I didn’t expect anything from Rome, to be honest. At some point, I even wanted to skip it and just stay longer in Prague. But, my parents made the decision more set in stone – my mom is a devout Catholic and this is my way of bringing my travels closer to her; and, my Dad is a history buff and I just know that he’d be the most excited when I share with him pictures from Colosseum and the Roman Forum. So, I planned the itinerary and listed down the places that I would definitely want to visit in Rome, given the limited time we were there. And, from this “no expectation” state, I can say that the Rome stop became one of my favorite experiences.
So, here, I share our itinerary. In case you follow it, I hope it will give you one fine (and inexpensive) stay in Rome, too. :)
June 3rd was the start of our non-work stay in Europe. Having gone out the night before with friends from Tripaneer, we woke up just a tiny bit earlier than usual. However, too lazy to move, we took our time with coffee, cigs, and thinking about how we should arrange our things.
It has always been my dream to visit Europe, however far-fetched it seemed to be. I thought it was too big of a dream – visas, expenses, and all. I was eyeing to do it this year so that I would have ample time to prepare. I also thought that I would’ve been eligible for my sabbatical by then so I would have enough time to go around Europe.
But, the universe had a different plan. March last year, I received news from my manager that our company would like me to visit our office in Amsterdam. I was ecstatic! I didn’t expect for things to happen this quickly. At the same time, I was also a bit worried because I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to prepare financially. We were eyeing to meet end of May and so I only had two months to prepare. I wanted so badly to make it happen but I also thought that, if indeed I wouldn’t be able to find a way to come up with a good enough budget, I would still be super happy to just stay in Amsterdam and enjoy my time with the team. So, I didn’t worry about it too much. Either way, I know I’ll enjoy my first visit in Europe.
Baguio holds a special place in my heart. Learning that this was one of the places we’d visit ultimately made me decide to join this tour. Its cool breeze, the memories of one day trips I would have with my family when I was younger, the eventual refuge it would provide every time things get loud, and it generally being a space of love and discovery – all these make me want to come back for more. Like a drug that I have grown addicted to and cannot get out of my system. Much like the person that caused that. But, more on that in this post, only if you’re interested. :)
I found it difficult to write this post. Not for lack of things to say but more because I don’t know where to start. It has been overwhelmingly fun and enriching – the kind that made me cry early this morning. I was engulfed with gratefulness and fond memories, and the realization that I am indeed blessed to be gifted with the opportunity to meet and spend time with loving and generous people. Life is short and I choose to make every moment count.
My Indonesia journey still is not done. I had planned on extending my stay for two more days to visit Sanur. Rob and Chimeg joined and we stayed in one hostel. That got me to appreciate Rob more. She and Chimeg could’ve stayed somewhere else but I saw that he wanted to be closer to his team. That says a lot about his character and how down to earth he is :)