Thursday, August 19, 2010

I feel home, and that's just what I feel

Our travels home went pretty smooth and all I did was watch movies on the way home to pass the time. When I stepped foot off the plane, a nice smack in the face of mr. humidity was waiting for me. I almost turned around and begged the pilot to take me back. I can't stand the humidity here, it's brutal.

Europe was amazing, I've always said I wanted to go and I'm so glad I got the chance to do it. It opened my eyes up to different cultures, different people, different rules, and a different feel. The whole time I traveled around I kept seeing things in different cultures that I loved. It made me think, I wish I could have my own culture and bring all these incredible ways into one. I would take the siestas and tapas from Spain, the beaches and nightlife from Portugal, the architecture and crepes from France, the canals and bikes from Amsterdam, and finally the history and gelato from Italy. That would be my culture! Oh and throw in the free bathrooms, organization, and accessibility from the States and I think that would be a nice way to live.

The people I met along the way is what changed me the most. Everyone with their different views on life in general, and how you should live it. Sometimes I feel close minded when I think about life, but meeting so many incredibly unique people allowed for me to just open up and let their thoughts in. Now my views on life will forever be altered because of what I experienced in Europe. It was life changing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone contemplating a trip.

Which leads me to being home. When my parents picked me up from the airport, that feeling of home consumes my body and puts a smile on my face. My country—where I was born and raised, the reason I am who I am today. As much as I wanted to stay and travel Europe, there was something about just seeing familiar faces, and being back in my country. It made me realize how many things I take for granted—using the bathroom for free, water for free...also the fact that I can only speak one language when the majority of people I met can speak multiple. I'm so blessed to be in this country and to have the friends and family that I have and being in Europe helped to realize that more than I have ever done before.

adios. tchau. au revoir. vaarwel. caio. bye.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Italiano

After the Cinque Terre we visited Rome, which was beautiful. We walked for three days straight from about noon to sundown. Italy has some of the most amazing architecture in the world and we definitely took it all in while we were there. After Rome we got on a cruise ship and setted out to Barcelona. Our boat was 6 hours late so we just hung outside and read books and listened to music. We finally made it to Barcelona and walked and walked until we finally just got a cab to our hostel. Really cool hostel with a lot of people, but getting in Barcelona that late on a Sunday night was a little strange. We met some italian kids from our hostel and all went out to a few places, then went to the beach and stayed until 7 AM. It was so much fun, then we got back, woke up in the morning and switched rooms. Went sight seeing for a little bit and ate probably one of the best meals I´ve had while I´ve been in Europe. Flautas, cheese quesadillas, a passion fruit margherita, and passion fruit water. It was amazing. Last night we went out to a few more places with some kids from the Hostel and now we will take a bus from here to Madrid for our last night in Europe.

I´ll be back in the States tomorrow. By far the best decision I ever made in my life to come here. I´m so thankful I had a chance to do it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lisbon to Amsterdam to Milan to Genoa to Cinque Terre

So, I'm being charged per minute for this internet, cluggg. Anyway, a little catch up of what I've been doing.

After spending a few days in Lisbon with Pedro(which was awwesssommee) we jetsetted to Amsterdam, arrived at midnight in the pouring rain without a place to stay. Luckily we managed to find this guy sitting outside of his hotel with one room left, go figure. The next night we stayed with Matthias and then got a hotel for the last night. Amsterdam was gorgeous, we got to see the city, we rented bikes, enjoyed the Heineken brewery tour and got a good feel. Next we headed to Milan on a bus. 24+ hours on a bus, umm...I'm not even really sure how to describe it, I slept on and off for most of the time, read books, listened to music, stared at the chair in front of me, sweated, changed positions 3156441387 times and ate a lot of candy bars. We got pulled over on the France border and it took 2 hours to go through all of our bags and do security checks. About 4AM and then we got pulled over again when we crossed through to Italy, that took about an hour. But as we approached Italy we drove past some of the most beautiful mountains and scenery. We got to Milan at about 10 AM and caught a train to Genoa, Italy. When we got there we got another train to Riomaggiore. The train left at 1:55 and as we were running to the train, Bryson got in first, and as I hopped in the door closed and hit my bag, I pushed through and the door closed. We almost missed the train by about 3 seconds. We finally made it all the way to Riomaggiore which luckily we had  hostel booked for three nights. It is gorgeous here, the scenic views from almost every point is stunning. There are 5 little cities that make up the Cinque Terre and yesteday we hiked the 5 mile trip starting from Riomaggiore. It was sooo hard but each time we made it to the top of a cliff and turned around, the majestic view of the previous city was so gorgeous it made the pain obsolete. On the 4th mile a guy in the middle of a cliff was selling hand squeezed lemonade, so we stopped and enjoyed that for a second and then we were off again. Once we finished the hike, we got a train back to our city and cooked dinner with some guys that we met in our hostel. We enjoyed the night just talking about where we've been and how we got there. Good company, good times.

We just booked a boat from Milan to Barcelona, then booked two nights in Barcelona. The trip is almost over, I'll try to write again when I get a chance. Hope everyone is enjoying the summer!

Caio.