Tag Archives: travel

Simply Happy

24 Aug 17
Heidi Kumm
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2 comments

Yesterday I made the hilly, sweaty bike ride from the Camping Kate campground in Mlini to the main bus station in Dubrovnik. In an attempt to avoid the relentless, baking heat I left camp before 7am + arrived at the bus station approximately 3.5 hours before my bus.

While I did manage to accomplish my goal of avoiding a ride in the hellish sunshine there was no skipping out on the humidity. I very gloriously arrived at the bus station dripping sweat. Literally, there was sweat dripping from the tip of my nose, from the ends of my eyelashes + all along the edge of my chin. It was disgusting. So I strapped my bike to a nearby fence + made my way to a smokey but air conditioned cafe. Oh, the things I have been willing to sacrifice for a blast of cold air. Sorry lungs…

**side note: this was written over two weeks ago as I sat at a cafe in Zagreb, then I got restless + wandered off…forgetting to finish it off, so just float back in time with me!**

Around Croatia [+ all of the Balkans?], I’ve come to expect cafes or “caffe bars” to have nothing more than beverages. You can get coffee, orange juice + a beer from the same counter, but no food. In a way, this is weird to me + my stomach hasn’t quite adjusted. My blood stream tho…it’s gotten used to the pumping caffeine sans calories.

Eventually, my body stopped producing new sweat + I hopped off to the bathroom to swap out my sweaty cycling clothes for my not-yet-too-sweaty traveling clothes. The only real difference was the current level of moisture content. My “traveling clothes” stayed quite dry until it was time to wrangle Jackalope into his bike bag for the 7-hour bus ride north to Zagreb. Practice makes perfect — I can now get him shoved away in roughly 7 minutes.

As I waited for the bus to arrive I attempted to cool myself with ice cream + iced tea. My phone attempted to speed charge on an overloaded power strip + Jackalope’s black bike bag soaked up all the sunshine outside. Ah, nomadic bike life?

At first, I felt a bit like I was tempting fate when I walked away from Jackalope, even though I was “keep an eye” on him from afar. Then I tried to move him. Ha. No one would try to steal that heap of awkward metal. Besides, if they succeeded to get away with a bike in a bag they probably deserved the bike.

Just before noon, my bus-venture started…with the realization that this bus did *not* have a bathroom on board. I had been holding out for the bus bathroom because the bus station was charging about $0.50USD to get into the restrooms. What can I say, I’m stubbornly cheap. The look on my face when the bus driver said “no toilet” must have given away the angst of my bladder as he waved me off toward the cash machine that would grant me access to a tiny restroom. Oh, Europe + your random pay-to-pee facilities.

My trip to Zagreb was relatively uneventful. So uneventful, actually, that I managed to fall asleep while listening to my audiobook…three times. Maybe Audible should add an “are you still listening” check like Netflix has. Or, maybe I should stop curling up into an awkward ball of “comfort” on buses. We’ll see which happens first.

Oh, Zagreb.

This capital city of Croatia was not even on my radar when I planned my cycling route through the country. I am forever telling myself I’m not a “city person”. Then I wander around cities like Zagreb, Zurich or Vienna only to fall in love with the hustle, bustle + beauty.

Last night I fell asleep to the rumble of thunder, flashes of lightning + constant smash of rain against the pavement. Glorious sounds, rolling through the open windows of my AirBnB room. Ah. Rain. Finally, a break in the relentless heat + humidity of the Balkans. I’ve always loved storms + this one came at the perfect time — breaking the heat wave + waiting until I had squeezed my bike into a tiny elevator before ripping the sky apart.

This morning I woke up wrapped in a blanket for the first time in weeks. Ah…the feeling of something other than sweltering heat! The smell of someone else’s breakfast lured me out of bed + into the old down streets of the cobblestone city. When I left the apartment I actually contemplated going back for a long sleeve as a chilly breeze swirled through the nearly empty city streets. A chill, what is this even?! Instead, I continued on, excited to see what this city had to offer to the world before everyone woke up.

…the only photo I took while in Croatia. hm.

As I roamed the cobblestone + brick laid streets I only saw a few people  headed off to work. Locals, residents…people who “back home me” could relate to. I came upon a big “local market” where people were setting up tables with colorful displays of flowers, fruits + vegetables. Many elderly couples were pulling trollies around to fill with produce, then prop up against a cafe table while they sipped coffees + chattered.

Eventually, I let my caffeine craving veins lead me to the Argentina Cafe. I found an empty seat, ordered up a cappuccino + pulled out a book. As the sun slowly crept over the stone buildings I sipped up foamed milk + just smiled.

I felt…happy. Simply happy.

It felt like everything was falling into place. I was in a city that made me grin. I had a bus ticket that would shuttle me back to the mountains of Switzerland, then a plane ticket back to the States. Along the way I had plans to hike mountains, climb rocks + cycling trails. Once I arrived in the States I would jump into a week full of family shenanigans before settling back into mountain living in Colorado. If I’m lucky I might even end up with gainful employment before the mountain tops are covered with snow.

Until then, I’m perfectly happy, simply happy, to roam around the mountains in my backyard with Max, float around mountain lakes in our new kayaks + drag Robb off for weekend adventures in a tent.

Life. It’s a beautiful mess.

Currently.

01 Aug 17
Heidi Kumm
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5 comments

I am currently sitting in an open air home at the kitchen table of strangers wearing nothing by my sandals. Surprisingly [or not?], it doesn’t feel weird at all. That’s probably because I’m at a “naturalist” camp in the hills of Montenegro + no one is wearing more than their sandals. I’ve never been the world’s biggest fan of clothes + the 80-90+ heat has convinced me these naturalists are onto something!

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Travel Guilt

08 Jun 17
Heidi Kumm
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3 comments

It’ll hit you when you least expect it. For me, it was as I was driving down a narrow mountain road completely mesmerized by the fresh snow on the mountain peaks towering above, happy. Incredibly happy. The kind of happy that makes your insides feel like a perfectly toasted marshmallow. Everything seems right in the world + I was invincible to the doubts of reality.

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Iceland; By the Dollars

09 May 17
Heidi Kumm
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one comments

We did minimal planning prior to hopping on a plane to Iceland. From time to time we’d talk about sitting down to plan. Every once in a while I’d scroll through a list of “5 must visit” or “8 best” list looking at photos + cocking an eyebrow at the Icelandic words. About a month before we showed up at the airport we decided we at least needed to find a place to sleep. A few Google searches + a colorful pros/cons list later we had our camper van booked. We also made reservations at a hotel in Reykjavik for our final nights in Iceland.

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When Being Alone Gets Lonely

05 Oct 16
Heidi Kumm
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16 comments
feeling-lonely

whenbeing-alonegets-lonely

Maybe it’s just me and the network for nomadic friends I have acquired over the years but my social media platforms seems to be full of articles about “being alone isn’t lonely” or “being alone makes me feel powerful” + other stories about how being alone isn’t a bad thing. All of those things are true.

However, sometimes being alone really does get lonely.

It’s true + it’s okay. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a real life thing. More importantly, it’s not something that just those of us literally on our own feel. Even people in long-term relationships, living with family + surrounded by a strong community feel lonely. Rather than try to deny or hide that let’s admit it, embrace it + let ourselves grow from it.

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Beach Bummin’ [Sayulita, Mexico]

06 Jun 16
Heidi Kumm
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3 comments

I might be showing off a little too much of my sheltered ways but hey, my horizons have been expanded so I’m fessing up! For the first 28 years of my life I had an assumption about Mexico. In my mind it was a desert with beaches along the coasts, maybe some jungle’y forest blending into the desert the closer you got to South America. Desert + beaches. That’s all. These sandy assumptions are a big part of why going to Mexico was never on my radar. Turns out, my assumptions were about 9% correct, they have a lot of mountains and some incredible forests as well…proof: Iztaccihuatl, Pico de Orizaba, La Malinche.

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Currently.

01 Jun 16
Heidi Kumm
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No Comments

Whoa. I almost forgot all about this post! I’ve been writing a “currently” post every two months for nearly two years. This is the first one I didn’t have planned out in my heads weeks in advance. Not kidding. Usually I’ll be dealing with some random part of my life and think “oh, that’s definitely a ‘currently’ thing”. This time? None of that. None. Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy but really, I think it’s because I’ve been so focused on what’s happening in the exact moment I’m floating in that I literally have not taken the time to reflect. Maybe that’s a good thing, but I kind of miss looking back on the recent crazy of my life…so here goes!

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Staying is easy; so I must go.

06 May 16
Heidi Kumm
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one comments

I was standing on the corner of a busy street in a foreign city. It was my first time venturing out into Monterrey, Mexico on my own and I wasn’t sure of where I was going, what people were saying or how the hell to cross this street where it looked like everyone was playing human frogger. On the inside I knew I would survive to find the park I was looking for but on the outside everything about me screamed “confused tourist”. I could feel myself trying to be invisible with my crossed legs, fidgety fingers + averted eyes. I knew I couldn’t blend in + I was yet to dig up to confidence to own my foreigner status so I instinctively opted for invisible.

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Summer Shenanigans: Mixing Work + Play

05 Apr 16
Heidi Kumm
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7 comments

Spring showed up in February…but winter came back with vengeance in March. The mountains still aren’t sure what season it is, bouncing between fresh powder mornings and slushy afternoons. We might get another dumping of snow, in true Colorado fashion, but in my mind…summer is just around the corner. So close!

Heck, my version of summer kicks in before April is officially over! I actually have a lot on deck for my summer, but not in the traditional sense. I’m trying something new — combining a full-time job with a consistent travel-for-fun life. I’ve spent the last few months plotting, planning, working + negotiating to make this happen, and now it’s about to start happening!

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Monterrey’s Mountains: Pico Norte of Cerro de la Silla

17 Mar 16
Heidi Kumm
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7 comments

From the snow to the sunshine…in posting order + in real life! I’m in the process of repacking all that winter camping gear into my car for a weekend of car camping + trail running + rock climbing in Moab. It’s a sorta solo, sorta group trip. I’m headed that way to take on another outdoor education class [lead sport climbing] but it sounds like I’ll have plenty of free time to explore trails…trails without snow!

Speaking of trails without snow, La M wasn’t the only mountain we hiked while I was down in Monterrey, Mexico. It was only the beginning of a handful of adventures out onto the trails near the perimeter of the massive city. We had settled into an AirBnB near Cerro de la Silla, a really nice neighborhood that butts up against steep mountains leading up to a jagged ridge.

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