What My Difficult Journey to the Stunning Amalfi Coast Taught Me

The Amalfi Coast is truly the hidden gem of Italy. You may be thinking, “What are you talking about?” this area is all over social media.  But we’re talking more in the traditional sense, it just takes more effort to get to!  While the Amalfi Coast was my most difficult journey to date, the breathtakingly beautiful paradise was more than enough of a reward.

To be fair my adventure started with a recipe for disaster. I was traveling with four of my friends from uni and we were all extremely tired after spending about a week hardcore touring in Italy.

We set out on our first leg which was a 1-hour train from Rome to Naples.  After the train ride we took a taxi to the Naples airport so we could catch a bus to Amalfi. Once we arrived at the airport, that is when my perfectly planned trip began to crumble. The bus company we wanted to book our tickets with required online booking but none of us had cell service. So, we frantically rushed around the airport searching for a strong enough WiFi connection so we could buy the tickets on the company’s website. Finally, just as the sun was setting and after 1 long hour of struggling we managed to book our tickets.

Now we had a handle on everything, right?  Wrong.  The cloud of irritability continued to follow us. After booking the bus tickets, we weren’t entirely sure if our order had gone through quickly enough for them to send a driver.  So, the waiting game ensued.  Finally after being notified that a driver will arrive, we decided to have a celebratory red wine at the airport bar. Unfortunately, our celebration was short lived because our driver showed up 2 hours late forcing us to wait once again in the chilly dark city.

Now that we were settled, our ride to Amalfi felt like a rollercoaster straight out of an amusement park. The Amalfi Coast is famous for their large jarring mountains. Every twist, turn, up and down movement on our 2.5-hour long ride frightened my poor empty stomach.  And even though our dead of night arrival was far from ideal, we were like little children awaiting Santa on Christmas Eve.  So, we settled into bed awaiting our heavenly surprise in the morning.

When the morning came, I couldn’t believe my eyes, our little Airbnb located on top of the mountain provided us with the perfect view resting below us. I felt like I had been transported into a bright oil colored painting painted by Van Gogh himself. The teal blue water sparkled as it reflected the sun’s warm rays. Colorful pastel homes and boutiques decorated every layer of the vibrantly green mountains. The picturesque view lived up to every Instagram and Pinterest photo I had seen. This was the view of Europe I had dreamed about since I was a little girl.

My friends and I spent our short time in the mountainous paradise by relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Despite being a big tourist attraction, The Amalfi Coast has limited activities. The area is mostly comprised of eateries, boutiques, churches, the beach, and boating. While this may seem boring to some, this was everything I needed. The mountains are flooded with rich pieces of culture that provided insight to the dense history of the coast, so on our first morning we embarked on a long hike through cute lemon farms and historical ruins.

Following our long hike, we shopped at the many unique boutiques then ate at a yummy pizzeria. Then, we decided to rent a small boat and explore the coasts teal sea. Renting a small boat in Amalfi is relatively easy and cheap – about €60 euros for 2 hours of use. Plus, being out on the clear blue water made every minute of stress, exhaustion and panic worth it.

Feeling the oceans breeze hit my skin as I watched the gentle waves sparkle against the sunlight sent me into a state of pure tranquility.

It was during this state that I learned one of my biggest life lessons. Traveling is the biggest reminder that life is truly uncontrollable even though we desperately seek to stay in control. From the beginning, our trip seemed to be doomed with so many ups and downs and uncertainty. However, because my friends and I were able to push through it, we ended up having one of the most rewarding trips of our lives.  The Amalfi Coast is a place that can never be forgotten and the sweet memories I acquired from the coast will always stay engraved in my mind.

Chantell Highsmith

Blog Contributor

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