FAQ – What Did We Learn in Leg 4?
With each leg, we continue to learn a lot about the places we visit. But, I feel like we’re learning a little less about ourselves and long-term travel. However, we are still learning and perfecting our process and certainly had some good lessons on Leg 4 that are worth recording.
We love the mountains
We took a bit of a risk committing to a month in the small city of Brasov, Romania, but it really paid off. Being located at the foot of a lovely set of small mountains with beautifully maintained trails allowed us to hike at least 4 miles every day, which we loved. We enjoyed our time so much that we’re going to attempt to recreate it in Bansko, Bulgaria, for Leg 6. It also worked well to be a great place to hide out for August in Europe when much of the continent’s most popular destinations and major cities are overrun with tourists from all over the world. There were plenty of tourists in Brasov, but not too many, and access to the mountains held our interest far more than the beach and snorkeling did on our past legs. It’s official – we’re mountain people!
We don’t need a vibrant city or huge tourist destinations
Somewhat related – with Brasov, Sarajevo, and some shorter stays in this leg, we were missing the major cities for our long-term stays, and that was just fine with us. As long as there’s a good collection of decent restaurants and access to nature (see also: we love the mountains), we’re very content. A good movie theater also helps!
Walk-ups are hard but doable
In Nuremberg and Sarajevo, we had to walk up four flights of stairs to our comfortable apartments. This led to some nice views and I think gave us a better price than in a building with an elevator, but it made us very thoughtful about leaving the house and we often tried to batch trips in a way we rarely worried about in other places. We survived our walk-ups, but I think it is worth it to pay a little more for a lower floor or elevator.
Working more suits us
My business really picked up during the second half of the year and in October and November, I was teaching a graduate class online. And, I wrote a 75,000-word novel (at least the terrible first draft of a 75,000-word novel; we’ll see if it gets any better on rewriting). Chad was deep in the throws of making the new movie throughout Leg 4. So, we both worked quite a bit more than on the prior legs of our trip. And, we loved it. We both really like working, so it was no hardship to spend more hours at it. We still made sure to find time to see the places we were based (sometimes forcing ourselves to schedule a little time off) but we both liked staying in and working slightly more. I think this will be good for Leg 5, during which we’ll have very few short stays.
It’s rewarding to have family visit
Chad’s parents came to spend two weeks with us in Europe during this leg and it was great to show them some of our favorite cities, including Vienna, Prague, and our beloved Budapest, plus Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a highlight of our European adventure nine years ago. It is very different to travel with family, but we were so happy to be able to share a trip of a lifetime with them. In Leg 5, my sister is coming to stay with us for almost a week in CDMX, and I’m hopeful my dear friend Sara will join us for a bit in Costa Rica. I hope in the future we have more family and friends to come to see us on the road.
With 2020 now all planned out, we’re as committed as ever to this lifestyle. I think with each leg we’re getting better at it. We both agree that 2019 was the best year of our lives because of all the cool things we did and saw. We really can’t wait to see what 2020 will bring.