Follow the adventures of the winners of #MobilityIsMyLifestyle competition on their trip to five European cities in a span of two weeks and rediscover the curious traveller in you!
#MobilityIsMyLifestyle is a competition organised by ESN and several of our partners - Ryanair, Hostelling International and Dr. Walter - where participants can win a paid trip to five European cities in the period of two weeks. To enter the competition, the participants had to record a 45-60 seconds video of themselves talking about the topic “How does mobility contribute to intercultural understanding”. This competition is a good example of a successful collaboration between an organisation and its partners in achieving a mutual goal - promoting and providing young people with more opportunities to experience mobility.
This year’s winners were Isabelle Bouvier from France and Gabriela Nedelcu from Romania. These kick-ass mobility ambassadors, who obviously know very well how mobility contributes to intercultural understanding, took a two week trip to Milan, Krakow, London, Budapest and Barcelona. Interested in how was their trip? Then, keep on reading!
Their adventure started in Milan, a capital of fashion, and a city of impeccable beauty and prosperous history. Gabriela boarded her plane in Prague, while Isabelle had to fly all the way from Montreal. Fortunately, no matter the distance, our partner Ryanair had enabled them with a comfortable flying experience to the city neither one of them had been to before, while Dr. Walter took care of their safety.
“Flying from Prague to Milan has given me the opportunity to see the stunning and imposing rocky mountains of Italy: the Alps!” - Gabriela
They met, for the very first time in person, at the famous Milanese airport where they started discussing their future plans shortly after exchanging hugs. On the bus, on their way to the city, they actually realised they have many things in common - matter-of-factly, they both did their Erasmus in Prague!
“I enjoyed her company straight away. She’s such a friendly and passionate person, a fun buddy as she’d say.” - Isabelle
When they got off the bus, they were greeted cheerfully by three friendly ESN members who guided them to their hostel - Piero Rotta Hostel, courtesy of our partner, Hostelling International - to leave their suitcases, and afterwards gave them a tour around the city. They saw the Big Needle Statue, the Sforza Castle, the Triumph arch made by Napoleon and, of course, the Dome!
“I have to say that the Dome seemed unreal, just like a Gothic painting appearing out of nowhere in a big modern city.” - Gabriela
They also took them to see the famous bull - the legend says that if you spin on the bull 3 times, you will have luck and return to Milan one day. They were eager to try their luck because, after barely a day in the city, neither one of them felt like leaving. That’s a consequence of mobility, a feeling well known to every exchange student and passionate traveller - an inexplicable desire to stay in a place that’s not your home.
ESN members invited the girls to come to one of their well known weekly activities: karaoke party! In a cosy atmosphere, accompanied by great music, food and cocktails, they learned a thing or two about Italy’s culture and Milan’s history thanks to the quiz ESN members had prepared for them. In return, they shared their own history and traditions. Intercultural exchange at its best!
Unfortunately, when the morning came, so did the time for departure. With a heavy heart and sleepy heads, they said their goodbyes to Milan and made their way towards the airport to catch a plane to their next destination: Krakow!
Keep an eye on the second #MobilityIsMyLifestyle article which follows Gabriela’s and Isabelle’s adventures in historic Krakow and beautiful London!
Travelling can pretty easily throw you off your health and fitness regime, but don't worry - we've got you covered!