Europe?

Europe?

Three weeks ago I was in St. Augustine Beach, Fl, strolling A1A Beach Blvd, ice cream in hand. I was thinking about life, and my current position, and wondering what my next move might be.  
I love van life. I love these little road trip adventures. But I felt something missing… or perhaps, the nearing moment of a new leap.

“What would I do if there were no limits?” I ask myself this often…
“Greece, international travel, but not alone- with friends”.

I got back to the van, and went on workaway.info (a work exchange website with opportunities all over the world). There were no new opportunities in Greece. I sighed, and logged out and onto Facebook instead. At the very top of my news feed, my friend Nicolle’s status read; “Considering booking a trip to Greece. Any tips or suggestions?”

Nicolle is a friend from back home in MN. I met her a few years back at a motorcycle meet up. When I saw her vintage Honda, I instantly knew we would be friends. And that we were; sharing a passion for travel and adventure.

My heart skipped a beat. I had been telling myself the only reason I wasn’t already doing international travel was because I didn’t want to go alone. And here, one of my favorite people ever was already planning the trip!
I’m not sure I believe in signs, but this was the exception. I immediately messaged her!

Over the next few days, I looked obsessively for plane tickets. The most reasonable one was $1,200.
Nicolle had 10 days off to make this trip. Since I am travel blogging/vlogging I have unlimited time.

I started thinking about how I could extend this trip to be longer and remembered I have another friend traveling to the Ukraine this summer. I contacted him, and our dates aligned perfectly. My 10 days had turned into 3 weeks!

I was looking at tickets again the very next day, when I got an email notification from Crewbay.

Crewbay is a website connecting captains to potential crew. I’ve wanted to learn to sail for a long time now and have been on this website for six months.

The message was from a captain I had talked to months ago. He had since moved locations and was now in Europe looking for crew. I told him I was already planning a trip to Greece, but somehow again, the dates aligned to be exactly what he needed.

I was in shock. Was there really a way to make this all work together? 
Helping on the boat would be in exchange for my cabin/ food/ and onboard expenses, which would actually be much cheaper than continuing in the van. And after scowering google flights and skyscanner, I also found all the flights I would need throughout the summer, for half the price of the original Greece flight.

My three weeks had turned into 3 months!

The only issue was the captain needed someone ASAP, and so I booked my flight only 12 days out.

The next two weeks felt like a whirlwind; Driving up to PA (where I stayed with my friend until the day of my flight), finishing my website, switching phone plans, getting everything in order, packing and a whole lot of research.

But come the Monday of the flight I was somehow ready to go, and boarded the plane nervously.

I should mention at this point that I have never traveled out of the country. A few steps into Canada and Mexico, yes, but never from a plane and never overseas. The US has become my playground, but this was different. I felt as if I had grown up and was about to enter the real world. I was all nerves.

All I brought for the summer
Flying over the Swiss Alps

I spent the next 36 hours at the airport/ on planes. 

From Pit- Iceland, Iceland- London, and finally from London-Cyprus.  You may think 36 hours sounds a long time to get to Cyprus, and yes, you are correct. But this is how you get the cost of a plane ticket from $1,200 down to $275.

I arrived Tuesday night, still full of nerves. Cyprus is only 300 miles West of Syria, and passport control leaving the airport was no joke. The man fingered through my passport multiple times before looking at me and questioning “first time out of your country?” “Yes” I replied with a nervous smile, to which his stern face broke into a giant grin “have fun” he replied with a thick accent, and handed me back my passport.

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