Some of you might be thinking lately: I wonder how Abbie and Joe are doing? Or why haven’t Abbie and Joe posted more blog posts? There’s a myriad of reasons and responses to these questions, but we mostly haven’t been writing because we have been too busy experiencing. However, we are going to try to do better because y’all are very important to us and not a day goes by that we don’t talk about one of our friends, or mistakenly think we see one of our Urban Peak youth walking around Europe.
Here’ a quick update/overview on how we are doing and what our future plans are: We are just over a month into our trip, and overall, we are physically stronger, more knowledgeable about history, and less stressed about work and Urban Peak. We’ve tasted some amazing beer, ate chocolate almost everyday, and have had more falafel than we cumulatively ate in the last ten years. We’ve both cried at different points (me almost everyday we bike long distances because it’s challenging, Joe when he finally got to see his first Egon Schiele painting in real life), and we’ve both thrown up from food (and maybe diarrhead in our pants just a little). We’ve met some amazing people, and come across some surprising things: Joe got to jam out in Austria with an impressive accordion player and saxophonist, and one night we stumbled upon a 13th century castle that had a bear moat around it, with real live bears still in the moat! We’ve had some moments of frustration with each other (considering we spend a significant amount of time with each other), but have also had some unbelievably romantic moments and lots of opportunity for our relationship to grow.
I’ve been surprised at how similar Europe is to the U.S.- western capitalism is still ubiquitous with lots of advertisements, shopping malls, and people our age trying to define what the “American Dream” means for us now. The welfare system and garbage/recycling systems are far superior over here, but there are also a lot more cigarette smokers and people have not caught on to cleaning up after their pet. They say you can tell a tourist from a local because locals look down when they walk (to make sure they don’t step on shit). There’s the same right-wing Donald Trump-esque movement going on here (refer to previous blog posts), and young people are worried that the welfare is not going to be around once they retire. However, a significant difference is that the young people in Europe are not crippled with debt- which is HUGE difference. Most college is free or very cheap here, so it would be very rare here to meet a 25 year old with any student debt, let alone the the $37,172 average debt that the class of 2016 has in the U.S.
Our future plans?
Oct 26th through Nov 2nd- Budapest
Nov 3- 10th- Serbia/ Sarajevo
Nov 10th- 17th- Dubrovnik, Croatia (Amazing coastal city where they filmed some of the Game of Thrones scenes)
Nov 18th-28th- Biking up the coast of Croatia
Nov 29th- Dec. 7th- Ljubljana, Slovenia for St. Nicholas/Krampus Celebrations
Dec 7th- 10th- Italy (Fly to Portugal)
Dec 11th- Going to an Elton John concert in Lisbon Portugal!!!!!
Dec 12th-20th- Bike down Portugal Coast
End of December- January- Morocco/Africa
Potentially Fly back to Florida the end of January
So that’s just a brief update. We love and miss everyone! We have lots of exciting stories, new ideas/thoughts, and perspectives to share when we get home. I have to go pack up because we are about to bike to Bratislava- only a 40 mile day today so not too bad.