Travel

My Little Roman Holiday

Studying abroad has brought a new meaning to the word independent. Before coming to Italy I thought I was pretty self sufficient, I mean there was the one time I went to the movies by myself. However, I never thought I would be cool with traveling the globe solo. But after watching the Lizzie McGuire Movie I was inspired and decided to head to Rome on my own. I booked a hostel for the weekend at 11pm Thursday night, bought a ticket to Rome at the station Friday morning, and was on my way.

The whole weekend was like something out of a movie. Everything just worked out so perfectly. The moment I got to the hostel I threw my bags in my room (which I shared with 7 other strangers) and went out exploring. I quickly walked down our street which was scattered with trendy shops and coffee bars, made my first left turn, and was standing directly face to face with the Colosseum. I was in complete and total awe so much so that I cried one single tear. Embarrassing. Everything was just so grand and unreal. I mean I have seen photographs of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain throughout the course of my entire life, but actually being there seeing these iconic monuments physically in front of me was a completely different experience. I walked around with my eyes wide open and mouth agape for a good 5 hours before I was interrupted by the rain and had to run back the the hostel. Once there I got freshened up and was welcomed with opened arms to hang with some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever had the chance to meet. My roommates ranged from kids who just graduated college or even high school and are taking a whole year to travel on their own to other students studying abroad and taking a weekend trip like me and believe it or not, two of my sisters in Delta Gamma at Oregon. Can this world get any smaller?

The whole day Saturday I spent with some girls from the hostel, the DGs I met, and their friend who happens to be studying Art History abroad in Rome and gave us a private guided tour of the entire city and all of it’s ancient glory. I mean, this kid Erik, knew his stuff. He told us all about the different kinds of architecture and styles of columns, why all the Egyptian obelisks were on display pretty much every piazza, the artists and background of every single statue, and of course, all the best places to hang out and grab a bite to eat. After this long and tiring day we needed a good place to chow down, so we headed to a little place called Pimm’s Good where I enjoyed a glass of red and some bangin’ carbonara, a roman specialty. There we also made friends with an older German couple who gave my friend Sher and I passes for one of those double decker bus tours to use the next day. We thought why not?

On Sunday Sher and I got up bright and early, grabbed the usual cappuccino, and took the subway to a cute little part of town where there was an enormous local flea market full of garments for 1 euro, mink coats, books, and hundreds of thousands of old pictures and postcards. I even talked a vendor down 10 euros and bought a cute black floppy hat *sassy hair flicking girl emoji*. After our little local adventure we completely changed roles and sat on the top of a tourist double decker tour bus for the rest of the day. It really was great seeing the city from a birds eye view. Unfortunately, after the tour ended I had to run back to hostel, pick up my things, and head to the train station to catch my ride.

Overall, it was the best weekend I’ve had in Italy so far. I saw some pretty unreal things and made hella cool friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. If there is one thing I wish to teach people and it seems to be one thing that every single traveller I’ve met has in common, it’s that you can do things on your own. Don’t be a follower and get held back by others. Truly enjoy yourself and all that this big world has to offer

aa5DSC_0032DSC_0009DSC_0015DSC_0022DSC_0028 DSC_0030DSC_0048 DSC_0041DSC_0034DSC_0051 DSC_0054 DSC_0060DSC_0078DSC_0085 DSC_0081DSC_0079DSC_0090 DSC_0091DSC_0101 DSC_0103DSC_0109DSC_0112DSC_0116DSC_0105 DSC_0126DSC_0132 DSC_0133 DSC_0135 DSC_0138DSC_0147DSC_0149DSC_0154DSC_0146 DSC_0143DSC_0156 DSC_0159 DSC_0163 DSC_0167 DSC_0175DSC_0169DSC_0173     DSC_0187a2 DSC_0199 DSC_0213DSC_0204 DSC_0201 DSC_0214 DSC_0334DSC_0178DSC_0251a4 DSC_0218DSC_0220a3DSC_0227 DSC_0225 DSC_0217DSC_0223 DSC_0235 DSC_0238 DSC_0244 DSC_0247DSC_0250DSC_0301 DSC_0263DSC_0283DSC_0268DSC_0277 DSC_0276 DSC_0278DSC_0293DSC_0304DSC_0305DSC_0315DSC_0319DSC_0326DSC_0327DSC_0330DSC_0321

Standard
Travel

Milan Fashion Week

Two words. Italian. Fashion. Need I say more?

Milan Fashion Week is a once in a lifetime experience and there was no chance I would be in Italy and miss this glamorous affair.

I strolled around wishfully window shopping all of my favorite italian designers; Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Gucci, Prada, & Mischino. It was torture. sweet, beautiful, couture torture.

We got our hair styled to look like actual runway models by the world’s hottest Italian men, which is a very high standard over here. Everyone’s face looks as though it was chiseled by the god’s themselves. But seriously, Krystina’s hair looked like a piece of art, a weird, bizarre, pretentious piece of art. We took it out the moment we left the popup hair salon. Oops..

I ate like a true Milanese and had my first ever risotto. I could have easily had five more plates if I wasn’t super self-conscious and surrounded by stick-thin models, literally.

We explored different MFW expos featuring award winning student designs, watched live fashion shows projected on every wall, saw a man hand making leather shoes, peaked in at a Canon dress up blogger photo shoot, and admired a spectacular Sophia Loren exhibition.

Everything took a very weird and not to glamourous turn when we decided to head to the fabulous Duomo to have ourselves a little photo shoot. There I was minding my own business taking some shots of the amazing architecture and next thing I know I have a handful of corn kernels in my hand. Half a second and an ear-piercing scream later, I had around 3-7 dirty rat birds all across the length of my arm. (I know I say I’m fearless and all, but the pigeons here are actually terrifying). This was probably the most scarring event to occur in my twenty-one years of life on this planet.

However the highlight and best part about the entire day was the fact that I spent it doing my favorite hobby. People watching. From seeing real models out running from show to show to noticing people wearing new outfits that just debuted on the runway the night before, the street fashion was surreal. If you ever get the chance and happen to be in NYC, Milan, or Paris around the time of Fashion Week, for the love of everything aesthetically pleasing and right in the world, GO PEOPLE WATCH.

DSC_0011DSC_0006DSC_0015 DSC_0007   DSC_0016 DSC_0017 DSC_0018 DSC_0021 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0030  DSC_0043 DSC_0047 DSC_0048 DSC_0053 DSC_0054 DSC_0056 DSC_0057 DSC_0062mil DSC_0067 DSC_0068  DSC_0076DSC_0075DSC_0079 DSC_0081 DSC_0082 DSC_0086  DSC_0094 DSC_0098 DSC_0106DSC_0104  DSC_0108  DSC_0115DSC_0114 DSC_0118 DSC_0130 DSC_0131 DSC_0135 DSC_0137  DSC_0141 DSC_0145 DSC_0146 DSC_0149 DSC_0150 DSC_0158DSC_0169DSC_0170 DSC_0160 DSC_0166   DSC_0171 DSC_0172 DSC_0173  mil2DSC_0188 DSC_0210DSC_0176DSC_0198 DSC_0207DSC_0230 DSC_0222    DSC_0237 DSC_0242 DSC_0244 DSC_0246 DSC_0253 DSC_0255 DSC_0258  DSC_0264

Standard
Travel

Ciao from Cinque Terre!

This may be my absolute favorite place on the face of the planet. Yesterday we were given a private tour of the five little sea towns that make up Cinque Terre by the beautiful Allie and had the most stellar day. Can you imagine any place more picturesque? Our day was filled with lots of photo shoots, delicious linguine and clams, girl talks on the rocks, window shopping, and some spritz. I mean when you looked down all you saw was blue crystal clear water and when you looked up all you saw were a pastel rainbow of apartments stuck on the sides of mountains. It was by far the most amazing place I have seen so far on my trip, wait make that my entire life.

& a huge thanks to Allie and Pier for giving us the grand tour of your home!

DSC_0013 DSC_0011DSC_0016  DSC_0022 DSC_0018DSC_0023DSC_0033 DSC_0024 DSC_0029DSC_0039 DSC_0040 DSC_0044 DSC_0045 DSC_0049 DSC_0050 DSC_0051 DSC_0054DSC_0053   DSC_0063 DSC_0065 DSC_0060DSC_0066 DSC_0069 DSC_0073 DSC_0078DSC_0079 DSC_0084 DSC_0090 DSC_0098DSC_0092  DSC_0099 DSC_0100 DSC_0103 DSC_0105 DSC_0107 DSC_0109DSC_0125  DSC_0114DSC_0118 DSC_0116DSC_0121  DSC_0128 DSC_0136 DSC_0138   DSC_0146 DSC_0144DSC_0147DSC_0142 DSC_0148 DSC_0150 DSC_0164 DSC_0165 DSC_0166 DSC_0167 DSC_0168 DSC_0173 DSC_0175 DSC_0182

 

DSC_0187

Standard
Travel

Tuscan Trip: Pisa.

My pals and I pigged out on pizza in Pisa.

Took the travelling train totally tour guideless.

Cantered through classical cathedrals.

Stalked strangers shamelessly snapping selfies.

Admired in awe, avant-garde art.

Pretended to be praiseworthy photographers and produce perfect portraits.

Most significantly, single-handedly supported a shifting structure.

DSC_0022DSC_0025 DSC_0026 DSC_0027 DSC_0028 DSC_0034 DSC_0036 DSC_0040 DSC_0042 DSC_0044 DSC_0053 DSC_0057 DSC_0058DSC_0062 DSC_0065 DSC_0069 DSC_0070 DSC_0076 DSC_0078 DSC_0084 DSC_0090 DSC_0094 DSC_0095 DSC_0098 DSC_0100DSC_0103 DSC_0114 DSC_0118 DSC_0123 DSC_0136 DSC_0143 DSC_0147 DSC_0151 DSC_0152 DSC_0153 DSC_0158 DSC_0162 DSC_0164 DSC_0171 DSC_0175 DSC_0178 DSC_0179 DSC_0181 DSC_0183 DSC_0184 DSC_0185 DSC_0190 DSC_0192 DSC_0194 DSC_0199 DSC_0201 DSC_0202 DSC_0209 DSC_0212 DSC_0224 DSC_0231 DSC_0235 DSC_0238 DSC_0244 DSC_0246 DSC_0250 DSC_0251 DSC_0253 DSC_0254 DSC_0256 DSC_0259 DSC_0276 DSC_0280 DSC_0287 DSC_0306 DSC_0311 DSC_0314 DSC_0315 DSC_0318 DSC_0319 DSC_0321 DSC_0323 DSC_0325 DSC_0328 DSC_0330 DSC_0345 DSC_0349 DSC_0353 DSC_0357 DSC_0365 DSC_0370 DSC_0372

Standard
Travel

And The Adventure Begins

Ciao!

 

As I am sitting here in seat 10B on the train from Milan to Florence I have actual time to reflect on my trip so far. It’s been a whirlwind adventure and I’ve only been on the go for 48 hours, or something, actually I have no idea with the time change.

 

It all started with my loving family dropping me off at the Ft. Lauderdale airport then sitting on a ten hour plane ride with a couple who met while they were studying abroad 5 years ago who were generous enough to give me 4 hours worth of advice on the whole study abroad experience. After landing things seemed to go downhill, I almost got bumped off my connecting flight subsequently l lost my luggage. Once in Milan, frustrated and tired, I hung around the airport for a few hours dealing with my baggage trying to keep calm and not lose my cool and potentially stand out as a lost American and manage to get ‘taken’. Thankfully I was welcomed with open arms to stay in a hotel room in Milan with one of my sorority sisters and her boyfriend who now live in Italy. This morning I found the train station on my own and early in a strange city, got a little tour of a gorgeous city, and drank my first Italian espresso.

 

Basically, I have never felt more emotions in such a short period of time. It has been extremely stressful to say the least, which was expected. I mean I’m 21, on my own, and in a completely different culture with total strangers. However, the people I have met along this journey so far don’t feel like strangers. They have been overwhelmingly helpful, give detailed directions, and most importantly take their time in wanting to get to know me. I know this 4-month experience will teach me more than I can ever imagine, especially at this point. I am just so thankful for everything right now. It still seems unreal that I am even in Italy. Like, what?! What a beautiful life this is. I just want to open myself up to whatever experiences seem to come my way with an clear mind and truly fall in love with this city I’ve only seen in pictures in my textbooks and online. I have no doubt in my mind it will be the time of my life, but with that comes ups and downs, hopefully I get my luggage soon. This is a once in a lifetime chance to really test my limits and live life to the fullest.

 

I want to thank all of the people in my life that have made this trip a reality. I love you so much and wouldn’t be the adventurous person I am today without your guidance. Thanks.

 

4510628163_10152652919830135_2523922441089169792_n231

Standard