Right now I am sitting in Vondel Park. I rode my bike around this huge place, found a nice spot to sit in front of a river and sat down in an ant’s nest. And then I moved under a tree and touched some prickly weeds that made my arms feel like they were on fire and gave me hives all over my elbows. Not a good review so far.
Just kidding. Vondel Park is Amsterdam’s Central Park. The long, skinny reserve is situated just outside of the cities main canal belt, south west of the centre. Here you’ll find bike tracks, walking paths, rivers, places to sit, places to eat, fountains and everything you need to enjoy Holland’s rare summer sun. I’ve been here three times since moving to Amsterdam last week, so it must be doing something right for me.
Today is the 24th. It’s sunny, the skies are blue and the weather is perfect. Today is Sunday, and today, I’ve been travelling around this beautiful planet for 6 months. Exactly 26 weeks ago I boarded a plane in Adelaide headed to Bali and begun the most exciting year of my life. And 26 weeks later, I’m sitting in a park in Amsterdam, looking back on Indonesia, on America, on Iceland, and on the month here in The Netherlands.
I don’t want to bore people with some deep and meaningful, life-changing blog post about how I’ve experienced so much and learned so much (I have, but that’s for later), so I’ll lay down some facts for everyone including myself to amaze at.
It’s been 183 days since I left Adelaide. The first 101 days I spent travelling solo around Indonesia, island hopping while turning black in the tropical paradise. I met up with Jessie and travelled through America for the next 43 days, hopping over to Canada for 1 day before crossing halfway over the Atlantic to check out what Iceland could offer us for 4 days. Here in The Netherlands we spent 29 days in Lunteren before heading to Amsterdam where we’ve been for 7 days. And what have all these days been filled with?
In total, 5.5 days have been spent travelling from place to place and country to country. I’ve sat in a plane seat for 58.5 hours over a total distance of 38,600km, in a bus seat for 50 hours over 3,064km and on a train for 24 hours over 2,680km. I’ve also made my way on foot well over 500km. I’ve travelled far enough in 6 months to circle the entire earth once.
In 183 days I’ve set foot on 3 continents, 5 countries, 7 states and 21 cities. I’ve been in 13 airports but landed in Bali 4 times. Summer has been good to me for 8 long months, yet I’ve also seen snow and hail and shivered through some of Iceland and Holland’s so called 10 degrees ‘summer’ days. I have 10 new stamps and stickers in my passport, well over 30 new Facebook friends, a few cents left in the bank account but too many crazy experiences and stories to share. While I’ve hiked 2 volcanoes, swam with manta rays, driven around Bali and Lombok on a scooter, hiked to the Hollywood sign, walked the Walk of Fame, stood on the Golden Gate Bridge, seen Yosemite National Park, been in Times Square, seen snow, stood under the Niagara Falls, saw Obama (in his car lol), swam in an icy beach, couchsurfed, seen some amazing things in Iceland, partied in Amsterdam, grew heart eyes for Amsterdam, fell in love with Holland and met countless new people on my way, I have to say the best part of travelling so far came in the form of one of the worst and most unlucky days I’ve had on this 6 month trip, in Iceland. Busses were missed, bodies, backs and legs were aching, passports were lost, a whole day was wasted but the goal of reaching Skogafoss was still achieved at 12:30am. And I have realised that everything can go so smoothly while your travelling, but the best parts happen when the worst things happen. Contradictory, but true.
26 weeks ago I was a boy who couldn’t contain his excitement. 26 weeks later, nothing has changed. But everything has changed. And I can barely contain my excitement for where the next 26 weeks will take me.
It’s a crazy journey, this one. A crazy year. Hectic. But I love it.
Adelaide, you might not see me for a while longer than 26 weeks. This travelling thing – I love it.