I woke up this morning knowing it was my last day in Lisbon. My heart was heavy with that realization. I’d met so many fun interesting people here and the city was incredible with the warmth and charm of its people. I would miss Lisbon. I had breakfast with Kiana and the rest of our group before checking out of the hostel. I left my bags downstairs and joined the rest of the group to go to the market for one last adventure in Lisbon. Walking around the market, we saw stalls selling everything from ski masks to african wood carvings. I had a ham and cheese sandwich with John and Will as we discussed our future endeavors in Europe. Its likely that Will and I will meet up in Rome, which I am eagerly looking forward to. He was a certain energy that’s contagious and makes any situation fun. After Rome, I might be able to meet up with John in Florence if I decided to go there, which I’m strongly considering because of how much fun John and I had hanging out in Lisbon. However, Florence or not, I plan to visit John in Colorado when I return to the states.
After the market, several of our new hostel friends went out to Sintra for the day while Kiana and I returned to the hostel to prepare for our travels to Paris that night. I gathered my things around 3 and walked to the metro to catch a train to the train station. At the actual station, I bought some ham, cookies, and juice for the night train to Paris and boarded the train. The train ride was silent and beautiful snaking through the Portuguese and Spanish countryside on its way to Charamay (spelling) where it will arrive tomorrow at 7am.
As of this moment I’ve finally caught up with my travel blog and ready to start my European adventure. Over the past several weeks, I’ve slowly acclimated myself to the idea of traveling solo through Europe through gradual changes. I began my trip on a family cruise, being spoiled out of my mind with buffets and pools, shore excursions and free wine every night. In Barcelona, we were finally off the cruise ship, but still traveling with our parents so we had the advantage of not paying for anything. Once they left, Kiana and I moved upstairs to a hostel, but stayed in the same city, where Kiana had several friends. Ibiza was a step forward towards traveling independence, with Kiana and I in a city neither of us had ever been to.
Madrid was a chance for me to test the waters as a solo traveler and it went surprisingly well. I met several people, on the train and in the hostels. The people I met in the hostels, Milly and Fiona took such a liking to me and each other that we all made travel arrangements to head to Lisbon together where I reunited with Kiana.
What I’ve realized is that while a holistic view of my two month adventure seems daunting, its actually a series of unique and encapsulated experiences strung together. No two destinations so far have really been like each other and none to come will be either. Each city has had its own flavor and personality and traveling is about embracing that flavor and understanding it as if it were your own.