The great results often come with great sacrifices – that is the point a lot of people forget when being amazed by my pictures from cities I have visited. I will leave this story of sacrifices (like being in danger or depressed) behind the scene but I will tell you what else I have learned, while traveling.
It all started in 2012 in Norway when I was studying in university and I never imagined I was able to do it that hard. Being in line before the library opens, sitting by the table the whole day, visitting reading halls or computer labs during Sundays or the night hours etc. And still for the first time I was somewhere in the middle, I was not the best in the class which I was used to be in University of Latvia. I realised – there is much more outside the box I was living in. And if I go out, I can go further.
Also the thing about growing up. It does not necessary mean earning money, taking care of house or buying your first dog. It means – setting your priorities right, defining your long-term targets, getting know yourself better, and finding out – who you are and what are you going to do with that. When I grew up, I chose to travel. ;)
The beginning of intense traveling started in 2013, when I went to London with my dear friend Karina, and we celebrated my 23rd birthday in club Ministry of Sound (which was not good! to say in a polite way I suggest you to NEVER go there). This was more like tourism kind of thing and it wasn’t Solo-traveling yet. In London I tried to visit all museums, parks, and bridges that I could manage in 3 – 4 days that we had. Crazy burning feet was the result. This was like first meal for a very hungry person. Then you get fed and start thinking – which cake shall I take for desert. In one year from my 23rd b-day, I did more small trips, when I finally arrived to Vienna and that was the breaking-point – the mountains, city itself, country side, lakes in fog – I was in love in diversity of nature, people, and architecture, and traveling itself.
So at the end of year 2014 I set my goal for the next year, which was: To save as much money as possible or spend it all on travel. I did the second – every cent I had after taxes and bills, I spent on traveling. In 2 years I have been in more than 15 countries, mostly traveling alone. Some general lessons are:
(1) You are both bigger and smaller than you think.
(2) Your opinion is just an opinion, it is not an answer.
(3) Love is “to give” and “to receive”, but not “to take”.
(4) You will never find yourself, you only can get lost. But the way you get lost is what defines you the most.
(5) Be careful with your target setting ’cause it actually may come true!
(6) Instead of saying “I need my own time” Solo-traveling is having it.
Most of the places I’ve been in these 2 years:
(1) London – I don’t think I could live “happily ever after” there, but it’s a great place where to go if you need stimulus to do more, be more active, achieve more, motivate yourself to reach the top, get a boom of energy or you are just looking for a lot of sleepless nights. Place to visit – Tower Bridge.
(2) Copenhagen – the example that bicycling can be easy and make pleasure even in a very high traffic. Place to visit – Christiania.
(3) Tallin and Vilnius – I am from Riga, we are all brothers and sisters, you know…
(4) Vienna and other parts in Austria – the best place where to get lost, beauty and kindness all around. Place to visit – Schönbrunn Palace.
(5) Helsinki – you are brothers and sisters with all the other Scandinavian capitals, just stay as you are, it’s too late to change anything. Place to visit – Tampere :D (sorry for that!)
(6) Brussels – you are just like me – balancing between the work and leisure. Place to visit – 13 degrees Wine Bar at Place Jourdan.
(7) Milan – sorry I didn’t do any shopping, I better walk through you the whole day and get crazy by traffic. Place to visit – Duomo di Milano of course.
(8) Ostrava (Czech Republic) – c’mon, you will never get tourists attracted (except if there is hockey going on) if there is no place where you can pay by card!
(9) Karlsruhe (Germany) – during the night you are just as good as Vienna, I love you too. Place to visit – Karlsruhe Palace.
(10) Maastricht – I think you are just great city where to study. Cool pubs, good food (not so good beer), a lot of well educated internationals and local people, who are also very stylish. Place to visit – bars by the river.
(11) Amsterdam – you were great all around, but I would avoid the centre if I can. You make me feel free and open. Place to visit – Rijksmuseum.
(12) Istanbul – you are amazing thing!!! the best Ice-cream I have ate an the tea tastes just as good as they show in commercials. Place to visit – Leanertornet.
(13) Albena (Bulgaria) – there is a one thing good about you, which is beach by the Black sea. The water was warmer than air in the mornings when you can watch the sun rise. But other than that, there is nothing to do. Varna, sorry I didn’t have much time visiting you, I think you are pretty borring too, but I haven’t seen your night life by beach. Place to visit – seaside in sunrise.
(14) Prague – AMAZING, beautiful, inspiring! The history is alive there. Place to visit – Charles Bridge.
(15) New York – I love you! It’s enormous in size and diversity. Place to visit – Time Square.
(16) Miami – Cuban food is great but walking around is unendurable. Floods all over, no control over that. Place to visit – South Beach.
(17) Port of Spain (Trinidad) – I think you’re nice and kind; not taken over by too many new and modern buildings, which I liked. Place to visit – dianne (tea shop and cafe).
(18) Tobago – just a dream! I can’t believe it was real! Paradise on the Earth. Place to visit – Pigeon Point.
Thank you for following me in my journey. Your support inspires me to move on!
Believe it or not – but when you’re thinking about me, you’re also travelling with me!
Now we are living in Brussels, Belgium :) and turning 25 years old.
Pigeon Point, Tobago 2015