Now that I’ve actually started my epic 15 month adventure around Europe, Central and South America, I thought it might be a good idea to post a monthly summary including where I visited, how much I spent, the posts that I’ve published and my favourite destinations.
This summary is actually for a bit of November as well, as I did start my trip in the last week of November!
November 23 – Paris, France
November 24-28- Vienna, Austria
November 25-December 1- Lake Atersee, Upper Austria (with a day trip to Salzburg)
December 1-4 – Budapest, Hungary
December 4-8- Munich, Germany (with a day trip to Neuchwanstein)
December 8-9 – Regensburg, Germany
December 10- Bamberg, Germany
December 11- Wurzburg, Germany
December 12- Speyer, Germany
December 13- Trier, Germany
December 14- Cologne, Germany
December 15-18- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
December 18-30- Chester, United Kingdom
December 30-31 – London, United Kingdom
Some Interesting Statistics
Countries Visited- 7
Planes- 5 (Melb-KL, Kl-Dubai, Dubai-Paris, Paris-Vienna, Amst-Liverpool)
Trains – 21 (excluding metro lines)
Boats- 1 (canal ride in Amsterdam)
Things lost- 3 (beanie, sunglasses, christmas decorations left in Regensburg)
Couchsurfing hosts- 4
Friends reconnected with- 5
There were many highlights of my first month of travel but these are the first ones that come to mind:
- Experiencing business class for the first time on my flight from Melbourne to Paris. It was definitely worth all of the effort I put in to hacking frequent flyer points!
- Vienna and Austria– I loved reconnecting with Lukas and Steffi in Vienna, the first couchsurfers I ever hosted. By spending my whole first week with locals I was meant to have some amazing meals, including goose. However the absolute highlight of my time in Austria was finally meeting Steffi’s parents and having a truly local experience in Upper Austria.
- Budapest, Hungary– Budapest instantly became one of my favourite cities in Europe. I loved how cheap it was, I loved how kind and welcoming the people were and of course the baths. It was also great to catch up with another couchsurfing friend; Kenza.
- Finally couchsurfing in Germany- Although I’ve hosted before in Melbourne, Germany was the first time I actually surfed someone’s couch. In Regensburg, Bamberg, Wurzburg and Trier I was able to find awesome couchsurfing hosts that opened up their home for me. It definitely confirmed for me that couchsurfing is my favourite way to travel. Highlights were being taken to a university pub with euro beers in Regensburg and taking part in a progressive dinner with university students in Bamberg.
- Visiting the European Christmas Markets! – the highlight of December in Europe is being able to go to all of the lovely Christmas markets. Although I was feeling slightly sick of them by the end of it, I could never say no to a cup (or goblet) or mulled wine.
- Cycling around Amsterdam- the only way to explore this city is by bike and I absolutely loved the bike tour I took around Amsterdam with Mike’s Bike Tours.
- Rekindling my love of Dutch Art at the Rijksmuseum. Dutch art is some of my favourite, with Rembrandt probably being my favourite artists. Thus I loved spending my first afternoon in Amsterdam wandering around the Rijksmuseum. Finally being able to see the Night’s Watch in person was phenomenal!
- Christmas with family in Chester. The 12 days I spent with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins in Chester was a great holiday from my holiday. I was incredibly lucky to have family over here to spend Christmas with. It meant that my level of homesickness was less than it would otherwise be.
- Ringing in the New Year in London. This was seriously the best New Years Eve of my life. The fireworks were absolutely amazing!
I’ve been lucky enough not to have too many terrible moments so far on this trip but there were two:
- Saying Goodbye– I am so incredibly excited to be on this adventure but it wasn’t necessarily easy saying goodbye to friends, family and my beloved city of Melbourne.
- Arriving sick– I started coughing on the way to the airport and by the time I landed in kuala lumpur I had a full blown cold. It meant I couldn’t enjoy my flight as much as I would have liked because I was too busy feeling miserable. It always put a bit of a damper on my first couple of days!
- The train ride from hell- I had an overnight sleeper booked in a comfortable couchette for my journey from Budapest to Munich. But when I arrived at the train station I was told that my train didn’t exist anymore. Although I was lucky enough to be able to hop in a couchette on the train to Zurich, I had to hop off the train in Salzburg at 2.15am in the morning. The worst part was when I arrived in Salzburg and was told that they next train to Munich was not until 5.30am. Hence I was stuck in a cold train station, full of drunk and smelly men for 3 hours at 2am in the morning. I managed to find a quiet, albeit cold spot, in the locker room with my head on one bag, feet on the other and person safety alarm in my hand. Needless to say, I slept for 14 hours the next night!
- Neuchwanstein Castle– I was very excited to visit this famous castle and I had planned to do a day trip from Munich as it’s only 2.5 hours away. However I should have been more organised and pre booked tickets because when I arrived all of the tours of the castle were booked out. I did manage to get some amazing, potentially illegal photos, from the closed Mary’s Bridge but it would have been nice to go inside, especially given the 5 hour round trip from Munich.
Money Spent- $3229
In the five weeks I’ve been travelling I’ve only had to pay for 5 nights worth of accommodation (two nights in Cologne and three nights in Munich). This is thanks to a combination of friends, family and couchsurfing. As expected, my biggest expenses were transport and food.
This figure is a little bit high because it also included my flight to Europe from Melbourne which even with frequent flyer points still came in at $617 worth of taxes.
For the 39 days I’ve been travelling this means I’ve been spending just under $83 a day. Considering I haven’t been paying for much accommodation I could definitely have been doing better than this by reducing my food expenses (I’ve had some nice meals). But food is one of the huge reasons I travel!
If you are interested you can see a full summary of every dollar I spent here.
Posts Published (23 Nov-31 Dec)
Popular on Instagram
I’m so close to my goal of 10,000 followers on instagram, at which point I’ll be awarded the elusive ‘k’. I’ve loved instagram as a way to build my photography and as a way to keep you all updated in real time. Although my posts might be a month behind in terms of destinations, you’ll be able to work out exactly where I am by following me on instagram and snapchat (brittytt).
Most popular photo:
I was lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny day in Munich for exploring the Englisch Garden, which was my most liked photo of the month!
I’m spending the first five days of January in London before I fly to Lisbon. The plan is to spend the rest of January (and some of February) exploring Portugal and Spain. I’m especially excited about gorging on portugese chicken, Belem tarts, churros and iberico!