My July 2018 monthly Review
Well, that was a quick month and time to put together my July 2018 monthly review.
I find that when I’m moving that the time goes by way faster. It has its good and bad parts like everything of course. First, it means I’m getting out and seeing some new places, but this time around it means my travels are coming to a finish once again and I might have to be an adult for a while and figure out my next plans.
That scares that S**** out of me but you’ll have to wait until next month to find out how that goes. For the time being, I’m going to look back on July and how that went for me.
All in all, it was a pretty good month although I did have to leave South America and a few important people behind (sad face). Also, Europe is crazy expensive. This was my first time backpacking in Europe properly and let’s just say it was a bit of a shock to the system and slightly less welcoming than what I had expected. But I’ll get to that in a later post.
Personal-July 2018 Monthly Review:
In my mams house Kildare, Ireland 01/08/2018
- I Got my Tattoo almost finished, slightly more work needed, but all in all pretty happy with the outcome.
- I managed to get a post out a week which I am happy with and I’ve increased my social media numbers slightly, all baby steps.
- Got one writing gig in the last week which I will have completed just before Tomorrowland, at least that way I will have made a teeny tiny bit of money.
- Was happy to be making moves again but a little down since I was leaving South America, into the unknown.
- Left behind someone with whom I have travelled with the most in the past five years. Considering we saw each other every day for over two months and never killed each other is a testament to how well we got on.
Travel and adventures-My July 2018 review:
I finished up my last week here doing nothing as I ran into some bank card troubles. Having spent two weeks here it was time to move on and pay my tab. Little did I know that someone had copied my cards the previous week and my bank had now blocked my card.
Luckily for me, I had a second card, the only problem being I didn’t know the pin. Another story to add to my bad travel stories. I spent a few days organizing a Western Union transfer, so I could pay my bills and not starve. Big shout out to my mam. Even at 26 you still must ask mam for help every now and then.
For a better description of the city see my post for June.
This was simply a pitstop on the way to the airport and where I would say goodbye to my travel buddy, she was having her own problems with immigration in Lima. We spent the day at the immigration office in Lima, a great place for absolutely nothing. Lima itself is only welcoming in the very touristy areas, besides that the city hasn’t much to offer.
I was here last year as well for a flight and wasn’t overly impressed then. There was no sightseeing to be had, but if you do go, go to Mira Flores.
As I had never been before I was looking forward to checking out the city. But Jesus was it hot. I had gotten used to the temperate climate in Peru and I was slightly melting when I finally got out into the sun.
As I was on a slight schedule I gave myself three days to check out the city. Not factoring in jetlag, I ended up really with only two days in the city as I crashed the first day after doing some clothes shopping.
The following day I went on a free walking tour of the city, I find these hit and miss. You can be in an awful city with a brilliant guide or vice-versa. For this tour, I had the latter. The group was far too big, the information scattered, and the women kept promoting everyone to do the evening tour. Granted we walked around and saw the sights but I would have been far better doing it by myself.
Usually, if I know some general history of the city I will go solo but this time I didn’t. Overall, I enjoyed the city, but Barcelona is far nicer.
I am not a football fan by a long shot but as I was in Madrid I thought I would check out the Real Madrid stadium. To be honest I really enjoyed checking out the stadium and seeing the history of the club and all the awards they have won. I’d recommend it and it’s a great way to kill a few hours.
Not somewhere I had planned on going, but when I realised that the World Cup final and Bastille day were on the same weekend I thought it would be fun to celebrate in France. This did lead to me making some financial errors later.
Toulouse is a pretty nice city and exactly what I pictured a French city to be like. It was covered in cafes, had beautiful architecture and was quite nice to just stroll about. With the jetlag still kicking in I spent most of my first day just strolling about the avenues and side streets, somehow, I kept coming back to the main square by accident, but it made it easy to find my way to the hostel.
That night was Bastille day and I and the roommates started off with some wine and beer in the hostel and then made out the way to a free concert taking place on the banks of the river. The fireworks display was brilliant. I and my new friends then spent a few hours walking the streets and enjoying a few drinks.
The next day I spent in bed with a combination of jetlag and a hangover. I managed to pull myself out of bed to watch the end of the French game and then made my way to the main square where celebrations were starting. After that it was bedtime, I guess I’m getting old. Plus, I had a 6.00am bus.
Another place I saw on the map and decided to check out. As with Toulouse I had no real expectations of the city and came just for the experience. The hostel I choose was slightly more out of town that I expected, but I used this as motivation to get up and wander around. As with Toulouse, it has plenty of architecture and character to keep you occupied.
My mode of sightseeing involves googling top sights, seeing what is closest and then making my way there. So far it has worked for me and it means I discover a few random spots along the way. Like the Roman amphitheatre, I found on the way back from food shopping.
The area around Vieux Lyon is probably my favourite. Plenty of restaurants, cafes and especially ice-cream parlours. Another picture-perfect French location.
Knowing this would be my big sightseeing adventure and having relaxed in the previous two destinations I planned on seeing quite a bit of Paris and it only took two days for me to see what I wanted on this trip. Though there is plenty more.
I even forked out money for entry fees something I do very very rarely, but when you’re in somewhere like Paris it doesn’t do well to scrimp out on tours. That’s what food an accommodation are for.
As I got in mid-afternoon the first day I used the time to plan my itinerary for the next two days. I prepared lunch for the following day as I knew it would be long and I got a skin-tight haircut even though I had shown the man a picture of how I wanted it done. Obviously, he thought different.
My first full day in Paris was spent checking out the Palace of Versaille and the Catacombs of Paris. Two brilliant locations that should be on the everyone’s itinerary. As I was stuck for time I forked out for two, skip the line tickets. Being July I knew the places would be packed. The ticket allowed me to be one of the first 50 into the Palace of Versatile and with a free audio guide you can check out the interior of the place at your leisure.
I planned on staying two hours in Versaille and ended up being there for five. It was a great way to spend the day. Afterwards and with a few hours before heading to the Catacombs I got the metro and checked out Notre Dame and the Luxembourg gardens.
Then off to the catacombs. I only spent about an hour at most in the Catacombs as at the end of the day, they are just bones. The history of why they are there is interesting though, you can wiki it here.
This was on par with Lyon regarding sights and things to do in the town. There were some nice old buildings and a fortification which are still in use but besides that, I wasn’t very pushed on Lille.
This was partly due to the hostel which was boring and unfriendly. Being in a room with ten people and with none of them talking to each other is quite strange. Even the bar at night was boring and full of French people, it makes interacting hard when everyone is a local and you don’t speak the language. So, I spent my three nights there working or watching movies in bed and not a whole lot more.
It was fine for three days but I was really happy to get out of there. It would be much better if you were with some friends and only visiting for a couple of days.
Gent was my next stop on the way to Tomorrowland and I am super happy I went there. It’s a nice little town just half an hour over the border from France. Like, Bruges, it is super cute with very old architecture, gothic churches, and canals at the centre of town.
Most of the centre is also pedestrianized so it is super easy to walk around. I had just come at the end of the Gent festival, so the town was still be cleaned and stages dismantled but that didn’t take away from the atmosphere for the town.
The hostel as well was in what I guess was an old State/Noble house.
I sent my two days walking around the town, finishing some work and relaxing. Oh, and finally interacting with some people, what a relief. I noticed a lot of people talking about Tomorrowland, so I got in on the conversation with a group of guys from Argentina.
Now I had a group to go to the biggest festival in the world. Things like this are the reason I absolutely love travelling. Although they were hitting the town for a few nights I decided to be good and chill before the big event.
I would recommend Gent for solo and group travellers, very beautiful, relaxing and in a great location to see the rest of Belgium.
I have a far more detailed post here.
But for a brief overview. It was simply amazing. The people, the production, the music and the weather all came together for one of the best parties I have ever attended, it was just what I expected it to be. Like I have said before, it is the people who make the experience more worthwhile.
The group of guys I was with were super friendly. We organized all our food, drinks and parties together and nobody was left out, we even picked up another solo traveller for the weekend.
Going solo to Tomorrowland was far easier than I expected. But I will talk about that in the post above.
The four days consisted of rising early because of the heat and going to bed super late because the parties were so good. We started each day with food and drinks and made our way into the stage areas and partied the day away.
Everybody was in high spirits, enjoying the music the stage productions and each other’s company. Like Carnival, it was simply a great experience and one I will gladly return to once my hearing comes back properly.
Finances-My July 2018 review:
Being Europe this hit pretty hard, but I wasn’t trying to be on a super tight budget, this is a rough guide to how everything broke down over the last month.
|Spain, France, Belgium|
|Food and drinks||€240|
|Food and drinks||€220|
|Visa exit fee||€28|
|Food and drinks||€66|
- At the moment not, a whole lot planned travel wise.
- Going to continue with the blog and keep track of a new course that I am starting.
- I need to get out and see some friends and family.
- Most importantly I need to make some money.
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