On every trip I took, there was something special that stayed with me long after I left the country. Here is a list of unforgettable travel experiences that I had during some of my travels.
They are events that will always be part of me because they affected me in different ways. I always remember them with a smile.
In my opinion, the search for such beautiful travel experiences is the key to every successful trip!
The Lisbon Girl:
It was my last day in Lisbon and I was getting ready to head to the airport. I thought I would take one last walk before leaving. There she was, sitting on the floor, drawing an abstract drawing. I found it beautiful. she was concentrated. I stared at her for like 30 min while she was drawing.
She looked at me and asked me if I like it and if I wanna buy it, I told her with pleasure! I remember I waited for like 25 min and when it was done, I gave her the money and told her this is the best souvenir I have from Lisbon. I still remember her smile, her happiness, her ‘Obrigado’. I still hear it in her voice! I always thought of going back there to see if I meet her again but I never had the chance.
This was one of the beautiful aspects of solo traveling. Contemplating a girl drawing for 1 hour without having anyone pushing you or telling you to go somewhere else!
She told me her name was Sarah. That is all I know of her.
Love under the Eiffel tower:
I was in Paris. It was the 11th of April 2016. I was spending one night there before taking a train to Toulouse.
On my Couchsurfing app, I met a girl who was also in Paris and we decided to go for a drink. We met at the Eiffel tower, she was from Colombia. We went to a bar and had a beer together.
She had a flight to Prague and I had a train to Toulouse so our time was very short. This hour spent together was more than enough to know there is a connection between us.
After this night, we kept talking and our relationship grew more and more. It was a distance relationship. We always wondered how 1 hour in Paris was enough for us to be together.
We both could not wait for the moment we called each other. We would talk for hours and hours as if we had known each other for years. I sometimes wonder if I should have gone to Prague with her…
I still remember this drink we had with a smile because I am sure that that night, I had met my twin flame! But I guess twin flames are not meant to last…
A one of a kind trip to the Maldives:
In 2013 I had the idea of doing something different. I had always traveled to Europe and I wanted to change. this is when I decided to go to the Maldives.
It was surely one of a kind experience.
Landing on an airport that is an island. Taking a small plane that lands on the sea to get to the hotel. Swimming with Dolphins and sharks.
One of the most memorable moments was waking up with the view of the ocean in front of me. Taking a drink at the pool that feels connected to the ocean.
Snorkeling!! Ahhh … I can still remember how rich the sea was there! I used to snorkel for hours. I discovered hundreds and thousands of wonders in the ocean!
Boat rides to the middle of the ocean were amazing! I will never forget that sunset view from a small boat in the middle of a large ocean!
It was something different, something I am not used too. A different kind of adventure that I was very happy to experience.
My first CS Experience
I am personally a big fan of the CS communities around the world. I made have organized many events during the years and made sure to participate in as many activities as I could.
However, until that night in April 2016, I had never used Couchsurfing to ‘surf’ at someone’s house.
I was coming back from Toulouse to Paris and had booked and room in an apartment. As the train was late, I arrived in Paris at around 11 PM and found the reception desk closed. I tried to call the person from whom I booked the room with no answer.
I sat on the sidewalk, thinking of all possible ideas.
Should I book another hotel? Should I sleep on the sidewalk until morning? (yeah this idea came to mind). I kept thinking until I remembered I had the Cs application on my phone and thought to give it a try.
At midnight, I found a french guy who had lots of positive reviews, online. I contacted him and told him about my situation. He immediately accepted to host med gave me his address.
Thus, one of my unforgettable travel experiences began. I took the metro and I arrived at his place around 1 AM.
He welcomed me, showed me the apartment and the place I am going to sleep in. He had a separate room for guests. We talked for about 1 hour, and I could say I was really happy because I was experiencing a new adventure that I had always dreamed of.
The nest morning we had breakfast together and I thanked him for his hospitality. Since that day, I understood the beauty of hosting people and surfing at people’s houses.
I understood that this small experience is a great way to see and understand the world differently. Since then, I have begun hosting people in my apartment in Bordeaux, whenever I can.
In the end, I think that arriving late to Paris and missing y room was one of the best things that happened to me as it opened the door for new amazing kind of experience.
‘Learn a new language and who knows where it could lead you?‘
I have always been a fan of the Italian language. I studied it in school and then at the American Center in Beirut in collaboration with the Italian institute.
One day, I got a call from the institute informing that I got a scholarship to go spend a month in Italy for a workshop called ‘Laboratorio Internazionale Della Communicazione‘. I got very excited and did not know at the time what a beautiful experience was awaiting me.
I arrived in Gemona del Friuli, a small village in the North East of Italy in July 2015 and thus my adventure began.
It was a month filled with studying, courses, laughter, friendships, parties, wine, exams…we literally did not sleep!
We were about 90 students from all over the world and we soon all became one big family!
Each of us stayed with an Italian family, and every morning we would meet at the university for breakfast before the courses start. Before noon, we had language, art, and cultural courses. I still remember them in detail. We learned some really amazing things from awesome teachers.
The afternoons were dedicated to the activities. Each student could choose 1 activity for the whole month. We had the choice between Radio, Theater, Music, and other different themes.
I will not get into details now because I will surely write a special article on my experience at this workshop and how it was one of the best travel experiences I had.
I just want to point out, that it was a month filled with beautiful moments, amazing encounters, adventures, and visits.
The last day was so emotional and I could never forget that unforgettable last party we all parties together before each of us went back to their own country.
For all Italian language lovers, I highly encourage you to check this workshop and apply for it as I am sure you will leave with amazing memories.
The Prague Team
Ah, Prague! what a trip that was! I went there in 2015 and was one of my solo traveling trips.
I stayed in a Czech inn hostel and decided to participate in different events to meet fellow travelers. I went for guided tours and pub crawls. There I met new friends with whom we began calling each other ‘the Prague Team‘.
Four people from different backgrounds, four solo travelers discovering the same city met and decided to explore together.
There was Fannie from Costa Rica, Annie from Malaysia and Annamay from England in addition to myself from Lebanon. We went wandering around the streets of Prague together, bought souvenirs and had dinner all together.
I still remember us sitting in the restaurant, each from a different country, discussing lots of different subjects with smiles all over our faces.
This is one of the most amazing feelings in the world, to travel and sit with people you just got to know and feel like you’ve known them forever. They are the travel companions that the love for adventure brought together.
Should we meet again or not, the memories will always bring us back to these times we spent together in Prague.
Here are 6 of my amazing travel experiences. They are not the only ones though. I can tell you about the people I met in Napoli or the trip to Sorrento with my sisters. I can also talk about the nights of Budapest and the laughs in Amsterdam.
The memories are infinite and I always make sure to create great ones whenever I travel because these are the tickets that can send us back in time.
If you like this article, check out other articles that might interest you by clicking here.