MIDWEST RUNAWAY: A Travel Series
As you are probably aware by now, I'm leaving. I think I've written a full blog about this almost 6 different times in the past 6 months but each time I never thought it was good enough. So here I am, four weeks and a day, sitting in my bed before I take my biggest adventure yet.
Where do I even start while keeping you entertained enough to finish this blog? Well first off and to feed your curiosity, your favorite photographer is leaving the country to go on the greatest adventure yet for 3 months. I believe that we should not put our lives on hold while pretending those "someday" promises will actually happen. You'll never know what's going to happen within the next year so why not take charge of your wildest dreams right now? In the year, I lost a friend, my second mom was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and the list goes on.. Right now, there's a whole world waiting for you to see it but the only thing holding you back is doubt.
Roughly 18 states, 10 different countries, and counting. So here is the plan
THE S T A R T
Once upon a time, I had a blog called Midwest Runaway which was the inspiration to Nicole Midwest. When I was a high schooler, all I did was romanticize about new place and people that didn't grow up within a 10 mile radius of me. Next thing I knew, I had packed my things and flown out to Europe two days after high school graduation for a two month solo backpacking trip. Looking back, that was the start to my addiction, being the person that I was inside a new place for the first time.
Each trip was like falling in love all over again and again. There were nights where I would spontaneously join a band and jam out till 2AM or meet new backpackers and share goals and dreams under moonlight. Looking back at it, my favorite was standing in a crowd of thousands of people staring at the Eiffel Tower as fireworks painted the sky. How could someone not get hooked after that?
THE G O A L
In four weeks and a day, on January 7th, me and my packed suitcase will embark on the wildest and longest adventure of my life before I return back to the states for 2018's wedding season. I'll be shooting an engagement session in London the first week and then I'll be off to Rome. But the most interesting part to this? I'm only allowed in Italy for 90 days out of the 3 months spent there... oops!
I don't want to have to go through getting a visa so I'll be country hopping around the continent the other half of the time. But get this... What's even funnier is that I haven't planned out that part either! My whole life has been revolving around a daily schedule and 30% of the time it has been planned and broken into 30 minute increments. If you said," WTF," in your head after reading that, it's okay, I did too. Being spontaneous and having the ability to live without a clock is something I've missed and wanted for so long so this adventure is my chance to be that person again.
Q: WHAT COUNTRIES WILL YOU GO TO...?
A: Right now, I plan on being in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and Belgium for sure. Everywhere else is a, "let's see how far my bank account will let me."
Q: HOW CAN YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK..?
A: Traveling to Europe, especially in the off-season, is cheaper than you think. I'm flying there one-way for only $250 which is the equivalent for me to fly out to California. Traveling is honestly so much more affordable than people think if you're doing your research right!
When I get there, I'll be "volunteering" and teaching English so my boarding and food is free. All the fun stuff is extra! Kinda like getting guac at Chipotle... you know you don't need it but you want it and still get it anyways.
Q: I THOUGHT YOU WERE STUDYING ABROAD?
A: Yeah, so did I. But why would someone spend $20,000 for 3.5 months to travel just a little bit? Home girl, $20,000 could buy you an island, a boat, and a some money left over to get some unnecessary things like a fidget spinner.
Q: WHEN WILL YOU BE COMING BACK?
A: Expect the end of March if I don't die...! I'll be back before wedding season starts so I have enough time to get my life in order. You'll be able to keep up with me and my adventures through my blog and personal account @dearnicoleirene on Instagram.