Traveling through Europe I encountered breathtaking scenery, drool-worthy food and interesting cultures. I also encountered people that I wanted to put in my pocket and take with me everywhere I went. These are my pocket people.
Location: Kinsale, Ireland – Dalton’s Bar
Who they are: Local musicians singing “trad” (traditional) songs. A couple banjo players, a couple accordion players, a couple singers, and one bad-ass spoon player.
Why I want them in my pocket: Not only did these gentlemen – one who was 92 and one who was Santa Claus – entertain their audience with their own original and non-original music, they encouraged members of the crowd to sing their own songs or recite their own poetry. It turned into a full-blown Irish open-mic night that I was sad to see end.
Location: Madrid, Spain – Rooftop of the Gourmet Experience El Corte Ingles
Who they are: Javi, Raquel, Ana and Miguel Angel; our newfound friends who traveled from Murcia, Spain to Madrid to go to an AC/DC concert.
Why I want them in my pocket: Because they were hilarious, they bought us drinks, they spoke no English, and they traveled 400 miles to go to an AC/DC concert. It’s good to have party people in your pocket.
Location: Barcelona, Spain – Oviso Bar, Placa George Orwell
Who she is: The bartender.
Why I want her in my pocket: Because she makes a mean White Russian. #whiterussiantime
Location: Nice, France
Who he is: Manu, our Airbnb host.
Why I want him in my pocket: This guy was a character. He is a former musician who was once famous enough to take a picture with and have stories about Bridget Bardot. He spoke 5 different languages and had stories for days. Having a polyglot with some intense life-defining stories to travel around Europe with? Yes, please.
Location: Florence, Italy
Who she is: Manuela, our cooking class instructor.
Why I want her in my pocket: She’s an Italian cook. Done.
Location: Greve, Italy – Castello Vicchiomaggio
Who she is: Ines, our tour guide originally from South Africa.
Why I want her in my pocket: Because we laughed (while learning, of course) throughout our entire tour of the castle. She was extremely knowledgeable, hilarious, and theatrical without ever being too much to handle. While we waited for it to stop raining, she gave us wine and entertained us by looking through all the Europe pictures on my phone, adding colorful commentary about them, and questioning some of my outfit choices. Also her “tasting” pours were just straight up full glasses of wine.
Location: Vis, Croatia (actually Budikovac)
Who he is: Andro
Why I want him in my pocket: Andro is the owner of a restaurant on the small island of Budikovac. The only thing on Budikovac is his restaurant. And his restaurant is so good it doesn’t need a name. Or a menu. You get meat or you get fish. His food was so good that one day we had lunch there, swam for a few hours, then went back for dinner. It was a little embarrassing, but probably one of the best choices we made the whole trip. The view wasn’t too shabby either.
Location: Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Who they are: Katie and Tim, owners and skippers of the Monty B.
Why I want them in my pocket: Two laid back Brits that decided to sell all their things, buy a sailboat, move to Montenegro, and share the love by offering half-day sailing trips around the insanely beautiful Bay of Kotor…I’d say they have their priorities straight.
Location: Rudanovac, Croatia (near Plitvice Lakes National Park)
Who he is: Vedran, our Airbnb host.
Why I want him in my pocket: Because he really pulled through for us – and who doesn’t need someone like that? After a bout of food poisoning crippled one person in our group, he offered to drive us to the hospital, or let us stay at his house while we recovered. And when one of us forgot our phone at the house, he delivered it to us. And he has this outrageously quaint and (though some of the pictures online say otherwise) not at all murder-y cottage that is on our list to visit again.
Megan Niklawski, Account Supervisor