There is always the excitement combined with emotions (especially fear) whenever an opportunity, that is not so usual, presents itself. Have you ever decided to make a travel without
proper and serious stock taking? This is my story as I embarked on a virtual journey that turned real to the extent that sometimes I look back and wonder how it all started and executed.
I remember it like it was yesterday... one Sunday afternoon while relaxing and a thought, so strongly accompanied by an urge, pestered me to make my maiden trip out of the country and continent by those means.
"an unplanned trip comes out magically exciting"
The thought was good but the events that followed seemed haphazard to say the least. For starters, I had not secured my travel document (passport) and those days it wasn’t automatic that you’d easily get it (it was the preserve of the chosen few or the lucky ones, like me as I would later consider myself).
Fast forward, I managed to secure the travel document with a record three weeks. As those days turned into weeks, I kept myself busy with learning a few phrases of Italian language using online resources (YouTube); I downloaded clips and saved them in the flash which I used to play in the vehicle while driving - it was an interesting experience.
At the same time I tried to compare flights and their prices. I didn’t want to go through the travel agency way, something I have never regretted making that decision.
Shengen Visa processing took seven days i.e. one day for online application and physical submission at the VFS Global on behalf of the Embassy and collecting the travel document affixed with Visa.
"the effort paid off"
As I was picking my travel documents, I got a price drop alert from Ethiopian Airways for a two-week return ticket at $360 then against a normal rate minimum of $600 (this was a good deal indeed and I immediately proceeded to make the booking and paid in their Nairobi Office the same day).
The journey was calm and exciting. Immediately after landing I proceeded to Roma Termini using train from airport for my two hour train ride to Orte in Rome.
Immediately after the delicious welcome lunch prepared by my host I decided to take an afternoon stroll to try to bond with the environment and beat jet lag. The neighbourhood and the surrounding was just wow: rural city build on a hillside set-up surrounded by the countryside green scenery - it just felt the place to be.
Having settled in the days that followed I went to sight see the city of Rome. The frst stop was at the Basilica of St. Mary Major and thereafter decided to secure city tour bus (Green Line Tours) to kill many birds with one stone, a decided that really helped.