Dolce far niente!
You know when you experience something so great that at the end of the day you don't even know how to describe it? Well I've spent the past half hour writing and deleting, writing and deleting because I honestly have no idea how to start this post. The past four days have been spectacular and they've really been such a well-needed rest.
So, after a year full of exams and stress and crying and nerves the last weeks have brought some of the biggest rewards of my life. I feel so happy right now I wish time stood still.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to travel. One of my biggest dreams is to be able to visit the whole world so I knew exactly what I wanted to do once exams were over: leave. The idea that in September I'll be moving to London and that I'll be so far away from my family and friends does scare me a bit and makes me want to spend every single moment until then with them but, on the other hand, no moment is like the present one and I believe that an individual isn't complete if he hasn't traveled. So right after seeing my exam results I hopped on a plane with my best friend and we headed to the land of sun, food and essentially... dolce far niente: Italy. Venice, to be more precise. And the experience was all the more special as it was my first time travelling alone on holiday and our first time alone, together, on holiday. (even though we've spent every holiday for the past 10 years together)
Anyway, I left for Venice without any expectations; some friends had told me that I'll come back smelling like sewer, others said that it was lovely. My first holiday option was actually Florence but our plans didn't really work and we decided on Venice instead. I didn't expect much of Venice, I don't know why. But I'm so happy I didn't. Because whatever expectations I might have had, they were 1000 times surpassed and I was blown away with the beautiful, enchanting place that it is. I don't know if it was the fact that I had been so stressed previously or if there's simply something in the Venetian air, but these were some of the best days of my life. (and I'm not one to make bold statements like this every day)
Discovering a city on your own terms is amazing and I suggest you all do it. Research while you are at home, pin point the main attractions you want to visit but make sure you get a taste of the culture and essence of the place. Most of the time - for me at least - visiting tens of monuments and museums doesn't really do the trick. I love to get lost on narrow streets (which Venice has plenty), eat the food locals eat (pizza, pasta, sea food, panini, need I go on?) , drink what the locals drink (wine and spritz) and just bask in the raw beauty all around yourself. What is more, your travel companions are what makes or breaks a holiday. It felt so great travelling with someone that was really on the same wave length as me, we didn't need all that much research and preparation in advance because somehow we got to see everything we wanted and more. I could really go on and on about what we saw, and how we got there but I'll keep that for the future posts as right now this really isn't essential.
The most important thing to keep in mind when travelling is that every nook holds something beautiful and every place is worth visiting. Venice now holds a very special place in my heart and I don't think it's going anywhere soon. I woke up this morning and felt disappointed that I couldn't walk through Piazza San Marco, drink our caffe latte's at one of the many snack bars, do some people watching, indulge in some of the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Italian style that is omnipresent and just revel at the amazing surroundings. I honestly felt like I was walking through a movie set with every step I took. I can't wait to share all the pictures we took with you, as I think it will probably be impossible for me to select just a few, so get ready for a Venice infusion in the next days!
Hope you enjoy!