Hi guys! I’m sorry I have been so MIA for the past month. If you’ve been following me on twitter (@mikeefederizo; shameless plug) then you know that I was in Europe for a whole month.
Just like what I did in India, I came there to check out beauty brands that are certified organic and natural. I went to 5 different countries–Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Germany. I had only visited Italy and Germany before so I was excited not just to be on this fun “business” trip but also to learn about new cultures.
I arrived back home in Manila 3 days ago and have been extremely sick since. 🙁 As I’m writing this post, I’m currently in bed unable to move around so much because I got this massive headache, cough, colds, fever…plus horrible jet lag. I’m not here to complain though–I wanted to get on here and write my initial thoughts about my trip while it’s still fresh in my mind.
Here goes a very candid story time:
This trip is HANDS DOWN the most tiring trip I’ve EVER had in my life.
The schedule was: Turkey (Izmir) for 2 days, Spain (Valencia, Barcelona) for 5 days, Italy (Montecatini, Bologna, Milan) for 7 days, Poland (Krakow) for 2 days, back to Italy (Pistoia, Milan) for 2 days and finally, Germany (Nuremberg, Speyer, Frankfurt) for 6 days.
I can’t count how many airplanes, trains, bus rides I’ve had this month–which consisted of waiting, sitting down for hours, carrying our crazy heavy luggage, running after bus schedules, missing trains because A) sometimes they don’t follow schedules, B) they change platforms, C) they announce in their local language which well, we don’t understand, skipping meals, arriving at a new city usually around 11pm when there are no open restaurants anymore, getting lost A LOT walking, walking and more walking. There were days when we would travel for 4 hours, 10 hours and the longest… 16 hours. Yes, 16 full hours where we would get up at 3am and arrive at our next destination 11pm.
On the other hand, I’m feeling beyond THANKFUL that I’ve experienced different cultures and met so many wonderful people, all in such a short time.
In a very very short description, here’s what I can say for each country:
TURKEY – Great people who won’t let you not have a drink, whether it be Turkish coffee (my new found fav!) or Turkish tea.
SPAIN – The most chill people ever who takes siesta time very seriously. Notable: here I got to eat the best seafood in my life!! (for so many years it was Hawaii but now Spain has surpassed this)
ITALY – The masters of work-life balance. So amazing to see how they love life and value their family and friends so much. Here I also learned to love espresso after lunchtime!
POLAND – Cold. Very cold. But, full of history! I walked around the city center and learned a historical fact literally every 15 seconds.
GERMANY – Well, Germany’s Germany. I’ve been always so amazed by how they think. I also love the feeling of freedom here–both in speech and expression.