I set out on a 35 day trip around Europe, some with my Best friend and some alone for the Christmas Holidays on my year abroad. Leading up to it I was nothing but excited and as it got closer I was a bit nervous to spend 2.5 weeks alone, but I knew this was the best adventure I could set out on, what I didn’t know and wasn’t ready for was everything that came in the first week. Let me come back to that though. I arrived in London and in 6 hours we hit all the highlight spots. I was lucky enough to be there on the day of changing of the Guards, and then we raced around to see the London Eye, The London Bridge, Big Ben and of course a Telephone Booth. We flew out to Germany that night and this is where things went down hill. Germany is Catholic, and because of that they completely shut down for Christmas. I mean everything, except the Indian restaurants on the street corners. So there wasn’t much to do at all in Germany. Luckily we had met two girls from New Zealand who were staying until Christmas Eve and then heading to Salzburg, Austria and they invited us to join them for Christmas Day. Our trip started to look up again. salzburg was amazing and everything was open; attributed to a cultural difference our Christmas Day didn’t suck as much as it could have. In Boxing Day we flew out to Amsterdam, Netherlands and even though it rained for the only full day we were in Amsterdam, we made the best of it and walked through the city, seeing all the big highlights on our list. Weather is something completely out of our control and very unpredictable so we just went with it. It’s rained our entire time in Belgium so far, but we’ve made the best of it. We haven’t let it stop us from taking in what each country has to offer us and seeing all the highlight spots on the list. So you’re wondering then, what is the “ugly” part of travelling. For me it’s the perforated ear drum I acquired while on flight from Trinidad to London. When i landed in London I just thought my ear hadn’t fully popped yet and I was doing everything I could to get it to pop. It popped a bit during one of our days in Germany but then became clogged again. It popped again on the flight from Germany to Amsterdam, but as soon as we landed it felt the same as before. I’ve never been in such pain in my life before. I finally saw an urgent ENT doctor in Belgium, what an unexpected hit to the bank account that was, but thank goodness for travelling insurance and immediately from one look he knew something was wrong. He said I’m lucky the perforation has started to heal itself but I still have blood and fluid behind my middle ear. My necks started to become stiff and I’m feeling quite sick. So what does that mean now because my trip has barely started, well he’s nervous for me to fly. In fact he said for my health and safety he wouldn’t recommend it. He wanted me to stay in Belgium, but that just wasn’t ideal for me. So I’ve started to contact airlines and accommodations to get refunds on my travel arrangements so that I can book a return back to school as soon as possible and unfortunately call my trip quits 8 countries early. It was one of the most devastating things I’ve ever experienced and certainly not what I wanted to hear, but my health and safety are the most important and another time I’ll have to find more time to come back to Europe to finish my trip off where I leave it.