Europe, 2013

Europe Adventure, September 2013!

Hello Beautiful! Come along with me on my solo journey I took through some southern regions of Europe around my 21st birthday. This was my first solo adventure that I’ve ever took! I have been fortunate in my life to travel lots, but generally it has been with my family as a young girl, or casual trips with friends. This adventure to Europe marked the start of something very exciting for me. It marked the fact that I was becoming my own person, and realizing my true desires to absorb as much culture, excitement and delicious food as I could muster while I am young and developing my passions. Although I was alone, I was not entirely alone- I joined up with a tour group, and was blessed to meet some wonderful people around my age group from all over the world! We visited France, Italy, Spain, Monaco and Greece, and I got my first real taste of the world beyond my own continent. Ever since, the thought of travelling constantly gives me something to look forward to, helps me grow as an interesting/happy person and it is one of the most important investments of money and time I believe a person can make- at any age! So here is an assortment of photos from this trip! Enjoy 🙂

FRANCE

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Ah France- my love! A country that holds the keys to a part of my ancestry. I have held a strong fascination with French food, fashion, women and architecture ever since my early teens. In the back of my depressive mind, I thought visiting the City of Love (Paris, of course!) alone would bring out a dark side. But on the contrary! I have rarely ever felt as alive as I did while in France.

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The beautiful churches, the luxurious gardens. The rich food and wine. The Eiffle Tower! The phenomenal night life. The beaches of Nice. The vineyards. Goodness gracious, I loved every minute of it. This was my first taste of Europe, and I will never forget the memories I made, or how it made me feel- Pure bliss!

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As for Monaco,  (which get this- it’s the second smallest country in the world!) which is in the South of France, we only visited it passing through for an evening. Unfortunately, due to ‘lovely’ technology I lost some of my trip photos awhile ago, Monaco included. All I have to say about it, was we visited the famous Monte Carlo casino- where we couldn’t take pictures anyways, i had the most expensive rum and coke of my life and one of our tour mates won 500 euros. We then proceeded to eat a late night dinner of Mcdonalds, and yes, it tasted fancier than normal. Haha! I enjoyed the brief stay in Monaco, if only for the beautiful sights in provided. It was a country radiating pure luxury, and that is how I felt in my short time there!

ITALY

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Ah Italia! I left my heart (and my stomach) in Italy! Some of the most delicious food and affordable wine I have experienced! I was absolutely overwhelmed with passion at the site of the amazing historical architecture of all the cities- almost as overwhelmed as at the site of a large plate of pasta!

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Visiting Italy really reinforced to me that ART MATTERS. Beautiful things are never forgotten. This country is like one beautiful moment frozen in time, reliving itself over and over every day. Inspired! And yes I ate that whole pizza to myself. What?

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The windy walk ways, the dark corridors, the dingy marketplaces- everything is drenched in a delicate beauty that I have not witnessed anywhere else yet to date!

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SPAIN (Barcelona)

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Barcelona! This was our one and only stop in Spain, unfortunately- as the focus was on France, Italy and Greece. However, I was fortunate enough to spend my 21st birthday in this beautiful city, and has some very exciting celebrations here! To be quite frank, Barcelona is a blur of bottomless sangria, paella and dancing. What a wonderful joyous city, with beautiful architecture as well! Again like Monaco, unfortunately some of my photos were lost when my computer had a malfunction. I recovered only a few, but my memories are still as vivid as if it were yesterday!

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We had some extremely delicious meals here! I remember being so grateful on my birthday, that these people who had been mere strangers to me about a week before were celebrating with me and had already become good friends. This is another one of the beautiful benefits of travelling solo!

GREECE

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Greece! Greece was where we finished off the tour, and it was a very interesting time for me, because in the last four days I got very, very sick. I got some sort of a flu, where I had a very nasty cough accompanied by fatigue and a fever. It was an unfortunate way to end the trip, and I missed out on a few events due to it unfortunately, but I still had a wonderful time! This country is full of some of the friendliest people I’ve met as of yet- always smiling, always generous. The ocean is so blue, and the sun warms your skin in a way that feels more like a suggestion than an urgent scorch. And the food! My goodness the food. Delicious salads rich in fresh veggies and large piece of feta cheese, and gyros and souvlaki platters out the yin yang. We were very lucky!

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The history is amazing here. It is one of the oldest countries in the world, and you can really feel that while wandering through the cities- specifically Athens! The Acropolis proved to be extremely impressive, albeit extremely HOT! I can’t recommend bringing lots of water and wearing good shoes quite enough here- so important! As you float around these ancient buildings, you almost feel like a grecian goddess/god for a split second- until you realize, a grecian goddess surely wouldn’t be sweating nearly as much as you are.

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If you want to eat good food, meet good people, see some of the most beautiful sunrises/sunsets you’ve ever seen and feel infinitesimal for a moment in your life, you must visit Greece!

Heathrow Airport- Heading home!

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So there you have it folks! My month in Europe in a nutshell. Again, I can’t stress enough how incredible this adventure was, and especially as a solo traveller. I made some life long friends, gained a new sense of confidence and sense of self, and enriched myself in every aspect of culture that I’d been admiring for so long. Europe, I’ll never forget you- until next time, stay tuned!

-Spirit Sister-Nicolle

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