but she’s more of a special someone to me than the Danish girl I spent two days with wandering around London.

Drink – Day 20 of the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project

Just as the cuisine of a place reveals clues about its culture and history, so does its signature local drink. What’s the best drink you had on the road, and did the drink have any connection to the place where you drank it or the people you drank with?

I always make it a point to try to local booze, Pisco Sours in Peru, Vana Tallinn in Estonia, Slivovice in Czech Republic, and the list goes on. This is outside of the fantastic beers I’ve had in places like Germany, Belgium, etc. I’ve found that a culture that doesn’t have it’s own drink and ways of imbibing is a culture where I’ll be going to bed very early and possibly bored. Now that’s not to say that the only thing to do while traveling but let’s face it for some people (myself included) it helps overcome shyness a bit and provides a readily available social atmosphere.

One of the best drinks I’ve had on the road was in Brugges, Belgium. I should clarify by saying this was the best beer I’ve had while traveling. My friend and I had stopped at a canal side restaurant for brunch and ordered their local weissbeer. I wish I could describe it in a way other than amazing. It was balanced with the right amount of spice, carbonation and clarity that every sip was like the first. So much so that before our food even came we were on to a second half liter, that’s how easy these went down. Needless to say after brunch we spent the rest of the afternoon tipsily walking around Brugges’ canals and immensely enjoying the kind of peace that comes with a full belly, beautiful surroundings and the right amount of a tasty local adult beverage.