A few days ago I booked a trip for a friend of mine to Chicago. Afterwards, she was kind enough to write me a raving review about my services and reminisce on trips I’d planned for us while studying abroad before Bucket List Bookings was even a thought. While reading her post my mind was made up – this week I’ll write my blog post about Linz. I ‘ll write about what that city taught me and who it helped me become. Linz, Austria… it was this small town that had the largest impact on my life (I say small in comparison to Chicago or Dallas but it is in fact the third largest in Austria). It was in this small town where I discovered: myself, my desire to see the world, that while distance does test the heart, it truly makes the heart grow fonder and that traveling does ultimately change and shape you.
Travel connoisseurs and adults will tell you that traveling will teach you more about yourself than you ever knew and reap the importance of going off and doing these things while “you’re still young”. Not that I am old and wise by any means but I do know they are right; 100%, absolutely, no doubt about it, so darn right! But there’s something I don’t know… why?
What was it about that antique Austrian town, or my spontaneous weekend ventures to foreign countries with practical strangers I called friends? What was it about getting lost in places I couldn’t even speak their language and trusting some local (aka the people your parents told you to never talk to) to help me get home safely? What was it about living in a dorm and routinely having 10 drinks too many with people from all over the world… What was it about any of it? I don’t know. What about those things made me grow, open up, become stronger, more independent, feel OK when completely vulnerable? I don’t know. Sure, being thrown into that small town all by myself forced me to feel more confident and sociable, and forced me to think more on my feet but doesn’t high school force us to do the same? Doesn’t being thrown out into the real world with only a piece of paper proving your somewhat educated do that to us? What is it about traveling specifically that has a much larger and lifelong impact? Whatever IT is, I thank IT for turning me into the independent, fearless, cultured, knowledgeable and travel bug infused person I am today. Now, lets talk about Linz a little more specifically.
Linz is nestled in northern Austria right along both sides the Danube and is 132km/82 miles east of Salzburg and 185km/115 miles west of Vienna. This town has the best of both worlds – farm and rolling green land and a beautiful and busy city. Imagine all of that wrapped up together sprinkled with the best shops, cafes, pubs, museums and churches dumped into a big bowl of culture; that’s Linz! Because of the large variety of lifestyles the city can accommodate, its streets are filled with families, university students, older couples, immigrants and the crazy crazy Erasmus students (that was me and 200 of my closest stranger friends). And because the town is filled with such a variety of people and backed by a notorious art and music scene, is why Linz was chosen as one of the European Capitals of Culture! How neat is that? Life in Linz is simple yet sophisticated. The transportation system in Linz is complex yet easy. The University in Linz is casual yet challenging. Linz truly has it all and would greet you with open arms if you were to ever visit.
When you decide to take your adventure to become a “better and wiser and more in touch with yourself” you, make sure Linz is on your list. Maybe you can stop there on your way from Budapest to Munich? Or Prague to Zagreb? Milan to Warsaw? Being one of the most centrally located cities in Europe makes traveling to and from incredibly accessible AND being the home to the HARIBO GUMMY BEAR FACTORY is a reason on it’s own to pay a visit. Oh, and don’t forget a slice (or five) of Linzer torte and your soccer cleats!