In the Spring of 2018 I decided I was going to spend my summer in Europe. The reason was mainly due to two events, a reunion with my Remote Year group in Prague, and my friend’s wedding in France in August. On June 1st, I left Phoenix and headed to NYC to spend the weekend in the Big Apple and see a good friend before heading off to Europe for the summer. My Europe itinerary that I had planned consisted of Ireland for 10 days, Prague for a week, then I was going to kill 10 days in a couple places before heading to Split for the month of July to use my Remote Year citizen perks. I ended up choosing Malta and Rome for those 10 days. The month of June took me to 4 different countries, and was an amazing adventure on a lot of different levels.
I went to Ireland in November of 2016, and fell in love with it in only the 4 days I spent there. I knew it was a place that I would have to go back to and spend more time. When I was in Iceland in 2017, I met an Irish girl in a restaurant, and she would end up serving as my tour guide for this trip and she did an amazing job. The trip would take us to a lot of different places in Ireland. And once again, Ireland did not disappoint. It is such a beautiful country, and the people are some of the most friendly I have met in all of my travels. I got some amazing pictures, and drone footage. If you haven’t been to Ireland, please try to get there. It is such a beautiful place. Some of the highlights of my trip to Ireland WERE: THE Wild Atlantic Way, Baltimore Beacon, Guinness Storehouse, Cape Clear Island, Howth, Wicklow, Mizen Head, a Haim concert at Olympia Theater, and all places in between!
After Ireland I headed to Prague to reunite with my Remote Year group. We ended just over a year ago, and Prague was where we started our amazing journey about two years ago. We had a great turnout, and it was great to see everyone. It was a lot of fun, and definitely helped me come to some personal realizations about a few different topics I had been dealing with. I was able to get Steak Tartare again, which I had for the first time in Prague and it was so good. I am not sure if Steak Tartare anywhere else will live up to Prague Tartare. The last night consisted of having dinner with a group of people who I really love spending time with. We laughed a ton, and it was the perfect way to end the reunion. After my time in Prague, I was exhausted, and ready to get some alone time in.
I am not really sure how I ended up in Malta. It was never on my radar when this trip started, but I knew that with my alone time, and I wanted to be somewhere near water. Malta came up in conversation in Ireland, and I decided that would be the place. I was not sure what to expect, and it ended up being a great week. I walked a lot, and by a lot, I mean I took 103,810 steps, and walked 53.89 miles during my time in Malta. I found myself taking pictures, and sometimes I would go by the water, and lay down. One afternoon, after a lot of walking around, I laid down my backpack, used it as a pillow and just took a quick nap with the sound of the Mediterranean serving as my soundtrack. I did a day trip to the Blue Lagoon. I was on a big boat, and we went out to the Blue Lagoon. We dropped anchor and swam in the beautiful blue water. We then took the boat over to Gozo which is another island in Malta. I walked around there for a little bit, then found myself at a coffee shop, sipping a coffee while I wrote in my journal. One day, I took the city bus to the city of Mdina. This is an old city, which was the capital of the island during the medieval era. The city is a walled city. It was beautiful to walk around. I then took a cab to Golden Bay, a popular beach in the North East part of Malta. I hung out on the beach, had lunch, took pictures, walked around, and just soaked in the sun. I then hopped on the city bus and took that back to Valletta where I was staying. I really enjoyed my time in Malta. It is an old city, and the architecture is very unique. It was the perfect place to spend alone time, and clear my head a bit.
My next stop after Malta was Rome. I have always wanted to go to Rome for as long as I can remember. I have heard so many good things, and it did not disappoint. I took an Uber from the airport, and had a very friendly driver who gave me the in’s and out’s of Rome. I then arrived at my place. I stayed in a small studio apartment near the Vatican. It was a perfect location and close to all the places I wanted to see. The first afternoon, I just walked around to get a feel for the city. If you are ever in Rome, be careful when walking through the streets, as cars do NOT stop for pedestrians at all. After walking around for a while, I was tired, and hungry. I was wandering through my neighborhood, and came across a burrito place. I know this is probably sacrilegious, but I was just craving something other than pizza or pasta. This burrito hit the spot and gave me my Mexican food fix. My second day in Rome, I took a tour of the Colosseum. I have wanted to visit it since I was a kid, and it was great to check that one off. The tour took us through the Colosseum and the areas around it. It was an awesome tour and a great way to see the 2000ish year old building. The next day I woke up and did a tour of the Vatican. This was really cool. Vatican City is its own country, and there are some cool little tidbits that I learned about during the tour. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see the Sistine Chapel. Hearing the stories about how Michelangelo went about it were unique, and fascinating. After the Sistine Chapel we headed to St. Peter’s Basilica. I had only seen it from the outside at this point, but once you go inside, it such an amazing site, and it is much bigger than it look from the outside. The only disappointing part of the tour was that I didn’t see the Pope. For my last night in Rome, I scheduled a night photography tour. This tour was put on by a local filmmaker. He picked me up at midnight and for the next three and a half hours, we would drive around to all the popular sites of Rome, and take pictures. At this time of day, no one is around, so it was so cool to see these places empty when they are usually full of people during the day. I got some great pictures and had some great chats with my tour guide. The next day, I packed up and made my way to Split, Croatia.
Thanks for reading, peace and love!