Jerry and I really enjoyed Vienna. It is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria. If you look at all this city has to offer, it’s hard not to feel cultured. From lavish museums, ornate churches, to couth cafés. It’s known both as the city of dreams (Sigmund Freud practiced here) and the city of music (Mozart prospered here as a composer). We were surrounded by sophistication.
Let me tell you what really caught my attention though: the Austro-Hungarian royal family. Yes…meet the Habsburgs.
In a world that’s still entranced by royal families (just look at the excessive media coverage of 2011′s Royal Wedding), I’m not feeling ashamed. I always dreamt of being a princess as a little girl and deciding who was my favorite Disney princess was a fun discussion. As a result, it’s probably not surprising why I was so fascinated with real-life princess Sisi… or rather Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary. She is definitely one intriguing character.
I definitely recommend learning more about Empress Elisabeth and her husband Emperor Franz Joseph if you visit Vienna. Their story is fascinating, yet unfortunately tragic. Their tumultuous history involves unrequited love, struggles for independence, suicide, and assassinations. It’s much more complex than Romeo and Juliet.
In addition to learning about the Empress and Emperor themselves, I also got drawn into their intricate palace lives. All of the court protocol and pomp and circumstance would have driven me crazy as well.
Jerry and I wouldn’t mind visiting Vienna again. There is a lot more we could have seen and done. Traveling around such a sophisticated city can get dangerous though, especially if you’re on a budget. I’m not just talking about putting a dent in your wallet by buying souvenirs, but about seriously affecting your bank account when you get home. What do I mean by this? Everywhere you turn your head you’re looking at upscale decor, impressive art, and luxury cars passing you by on the street. While I’ve been in other cities that exude wealth, I feel like none have done so with nearly as much class as Vienna. I read that many tourists that visit Vienna are financially independent travelers. In this city in particular, I found myself really appreciating the finer things in life. It didn’t feel ostentatious being surrounded by pretty things. It was just the way of life there. And it felt eerily comfortable. There are a lot of artistic and cultural offerings for a person to desire in Vienna. If you’re not used to opulence but get immersed in it, then start coveting it… it’s dangerous. I needed to catch myself here. The more I traveled, the more my eyes opened, and the more I wanted. Yet Jerry and I were living out of a suitcase and we were FINE. We were happy. We ARE happy.
A simple life is nice. It’s simple. We don’t need more to be happy.
What do you need to be happy in life? Has travel changed your perception of happiness? What do you think of Vienna?