Places to Go and People to See

Now that I am on the last leg of my journey in Europe, I have officially been to 4 countries while knowing a local of three. To start my adventure, I spent six weeks studying in Florence, Italy. Lucky me, one of my teammates from school lived a long and treacherous four-and-a-half-minute walk from where I was staying. Not only is it nice to see a familiar face, but you get to truly experience the city… local style. Even if it’s something as small as going to a gelato shop that the tourists don’t go to (and that later becomes your go-to) to going to an Italian style BBQ, use any connections you can while abroad. With the help of my friend, I had the most delicious pizza that I will forever be missing. Next on the agenda, The Czech Republic. Another teammate of mine lived roughly 20 minutes from where I was staying in Prague. This was more beneficial than ever expected. Czech is quite the language not to know considering I couldn’t begin to pronounce any of the words. While I only spent 2 days in Prague, the troubles seem to go away when you are with a native. The people are friendlier and more understanding when you walk around with a local, which really elevated my whole experience in Prague. Onto Amsterdam, I met my mom’s high school bestie for lunch one afternoon and she gave me the low-down on the city. She gave me a list of restaurants that were her favorite, which boat tours make you look not so touristy (but really, are there any that succeed in that?), and what areas are great for a good look. Overall, travelling to cities where you know someone not only helps you get to see the city from a different perspective, but also gives you a sense of comfort.

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