“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”-Tim Cahill
I’ve always said that the world is full of friends you just haven’t met yet. Now I know that is true!
A photo tribute to the beautiful, amazing, inspiring, fun and loving people I met on the other side of the ocean when I stepped outside of my comfort zone and traveled alone through Europe. There were even more people I met who I don’t have photos of. Know that you are all in my heart, photo or not.
I am truly blessed to say that I risked failure, but was shown only love.
Thank you to all of you who cried with me, laughed with me, explored new places with me, shared wisdom and perspective with me, taught me about your culture, helped me find my way on a map, invited me into your homes, fed me, inspired me, grew with me. Thank you for proving to me that for every act of hatred, there are millions of acts of kindness that occur every day. You made my trip worth every second and every penny and every fear faced.
These are the faces of a journey of a lifetime…
The U-Inn Berlin Hostel crew! Friedrichshian, Berlin, Germany
My French travel partner, Claudia and I on the metro in Berlin. The girl’s got some serious map skills!!
Berlin Wall with friends from Germany and Turkey.
Girls night out – Prague, Czech Republic.
Ruchika and I met on the train in Germany and one week later, she met me in Prague for an adventure.
Cracking up with Veronika, who worked at the hostel I stayed at in Prague, Czech Republic.
My amazing hosts who let me stay with them while I was recovering from a bad cold and made me feel so at home. –Vienna, Austria
Jenny and I in Vienna, Austria. We met in Budapest, Hungary, took care of each other when we were both sick and decided to spend another week together in Austria.
Fantastic travel buddies Molly, Victor and Erin in Florence, Italy.
My favorite Aussie! Tash and I crossed paths in three separate cities and two countries! This is in Rome, Italy.
I met Ryan at my hostel in Rome, Italy. We spent a rainy afternoon exploring the ruins together. He was just as excited as I was to touch ancient rocks and frolic in the puddles underneath Roman arches. He lives in L.A. and I hope we meet again!
Baia, Campania, Italy in the home of my wonderful host, and now, friend for life, Gaia, with her mother and friends Chiara and Assia.
The lovely Valeria and Gaia on our way to Naples, Italy.
One of the best nights out on the town with new friends in Amsterdam!
Amazing woman who gave me life wisdom and a bag of croissants in the park in Bilbao, Spain.
Friends in Berlin, Germany.
Gaia and I, Baia, Italy. Met through a friend I made in London and stayed in her home with her family for an unforgettable two weeks.
Chris and I met in Berlin and we met up in Brussels, Belgium, two months later! This is on Halloween.
Second night in Europe and found a family of friends in London, UK.
Josh and I cooking dinner – met in Porto, Portugal.
Michael and Tara, a couple from New Zealand, were wonderful hosts in Pittenweem, Scotland. They took care of me when I got the flu!
Met Noah, from NYC and Jenny, from Boston in Budapest, Hungary and spent a day at the baths together!
Daniele, my super fun couchsurfing host in Rome, Italy. My first time on a scooter!
Beautiful people (Andrea, Carmelo and Claudia) in London, UK who welcomed me into their home and close circle of friends when I first arrived in Europe!
Paola and I in Lisbon, Portugal. Met on the overnight train from Madrid and traveled together for four magical days.
Marek and Magda! Hosts, friends, comrades in Krakow, Poland. One of the best weeks spent in Europe was in their home and city.
Great company on my last night in Lisbon, Portugal!
Goofing off with my girls in Baia, Italy.
Critical City Mission in Rome, Italy with new friends.
Porto, Portugal adventure crew.
The travelers staying in my hostel in Porto, Portugal.
Samantha – fabulous roomie for a weekend in Amsterdam!
Friends in Steinbach, Germany.
Sam and I, last night out in Amsterdam.
A moment burned into my memory forever: touching the original wall of the Jewish Ghetto with Magda in Krakow, Poland. Photo credit: Marek Petraszek.
Met Andreas, fellow backpacker, on the train to Berlin, Germany.
The brothers who I spent many afternoons drinking coffee and discussing politics with in Krakow, Poland.
Martino and I in Warsaw, Poland.
Childhood friend Abie and I in England.
The girls from NYC I met in Barcelona, Spain. 24 hrs of friendship that left a lasting imprint. I hope to visit them!
My mother’s friend, Mai hosted me and my friend in Antwerp, Belgium.
Javi and I met in a hostel in Scotland and two months later, I cam to stay with his family in San Sebastian, Spain. This photo was taken in Saint Jean de Luz, France, where we spent an afternoon.
This man rescued me from a bathroom beneath the kitchen he worked at in a restaurant in Florence, Italy when the lock broke and I was stuck in a very small space. Faced one of my greatest fears and survived!
Fancy night out with my college friend, Morgan who met me for a weekend in Madrid, Spain.
Kendell, friend I made in Oregon, hosted me for my last week in Europe in Brussels, Belgium, where she is in a graduate program. Halloween shenanigans!
Hostel staff and I in Lisbon, Portugal. They took me to a drag show that night! Such a blast.
Gaia and her second half, Dario, at his art show! Baia, Italy
Gaia, Valeria, Eleonora ❤
Serena and Gaia in front of their university in Napoli, Italy. When Gaia had to take a four-hour exam, Serena rode the train up from another city further South just to meet me and guide me for a day around Naples. I was touched! These two really took care of me and ensured I was never alone in the city.
Ruchika and I met this local tour guide who agreed to give us his best private tour of Prague even though no one else showed up for the walk. It was informative, personal and full of laughs!
The wonderful, vibrant Ruchika at the top of The Žižkov Television Tower having a snack in Prague, Czech Republic.
Group of friends showing me around their stomping grounds in rural Germany. We hiked up a butte that evening as the wind picked up and the sun was setting.