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!

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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?

Croatia

Lots of people like to go to Croatia, for waterfalls and whatnot (and beaches!).

I went to Rovinj, Croatia, for a Salsa Festival. The Croatian Summer Salsa Festival  is HUGE.  The dance parties have four different dance floors: Salsa Cubano, LA style, Salsa and Bachata, and Kizombo.  I went by myself.   This proved to be a huge mistake.    

This festival taught me that there are two types of dancers:

1.  Concerned with skill, technique, and perfection.

2.  Don’t think, just joyfully throw their bodies at the music.

Unfortunately I danced with far too many of the type 1 kind.  One dude actually stopped in the middle of the song, stiffly said “Thank You”, and walked off.

A good dancer should make you confident and happy, no matter what your skill level.  I got extremely frustrated because even when I found a really fun wild dancer, there were SO MANY people that chances were I’d never run into them again.  Thousands and thousands.  Overwhelming.  I think it might have been fun if I would have gone with friends, but solo I was just an anonymous face in a huge crowd.  I did learn a lot though, finally mastered the suzy-Q for instance, not sure why it took me so long.

Pictures:

 A crowd of dancers (although the ones actually dancing are sorta far in the back.)

 Coming home at six AM, (because I had to take a boat back to my hotel, and it didn’t start running till six)

Typical street in the town.

The Magician’s Assistant

If you have to make a choice between doing something and not doing something, always ALWAYS do it.  I’ve never regretted seizing an experience, even if it cost me something.  It’s good for you to be nervous, and overcome it.  You don’t have to wait to do something until your friends will do it with you.

Live music is always worth the money.  Experiencing a wholly different country than the one you were brought up in is always worth the money.

This doesn’t count when you’re buying material objects, clothing, a new blender, Persian rugs.  If you’re not sure if you want it or not, it means you don’t.

This is how I saved enough money to travel Europe for two months (solo for one month), and to make sure I enjoyed my time there to the fullest.

It’s our one year anniversary today.  Heading to India in a few months to see him.  Can’t believe I managed to make it to a year with anyone actually, especially given we’ve  been apart more than we’ve been together.   It helps that he doesn’t try to keep me on a leash.  Encouraged me to travel to Europe, encourages me to go out dancing because he knows that’s what makes me happy.  I’m so lucky to have him.


Heard this song in Serbia.  Vance Joy – Riptide.  His debut album (available this September) is called “God Loves You When You’re Dancing”, which I personally think is a remarkably relevant title.

bowl of thoughts

I’m not depressed. I think I’m just… waiting.  To be there again, where I know I’m in the right place.

Fargo just isn’t it.  Maybe the salsa festival in Croatia.  Or maybe I have to wait until India.  I wish I could believe in inhabiting the present moment, instead of waiting for the future to bring me a better one.

I want to be completely comfortable and happy.  Few places give that to me.  Some people do, but they have mostly left Fargo.  hm hm hm.  Need a change.  Leaving to Europe in two-ish weeks.  Well first comes New York City which is sort of scary.  I believe that most people are decent people.  So why would I be scared of getting assaulted or whatever?  I’m not really.

I don’t really worry about anything.  Unlike my parents (but maybe that just happens when you have children.)

hm. hm hm.  Wish I could  be a more fun friend and roommate.  Getting so boring and home-bodyish.

I need the ocean to go stare at, 4 AM, no fear.  I need dancing, barefoot and rained on.  I need people who get me.

I should just be happy.  My job lets me travel.  Even if I have to clean up feces to get the money to do so.

ramblerambleramblehappy

I’ve worked my butt off.  Now I’m in the homestretch… about to graduate, about to finally finally travel and dance with no obligations and no classes! badaBING.

BLARGHHHHH I’M GONNA DANCE SO HARD!

And then in December on to India where my boyfriend is!

And then I don’t know what!

NO MORE COLLEGE!

working when I need the money! dancing when I have the money! traveling when I can save up enough to go somewhere where the people like to dance! because let’s face it, the only people in fargo who can dance worth anything are the foreigners!

!!

This is why you should have a horrible time in high school.  Karma gives you nice things later. Or you learn how to snatch nice things DIRECTLY OUT OF THE AIR.


I am happy today because I finished a presentation that I was stressed about, which basically means graduation is right around the corner, and I don’t have many assignments left anymore.  And someone interviewed me about the TEFLplus course in Thailand, which pulled up some happy memories.  😀

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.

new!

Goodbye 2013.  You were more than good to me.

This year I:

1.  Traveled alone to Korea and Thailand. (+Jeju and Koh Phi Phi)
2.  Danced on stages in both places.
3.  Got certified to teach English in Thailand.
4.  Enrolled in my last semester of University.
5.  Bought plane tickets to Europe.
6.  Lost weight.
7.  Gained Weight.
8.  Ate the equivalent of 3 tons of seaweed.
9. Danced.
10. Wrote.
11.  Fell in love.
12.  Met amazing, amazing people.

and most importantly….. (drumrolllllll)

Learned to NOT GIVE A FLYING @#$%& what people think of me! BaZINGA.

I’m still these nervous feet and heart of stone

I miss Thailand less and less… The one thing is the dancing.  If I was walking down the street in Fargo, heard music, and started busting it… I would get locked up most likely.  But in Thailand? Heck naw.  I could dance wherever/whenever, and there was always someone who would join me.

and oh, the ocean.  Except invariably when I wanted to stand at the edge and watch the waves late at night, someone would ALWAYS ALWAYS come and insist on trying to make small talk.  I had no patience for it.

 I should take a meditation class or two.  No one would come up and make small talk with me if I was in deep meditation in my room.  hopefully.

I’m sort of really into a dude.  I cooked for him which I rarely do, even for myself. eee! crazy.