So, friends and family, strangers and acquaintances. I’ve just remembered this existed!
It’s been a while. A while of adventures, bar tending, chasing summer and leaving the familiar behind again and again. A while of Ben being shit-faced every night, a while of Amsterdam and a while of traveling once again.
It’s been a random 8 months since I last posted an update on this site. Of course when I say ‘random’ I say it as if I never expected any of these events to happen. We all know my life is a complete and utter chaotic mess stemming from my desires to keep traveling yet continually being so stubborn as to resist any form of forward planning, undoubtedly eventuating in a mental breakdown in the middle of no where or else losing 900€ two days after I decide to get back on the road. I’d even go as far to say they’d both happen at the same time, but I won’t jinx myself just yet.
Here’s a quick recap of the madness.
I returned to 2-degree weather, frost and, thankfully, a flat full of people willing to let me stay for free when I came back to Amsterdam in December last year, but the minus digits in my bank account, lack of employment and constantly disappearing (returning home) friends drove me to the point of nearly booking a one way to Norway. Good idea Ben, escape to the most expensive and coldest country in Europe with less than $0 in your bank account. Stressed Ben makes rational decisions. Thankfully I didn’t book and found a job at Belushi’s Bar after quite some days of being rather too intoxicated over Christmas and New Years back at the Pig where – silver lining – I found a new group of piggies who later became my housemates and a huge part of my life and the reason I stayed in Amsterdam for another 8 months. Fast forward through the snow and worst winter of my life and I am actually making enough income to live, pay my rent and treat myself too much, so what better time than now to get itchy feet and chase the sun for a week all the way down on the French Riviera? It’s May now and Jessie’s mum paid a visit, I went to Belgium, Amsterdam and I went wild for Kingsday, the sun is actually shining for once, I now have a British passport and I’ve decided to make it to a year of living in Amsterdam and leave no earlier than June 14. June comes and goes, I turn 19, realize my ever approaching leave date, hand in my one-month notice, plan a whole UK road trip but book one way to Istanbul instead and proceeded to kill my remaining brain cells in the week before I leave. Turkey and 900€ come and goes, I fall in love with Greece, hitchhike 990km along the Adriatic coast to Croatia, lose any remaining dignity during 7 days of Sziget Festival in Budapest where I also broke my phone, depressed my bank account back down to hobo living standards (again), drunk both mine and Jessies’ share of smuggled vodka (on accident I swear) (just wanted to have a good time), turned the main stage into a toilet and I’ll stop talking there.
And now it’s September, I’m in Serbia and I have just over 3 weeks left in Europe. My job at this art and design hostel is treating me well. Sitting in a desk chair and checking people in 4 days a week has no complaints attached to it from my behalf, and to couple it with Serbian hospitality, prices and this incredibly unique city only reaffirms my last-minute decision to come here. For now, the plan is to spend my last 3 weeks in Belgrade before disappearing off to the middle east for a few months with Jessie. I’ve come to peace with the fact that it’ll just be another one of the many times where I’ll be living the hobo life, spending as little as possible, undoubtedly stressing ever so often but never not having the time of my life.
Until next time, big love to everyone back home and everyone around the world.