When we decided to start a travel blog, we already assumed that we wouldn’t always travel and write about it. Sooner or later we would reach the point when we would be tired of jumping borders and chasing flights, making us crave for a little stopover.
Being able to live a life of travel is indeed something remarkable as you can move freely around and make decisions on the way. That also includes the freedom of taking your time while exploring new places.
Nowadays we experience people rather ticking destinations off their lists than letting the destination decide its own pace.
There are way too many travelers who don’t have the freedom to stay longer in a place, making it difficult to strengthen their ties abroad.
Ties describe a relationship to a country, its culture and its people.
Maybe you found people who became friends. It’s hard to say goodbye to new found friends just because you put yourself in a hurry.
Maybe you found a job that helps you to pay for your stay. In your spare time you can discover the new surroundings in your own pace. Those who made the valuable experience of working abroad often understand the economic and social situation of a country far better.
They approach a new working culture and learn what it means to be part of it.
Besides, it’s a great opportunity to update your CV and acquire new skills which can be useful in future.
How to decide when is the right time for a stopover?
Lisbon was our first stopover on our Trail to Happiness. It was the first time that we decided as a travel couple to grant this inspiring city one year of our lifetime, so that it could gradually reveal itself to us. As we both worked full-time, we mostly had only the weekends and our days off, to get in touch with the local culture.
Hemmo and I met each other in Lisbon, without knowing that we both would share the thrill for foreign countries and folks. That one day we would make it our common goal to find freedom somewhere out there.
Craving for the vastness means to miss something in one’s own life and not having the chance to find this lost value in the current place.
Following the sun
If we say that we have missed a little bit more sun in our lives, can we count this as a reason to take off?
Because for us there is no better reason to leave the old and the known behind, as long as the sun shines brighter and longer at the new horizon.
We found this new powerful sun in Lisbon.
Lisbon is the City of Light. The Miradouros make sure to get as much sunlight as possible.
For those who have never been to Lisbon: Miradouros are hills with the best view over the city. Here you are as close to the sun as nowhere else.
Lisbon is very special to us because this is the place where everything started.
Here we found love.
Here we laid the foundation for A Couple Of Countries.
Here we got more aware of how we want our lives to be.
Here we were given a new attitude towards life.
Maybe because everything is so much different here, than in our home countries.
How people interact with each other.
How they face and embrace life.
Here we smelled the sweet scent of freedom.
Here we felt the lightness of being.
Here the joy of uncovering our globe took roots.
We were given one year to turn Lisbon upside down and we used our time smart.
We were fascinated of how the seasons and local feasts change the look of the city permanently.
We came to the conclusion that Lisbon has the best sunset spots, but also a wide number of recreational parks, a nostalgic old town, alternative districts, heaps of arts, a full calendar of events, flea markets and beautiful beaches just a few minutes out of town.
We have seen so may waterfalls that it lasts us for the rest of our lives.
We have tried so much street food, that it makes it hard to remember the names of the various dishes.
We have covered so many kilometers on the scooter that imagining how much we would have spent for fuel in Europe, gives our nerves a hard time.
We had the opportunity to taste the paradise and it left us addicted.
It’s no secret that we’ll return, the sooner the better. Anyway, it’s disappointing that we had to leave, once we we got used to the Balinese traffic.
Our current stopover: Prague
After 3 months of culture shock and culture adventure we were looking forward to travel through Europe. However we just made it to Prague. In the same way, what happened to us in Lisbon, it happened once again. This time in Prague.
We fell surprisingly in love with the charming city of bridges and castles, declaring it our new stopover.
We spent the whole summer here, now moving on to the winter. In a couple of weeks we’re about to welcome the new year from the best lookout point in Prague: Letná Park.
Stopovers are most likely the reason for a blog in sleeping mode. It takes quite some time to adapt to the new job, the new environment, the new challenges of daily life.
Nevertheless, winter time is a special time in Prague.
The time of Christmas markets.
The time when Prague transforms into a winter wonderland and you can’t wait for the first snow.
The ones who haven’t experienced Prague under a blanket of snow, weren’t yet touched by the magic of this city.
We hope that this journal update helps you to understand why it was so silent on our blog lately.
We promise to change this. Next time we’ll invite you to be part of Prague’s enchanting Christmas season by following our upcoming articles.
Be part of our adventures during stopovers and timeouts. As you now know, stopovers and timeouts are essential if you want to dive deep into a new culture, extending your stay and integrating into daily life.
Thanks for your great support in this year.
Follow our Trail to Happiness also in 2017!
If you want to learn more about Why leaving it all behind doesn’t work read this article from elephantjournal.