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The Christmas You’ve Always Dreamed Of Is In Alsace

The Christmas You’ve Always Dreamed Of Is In Alsace

Enjoy the Ultimate Christmas Atmosphere in Alsace

It’s that time of the yeear! Everything is sparkling with Christmas lights and the taste of gluehwine is all you need for a melting heart. Today, I want to introduce to you the best place in Europe for visiting Christmas Markets.

Let’s go to Alsace, the French area where the magic of Christmas can be experienced in its purest form. In Alsace, the preparation of Christmas is a special moment waited by everyone. And I can see why…the whole area turns into a fairyland. Colmar, Eguisheim, and Strasbourg. These three spots can be seen in a weekend getaway as they are pretty close to each other.

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There’s Nothing Quite Like the Christmas Market in Eguisheim

Eguisheim is a picturesque village only known by the experienced travelers. Ranked one of the most beautiful villages in France, Eguisheim won the gold medal contest of the European Entente Florale back in 2006. Basically, it has the prettiest flower pots in France. Impressive? Mais, oui!

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This town inspired the opening scene of Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, so you know it’s already pretty. In May 2013 it was voted the ‘Village préféré des Français’, an annual distinction that passes from town-to-town throughout France.Everywhere you go here, you’ll see cute 16th and 17th-century little houses, cozy shops, lots of fromage and foie-gras. And for Christmas, it is the BEST spot to be!

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A Day in Colmar – What Better Way to Spend Your Christmas?

Colmar town center is pedestrian, comprises numerous monuments, churches, museums, and alleys, full of imposing buildings dating from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Don’t miss out the Maison Pfister, the Koïfhus, Little Venice, the maison des têtes and Saint Martin’s Collegiate church.

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You don’t actually need a plan in order to see these towns, but please be aware that the accommodation during this time of the year is pretty expensive. We stayed in Colmar, one night at this AirBnB and we paid 100 euros/night with breakfast included. The lady spoke perfect French and German so we had no communication issues. The whole town is decorated as in a fairytale and everywhere you go you’ll feel like in an open-air Christmas show.

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If you want to support this beautiful city, you can vote it as The Best Christmas Market in Europe for 2018. I already did :) (sorry Prague)

 

Don’t forget about the Capital of Noël – Strasbourg

We spent a couple of hours in Strasbourg, overwhelmed by the decorations and lights. The city is overly crowded and it is not that cozy. However, you might find cheaper accommodation here. I felt this city is more touristic. Don’s miss out the Petit France, Strasbourg’s picturesque historic quarter, the Christmas food market. Strasbourg’s Christmas Markets are among the oldest and biggest of their kind in Europe, taking over the entire historic city center.

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How To Get Around?
Colmar to Strasbourg – fastest way is by train (TGV). It takes 30 minutes and costs 6 euros (group ticket – get it from the counter)

Colmar to Eguiseim – Get bus no. 440 with 2 euros or the special Christmas shuttles with 8 euros. Distance is 10 minutes.

This trip was by far the best destination I’ve ever seen in Europe and I highly recommend you to chose it next year :) You can see here the entire photo gallery from this trip.

Travel passionately,

Stockholm

 

 

Why to choose the road less traveled – National Parks in USA [part 1]

Why to choose the road less traveled – National Parks in USA [part 1]

If you’d had to choose to visit a city or  national parks, what would you choose? If you go to US, it is very tempting to choose the big cities, however, choosing a more laid back experience can be cheaper and more fulfilling. Last year, I made a camping trip in 2 of the 58 National Parks there are in US: Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. We made an international team with Vesco & Ivan from Montenegro and Anca & Irina.

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3 days in Porto, Aveiro and Braga

3 days in Porto, Aveiro and Braga

Porto is known to be one of the best cities in Portugal. Many people argue that it is better than Lisbon, but I would disagree. The city is small and in some places even abandoned. Don’t put high hopes, otherwise you might be disappointed. However, with all the bad things I saw, I still loved the city.

Here is what I did 4 days in North Portugal:

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16 Lisbon Tips for your Erasmus Exchange

16 Lisbon Tips for your Erasmus Exchange

Have you chosen Lisbon as you next Erasmus destination? Do you want to live like a local from your very first day? It might be difficult if you don’t know anybody. Luckily, I have been there before you. Here are 16 Lisbon tips, that I have been learning during my stay there:

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5 thoughts that hit you before ending your Erasmus

5 thoughts that hit you before ending your Erasmus

My life will die soon. That’s because every time I leave a place, I feel like I am dying. In a few weeks, my life in Lisbon as an Erasmus student will be gone. And everyone who ever met me, will look back and realize I was just a dream.

One of the saddest lessons that traveling will teach you is that life goes fast. Now you’re here, now you’re there, now you’re gone and everywhere. Traveling will teach you the lesson of living 100% in the present and enjoy every moment of it. Because just when you’ll get too comfortable, love the city, find your rhythm or meet someone, you’ll have to leave everything behind.

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4 Days City Break in Lisbon – Tips After Living 5 Months There

4 Days City Break in Lisbon – Tips After Living 5 Months There

Forget about the cliches of Paris or London. If you want to visit one of the most romantic capitals of Europe, that’s Lisbon. And I’ll tell you soon, why I consider it so.

I have been living in Lisbon during my Master Erasmus studies for 5 months. I got to know Lisbon from all the angles: the party spot, the food spot, the architecture spot, but what I liked the most was the romantic spot. If you only have 3 full days here, here’s my proposed itinerary.

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At the age of 25, would you rather travel or focus on your career?

At the age of 25, would you rather travel or focus on your career?

At the age of 25, would you rather travel or focus on your career?

When I had to make this choice, somebody asked my mother:

“Wouldn’t it be a shame if she just keeps traveling and never ends up having a career?”

“It would be a much greater shame if she just keeps working and never ends up traveling!” my mom said.

Today, I am 25.

This beautiful age comes with so many uncertainties, questions, and decisions to make: should I stay, should I leave again, what if another travel will make me miss important opportunities at home, what if another travel will help me discover the real purpose of life, what if it will bring me a business idea, what if it will teach me the lessons I need to be thought?

Leaving home again can be pretty tempting. There were times when I wanted to do anything for travel.  I quit jobs, I stayed away from my family, I worked hard…

But today…

When I look back, I see my „all is perfect” life. My „perfect traveler’s life” that was built with the help of power, strength, ambition, immune feelings, impossible friendships and „You can’t give up now” thoughts.

I built some biiiig walls in order to get here. :)

So now, it is time for a change. It is time to let those walls down and enjoy home. It seems that today I do not have to make a choice between traveling and the rest. This age milestone is one of the happiest milestones ever.

Being home means listening to my heart.

Confronting reality.

And stopping to run away.

The truth is… you can never make your heart shut up. You can pretend you are not listening, but she will always stay there and scream about what she believes about the life and this world.

There’s no wonder why they say „ Home is where your heart is”. It’s only by stepping out of your world that you can see what you deeply care about and find a home.

When you are surrounded by the foreign, it keeps you awake. All your senses are on, and you become more alert of the secret patterns of this world.

It’s like when you hike the mountains.

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The whole road to the peak is full of choices: left or right, choose the easy climb or the climb with the beautiful scenery, put your rain coat on or dance in the rain?

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You have all your troubles, fears and hopes in a backpack.

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You have to watch your steps.

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You have to manage your food for a few days.

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You need to pay attention to your body reactions.

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You need to watch out for bears :)

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Be aware. Be strong. And don’t let anything destroy you.

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Well…

This can be damn tiring and hard.

That’s why my heart tells me to stop for a while.

Accept the challenges from home.

And enjoy THE REAL life.

1st Good News is that…

Home is not the place where you happen to be born, but the place where you become yourself.

As Marcel Proust said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes”.

I chose to see my home with new eyes.

We all need to stop movement for a while.

Because it is only by stopping the movement that we can see where to go next.

Plus, this whole movement idea has a meaning only if you have a home to go back to.

And I do.

2nd Good News is that…

Everything happens in life at the right timing. Every loss comes with a new gain.  And what might seem like a bad choice, heartbreak or mistake, will finally prove to be the best thing that happened to you.

You only need to open your eyes. Get up. Even if it’s early and uncomfortable.

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Sunrise 5:50 a.m Vf. Omu – Romania (2514 m)

A day will come when everything will seem it is aligned with your heart.

And you don’t have to make choices between A or B anymore.

Because you are where your heart is.

You’ll have gratitude for your lonely traveling, for all the strangers that made you feel like home, for all the ones who broke your heart, gave you directions in life, or helped you carry your backpack.

After your long hike in the mountains…you will find your home.

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Vf. Omu lodge (2514 m)

3rd Good News is that…

Everything that happened once, might never ever happen again. But everything that happened twice, might as well happen the third time. That’s why we need to keep our heart open. Embrace uncertainty with open arms. Embrace both pain and happiness. When a heart stays open, beautiful things can happen…

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Live passionately,

Milan

 

 

P.S “There is only one way of learning, said The Alchemist. Through action. Your trip taught you everything you needed to know…”

P.P.S There’s only one direction. Ahead.

What to do 1 Day in New York City the #Work & Travel style

What to do 1 Day in New York City the #Work & Travel style

If you’re traveling to USA with the Work & Travel program, you might make your first stop in New York City in order to make your social security number. You’ll probably have just one day free in the city and you’ll want to see it all. And when I say the #Work&Travel style that means very, very fast ;-)

What I am going to share is a 1-day itinerary that you can make while in NYC, that will proudly allow you to say that you visited the most iconic sights. You will also find out why you constantly need to keep your head up when walking the NYC streets. And I can tell you, it’s not because of the breathtaking skyscrapers.

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