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Something important about travel:

If you are staying with someone for a long time (i.e. more than 5 days)  don’t expect them to have your fun for you.
YOU have to research things that will be fun, and make sure you have a plan in place to execute them.
Sometimes your host will take it upon themselves to entertain you day in day out, but I have found that this is rarely the case.
Find a class for something you are interested in.  When I got bored and cooped up in Delhi, I researched language schools, and found a well-rated school to study Hindi at (Zabaan in Kailash Colony if you wanted to know).  If that wouldn’t have occupied my time I would have found dance classes, cooking classes, literally ANYTHING that would have kept me busy and enabled me to meet people.  Group classes are the best.
I did salsa classes all over Europe, since that’s something that I’m really into, and now I’m planning to go somewhere in South/Central America to learn Spanish this spring.  (Tryin’ for Cuba, but my parents aren’t so happy with that considering it’s technically illegal for me to go there.)
Okay anyways:

I’m back in Fargo.  Woke up this morning feeling like complete crap.  Long distance relationships are so hard (at least this one is).  Won’t be able to see him again for a year at least.  Ayya.  Anyways I got rid of a huge sack of clothes, and three small bags of books… hope to get rid of more stuff, lets see.

Here’s a song for you:  Kickstarts by Example.

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Serbia

The busses in Serbia don’t have strings to pull (at least, the one’s in Novi Sad don’t… perhaps Belgrade is different.  Anyways you have to sort of make eye contact with the driver to get him to stop.

I went to Serbia for what is rated the best European music festival… Exitfest.  It’s held in a fortress in Novi Sad.  My friend from University hosted me, although her parents didn’t speak English.  I had read that Serbia uses the normal European outlets, but the one in my room looked a little funny.  I gamely tried to plug in my iphone charger anyways and this is what happened:

Basically there was  a loud comic book noise (BANG or POP something like that) and all the power went off.  My Serbian mom came running in yelling Serbian things.  I felt ridiculously stupid.  Apparently I could have died so it’s a good thing that didn’t happen.

Speaking of my Serbian mom, she was in the midst of trying to learn English. My favorite sentence of hers?

“My daugher… very.. lazy.”

It’s sort of crazy how you can get a feel for who someone is despite speaking almost none of the same language.  My host mom was really comical.  We bonded when she gave me a ride to the airport, by singing along to Avicii.

The music festival!  Very muddy.  Eat Sleep Rain Repeat.  Some of my host’s friends actually snuck their way in through the tunnels under the fortress.  Which sounds freakin scary to me.  This was my first music festival.  I had never really liked edm before this, but when everyone is happy-dancing all over the place I guess you will too.  And I did.

 

Yayyyyy Dance Arena!!!

Fireworks, first night, main stage.

The sun is coming up.. still dancing.  This is during some Drum and Bass.

Favorite bits of the festival:  Stromae.  He comes out on stage wearing his Papaoutai outfit and the crowd just goes crazy for him.  Beautiful talented man. Here’s that song.


(Other favorite bit) Second or third day of the festival my friend lent me some shoes for the rain. They were too small.  Fell apart.  She thought it was hilarious and nearly peed herself laughing.

 

 

 

Walking home, 7 AM ish.

Innsbruck, Austria.

I really like airbnb.com… basically you pay for it like a hotel, but you’re staying in someone’s house.

This can go one of two ways, either you are treated like a hotel guest, or you are treated like a couchsurfer, an honored friend-guest.

If you are using this website while traveling, I recommend you stay with a group of students, (actually with couchsurfing too).  Look for shared student housing.

Also, be sure if you are finding your way somewhere with screenshots, that you make them detailed enough so that EVERY street is labeled.  (or just use an actual map, printout or whatever, so you don’t have to worry about your battery running out).

Innsbruck is beautiful.  We were only there for a night on our way to Italy.

 Rose-gardened airbnb!

Our lovely hosts!

Life Lessons

1.  The Catholic Church has a lot of money.

2.  Western Europe is basically one huge art gallery (exhibit A: Vienna, exhibit B: Paris)

Vienna:  St. Stephens Church

More Vienna:

 If you see anyone dressed like this, it’s because they want to sell you concert tickets, they are not just a regularly-garbed Viennese citizen out and about.  Also a “fancy-dress party” means a costume party.  (Well why can’t they just say that? heh).

See? I’m telling ya, huge art gallery.

The dude I couchsurfed with in Vienna was really awesome.  I had to wait for him to finish at his work, first at Mcdonalds (got kicked out) and then in the Metro Station (got kicked out of there as well).  I was nearly in tears when he finally found me, at 2 in the morning or so (he wasn’t expecting me till the next night, turns out I requested the wrong day).  He had very limited accommodations so I slept on a mat next to his bed.  Slumber party with a perfect stranger, good thing he was very good at people skills.  When couchsurfing by yourself, you really really REALLY need to make sure your potential hosts have good reviews.  I can’t stress this enough.  If you do, then you should be fine.  Although… I only used couchsurfing a handful of times so what do I know?

Couchsurfing + good music

So far I’ve found two people to couchsurf with, one in NYC, and one in Copehagen (Denmark).  They both seem like cool people.  Hopefully my boyfriend is cool with me staying with random dudes.. They both have a ton of references so I feel safe.

Couchsurfing.org is a website where you can either host travelers… or just stay with random strangers as you travel the world.  I only contact the ones who have hosted many times before.  My brother used to host people a lot, and they were always really cool

Anyways I was feeling quite drained and bored with life but now I remember that I’m gonna be all over Europe this summer and I don’t feel so bad.  Even though my boyfriend left for India this morning and I won’t see him till December. meh.

Also I keep having odd dreams about Tomorrowland.

Guess I’ll be going to India this December, assuming our relationship can survive till then.