Twenty-sixteen has been a crazy year. I didn’t travel as much as I did in 2015, but I traveled farther on the few trips that I did take. I think I am finally beginning to understand all the quotes that say something to the effect of “travel changes you.”
One of my goals for this year was to do better with my blog. And I think I might have just barely achieved that goal here in the end. Though, I don’t have any idea how people manage to blog, seemingly full time, while in university. I have found that I hate writing and reading during the semester, so it is always such a huge struggle to write posts that are actually halfway decent.
An Encounter with the Polizei in Bavaria
It was a hell of a travel day. Mom and I were meeting up with her friend in the Minneapolis airport to board a flight to Amsterdam at 9 pm to then rent a car and drive to Bavaria. We had a hard time getting to Minneapolis and finally I suggested we drive up to Grand Forks and fly out of there. Once we got to Minneapolis, we met up with Mom’s friend and had hours to kill. The flight to Amsterdam ended up being delayed until 1 am.
When we finally got there, it was 4 pm Amsterdam time. We then rented our car and drove for hours to Bavaria, Where we were meeting up with friends and staying at their place. It was 2 am by the time we pulled in the driveway.
About a half hour prior to finally reaching their house, we were driving through some tiny village when we pass a polizei car. They did a u-turn and pulled us over. We figured we were speeding and going to get a ticket. Turns out we just had our brights on and were not supposed to.
That’s not the best part, though.
The best part is how hopelessly stupid Mom and her friend sounded explaining the situation to the officers. I had all I could do to not laugh.
I lied… it gets better.
So they sent us on our way and followed us for a while. A roundabout came up and the GPS told us to take the turn that was closed. So we went around and around and around the roundabout with the polizei following us each time we circled. Finally, Mom pulled over, rolled her window down and asked for help. We could tell they thought we were extra stupid.
We finally made it and learned the German word for detour.
Making My Way back to the Desert
I love the southwest region of America. There is just something about the desert that makes me happy. It probably has something to do with the sweeping views of beautiful landscapes.
When the alarm went off at 3:00 am I didn’t want to go. I trudged along because my spring photography project was depending on this trip. I am so happy that I went.
It’s really hard for me to sum up in a concise little blurb what it meant to revisit some of my favorite places. Let’s just say that I needed this trip more than I knew. You can see more stunning photos from the trip here.
Driving the Pacific Coast Highway
Driving the PCH is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time now. I finally had the opportunity to see a small stretch of it the last time I traveled out to Los Angeles. I rented a car and just drove. I didn’t really know where I was going. I just knew I needed to end up at the airport six hours after renting my car to return it.
Did I mention it was a really short trip?
Driving this section of the highway was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for more. I was hoping to see the stunning scenery that people dream of seeing when they think of driving Highway 1. Apparently, I was too far south far that. I’m a very bad trip planner too sometimes. I get so excited that I just go. I didn’t realize it until after the fact that I hit the wrong city to see what I wanted to see.
In the end, it was worth it. I got to say I drove part of iconic Highway 1. And I saw the ocean for the first time in forever. And a seal off the coast of one of the stops I made. I think the seal is what made the trip really that much better. It was still a memorable experience and someday I will be back to drive the whole route from San Diego to Seattle. In a convertible too.
Living in Berlin for a Month
In July I found myself in Berlin, checking into the flat that would become my home for the next four weeks. It was a much nicer flat than I was
anticipating. Going into the trip and dare I say move, I was super excited. It was for an internship writing a travel guide to the city. A friend of mine did it the summer before and loved every moment of it. She told me all kinds of wild and crazy stories that I thought I could get my own wild and crazy stories.
About halfway through my month, I realized that she and I are two entirely different kinds of people. She is outgoing, super bubbly and friendly, and likes to enjoy all the fun stuff young 20-somethings like to do. All that stuff has never really appealed to me. Sure I like to do things once to say I have done it, but for the most part, clubbing and getting so drunk you can’t stand don’t appeal to me.
I found my own way around Berlin, though. I found spots that I truly loved, and spots that I disliked. The best part was learning how to use public transportation and ending up where I wanted to be.
In the end, I grew as a person and as a traveler. And I am ready for my next grand adventure. Surprises to come!