:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

zondag 12 februari 2006

Hmm. May is a good month to go to Europe. I've been doing some research this morning, and it may actually work out more cheaply for me to just fly EasyJet between countries rather than getting the Eurail pass. That wouldn't be the case during 'real summer', but right now, airline tickets are dirt cheap; almost all of them can be had for between $15 and $30. (RyanAir is cheaper, but they don't fly to the major airports, so you usually have to pay the difference and then some for regional transportation to get where you wanted to go in the first place.)

Granted, I would need to pay for in-country city-to-city transportation in a couple of places, i.e. from Paris to Normandy or Rome to Naples, but those are day-trip distances, so the fares wouldn't be astronomical. The Eurail pass (for 3 countries) costs $275 for six travel days or $325 for eight travel days, so the actual difference in cost - after adding the airline taxes - will probably work out to be negligible, but the difference for me lies in the ease and speed of travel. I would much rather just fly all the way from Paris to Rome, for example, than take the 12-hour overnight train - especially for 15 measly dollars, which is what the flight costs. Also, this would indirectly save me money in the form of daily costs like food, etc., because the trip will take less total time. Decreasing the travel time will also do a lot to preserve my sanity. I like trains, but there's a line, and I think three solid weeks of trains would cross it. Besides, you can't travel for free on any train you feel like, even with the Eurail pass; you still have to pay supplements on any of the 'good' trains like the Eurostar, ICE or Thalys.

So, I'm leaning towards flying. That was really the point of this entry. The only problem I have now is figuring out what order to do the countries (France, Italy, and Greece) in so that I (a) get the cheapest possible rate from the States to Europe, (b) can get back out of Athens (with its appalling lack of out-of-country flight destinations) without having to go back to a country I've already been to, and (c) can stop off in the Netherlands for a few days either before or after the trip (or both :)).

Oh yeah, and getting my answer from the camp, and figuring out what in the world Christine is going to do, since she still hasn't answered my e-mail.

(...And resolving the nuclear crisis, and obtaining world peace... sigh.)


Blogger marijt said...

Ah... watje. Have been in trains for 4 weeks straight, it's fine. :) American. Not used to public transport :)
OK, on a more serious note: don't forget that you will have to pay for many supplements, especially in France and Italy, if you actually want to get somewhere with a train within a day. The train rocks, but yeah, it's slow and I guess more expensive now than flying.
And apart from that: really reconsider Athens. No seriously. I know they have the Acropolis and the cool museum, but other than that: it sucks. It is smelly, the people are NOT nice, it is expensive and apart from the two things I just mentioned and a couple of temples, there is really nothing there. And the Arcopolis is actually stupid anyhow, also because it is in scaffolding most of the time, so it is kind of a waste of time. But hey, if you do go there: do not stay more than one day (two, max, if the archeological museum is actually open, which wasn't the case when I was there and it was closed FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!) and then get out of there as fast as you can.
And train conductors over there are not nice. And people from Greece have never heard of the word 'service'. So far my rant about Greece :)
Italy rocks. At least Italians are pround of their heritage. Whoops, rant not entirely over yet...

PS Did I ever mention that one of my worst cases of food poisoning ever happened in... guess... Athens?

12/2/06 13:48  

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