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Reagan J Payne, Author at The Art of Adventure

All paths lead to Maastricht

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I spent my final week in Europe in the city I love best with the people I love most – Maastricht. Eight exchangers planned to meet back in Maastricht after our individual summers of backpacking. Most of us had intercepted paths once or twice along the way – but everyone came back to Maastricht with stories to share. I came rolling into Maastricht after an overnight stop in Cologne, Germany:   We all meet by the Maas Lake and spent …

Alternative Culture with Berliners

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Traveling solo is the least lonely way to travel. With each new city come new faces, new friends, and new adventures. In Budapest I met Cassy and Mitch form Australia. Then, I ran into them in Prague. In both cities, we had a wonderful time and decided to meet up in Berlin. Around 4am we met a group of Berliners and decided to all take our photo in a photoautomat – an outdoor photo booth popular throughout Berlin. Six people …

Returning to Berlin

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I’ve said it before in my Paris v. Berlin post, and I’ll say it again. To travel to Berlin is to be inspired – creative minds flock to Berlin. I made sure to again return to Berlin and explore all the history, innovation, and art in every form. Everyone, from every walk of life, can be found on the streets of Berlin. The sidewalks are shared by blue-haired punk-rockers, young German yuppies in suits, dreadlocks, piercings, covered in tattoos, the …

Czech out Prague

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The day I arrived to Prague happened to be the same day a major heat wave engulfed the city. With relentless high temperatures and air conditioning but a luxurious dream, shade and cool places became the main tourist attractions. I chose my hostel based solely on its name – Czech Inn. The most clever punny hostel name of all hostels to ever exist! After booking the hostel, I discovered that it is considered one of the finest hostels in all …

Caving in Budapest

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Budapest – the city of caves, stalagmites and hotsprings! After a big night out in Budapest I ambitiously started my day early and took a long walk through Heroes Square, the museum area and Central Park as well as to the Opera House and a second hand book store. I was exhausted by the time I arrived back to the hostel mid-afternoon. My intention was to take the rest of the day easy, which was really an unrealistic luxury at my particular hostel. …

Budapest Thermal Baths and Ruin Bars

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There are bits of travel books that I simply skim over, some parts I skip entirely, and some that I circle, highlight and sometimes even accidentally break the book spine by reading that page so many times.  The section on Budapest Thermal baths had coffee stains and crinkled pages because it was this section that I poured over when reading about Budapest. Budapest is known as the ‘City of Spas’ and this reputation dates back to the 16th century with …

Mizzou Collides with Budapest

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Traveling long-term includes a conscious decision to push through exhaustion and continue forward with exploration, socializing and general traveling fun. When on short-term trips, you have the capacity and energy to travel 100% all day every day because you know that you can crash when you get home. Long-term travel is a different case – and I figured that out on my eighth day in Bulgaria. Besides my illness in Spain, I sacrificed no moment to sleep in or to …

Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria

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Dilyana said that the “spirit of Bulgaria” can be found in the small town of Koprivshtitsa located in the Sredna Mountains. The town was the center of the April Uprising in 1876 in which the Bulgarians carried out an insurrection against the Ottoman Empire. This time period is known as the Bulgarian National Revival, and Koprivshtitsa was the center of it all. The town now represents traditional Bulgarian architecture, way of life, and is the home to many monumental works …

The Black Sea: Nessebar

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  The city of Nessebar dates back 3,000 years ago with architecture reflecting the many different masks the city wore over the centuries. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.  Charming, traditional and serene – Nessebar earned a big heart around its dot on my tattered travel map. For my journey around Europe I hardly spent anytime shopping besides looking for one, elusive item: an apron. My mom’s birthday was to take place while I was abroad and with her recent gluten-free cooking …

The Black Sea: Sunny Beach

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From Sofia the three of us embarked on an adventure to… THE BLACK SEA! The sea’s name sounds like an appropriate place for an eerie relative of Nessy to live – and I was so excited to stand at the edge and look over what seemed to me to be one of the most foreign destinations on my trip. The ominous sounding “Black Sea” connected with the much brighter “Sunny Beach Bulgaria” which was our first stop on our journey …