Traveler Marissa M. has been traveling the world since the age of five, has been to every country on mainland Europe—and still can’t get enough. Here she shares some stories from her recent journey on one of our Eastern Europe tours in hopes of inspiring more people to get out and explore the world.
Do you have a fear of flying? I did—until I saw the stunning dawn break on the horizon while approaching Europe. It was one of the most serene moments I’ve experienced! It felt like there was nothing but the sky, tomorrow and fresh adventure ahead of me.
I loved visiting Eastern Europe in the winter, which is considered the off-season. The sights are less crowded and I was able to visit the Christmas Markets! At the Christkindlmarkt, your eyes will feast on the delicate, hand-crafted knick knacks, but your belly will feast on some of the best local seasonal treats—especially Gluhwein, the delicious European mulled wine!
If you plan a family-heritage journey to the land of your ancestors, not only will you learn a lot about the country’s history that you may not have learned from textbooks, but you’ll also create wonderful lifelong memories with those most near and dear to you. While I was shocked to learn at Budapest’s House of Terror museum of the terrible atrocities suffered by my recent ancestors, seeing the memorials made me feel more connected to my family’s roots.
When you explore a new country and learn about their history, you also get a feel for local culture that happens outside of the museums. Vienna is known for its classical music, but did you know it’s also known for its impressive graffiti along the Danube? Sometimes you will stumble upon something so striking that it takes you a million pictures before you quit trying to capture it and just relish the memory.
When you open your heart to the world, many different things will fall into it. By exploring new surroundings, you’ll run into new people that are just waiting to be your friend, if only for a few moments. I have had the pleasure of meeting wonderful people from all walks of life that helped make my experiences even more profound, such as this artist who signed and sold me his original work.
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