My European Adventure: Month 1 Recap

I seriously can’t believe I’ve been travelling for over a month now. It feels totally normal to pack up and move every few days (or every day), almost like I’ve been doing this forever – but then I get those moments where I realize how incredible this experience is and I’m just in awe of the life I get to live! Here’s the month 1 recap of my summer in Europe – hope you enjoy!

Where I’ve Been

Countries: 7
New countries: 6
Country count: 18

1 night in London
1 night in Paris
3 nights in Istanbul
3 nights in Budapest
1 night in Barcelona
3 nights in Lloret de Mar
1 night in Barcelona
1 night in Porto
3 nights in Lisbon
2 nights in Lagos
2 nights in Seville
1 night in Tangier
2 nights in Chefchaouen
2 nights in Fez
1 night in the Sahara Desert
1 night in Tinerhir
1 night in Ouarzazate

WOW that is a lot of places. I have been travelling at a crazy pace, which is exhausting but also exciting!

Highlights

I don’t want to spoil all the amazing adventures I haven’t gotten the chance to write about yet, but this month has been FULL of highlights. Stay tuned for lots more, but here’s a sneak peek:

Falling in love with Paris. I assumed I’d love this city, because how could you not love Paris, but it was even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Staying with a local was a great way to experience the city – staying in a student area, having a picnic, etc. On the other side of the coin, our mega touristy cruise/Eiffel tower tour was incredible – I’ve written about that!

https://instagram.com/p/13MA4OzIqf

Learning about Islam in Istanbul. I’d never been to a Muslim country before, and my first experience was so cool. I loved hearing the call to prayer ring out over the city, seeing mosques for the first time, and just experiencing how totally different life is there! And let’s be honest, Turkish guys are SUPER hot.

https://instagram.com/p/1831CwzIhp/

The Budapest Parliament building. Literally I could have just looked at this building for days, and that’s pretty much what we did – I think I saw Budapest from every angle. I don’t know how a building can be SO beautiful, but wow. The entire city was stunning, and I had a great time exploring!

https://instagram.com/p/1_akR6TIu8/

TBEX. I was in Lloret de Mar, Spain for a travel blogging conference, and while the town did NOT win me over, the conference did! I made awesome travel blogging friends, drank way too much free champagne, and felt super inspired to take my blog to the next level. I was exhausted after this crazy event, but it was so worth it.

The best travel buddies ever. During this month I travelled with my sister, my friend Erika, myself, and four guys in Morocco! It’s all been incredible. The sister bond is a special relationship, and despite us wanting to kill eachother every day we had a blast together. We think the same and that just makes travel so easy. Erika is a friend from school that I honestly didn’t know that well, so I was kind of nervous to travel with her, but by the end of our week together we were having SO much fun. We did ridiculous things like sing on top of a hop-on hop-off bus, stand on a balcony and yell, flirt with ‘cute sandwich boy’ for hours despite him totally ignoring us, etc. I called her my partner in crazy on Instagram, and that just describes us so well! I also had a great time exploring a few cities on my own. In Morocco, I was travelling with 3 German guys and a Brit for over 2 weeks – my mother couldn’t decide whether to be horrified by the fact that I was with four strange men or super happy that I wasn’t solo. We had so much fun together getting ripped off every single day, exploring mega sketchy bars, and just wandering this magical country. I miss them already!

https://instagram.com/p/2ZAcY5TIrn/

Morocco in general. Sure, it has some issues, but I’ve never been somewhere more exotic and fascinating! To be more specific, sleeping in the Sahara desert was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to tell you more about this once in a lifetime experience!

https://instagram.com/p/2-phUxTIgo/

Lowlights

Exhaustion. In London, I was so tired that I almost fell asleep at THE LION KING. Unforgivable. I don’t regret the way we planned our trip because it meant we got to see more, but for the first few days I couldn’t fully appreciate the sights because I was just dead on my feet!

Barcelona. Everyone seems to love this city, but it just didn’t speak to me. Sure, I only had two days there (broken up by TBEX) but I expected more! We did have some fun, but I hated how it seemed built for tourists, and found La Sagrada Familia totally underwhelming.

https://instagram.com/p/2IkyJJTIkh/

THE HEAT. Coming from an obscenely cold winter in Canada (think -40 degrees Celsius) I swear I had forgotten what exetreme heat felt like, so when it was 40 degrees in Seville and I had to lug my backpack to my hard-to-find Airbnb, I could have cried. The heat in Seville was like nothing I’ve ever experienced, no matter what I did. Morocco has also been overwhelmingly hot, which is an issue when Ishould be wearing long pants/skirts and sleeves.

Catcalling. I thought the men were aggressive in Istanbul, but Morocco is a different world. I’ve been with four guys, and nobody even looks at me twice when I’m with all of them, but every time I go out alone that changes. Half the time I can’t understand what they’re saying to me, but you can just tell it’s creepy. Yesterday a guy followed me for at least 5 minutes trying to make me talk to him in every language he knew, and that was scary. It’s just so frustrating to have to keep your head down and walk on, but I know how dumb it would be to say something back.

What’s Next?

Since the one month mark, I visited Marrakech and then came along to Essaouira, which I can’t wait to talk to you about!! I’ll be here for a week (ish), then off to Casablanca, Rabat, and back to Marrakech. Then I have a week in Italy that I haven’t planned yet – I’m thinking Naples, the Amalfi Coast and Rome. What’s your favourite place in Italy? Maybe I’ll add it to my itinerary.

Let me know what else you’d like me to share in these recap posts!

Comments

  1. Catheryn says

    Hi Beth! It’s Katie. I saw your call for suggestions about Italy and I have just one word for you: Stromboli. It’s a volcanic island in the Aeolian chain off the coast of Sicily and it has a very similar look to places like Santorini, but it’s much smaller and fewer tourists. It’s the most beautiful and exciting place I’ve ever been. Take a guided hike to the summit (900m) and watch the volcano erupt at sunset.
    A protip for Naples: it’s dirty and honestly very underwhelming. Nothing like Rome. Amalfi is a little nicer, but the city itself just feels gross.

    • bethanydickey says

      Hi Katie! Wow thanks so much for all the tips! I actually had to change my plans for that week because I couldn’t find anywhere remotely affordable to stay on the Amalfi coast at the last minute…but I will write down your suggestions for when I do make it there, hopefully this summer!

  2. Valerie says

    Great recap! I can’t really agree with you on the Turkish guys (no offense to any Turkish guys reading!), but I’m excited to visit Istanbul one day!

    Also, I’m so glad you enjoyed TBEX – I wish I could have been there 🙁 It’s SO much fun to attend and connect with fellow bloggers. Did you get any great connections out of it?

    • bethanydickey says

      Really?! We did see one guy that was possibly the most attractive human I’ve ever seen, so maybe he biased me.

      As for TBEX, absolutely – both with bloggers and companies! Hopefully we can connect at a future TBEX 🙂

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