Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How I lost (almost) everything and still found something

Prague, Krakow, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn. I never dreamed of going to these places (a few months ago, I couldn't even point them out on a map), but there I was on a train to Copenhagen airport, ready to tackle the world! But something happened near the beginning of the trip that changed everything...

Accurate representation of my pre-trip attitude

My first stop was Prague, a place I visited (and fell in love with) a month ago. The city really is so beautiful that it has earned a special place in my heart. But cheesiness aside, this was also where I got pickpocketed and lost almost everything important. From the moment I noticed my backpack was open to the final phone call with my credit card company - those were some of the most stressful and terrifying hours of my life. I considered going home. Calling it quits. But the traveler inside of me was determined to press on and see what I came to see. I had to finish the trip on a seriously shoestring budget and no phone (aka no instagram. or wifi. or calling.), but this setback also forced me to adapt and make the most of my circumstances.

No smartphone? Every meal was savored, every sight appreciated, every conversation fully engaged. No credit card or cash? Made me thankful, from the bottom of my heart, for my travel friends and their generosity. It also forced me to spend carefully, on the things that really mattered. I learned to guard my camera with my life, to keep my passport in the safest place possible, and to communicate without technology. It really changed my perspective on life (and I'm not quoting some travel book, I promise!).

So now that you've gotten through ALL that text, here are some pretty pictures from my favorite spots! Though I think beautiful might be the more appropriate word.

Other than the pickpocketing incident, I did so much in Prague over those three days and loved every second of it! I saw the modern Czech Symphony Ballet, visited the Jewish Quarter and the gorgeous Spanish Synagogue, tasted monk-brewed beer at Strahov Monastery and peeked into their stunning library (how do you even study here??), climbed to the top of the Petrin Hill and Vysehrad (founding place of Prague) for different viewpoints of the city, and RAVED ALL NIGHT at the Transmission music festival!

 The English major inside of me is crying happy unicorn tears.
Credit: claudia_dias

credit: Andurinha

 Monk's beer - the best!

 Prague's own Eiffel

Transmission Festival was a big highlight, since it was the actual reason I came back to Prague. 11 crazy hours dancing to the best in trance music and amazing light shows - what more could I ask for? Markus Schulz absolutely slayed, and his two-hour set had me dancing the whole time, smiling from ear to ear.

So in the end, what exactly did I find in Prague (and the rest of my destinations)? I won't give some corny quote about finding myself,  but I can say that I discovered the goodness of people, the beauty of sights both man-made and natural, and the fact that you really can't put a price tag or quantify the experience of seeing the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment