As a wise winter princess once said, and I quote, “the past is in the past, let it go.” Last week was no bueno, but during my 4 hours trek in a Flix bus (would highly recommend) from Prague to Vienna, I promised myself that I’d make this city different.
One thing I’ve managed to do in all 4 of the cities I’ve passed through, is navigate their public transportation. Not only is it saving me money, but I think it’s part of the overall experience of being somewhere. Sure, rolling up to the club on a lime scooter would give me insane clout, but it’s not nearly as satisfying as finding my own way through a city that I’m not familiar with, especially when there’s a language barrier.
Night one was solid. I stayed at a Wombat Hostel, and it wasn’t half bad. The best part of this chain hostel is that things are made to be very social, so making friends is a breeze. Only a couple hours in and I had a group of 5 other people to grab dinner with and sip beers along the Donau Kanal. There were so many people parked along the water eating pizza while vendors on bikes rode by selling us overpriced Austrian beer. It was such a cool spot, and I got to spend it with my new friends Julia, Maggie, Igor, Quentin, and Josh.
From a very young age, I became acutely aware that I am not one to follow a checklist, or have basic organization (if we’re being completely honest). It isn’t unusual as a travelers to have a list of sights you’d like to see in a city. I had no list and didn’t see that much of Vienna, but I stay unbothered. Instead, I learned different perspectives from a handful of interesting people. 10 years from now while I sit on a plane overlooking Singapore from my first class seat with a martini in hand, I’ll reflect on the people I met, not the cathedral I took a photo of.
I did manage to see one major sight, which is the Schonbrunn Palace. This place didn’t have to flex that hard . . . but it did. I wish I could explain how massive the land stretches, or even research how much space it really is, but I’d rather leave it to the imagination. It’s old places like that that really get my creative mind churning. I’m positive that there are so many secrets and stories to tell of the things that happened on those grounds.
With another group of friends I made thanks to the Wombat Hostel, we hit a traveler bar on a Monday night. My New Zealand friends Alex, Will, & Nick brought an incredible new game into my life called “fingers.” There’s a cup in the middle of the table, and everyone places their index finger on it. We go around saying a number and when someone says a number you immediately have to decide whether or not to raise your finger off the glass. If the amount of fingers still touching the glass matches the number that person said, they’re safe. If not, they keep playing, and the last one remaining downs the drink in the middle.
After a couple rounds of drinks I ventured to check out the rest of the bar and stopped to compliment someone I saw wearing a “Yes Theory” hat. He looked at me confused and said, “yeah . . . we’re all here for the meet up?” If it wasn’t already painfully obvious, I’m completely oblivious. Yes Theory is a youtube channel I watch, mostly because of their philosophy to “seek discomfort.” That, and the guys are cute.
To my surprise, there were over 40 people in the bar all there for a meet up because TD, one of the members, was in town (see photo above). Had I known this was happening, I absolutely would’ve been apart of it from the start, but I’m not mad that I found it by accident. I immediately befriended Simon, Julia, and Carolyn.
Given we’d had a few drinks each, Simon and I confessed we dreamed of getting “YES” tattoos. When others caught wind of our plans, they hopped on board. The next morning he messaged me and said, “still down for tattoos, or did you get cold feet?” What was I gonna do, say no? So, six of us took the leap and now share a permanent bond for life, as well as a kick ass story. 5 of us decided on the exact same font, which I think is pretty killer.
The story behind the tattoo is as simple as it seems. It’s a reminder to say yes to more things in life. When you say yes, you open yourself up to experiences you never could’ve imagined.
I tagged along with the Yes Theory fam for the next couple of days, and loved every second. We watched the sunset, played guitar, and laughed a whole lot. I met amazing people, Mark, Cosima, Berni, and Amelia included. We were even interviewed for a German Netflix documentary called “Me, Myself, & I.”
The friendships I foster through traveling are truly unlike any other. The environment allows for such a unique friendship, and while they’re short lived, they’re special in a way I can’t explain.
Vienna, I promise you haven’t seen the last of me. I’ll seeya when I seeya.