Where do I even begin to explain this trip? It was super gruelling (8 cities in 14 days) but just as equally refreshing. It was a “just-graduated-university-eurotrip” trip, it was an “I’m only young once” trip, it might even have been a ~finding myself~ trip. Ok sorry, I’m being slightly dramatic…but it did change my perspective about a lot of things. It made me realize that I am living totally WRONG.
I mean, I’ve been to Italy before and learned of the “slowed-down, European way of living” there, but this time it really hit home. I think here in North America especially we forget to just enjoy life for what it is – we’re too busy on our phones, grabbing gross fast food/coffee to go and stressing about money/status/jobs and essentially everything else and get caught up in the ol’ rat race. Growing up Italian, dinner was always a grand production and wasn’t to be messed with. But as I got older and more busy, it became one of my last priorities. This trip made me remember that the simple pleasures are really what life is all about: spending time with friends, eating good food, drinking good wine, enjoying art and beauty. I think one of my favourite things about Europe is that fast food is literally non-existent. Food is a pleasure, meals a vital part of the day. If you want to have a coffee, you have to sit down and have a coffee. Coffee a.k.a espresso (not the drip watered down merde we’re used to) is made the right way. There are no drive-thrus. Everything is done the right way. While I don’t think siestas are possible here, I’ve absorbed as much of the ~Euro-mentality~ as I can. I really think it changed me as a person – did I mention I like olives now? LOL. Now I’m going to end this thought with a corny quote because I feel like it is relevant (sorry). “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Highlights: Experiencing the most incredible nighttime view of the Cote d’Azur from a top a “secret” mountain spot thanks to some cool local guys from Nice, a breakfast made by our Air BnB host that included homemade crepes and jam and fresh-from-the-bakery croissants, meeting BryanBoy walking down the street in Paris, watching a French Montana concert beside the Eiffel Tower, buying my dream bag (a Givenchy Antigona) from the Avenue Montaigne, biking around Mallorca, getting a lipstick custom engraved at the Guerlain flagship store on the Champs-Élysées…and places: La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Frioul Island off of Marseille, Vinçon in Barcelona, Colette in Paris, Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona (a legendary tapas bar noted as one of Anthony Bourdain’s favourite restaurants in the world), and La Comisaria in Valencia (one of the top 3 best meals I’ve ever had in my life) and the antique market in Montmartre, Paris.
40 pictures from the trip after the jump