A glimpse of the West

As my Euro-trip comes to a conclusion, I can’t help but feel a surge of mixed emotions. 

When I was a little kid, I never would have imagined that I would be going around the world, visiting places that most people dream of. Yet, here I am sitting at one of the best airports I’ve been to; waiting for my flight back to the Netherlands. 

As I sit here in the airport lounge, sipping my cappuccino, peering outside the glass walls of this human ingenuity of a building, I can’t help but think of the past amazing weeks I’ve had. As a matter of fact, I am still pinching myself, making sure all this was and is real. This just translates how ethereal the destinations I have visited are. It was all too much but at the same time, never enough.

Walking the streets of Paris on a cool sunny day left me stunned. Not to mention I met one of the Irish Actors I adore, Sir Andrew Scott — So, quite literally and figuratively, Paris took my breath away.

The elegance and details of the architecture showed how artistic and sophisticated the French people are. And let’s not forget about the famous tourist attractions the city has to offer – being able to witness it first hand is just magnifique (insert my very baroque French accent, pardon me haha!)

But what got to me the most are the artists I saw while strolling around the City of Lights. I mean, picture this — a John Legend song being played quite beautifully by a talented dude enjoyed by almost everyone around him near the exquisite Eiffel Tower — or this guy who played a classical music with his violin, excellently; inside a tunnel of some sort, making the sound so much richer and much more haunting.

Dining at Trattorias in Rome, eating Gelato in a 10-degree weather, or just looking at the historical sights you used to hear from your classes back in high school — It’s all so surreal. I can still remember the first time I saw this place; it was in a movie. Lizzy Mcguire the movie. (Yes, I’m a Disney Kid too! haha)

The way the Italians make their food for me, is both an intricate form of art and love. Aside from the Gnocchi, I had. Everything else was great! Maybe that potato based dish is just not for me. (My apologies, Italian friends)

Also, growing up as a catholic and being enrolled in a school run by nuns, for over a decade, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve always wondered what the Vatican City was like. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go inside St. Peter’s, but nevertheless, the century old Basilicas and Churches around the area are more than enough.

Then there is Berlin. A hub of for creativity filled with history and culture. It’s scarred past is still imminent around the city and it showed vulnerability and strength at the same time. I think this is the reason why there’s a melancholic mood and eerie feel in some parts of the city and I think that’s beautiful. Because I believe that learning from their past is what made this city great again. Just like in life – you learn to move on and be better but you never forget who you are and what you’ve been through.

And this is where I first experience the calming joy a Christmas Market brings. There’s just so much familiarity – Filipinos are known for celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world. Thus, these kind of places, give me so much feels. Especially that I’m living far from home too. The lingering smell of hot chocolate and various pastries in the air, the towering well-lit and sometimes over decorated Christmas trees, the songs you hear being played in the background, and the infectious smile people has around you. You’ll definitely feel that ’tis is the season to be jolly!

Breathing in the cold air of Munich, enjoying the long walks and commute around the city, munching on the local food and just soaking in all the glory and beauty that this vibrant capital of Bavaria has to offer — All of it is nothing short of Amazing!

Even made more special by a very dear friend, Mizuki-chan! And that’s one of my favorite things as well as a challenge (as I am somewhat introverted when it comes to stuff like this) when traveling; meeting new people and making meaningful connections with your fellow travelers. I’m glad to have met here when I visited Osaka back in 2014. Look at us now, 4 countries and 4 years later. 

I experienced a lot of first here in Munich — some of which are private but most are shareable. (:P LOL) Tried my first hot wine, authentic German beer, first legit snowfall. Actually, even now, while writing this, there is actually snowfall outside the airport, looking at those little art pieces fall down from the sky. Amazing! München, danke schön!

Last but definitely not the least, Amsterdam. Now I know why my brother fell in love with you. Walking the cold streets of the city will make you swoon over the tall European homes as well as the lovely and beautiful people of Amsterdam. 

You are, if not more, truly magnificent – just how I saw you in the films and photos online. I can’t wait to go back! I’ve got another day or two! 

I am truly beyond words. Overflowing with happiness, satisfaction, and gratitude. But at the same time, I hunger for more. As I’ve said, it’s all too much but still never enough. I’d like to thank my brother, Louise! For making this trip possible and so much more memorable! You rock! I always remember this quote whenever I see you – “You can’t blend in, when you were born to stand out” I love you, Broski!

I might take my time before I come back here just because Europe offers a dozen more countries I should visit. One thing’s for sure, this will definitely not be the last time I see you – Paris, Rome, Berlin, Munich, and Amsterdam!

Let me know what you think about this! Leave a comment below! Or leave a suggestion too for the next European country I should visit?

Best,

Ardent Wayfarer

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