After being away from home for nearly a month, unfortunately, I had to go back to reality. The first day back at work was spent being depressed over the fact that Europe, Maxime and his family were once again more than six thousand miles away. That aside though, I spent my last few days in Paris; and after being away from the city for nearly two years, it was great to be back! Once again, I have so many stories to tell, which I hope to start writing about soon enough. Having to settle in at work after a long leave isn’t too pleasant, so that’s what I’m trying to focus on right now. 
This time though, as seen in the photo, I got even closer to the Eiffel Tower, which was just as magnificent as I remembered it to be. I’ve only been to Paris technically thrice and officially twice and Maxime has been there countless times, but it was both our first time to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night and let me tell you, it was like no other! It was beautiful, magical, and magnificent in every way. 
I’ll end here, as I’m still recovering from fatigue after traveling for so many hours to get home; rest assured that I’ll be posting about my trip soon enough! Also, I apologize to those who’ve sent me TAs; but I promise to answer you guys within the week :)
Definitely hungover from my best trip by far - Europe 2014. 
Paris, France (April 2014)

After being away from home for nearly a month, unfortunately, I had to go back to reality. The first day back at work was spent being depressed over the fact that Europe, Maxime and his family were once again more than six thousand miles away. That aside though, I spent my last few days in Paris; and after being away from the city for nearly two years, it was great to be back! Once again, I have so many stories to tell, which I hope to start writing about soon enough. Having to settle in at work after a long leave isn’t too pleasant, so that’s what I’m trying to focus on right now. 

This time though, as seen in the photo, I got even closer to the Eiffel Tower, which was just as magnificent as I remembered it to be. I’ve only been to Paris technically thrice and officially twice and Maxime has been there countless times, but it was both our first time to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night and let me tell you, it was like no other! It was beautiful, magical, and magnificent in every way. 

I’ll end here, as I’m still recovering from fatigue after traveling for so many hours to get home; rest assured that I’ll be posting about my trip soon enough! Also, I apologize to those who’ve sent me TAs; but I promise to answer you guys within the week :)

Definitely hungover from my best trip by far - Europe 2014. 

Paris, France (April 2014)

11 April 2014

Squeezing in a quick update since so much has happened since I last posted and I doubt I’ll have time to post anytime soon after this. Contiki ended a couple of days ago and now I’m in Maxime’s homeland and it is just magnificent! His family has been nothing but warm and I have never felt this welcomed before; I’m missing my Dad terribly though. Just to sum up these past few days:
1) I did not expect Poland to be this beautiful.
2) I no longer deem Prague as the most beautiful city I’ve visited, but it is a very close second; Budapest has now taken the title (and my heart).
3) Slovenia is the 22nd country I visited, which means I’ve finally achieved my secret goal to match the countries I’ve been to with my age - 22 by 22.
4) Venice is always a good idea.
5) Apparently, the Trevi Fountain works since I found myself in Italy again.
6) Gave the Italian capital a second chance, since the first time was an okay experience for me, and I enjoyed it more (probably because I wasn’t sick like I was two years ago). This time, it was with new friends.
7) So I decided to fly to Monaco for a day.
8) Visited beautiful Antwerp with my childhood friend, Caitlen, who now lives in Germany and we decided to go to their zoo. It cost me a whopping 22.50 EUR, but was worth every cent! That’s definitely a zoo done right.
9) See what I mean? Yes, this is in a zoo.
10) Caitlen and I at the exquisite Antwerp Central station, which everyone should see at least once; this is the same friend I explored Berlin with two years ago, if anyone remembers. Today, we’re doing Brussels!

In a nutshell, this is what I’ve been up to for the past few days; though I’ve left out the best part - being with Maxime again, as cheeseballs as that sounds.

Heading out in a few and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post again, but I have been updating my Instagram (@theworldbyfaith) a lot, if any of you are interested. Wishing everyone a great weekend!

This city definitely makes it to my top five and the fact that I got to spend a beautiful day out in Vienna with Maxime makes me adore the city even more. I’m with my Contiki group now and we drove out of Austria yesterday and passed by Czech Republic and finally crossed the border once again onto Polish land!
Currently in Krakow and so far, I’m loving it here! While I’d describe Vienna as the perfect mix of a modern and old city, Krakow leans toward the latter; although I’ve yet to see more of it today (it’s five in the morning here now, by the way). We got to visit the most popular attraction in the city yesterday though - Wieliczka Salt Mine and we were about 135 meters below ground level! Okay, saving the details for my travel diaries. This morning, however, will be spent at Auschwitz. I’ll be able to cross visiting a concentration camp off my travel bucket list, but I’m just not too certain if I’m ready for it just yet. One thing’s for sure, it will be very emotional.
Looking forward to seeing more of Krakow though!
Vienna, Austria (March 2014)

This city definitely makes it to my top five and the fact that I got to spend a beautiful day out in Vienna with Maxime makes me adore the city even more. I’m with my Contiki group now and we drove out of Austria yesterday and passed by Czech Republic and finally crossed the border once again onto Polish land!

Currently in Krakow and so far, I’m loving it here! While I’d describe Vienna as the perfect mix of a modern and old city, Krakow leans toward the latter; although I’ve yet to see more of it today (it’s five in the morning here now, by the way). We got to visit the most popular attraction in the city yesterday though - Wieliczka Salt Mine and we were about 135 meters below ground level! Okay, saving the details for my travel diaries. This morning, however, will be spent at Auschwitz. I’ll be able to cross visiting a concentration camp off my travel bucket list, but I’m just not too certain if I’m ready for it just yet. One thing’s for sure, it will be very emotional.

Looking forward to seeing more of Krakow though!

Vienna, Austria (March 2014)

27-28 March 2014

I flew out of Manila on the 27th to start my journey to Europe and that day is what I deem as the best day of my life, so far. Btw, bear with me; I’ll be posting from my iPad while I’m out of the country. Anyway! Not only do I deem the 27th as the best day of my life because of my flight out, but also because it was on that day that I received a letter from the company that I work for - a letter everyone receives every end of March stating an increase in salary, if any, and how much your performance bonus is, which is based on (obviously) your performance.

Upon opening the letter, the first thing I focused on were the numbers and I was stunned when I saw my performance bonus that I didn’t notice anything else on the letter. Only after a few minutes of staring at the letter did I realize that my supposed job title had Sr. preceding it, which is a position higher than what was my current position then.

I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining things and that was when I saw the title of the letter 2013 Performance Memo and Promotion and the line that said: “…we are pleased to inform you of your promotion to…”

It was only the day before my friends in the office and I were talking about how it takes forever to get promoted in our company and that you’re even lucky if you get promoted when you’ve been in the company for at least two years, so this obviously came as a big surprise to me! I’ve only been in the company for a year and four months. A part of me feels like I don’t deserve it, even if I know I’ve been working very hard, but I guess it’s just that the reality of it is too amazing to grasp. Obviously, I thanked God numerous times and had to look at the photo I took of the letter using my phone (no, I did not bring the actual letter to Europe, haha) again and again to realize that it actually happened. I might have to do it a few more times here on out for it to actually sink in.

Aside from that, I’m back in Europe for a couple of days as seen in the photos above:
1) Stopover at Singapore.
2) Window seats are my thing.
3) I was lucky enough to have two seats beside me empty, so I had a row to myself and got to sleep like a baby throughout the flight; add the fact that there was barely any turbulence, which makes it my best flight to date.
4) Most important meal of the day; SingaporeAirlines food is the best!
5) Flying into Rome for a four-to-five-hour layover, which felt like forever; and Rome Fiumicino is one of my least favorite airports.
6) Finally arrived in Vienna after three flights, two layovers amounting to about 8 hours - having traveled for about 30 hours.

Will do my best to update from time to time! This time, by the way, I was supposed to go with my dad, but since he couldn’t leave Manila last minute, I joined yet another Contiki tour focusing on Eastern Europe instead of sulking at home. The tour isn’t starting till tonight, but I flew in a day early to have a nice hotel room all to myself. Staying in Hotel Am Stephansplatz, which is absolutely spectacular and right in the heart of Vienna - across Stephansdom. Till next time!

You can follow my trip on Instagram: @theworldbyfaith


Europe Diaries: The Floating City

Venice, Italy (May 2012)

The beautiful city of Venice in northeastern Italy has been deemed countless times as the most beautiful city in the world. A city intertwined with canals by which gondolas are steered, this is just one of the reasons why Venice has been named so. 

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The limestone Bridge of Sighs is one of the main attractions in the city as it used to house prisoners who looked out the window, sighing and wishing for freedom. There’s a myth that if you kiss under the Bridge by sunset, at 6pm I believe, your love will last forever. Any A Little Romance fans out there? This is actually where I got the idea, haha!

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The famous Piazza San Marco, together with the Doge’s Palace showcasing Gothic arches, exhibits more magnificence in person than seen in photos. 

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This is why I always say May is the perfect time to go to Europe; the weather is beautiful and you can barely see any tourists around, although do note that this was at about ten in the morning and there was a bigger crowd in the afternoon, but not as bad as it would be during summertime. 

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