For whilst we’re away

I’m knee-deep in insurance small print and desperate to escape so I’m sifting through the drafts. I started work on this weeks and weeks ago, so I’ll commit to it now.

A list. A great way to visually organise my travelling-across-Europe/existential chaos, listing has been crisis-averting in designing our trip. This is a list of things I’d like to chance upon, things I’ll seek and things I’d love to experience whilst we manoeuvre our way (starting on Saturday! GAH! so close)

  1. Right at the top of the list is kayaking. I crave this. I can’t explain it. (I think perhaps I crave developing my arm muscles because I also really want to just go back and forth on some monkey bars for a bit too.) I’d love to kayak on a lake, kayak on a river, kayak my way around the world. Here’s a pic of somewhere we’re not going – the Gorge du Verdon (where I have canoed) but gives you a peek at why I crave this experience:
By Noah Basle

Us humans are SO SMALL. Kayaking is something I’d love to do anywhere, but I think Bovec/Soca Valley in Slovenia is a good hope.

2. Read. I haven’t invested as much time in reading literature as I’d like. I’m always reading (mainly on Medium) but printed work is different, I wholly believe that. This is the list of titles I’ll allow to weigh down my bag; Feral, How to Live, The Beauty Myth and I’ve printed this list of short stories. Seems I’ll be doing some soul searching.

3. Swim. I love swimming – the feeling of weightlessness in the water makes me feel like nothing else. We’ve picked one workaway with a pool and I’m so excited to jump in.

By Christoffer Engstrom

5. Indulge in walking tours. I wasn’t formerly ‘one for history’ and there’s something about museums that I’ve long struggled with. To explore a city, I’ve typically taken to the streets, but the feeling that prompts me to do this is changing. I’m becoming far more aware of the fact that to understand a place, you need to understand how it became what it is. SO, during the trip, I’m going to go on as many free walking tours as I can.

By Tom Sodoge

6. Work with refugees. This has long played on my mind but I think we can all do something to help. One of our workaway choices has recently taken in two ‘parentless’ boys and we’ll be helping to make them feel at home in a whole new country. I think it’s going to be eye-opening.

7. Take the cable car to Barceloneta in Barcelona. I saw this on Travel Man with Richard Ayoade and it looks great.


8. Walk up the winding tower in Copenhagen. Another Travel Man find, this tower was built in such a way that enabled the King (or leader?) of Copenhagen at the time to ride his horse to the top. I love that.

By Manu Schwendener
By Blake Richard Verdoorn

10. Eat local for breakfast where possible. After reading that a typical Spanish breakfast includes coffee and madelines, I’m intrigued. I also won’t say no to croissants when in France.

By Catheryn Lavery

11. Have a haircut in another city. I find this brave, and exciting. When I left college, I joined two friends at the start of their European adventure and Mez, one of them, went on to have a fantastic haircut. I’ve always been super sensitive about where my hair was cut, but I just don’t care so much as of late. (I’m secretly mourning my old and loved long blonde hair).

12. Dance – go to one nightclub (let’s just say usually, we like to go to bed after watching a good film, sometime before 11pm). I think Berlin could provide us with this.

By Abigail Lynn

13. Exhibitions. See art. (Stuart’s making a list)

14. Aquarium. I’ve been tossing up this idea as I evaluate my relationship with animals. But…I think I’d like to visit an aquarium.

15. Visit Botanical Gardens – we’re planning this in Amsterdam, but wherever we can, I’d love to do this. Just because we’re visiting Europe doesn’t mean we can’t sample sub-tropic temperatures, flora and fauna.

By Andreas Ronningen

17. Visit Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg. This may seem crazy as it’s essentially a large-scale model railway, but it’s HUGE. There are planes, cities, trains…the average review is 4.8 out of 5. It’s €13.00 but I’m so tempted as I think it would be brilliant to see.

18. Take a class – be it a yoga class, cooking class, life drawing. Learn from those around us in their natural setting. I love this idea: and that may suffice!

19. Hike – I’m hoping this will become the norm during our time off from workaways; we’ll stretch our legs and explore new landscapes.

20. Write. I shouldn’t have to remind myself of this, but it’s the goal. Write every day, publish every week. Even if it’s not great, it’s writing and it’s out there.


Header Image is the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany. Image via Unsplash






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