Day 0: I know, this should have gone up yesterday...
You probably already know this, but everybody has an opinion. After listening to yours, hers, ours, a neighbor's girlfriend's high school friend, my cousin's, a pre-school best friend's dad's, and everybody in between, I realized most people were just telling me to do what I wanted to do. That is, listen to what my mind was telling me.
It was screaming GTFO of here.
Come Wednesday, I'm getting TFO of here.
My name's Dani, and I'm leaving the country.
I know, like, everyone does it, right? Guess what? I'm everyone!
This Seattle local just graduated with a degree in journalism, political science and entrepreneurship. With a fresh dye job and a shrinking wallet, I embark on my first post-grad adventure. I've been calling it "life."
My winter internship at Variety set me up with the skills to freelance write on the side while I'm on my journey for the next three months. I'm hoping to write more entertainment pieces about T.V., but also the Hollywood happenings that occur across the pond. Expect some enterprise reporting, too, on environmental issues and cultural nuance. How does everyone else feel about Trump, anyway?
First, I'm skedaddling to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Cah-nah-dah with my Dad to get my mountain fix before I make my return to the motherland. I'll be making the Levy family's maiden voyage to Belarus, where my grandmother's family hailed from when Jews were still a dominant ethnic group. Today, they make up less than 1% of the population of the capital city, Minsk.
Along with a buddy from high school (shout out to Lil), I'll embark on the next stop in my trip of ethnic self-reflection. We'll visit Warsaw, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Krakow and finally Berlin. If you and I had a talk about meeting up at Berghain (it's a nightclub, mom), why haven't you Facebooked messaged me to plan this yet?!?!
Kara, my college roommate and BFFL, flies in from London to meet me in Berlin. I may spend the day waiting for her in Hanover or Hamburg. Any recommendations?
She and I will do our own little Berlin thang for several days and then it's off to Amsterdam! If I can get real for a second; this trip is expensive as all hell and Amsterdam has turned out to be the most grubby city yet. A single night in a hostel bed will run me over $60. I could yak just thinking about it. Why Amsterdam? Is it the weed? The purchasable sex? The Anne Frank Museum? The bicycles? Perhaps it's the fee the city imposes in order to take photos with that massive "I Amsterdam" sign.
For two weeks following Amsterdam, you can find Kara and me in the Swiss and French Alps, hopping over yonder mountain to yinder valley to yunder waterfall and back again. (Yes, a Hobbit reference!) Upon realizing the amount of shit I planned to bring, and the weight of cameras, tripods, batteries and laptops shared between us, my original multi-day trek idea was nixed. Instead, we'll spend some time in Lauterbrunnen (one of my favorite places on earth!) and Mt. Blanc (tentatively). Who knows! Since Kara's never really been on a big hiking excursion like this, I'm amped to show her the glory that is a mountain. Seriously. @Kara, when was the last time you saw a mountain?
My dad & his new best friend on a hike outside the Alpen village of Mürren. One of the greatest days of my life.
How now, not brown cow?
Following what's sure to be a true test of friendship, our duo heads to Portugal to join up with my sister, Juliette, who's spending the summer researching dolphins off the southern coast. Also taking recommendations for southern Portugal and Spain!
The last leg will have me flying to the next continent over. South East Asia, here I come (in several weeks from now).
Here's some tentative dates for all you nosy nancys (and not one peep from anyone telling me I'm not staying long enough in any one place! We make compromises! Get with it!):
July 5-8 Belarus
July 8-9 Warsaw
July 9-11 Krakow
July 11-20 Berlin
July 20-25 Amsterdam
July 25-August 5 Alps
August 5-14 Portugal/Southern Spain
and then South East Asia...TBD.
Follow along on the journey, witches! I'm going to write write write and make some videos, too. Stay tuned :)