Boy does time fly...
It seems like ages ago when I was first planning this trip, yet between then and now I've completed only a fraction of the things I had hoped to. I'm currently in Paris awaiting a connecting flight to Venice... I'll be in Venice for two days and then from there I'll head to Ljubljana for Rok and Tamara's wedding!! :)
This will be a two week trip and I hope to get in a bit of relaxing and hiking in Slovenia while I'm here. I'd hoped to take the entire time off work but as the timelines for an of important project I've been working on have been pushed out it looks like that unfortunately won't be possible. I'm really excited for this to see the light of day though which should be coming within the next three weeks-ish.
Despite all the traveling I've done over the past couple years this will actually be the first time I've ever traveled by myself. While it makes me a little bit nervous, I'm quite excited about it as it basically allows me to do whatever I want without having to worry about other people I'm with. I've got nothing against traveling with other people, it's just nice to be completely selfish every once in a while ;-). Besides that, I find that the majority (all?) of my travel "concerns" are related to the language barrier in non-English speaking countries. Italian is quite similar to Spanish so I should be able to get by there (and considering there's apparently more tourists in the city than locals, I'm sure almost everyone will speak English anyway). And I believe most people in Slovenia speak English. Probably one of the most useful personal skills I've obtained by traveling is "universal language" of non-verbal communication :). I remember how difficult this was when I first arrived in Argentina 2.5 years ago. With no Spanish skills it was almost impossible to do even the simplest things like laundry or figuring out where to take the trash. Besides that, knowing a few important "universal" words that regardless of the language people tend to know what you're talking about or need, such as "toilet"... of course, you sometimes have to fall back to the embarrassment of shirades as Sam had to do in one of my favorite travel stories of hers having to use the bathroom in China :).
One thing that never gets easier with traveling is saying goodbyes to everyone. Whether it's 2 years or 2 weeks it's a tough thing to do with those who are close to you. If selling off and giving away almost everything I own has taught me only one thing, it's just how important your true friends and family are. Something that seems far too easy to take for granted when you always live in close proximity. So anyway, I miss you guys!!
On an unrelated note... there's an American couple sitting across from me both reading their own brand new copy of atlas shrugged, both about 25 pages in... maybe it was the only book written in English in the book store here, but it seems a bit odd to me nonetheless :).