It was 20 days ago that I left home on my amazing adventure with A LOT of mixed feelings.  It’s so easy to doubt whether you’re doing the right thing or not when you set out into unknown territory.

Chai Tea Lattes

My name is Jackie and I am a Starbucks addict.  I don’t like coffee at all and I order a Venti Chai Tea Latte always.  I have the app on my phone and I frequently earn a free tea.  I buy my friend Nadine the You Are Here location mugs where I can.

I didn’t really miss Starbucks in Iceland and I made up for it in Norway and Sweden.  Then I hit Lativa and was craving a tea, but there was no Starbucks.  There was a Costa Coffee down the street from my hostel and I gave their Chai Tea Latte a chance.  So far, it is now my favourite.  In Lithuania, the chain is Caffeine Roasters and their spicy latte is excellent!

I do not know what awaits me in Belarus, but I’m looking forward to it!  Hope it’s a different chain for me to try.  Instead of plenty of fish in the sea, there is plenty of tea in the world!  I can’t wait to see what a country like Sri Lanka will offer me in regards to tea!!

Hostel Life

I’m quite happy in a little tent in the trees because I love being outside.  I can deal with a sleeping bag, no space in the tent and minimal clothing.  I prefer the outdoors especially if there’s a lake or the ocean nearby.  However, I’m a little bit of a princess when it comes to things like hotels and airline flights.  I like being comfortable and having a lot of room.

Iceland:  My first hostel experience and it was a mixed dorm for 6 people.  The lobby area was excellent and I sat down there nightly with my laptop and a glass of wine.  I was on the 4th floor with an elevator.

Norway:  A room to myself!  I was on the second floor with no elevator.  The thing that stands out was the sign telling me the steam from the bathroom would set off the fire alarm if I left the door open.  I was so tempted to be rescued by firefighters in my towel!

Sweden:  A female dorm room for 4!  Great room, location and shower facilities.  I really liked this room.  I would have stayed longer, but they were booked up.  I was on the main floor.

Tallink Isabelle:  An overnight ferry with a room for 4 females!  Tight fit.

Latvia:  A room all to myself.  I was on the 5th floor with no elevator.  My legs got a workout.  Each floor had 2 apartments with and there were 7 rooms in my apartment along with 3 bathrooms and the kitchen.  I used my sleeping bag liner here.  It was really creepy late at night because there were a lot of night noises and I think I was the only one there one night.  I kept thinking of the Shining when I stepped out in the hall.  It really sucked having to get up in the middle of the night to pee.

Lithuania:  Another female dorm for 6.  This room had a lot of space because it wasn’t bunkbeds, but individual beds.  I was on the 3rd floor with no elevator.  A little noisy nightime, but a great place and location.

Minsk:  I’ve booked a hotel room all to myself.  I seem to be alternating sharing and being alone.  The price was right!  Looking forward to getting there.  My goal is to finally write my Antarctica post.

Lessons & Thoughts So Far …

  • Not everything is going to go my way and I’m adapting to constant change.
  • Not everything will be like the picture, whether it’s the hostel or the food I ordered.
  • The folks I’ve been rooming with are just like me regardless of what country they’re from, what language they speak, how old they are or whether they’re male or female.
  • We all have something to talk about and something to share.
  • Not everyone will be nice to me as I remember the lady cashier in the Maxima grocery store in Riga.
  • I won’t always know how to turn on the stove!
  • I am eating too much pizza.
  • Sometimes you just have to buy it!!

Norway - 322 of 334

Missing Family & Friends

I’ve been away from my son longer than this before, but I’m really missing him this time.  We’ll be FaceTiming later today and I can’t wait to see his face and hear his voice.  The majority of my adult life has been devoted to him and I’m feeling the separation.

I’m keeping in touch with everyone via WhatsApp with a Family group text and a Girls group text.  I miss my girlfriends.  I see the things they’re doing on Facebook and I’m jealous!  Looking forward to seeing Nadine and Pearl in a few weeks in Prague and doing an Italian cruise in October with Myrna.  Ladies, I’m going to be needy – be prepared!  Please bring me Ketchup Doritos, Kraft Crunchy Peanut Butter and Cadbury Mini-Eggs.

When I lived in Calgary, I always stayed at Mavia’s when I visited home and logged my location as Casa Mavia.  I saw this today!


Happy Travels!  xoxo


10 Replies to “The Road So Far ~ Chai Tea, Hostels, Lessons & Missing My Boy”

  1. Trip looks awesome! I’ve always liked staying in hostels because of the people you get to meet. Like the updates and am living vicariously through your travels. Hugs from this side of the pond!

    1. Thanks! Having a great time. Just FaceTimed with Bryan so I’m feeling good lol. He’s enjoying the total freedom of not tripping over his Mom. Hugs back!

  2. This is great! Enjoying watching you via Instagram! You are missed, but I just love living vicariously through you! Be save…you are missed and loved!


  3. Love reading your blog. The thoughts of the days were terrific! Can relate to ‘things’ that don’t look the picture. Plus things not going your way & adapting to change. Finding a hostel to sleep and not knowing who you wld be sharing with wld be hard – not for me now. I like my own space and quiet time – not needing to talk or hold a conversation when you have been doing that all day. But you are a vivacious person and I imagine that you will mix well. Can imagine missing friends and family – reminds be my year away from home (1989) and living & working in London. I had my brother to fall on at the start but then he moved and I was on my own. Luckily language wasn’t a barrier (even with a strong Aussie accent!) Love finding out about new places & experiences in your blog. Travel safe and see you some time in Australia.😉

  4. You are very honest with your feelings love and it’s awesome Medicine!! Enjoy your adventures and stay safe 👍Love you xoxo

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