IMG_4316 This post on my time in Milan comes with a bit of a wild story with it. I hope that this story will inspire other travelers to realize that even when your travels don’t go as planned, roll with the punches and take every experience with a sense of adventure and many times things end up being more exciting anyways! It all began when I awoke on what I was planning on being my last day in Cinque Terre to a downpour. If you read my post on Cinque Terre HERE, you know that it is a city that really is meant to be experienced outdoors so I truly had no other options than to head to Milan a day early.  However, I had no plans on getting there yet so I assumed it would be a long, rainy day of public transit. I went to return my room key and met a Swiss girl named Petra doing the same. Petra is one of those people you meet while traveling whom you know you will never forget! If you would have told me upon our first meeting the craziness that the day ahead would hold I would have never believed you. Petra told me that her traveling friend and her were headed to the train station in Genova which was over an hour drive in their rented car and invited me to join. I jumped at the offer! I couldn’t believe how great my luck was.

We got to the train station with no problem and said farewell to her friend who was off to the airport to some other European city. This is when Petra realized she had left her phone with her train ticket on it in the car. This wouldn’t be as big of a deal if she had the login info for the e-mail to the ticket she had bought or funds available to buy a new ticket. Long, long story short we got stuck in the creepiest area of Genova in search for an internet cafe for her to try to get her ticket. It was quite an afternoon! She missed her train but somehow after a few hours stuck in Genova, she was able to get a ticket to Milan with me.

The lovely hostel I had booked for the night in Milan had many open rooms when I had booked it, so we decided to have Petra just go with me to the hostel and spend the night there. Well, after hours of traveling and searching for the hostel we finally arrived to find that there were no open rooms. It was already pretty late and we were both hungry and starting to become frustrated as we attempted to find other hostels for her to spend the night at. Most were filled up but she found one pretty far away but before she left we decided to get a nice dinner together. We found a local place with outdoor seating and after our stressful day, our evening quickly turned into one of my favorite evenings of my entire week in Italy! Our delicious dinner was accompanied by a long conversation and many laughs. We ended up staying until closing time and given free drinks, compliments of the chef. Petra and I decided to walk back to my hostel before she left where we met another solo traveler and we impulsively decided to all go out on that Wednesday night for a drink. We ended up making so many Milano friends and chatting the night away! Petra ended up sleeping at my hostel after all and sneaking out at sunrise. It was such a crazy and unexpected day but I wouldn’t change a minute of it!

The following day was one of my last in Italy and I realized that I had spent almost every waking minute with other travelers. I decided to decline an offer to go explore with another girl at the hostel just to be alone for the day and do some reflection on everything I experienced the past week. I truly adore experiencing new cities alone, getting lost and taking all the new sights in at your own pace in without the need to worry about being social. I spent the entire day wandering about the streets near the Milan Cathedral known as the Duomo. It was breathtaking and just as lovely as all the photos I have seen of it. So, even though my time in Milan truly was quite unexpected – as you can see, it turned out to be quite an adventure indeed! As Marley says…

Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright.

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Meeting Petra in the downpour in Cinque Terre.

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En Route to Genova.

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Genova – I hope I never get stuck here again!

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Hooray! We made it on the train to Milan, finally!

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The beautiful Milan train station.

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Milan train station.

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The backyard of the hostel I stayed at in Milan. Hostels get such a bad rap for people who have never stayed in them. They are perfect for solo travelers! Just make sure to read reviews from a place like hostelworld.com.

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Loved the open doors and little patio in the hostel room in Milan.

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At dinner with Petra!

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The great restaurant we found. I love finding local spots away from the touristy areas.

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New friends from Milan from our evening out!

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What a fun night we had.

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Start of day 2. Wandering about Milan alone taking in the beauty of such a magnificent city!

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Milan LUSH! I love this store so, so much.

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When you buy a drink in Milan, you get to enjoy a huge buffet of little appetizers. Most places offer this deal but I think I made the right choice with this cafe.

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The incredible Duomo.

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Never let anyone lead you to believe that traveling solo is any less magical. It can be such a time of great personal discovery and such a growing experience.

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I hope you enjoyed this post on my time in Milan! Remember – stay flexible while traveling and don’t stress out over the small stuff. You ARE going to get tired. You most likely WILL get lost. Things will not always go as planned but it is all part of the adventure!

Keep on traveling, my loves! xx – Kate

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