IMG_3102I just returned from a two-and-a-half week trip to Mediterranean Europe. I visited Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro all within a very short span of time. My trip was a buffet platter of cultures that gave me a small glimpse into the lives of how others live in that part of the world. The landscape was beautiful, the people welcoming, and the experience insightful. The travel bug bit me pretty hard, and now I can’t wait to share my experience.

From packing the night before my plane ride to Barcelona up to the final days cruising at sea on The Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, I enjoyed every minute of my adventure. I visited Barcelona in Spain, Nice in France, Venice, Rome, and Florence in Italy, the Krka national park in Croatia, and Kotor Bay in Montenegro.

Our entire trip lasted 17 days from start to finish. It was a sight to be seen, straight out of national geographic. Equipped with a small action camera and a Canon Rebel SL1 attached with the 40mm pancake lens, My brother and I roamed up and down alleys and streets, down beaches and across bridges into town centers and piazzas where vendors sold novelty goods, gelato for €2, and pizza and pasta. I’m sure Italians eat more than just pizza and pasta, but it was what we ate at every Italian port.

During my trip, I returned to a vegetarian lifestyle from a vegan lifestyle during my trip because the difficulty of finding food while on board the boat. But, while aboard the boat, I ate anytime I wanted. All you can eat buffets during regular hours throughout the day, salads and snacks until 1:00 AM, room service for any amount of food for a single service charge of $8.95, and fine dining during select times during the evening.

Every night, we would go to sleep on a boat docked at a port of a city along mediterranean Europe, and then wake up at the port of a different city in a different country ready to explore a new culture.

Many of the locations we went to were tourist locations, so you can imagine the amount of people wanting to take the cliché photo interacting with the leaning tower of Pisa, but it was still a very incredible experience. I learned how to say “buongiorno” and “zdravo,” which is “hello” in Italian and Croatian. Many locals loved that I tried to learn the language and use it when I could—so a small tip for travelers, even learning how to say “hello,” “thank you,” and “good bye” goes a long way.

Throughout these upcoming weeks, I’ll share posts describing my experience in Europe. I’ll share photos and describe what it was like exploring Mediterranean Europe on a cruise ship. IMG_3955