What better time for another travels through the years post? I’ve recently had a lot of reminders of October and November travels on my phone and decided to use it as inspiration to put together all my favourite travel experiences from these two months over the years. I’ve always had a soft spot for October and November, back in university it was because we had those months off, and nowadays they’re rather desirable as it’s cheaper to travel during them.
So what have I been up to in the previous months of October and November?
Last year, I was in Lanzarote where I rented a house that came with a pool. In my head I was either at the pool, the beach or the supermarket. But looking back through the images I’m also seeing I did a lot, including visiting a cacti garden, the National Park and caves. Not that many photos of tapas sadly though …
In 2018, I embarked upon a family-filled trip to Croatia and the heart-shaped country that is Bosnia. Looking at photos makes me homesick and here is an image of fairytale village Rastoke, because I can’t bring myself to look at the other photos or I’ll get all weepy.
In 2017, I went to Amsterdam and from there I flew to Mexico with two friends. The route – Cancun, Vallodidad, Tulum and back to Cancun – also known as ‘Mexico for beginners’ was one of the most bizarre trips I’ve been on. In between visiting Chichen Itza, swimming in cave lakes and eating all the food we got questioned by the police at 4 AM, got lost in the time difference between the two different states and saw a school practice their Christmas show in the Valladolid city square.
In 2015, I spent a week in Reykjavík, Iceland where I managed to cram in a lot, from a Golden Circle tour, to visiting various museums, going on a street art hunt in the city and taking a day trip to the lovely little island of Videy, and I still don’t think I’ve ever had a fresher tomato juice than the one in the greenhouse complex I got to sample.
In 2012, I did one of those last trips you only do as a student. I flew to Sofia, took a bus to Istanbul, a night bus to Thessaloniki and then to Athens before flying back to the Netherlands. All of this in 6 days. Like how did I even manage to get anything done? I don’t remember that much of Sofia and Thessaloniki, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.
My highlights in Istanbul were visiting the Blue Mosque, going to the Asian side and making my way through the hustle and bustle of the Grand Bazaar, plus having a random search for a Subway branch for my fellow traveller. In Athens, I explored every temple on the Acropolis, walked around the Temple of Zeus and spent a day relaxing on the beach just outside the city. Later in the month I went to Prague where I went up and down the longest metro escalator in Europe, visited the Museum of Communism and finally climbed the Old Town Hall tower. I also have vague memories of a very random Halloween party with Dutch expats.
In 2011, I was in Melbourne, where I did an internship at an online music magazine. I arrived with a friend in August and there we met with a coursemate of ours. Initially we tried to find a place for all three of us to live, but it turned out it was harder to find a place together as we all had different ideas and budgets in mind, which was a timewaster. Until … October and November (and the following months): I had settled in my new room, made friends and I got to spend Halloween filming a gig in one of the most amazing theatres, The Forum Theatre.
In 2010, I went on a quick trip to London! It was the first time taking the Eurotunnel and it was quite the experience being in your car on a train in a rather long underground tunnel. In London we did a Sandeman Tour, explored Central London and the Southbank and visited a few record studios.
In 2009, I took the bus from (South) of the Netherlands to Paris with a friend! It left at midnight and got us there for 6 AM. And the idea was to eat a croissant for breakfast while watching the sun rise over the Eiffel Tower. It took longer than expected to find all of those at 6 AM, but we managed it. I did my first Sandeman Tour there, wandered around Pere Lachaise and explored Montmartre.
In 2008, I was working at a holiday camp park near Trier in Germany, working my last season behind the front desk and writing programmes and things to do for the animation/entertainment team. In October I had the important task to prepare for the big winter shutdown, as the park closes during that season.
I also went to Sarajevo to visit my cousin. I would usually stay with my cousin, but opted for a hostel where I met people all over the world and explored Sarajevo with them. I took them for cevape at Zeljko, we drank traditional shots and heard lots of stories of people who were in Sarajevo during the war. Then I took the bus to my hometown hill in Bosnia to visit my Grandma and afterwards I spent a few days in Zagreb before flying back to Germany.
In 2007, it was my second year working at the holiday park near Trier in Germany where I had done my internship the year before. The park closed during the winter season and in October I was sent to another park in Travemunde, north of Germany to cover holidays for the receptions there. I got to stay in a super deluxe house that had a sauna, whirlpool and solarium in it. There wasn’t much else to do as most of the tourist attractions had closed for the season, so it was a nice change of pace.
Early November I flew to Austria for a season on the slopes in Katschberg. I was so lucky to live in the park next to a ski lift and able to enjoy snowboarding on my lunch breaks. Another benefit of working front desk at a holiday park was that you got to try out all the fun things so you could tell the guests about it. From dining in the fanciest restaurant to sledging races and a ride to the top of the hill for a traditional fondue. The last had to be my favourite!
In 2006, I was in London for my internship. I was not expecting to go abroad twice (I had been in Germany for the Summer) and was so excited that I got to live with two classmates in London … well in Croydon, but who cares? I was also lucky that my hotel was only 20 minutes away by bus, while my classmates had to travel all the way to Chelsea and Islington for their 7 AM shift. In November I made my first trip to Central London and did the usual round of touristy things. I remember just being in awe seeing all the landmarks in real life. And how confusing the Underground system was. Little did I know I’d be returning for another visit 4 years later, and then a permanent stop a few years after that!
What favourite travel memory have you been feeding off lately?