Audra and I took a life changing trip 3 years ago. We wanted to challenge the way we traveled, so we bought a flight to Amsterdam through Iceland, booked our stay in Iceland and our initial hostel in Amsterdam, and left EVERYTHING else unplanned. We didn't even have a flight home. Yes, we did some research: "Europe through the Backdoor" by Rick Steves and Nomadic Matt's Blog. We also had a vague idea of countries we wanted to visit, but that changed through the trip.
We learned a TON from this trip!
1) If you are doing an unplanned trip where you want to go to lots of places, get a Eurail pass.
2) In Brussels, we booked a train to "a random city in Germany" and received a ticket to Koln. We got off the train and recognized the Cologne cathedral immediately. Yes, cities have different names in English.
3) Don't wait until the last minute to book flights (usually).
4) The infrastructure exists all through Europe for this kind of travel. You can get off the train, find wifi somewhere, book a hostel, and start exploring.
5) The world was HUGE!!! We visited 10 cities in 6 countries and the world only seemed bigger after that.
Foreward: A major reason for our travel is to learn history. The city of Gdańsk, Poland gave us so much more than we asked for. The following is Audra's reaction. We'll give you an update of the day to day life in Poland in our next post.
I will admit that I didn’t know what to expect when visiting the country of Poland. But, I can tell you pulling back the layers of this country has been incredible. Right now, I want to focus on the historic aspects of Poland based on our visit to the incredible Polish WWII museum.
People always say that understanding history is a chance to learn and not make the mistakes from the past. I agree partially but, I’m not sure if it is physically possible to truly understand all factors at play since there are so many underlying components to world events, with so many different perspectives. World War 2 history evokes so many emotions in me – horror, pride, disgust, intrigue. But, exploring the past raises a continuous stream of questions, helps one draw comparison with modern times, forms opinions and honestly elicits a surge of gratitude. In my blog post below, you will see how these factors come into play when learning about the anguish and tenacity of the Polish people from 1939-1989.
Our previous blog was hosted on Wix. This website proved troublesome to work with. Our blog posts are still available there from August 2016-September 2017. The following are clickable links to them.
- The Right Attitude (Aug 2016)
- Our Panama Adventure Continues - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Sept 2016)
- An Epic Adventure: Bouldering and Bushwhacking (Oct 2016)
- Scuba Diving (Nov 2016)
- Taking in the Beauty of Pachamama - Mother Earth (March 2017)
- Author Change, Panama Reflection, a month at home, and the beginning of the Journey (July 2017)
- Paris and our first Workaway - Normandy (July 2017)
- Lyon, Marseille, and "Living" Abroad (July 2017)
- La Entrada de Espana (Aug 2017)
- Granada, Madrid, Berlin (Sept 2017)
Audra and Kevin Arendt: Digital Nomads, World Travelers, and Midwestern Americans. To learn more, see About.