I watched Paper Towns, an American film adapted from a book. I've overheard arguments about this book among my friends years ago. Is it worth reading? Are the characters developed? Is it like all other John Greene books? This post is not any of those questions. This is an existential look at tourism and experience. … Continue reading Paper Towns and The Edge of Experience
I keep running list of titles of chapters for my memoir in the Notes section of my phone. However since a memoir seems too premature and too intensive than I'm really prepared to take on right now, they shall become blog posts. Here's the first. I had been thinking about taking a TEFL course for … Continue reading Crying Outside the Visa Office
I wish I could say that studying abroad in Florence was the best semester of my life -- that every moment was a dream and that I was never sad. However, I was in the process of losing my friend group, I was away from my parents for the longest time of my life and … Continue reading Beating the Blues Abroad
Matera held the absolute best and absolute worst experiences for me. I'm writing this now in response to Nik's post highlighting her favorite craftsman in Florence and the recent discussion of sexual assault and harassment in the news and on social media — two unrelated topics in Nik's case, but not in mine. I decided … Continue reading Talking to Strangers in Matera, Italy
My last three days in Florence and I still hadn't found the perfect piece of the city to bring home with me. I was staying with my roommate in a low-key but beautifully situated hotel (Hotel Benivieni) and living out our last few days. I was absolutely craving a bagel, so I headed over to Snack … Continue reading My Favorite Florence Jeweler
Every fellow WWOOFer I've met has crazy stories to tell. About a year ago a college professor of mine invited his five advisees to family dinner. It turned out three of us sitting on the same side of the table had all WWOOFed within the past few years. One woman volunteered in North Carolina for … Continue reading WWOOFing Diaries: The Kitchen Garden
With Nikki off to Florence I'm doing a lot of reminiscing from home. When I traveled solo for the first time I went to Italy for three months and spent two of them WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) / "that farming thing." In the fall of 2015 I felt stuck. I was in … Continue reading WWOOFing Diaries: New Place, New Mindset
The first time I went to Italy, something clicked. I had to go back (check out that first picture from our boat ride on the Amalfi Coast...how could you not fall in love!?). I applied to study abroad in Florence for the following spring and two years later, I'm heading back again.
I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Italy twice throughout my four years in college – I spent five weeks in Pisciotta, a small mountaintop town near Salerno, and a semester in Florence, the cultural mecca of Italy. I hold both experiences very close to my heart and fell in love with both places for different reasons but I feel I need to make a case for venturing off the beaten path and going to a small, unknown (to tourists, at least) town.