I need a recharge

Welp. I’m back obsessing over the internet.

For a while I just assumed it was some sort of pattern of boredom/interest, but I think it’s more than that. When I get overwhelmed with real people, whether they be at my job or at university, I shut down. I get cynical. I get grumpy. I become cold, distant, and unmotivated.

Katie Salmers, Radiance in Revolution

I’ve been feeling a lot of these same things lately, and I think it’s because, like Katie, I haven’t been creating or producing anything. It’s hard sometimes, because it takes energy to create. But lately I feel like I’ve been pouring all of my energy into getting through my day, into making it seem like I don’t want to be anywhere else than at work, into making myself smile to every customer who comes into the store, into keeping myself from yelling at some of my coworkers.

By the time I get home I’m mentally exhausted. What little energy I still have left  I use to keep holding back the frustrations from the day from getting loose on my family. When asked how my day was I usually respond with, “finally over”, and when someone asks how I am I say tired. I go downstairs, and I turn myself off.


Blast of Sisterly Wisdom from the Past

Every so often I go through old documents I’ve saved and find a few gems of wisdom I’ve left for my future self to find. I had a recent hard drive failure and found one such gem scattered amongst the ruins.

From August 30, 2011

I just think that trying to lose yourself in a fictional world is…pseudo. If you think motivation will just smack you in the face one day… Consider the fact that it might not, and then what? You’ve wasted all that time. And that’s what I’m scared of, wasting time.

When Will and I went to Shambhala last year, and poor old Jenny broke down, and we started talking about hitching to Sham, I was having a panic attack. And when the car nearly started on fire, I was so nauseas… The mechanic came and picked us up and we got to his garage. And he was so nice. I paid for it and I was asking him if the car would start smoking again. This giant blonde mechanic covered in grease looked me in the eye, told me that it would be fine, and then gave me the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.

Worry about it when it happens.

For me…that’s huge. Don’t think that thinking these ideas, thinking about people…or things…or places…whatever…they’re just ideas. Don’t let them scare you. Don’t let them stress you out. And by no means let them worry you.

If anything, be thankful that you have such a mind that can think about those things and that you actually have the power to change things around you.

– Rachel Panasiuk, the best little sister I never had

I look back on these snippets and try to imagine what I was feeling and going through when these sorts of conversations took place, and look at where I am now and realize just how far I’ve come. In the two years since this conversation took place I feel like I’ve frown an unmeasurable amount. I’ve accomplished so much, I’ve got ambitions, I’ve got motivation, and I’m driven to achieve my goals. I think if Past Steve could look forward he would be proud.

I look back at Past Steve and wish I could just pat him on the back and say, “Don’t worry, it all works out.”

 


Gullible Heads Home

When last we left our hero he was on a train heading towards Jülich.

The train ride to Jülich was more or less without incident, until I got off the train, anyway. It amazes me that I hadn’t had any real issues carrying my pack throughout Europe up until this point, but as I was getting off the train and making my way towards the street to meet Micha I stepped into a rail embedded in the ground (you know how when a train track goes through a street and the rail is flush with the pavement but there’s that little gap?) and rolled my ankle in the gap and went straight, and hard, down onto my knees before falling to my side. I was like a 6 foot turtle and couldn’t get up. It didn’t really hurt my body so much as my pride. Thankfully there was a very helpful and concerned man behind me to helped me up. It wasn’t until Micha appeared and we went to is apartment to offload my packs that I started to realize I may have actually hurt my knee. After resting for about 15 minutes and getting up again I couldn’t bend it especially far. Thankfully it loosened up over the few days I was there, and nothing permanent seems to have happened.


Gullible Goes Home

There’s still one more leg of the journey that needs to be written, but in the meantime I’ve finally got all the pictures sorted and on Flickr for public consumption. Without further ado, I present: Gullible’s Travels


Gullible goes to Bavaria

What’s this? A timely update? Nooooo. Maybe.

Right now I’m on a train from Starnberg to Jülich, a town near Cologne where a friend of mine lives. And, as promised, I shall now recall my days in Munich.

Though the train from Berlin was slightly delayed, by only one hour, it was much more pleasant than getting to Berlin. The train was comfortable, quiet, smooth, and without incident. I arrived in Starnberg, a little late, and was greeted by excited cousin Ariane. She’s the third of three Ariana’s, the first being my great aunt Ariane, and the second being my mother. It seems like a popular name. It was a bit late so she took me home, picked up one of her twin boys, Valentine, and we drank beer and ate the most amazing klops I’ve ever had. It may seem like all meat and bread, but I do love Bavarian food. I really had no plan for Munich and Bavaria other than meeting and visiting my relatives, so Ariane made me a small list of possible things to see and do in the city the next day. After much visiting I retired for the night in what may only have been a couch, but was easily the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in since London.


Gullible gets around

Greetings from rainy Munich! Starnberg, actually. There’s quite a lot of ground to cover with this update, I’ve been through quite a number of places since Scotland!

Lets start chronologically. And a fair warning, this is going to be very long. But that’s when happens when I don’t update for a while.

When last I left off, I was on a train heading to New Castle to take an overnight ferry to Amsterdam. Well, I did indeed take an overnight ferry to Amsterdam! And I must say, it was the most disappointing part of my trip thus far. Something had to be. The ferry is marketed as a luxury cruise ferry. I won’t really dispute that, and I think I would have really had a great time in the boat if I was there with a friend. It’s not really even the ferries fault, really. There just wasn’t any mingling going on. Everyone on board had come with a larger group of people, and no one was really interesting in socializing outside their group. So unless I wanted to drink by myself in one of the three bars on board (one of which I actually thought was alright) or gamble in the inboard casino (which was just blackjack, roulette, and slots) I was basically left to drink scotch by myself (and I did have some fantastic scotch with me) and go see Iron Man 3 in the inboard cinema (which wasn’t actually very good. Granted I missed the first 30 minutes. I was drinking scotch.) I did have a good laugh with the DJ in the “club”, who was delighted to play some Rush for me, but otherwise I think I could have found a less expensive way to Amsterdam and been just as happy.


Gullible goes to Scotland

That is to say, Gullible went to Scotland.

I’ve just sat down on the train to Newcastle from Edinburgh. From there I’ll be taking an overnight ferry to my next stop: Amsterdam. I’m in a first class coach for the next hour and a half.

Cork will easily go down as the most relaxing leg of my journey, I think. Beautiful countryside, and none of the city bustle that goes along with staying in a major centre like Glasgow. Vanessa was a most kind and gracious host and really went out of her way to make me feel at home. I’ve got some fantastic photos of Ireland that have thus far made their way to Facebook, but my connections have been a bit spotty and uploading is a bit slow going. One I’ve got a good strong uplink I’ll be posting all of my photos to Flickr and embedding them here for all to see.


Gullible Goes to Ireland

Greetings from green Ireland!
The ferry ride dot Dublin was without incident, which I suppose (while not making for interesting stories) is the best you could ask for. The ship was actually quite large, even including a movie theatre! I didn’t opt to see Iron Man 3 while aboard, but I did enjoy a pint of Guinness from the on board bar. A few hours an half of Trainspotting later, we were in Dublin!

I had originally thought to walk from the port to my hostel, but after checking the maps and distances again I decided against the idea. I then decided to take a bus, but unfortunately could not make any change until just after it pulled away. Aright, plan C, taxi. Obviously not my first choice, especially for saving money, but I’m flexible. It turned out to not be that bad, cost less than €15 and my driver was very nice and pointed out a good number of things to see during my stay. It was also a bit lucky because finding the hostel was actually a bit trickier than expected. But we got it sorted and I made it to the hostel. I checked in and got settled (top bunk on the too floor) and went out for a walk through downtown Dublin in search of a SIM card. I was able to track down a Tesco and picked up a SIM with €10 credit that would double to €20 once activated, and popped it into my older 3GS. It was interesting to go back to using my old phone, but I’m glad I brought it. There was wifi in the hostel but I wasn’t able to get much reception from my bunk. After my walk I turned in, a full day of travelling by rail and water takes a lot out of you.


Gullible’s Log

Well, I’ve always wanted to say this but I never actually thought I would. I’m about to board a ferry to Ireland. Well, in two hours anyway.

But that’s getting a bit far ahead, isn’t it!
I landed in London on the 29th after an amazing stay in Kingston with Tony. My hosts in London, Anorra and JB, were unfortunately not able to actually be in London while I was there due to visa complications. But their lovely friend Mathilde is taking care if their flat and was a lovely host and guide.

After landing in London, and experiencing the trains and tube for the first time, Mathilde met me at Victoria station. Obviously being from Saskatoon I’m not exactly used to busy subway systems, but what little time I’ve spent in Toronto and Montreal, and to a lesser extent Vancouver, gave me at least a tiny bit of preparation. By the end of my stay though I think I had it pretty figured out.

Mathilde guided me ‘home’ and proceeded to take me out around London to help tire me out and combat the impending jet lag. We say Westminster Abby, the London eye, Buckingham Palace, and I’m sure a few other landmarks I can’t recall but the are pictures of, jut to get the “touristy” things out of the way early.

To be honest London went by much much faster than I actually expected, though everyone and my mother warned me that it would happen. I spent the next few days essentially wondering around London, getting lost, getting found, and generally seeing all that I cared to see. It’s hard to meet people in a place like London when you’re only there for a few days, Mathilde managed to introduce me to a few people before I left.

The sheer size of the city was something I could not be prepared for. Toronto and Vancouver are big, but they feel like Saskatoon compared to London. I’m very pleased with myself, though. Navigating London on my own and never getting so lost I was actually in danger of not being found. It’s a great boost of confidence, to know that I can go to such an intimidating place and be alright.

We’re starting to board the ferry so I’d best wrap up. This morning I took the train from London to Holyhead and will fery the rest of he way. I’ll be spending two nights in Dublin before I make my way to Cork.

I’ve got many stories already of London and will do my best to recall and share a few of them soon. I’ve quite a few pictures already as well and will be compiling a public album which I will try to update as Internet allows.

Until my next update, later days.


Hypothetical Adventure Map

This is my hypothetical adventure map. Tomorrow I fly from Saskatoon to Toronto and get on a bus to Kingston for a few days before the true adventure begins.

I’ll be landing in London first thing in the morning on the 29th and from there I’ll meet up with Jenny and Annora’s friend Mathilde who will get me settled and take me out a bit. After a few days in London I’ll head to Liverpool (because that seems like a pretty fun idea) before hopping over to Dublin. A day or two in Dublin and I’ll head toward Cork to meet up with Fidelma’s sister Vanessa, and then over to Kerry to meet her other sister Jacinta.

From there I’ll jog up to Belfast and take a look around, before going to Glasgow. Then it’s up to to Oban to visit the famous distillery of one of my favourite whiskeys. And then over to Dufftown for one of my other favourite scotches, Glenfiddich. Then it’s on to Edinburgh!

From there I’ll head to Newcastle, where I’ll take an overnight Ferry Cruise to Amsterdam. A few days in Amsterdam is going to be a LOT of fun. And then it’s on to Copenhagen to visit my lovely cousin Mandy and her husband Rasmus and their little one. After a few days there I’ll finally head towards Germany, first stop: Berlin. After Berlin it’s on to Starnberg to meet my cousin Ariane whom I’ve heard so much about, and her two boys, too.

Then a quick stop in Cologne on my way back to London where I’ll wander around for another day or so before flying back to Toronto and then eventually home again.

 

So that’s my rough game plan. It’s ever evolving and may end up going nothing like that, but those are the places I’d like to stop on this adventure of mine. Of course, postcards will be sent, letters written, and souvenirs acquired. I’ll do my best not to look like a lost tourist most of the time, and of course keep out of trouble. But not out of too much trouble, what’s the point of being young and stupid if I’m not going to act young and stupid at least once.


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