Hello there! Sorry for the lull here on Travels of Mo. I do mean to finish my “Sierra Nevada Shin-Dig” posts, I really do. But because it’s the good old summertime I’ve been moving a little slowly, as well as doing a little more traveling.
I am currently writing to you from my ancestral home in Glendale, California. It feels more like Hades. After only 1 1/2 years up in San Francisco I am unaccustomed to the heat and humidity that I grew up with. But I must get used to it somewhat, or else I will die of heatstroke this weekend on my annual Labor Day Camping Trip. This year we are camping at Lake Arrowhead, another bastion of heat but at least there is a body of water to cool off in.
I’m sure that I will have exciting things to report at the end of my Los Angeleez sojourn, but for now it is nothing but heat, quiet, and restfulness with my parents. And doing work on my car. Since my father is Mr. Car Guy himself, I could be home for only a few hours but still we need to wash, wax, detail, and get new tires. Believe you me, I’m not complaining! My car is now so shiny you can actually tell it’s blue – a big difference from it’s life on the mean, foggy streets of San Francisco.
But, dear readers, as I’ve mentioned before, I have something much bigger in the works. In the spring, from mid-April to late May, I am planning a 6 week adventure throughout Eastern Europe. I’ve started reading my Rick Steeves’ Eastern Europe and am getting really excited now. I plan to start in Poland, then traipse my way through the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria before meeting up with Zac in Turkey, where he will be on a trip with his father.
I am estatic about the prospect of doing this. It’s been a few years since I’ve done any travel of this magnitude, and Mo cannot be kept still for too long. The thing is, it looks like I may be doing the bulk of this travel by myself. For a while it seemed like my sister or another friend would be going, but now it looks as though I am looking at doing several weeks of travel by myself until I meet up with Zac in Turkey. Gulp.
To be honest, my fears about traveling alone have nothing to do with safety. I have a good gut and street smarts. I’ve traveled before and currently live in a city where I’m sure there are dangers to my safety everyday. I’ve traveled many times before and have never had a problem safety-wise.
I am also not worried about a language barrier. That has never really been a problem in the past, and not speaking a language doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I learn the few phrases that I can, and supplement with smiles and hand gestures. And according to Rick Steeves, the countries in Eastern Europe are well aware that in order to have a more global presence and increased tourism, knowledge of English is important. Since the disbanding of the USSR, most Eastern and Central Europeans have grown up learning some English.
What does worry me though, is loneliness. I am a social animal. I prefer to live with people than by myself and have a wide circle of friends. I have a twin sister who I grew up sharing a room with (and before that, a womb). When we moved out of our parents’ house, it was together, still sharing a room in the apartment we rented in Los Angeles. Now I live with my boyfriend, and all of my traveling has been done with him, my friends, or my family. I don’t know what it is like to be alone.
I realize that people travel alone all the time and meet people. When I was last in Europe, I was with three other friends and we made plenty more through hostels and couchsurfing. I also think that some solo travel would be good for me. I’ve never really stretched myself in this way and I will never know what that’s like until I’ve done it. But to say that I’m not nervous to be truly on my own for the first time ever would be a total lie.
Readers, any thoughts or advice on solo travel? Particularly from my female travel-loving blogging buddies (I’m looking at you, Hilary and Whitney!) And does anyone else want to go to Eastern Europe with me in the spring? Just because I’m contemplating doing this trip by myself doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t welcome the company of others!
Good Luck and Happy Travels,