Brandon and I are in the midst of a travel lull at the moment. We began this adventure without a detailed plan of where to go and when, opting instead for the relative freedom of booking travel on short notice and moving along at our own pace. Since Romania, we’ve moved quite a bit:
In Bulgaria, we got locked inside a fortress, pried our way into an abandoned monument to socialist communism, and toured Sofia with an old friend.
We ate burek and drank macchiatos to our hearts’ content in Macedonia and Kosovo, whose citizens’ charmed us with their genuine warmth and hospitality.
In Albania, we scratched our hiking itch by making our way through its Accursed Mountains. I can’t say enough about the beauty of this country and its people. Its stray dogs are also heartbreakingly adorable – and adoptable!
We fell in love with Montenegro’s fjords and seaside vibe, completely agreeing with our new friend Wolfgang’s assertion that the country would rank first in his “NAPSY index” (Natural Awesomeness Per Square Yard). The scenery there was stunning.
Croatia was where we cut our Balkans visit a bit short, since we needed to get to France in time to surprise my sister for her 40th birthday. Dubrovnik, while commercialized to theme-park levels, was a neat place to wander and get lost.
The cheapest and quickest route from the Balkans to Bordeaux was via Rome with a 4-day stopover. When in Rome… We ate our bodies’ weight in pizza and pasta (mmm, carbonara) and steeped ourselves in the immense and incomprehensible amount of ancient sites and artifacts throughout the city.
We arrived in Mauzac, France on October 19th, having crafted an epic surprise for my sister involving my parents flying in from Chicago and us arriving earlier than expected. My sister’s family’s house in France was the perfect place to kick back, relax, and enjoy some quality time with family and familiar faces.
Having slept in 24 different beds across 14 countries in 2.5 months (77 days to be exact), we didn’t really want to move on after a week in Mauzac. After reading books like Vagabonding and How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, we wondered when we’d get to a place and have the desire to stay a while. Even so, we worried that something was wrong with us. Who wouldn’t want to keep traveling around, exploring new places and seeing new things? After doing some introspection, chatting with friends and family, and consulting our trusty travel blog sources, we settled into an ebb trusting that the flow will come and push us along eventually. So, we’ve spent the last month in just a few different beds across 2 countries (France and The Netherlands), and we’re currently on the verge of our next move.
You might wonder why, if we’ve had all this downtime, we haven’t updated our blog. The simple answer is that, in its current state, the blog has become a burden. When we’re already taking photos, keeping personal journals, and posting updates on Instagram and Facebook, writing here about what we’ve done in our latest locations feels redundant. Our current plan is to use Instagram and Facebook for keeping friends and family up to speed on where we are and what we’re doing; that way we can shift the content of our blog posts toward musings, observations, and practical advice about life on the road. The goal is to make writing (and reading!) posts more fun.