As an introvert, my life-long love affair with travel hasn’t always been easy. Being in a new place crowded with both tourists and locals can be terrifying. The good news is, this has never stopped me, and it doesn’t have to stop you either! Here are some things that I consider when planning my trips. They will help keep you happy, calm, and mentally healthy while travelling.
I’m not going to lie. After the way that Florence stole my heart, Rome had a lot of stepping up to do, and I was reluctant to let it in. But between meeting family for the first time, finding new gelato flavours, and following in Tom Hanks’ Angels and Demons footsteps, it was hard to frown at Rome for long.
The first time I visited Florence, I knew there was something special about this place; there was something that made me feel connected to it.
And I was right.
Every day we were there I felt more at home, more connected to Florence’s life, Florence’s vibrant energy, and Florence’s history. It felt like an old friend that I was getting reacquainted with. Although it would be hard to choose one part of my trip over another as a favourite, this is where I felt happiest. In Florence, I felt at home.
When my mother first brought up the idea of adding a few days in Paris to our trip, I heard nothing but mediocre things. “Paris is dirty,” “I hated it there,” “anymore than three days and you’ll want to get out of there.” Even the weather network lied to me, telling me to expect rain and cool temperatures. I even bought new rubber boots for all the rain I was anticipating between Paris and Dublin! (Luckily they’re cute.) I was starting my trip with low expectations; almost looking ahead to Florence.
Everyone seemed to be so down in the mouth about France, that I was overcome by how much I fell in love with this city. But how could I not, when this is where I was sitting as started writing this entry.