Versão em Português
It was September of 2012. I almost could not believe that the dream of this little skinny girl from the capital of Brazil would turn into reality. Really!!! I was going to travel abroad!! I was going to nothing less than Europe, on a backpacking trip, only my backpack and I (and my Bible and granolas… as always).
It was not the first international trip that I had in my life, but consider that the two other ones before (one to the USA and another one to England) were exclusively work trips. This was the first time that I was going to travel to a different country for the purpose of getting to know it, and this time, it was without the recording team as the other times; it was only God and me. (Read also the article “Trips and Dreams”).
It started in Brasília, my land, my city, my family… yeah, because I had to give my mom a full schedule of every place and time I planned! Then after some days of charging the batteries of my soul with my family, I was going to leave and be by myself for 20 days (without knowing how to speak English more than “hi” and “where is the toilet”). I came back to São Paulo, took my flight, and left.
First stop, Dublin, Ireland. I had some of my friends that used to live there, so I could enjoy the city with personal tourist guides. Actually, Dublin is full of Brazilians! It is a pretty small city, with beautiful parks, and especially for those who like beer, that is the main attraction in the city. There are a lot of bars, but for the ones, like me, that don’t drink alcohol, a walk through the bars is still a fun thing to do. One, because the drunk people are funny, and also there are many bars with small dancing rings or music shows. You can drink water for free, because probably you would be the only person with this choice of drinks.
My time in Dublin was short, but good enough to spend only 4 EUROS on food in two days! Yeah, I may do a post about how to eat cheap and healthy while you’re traveling. In a cheap airplane, from Dublin, I arrived to the “City of Light”, Paris. The city of cafes, street bookstores, arts everywhere, stairs, stairs and stairs…. glamour, everything surrounded by a hipster look, and love and lovers… and me… alone! Yeah, definitely, Paris is the favorite couples destination, so if you are planning to go there by yourself, go with a good humor, because in everywhere there is a kiss. I decided to laugh a lot, go to everywhere and admire everything, including the kisses around (but years later, I had a new Paris experience..).
Night in Paris is as you expect it, full of activities, just enough to make me sleep more than I could -and that made me lose my train to Geneva. After a while, I made it and took this great European train, where I could meet a French priest, who worked for 10 years in Brazil, and new more about the Brazilian dictatorship than I did. We had a good talk.
In Geneva, I met with another friend, who took me to some United Nations events, where the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was present, and other people around the world, discussing about some issues related with the Middle East region. It was at that time that I started to realize that I would not like be living in only one country, because there is so much to do in many other places. Geneva was expensive, raining, thoughtful and pretty interesting, and for sure, more and more parks to walk, churches to visit, people to take pictures. And of course, as every European city, a beautiful river or lake in the middle of the city.
For sure, Rome could not be out of the list, and oh, how much I love that place! Especially the language, which makes me laugh all the time, and the people! (yes, Italian guys are handsome, really handsome). Beyond all the amazing historical places, I also had the luck to arrive there on the Vogue Night Parade, with all the models on the street, and big brands in promotion. I definitely had a good Rome experience!
Last place, but not last stop, Athens. It was only for one day, but enough time to catch, by surprise, a show beside of the Acropolis with the best ballet dancers around the world. After walking through the many monuments for days, I got a big blister on my pinky toe. For this there was nothing better than a rest on the beach, so Santorini was pretty gentle with me.
Among all the spectacular views that surround the island, one picture is still in my mind. An couple in their 60s with their backpacks, holding hands and looking at the ocean. Then I prayed. I prayed on the top of the Eiffel Tower, and I prayed in the middle of the Greek ocean, a prayer of love. The sunset on the island was breathtaking, the sun kissing the ocean, which reflected all the colors on the white houses on the hills. It was there where I closed my journey, the first of many others to come.
To make it short, (sorry for the long text) I thank God for helping me fulfill my dream. And He had so much more to give to me… (Check out the pictures on the Granolabar Photos)