As I finish up my last final and start packing my room up, I’ve also begun reflecting more on my trip and dealing with the reality of going home. Namely, I’ve been trying to think up an answer to the inevitable question that everyone will ask me: where was my favorite place to visit?
As I discover more and more trinkets from my trips upon packing, the more and more difficult this question becomes to answer. So many things factor into whether or not you enjoy a trip. There’s who you travel with, the weather, where you stayed, how you were feeling when you were traveling. Sure, these things don’t always affect you, but sometimes they have more affect than the actual place you visited! Every trip had things I liked more than others. Here are a few final thoughts on the many places I visited and trips that I took this semester!
Favorite weekend: Road trip weekend. Not only did we get to visit some really unique places that I might not have seen otherwise (mainly Luxembourg), but this was also the only weekend where the actual travel was enjoyable. Sure, planes are nice, but it can be a pain stuffing all your stuff into a bag, shuffling it through security, rushing to get to the airport on time, sitting through the takeoff procedure for the hundredth time…I liked being able to sit back, relax, enjoy my friends, and travel on my own schedule.
Most unique place: A toss-up between Switzerland and Luxembourg. Luxembourg was definitely unique in its storybook like feel, but Switzerland was such a unique mix of cultures. It was the only place I went where the language changed between cities.
Okay, I think I’ll add this to the list of places to return to, simply for the view
Plus, how many other places can boast fondue and chocolate as national foods? Yum! Speaking of which…
Best food: Again, I have to go with Switzerland, mostly because of the fondue and the delicious home cooked meal I had while there. But overall, I’d have to go with Italy. Pizza, pasta, gelato…oh, take me back. Honorable mention goes to Madrid for introducing me to seafood paella.
This definitely wasn’t my fifth cup or anything…
Favorite country: The Netherlands will always have a special place in my heart because I live here! I will defend the Dutch and their stroopwafel until the day I die and nothing puts a smile on my face like taking a walk into town and seeing the townspeople on their bikes and with their dogs and saying hello to them. But, I also found that I really love Italy. It’s not just the food, but the fact that even after two trips there, I’d still go back to Rome and I still want to go back to visit more places within the country. Maybe that’s because I’m still hoping to meet the pope though.
Most memorable experience: Another tie, this time between riding a gondola in Venice and going to mass in the Vatican. Both were such amazing once in a lifetime experiences that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. The gondola ride was so relaxing and unbelievably beautiful, while mass in the Vatican meant so much to me on a spiritual level. I had a lot of cool experiences on this trip, but I think those two will stick with me for the rest of my life.
A boat ride like no other
Places to revisit: I don’t think there’s a single place that I wouldn’t revisit. But my top two are London and Paris. I just feel like I could’ve stayed so much longer in both of them. They are definitely at the top of my list.
I’ll be back!
Favorite city: If I absolutely had to choose, I’d go with Rome. I just love it, there’s really no reason for it. But the reality is, I loved everywhere I went. There’s no city or place that doesn’t have something to love and I traveled with some great people, so I’ll always have wonderful memories of all the places I’ve went. Essentially, travel is what you make of it. I just was able to make more out of some places than others. In the end though, I don’t regret a thing!