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Thursday in the Park with George

This week I got to live a big travel dream of mine by following in the footsteps of George Seurat, the inspiration for my favorite musical of all time Sunday in the Park with George. I visited La Grande Jatte, where Seurat completed many initial drawings that became the groundwork for the painting. I also visited Père Lachaise Cemetery where Seurat is buried alongside his family. 

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Where the Bank Account Ends

Te AnauEven with WWOOFing, which helped me get around New Zealand cheaply, it was clear my money was not going to last. I didn’t need to look at my bank account to know this.

Before I left New York, I had a goal of saving $18,000 for my six-month to one-year trip. But I only made it to $14,000. I should have saved more, since I was working at least 80 hours a week, but I struggled. Because of the anxiety that came with an office job that made me want to jump out a window and working two additional jobs, I spent the little shreds of my free time meeting up with friends for drinks or dinner (or drunk brunch, of course). On days that I wasn’t with friends, I would go back to my apartment with a $10 bottle of wine and $15 worth of sushi. I spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on comfort eating and drinking before I left.

So, I knew when I came to New Zealand, that I was going to have to work.

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New Zealand So Far

wellingtonI have been in New Zealand for over three months now and, overall, I am loving my adventure here. It is an adventure that poses an entirely different challenges from the ones I had in Southeast Asia. Buying a car, learning to drive on the left side of the road, and spending my days looking for paid work are just a few of the hurdles I’ve had to overcome. Now, I can say that I have done these things. I have my beautiful (if a little slow) van, Minerva.

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Lombok to Flores: Taking the Long Way

boatsHad I known I would get a wicked cold after hiking Mount Rinjani, I probably would not have agreed to go taking a three-day boat trip from Lombok to Flores.

Things a person does not want to do when they are sick:

  • Not shower for four days
  • Sleep on a plastic mat without any blankets on a boat floor
  • Be stuck in the scorching Indonesia sun without any possibility of aircon

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A Not-So-Solo Traveler

MotorbikesI have always considered myself a solo traveler. Solo traveling is easier and better for me. I can go where I want to go when I want to go and not have to worry about stepping on anyone’s toes. If I’m cranky, I don’t have to worry that I will snap at someone (a common issue at home)–I can just curl up in bed and watch TV or go take a walk alone until I feel better.

I have heard many stories of people who traveled with their friends from home and how the trip nearly destroyed their relationship.

So, I decided to always remain a solo traveler. I would travel with someone I met in a hostel for a couple of days or even a week at a time and then I could say goodbye before I had a chance to get sick of them or vice versa. For the first month and a half I was traveling, this method worked well for me. I met many awesome people who I’m now proud to call friends.

My solo traveling adventure was going beautifully.

Then I met Sophie.

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