(i’m starting a little late on the BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie Travel blogging project, so i’m kind of picking and choosing which of the 10 existing prompts i want to answer. here goes!)

my first solo trip (i.e,. the one that really cemented my love of travel) was to the czech republic in early 2005. i’d never backpacked before (unless you count two or three horrible years in the boy scouts when i was in early high school), and i had no idea what to expect. after spending three days in prague, i went down to český krumlov for another three. 

my god, those were magical days. 

it was warm for early january, but the old town was absolutely deserted. i would walk around and see absolutely no other tourists. 

i didn’t really have any plans; i was just told it was a beautiful old town with an amazing castle (both true), so i just wandered around town, sitting down on the river bank just staring off into the distance or standing on a bridge listening to the roar of the water below me. up and down the castle, smelling the smoke from the wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. 

the soundtrack for this trip, which i will never forget, was the garden state soundtrack. cliché? i guess so, but perfectly fitting. remember at the end of the movie when they’re standing in the rain, just screaming? there was no screaming in český krumlov, but for the first time in my life, i was doing something i never expected i would do: go out and travel by myself, to a country i knew next to nothing (until i started researching) about. there was this amazing sense of catharsis and inner peace i had never felt before. i was finally breaking new ground, physically and emotionally: just being alone, exploring a centuries-old town.

there really is no way to put into words those indelible memories, even over half a decade and many countries later, but suffice it to say, the garden state soundtrack was perfect. unobtrusive yet (and i’m not ashamed to say), soul-stirring while helping to instill an inner peace. (well, it makes sense to me.)

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