I started my year exploring Tuscany. Visiting little towns of Scarlino, Castiglione della Pescaia, Abbey of St. Galgano, San Gimignano, Montalcinello, Montalcino, Volterra, Siena and Florence. The region is more beautiful than I had imagine. The old buildings, monastery ruins and wide grassy hills remind me of other spectators of this beautiful towns, some travellers in the other old lives. At this time of my life I feel captivated to sunset more and more. I wrote a short journal of this moment capturing the most beautiful part of the day that most of the time we just ignore but is always available there, we just have to look up.:)
I’m not a sea lover though I enjoy a sea view. This year when I visited Malta, I fell inlove with this island right away, that I even thought of transferring here. This tiny island offers everything. The historical settings, beautiful beaches, restaurants and bars would give every visitor a unique experience that they will surely want to return again. But what I like the most in Malta is it’s great value for money. Compare to other European countries, one can enjoy a fresh seafood restaurant with amazing view in front of the beach less than half of the price one can pay to just a normal restaurant in Milan. The locals are friendly, the weather is perfect, they have delicious food and wine, what else can you ask for? I have an amazing and unforgettable experience with this island, I consider almost like a paradise.
Before I started my Euro Trip this year, I visited Paris again with my closest friend in Milan. We didn’t enjoy the city as what we’ve expected. It was July, it was very hot and full of tourist everywhere. But sometimes it’s not the place that makes travel unforgettable usually it’s about the person and that special moment you share together. After a long day walking here and there, we bought two bottles of wine and drink it in the garden where we were seeing perfectly the super iconic Eiffel tower and of course the sunset. We were in the bench, just the two of us talking about life and everything drinking without glass! Two ladies in Paris drinking wine straight in the bottle! We returned to our hotel sharing the bed, and exhausted, but glad we had each other.
Helsinki is included as one of the best travel experience I’ve had this year. One of my strange thoughts: I’ve never seen so many blonde people in one place at the same time. I also had a great time exploring the street market where you can find unique and good quality items in every stall. The food that they sell here is very fresh and cheap compare to normal stores. The fresh fruit is available everywhere. And I’ve been to unique museums that adds to the unique experience that I can cherish from this place. Although this place is too expensive for me, but the natural beautiful landscape of this elegant city generates good feeling therefore good memories. I remember this place like a special person who comforts me after a long and tiring trip from Baltic countries. A special person who never leave me alone, who transfer me the feeling of peace and security. It was like a gentle breeze kissing me gently in the hot summer. This is a place that reminds me that life is sweet and beautiful even if it feels bitter every so often.
I was in the the bus from Helsinki when I woke up from the first rays of the sun giving colors to the buildings that look very different from my eyes. The buildings were tall, with small windows and unique color. We were crossing a long bridge, and after a long night trip I arrived in Saint Petersburg. From the moment I stepped down in the bus I was surprised of how helpful Russians were. One person I casually asked the location of my hotel got a taxi and accompanied me there. A girl in the mobile store, fixed my network problem and walked me around her city. A sweet barman made me a perfect cappuccino and we became great friends even after my trip. The effort of the locals to speak the language they’re not used to, to welcome the travellers to their beloved city really touched my heart. Everything was so different that gave me that feeling of total excitement as I was discovering this new place. I love Saint Petersburg. It has so many bridges, beautiful beach and cold sea (I dont care much coz I don’t swim), beautiful architecture, magical parks and they have so many stories and superstitions that will make you feel dreamy and hopeful when you are there. I wish to come back to Saint Petersburg one day.
My adventure in Russia started only in Saint Petersburg and the best part was waiting for me in Moscow. I was enjoying my time alone eating Russian dishes, pancake was my favorite and I tried all the salty and sweet flavored pancake. I love the very soft pancake with caviar inside. My currency was in favor of me because the rubbles dropped. I was busy buying souvenirs. I was taking things slow. It was too late to realize that I had a problem with my card. The last day I cannot afford to go out anymore, the cash I had was just enough to pay for transportion to the airport for my departure. But destiny was always very kind to me. This new found friend from Saint Petersburg appeared in Moscow and he showed me around and invited me to his friend’s wedding. I experienced a memorable Russian wedding and will remember it for all my life. All the Russians I met were very hospitable and kind. I was baffled why I had the opposite perception before. Their country is so big and I think full of very interesting people that the world knows very little about. So we had a crazy fun night. We drunk, we danced and we laughed so much as if we have known each other forever. I left with a beautiful memory from this lovely people. And they will always have a special place in my heart.
I imagined my travel in Siem Reap like exploring the old temples, enjoying the big room and eating fresh tropical fruits with my cousin. However, upon checking in the airport she got a problem and unfortunately she was not able to come with me. I was mad to airport staff but it was useless. My flight was delayed which was a good thing or else I already lost it for the cause of stupid argument with staff that last a couple of hours. My stress vanished when I arrived to Siem Reap International airport. It was very clean and organized. I explored the old city alone but I cannot forget the mixed emotions I had as I slowly know the history of the city and its people. More story of this journey here.
I will cite again the words from Tupac that I appreciate more after my travel here.
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest lost is what dies inside while still alive. Never surrender.”
Days passed very fast and it was November already. This is my favorite month because I can start to feel the Christmas atmosphere. The wind is starting to get cold and leaves start to change their color. I just love to witness this change, it’s so magical for me. So it was November and I was in Bratislava. I had a companion where all my desires is his command. It was awesome. I was just checking out what were the nice places to go and he would bring me there. In this beautiful city where I can see the creativity in everything my eyes laid on, I feel so blissful.
My last and one of the best travel moment for this year 2015, was in Hong Kong. I am in a moment of my life where I am wondering where this journey will lead me. (if this journey will lead me somewhere) So my birthday was approaching, and I am used to share this day with a special someone and dear friends or family. Like most of the normal people do. But that special someone was so special he has a question mark in my head. So I just chose to be alone. It was very selfish on my part. People dear to me remembered the day of my birthday more than I do and they always wanted to share it with me. I am strong believer of “Keeping death at all times”, like thinking each day might be the last. And what I yearned was to be alone. I’ve never done it. The thought of it terrified me. And that’s why I wanted to do it badly. I bought a ticket, flew to Madrid first, spent a couple of days there tracing the footsteps of the hero I admire most (Jose Rizal) then to Hong Kong. I was having a jet lag and I was physically tired. I was so lazy and weary. I was sleeping till noon, I was going out only when I needed to eat. Good thing Hong Kong is always very vibrant at night. On the day of my birthday, finally I regained my energy and enthusiasm. I was in the city all alone, it was my birthday and no one knew that. I can feel my freedom and I felt very thankful to all the living and non living creatures in the universe that sustains me. I was extremely cheerful to anyone I’ve encountered. At night I went out with other travellers I just met. What a coincidence we entered into a bar where they had the Filipino band. They were playing my favorite songs. It was like the songs were really meant for me. I was talking to everyone nonstop and it was awesome! The new found friends from different parts of the world are all great people. We had a great time. And it was one of the most memorable birthday of my life!
This is the list of my best travel moments of 2015. I met another amazing people, I am more drawn to sunset, I faced different kinds of situation (good and bad), and I’ve discovered another beautiful cities. I can explain in detail how all this happened. But travel for me is always like magic.