Eurotrip 2015: On Our Way with Philippine Airlines
If you told me exactly a year ago that I'd be going on a Eurotrip with my boyfriend, I would've rolled my eyes and said, "As if... I don't have the finances for it." but a lot has changed since then. This whole Eurotrip plan actually began last year when Gab decided to book tickets to the Hamlet play at the Barbican Theater in London for October 2015. He was a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, Shakespeare, and the city of London; three very good reasons for him to decide on a whim that he's going. It was supposed to be a solo trip, but over the course of 3 months, we decided to make it a full blown Eurotrip. The last 2 months of the Eurotrip planning went painstakingly stressful, there was a lot of stress and a lot of crying. My passport got wet, visa interviews got delayed (repeatedly), I experienced my first visa rejection, cue more tears and stress and then the elation of finally receiving my French Schengen visa two days before our flight! You could say the planning was an adventure in itself, and that was just the beginning.
On Our Way
On the morning of September 30th, Gab and I finally woke to The Day. It was a little weird, because it didn't feel like we were leaving for our trip at all. We agreed that because of the massive hype that we built over the last few months, it ended up feeling surreal on the day itself. I'll admit that the excitement only started to hit the moment we had arrived at the airport and I saw one of my favorite signs: International Departures for Philippine Airlines.
Gab booked his flight to London Heathrow last December 2014 on a Christmas promo fare that allowed travel within the period he wanted to go to London. Take advantage of PAL's promo deals! They always have several ones throughout the year. My advice: Don't book a year too early if you're not absolutely sure of your travel dates. Gab had booked October 5-24, but because we decided to make the Eurotrip an entire month instead, the ticket date changes caused a hefty fee... It was like we had paid for a whole new ticket. That kind of hurt, but we've learned from our mistake and stayed positive with the thinking, "After our Eurotrip experience, that hefty fee won't seem like such a big deal."
Our mantra for this trip: Money can always be earned back with hard work, while experiences are priceless.
There were lots of selfies... Hence Gab's face.Goofing around because Gab wouldn't put a decent selfie face on.Finally up in the air... One of my favorite moments is when the airplane accelerates for take off and the vibration from the speed radiates off the airplane wheels onto the airplane floor, onto your feet and then up your entire body. Most people slink down in their seats and start going to sleep, but I will always savor the moment for take off!
PAL's in-flight entertainment comes in an iPad mini form...
I've read some people complain about this on a random blog about airlines, but I honestly don't see the big deal! If anything, it had a lot of fun games and updated movies to watch... The most recent movie on my iPad was Inside Out! It made the 14 hour flight of sitting absolutely bearable. I was able to watch pilot episodes for shows I've been wanting to check out, beat the high scores of a previous person on Fruit Ninja, watch Korean movies titled in French (lol) and play some chess with Gab.Gab decided to borrow the iPad mini to watch the movies in it, so I decided to take out the same notebook I used two years ago to document my first Eurotrip and started to document the beginning of this one.
I think the best part of PAL flights is their in-flight meals. I've never had a meal I didn't like! Just Gab being... Gab.
Aroz ala Cubana with mushrooms and scrambled eggs for our breakfast. SO GOOD. PAL, tell me the recipe because the other Aroz ala Cubana's I've tasted before were never as good as this one! This one definitely made my favorite PAL in-flight meal from all my flights with PAL.After breakfast, I decided to wash my face, freshen up and re-apply make up, so I look gewd when we land at Heathrow. HahaGab and I with our sleepy faces (me making a face to hide mine lol) before we landed. Excitement is looming!The flight crew of our PAL flight to London! They were so cool and accommodating... Even the pilots were game to take a photo with us. They look so badass.
Gab and I thanked them for the superb service and relaxing flight to London. Now I understand why people choose to fly direct flights as opposed to the ones that have layovers to other countries. I found that PAL's direct flight to London was actually very convenient... 14 hours straight didn't feel like 14 hours when you can sleep and keep yourself occupied and productive throughout the flight.
When we arrived at Heathrow, our car sharing service from London to Paris bailed on us! Imagine the stress that caused me (in our tandem, I'm the planner while Gab does most of the heavy work... Literally. He's carried my heavy backpack majority of this trip -- what's a man my man lol), I had to haul ass and find a way to Paris. After a quick search through Rome2Rio, I found a flight for 6 am to Paris CDG. We arrived at Heathrow at around 9 PM... That was another 7-8 hours of traveling and waiting for our next flight at another airport called London Luton. I ended up sleeping on the floor on my bag at London Luton while waiting for the check-in counters for EasyJet to open so we can check-in and start traveling again.
At 8:00 AM, we've arrived in Paris CDG, and here's a celebratory selfie as soon as we got off the plane!
It took us another few hours before we arrived at our flat, located conveniently in the city center on the 16 Arrondisement, within walking distance of Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower. But, more on my Paris trip later when I get the chance to sit down, edit all our photos from our full 6 days there.
Currently I'm on a train headed to Cochem, Germany from Bern, Switzerland. Gab and I have made wonderful memories, from hilarious nonstop laughing moments, to chasing after our trains and inevitably missing them. I can't believe we're almost halfway through... Time needs to slow down!
More updates soon, if you can't wait for more blog posts, I'm always updating my Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (camiejuan) about this trip.