This Italy trip came out of the blue, deciding only a month before the trip happened. Usually I know and plan things for months before going somewhere a bit far like Europe. But the main reason this one happened so quickly was because of the boredom and frustration toward my life in the past 2 months and I did feel like I needed an “escape”
(Funny how by the time we went on the trip, the frustration was gone. A few weeks before was a bit hectic, and then everything finally fell into places. Life is funny that way, huh?).
Initially, I wanted to go alone and the first destination that came to my mind was Croatia. But somehow, in the end, I decided to ask my mom if she wanted to come along on a trip somewhere. She hasn’t traveled out of the country for a while and she did have a rough year last year. I thought it would be nice to get her out to travel and freshen things up for her for a bit. It was a compromise for me, because I disliked traveling in a tour group, but for some reason I sort of feel like I should do it for her.
We tried to pick several countries from around the world, from Korea, Japan, Russia and many more. In the end this Northern Italy trip caught my attention, even though I’ve already been to Italy twice. I’ve wanted to go to Cinque Terre for years now. And I’ve never been to Milan either. My previous two visits were mainly focused on major tourist destinations like Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa.
I loved it. Manarola in Cinque Terre was as beautiful as I imagined it would be. I also loved Dolomites mountain and Italian alps area. It was so, so beautiful and the air felt so refreshing. I felt like I could properly breathe and realized how shitty Bangkok air really is. Was a surprise for me that they speak German and all the signs are in German and Italian in South Tyrol, Italy.
Photos can’t really captivate how beautiful the Alps is in reality.
I’ve also wanted to see Duomo in Milan for so long and finally I’m here. What a beauty.
Europe in summer is so lovely. I almost forgot how lovely those long summer nights are. June is such a good month to travel there as it’s not too hot yet and not really the peak season. Could be a lot more challenging to navigate in July.
My only complaint was the trip was way too short, only one week. You need at least 10 days in Europe. But then again I used up all of my vacation leave on this trip and this is all I had. Not exactly worth the 11 hour flight. But thank god we flew direct from Bangkok to Milan this time. Once we flew with Emirates and had to transit in Abu Dhabi before going to Barcelona, and I was a complete wreck. Really noticed a big difference and it was much, much better with direct flight. I did fly direct to Amsterdam with KLM last year too, and it wasn’t as exhausting as it would be when you had to transit in Middle East.
It’s probably weird to say this, but I feel like it’s a…comfort going to Europe since I’ve been traveling there quite a few times now. Each country is different of course, but there are some shared similarities that I am quite used to. Nothing surprised me as much as it was before, and it’s always nice to be back. I think I’ve been to most countries in Western Europe now, time to explore more of the Eastern part!
I think I will keep going back and exploring some different parts of Europe; some cities I haven’t been to. I just love the ability to walk around without sweating. I love how, comparatively, things are more organized than the chaotic Bangkok. I love that nippy feelings in the air, something you never get when living in a tropical country. I love the feeling of holding a hot coffee in my hand on cold mornings. I love how different summer feels when you are on the different side of the world. I love how it’s a “dry” summer and not humid. I love how the sun doesn’t set until 9 PM.
If I traveled by myself I would pop in to the museums, walk around, find something nice to eat and drink, observe the locals, explore, and just walk, walk, walk anywhere, and that simply made me happy. In a city you are unfamiliar with, you feel so small, you see everything with fresh eyes, you notice so many little things you don’t normally do in your own city, and it feels nice to get that perspective. Bangkok bores me at times and once in a while I feel like I need to get out for something new, something different.
Hopefully the post vacation blues don’t hit me so bad this time. I have something exciting and scary to look forward to next month. This was a nice little break to prepare myself for what’s to come. I’m so nervous but do hope for the best. Fingers crossed for myself!