I escaped winter’s last hurrah (an ice storm in Toronto in the middle of April) when I left for my Mediterranean trip last week. The trip—which started in Rome, Italy and ended in Barcelona, Spain—was brief and lasted less than seven days. Despite the short period, it was packed with adventure, memories, and warmth.
There were many firsts for me during this trip. To begin, this was the first time I went on a tour with a travel company on my own. I also drank alcohol for the first time at 26 years of age (though I never intended to). I had nearly two glasses of Sangria and my first shot. This happened on my last night of the tour in Spain, where I was cheered on by my fellow travelers for this new milestone. (A video of this was recorded, too.)
As well, this was the first time I visited four countries—Italy, France, Monaco, and Spain—in the span of four days. The route we took is mapped below.
Our small and intimate group consisted of 14 people in their 20s and early 30s from around the world, including the UK, China, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. We hit it off right away. Everyone was so down-to-earth, fun and friendly. The organizer of this trip is a robust and young Spanish guy who had plenty of stories to tell from his travels. We’ll never forget his enthusiasm and the way he shouts “Piñaaaaa!” (which is Spanish for pineapple) when he calls for a group huddle.
I think my favourite places from this tour are Nice, France, and Rapallo, Italy for their charm. I also enjoyed the scenic Cinque Terre hiking trail along the rugged Italian Riviera coastline, though the hike was intense and entailed climbing steep steps under the tropical sun.
Many photos were taken of beautiful European architecture, sunny beaches, palm trees, group selfies, and some of the best foods I’ve had, which you can find a few in this post and on my Instagram.
I can see myself returning to these places when I have more time to look around.
What I love most about this trip is how welcoming everyone is. A part of me was afraid that I’d feel alone and uncomfortable traveling in a foreign place with a group of strangers. But I was embraced by my group and locals everywhere.
The world is my home and I look forward to exploring more of it in the near future.