the split

THE WHY:

there’s definitely something to be said for trying to travel on your own as it changes the traveling experience completely. it’s not easy and you really have only yourself to depend on. plus, all of a sudden, you are left w/ only yourself and your own thoughts to deal w/ so it definitely helps you get in touch w/ your innner self. in some ways, it’s a test of your own independence. for me, in a lot of ways, testing that is really difficult. i’m a very social person, and back home i pretty much spend no time alone. i try to fill almost all of my would be alone time w/ my girlfriend, friends, and family. which is partially why i do have the urge to travel alone. i want to test myself. i want to push myself and try something new. last time i traveled for a while (to thailand for 6 weeks), even though i had the choice of being w/ friends the whole time, i chose to spend half the time traveling by myself to see what would happen.

and there’s also a second side to the equation. when you travel alone, not only is a good chance to spend some “alone time”, but it is also a really good way to meet random strangers and make friends. if you’re on your own and not part of a group, you become more accessable. the problem is, i’ve really never been any good at talking to people i dont know. actually, to say i’m not good at it is an understatement, i’m actually insanely shy. though i have no problem talking a mile a minute w/ people i know, and i *love* to socialize… put in me in a room w/ strangers and i end up usually not saying a word. when i went to thailand, i thought i would finally break through my shyness. i thought of it as a “sink or swim”… if i was all alone, and had no friends to talk to, and the only options were talk to strangers or dont talk at all, i thought i’d end up forced to sociallize. unfortunately, when put in the sink or swim situation, i sunk, and sunk way deep… all the way to the bottom. the half of the trip that i traveled solo, i dont think i talked to a single other person (other than waiters etc obviously). i failed and failed miserably.

so, in 2 more days, it’s test number 2. caryn and i are splitting up for a week, and we’ll see how it goes. for a week i’ll be split between two scenarios: being alone, and being w/ only people i dont know. not only will i be far from home, but i’ll be out of my element. we’ll see how it goes…

THE WHERE:

when we split up, caryn is going to go to greece for the week, and i needed to figure out for myself where it was that i wanted to spend that week. it was time for me to sit down and research different countries, weigh pros and cons, look into prices, etc. well, in typical vlad fashion, i did none of those things. instead, i decided to base my decision solely on some offhand random comments i’ve heard from a couple of other people. after hearing no more than three sentences about it (all three of which were that it’s “nice”), and opening up lonely planet for 2 minutes, i decided to go to croatia. yes, croatia.

i had to check on the map where it was (american geography class didnt teach me much), and as it’s fairly close to greece, i decided, sure why not? so now i have 1 plane ticket, and 0 expectations. i really have no clue as to what i’ll find when i get there… other than that it’ll probably be “nice”. what i’m kind of expecting (if anything) is half mediterranean and half eastern europe. oh wait, but there’s more :). there were no cheap flights to croatia, so instead i’m flying into budapest. so now i get to try out *2* countries that i wasn’t planning on going to!!

so that’s it. in a couple of days i’ll be winging it in croatia and hungary. wish me luck!!

*v

14 thoughts on “the split”

  1. i dont know that many people understand this, but i certianly do.. i decided to travel on my own for the same reason, and in the beginning, i too sucked at it, but by the time i left thailand and indonesia, i found the ability to just go up and talk to stangers, but it took me the first 4 months or so to get to that point…

    and yay! croatia is supposed to be amazing! i really wish i had had heard about it before, and had been able to fit it into my european itinerary… but i look forward to hearing about your experience, because i know i will for sure plan a trip there while i am living in london! 🙂

  2. Dude, you should make it a point to make friends – it’s totally part of the traveling experience! You have a ton of things to say, so pick any one of those crazy ideas of yours and launch it at a perfect stranger. Hell, if you can’t think of anything, just talk about yourself and where you’re from. One of the great things about traveling is you’ve automatically got a common bond with fellow travelers: A thirst for adventure. It’s so fun!

    In all honesty, I was pretty apprehensive about traveling alone too. I couldn’t fathom spending three months all by myself, but in no time I got the hang of it. After you and I split up in Thailand and I headed north to Chiang Mai, I enrolled in cooking classes, not only to experience Thai cooking, but also to make some friends. I even forced myself to go out to a bar by myself one night. A bar, Vlad! By myself!

    Both of these experiences exposed me to an abundance of new friends – hell, I even altered my route in Europe to visit one of them – and it didn’t stop there. It was only the beginning.

    My point is that walking up to random strangers and starting a conversation is a little scary, but it’s also exhilarating. And it gets easier each time. AND meeting new people is SO rewarding. So make yourself do it, because you’re totally missing out if you don’t.

    Cheers!

  3. I think going to Croatia would be amazing… I look forward to reading all about it.

  4. Hi Vlad…Our neighbors just got back from Croatia. They went there for the sailing. Some of their pics were from Dubrovnik and Korcula…beautiful. I know you will enjoy where ever you go. I had hoped that you two would at least travel together to countries and then venture out on your own…just in case either of you needed something…but you two have to make that decision. Looking forward to the on going adventure…Love, Suzi, Tom & Billy

  5. Hey Vlad! I’ve been following your journal. Sorry to hear some of those days you weren’t feeling well. I hope you are feeling better. Good luck with your journey alone. The same to Caryn. Geeze, you guys are brave!

    ~Lara

  6. i have a couple recommendations for you from etienne who has spent tons of time in budapest. don’t take taxis in the street- order them if possible (much more expensive if you take them in the street). from the airport; he says you should take a minicab. he says there is an awesome restaurant called kehli vendeglo- phone number is 250-4241, address is 1036 budapest, lijys u. 22. cool bars mumus kert (gardens) otherwise simpla is also cool.
    cheers!

  7. I’m more excited about Budapest than Croatia, looking forward to the posts and pic’s. You’ll be fine on test #2,
    Just be you 🙂

  8. heh, the thing is, i totally agree w/ you. i *should* go and try to make friends and i *should* just walk up to people and start talking to them… but for some reason, it´s just really hard for me. well, we´ll see… hopefully i´ll succeed!

  9. that´s the thing… around strangers, i find it impossible to just be me. my brain just shuts down, and refuses to operate normally!

  10. yeah, i´m feeling better now. i hope being sick in morocco has fortified me and will prevent me from being sick in other third world countries!

  11. nice! i´ll try to look into sailing… i think that would be a lot of fun! i am definitely planning on going to Dubrovnik, but i haven´t heard of korcula. yeah, we did initially plan on both going to greece and just splitting up there, but i dont know if it would make much difference… greece and croatia are ony a few hours apart by train anyway, so we´re not *really* all that far apart…

  12. yeah, i think it will be amazing as well (i hope!). i read up on the very brief few pages lonely planet online had on it and it seems like there´s a ton to see…. 1 week wont be enough!!

  13. heh, well, i´m only venturing off for a week…. hopefully it wont take me 4 months to start talking to strangers!!

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