“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
August 18, 2015 we have tickets booked to Iceland with no idea what is in store for us, so we created a time-capsule series of questions that we can look back on and laugh at how naive we were.
What are you most nervous about?
- Ben: Not having a nice bed for a few months. Sleep is one of my favorite things and I’m hoping that the ear plugs and sleep mask I’m bringing can mimic an at-home sleeping experience.
- Kyra: There are two inanimate objects in the world that I will openly admit to being in love with: Pizza and My Bed. The world seems to a have a plethora of pizza we can indulge in while abroad but there is only one bed I can call my own and it unfortunately does not fit into a suitcase. As an introvert and lover of my bed, I am nervous about not having my own space to unwind. Realistically my answer is missing the people I love and admire but I can’t bare to think about that too much right now.
Why are you doing this?
- Ben: “There’s no better time” is what we keep hearing. Honestly, I think 2 years earlier would have been better based on all the “student” prices that end at age 25. Prices aside, the experiences we get from this trip will pay off 1,000 fold and stretch our perception of the world for the better
- Kyra: Since being thrown into the working world I’ve romanticized the idea of a grandiose adventure. Now three years out of college and with a rudimentary notion of what my vocation could be I feel the only way to facilitate change in the world is to engage with people and attempt to understand how and why humans act the way they do. I’m lucky to have a partner who is willing and excited to explore with me. Admittedly, I also liked how badass “we quit our jobs and are vagabonding on a vision quest around the world” sounded.
Place do you hope to visit the most?
- Ben: Croatia – the more photos I see the more I wish I was there right now.
- Kyra: I am generally excited for Eastern Europe because I think it will be weird and not pricey. Before our tickets were ever booked and just as this trip was being conceived Ben and I discussed getting an apartment in Croatia for about a month. My friend Ali went with her family and I either remembered or dreamed up a bar she told me about where people wore headphones with three different types of music that they had a silent dance party to. I hope we find that bar or convince someone to invent it.
Favorite travel experience to-date?
- Ben: Traveling through China with some great friends and fellow classmates. Our chaperones let us explore anywhere we wanted and pushed us to interact with local cultures, eat the local cuisine, and get lost.
- Kyra: We chartered a catamaran in Belize with another family when I was in probably sixth grade. To entertain ourselves, the four kids would play music on the deck and make up music videos (sans a camera). Actually “I’m On A Boat” is loosely based on a video we made up.
Thing you’ve packed you’re most unsure of
- Ben: A small tripod for my camera. It takes up a lot of space but should be worth it for the time lapse or long exposure photography opportunities that arise.
- Kyra: Black Nikes. They might give away my nationality to easily.
What do you think you’ll do when you get back?
- Ben: Absolutely no idea, but I hope I don’t fall into something easy. One goal of the trip is to find an even better path forward.
- Kyra: Who says we’re coming back (just kidding Sarah McDermott)? Make my bed and get into it.
Eurail or planes?
- Ben: Eurail!!! Or just buy train tickets as we go.
- Kyra: We’ve gotten such varying advice. Ultimately, probably ad-hoc train and plane purchases.
Stance on what food to eat and where you’ll draw the limit
- Ben: If it could easily kill me, I probably won’t eat it – everything else is fair game.
- Kyra: I think Papaya smells and tastes like feet so I will not be eating that. Otherwise I’m hoping to try a lot of things that can be used to one-up people who say they’ve eaten something crazy.
Best piece of advice you think you’ve gotten
- Ben: Spend the extra money on an experience you think you need to have.
- Kyra: From Ben, the idea to turn our trip into a vagabonding adventure as opposed to a pre-determined, pre-planned trip
What do you think you’ll get most sick from
- Ben: The salsa. It has happened before, and based on my love of salsa, will happen again.
- Kyra: Probably pizza as a sadistic twist of fate for my overindulgence in it to-date
Habit you want to form on the trip
- Ben: Creating more. Whether this is through drawing, writing, or taking photographs, I need to keep creating
- Kyra: Less time worrying about not doing things and being at peace with the present. Habits are supposed to be tangible and specific which that is not but I’m okay with it.
Luxury item you’ll miss most
- Ben: Chipotle right around the corner.
- Kyra: A private bathroom