Bratislava, Slovakia's capital, is so small that you can see almost everything in just 18 hours. But at the same time, this small city is so charming that 18 hours can feel too short. Its cobbled streets are romantic. Its old churches and buildings will make you feel like you're living in a different era. Its diverse architecture will give you a peek of its colorful history. It's not as crowded as its famous neighbors Vienna, Prague and Budapest. It is the kind of laid-back city where you'd want to chill for a bit.
The best part? Its beer and food are not as expensive as other European cities, that it would make you question why this city is actually the third richest region of the European Union by GDP. Surprise, surprise, I only spent 53 euros here for everything, including a good beer and a private room in a posh neighborhood ;-)
Here's how I managed to survive in Bratislava for 18 hours with 53 euros:
Solo traveled 4665.8 kilometers by trains, buses, and trams.
Walked, hiked, and ran 436.12 kilometers.
Stayed in 17 different homes/apartments/hotels.
Explored 9 lovely countries (+3 for layovers and border crossings) in 36 days.
I’m thankful for surviving another crazy trip and for bringing home beautiful lessons that would definitely stay with me for a longer time than my total # of bus hours. Hopefully this list would encourage you to explore the world (and even try solo traveling):
Imagine a hike that starts with an altitude of 1230 meters then ends all the way down to the beautiful Libyan Sea. From high up the White Mountains with views of slopes covered with snow... down to the calming sight of this blue blanket:
Hiking Europe's second longest gorge was definitely one of my most memorable adventures while solo traveling in Europe.
I have never imagined myself solo hiking for sixteen kilometers in a foreign land... but I think that I've chosen the best place to hike like this.
A sunset view. A camel ride. Sand dunes. And festive music.
Who wouldn't want to skip this lovely combination?
Prior to my trip in India, I have only seen a camel once in my entire life... and the poor animal was just confined inside a zoo. So when I learned that India has the 18th largest desert in the world called Thar Desert or The Great Indian Desert, I knew that I had to include it in our itinerary.
I spent 100 rupees to become 'Indian.'
It's the cheapest and sweetest amount I've paid to 'experience' a 'change of nationality' for 15 minutes. But before I share with you my story of becoming an 'Indian,' I would like to take you to Jaisalmer Fort, the place where I got to wear my Indian chameleon and the one I consider as one of the most beautiful forts that I've seen in this lifetime.
There is more to India than Taj Mahal, spicy food, yoga, holy cows, and its legendary traffic jams.
To sum up my 16 days of travel here, excuse the pun... but I got a little bit curried away. I found myself wanting to return to this country full of life, contradictions, and warmth.
Here are some of the reasons why I fell in love with India:
Dream destinations (most of the time) only remain in dreams. Saving for your dream travels can be really hard especially if you only have enough salary to pay for your bills and loans. But if you have a mindset of a thrifty traveler who would do anything for traveling, dream destinations can also be turned into reality.
Here’s a list of my #TitaTips on how you can save for your dream travels. Yes, they’re all achievable!
What makes your favorite place special?
Is it the variety of activities? Historical relevance? Richness of culture? Breathtaking views? Or delicious food?
I think as much as the visual treats or any tangible aspects of traveling, the intangibles play a more important role in making travels extraordinary. For me, it will be the connections I’ve made with the locals and fellow travelers that will always stand out. And this is why I say that the Philippines will always be #1 for me. I might sound biased being a Filipina, but I will say it again and again that nothing compares to Filipino hospitality.
If utopia exists, I am hoping that it bears resemblance to Meteora: Karsts reaching up to the heavens. Silhouettes of jagged giants at night. A calming view of villages from the summit. Red-roofed monasteries that seem to float above the clouds. Silence only broken by the sweet melody of chirping birds and occasional winds. A non-fictional world carved out from an animated film.
I never expected Turin to be tur-rific (sorry for the bad pun ;-P ). In my mind, it was just the cheapest option for transit from Madrid to Venezia. But after spending 25 hours in this laid-back city, I realized that Torino is not just a stop-off, it is an alluring sojourn that should be explored longer.
Maybe I got tired of crowded attractions in Spain. And to tour a beautiful city with 0 queues and only few annoying tourists was refreshing.
Here are some of the reasons why I loved Torino so much that I regretted not staying here for a long time:
I tried gelato and chocolates from La Bottega Guido Gobino and gelato from Gelateria Alberto Marchetti. I'm still drooling whenever I think of Turin's sweet desserts. <3
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