Hi everyone! Hannah here with my first contribution to our blog. In case you don’t know, Josh is the communications expert while I am the engineer in this duo. So it should come as no surprise that his posts are frequent, descriptive, and eloquent while mine will be sparse and likely to include bullet points. So here it goes!
Josh has shared pictures from many of the beautiful places we have already enjoyed and described some of our wonderful experiences. (Check Facebook and Instagram for many more pictures.) In an effort to have a balanced social media presence, I want to share the less grand side to our last month of traveling. To be clear, it has all been amazing, but it has also had its challenges. Here Josh is putting ketchup (our only condiment at the time) on a stale bread sandwich in a bus station in Skopje, Macedonia.
Travel: Getting to all these amazing places can be tricky. Many hours of planning goes into it on a regular basis and even then it is not easy, especially where we don’t speak the language. Another big challenge is the lack of reliable internet or information that we can trust. Our worst travel moment so far was probably the bus we caught in the middle of the night in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. We arrived at the station at 2:20AM for the 2:45AM bus, which did not show up until 3:40 AM! In addition, the bus driver had the nerve to tell us that our tickets (which we had bought from the bus station a day ahead by making a special trip) were not valid. Luckily, Josh got a little loud and the driver eventually let us on.
Accommodations: Part of what makes this trip possible is a very important word in our daily travel lives: budget. Sticking to the budget can mean staying in places that are less than luxurious. We have become accustomed to beds that look more like futon cushions on pedestals, and Josh’s back has not thanked him for it. We also have a new appreciation for hot, or for that matter, warm, water. In many locations, we had to flip a circuit breaker 10-30 minutes before showering in order to have hot water which often only lasts a few minutes. Showers are also an adventure because they are often smaller than we are. Also, just because laundry is included doesn’t mean you will not be using a hair dryer or hanging it on the window to dry it.
Illness: Unfortunately, Josh and I have both been sick at some point on this trip. Mine was not as bad, but at the time Josh could not understand why I was walking soooo dang slow. Then a week later, he succumbed and ended up with a fever and nasty cough in Rome. It stinks to be sick without the comforts of home. One night as Josh’s fever seemed to be rising I was worriedly looking up where the closet doctor or hospital was and how to call a cab to get there (all without internet and very slow and limited data). Luckily this was unnecessary and he cooled off and recovered after lots of sleep, hydration, and a day off.