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The Epic Adventure: Month 2 (January 2016)

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I can’t believe I’ve been gone for two whole months already. It seems like just yesterday that I was hoping on to a plane to begin my travels. Whilst these last two months make up less than a fifth of the 15 months I intend to travel for, I’ve already learnt so much.

Month two was the month when I finally realised that it’s ok to not see everything. It was the month that I started to put experiences, food and culture above visiting every single museum and monument in a city. It was also the month that I decided to be slightly spontaneous and head to a city that wasn’t in my original plans; San Sebastian.

Finally, this month was the month that I had better luck with hostels- my stays in amazing hostels in Lisbon, Porto, San Sebastian, Madrid and Sevilla were a far cry from the disasters of Cologne and Amsterdam .

 

Places Visited

1/1-5/1- London, United Kingdom

5/1-12/1- Lisbon, Portugal

12/1-15/1- Porto, Portugal

16/1- Coimbra, Portugal

17/1- Avila, Spain

17/1-18/1- Salamanca, Spain

19/1-21/1- San Sebastian, Spain

22/1-26/1- Madrid, Spain

27/1-29/1- Sevilla, Spain

30/1-1/2- Granada, Spain

 

Some Interesting Statistics

Countries Visited- 3

Planes- 1 (LHR-LIS)

Trains – 9 (excluding metro lines)

Buses- 4 (excluding local buses)

Cars Hired- 1

Bla Bla Car- 1

Things lost- 2 (beanie- I know again and eye mask)

Things that needed to be replaced- 3- Pants, Iphone, Kindle (I had a really bad week!)

Couchsurfing hosts- 1 (I found it a lot more difficult to find hosts in Portugal and Spain)

Hostels- 7

 

Favourite Moments

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  • Visiting Harry Potter Studios in London- I’m a huge Harry Potter geek, not just because they are brilliant but also because they were escape from what was a rather terrible time for me in primary school. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the films it was awesome to geek out at Harry Potter Studios. I proudly bought a Gryffindor jumper and I haven’t really taken it off since.
  • The Yes Hostel Group in Portugal and Spain- I stayed at the best hostel of my life in Lisbon (Yes! Lisbon) and then had equally great experiences at their hostels in Porto (Yes! Porto) and Madrid (Ok! Madrid). The staff were amazing and made you feel like you were part of a family. It was great.
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So excited to catch this girl again in Madrid
  • Meeting so many amazing people. The week I spent in Lisbon was extra special because of all the people I met. During my week at Yes! Lisbon I forged so many friendships and I just know that I’ll reconnect with these people again. I was super happy to see one of them, Paris, just two weeks later in Madrid.

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  • Portugal in general- Ok I’ll shut up about Portugal real soon but it’s definitely my new favourite country in Europe. I loved the weather, I loved the food, I loved the vibe and the people were so incredibly nice. This is a cheap destination and one that is super easy to travel (seriously everyone speaks English!). You really need to add it to your Europe itinerary if it isn’t there already!

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  • San Sebastian Day- My plan for San Sebastian was to relax and eat lots of the amazing food they are so famous for. But the relaxing part of the plan went right out the window when I realised I would be there for San Sebastian Day. La Tamborado is a 24 hour street festival where locals bang on drums and march in bands for more than 24 hour straight. It was super fun. The food in San Sebastian was also just as good as everyone was telling me it was!

 

 

Worst Moments

  • Getting sick, twice. After a big night out in London for NYE I found myself with a terrible cold that I didn’t manage to shake until Lisbon. However it was nothing compared to how sick I was at the end of the month. I arrived in Seville at midnight sick with fever, a raging headache and a terrible cold. The girl who worked at the hostel took one look at me and said there was no way I leaving the hostel the next day. She was right. I woke up at 9.30am for breakfast and then returned to bed and slept until 6.30pm. I’m still not feeling 100% even now but at least the fever is gone and I can leave my bed!
  • Spending a fortune replacing things- I had to drop a lot of money this month on buying new things that I’d broken. First it was my favourite pair of pants, then my iphone and then my kindle. Hopefully these things really do come in threes.
  • Saying goodbye to Lisbon- I don’t think I’ve been as sad to leave a place since I left Ko Lanta last February. It was a very sad moment for me because I’d absolutely fallen in love with the city.

 

Money Spent

My monthly spend came in at $3170 this month, $1200 more than last month. The major difference in my spending was that I paid for accommodation for most nights in January. With the exception of those first five days in London, and the two nights I spent couchsurfing in Granada, the rest of the time I was paying for a bed.

In contrast, in December I only paid for a bed for 5 nights! I’m also not including the insane amount of money I spent replacing stuff this month because that would just be depressing.

As always you can see all my itemised expenses in my google spreadsheet. 

 

Posts Published

I know I really should have written more this month but I was really just having too much fun in Portugal and Spain. Who can blame me really?

My Three to Four Day Itinerary for Munich

Escape to Bavaria Part One: Regensburg

10 Tips for Having the Best New Years Eve of Your Life in London

Escape to Bavaria Part Two: Bamberg

 

Popular on Instagram

A couple of days ago I finally reached my 10k followers on instagram. It was an awesome moment for me!

Despite the terrible weather the day I took this photo, this classic of the Tower Bridge got the most likes this month.

Hello London! Even the crappiest weather of my whole trip couldn’t ruin the whole day I spent at the Tower of London.

A photo posted by Britt Jeffs (@adventureliesinfront) on

As always the world of instagram continues to surprise me. I was expecting either of these two photos, which were some of my favourite from this month, to be the most popular this month.

 

Up Next?

I’m in Spain for the first 12 days of February before I head to the South of France. I’m excited to be heading somewhere where I can actually speak the language, although it might still be a challenge for my French language skills.

The rest of February will be spent only in France except for the five quick days that I plan to spend in Switzerland (I don’t think I can afford more than that). I can’t wait for all the cheese, baguettes and good wine!

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