June 19, 2006

6 and counting

Note: This entry was originally posted to an old blog of mine called Go Out and See the World. It can be seen in its original here, including all comments, which were not imported. The entries are separate from Sunny Day Happy Face, but were imported for posterity! Enjoy!

Some time has passed since my last entry (don't worry, it won't be like this when I'm abroad), mostly because I didn't have anything to say, especially that could top the previous two entries.

I submitted my log to a travel website and have been receiving comments about my entries. I'm really glad to see that what I have to say actually helps people and that while I'm away, I might give some insight on what to see and do in the places I visit, as well.

My mind hasn't been completely focused on Europe, I must admit, because last week I moved. However, I have done a few things like research and buying necessities. For example, luggage locks. I think these are valuable if you care about security and if you're traveling alone. I always lock my bag while traveling within (and to and from) a city. First of all, anyone who is looking to steal my bag or pickpocket me can see from a distance that the bag is locked. Most importantly, even though you have locks on your doors in a hostel, staff members have been known to steal. So, when you leave your room, lock your bag just incase. Another security precaution I take is with handbags. Last summer, I would literally lock the zippers of my backpack, but I realized that wasn't completely needed. Instead, this summer I will carry a bag with only one zipper and safety pin the zipper to the canvas of the bag. I know pickpocketers are very skilled, but I doubt they would be able to get that undone without me feeling it and alerting someone! Keep in mind, security is a mindset and has a lot to do with confidence and not appearing as a tourist. My friend, Brittany, had no locks and was never overprotective of her backpack, yet nothing happened to her, nor anyone else in my group, of which I was the most security-obsessed. But, that doesn't mean that it won't happen. So, I suggest thinking about security ahead of time - decide if you are going to be very careful (but also be careful not to go overboard, sort of like I did) or not care at all. Either way, be smart about your stuff.

I finally made lists of what I want to see in each city. Here is part of what my list looks like for Prague. Prague has many districts, so I broke down what I wanted to see based on the district:

Lesser Town (below Prague Castle)
Nerudova Street
Royal Way/Kings Road, links Prague Castle to Charles Bridge, Mala Strana
Lesser Town Square (Mala Strana)
Charles Bridge

When I get to Prague, I'll get a map and decide how to break down my days there based on the distances and how much I want to cover. Sometimes I wrote a note to myself about the sight, or directions or operation hours.

That concludes this entry, but I hope to write again on Saturday before go.

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