The logistics of our road trip and how it’s effected me

road trip

I’ve been meaning to work this out since we came back at the beginning of May but just kept putting it off. I am not a maths person, numbers bore me but I want to know how many miles we drove! I think that’s so interesting. I want the number – just to throw out in conversation, ‘Yeah, cool story bro, but did you know I drove X number of miles around Europe in two weeks?! Yeah, you’re right, I do sound like a douche bag. Please carry on with your story.’

Also the route. I want an image of the route. We didn’t plan where we were going other than a very loose idea of places we wanted to visit. Like Mc Hammer trousers loose. I have a scratch off world map, which I’ve already scratched off the 5 countries we visited but in comparison to the whole world it looks like we accomplished nothing and makes this blog post sound pointless – I’m proud when I just get out of bed in the morning. All these facts and photos will go into a special ‘Up’ scrap book that one of my best friends bought me and I can be all sentimental and feel special in my own house and not in front of all of your eyes. But for now I am 1: very proud I did maths and 2: proud of James and I for our first road trip around Europe.

route

We visited 5 countries; France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and The Netherlands. We went for two weeks, stayed in a different hotel/hostel/airbnb/campsite every night and booked them on the day or the day before. This map is a very rough route of what we did, it doesn’t include going to the supermarkets or when we had to leave Luxembourg to go to Belgium to buy sleeping bags, then back to Luxembourg and it doesn’t include a few places we visited on the way to other places. Also doesn’t show our actual starting point which is our home but we don’t need anymore stalkers – no offence.

Probably could have done a more practical route, I honestly didn’t know it was this shape. I thought it was more oval and that’s how I’ve been describing it to people. Still absolutely recommend every place we visited and wouldn’t change anything.

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So the time is here.

All my data comes from google timeline – so if we didn’t have our phones on us (which for me was the whole two weeks) no data was recorded, including if our phones was off (but then it’ll hop to the other place and work out miles, but not time.. I think..)

In two weeks we did 1733.7 miles of driving. That is 50 hours and 27 minutes.

We also recorded 30.31 miles of walking which is 16 hours and 46 minutes. I think this could be way off, only because we always had the phone with us in the car but we didn’t always walk with a phone. But this is the number I’m taking! Especially after a time I’m too embarrassed to say of working out the math.

One of the first posts mentioning this road trip was about our old route that we wanted to take – then couldn’t so decided on no route. That route was 1956 miles which google maps said would be 31 hours. How have we done less miles than that but more hours? Traffic I suppose, that’s a big different though. So we did a little less than the original plan we had to scrap but that was going all the way to Poland anyway. I’m proud of our 1733.7 miles.

Also in that post I spoke about my deodorant – ‘What more, I’m going for a completely aluminium free one, so look forward to updates on my armpits. Exciting times ahead.’ – then I never did update you and funnily enough it was one of the first things my Mum mentioned as I got back. The verdict? Pretty useless to be honest. I used it all up and I’m onto another ‘healthier’ deodorant, but when you are having a busy day they’re pretty crap. You have to weigh the pros and cons of spraying aluminium on your armpits. Unless you’re not a sweaty betty then it’ll probably be fine for you. I just dealt with it, like a woman, where as James gave up in Germany and bought Lynx or something. He did stink though.

 

I’ve written and re-written a few posts now, about how this trip has effected me. They were too long, too much and I got bored reading them back. Really positive things are hard to read through. Also I spoke about the shit side too, where you get the holiday blues and it’s just.. ahh all too much. So I want to keep it simple.

It’s like that road trip has aliened me. Before I was an out of tune guitar string but now I’m humming a perfect E. I’m still out of tune a lot of the time, don’t get me wrong. I still suffer with anxiety and depression, I get very sad and stressed, I still want to run away from everything some times and bury my head in my 4 year old brothers sand pit. And that’s putting it all lightly. I think you just know in yourself if you’re on the right track, don’t you. Maybe it’s all about being true to yourself. Maybe I lied too much about what I want. It’s not me to sit around. It’s not me to be serious. It’s not me to be indoors all the time. It’s not me to be in an office and only pay off a mortgage for the rest of my life. Getting too deep down the rabbit hole, simple, Emily, simple. What is me? Well, I’m buying my boyfriend and I adult scooters for his birthday. That’s me.

Life before my road trip does genuinely seem so different and foreign. I wouldn’t say I’m a better me in anyway but I do think I’ve become more chill and more confident. I definitely value a day more, I realise what can be done. I also spend my days differently. There’s excitement back. Like.. I can do what I want. That’s okay.

Like yesterday was a normal work day, when I finished I went round my boyfriends house and we chilled for a bit then he washed his car. I ate burnt marmite toast. Anything else? Had a coffee I think, watched some youtube, for sure. Then as evening came it was a bit like ‘what now?’ I’m done with sitting. I don’t want to watch TV, I don’t want to be indoors. I think it’s a lack of options that make people unproductive. You have to be creative to come up with things to do in a normal day, just to make it that little bit more special and exciting.

We got in the car, I was still wearing my work uniform but put on James’s crocs instead of my boots, and James drove. We had no plan but ended up going to a park, I had a few beers, we played with our new fidget spinners that were bought for us, pretended to do tricks – I actually managed to spin it on my massive bump of a forehead, finally a use for it – sat in the sun on a bench, said ‘parakeet’ every time one flew by. Then went back home.

Now, not for everyone, everyone has their own cup of tea but I’m so happy I’m not drinking others anymore.

Among the chaos there’s a little bit of peace in me.

I thank those 1733.7 miles. And James of course.

14 days, 9 postcards, 4 countries

It’s unknowingly become a tradition to send my Mum the most ridiculous postcards I can find on my travels. It started when I lived in Malta and she came to visit. While she was with me I was secretly finding the worst postcards and sending them to England for when she’s back home. They said silly things like ‘we just went to the pub,’ nothing more, and on the front a picture of stray cats.

Postcards are awful in general, you can find the most weirdest, most wonderful pictures and if you’re really lucky they’ll be bleached by the sun and bending. Just think of how many people have handled it! It’s truly a dying art form.

What makes them even more special is that this whole trip we were in contact with my parents by whatsapp and when you think you can’t get enough of me – 9 postcards come through the door. I’m never leaving you, parents.

In the past you would literally write what you had been up to on holiday, but obviously they already knew through being in contact and my blog. So there was no ‘Hello!!!! I’m having a great time! Yesterday we drove and today we will drive and tomorrow we will probably drive too! Miss you x’. You will see what we actually wrote.

Well, without further deliberation, I present my postcard project! Sent from 4 countries in 14 days.

The postcards

postcards

Where I wrote it

writing

What I wrote

what I wrote

Posting it

postbox

And they all arrived home.

The locations? In order;

Bruges, Belgium

Liege, Belgium

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Frankfurt, Germany

Cologne, Germany

Dusseldorf, Germany

Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Maastricht, The Netherlands