We went back and forth on whether or not to dedicate a whole post to our day visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, but ultimately we decided that it was too important to glaze over. Something I was really adamant about before leaving for this trip was the transparency. So often you read about travel and it’s a sheen of incredible, mind-boggling, once-in-a-lifetime, how could it not be perfect, accounts. While we’ve had a lot of these, we’ve also had a lot of challenge, contemplation, reflection, realizations, and overall humbling moments. Sometimes it’s great to smile, and other times it’s totally okay to cry, too. So, with that being said, here’s a bit about our day visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The journey from Warsaw to Krakow was slated to be our first train ride of the trip. Having only traveled by train once before, I had little to no expectation. Long and short, the train we tried to book online didn’t even exist once we got to the station. So we ended up shorting ourselves three hours in Warsaw, leaving late morning, and embarking on a much longer train ride than expected.
Have you ever thought about visiting Eastern Europe? Neither had we until about two weeks prior to taking off for our trip. Brittany was captivated by a podcast describing the world’s best European food destinations and we quickly rerouted our trip to bypass Germany and continue in Poland.
We needed to bookend this part of our trip between Gothenburg and Rome, arriving by September 16th to meet grandma. It only made sense to work our way north to south and take advantage of a steal of a flight to Warsaw for $18 a person. We tried to ease our budget by registering to teach English in Warsaw. We were accepted and they ended up not having space for us. So, on to Warsaw, we went with loose plans of Krakow, Slovakia, Budapest, Zagreb, and Ljubljana to follow.
Prior to leaving for this trip Steve and I spent a lot of time explaining the concept of work exchange and how we planned to participate along the way. Our initial goals were to learn new skills, give back, engage intimately with others in their personal space, and offset the cost of our travels. Having completed our first work exchange at The Harbor, we were able to experience so much more than we ever expected.
Gothenburg is second in size and population to Stockholm and offers a variety of activities and attractions. The city is nestled on the southwestern edge of the country at the mouth of the Göta älv River which feeds into the North Sea. Offering a variety of public transit ferries, trains, and busses, Gothenburg is easy to navigate by foot. Both Brittany and I appreciate these options because they give a better feel for the city than travel by car.
As seems to be the case with many of our travels, we were fortunate enough to coincidentally overlap our visit with the annual Culturefest and EuroPride. There were venues throughout the city offering an expanse of performances along with pop-up shops and multi-cultural dining options.
Hi there and thanks for waiting for our first official on-the-road post on Iceland. So far we’ve traveled through Iceland, Sweden, Poland, and we just landed in Budapest. The travels have been incredible, we’ve made friends along the way, and we’re a little exhausted. So bear with me while we start formulating our thoughts and compressing our ideas. We’re also still learning to do this as a team, so while both Steve and I execute and write well, we do so very differently which has been something we’ve been working through along the way.
For those we’ve spoken with and those we haven’t, our goal here is to not only document our trip to keep friends and family updated but to also give you insight on how this trip is possible. This includes budget, time, resources for travel, work exchange advice, packing details, planning, information on Couchsurfing, and really honest insight into our lives. We’re expecting highs and lows and we’re ready to be transparent. So, that being said, onto Iceland.