Unplanned 13-day Europe Trip

APRIL 2015

It's been less than two weeks since I got back from Europe and, even though this might sound a little hard to believe or like nonsense for some of you, I feel that this trip has truly revealed to me the meaning behind the words “freedom” and “happiness”! Something took place during those 13 days I traveled solo that switched my mindset completely. As most of you know, I took this trip to catch a breath from everything that was going on in my life (read my last blog post to find out more). Without overanalyzing it, I bought a ticket from Miami to Barcelona with my miles and another one from Barcelona to Milan. No plans. No hotels. Just an intense wanderlust craving and a need to get out of Miami. Long story short, I ended up visiting my brother in Barcelona for 5 days, a friend in Milan for 4 days and then traveling by myself to the mountains of Perugia for 3 days and lastly Assisi for 1 day. I tried to enjoy every second of this trip as much as I could. Getting out of trains in every station, walking around, talking to people, taking photos on timer, looking for hidden vegan restaurants, trying to communicate in sign language because Italians didn't get my funny Italian or my Spanish or my English or my German!!! It was the perfect combination of adventure, freedom and happiness! As I told you guys in the blog post I wrote last week, traveling solo is all about losing fear. Fear of getting lost (it will happen! It's part of traveling. Instead of crying, LAUGH! Every second of it. Until your tummy hurts. Enjoy the moment.) Fear of being alone in unknown places and dark hotel rooms. (This teaches you to love your own presence. Once you communicate with yourself and love yourself entirely, you'll never feel lonely.) Fear of strangers. (This trip taught me so much guys but specially this. To trust people a little more. To open my mind a little more. Life will surround you with incredible human beings once you start trusting more. If you have a beautiful and positive energy, you will only attract beautiful and positive souls.) For the first time in years, I took a 13-day trip with NO schedules NO routines and NO maps- believe it or not I would hop in buses and trains, pick the station with the name I liked more and got out there. I was surprised every single time. In a positive way. Just flowing took me to some wonderful places most tourists don't pay too much attention to. And that's sort of also how I got myself to Perugia to review a vegetarian hotel, Country House Montali. (I've dedicated an entire Travel post just to this hotel because it was honestly taken out of a fairy tale book. That mesmerizing! Click here to read it.) Without even planning it, the opportunity to stay at this hotel, try their food and be part of their family for 2 nights came alive while I was in Milan looking for my next destination. Once I received the email with the great news, I bought a train ticket and found myself in Perugia 6 hours, 3 trains and about a dozen train stations later. Conclusion of this post: Life is not a thing guys. Life does not have a manual or instructions. Nobody can tell you how to live because it’s your life. You are the author of every single page in YOUR book. Stop overanalyzing. Stop planning. Stop being afraid. And above all, stop trying to figure out life. Life just is. It flows if you flow with it. Wonderful things come, if you open your arms to them. Life is a journey and the only way of taking advantage of it is by living. So, TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL! It is the best medicine for the soul.

That being said, for my vegans and vegetarians, finding good healthy and compassionate food over there is a little tricky but not impossible. Barcelona: FILLED with vegan restaurants. My favorites were Flax & Kale (best of EVERYTHING!!! I overindulged with no guilt :p.) and The Dog is Hot (best vegan hot dogs). Milan: a little trickier. Italians are offended if you ask them to take the cheese off their creations. Nevertheless, I had delicious vegan croissants at Nordest Caffe, incredible vegan dishes at Universo Vegano, and a delicious veggie soup at Zazaramen. And of course, Perugia & Country House Montali were full of veggie dishes by Chef Malu. Click here to read my eco-hotel review.