Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Adventures in Europe

Saturday, September 5th, started like any other day. A tearful goodbye to a Florida and my family, a touristy day in New York, and catching a night flight to my new home near Milan, Italy. Ok, maybe it wasn't average, but after the craziness of the last two years, it sure felt normal to me. 

I began the flight as usual in these sort of situations. Wide-eyed, hopeful, and nervous beyond belief. And if I wouldn't have been jolted awake by the sounds and smell of vomit on the floor from the lady just in front of me, it would've been a pretty enjoyable ride. Curse the pile of puke that lay in my path for the remaining 6 hours. 

But when I arrived, I was greeted by my adorable little Italian family, and an enormous sense of relief. Already they've exceeded my expectations and I have a feeling that I've hit the jackpot for the 3rd time in a row. 

The next day, I flew to Croatia where I began a 3 week trip throughout Eastern Europe. Some of it solo, some of it with my friend from back home, and all of it incredible. Destinations included: 

Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Brac Island, Plitvice lakes, and Zagreb, Croatia 

Dubrovnik view from Mount Srdj

Kayaking around Lokrum Island

Dubrovnik views from the city walls 


Brac Island (Bol)

Plitvice lakes- unbelievable mirror image

Plitvice lakes again: #nofilter

Kotor Bay and Budva, Montenegro

Ljubljana and Bled, Slovenia 


Lake Bled

Budapest, Hungary 

Vienna, Austria

Prague, Czech Republic

Munich, Germany 


And last but certainly not least, Fussen and Hohenschwangau/Neuschwanstein (The Disney) Castles

We'll let the pictures do the talking on this one and spare your poor souls a 384 page blog post. If however, you're still curious, the trip went a little something this: great food, the prettiest of places, many, many, MANY beers, and THE most amazing people. 

Like the only man who stopped as I stood lost in the middle of the city after a mishap with my bus. I was lost and nearly in tears as it turned dark, and in broken English, he said, "I help you" and walked with me the entire way. Miles in the opposite direction from where he was going. Just because. We could not understand each other much in terms of language, and yet, I understood him completely. 

Like the girl with bright blue hair, also traveling alone, who so easily accepted my invitation to get dinner together. We live very opposite lives, and visually, we could not have looked more different. And 10 years ago, when all of that seemed to matter, we never would have spoken. And I would've been wrong. Because she's more like me than I would've thought. A little bit weird, sometimes misunderstood, and in that moment, she was my closest friend. 

Like the Canadian who also lived in Milan, and shared with me the many must-do's while I'm here. She also happened to mention wanting to do a camel trek through Morocco in October. The exact same trek I wanted to do in October. And now we are both going. On the same weekend. Together :)!

And the girl from Miami, who without even knowing it, gave me such a sense of calm and reassurance over this somewhat unconventional life I've chosen. Listening to her was like listening to the thoughts running through my head every single day. Often I feel very alone in my thinking and my dreams for the future, but for the first time in my life, I never felt so understood. 

And finally, to my partner in crime, fellow foodie, and beer lover. Thanks for flying half way around the world to join me. You make good adventures better.

And while September was a whirlwind of adventure and emotion, I'm most looking forward to building a nice, quiet, a pizza-filled life in Milan. I've been busy planning upcoming trips to Switzerland, Morocco, and around Italy, and am currently spending the rest of my time in search of the best coffee, meeting new friends, and most importantly, gaining another family.

Bye bye. Until next time. Ciao for now :).