And so, I arrived back in Paris. Back to where it started three months prior. I stayed in the same hostel as the first time, and revisited only my very favorite spots.
I’ll miss Paris for the sweets for sure.
I went to two crossfit gyms while I was there, one familiar and one new. CrossFit Original Addicts was how I remembered it. I’ll always go back. The other was CrossFit RAR. They opened while I was in other parts of Europe, very shiny. I did a long metcon with my first friend in Europe.
It was a modern gym with beautiful locker room facilities and fancy new equipment. The floor was a bit warped and soft which was strange, but that’s my only complaint.
I’m excited to return to my home gym, Flatirons Performance Center. I miss coaching, I miss my fellow coaches, and I miss my wonderful community!
After purchasing a small suitcase and filling it with wine, I went to the airport to fly home. Relief, sadness, excitement… Just a few of the emotions I was feeling as my plane left the gate. I had a very brief layover in Iceland, and got to take some beautiful photos from above.
And here’s my final photo for you all:
Minneapolis from the air. Home.
I’m writing this from my parents’ kitchen table in Fargo. Happy to be home and back to some familiar. Preparing for thanksgiving with the family, and then back to Boulder on Saturday. I’m excited to see all my favorite people, and return to making money instead of spending it! I’m sure you all have questions, and I’ll be happy to answer them. However,for the sake of expedience, here’s some FAQs.
1. What was your favorite part?
Well, that depends! Rome was the most fun and the best sightseeing. Barcelona had the best food and a beach. Ireland had the best nature. Stuttgart had the best gym culture. If I was going to move overseas, I would go to London as I felt very at home there.
2. Did you ever get bored/scared/lonely?
Of course! All of the above! However, it was generally short lived. Traveling alone has its ups and downs. I had a massive amount of freedom. It’s just easier. Easier to find couchsurfing hosts, easier to make decisions, easier to meet people, easier to blend in. There were absolutely times that I wished I had someone with whom to share experiences though. I think for a trip of this length, traveling solo is best, but for future, shorter trips, I’d like to have a friend.
3. Was couch surfing weird? (And what is it?)
I was fortunate to have only positive experiences with my hosts. Every host I had was warm, welcoming, and accommodating. They brought me into their home like they would a beloved friend, and I’m so thankful for the hospitality I was shown. My hosts often took me to their favorite places, shared meals and drinks with me, and took a great interest in getting to know me.
Basically, in the couch surfing app, you search for a city, and a list of hosts come up. You sift through their profiles, and make requests to stay with people you think you’ll get on with. They can either accept, decline, or make counter offers for different dates. Often, they have also been travelers and love to share stories. Some just like meeting people from around the world. It’s totally free with no strings attached. I often made meals for hosts however and always kept their place as tidy as I could so as to not be a burden.
4. Was the language barrier hard?
No. Most people spoke at least some english, and I’m quite blessed with the ability to pick up some languages fairly easily. Google translate came in really handy for tough situations, but I had alsmot no issues with communicating.
5. What are you going to do now?
I’m going back to coaching and personal training at Flatirons for sure. I’d love to return to Verde, but they haven’t room for me at the moment, so I’m going to look for something else.
6. Do you feel differently?
Not really. I’d say my biggest take away from all of this is that I’m perfectly ok with me. I can be happy by myself, and I can depend on myself (and google maps). I’m less fearful, more bold, and trust my instincts a little more. I learned to live with very little, and didn’t really miss my material things. I’d recommend solo travel to anyone.
That’s it. That’s all of it.