A Dollar and a European Dream

Europe had always been a dollar (or ten thousand) and a dream away from me. Ancient castles, enchanted coffee shops, romantic villages, and cobblestones that have been marched across by powerful infamous rulers and artist who now live immortal through the history and ruins. It was a land that I could not have testified to personally witnessing its existence yet; but the urge to go was strong enough to know I was missing out on sometime huge: continent-sized, if you will. As I booked my roundtrip ticket to Oslo, Norway, and left behind a measly eight dollars in my checking account, my heart palpated and my mind raced. “Am I going to be able to afford this?” The thought nagged me before I quickly and anxiously overruled myself with Elizabeth Gilbert’s echoing reassurance, “To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” Right. Any cost or sacrifice. I got this. The pivotal 48-hours-to-rethink-your-life-decisions-and-return-this-ticket-worth-more-than-your-own-soul-right-now time frame had passed and locked me, my boyfriend, and his cousin (our third, youngest, and most spontaneous travel companion) into a binding convoy of travel buddies as we began to plan our European adventure. You read right. Began to plan. We booked a three week flight to Europe with no plans. In our defense, the round trip tickets to Norway I mentioned (the ones worth more than our very souls) were sold to us at a reasonable 400 bucks. Also, it’s untrue to say we had zero plans. We knew we wanted to see Paris. We know a friend in Germany. My boyfriend has a cousin in Sweden. We had it all under control. I do have to tip my metaphorical hat to my boyfriend Nicholas, however.  If this man didn’t have the birth gift of travel planning, and navigating through foreign city centre subway systems better than the lifelong natives; I would probably still be at the Oslo terminal today- trying to buy Starbucks with my apparently useless American gift card (what the hell, Europe?).

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