Monday, June 24, 2024

Woman has to get home to US from Europe—without getting a plane

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A woman has documented her whirlwind journey across Europe to cross the Atlantic back home to the U.S. without flying.

Claudia Larson (@larsontravels), 24, from Orlando, Florida, planned on spending longer in Europe after spending one month in Greece and another one in Portugal, but she suddenly fell ill with a sinus infection after catching a flight from Athens to Lisbon.

Multiple medics, including an ear, nose and throat (ENT), advised the photographer not to fly and she realized she had to make it to Southampton, England, by May 30 to catch the transatlantic crossing, leaving her with 10 days to make it from Lisbon without flying.

Larson documented her conundrum where she told viewers she would have to take six buses and one train from Lisbon to Madrid, to Bordeaux, to Paris, to Calais, to Dover, to London and finally to Southampton in a video which amassed 879,000 views.

Larson traveled from Lisbon and then went to Madrid, where she stayed for one night, before going to Bordeaux where she spent two nights.


She told Newsweek of the news she couldn’t fly: “I was sad at the news because at this point I had been sick for a month now and all I wanted to do was go home.

“I was also sad because I had so much more travel planned, I even had a flight to Morocco in a week. I was stressed because of all the planning I had to do. But once everything was planned, to the best of my ability, I was excited for the crazy journey I was going to go on.”

The photographer arrived in Greece on April 1 where she volunteered for a month and then traveled to Portugal where she did the same.

However, she fell ill in Athens with what she thinks was a common cold and became congested.

The flight messed up her sinuses and ears which were clogged for two weeks until they popped, but she kept hearing crackling sounds, she added.

Concerned, she sought medical advice from two hospitals and a private doctor who prescribed her antibiotics and different medications, but her condition didn’t improve.

Finally, she went to an ENT who told her she probably had a sinus disease and shouldn’t fly, and would have to have two medical exams. But the only date available was a month away and she could not wait that long due to her visa and finances.

Medics advise you should avoid air travel when suffering from a sinus infection, according to Healthline.

Flying with a severe sinus infection can even lead to an ear drum rupture, according to Kaplan Sinus Relief and Otolaryngologist in Houston, Texas.

Claudia Larson
Larson took the change of plans in her stride and embraced the adventure


Larson traveled from Lisbon to Madrid on an eight-hour, 30-minute bus journey, and from Madrid, she traveled on a 10-hour Alsa bus to Bordeaux, France. She then traveled to Paris on a two-hour train, where she caught a three-hour train to Calais. From Calais, she caught a one-hour, 30-minute ferry to Dover, England, where she took a one-hour train to London. She spent five nights in London before taking a train to Southampton, where she boarded the transatlantic crossing for New York.

From New York, she will take a 22-hour train to Orlando where she lives.

She added: “The highlights from my trip have definitely been seeing places in Europe that I’ve never seen before, meeting some really cool people, and beginning to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

“I’ve had some difficulties planning with such short notice while being sick. There are definitely some things that I could’ve planned better if I were in a better headspace and not so preoccupied with my health.

“I’m a photographer so it’s been great to get creative with each town that I stop in. When I felt up to it, I would go out, explore whatever town I was in and always brought my camera.”

Larson traveled from Europe to the US.
The photographer was upset when she had to cut her trip short but was ready for the adventure of making it home without flying.