‘Twas the night before Europe

Written by on May 11, 2014 in Asia, Blog, Europe, Thailand - 12 Comments

“You won’t make it a month …”

Those ominous words echo in my mind, 12 years after I took my first longer-than-a-vacation jaunt to Europe. People were actually rooting for my failure. My lack of ability to travel solo for any length of time.

They were right. I didn’t make it a month. But, not because I couldn’t travel that long, but because I was in a place in my life where I had no business traveling. I was escaping and using a month in Europe as that ditch plan. Needless to say, when the sole purpose of a trip is to run, it doesn’t work out well.

Since then, I’ve taken many trips solo. Actually, there isn’t a single flight I have booked in the past 12 years that wasn’t just built around Me, Myself & I and what  wanted to do.

It’s quite nice to travel the world with only myself to please.

Sofitel So Bangkok

A room with one hell of a view at Sofitel So Bangkok

Tonight, I am tucked into perhaps the most comfortable bed ever, at the hip and magnificent Sofitel So Bangkok (which has earned the title of My Favorite Hotel Ever), and am taking in the stunning view of the city’s twinkling skyline as I unwind. Far below me, I can hear the protestors over a PA system. But, Sofitel So has done a magnificent job of creating the perfect escape for me — from both political tension in the city, and the pre-travel anxieties which normally exist at the start of a long trip.

Tomorrow at this time, I will once again be traveling solo, this time to Europe for a month of exploration which commences in Prague (marking my third time to this gorgeous city). There is no running this time. There is no pain. For the first time in my life, I am actually in a fantastic headspace, a fantastic body space. I’ve given up the self-destructive behaviors, I’ve focused on becoming the best version of me I can be, and that best version of me includes travel and soaking up the beauty of far away places.

Sure, I live in a far away, exotic place. And, I love my life as an expat in Chiang Mai, but this girl is also a wanderer. A traveler. A person who needs to experience being just a tiny speck in a world filled with passion, variety, beauty, living. There is nothing more magical in my mind than waking up in a foreign place where the only way to communicate is through kindness and smiles and gestures and — perhaps — a few mis-pronounced words. There is nothing more invigorating than walking into a train station and seeing what city, what country, the next train departs to and deciding to hop on said train. There is nothing more humbling than crossing paths with complete strangers who turn into life-long friends just because a decision was made to go to that hostel, that coffee shop, that town …

For the next month, I will be living in Europe, breathing in Europe, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this special gift I am giving myself.

Stay up-to-date on all of my European adventures by following along on Twitter (#dtravelseurope), Instagram, Trover, G+ and Facebook. And, for a look at the health and wellness side of European travel, be sure to follow along at The Comfort Zone Project and on TCZP’s Facebook.

 

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is a former career breaker and long term solo traveler. Today, she helps promote responsible elephant tourism and is the co-founder of #RTTC, a weekly chat on Twitter focusing on responsible tourism. When she isn’t writing, Diana handles the PR and social media for Save Elephant Foundation, which runs the popular Elephant Nature Park. Her writing as appeared in About.com, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Luna Luna, Vegas Seven, World Nomads, Viator, CheapOair, OneTravel and more.

12 Comments on " ‘Twas the night before Europe "

  1. Maddy May 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm · Reply

    It’s going to be so great, have an amazing time! I loved using my kelty ascender, btw – best giveaway I could have won. Totally inspired to travel more now… even if it’s “just” to Canada this summer. Ha.

    • Diana May 13, 2014 at 12:35 am · Reply

      Thank you! I am SO excited to be on the road again!!! Glad you like the Kelty. I’ve got mine with me and am loving it!!

  2. Alex May 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm · Reply

    What a beautiful piece of writing! You described a lot of what I love about travel and exploring new exotic places. Wishing you a magical month!

    • Diana May 21, 2014 at 7:49 am · Reply

      Thank you, my lovely! I appreciate it. So far, it has definitely been magical. See you in AUGUST! <3

  3. Federico May 15, 2014 at 10:28 am · Reply

    Enjoy your trip, it will feel short by the end of the month but fullfulling nonetheless…

    • Diana May 21, 2014 at 7:48 am · Reply

      A month FLIES BY!

  4. Camels & Chocolate May 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm · Reply

    That’s awesome! I’ll be there a little after you–heading over at the end of June for three weeks with the fam.

  5. Caroline May 18, 2014 at 12:54 am · Reply

    Looking at that picture of your bed, I believe you when you say that its the most comfy bed ever … sick view too!

  6. Ian November 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm · Reply

    “You’ll never last a month” … sounds like extroverts reflecting on their worst fears of being alone for any amount of time. The irony is that solo travel is an extrovert’s dream, as there are tons of people to meet in hostels all the bloody time!

    • Diana November 25, 2014 at 8:42 am · Reply

      This is very true!!

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