Monthly Summary for November 2016 (11th Month of Travel)
Monthly Summaries… Why?
I’m starting up monthly summaries again. Its been about a year since did them and its time to start again. I finally feel I have enough travel experience under my belt to be able to write stories about it. Building confidence is a strange thing and sometimes it takes a while to hit a good stride. I finally feel like I am at the place where I have things to share with others
This newsletter is going to cover part of October as well as November. I realize that makes it more than a monthly summary. It just makes more sense for me in how I divide my travel up in my head. October marks the month when I left North America so it seems a good place to start. Read on if this tickles your fancy. Or if it tickles anything really. Actually if you are feeling tickled tell me where because i’m interested to know…
Before I get into the summary of my travels I have a couple of news items.
I launched a t-shirt store!!
Actually I launched three of them. I plan to launch a whole bunch more as well. I’m doing some research on how each of the stores work for an article i’m writing that im working on and plan to post in December. It would also be cool if I could make a little money off the shirts as well.
The three images below show the storefront pages for the three sites i’ve created. I already know which one is my favorite design but let me know which one is your favorite. Seriously use the contact section below. I’m really interested to know. And these are all working sites so feel free to actually buy something.
Have any ideas for cool shirts with #RoadtripNick? or any other travel related stuff. Let me know and I will custom make a t-shirt just for you!
I started getting busier with posting blog posts on EarthToKeir. However, I am no longer sending out automated emails every time I post an article. I don’t want to overload you with mail. So instead i’ll do a summary of the posts in this newsletter instead. Click on the links below to read the posts. They’ll open in a new window so you can easily return to this newsletter/post.
Monthly Summary 11 (October – November 2016)
The last month I spent partly in the UK and partly in Germany. This is my first monthly summary in a very long time. I’m not going to start exactly in the beginning of November. Instead i’m going to start as I left the US which was in October. It just seems like a natural place to pick this summary stuff up.
My original plan was to get to the UK at quick as I could after Burning Man. I met some great friends in both South East Asia and at Burning Man and I wanted to visit them in the UK as soon as I could. Then I had the brilliant idea to go to Cuba before the UK because it’s kind of on the way.
Planning to get to Cuba lead me to spending a bit more time in the US. I typically fly when the cheapest flights are available so sometimes that means staying a couple days longer in order to get a better flight. The great thing is this allowed me to visit more friends in Chicago and in Baltimore. So I am not going to complain.
There is so much misinformation about visiting Cuba. Probably because most of the information is written in the US and US citizens really haven’t been going there for a few decades now. So after getting past all that bad info I ended up in an awesome guest house called Jakera that I found on Airbnb. I totally recommend you checking them out. They have many activities including Spanish lessons, Salsa lessons and cultural excursions to notable Cuban museums and locations.
After Cuba I had a few days available so I went to Baltimore to visit with friends. While I was there I bought a new camera, went to a performance of some amazing young classical musicians, and met even more new awesome people.
From Baltimore it was a short hop to Toronto where I made a quick trip downtown to buy another lens, then on to London. Oh, also my flight to London was only $160 USD. Yeah, I know right? It was a one way ticket purchased from West Jet. Best price on a flight I have ever been able to get.
London. The last time I was in London was around 2006 or so. I cant remember exactly. I do remember that I didn’t go for a ride on the London Eye.
This time I got to stay at 4 different hostels and in two different houses. I am now incredibly familiar with getting around on the Tube. A good skilz to have I think. And this time I took a ride on the London Eye. Great views, Good company.
From London I went to Scotland. One more thing checked off my bucket list. If you ever get a chance to go to Edinburgh you should totally take it. The whole downtown area has the feeling like it’s all part of one big castle. Lots of great pubs, cobblestone streets, and friendly people. Also it now makes sense why Canadians say sorry all the time. I think it comes from half the population being Scottish.
I did a brief stay over in Manchester to hang out with a photographer friend and then I was off to Cardiff. Super cute little town. But one of my main reasons for going was so I could visit the Doctor Who museum and check out all the costumes and sets in person. So much fun! I stopped myself from buying an overpriced sonic screwdriver, but I did get a key to the TARDIS.
From the UK I moved on to Germany to visit with my favourite Auntie. I’m staying with her in Timmendorfer Strand on the coast of the Baltic sea. This is an old fishing town that recently is more of a tourist getaway in the summer months. This means in winter it’s a pretty quiet place. Which is totally awesome as it has allowed me to relax and catch up on so many things. Writing for instance. Another amazing thing about staying here is meeting all my aunts friends at her yacht club. We eat there at least twice a week. I don’t understand any German but most everyone speaks at least a bit of English so communication has not been any problem.
That brings me up do date. I’m currently planning my next adventures that should take me through to the end of January. I’ll get into those plans lower down.
- Places visited = 9
- Loch Ness
- Beds slept in = 15
- Flights = 2
- Buses = 4
- Trains = 2
- Miles driven in rental car = 591
- Total distance traveled 5406 miles
- Pairs of glasses purchased = 1
- Weight gained 12 pounds, ACK! (Thanks to all the pub food in the UK… and the beers.)
- Money Spent = $6103.31 CAD (4,581.79 USD)
- Money Earned = $368.17 CAD (276.39 USD)
Highlites and Lowlites
- Visiting the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. I have to say that this is one of the reasons I even went to Cardiff. I even paid for the extras which included my very own TARDIS key. WooHoo!!!
- Visiting my Aunt in Lübeck, Germany. I only met my aunt for the first time in my life two years ago. So glad I did. She is totally awesome!
- I have a new pair of glasses!!! These are so overdue. My old ones had a chipped lens, the anti-glare layer was scratching off all over, and the frame surrounding the lens on the right side was superglued together. I can see again!!
- This award has to go to the obvious. I killed a brand new lens for my new Fujifilm camera. While it’s not the first lens I have dropped it definitely had the most damage. Silver lining is that this should be covered under my Purchase Protection plan with Visa. Whew!
- I haven’t written about it yet but i’m currently working on a dispute with a customer who bought one of my cameras on eBay. I’ll keep this under lowlites for now
- It’s getting colder. Not really a big lowlite, but the weather is definitely going towards winter these days. One of my main goals is to avoid winter and i’m just skirting the edge here.
My Next Travel Plans
I’m in Germany until around the 27th of December. I plan to leave Lübeck on the 9th. I want to check out Amsterdam for a few days then head off to a couple more places in Germany. I’ll spend Christmas in the south of Germany my cousin and then i’m off to Granada, Spain. I’m going to spend an entire month there.
This is all part of my plan to minimize the effects of winter in my life. The typical average temperatures for Granada don’t go below zero and usually sit somewhere around 9 Deg Celsius (48 Deg F for all you Americans, and people in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.) The prices for Airbnb in Granada for January sit around $400 per month. (~$300 USD). This is an amazing deal, and likely only so cheap because it’s not tourist season.
On arriving in Spain my plans are to continue with my much more aggressive writing schedule. I also want to take some Spanish language classes. I would really like to be able to converse in Spanish before I head back to Central and South America.