My First Solo Trip Ever Recap

As I look back on this journey, I cannot believe it happened. I know it happened, but it's just hard to believe I did it. 

I went on this trip not knowing what was in store for me. What sites I would see, people I would meet, how I would even act. When I began this trip I told myself I needed to completely push myself out of my comfort zone and that I most certainly did. 

When I began, I made absolutely no plan. The only plans I had going into it were when I was staying in which countries, how I would get to said countries, where I would be sleeping and how much money I was taking (and of course knowing I would take a Game of Thrones tour). 

If anyone knows me, they know I am a planner. I like to know what is happening and when it is happening. I also like to be on time, if not really early, to everything. It gives me some anxiety when I am not on time. Plus, I am an introvert. I don't really like going anywhere alone. I like to have a "comfort blanket" of someone coming with me to every event I go to. Otherwise, I am in the corner or just slowly mosying around not introducing myself to anyone. I am really shy and it's hard for me to just walk up to people and say hello, especially strangers. 

This trip was to prove something to myself - that I can do this. I can travel all by myself to a country I don't know the language of or anyone there. I would say, knowing Lasse definitely helped at the beginning get my feet wet to this new adventure. 

I did put a lot of pressure on him. I pretty much said, "Hey! I am coming to your country where I know very little and didn't make plans because I want to see what the locals see." Talk about pressure. I am sure if someone did that to me, I would scramble and try to figure out what is necessary to see and what isn't. How would I come up with a plan to make sure they got to experience my culture? He did a wonderful job though. It was more of on a whim most of the time coming up with plans, which is completely fine. It helped me not feel as if we needed to be somewhere the whole time, which ended up helping me relax. 

It was a good first week as it helped me prepare for all by myself in Croatia. It helped me figure out my way and learn to talk to people and use my resources. 

Before I left, I was scared to death that I was not cut out for this. That I would end up failing and wanting to immediately come home. Now that I am home, I am a new person. I feel as if I can go up to strangers and talk to them. I feel like I can ask for help. I feel as if I can conquer any airport and all the emergency exit rows. I am now confident and independent. Finally. 

This trip has given me more than I ever expected. It has given me a new drive, a new goal, and a new life motive. I have already started brainstorming my next trip (and even my trip back to Dubrovnik). This has given me the passion to travel and see the world. I cannot wait to share with you my next adventures. Thank you for reading and going on my trips with me. I hope you enjoyed them.

Until next time!

Back To Copenhagen - Only For A Few Days

As I am about ready to leave Copenhagen I was able to visit a few more places before I left as well as gather some souviners for everyone. 

I loved the Royal Library Gardens so I went back there to take some more photos and just relax and eat a sandwich. I am finally able to get around on my own and can understand a little bit of what I am reading, well at least when it comes to food. 

I went all around Copenhagen to try to find some gifts and then I eventually found the mall. Jackpot! 

My last full day in Copenhagen I decided to just relax. I went to the little man made beach right next to Lasse's apartment. Unfortunately, I fell asleep on the beach (like a deep, eyes rolling in the back of your head, sleep). I got pretty burnt on my back since I was laying out from 10 am to 2 pm. 

Once Lasse got back from work we decided to see Copenhagen one last time. We went to dinner at Torvehallerne where I was able to eat some smørrebrød. We shared the three different kinds and then just chilled at H.C. Ørstedsparken - the park right next to it. 

We then just biked all around to see the city one last time before I headed back to pack up my things. 

As I am getting ready to leave and just sitting at the airport now, I cannot wait to see everyone back home, but I will definitely miss everyone and everything. 

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Dubrovnik In A Nutshell

Where do I even begin with everything that has happened these past few days? It has been absolutely wonderful. 

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Monday, I started out the day by getting my Dubrovnik Card - which comes in very handy while you are here. This card helps you get free admission to many buildings, the City Walls, and Fort Lovrijenac. I knew I would be going to this place because I was heading to a Game of Thrones Tour that morning and that's where part of the tour is. 

I knew that I wanted to get this tour in first thing in the morning so I would have the rest of the day to explore. I used Dubrovnik Walking Tours and our tour guide's name was Dora. Not only was she a local, but very knowledgeable about the city and the television show. She was able to get some behind the scenes scoops as her sister worked for the show for all 8 seasons as a stand-in. Dora even appeared in an episode as an extra. When her sister got promoted, Dora took her sister's place. 

We walked to Fort Lovrijenac, which is where the majority of the scenes from "King's Landing" was shot. She showed us pictures of the differences between the show and real life. 

We then walked back down towards the city walls and saw different spots they used including some beaches, and right inside the city walls where they used the walkway as one of the scenes where Geoffry was walking when hell started breaking loose in the streets. This is when I noticed this town is all about the stairs and walking. Everywhere you go there are flights of stairs. And not just any stairs, steep stairs and lots of them. 

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Dora took us through Old Town and showed us different places they shot Game of Thrones, including the Walk of Shame. She showed us where it started and that it is not really a straight line as it goes through multiple different allies. It was interesting to note that the GOT had to pay residents and businesses to be closed and have their windows shut since it is a normally a very busy area. 

For the final part of the tour, I got to sit on the Iron Throne. If you can't tell by my smile, my days was made.

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I had worked up an appetite from the crazy amounts of steps I had to take. I had done some research on the cheaper but still yummy restaurants around Dubrovnik and the closer ones to the wall. I had decided on Spaghetteria Toni. I am not sure what I had, I just remember looking at the menu and saying "I want that," to the waitress and this delicious bowl of pasta came out.  

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I had some time to kill after lunch so I went to the Cultural Historical Museum since it was the only one that was on my Dubrovnik Card that was open on Mondays. After the museum, I went back to the room to lighten up my load before heading down to the dock for the sunset kayak trip I had registered for. (You can find the link on Airbnb here.)

The kayak trip was so amazing. Per the rules on the guide, we had to have double kayaks and not singles. Luckily, I found a group of three that I was able to pair up with. We paddled to a cave to start the trip and were able to snorkel right outside of it. Besides from inhaling a rather large amount of sea water, that was a really awesome experience since the fish get so close to you. Afterwards, we kayaked all around Lokrum Island stopping at multiple caves to hear more about the history of Dubrovnik and the island. As we get to the end of the island, the sun was setting. It was a magnificent view of the city. The total trip was 7.5 km. 

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Once we got back to shore, we were given a small local bottle of wine to enjoy. I was pretty exhausted at this point, so I just grabbed a sandwich to-go and headed back to the room.

Tuesday, I decided to get up early to go to the City Walls. I was told to do it first thing in the morning as it gets VERY hot throughout the day (which it does, you don't need to be up high on the walls to know that it gets hot). Luckily, it was cloudy in the morning so I had no sun or heat exposure. It's a great view of the city from the walls. 

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I had walked for almost two hours so by this time I was hungry. I saw that there was Mexican food so I decided to try that out. It is a Mexican Pizzeria, not a fusion, but on the same menu they have Mexican and Italian. It was called Bona Fide. I ate the enchillada con pollo and I was very satisfied. It hit all the right notes that I was craving. 

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After lunch, I went to three museums, Pulitica Gallery, the War Time Limited Photo Museum, and the Francician Monestary Museum. 

I then made my plans for the rest of the trip so I could make sure I got in everything that I wanted to see before I leave. I figured it would be the best time to actually go on Lokrum Island. I left for the port and after about a 15-minute boat ride, I arrived on the island. I wish I would have changed into my bathing suit before I went there because there were many places you could get into the water and layout. However, it gave me a chance to see a lot more of the island. 

Lokrum Island has no one living on it. It is forbidden. The only people allowed to stay the night on the island are the firefighters. Reason being: urban legend. It is said that someone cast a spell on the island and it made people disappear. It even caused a few of Napoleon's soldiers to go missing. Some curse right? So the only things on the island are firefighters, bunnies, and peacocks. As an animal lover, I had the best time watching these creatures. I even was able to see some baby peacocks throughout the island. The rabbits come right up to you and can be really friendly. 

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I made it my mission to go to the fort at the top of the island before I left it for the evening. The path to get there is called the Pathway to Heaven. However, it does not say Pathway OF Heaven. It's a very long upward walk to the top. The view is totally worth it though. 

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It was time to leave the island and I was becoming very hungry. I had a few options for dinner but I chose the one closest to the port. When we arrived, I went to Gusta Me. It has a view of the port from the balcony. I was able to enjoy some wine and their house special for my meal. It was stuffed calamari with Dalmation smoked ham and mozzerella cheese on green potatoes with swiss chard that had sauce of olive oil, lemon and butter. Talk about mouth watering. 

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After I finished my meal, I scouted the places I was going tomorrow to see how long I needed for each spot before heading back to the room and getting my last night's rest. 

Wednesday morning, I packed up my bags and cleaned up the room before heading out for the day. Kate (the Airbnb host) allowed me to keep my bag there so I wouldn't have to lug it around. I then headed for the art museum which I spent some time at. I then got a late breakfast before heading to the airport early. I loved Dubrovnik and I cannot wait to head back there some day. I have already told everyone I know that they need to add it to their bucket lists as it was the most gorgeous place and just easy to be in. Even for solo travelers. Now I am heading back to Copenhagen this evening to spend the last few days of my vacation.

My First Football Game

Traveling through Germany was pretty easy. I was lucky enough to have a 9-hour layover. Therefore, I got into Dubrovnik, Croatia pretty early in the morning. I was staying at an Airbnb (link to Kate's Room here) and I arranged for a driver to pick me up from the airport. I knew I would have no idea where to go, so this way I could be taken right to the house. 

The Airbnb's hosts name was Kate and she was an absolute pleasure to meet. She was able to get me into my room early since the people beforehand had left early. She gave me some travel brochures and maps showed me everything I would need to know and how to get in and out of the house. After I unpacked, I took a nap. I knew that I would want to go to the football game that evening so I would want to rest up. 

I woke up about 1 pm and got ready to go down to the city to check it all out before the game and scope out where I would be watching it. This was a pretty exciting time for Croatia. They had never been to the FIFA World Cup Finals so this was a big deal to them. I knew that wherever I went it would be crowded. 

Old Town is the main attraction in Dubrovnik. It has City Walls surrounding it and is mainly foot traffic. There are plenty of shops and restaurants here and does not have many locals living inside the walls, but there are apartments, hostels, and Airbnb. 

While I was in Old Town, I saw football jersey's everywhere. Almost every person walking the street was in some sort of sporting gear or wearing the colors of the Croatia team. So, I decided that I should probably join in the fun. I was able to pick up a jersey for the game at a souvenir shop. (As well as one for my sister who is a huge fan of football). I grabbed some grub, which ended up being some fish tacos, and made my way over to the big screen they had set up right on the steps of the Church of St. Blaise. 

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During the game, the crowd was always cheering and happy. Flags flying, smoke bombs and flares going off, and lots of chanting and songs. It was amazing to experience. We did watch it in Croatian, but it was not very hard to understand what was happening. 

Croatia did come in second place in the final game, but that did not stop them from partying like they won. They were just excited that they made it to the finals. All I heard the rest of the night was car horns honking and then later in the evening, fireworks. I was able to watch those from my window. 

It was a wonderful first day to experience Croatia. 

Living Like A Local

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Thursday was a pretty chill day. Lasse and I got off to a rough start because we had some to drink the night before and let's just say we were hungover. So we decided to keep it pretty chill that day by going to Islands Brygge and laying out on their grass. We definetly needed to take it slow then. 

Afterwards, we decided to go on a boat tour because it was one of the hotter days that I was there. It helped me see more of the city, by boat, and learn some more information about Copenhagen. 

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After the boat tour, we rode our bikes around and found the library gardens. I could honestly live right next to there so I could visit everyday. It was beautiful, calm, and peaceful. It had many flowers, and a fountain right in the middle. This is one place I would LOVE to go back to. 

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Friday ended my first leg of the trip in Copenhagen. (I will be back for the last few days before I head back to the states). We tried to go see the botanical gardens, however, it was going to cost us to get in. We instead decided to spend money to see the royal treasures at the Rosenborg Castle. 

We then met up with many of his friends and hung out at H.C. Ørstedsparken drinking some beers. Later on, we ended up at street concert with some of his friends. I had an absolute blast.

Saturday is for traveling so I am going to pack up for Dubrovnik. Cheers!