Tandem Travel Tales: Rome, Take 3

ROME: THE FOOD

If you research the world’s best cuisine, Italy is often considered #1 or #2. The quality of ingredients allows for the city to be full of variety and pride. This is why we’re dedicating a whole post to our favorite food and drink. We had high hopes for delicious food experiences, but we weren’t expecting to find new and interesting bites around every corner.

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Tandem Travel Tales: Rome, Part 2

THE BAD AND THE UGLY

With as much as we’d like to glorify every day of our lives on the road, we wouldn’t be telling the truth. So we’ll get right into it with this one. Maybe you read the last post about all of the wonderful experiences we were able to have in Rome. Unfortunately, we didn’t begin our Roman adventure with sunshine and rainbows. We instead started off with… BED BUGS! Yep, those delightful little fear-mongering, filthy, blood-sucking pests. 

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Tandem Travel Tales: Rome, Take 1

ROME: THE COLLECTIVE

Brevity is impossible when describing Rome. It is a city full of life, excitement, diversity, and history. While we had an extremely testing experience right out of the gates, we quickly fell in love with Rome and made it a point to visit three separate times during our month in Italy. To top it all off, we were able to align ourselves with my grandma, Mikee, who came to visit us for her first trip to Italy.

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Tandem Travel Tales: Couchsurfing Trieste, Italy

Charcuterie @travelingintandem

WELCOME TO ITALY

Trieste is a story of a sobering and difficult time during our travels. Unfortunately, our experience and mood during our three-day stay was dominated by our accommodations. Let this, as it was for us, be more of an informative tale of how Couchsurfing can sometimes not be awesome. Needless to say, it will come with very few pictures.

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Tandem Travel Tales: Ljublijana

Friends and love at Lake Bled. by @travelingintandem

LOO-BLEE-AH-NUH

Our journey from Budapest to Ljublijana, Slovenia was unexpectedly smooth. We heard from many that Ljublijana was a destination to make time for, but hadn’t done much research prior to arrival. At the very least, we knew this was a place to chase some outdoor adventures.

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TANDEM TRAVEL TALES: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

CONTINUING THROUGH EASTERN EUROPE

While limited in my experiences, I’ve seen enough to say that Eastern Europe is well worth the visit. This is a place where modesty and appreciation for the simple things are most important- a place where the infrastructure for tourism is relatively new. Here there is a dichotomy between locals skeptical of all of the rapidly occurring changes and those who enthusiastically embrace and welcome foreign visitors. Much in contrast to our time in Krakow and Warsaw, Budapest proved itself beautiful and unique while making us work for comfort and familiarity.

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Tandem Travel Tales: Auschwitz and Birkenau

WHILE IN KRAKOW

We went back and forth on whether or not to dedicate a whole post to our day visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, but ultimately we decided that it was too important to glaze over. Something I was really adamant about before leaving for this trip was the transparency. So often you read about travel and it’s a sheen of incredible, mind-boggling, once-in-a-lifetime, how could it not be perfect, accounts. While we’ve had a lot of these, we’ve also had a lot of challenge, contemplation, reflection, realizations, and overall humbling moments. Sometimes it’s great to smile, and other times it’s totally okay to cry, too. So, with that being said, here’s a bit about our day visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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Tandem Travel Tips: Krakow, Poland

ALL ABOARD

The journey from Warsaw to Krakow was slated to be our first train ride of the trip. Having only traveled by train once before, I had little to no expectation. Long and short, the train we tried to book online didn’t even exist once we got to the station. So we ended up shorting ourselves three hours in Warsaw, leaving late morning, and embarking on a much longer train ride than expected.

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Tandem Travel Tales: Warsaw, Poland

WARSZAWA, POLAND

Have you ever thought about visiting Eastern Europe? Neither had we until about two weeks prior to taking off for our trip. Brittany was captivated by a podcast describing the world’s best European food destinations and we quickly rerouted our trip to bypass Germany and continue in Poland.
We needed to bookend this part of our trip between Gothenburg and Rome, arriving by September 16th to meet grandma. It only made sense to work our way north to south and take advantage of a steal of a flight to Warsaw for $18 a person. We tried to ease our budget by registering to teach English in Warsaw. We were accepted and they ended up not having space for us. So, on to Warsaw, we went with loose plans of Krakow, Slovakia, Budapest, Zagreb, and Ljubljana to follow.

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Tandem Travel Tales: The Harbor

WHAT IS WORK EXCHANGE?

Prior to leaving for this trip Steve and I spent a lot of time explaining the concept of work exchange and how we planned to participate along the way. Our initial goals were to learn new skills, give back, engage intimately with others in their personal space, and offset the cost of our travels. Having completed our first work exchange at The Harbor, we were able to experience so much more than we ever expected.

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