The past year has been intense. I flown at least 12 times, I was blessed by the view of the Ocean twice, visited three countries, 10 cities and fell in love more than a milion times with life and the world.
Last year I mostly traveled to Italy and not only for vacation. Living a life as an expat means that most of the time you need or have or want to travel back home to visit your family and say hello to your old friends. I did it five times. A lot. Maybe too much. But at least I had good reasons to fly back so many times: I applied to get my passport to travel to Brasil in November, I went on vacation in Croatia with my best friends, I celebrated my grandad’s birthday and my friend Agnese’s graduation.
It was also worth it to travel to Italy last year to visit two of the most beautiful regions: Sardegna and Toscana.
In April Laura and I took a break from the rainy grey life in Berlin and we traveled to Firenze. Once there, we rented a car (our magic Twingo) and we drove through the Chianti hills. It was like a fairy tail. I felt embraced by the beauty of the landscape. We couldn’t have chosen a better destination to relax and recover from a long winter.
The green of the fields, the gentle curves of the hills, the smell of the vineyards and the blue of the sky made the atmosphere a dream. We stopped in Volterra for few hours and then in San Gimignano for two days. Needless to say, the town and the small villages around were a pure expression of beauty. We stayed in one of the best place I’ve ever seen in my whole life: Agriturismo Mormoraia. I highly recommend to book it if you happen to be in San Gimignano. The staff is incredibly friendly and the Agriturismo offers one of the best views over the Chianti. They have a mix of a modern and traditional intern spaces. An amazing wine, oil choice and the chance to have a taste tour made our stay one of the best ever.
Just in time before the rainy Berliner summer made us fully depressed, we left Germany to enjoy a week in Sardegna. Traveling to Olbia made us doubt about our choice of living in such a grey and cold place. Once in Sardegna, I was impressed by the wild and barren landscapes, by the mountains so closed to the sea and by a so shiny light all around. I simply fell in love with the island. In Sardegna you may feel the time stopped and everything stayed the same as fifty years ago, a literally leap into the past. We drove along the North East costal roads and spent all days long letting the sun burn our faces with its middle Junes’s force. The water was at its bluest, the sand softly warm and fine. Laura’s family has honoured us with foods, great chats and an amazing villa (Agriturismo Asara) immersed in the nature.
I’ve been living on a seaside town for more than twenty years. After two years in Berlin I am definitely still not used to spend a whole summer without enjoying some beaches and sea life. So when my friends proposed to have a weekend in Croatia I said YES. It takes only few hours to head to Premantura from Trieste, so we left Italy early on Friday morning and we embarked on our hilarious journey. Premantura, as the rest of Croatia, is a thrilling destination. The jagged and high coastlines offer a breathtaking landscape on the Adriatic, which has a deep blue to a sea green colour. Despite lots of tourists and the crowd, we had a fantastic time. Premantura is a small town near Pula, located in the Istrian region of Croatia, a seaside destination that has been earning more and more visibility in the last few years.
At the beginning of October we left Berlin again for a short gateway in France. Attracted by the wine culture, well-known tasty French food and by the presence of the Ocean nearby, we booked a trip to Bordeaux. The city was immersed in an Atlantic rain for the first two days but it didn’t stop us to have a culinary tour from wine bar to wine bar, from Boulangerie to Boulangerie. Bordeaux is a small vibrant city, surrounded by vineyards and land in which one of the world’s greatest wine comes to life. During our stay we visited the Dune du Pilat in Arcachon. The dune is the highest in Europe and overlooks the Ocean. If you climb the side and reach the highest point you end up finding yourself amazed by the intensity of the view. Sand and the deep voice of the Ocean. It was the first time I saw the Atlantic and needless to say I was thrilled. We were hidden between the dunes and the sea in a time and a place outside the rest. It felt incredibly good.
We didn’t wait too long before the time for heading to Brasil eventually came. November 24th was THE day of my first flight oversea, of my first time outside Europe, my first real trip. The two weeks in Rio de Janeiro were a turning point for my life: my eyes and my body experienced a completely new environment and situation for the first time after a long time. Only when I visited Berlin the first times I kind of felt a similar emotion. If you want to know more about my trip to Rio de Janeiro read my recent post here.
So this is how the 2017 looked in terms of traveling: lots of Italian time, lots of seaside and lots of South. We constantly try to escape the bad weather in Berlin moving to the global South and get a little bit of a warmer feeling from there. We definitely love Berlin and feel at home here, but sometimes it can be quiet tough to constantly face the low temperatures and the grey here – especially when the sun doesn’t show up for months.
I am excited about what the 2018 will bring forward. I can’t wait to plan new trips, list some new destinations and… take off for new travel adventures!