Thoughts on Milan

Milan is starkly different from Basel. It is my first stop in Italy so I am simultaneously discovering this beautiful, ancient city and Italian culture.

I’m not sure how old this city is but first impressions suggested it had been built long ago. As I explored deeper I learned Milan is downright ancient. One church I explored had been built in the fourth century and, by that time, Milan was already a powerful and important city.

As you walk through the streets, the history of the city is incredibly apparent. Every street is paved with giant cobblestones. The stone buildings loom over the bustling streets.

And then you get to see Milan’s prime tourist attraction, Duomo (or simply the cathedral). This is the most fascinating piece of architecture I have seen in my life so far. The spires scrape the sky far above your head in a dazzling display of might. This cathedral took 400 years to build and it shows.

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On a personal note, what really made this city memorable for me was the fantastic hostel experience. This was the second city on my trip in which I was lucky enough to meet great people. We had two amazing nights of drinking and socialising that I wish could have lasted forever. We spent our last night in a piazza (or square) drinking alongside hundreds of locals. That was a night I won’t soon forget.

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Tickets Bought: Heading to AMS

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I’ll be flying to Amsterdam with KLM. I opted to spend a little more because they have the option of changing my flight for a nominal fee. When you’re going away for this long, you really don’t know where you’ll be in life by the time that return flight comes up.

A lot has happened since my last post and, at the same time, not much. Vague, eh?

I’ve been working on a temporary contract which is set to end March 29th and, after that, I’m heading out. Working full-time since January gave me a convenient excuse to procrastinate on planning this trip so I put it off as much as possible. But as I watched flight prices start to skyrocket recently, I knew I had to get my ass in gear.

I bought a round-trip flight to Amsterdam departing on April 18th and returning on June 27th. That’s 70 days, or two and a half months, of awesome Europe and I am both excited and terrified. And I didn’t stop there.

I’ve also ordered a Eurail pass that will allow me to travel by train on 15 days over two months (it’s a little confusing, I know) in 23 different countries. It sounds like I’m ready to seed the continent.

My budget is slim considering how long I’m headed for. The flight and Eurail have cost me $3000 and I expect I’ll have another $6000 left over when I head out so that’s about $85/day for hostels, food & drink, and any travel not covered by my train pass. To put that in perspective, the last time I was in Europe (for two weeks) I managed to spend about $400/day.

The constraints of my travel will force me to be creative and consistently get out of my comfort zone. For example, I’ll be getting very well¬†acquainted¬†with the most affordable Hostel dorms (think 10-20 guys sleeping in a giant room).

This is going to be fun and will, hopefully, change my life.

Would you ever go on a trip for this long? Am I crazy? Leave a comment and tell me why or why not and we can have a conversation on motivations.