We all have those warm memories that make us smile and shine from the inside. It's remarkable how a single one-week trip can be so life-changing. Not in terms of moving to another country, getting a new job, or meeting your Prince Charming, but self-reflexion.

I was finishing my second year at the university, working in a company providing cheap essay writing services, and had absolutely no plans for the future. Being in the process of escaping from horrible relations, I bought a ticket on a Eurotrip. I was twenty-years-old, absolutely devastated, and alone on a bus with 40 strangers for another eight days. And this was the best decision I could have made — four countries later, I returned home as a new person.

As I entered the bus, I had the front sit by the window and was later joined by another lonely girl of approximately my age. Eventually, we would end up sharing the suites in hotels, drinking 1.5-euro wine, and crying our hearts out. This is not going to be a sad story of a frustrated girl. This is a story of how traveling and strangers can help you reload and re-estimate your life.

Hungary

The capital of Hungary was the first destination. We arrive in Budapest early in the morning and headed to the Szechenyi Thermal Bath to refresh after a long ride. The beautiful architectural ensemble hides in Városliget Park. The waters of the St. Istvan spring have a temperature of 77°C and are the hottest in Europe. I did not spend much time there and preferred exploring the city instead. I wandered around its main streets, visited the Fisherman's Bastion, and had a one-to-one lunch with myself on the bank of the Danube and it was awesome! After that, we headed on a tour with a guide who told us the history of Budapest, while showing the most renowned attractions — the building of the Parliament, the Heroes Square, the Buda Castle, the St. Stephen's Basilica, Matthias Church, various museums, and fabulous bridges. I could not feel my legs after the whole day of walking. When we came to the hotel, I fell asleep as soon as my cheek touched the pillow.

Venice

As we woke up and had breakfast on a marvelous terrace near the hotel, we grab our stuff and hit the road. Venice was already waiting for us. We took a boat to the city of canals, enjoyed a tour with an elegant guide, and had some free time to explore the city. We had to meet under the clock at the waterfront at 3 PM sharp not to miss the departure of the ship. Kate and I (you do remember my new friend, don't you?) strolled around the tiny bricked streets, catching the compliments of the smiling Italians, and drinking coffee here and there. Eventually, we found ourselves in a make-up store, picking some nail polishes and lipsticks. Yes, I know that people usually bring antique masks from Venice, but we couldn't help it. We lost the track of time and realized that we had just 10 minutes to get to that clock where the rest of the group was waiting for us. We rushed out of that tiny boutique, having no idea where to go — all these old streets looked the same. We asked every passer-by, how to get to Piazza San Marco. It seemed like we have run a marathon! Luckily, did not miss our ship.

Genoa

We arrived in Genoa late at night and had a city-tour on the next day. This city is a stunning combination of ancient architecture and modernity with the most delicious gelato! Honestly, I do not think that I ate anything else besides ice cream there! We explored the old street of Via Garibaldi, sat on the steps of the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, and even managed to get lost in the ghetto district at night in search of a bottle of wine. The next morning, we head to several port-town nearby. These were tiny authentic towns or even villages with an incredible Italian flavor. You could feel the tackiness of time during siesta when all shops are closed and locals sit in cafes and bars, drinking strong coffee and smoking. It was the first time I saw the Meditteranean Sea, and I love it.

Nice, Monaco, and Monte Carlo

Unfortunately, we had just one day to see these three destinations. However, this lack of time helps you to value each moment. When you have just five minutes before the bus leaves from the Promenade des Anglais, you don't just stand and wait. You rush to have a quick swim in the sea. In Nice, we bought a couple of bottles of wine, sent postcards to our families and friends, and hand-made soap with herbs and essential oils. A visit to Monte Carlo was quick as well. The city was in the middle of its preparation for the Monaco Grand Prix. We visited the renowned Casino de Monte-Carlo but did not win a fortune. In Monaco, we attended the Oceanographic Museum with its fantastic display, the Exotic Garden of Monaco, and a splendid Saint Nicholas Cathedral. As the day was so exuberant in events and different locations, we celebrated it with a bottle of wine and were fast asleep.

Verona

I thought that the Italian city of love would make me feel sad. However, by this time, I had already forgotten about everything that had worried me. Verona is absolutely charming! The bricked streets where Dante Alighieri had been walking at the beginning of the XIV century impressed me with their majesty. This connection with the great writer made this visit even more important to me as my diploma was devoted to "The Divine Comedy". It was pure inspiration! Juliet's Balcony did not impress me that much due to the crowds of tourists that carry you inside and out of the backyard. These were the last couple of days of my trip. I wanted to remember every corner, every antique shop, and the magnificent architecture.

Coming Back Home

On the final evening before heading back home, we visited a tiny village in Hungary. It had a valley of wineries where I tasted the most delicious beverage made of grapes. We sat in a small underground vault with enormous wooden barrels. The group of people with whom I had spent the last 8 days was like a family to me. We exchanged numbers, emails, social networks, and still correspond from time to time.
The day I came back home and looked at my hometown through the window of the car, everything seemed tiny to me. As if I grew like Alice who had drunk a bottle with a magical juice. At first, I was scared of the idea of traveling alone and brokenhearted. But in the end, this Eurotrip managed to cure me and find a way to my real self.