Hi all! Thank you so much for following my journey so far. I’ve been in Nicaragua for a few days now, but haven’t had a good wifi connection yet, which makes it hard to post pictures. 

I have a lot of stunning pictures of Managua and Ometepe, and am hoping for a better connection when I get to San Juan del Sur next week so I can make a photo heavy post!  If you have snapchat, I have been able to upload there – I’m @amandaeatscarbs 
My sister Breanna and I are having a great time exploring the adorable and gorgeous island of Ometepe by motorbike – I can’t wait to tell you more and show you pics!! 

Thank you for following along ☺️

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It was a Friday. I woke up early, around 8 AM. I jumped up and got in the shower; I was so proud to be getting ready before Maria even woke up. I got out of the shower and made a french press coffee. I was sipping my coffee when Maria came in around 9.

“Good morning,” she said.

“Good morning!”

I felt so comfortable and happy to be there, at Maria’s flat in Berlin. Beevus the pit bull came into the kitchen shortly after Maria and laid his head on my leg. I scratched his head as I read my book and continued drinking my hot coffee.

An hour later, we were on our way out the door. I started to feel sad that this would be the last time we left the house together. As we walked down the stairs, we talked about how much fun we had the last few days. How many places we went, how much food we ate, all the soy chai lattes we drank. How much I wanted to move to Berlin and stay there forever.

We got on the underground at Seestrasse. We sat next to each other on the train and looked out the windows.

When we got to the restaurant, we ordered soy chai lattes and filled our plates with tofu scramble, toast, hummus, fruit salads, bulgur salad, and lots of dipping sauces. We ate slowly and talked about me moving to Berlin. Maria told me that there were flats for vegans. I wondered about what my life could be like in Berlin, living in a flat with a couple of vegans, working and taking the underground and drinking matcha lattes in vegan cafes in my free time. I could write and take pictures and make videos. I could learn German and say tchusse and hallo and teach people english. I could talk to people who feel the same way as I do and I could talk to people who feel completely different than me. I could eat vegan food at restaurants and drink green juices and I could become a part of this culture. I wanted it so bad.

We got on a tram after eating and went to a place that I can only describe as a magical community place of giving. There is a collection of trees, which have shelves carved into them, and plastic flaps over the shelves. People place books into the shelves that they are finished reading, and then you choose a book to take. There are no rules – you can take books without leaving books, you can leave books without taking books. Maria and I each took two books (she left a few and I left one), and brought them home. When we got back to her house, I made another french press coffee and Maria made a soy chai latte.

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We talked for hours. I didn’t want to leave. Maria gave me directions on how to get to the bus stop. When the time came, I picked up my backpack, hugged her good bye, and made her promise to come to California. We had planned out our California road trip already. We were going to rent a convertible and drive from my house to San Diego. I wanted it to happen now.

I patted Beevus on the head and headed out the door. As I was walking downstairs, I felt so sad. It is so hard to say goodbye to people that I have become close with. I love traveling so much; I am so happy that I have the opportunities to meet the people that I do. The people I have met have enriched my life and made me a better person. They have taught me to be happy, to be grateful, and to feel free again.

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Berlin has such an incredible energy to it. The people are bustling around, but everyone is so friendly. The city is filled with happy people. It feels safe and creative and inspiring.

I spent my time in Berlin mostly in vegan cafes, stores, and restaurants. My purpose of going to Berlin was not to be a tourist, but to explore the vegan cafes and restaurants.

I did go to the Holocaust museum, which was a little hard to handle. I wandered through the museum, reading stories about the families killed in the Holocaust. I felt so terrified and sad and mad and upset. After I left the museum, I meandered my way to the information center. There was an older couple in there asking about a cathedral. I followed them to the “cathedral,” which turned out to be a room of silence. I sat in the room of silence for about an hour. It was so incredible to be in a room of complete silence, and be able to think and not think. I worked on clearing my mind. I had just watched “Eat, Pray, Love” the night before, so I had been thinking about meditation. If you meditate, please leave me some tips in the comments!!

The next day, I headed to the Berlin wall. The East Side Gallery is the largest intact portion of the Berlin wall that is still standing, and the city asked artists to create murals on the wall. The art was incredible and beautiful.

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Berlin is an incredible city, and I hope to spend more time here someday soon!

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I have been traveling for a bit over two months. I feel like an entirely different person than three months ago. I’ve pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone, I don’t even know how to make my way back. I have grown so much, mainly realizing in which ways I would like to continue growing. I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve met. I’ve had TIME, which is something I’ve always craved. I never felt like I had enough time to figure out what I want to do, much less actually do it.

I grew up confused. I never knew what I wanted to be when I got older. I never knew what I liked to do for fun. By the time I finished homework and put in all of my hours at work, I barely had time to sleep and keep up some kind of social life. I’ve always lived in this kind of constantly hurried time warp. A year ago, I decided to take a trip. I wanted to go to Thailand. So I went. I met people who lived different lives. They didn’t work 9-5, like me. They traveled. They worked online. They lived their dreams and followed their passions, and they were making a living doing it. Ever since then, I’ve dreamed of that life.

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Now I have it (kind of). I’m not getting paid to travel, but I have enough saved up to not need to worry about money for a while. I do have the thing I’ve wanted most – time. I have had time to do whatever I want, see whatever I want, go wherever I want. And I must say, it is a truly amazing feeling. I would recommend it to everyone.

Since I’ve been living with time, I have rediscovered what I really love. I love writing. I love learning photography. I love making videos. I love art. I love meeting people and getting to know them, really know them. I love learning and growing and living a compassionate life. Traveling for me isn’t about seeing the Eiffel Tower or the canals of Amsterdam or Venice (though they were incredible). Traveling to me is about growing, meeting people, learning, getting uncomfortable, becoming a better person, and growing some more. It’s about learning new cultures and taking the best bits of those to keep for myself.

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I plan to use my time growing and learning and growing some more. Practicing writing, maybe even submitting articles to online magazines. Practicing photography and going to art museums. Meeting people that are similar to me, and meeting people that are completely different. Eating health food and taking my health to a new level. Having fun, laughing and talking to new people. Living.

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I stayed an extra day in Venice to see the Carnival. I made some friends at the bed & breakfast that I was staying at, and we planned out a fun day. We got ready together in the morning, then headed out for lunch – we wanted some real Italian pizza. We went to RossoPomodoro, which was my favorite pizza place in Venice. P1230053.JPG

We were there around noon, which is early for Italian standards, so we got to chat with the pizza makers a bit. They let us check out the pizza oven and even made our pizzas into little hearts! <3 We split a bottle of Italian prosecco and had a really fun lunch. It even started snowing for a second right outside of the window as we were eating!

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After lunch, we went to the nearby San Marco square and walked up and down the harbor, checking out all of the people on the gondolas and taking pictures with our masks.

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We spent the day just wandering and laughing before heading back to the house to rest up a bit before the night started. In the evening, I headed out with my host, Mirabela, to check out the lights on the boats!

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To see more on the carnival, check out my video here.

 

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