So I decided that I didn’t want to keep wasting the greatest opportunity I was given when I moved to Europe: travel. In Australia, it feels practically impossible to travel anywhere. Just to travel from the west to the east is at least a 6 hour flight that costs a lot of money and I wouldn’t even leave the island. I would, however, spend almost 6 times the amount of money as if I were to, say, travel from Sweden to Paris.
I have lived in Sweden for about 5 months now and, since living here, I haven’t left the comforts of my own town (except going to Aus for Christmas). For less than 100 Aussie dollars, I could go to a completely different country! For less than 100 Aussie dollars in Australia, I could go… well I don’t really know.
Anyway, I’m not really someone who is known to be either spontaneous or adventurous, but I wanted to exploit my new living situation. Starting off small, I thought it would be cool to hop on a 2 hour bus to Gothenburg! Given I didn’t have enough time to really leave the country, or the guts, and the weather wasn’t really suitable for a tenacious trip, I thought I’d give Gothenburg a go.
I woke every other hour after falling asleep the night I was set to leave, yet I still woke up at 6am ready and somewhat excited for the day ahead. Now I’m going to convert my experience into travel tips because, trust me, there is a lot to be learnt from my 12 hour adventure.
1 || Don’t wing it.
There’s a difference between being spontaneous and being disorganised. I was disorganised. Excited just to get on the bus, I had severely underprepared for my trip. In fact, I can confidently say I was more prepared for my two hour bus rides than the eight hours of tourist time.
I wanted to use the most of my bus time, so I charged my laptop over night, prepped my video files so I could edit and even changed my desktop background so I would be more in the mindset to work. Other than that, I prepared a water bottle for the ride and ensured I packed tissues. This was just preparation for the bus.
Now, you must be assuming that I definitely would have planned for my day in Gothenburg if I would be so detailed just for a two hour bus ride. Well, my friend, you would be horribly mistaken. I even remember saying the thought out loud, “just wing it”.
While I do remember glancing at the weather app, that was about all the preparation I did. My google history might display results like “things to do in gothenburg” and “things to do in gothenburg in WINTER”, but they would be scrambled between social media tabs, university research and Netflix. I specifically remember seeing results for an art museum, but that’s about it.
So, I arrive in Gothenburg, wind hurling my scarf from side to side, water seeping into my shoes and hair being blasted from rain, conditions that I didn’t see from the ten second glance at my weather app. But where do I go from the bus station? Glad you asked. You wouldn’t happen know, cause I sure don’t.
I just followed my gut, enjoying the “just wing it” attitude. Eventually, after circling a shopping mall a few times and almost getting smashed by a tram, I found an information centre. It was here I found out that the Art Museum along with the other eight museums are all closed on Monday’s.
I wasn’t going to let this ruin my day, however. In reality, I hadn’t travelled very far, even if I was going to just sit in a cafe and study or edit or write, the day wasn’t going to be wasted. As I sit in a cafe in Gothenburg writing this very blog, I can tell you this was certainly the only calculated decision that occurred all day.
For as much as my feet are still wet an hour after crawling into the cafe, my headphones are probably being stamped on since they’re no longer in my possession and I’ve had more sugar than I care to admit, Gothenburg’s aight.
I definitely want to come back when it’s warm and I have thought more about what I intend to do in the city rather than on the bus, but at least it served as inspiration for this and I have some wild footage to edit for a new video.
To leave you with a few more tips, I’d love to hear about your personal traveling blunders. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send me a message on social media! Leave a comment even! For now, here we go:
2 || ACTUALLY check the weather (it’s not good enough just to look at the little icon under the temperature) I would say I was underdressed and we already know my shoes were inadequate.
3 || Set a budget! Since I was unprepared for what I was going to expect in Gothenburg, I had no idea that I was going to immediately wander into a giant shopping mall — my greatest weakness. Surprisingly enough, I fought the temptation to spend all of my money and I didn’t sell my ticket to buy those gorgeous shoes at the first store I went to. I did, however, pay for KFC even though I wasn’t even really hungry, I was just shocked to see a KFC in Sweden.
4 || Do legitimate research. Search according to the season you’re travelling during and see if there are any special opening hours depending on what day you decide to travel on. (Museum’s tend not to be open on Monday’s)
5 || Don’t do what I did or be prepared to pay a lot to do something you would usually just do in your bed. I mean, it wasn’t really that expensive, but I could be in bed.
6 || Follow my Instagram! Okay, shameless self promotion, but I posted some pretty pictures and some classic Mandy’s Wardrobe boomerangs that almost make it look like I had planned my outing.
As always, thanks for tuning in! I’ve been slack on my blog, but I’ve been making up for it by posting on my YouTube channel! There will be a vlog for this crazy experience so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it. You can find that vlog here!
See you next time!
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