Category Archives: Extracts of my Life

My Warm-Hearted Christmas Travel-Thoughts

Christmas travels
Christmas travels

The Christmas days are now over and I hope you had a great time! I first had the need to sleep many many hours to recover from all these cheerful Christmas celebrations – but I have the feeling I am not the only one who is tired after the last festive days.

Everyone I am talking to tells me how stressful this time of the year is. The organization of all the presents, the Christmas decorations, the food preparation, the organization of the trips to the families…. All this paired with a huge amount of stress at work. I have the impression that every kind of working place gets stressful before Christmas. Everyone feels the need of completing everything before the year ends, as if there would be no tomorrow.

But wait, wasn’t Christmas the festivity of love and peace?

I think that sometimes the pressure of the things you “must” do ruins the special moment of sitting with your family, with your parents, with your friends, and enjoy these days. Instead of thinking about how perfect the dinner must look like or how noisy the neighbors children will be or about the awful present from grandma,… one should think about how special every moment with the grandma is. These family moments together are something that money can’t buy or bring back later and a not-so-perfect dinner cannot ruin. And with family I do also mean friends or anyone you are celebrating Christmas with. This is what I have learned.Christmas Candles

What’s this got to do with travel? Well a lot!

Most of us travel to reach the place where their family is. It is not such a spectacular kind of traveling, so that you will not read too much information about it, but I think it is the most sincere kind of travel. People basically travel to reach someone they love to see. This is the thought that lies behind every kind of trip: see someone or something you would love to see. There are people that only travel to meet their family or friends and people that travel to meet new friends and new families. It is this feeling of warmth that pushes you to travel, a warmth that cannot be found somewhere else.

Here is a nice quote I read today: “We are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”

But please, do not underestimate the (mental and/or physical) trip “home” to your families. Don’t let the stress prevail and try to enjoy the warmth – I will try and do so too!

Have some wonderful remaining festive days and a great start into the New Year!!

Pinkvel 🙂

My Liebster Award Nomination

liebster-award1Thank you Madison’s Avenue for the nomination for the Liebster Award. Unfortunately I didn’t realize my nomination straight away, but here I am now and I am happy to reply to the nomination.
I like it because it supports us “small” (but very talented 😉 ) bloggers, and it is a great way to connect with the others. It is a pleasure for me to follow all your suggested bloggers and hope that I can be inspirational for others too.

So here are my answers:
1. Why do you travel?
I have discovered this passion very early in my life and it was always clear for me that I want to work in the travel industry. That’s what I finally did.
It soon became a sort of addiction. Now I do not only travel for work but I work for my travels, since that is what I do in my free time too.
(No, I am not working as a travel blogger… that’s what I do in my free time).

2. What would be your ideal travel itinerary?
There are so many that it is too difficult for me to answer.
Very high on my bucket list there is Patagonia, from Argentina to Chile.

3. What was your first memorable travel experience?
Well I think it was the first flight I took alone: Frankfurt-Palermo. I was 15 and so proud to travel alone that I took a coffee on the plane and wanted to sip it completely relaxed as if I had always traveled alone in my life but…. unfortunately it was so hot that I burned my mouth with it and the hot coffee landed on the shirt of the businessman sitting next to me!! I wanted to just hide myself but there was no way I could escape!

4. Do you have an I-can’t-believe-that-happened travel story?
Too many! 🙂 Positive and negative. Whereas negative has fortunately never been tragically negative but funny, at least when seen with a distance.
An example? Once I arrived so early at the airport that I completely forgot to worry about the time. I sat down looking at the planes taking off for hours and I somehow never heard my name at the loudspeaker.
Of course I missed my flight. The chaos started and after a while I managed to book another flight which was very complicated with layovers… but this was not all:
As I finally entered the plane and wanted to sit down I noticed that I had left my hand-luggage at the gate!! (won’t tell you how this ended! 😉 )

5. What’s one crazy thing you’d love to do but don’t know if you’ll ever get the courage to?
Parachuting!

6. What’s the hardest part of traveling?
Carrying the bags!! Those who know me know that I became kind of allergic to carrying heavy bags.

7. Do you think traveling is something you’ll be able to do forever?
Until my body allows me to.

8. How many countries have you visited?
Actually, this is too difficult to count. Many, and many more are still missing.

9. Do you have any travel regrets? What are they?
I don’t think so.

10. Who’s the coolest person you’ve met on your travels?
Can’t think of just one person. I fell in love with so many. Normally it’s older people that touch me most.

11. Where’s your next destination?
I’ll fly to Barcelona, Spain, next week.

My nominations:
1) Whimsicallycarefreeme
2) sandandflowers
3) Travel with Emilie
4) When Woman Travels…
5) blondcoffee

The Rules:
• Thank the blogger who nominated you, and include a link to their blog
• Provide answers to the eleven questions from that person
• Give nominations to other bloggers, who have less than 500 (Twitter or Blog) followers
• Ask them eleven new questions
• Let them know about their nominations, so that they can proceed with the award process

My Questions:
1. Why do you write about your travels?
2. Is writing your main business?
3. If not, would you like to do it as your main job?
4. Which is your dream destination you would like to visit?
5. What was the funniest thing that ever happened to you during your travels?
6. Which destination disappointed you?
7. The nicest hotel you have ever been to?
8. Which are the 3 most beautiful cities according to you?
9. Your best and your worst food experience?
10. Which languages do you speak?
11. Your best blogging tip?

Stay tuned :-)

My dear friends and supporters,

I know, I have not posted too much in the last time. Not because I do not think about you anymore. It is just a kind of blockade. As some of my friends out there know, I have been to Santorini in Greece in September. It was so relaxing … you can easily recognize in this picture 🙂

Relax in Santorini
Relax in Santorini

And somehow I still feel like this.

I came back with 1000 ideas on what to write about and as soon as I was back home… it was too much for me to put down in words. I needed some time to realize and order my thoughts.

Straight away I restarted traveling for work and went to Milan, Rome, and some other cities… so that these impressions were added to the list of things I feel the need to tell you.
I am happy that my instagram followers have been with me in my travels and know that I did not stop. I’m still here… with a lot to write about!

Milano
Milano
Roma
Roma

So no worries (in case anyone out there worries, which would be very surprising! lol) – I think I’m back now.

My next trips? Barcelona for the EIBTM Travel Fair, Milan, Switzerland, Berlin.

Stay tuned! 😉

Cheers.

 

 

The hidden Soul of Milan

Duomo di Milano - Dome of Milan, Stylized
Duomo di Milano – Dome of Milan, Stylized

A man dressed in a working overall rushes to the door of the train and wants to jump off while the doors close and the train departs. He did not make it in time to get off. I wonder if he realized too late that he is sitting in the wrong train, but then I see him going to an American woman, handing her ticket back and saying “è partito” (it has departed) with a sorry face. All is clear for me at this point: he wanted to jump off to stamp the ticket for her. In Italy you have to always stamp the train ticket before entering the train. If she had asked me I would have told her that all the stamping machines are broken on this track and I didn’t have the chance to stamp it too.

I keep thinking about this man, trying to help her to the point of risking to lose the train himself. This is part of the Italian hospitality. The American woman is a guest and he is at home here.

This is also why I rarely get to pay for my food when I invite someone for a business lunch or dinner in Italy. Even if I am the one inviting, I still remain the guest.

“In Milan I do not really feel like a guest” – I think while the train takes me away from the city where I lived for around 6 years to bring me to the airport.

View from dirty train window on the train to Milan Malpensa Airport
View from dirty train window – On the train to Milan Malpensa Airport

The city I loved and the city I hated. The city that embraces all the guests but can also be very cruel and give you the sensation of real loneliness.

I think I went away because of this feeling of loneliness. It felt like being with the person you love but who ignores you. I went away to make the point of my life. And it was the best choice ever. Sometimes you need to force yourself to leave the things you love in order to rearrange your relationship. I am not sure you can say this about a place where you live, but that’s how I felt.

Milano, Navigli Area - This is where I mostly feel at home
Milano, Navigli Area – This is where I mostly feel at home

I never lost my love for Milan and the enthusiasm to show the city to all visitors that come here with me, because Milan is often not very appealing for the guests coming for the first time without knowing the city. You have to know someone who makes you “live” the city, who explains the spirit to you. I had the luck to be able to show the city to many friends, and they all discovered a new face of the city – they all loved the city like me.

I am here often for work now and I always have mixed feelings when I arrive, but also when I leave like I am doing now. A mix of excitement and sadness.

Ok, maybe this post seems not to have much to do with travel but for me it still has.

It shows the feelings one can have for a city.

It shows how friendly Italians can be in regards to strangers.

And it has a recommendation: go to Milan with someone who knows the city and the Milanese lifestyle – you’ll love it!

Spectacular flight from Milan to Cologne, overlooking the Swiss Alps
Spectacular flight from Milan to Cologne, overlooking the Swiss Alps

Here are some hidden angles of Milan:

Rainy Navilgio Grande
Rainy Naviglio Grande

Milano3

House with banana-trees on the Naviglio Grande
House with banana-trees on the Naviglio Grande

Milano4

The new supermodern Milano Porta Nuova area
The new supermodern Milano Porta Nuova area

 

TravelTip: Never forget the Headphones!

Woman from Asia sleeping and Headphones all around
Woman from Asia sleeping and people with Headphones

I normally always sleep in the train. Or I read something.

It is July and vacations time, and the train is completely full. I always try not to sit next to children, not because I don’t like them, but let’s put it that way: it’s not ideal having bored or excited children sitting next to you when you want to sleep. They can be really cruel. Especially when they are interested in you. The result can be terrible: headache, no space to sit as they take also your seat, orange juice on the shirt,… I’ve seen it all.
This time it is even worse. No children in the surroundings, but a lady in a seat nearby talking to an older couple.
The old man said to be born in 1946.
She – middle-aged, short hair, very colorful outfit – started a conversation with the couple and told them about how dangerous the internet can be, and about how clever she is as she only has one credit card linked to a bank account with only 500€ on it. Fortunately now nothing can happen during her online shopping.
The old couple agrees.
She feels understood now and stronger in the things she wants to say. So she starts, louder and louder, to talk about her life and her wisdom and her job and her children and her childhood and the society and the school of her kids and her parents and the trains and the Second World War and the role of the women in society and the teachers of her children and her studies and and and…

I definitely have a headache now.
The woman on my right made a small attempt to sleep but that’s impossible. She bristles with anger and looks to her… hoping someone notices. In front of me a woman from Asia. You can see her in the picture here above. She definitely sleeps. Or maybe she fainted as she couldn’t stand it anymore?
On her left is a friendly looking woman that keeps looking at me shaking her head, hoping for some support from me. I wish I had some headphones… As many people around me now have.
The woman does not feel bothered by all the desperate people around her and becomes even louder. She said to be a therapist for traumatized people. Which is a wonderful job to do and I completely respect her for that, but I immediately imagine myself sitting in her office having to listen to her monologue… maybe even traumatized by her.
It is definitely to early for this. I look at the time: two hours of monologue have passed – still one hour to go.
I love my travels! 🙂

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