I closed my eyes and absorbed the darkness, letting everything around me come alive. I had roamed the streets for hours, taking it all in: the smell of melted mozzarella on the world’s finest pizzas; the ghostly decadence of the city’s oldest buildings; a loud melody, Chopin perhaps, can be heard through an open window; the dazzling chaos of roses, daffodils and poppies sitting on sills, stealing each other’s colours; and the repetitive navy-and-white striped men, proudly parading visitors down Venice’s shimmering canals. As I reached San Marco, Venice’s personal hotbed of human stench and anarchic clatter, the sweltering summer air was hard to take in. The waves of flickering cameras and the howling chatter of the crowd engulfed the piazza. Revolted, I wriggled away from the daunting humanness. I moved away from the crowds seeking silence. The chatter faded away, as did the Sun and the unbearable trail of heat it left behind.
1. Put your phone on airplane mode and keep it that way the entire trip!
Prague is one of those European cities that's almost too good to be true — beautiful, fairy-tale architecture, vibrant culture and nightlife, and warm and friendly locals.
Months after the federal Department of Homeland Security banned large electronic items on U.S. bound flights originating in the Middle East, the agency is ready to double down in unsettling ways, with a proposed ban on laptops and tablets in cabins of U.S. bound flights from Europe. It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s a sense that the Trump government is quietly laying the groundwork for putting a ban in place.
It’s no wonder that Barcelona is such a popular destination – drawing people from across Europe and the world to enjoy its unique combination of warm weather, beach-side location, and a seeming insatiable appetite for good times.
The small German city of Aachen hasn’t necessarily captured the imagination of travellers, but by train it's incredibly accessible and the kind of destination that makes an interesting day-trip whichever direction you are travelling across Europe's vast rail network.
If the little girl I was could see me now, with my purple backpack on my back, old tennis shoes and walking by myself on the streets of Rome, she would smile gladly.
I wasn’t particularly nervous for my move to the UK. After all, I’d lived in South Korea for half a year and spent a summer interning in Kenya and Uganda (such white girl, much wow), speak English pretty fluently, and I wasn’t afraid of being culture-shocked in what’s pretty much a neighbouring country to the Netherlands. I was determined to act professional, starting my MA, to blend in with the Brits and stay far away from ‘situations’ I’d encountered in my previous episodes of expat living.
The time of year now designated as the beginning of May has long been an occasion for the celebration of seasonal change in northern Europe. The end of the winter and the beginning of the warmer weather that would lead to summer.
I have always been a bit fascinated with the Romans. I won’t bore you with the detailed distinctions between Ancient Rome, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire, but suffice to say that the centuries defined by the power of Rome was an incredibly exciting period of history that really shaped the world as we know it today.
When planning a vacation to Ireland, you might know where the best vacation spots in Ireland are. Much of the Irish population is centered in a few select cities, leaving much of the country wide-open territory – a frontier of locations to visit and take in that most people never see.