I have glandular fever.

I can’t stop sleeping.

I have swollen glands all over my body.

My joints ache.

I’m coughing non-stop and I have a strange rash.

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past month! 

My last monthly update came to you from Portland, where I had just been convinced that I could absolutely stop travelling and live in Portland for the next five years — I love it that much. Unsurprisingly, my love towards Portland only grew stronger over the month I spent there. I revisited all of my favourite restaurants, I found some incredible new ones to keep returning to, and I broke my SD card, so these photos were stolen from Dave.

Food in Portland

Much like the previous month, this month was spent working hard on various work-related projects that I’m (sorry!) still not quite ready to announce yet. But unlike last month, I managed to cram in a little relaxation.

Dave and I always opt to stay quite a way outside of downtown whenever we’re in Portland — we’ve found the perfect neighbourhood for us about a 30 minute bus ride north. Airbnb places are expensive here, and we found ourselves paying $1500 for a month’s stay in a converted garage-type set up. While pricey, the house was also beautiful. It was close to all our favourite restaurants, and having a sofa bed meant that we could invite friends to come and stay with us for the first time ever! And then we could feed them yams.

Really, though, my month in Portland can be summarised by how much food I ate. I ate so much and I still can’t stop talking about it.

Lauren eating The Cheesus

I left Portland after many, many 12-14 hour work days, burnt out and exhausted. My Secret Work Project was finished. I could finally rest. Instead, I found myself with swollen glands, heart palpitations, strange rashes and severe insomnia. I convinced myself I was stressed and rewarded myself with naps.

While Dave decided to fly to Melbourne to see family and friends, I flew in the opposite direction and began making my way back home. Quite bizarrely, I had managed to plan my trip home at a time when my parents were travelling around the East Coast of the US. Rather than heading straight home, I instead decided to hop over to DC to see them.

Lauren at The White House

It was in DC that I celebrated 1000 days of travel, a huge milestone for me and one that I couldn’t have imagined ever reaching back when I first left England. Unfortunately, I celebrated with a lack of sleep due to a noisy snorer in my dorm room. Yep, after so long in private rooms and apartments, I think my dorm days could possibly be over. I particularly enjoyed listening to one of my dormmates announce that Hawaii was cheaper than Thailand, having been to neither place.

Enough grumbling! My 1000th day of travel coincided with the gorgeous Cherry Blossom Festival, and I couldn’t have been more excited to go look at hundreds of pretty trees. You can expect a photo essay on the cherry blossoms soon!

Cherry Blossom Festival, DC

With a little bit of exploring and an awful lot of napping under my belt (I was still unaware I had glandular fever at this point!), it was time for me to see my parents after nine months apart! I was thrilled to play tour guide and get to show them around some of my favourite monuments and memorials. The only downside was the huge storm on the night before they arrived — all of the cherry blossoms were gone before they could see them!

In Washington DC

in Washington DC

With my time in DC feeling all too short, I said goodbye to my parents and headed to a country I’ve been desperate to visit for years: Iceland.

By this point I was starting to feel pretty miserable. I couldn’t stop coughing, I couldn’t sleep at night, I was aching all over and I couldn’t sleep due to more loud snorers in my room. However, I wasn’t going to let glandular fever stop me from enjoying a country I’d been forever desperate to visit!

With three hours of sleep thanks to The Snorer From Hell (at one point I nearly threw a shoe at her), I dragged myself out of bed at 6am and onto a nine hour tour of the Golden Circle. It was then that I decided I needed to return to Iceland for a month-long road trip at some point in the future. Have I finally found a country more beautiful than New Zealand?

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Statistics time! 

Month 33 travels

Number of Countries Visited: 2

Iceland, United States

Number of Cities Visited: 3

Portland, Reykjavik, Washington DC

Distance Travelled: 8,800km

Photos Taken: 391

Highlight of the Month: Getting to see my parents in DC! I miss them so much when I travel.

Lowlight of the Month: Not realising I had glandular fever and pushing myself so hard that I nearly had a nervous breakdown. 14 hour work days while fighting off an infection? Maybe I’m stronger than I thought I was!

My Favourite Photo:

Sunrise in Iceland

The sunrise as I came in to land at Reykjavik airport was one of the best I’ve seen! The sky danced from deep blue to purple to vibrant pink to tangerine as everyone rushed to one side of the plane to take photos. A great introduction to Iceland.

Money Spent: 

Accommodation: 

  • 23 nights in Portland: $575.00
  • 5 nights in DC: $250.00
  • 2 nights in Reykjavik: $67.00

Transport: 

  • Flight from Portland to DC: $192.50
  • Taxi to and from DC airport to downtown: $150.00
  • Flight from DC to London, via Reykjavik: $393.43
  • Bus from Reykjavik airport to Reykjavik: $17

Activities: 

  • Tour of the Golden Circle: $80.00

Food: $1012.00 

Miscellaneous:

  • Clothes and make up and random girly things (yep, I pretty much replaced all my clothes in DC!): $973.00

Total Amount Spent: $3709.93

Month 34 travels

The Next Month: 

Next, I’ll be hopping on a plane and arriving back home for the first time in almost two years! I’m looking forward to eating all of my favourite British junk food (prawn cocktail Pringles! Fondant Fancies! Minstrels! Jaffa Cakes!), catching up with my family and friends and attempting to defeat my glandular fever. I suspect I’ll be napping a lot.

At the end of the month, I’ll be taking my first steps in the Middle East with planned visits to both Oman and the United Arab Emirates! And then, an announcement as to where I’ll be heading next — I’ve had a big change of plans!

 

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!

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