Happy Halloween!…update 10-31

I am doing well. I am in Lagos, at the beach, in southern Portugal. I loved the Netherlands but the grey and cold finally got to me. So last week, I hopped the first flight I could to the sun, ending up in Portugal. I procrastinated too long and missed my chance to join the backpacker tour I really wanted to do in Turkey. I thought about it for a few days and ultimately decided that I wonºt be going to Turkey this trip (but soon!) I was just not up for doing it by myself, both handling the touts and also planning everything myself.

Iºve learned a lot about my travel style and actually I really enjoy tours IF they are not hop-on-off-the-big-bus style. Iºve been blessed in the past to do really awesome tours with naturalist-type guides and you can learn so much more than from a book.

Anyway, I was really tired for a while with planning the day by day. You can spend A LOT of time figuring out where to go next…and for any of you that traveled a while ago, the hostel situation has totally changed. Places are booked up days, if not weeks, in advance and often walk-in spots are few. I am not one to wander around with my pack for hours, looking for a bed…I want to enjoy the place. So I sat down and planned (basics) the rest of my trip.

Iºll be in Portugal until 10 November, when I fly to Athens for my week on the budget cruise around historical Greece. Then I return to Spain (Barcelona again and Cordoba) for about a week and head home! I think Iºll be ready by then. I do wish I had more time on the road, but at the same time I am ready to see my friends and family. I definitely miss all you people. I miss our conversations and the comforts that come with knowing someone for while.

Eat some candy for me!

ps a moment of silence for my beloved Ricardo, who moved on 2 years ago today 🙁

Update 10/22

I’m behind on my blog (and my emails…so sorry!) so I thought I’d post a real-time update. It is Tuesday 10/22. I’m currently in a small beach town outside Amsterdam (Noordijk), basically chilling out. Since leaving Spain, I spent a week an intense week in Paris and a chill week in Amsterdam. I really love the Netherlands so far and decided I needed to get out into the countryside, so here I am.

I have a ticket to fly to Antalya, Turkey tomorrow (10/23) but I am planning to post-pone. I am not overly concerned about the protests/PKK issue, although I am certainly following the news closely. Mostly I’m not ready ready to tackle a new country or culture just yet. The Netherlands is comfortable (although chilly) and small. The Dutch are wonderful – bright and friendly (enough), with sharp wit. They are stylish with a healthy dose of practical. They ride their bikes everywhere. I just really like them.

Anyway, I am learning about my travel style and I need a rest. I expect I’ll head to Turkey on the 28th or 30th.

I apologize to those I have not kept in good touch with (which would be pretty much everyone). I would love to get personal updates from you all by email. I’ve found I spend much of my internet time researching and taking care of banking, etc. Blogging has been interesting for me and I hope for those who read it. I figure when I get too wordy, most of you just skim (buds, do you miss Audrey emails?? ;-). Seriously, figuring out how many and which details to include is a challenge. I should probably have more than one blog, as it is documentation for myself and a way to share my trip, but I can barely keep up with this one.

OK, send me updates! Peace, Audrey

ps Happy Birthdays to the late October birthdays (that I know of): Meg, Vojo, MOM & John. And **Josh**…little J, how could I forget???