Meraviglioso

Meraviglioso (MARE- UH- VIL- YO- ZO) : Italian for wonderful, splendid, marvelous. I was on the plane coming home from the beautiful island of Sardegna about a week ago, feeling sad about how little time I have left in Italy, … Continue reading

Vino & Visas Last Column: Ci Vediamo, Italia. Un Bacio.

I recently wrote my last column for the ongoing Vino & Visas section I’ve had all year for the Guardian. It’s been an interesting experience sending bits and pieces of my life abroad and i’ve learned quite a bit throughout … Continue reading

Holy Shit You Guys, It’s May Already…

MAMMA MIA, TIME FLIES!!!

Wow I really can’t get over the fact that so much time has passed already that I’ve been living in another country. I mean, I’ve been consciously aware of the fact that I’m not in America while I’ve been here, but when I actually stop and think about the fact that I legit live in another country – and how much I LOVE IT, it kind of blows my mind. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty easily impressed, but I mean come on, I’m kind of proud of me.

~ok i’m done. moving on… ~

I just wanted to check in with my dear old bloggie, and I have news, so that’s fun! My news is that I ate fresh burrata in Puglia. I KNOW, YOU GUYS….SO EXCITING! Oh yeah, also, I went to Puglia for 4 days with my Italian roommate, Laura and my P.I.C., Lily. We drove around the southern part (the boot of Italy), saw stupidly pretty seawater/coastline and ate way too many taralli. Puglia is amazing – it’s full of olive trees that produce some of the best oive oil in Italy, rich cultural heritage sites and just happens to be where my Italian heritage tanti anni fa (many years ago) originates. I definitely recommend a visit to Puglia, if you’re looking for absolute beauty and some of the best food you’ll ever nom on. **Some things to know before you go: it’s the south, so infrastructure is really poor and/or non-existent, things like wi-fi are hard to find, most people don’t speak English and speak Italian with a very heavy accent, you need a car, unless you’re staying in only 1 or 2 towns, people do things on their own time (they are on super Italian time –meaning everything is later and slower than the actual time it’s supposed to happen), last but NOT least, it’s so worth it!

Before Puglia, two weeks prior I was actually in Spain for a week, visiting my friend, Rebecca. I went to Madrid and Valencia, both of which are amazing and deserve their own post. I think I’m going to work on posting travel tips and places I’ve been, this summer, when I have time and am back in America, reminiscing about Europe. In the meantime, i’ll give you all the trip highlights: Valencia – central market, incredibly cute town, bar crawl, drink (agua de valencia), bar crawl with randoms (pretending to bffs/making out with a cute german), randomly running into a wine and cheese festival. Madrid – THE METRO IS SO AMAZING, the Museo de Sofia Reina, parks, my sweet Spanish air bnb host and her homemade spanish tortillas, seeing Rebecca everyday :D.

Now, it’s May…HOLY SHIT! I have May, June and July (I leave July 29) left in my beloved Bologna. I’m freaking out a bit, because I know how fast the time will go and I still have so many things I want/need to do. I have my internship with the Human Right’s Night Film Festival that’ll be happening soon, so i’ll be busy. I have exams, which I need to start studying for, but have absolutely no voglia (desire) to do so. I need to start planning my trip to Sicily and to Sardegna, for when my mom comes. I need to do my laundry and exercise and live a healthy lifestyle — sheesh, so many things!!!!

If there’s anything I’ve learned while abroad, it’s that there’s no use in thinking about the short amount of time you have to do things (yes, 1 year is actually no time at all). Invece (instead), you have to just appreciate and enjoy every moment for what it is…carpe that effin diem, or whatever those cheesy posters that I secretly love so much say. In fact, that’s what I’ve been doing in Bologna – just appreciating how great the city is by always being out. Lily and I are always walking around, running into open-air markets, going for a stroll at Giardini Margherita, getting an aperitivo out with friends or just grabbing a bottle of wine and sitting in a piazza. Springtime in Bologna is amazing, everyone is always outside. Actually, tonight we wanted to go out for a bit, so we went to the last day of the liberation festival, conveniently located at the park next to our apartment and got melanzana alla parmigiana from the Sicilian stand. It was so nice; there were cute little tables on the grass, so we sat down and enjoyed our yummiez and were gifted a free cannolo, by the sweet man working the booth. Whilst enjoying our sweet treat, we caught the attention of a group of older Italian men chatting and drinking wine. It was obvious that they were looking to chat us up, so they started off with the standard “where are you from” question. They asked if we were Spanish and were delightfully surprised when we replied back that we’re Californiane. Soon enough, they asked if they could sit at our table for some chiacchierate (chitchat) and were picking our brains about old american comics and giving us a history lesson about Bologna and wars of the past. It was actually really fun to chitchat with the old geezers of Bologna, who were just being their naturally social, Italian selves. We said our goodbyes and headed home, after an unexpected eventful night of casual conversation and laughter in the park with locals. Bologna è così (Bologna’s like this): there’s always fun to be had, you just have to go out and find it.

So, yeah i’m going to be sad to leave my new found home, but I think at the end of the day, the message is the same – find your own fun. Go outside, meet people, chat, laugh, eat, drink and be merry. Nothing will be ever the same, when I get back to California, but now that i’ve learned the kind of lifestyle I like, I think I can recreate it just about anywhere I am.

Basta ragazzi (enough), i’m done with all the cheesy stuff. Thanks for reading. Here are a few pics of my Bolognese life. Hope you enjoy.

A presto,

S

xxxx

 

Sunday Songs & Sentiments

It’s Sunday morning, rain is falling on my window pane…wait no, that’s a Maroon 5 song. It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting here on my unmade bed attempting to study Dante’s Inferno, before my attention span descends into the great … Continue reading

Seasonal Neurosis.

I go through this phase about four times a year, when I try and figure out what I really want in life and think way too hard about how hard it may or may not be to achieve these goals.

I’ll go ahead and diagnose me now. I’ve got seasonal neurosis. I get obsessive compulsive about things that are far ahead in the future and try to work on achieving those things instead of working on the present tasks at hand. I’d like to think of it as a trait of all successful people; I mean come on, Woody Allen became famous for his neurotic humor and Leonardo DiCaprio has claimed that he’s neurotic and OCD in many Hollywood Access interviews (the most credible source, as we all know). Really, what the deal is that it’s just me tricking myself into thinking I’m being productive by thinking about everything that could be, while procrastinating things like studying, working out, responding to emails, etc.

totally reasonable thought process.

It all starts with a few google searches: “writer jobs in los angeles, new york city, san francisco and san diego”. That then turn into a few more: “how much should I earn after college?”, “travel writer jobs”. Then it spirals so far-fetched: “can you get health benefits from blogging?”, that somewhere, mid-way through I get so overwhelmed that I look up recipes for ungodly amounts of time.

The problem with me is that I don’t really know what I want to do, but I’m open to a lot of things and also want a lot of things. This is not some novel revelation. I’ve had conversations about this with my mom and best friends countless times. So, why do I keep thinking about it? It’s because I kind of have high expectations of me. I picture myself not too far down the road in a badass classily cut dolce and gabbana dress, being the boss of my own company or at my book signing.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-1692-1363016425-1

I guess I fear that if I don’t start figuring out now how I can get to the point, i’ll some how be wasting time. Obviously, I need to enjoy the present and not let the image of me in dolce hinder me, rather, motivate me to do really well at what I’m doing now. It doesn’t matter how far worrying helped Woody Allen’s career, it’s not going to get me anywhere.

lots of love,

S

xxx

Realizations of A Quasi European

I write a study abroad column for my university’s newspaper about my life in Italy, self realizations and what not. So I wrote this article a while back and it got published while I was on vacation, so I forgot to post … Continue reading

“Ready or Not Here I Come”– Sincerely, 2015

I’m trying to stay tranquilla (calm), but I just started thinking about the fact that 2015 is going to sneak up on me so hardcore with just about a million and one unknowns, which is exciting, but also terrifying. I’m … Continue reading

Fall Forward, Behind, Back or Whatever They Say…

Sometimes in life, you neglect things and focus your energy on other things, even if the things you’re neglecting are the things you like. This is my way of saying I like blogging, but I’ve neglected my poor little blog … Continue reading

Ryan Air: A Necessary Evil.

First things first, I’m sorry for sucking as a blogger. I’ve been  far more inconsistent than I initially intended to be. I’d like to say that I’m going to fix that in the near future, but, I mean…

Anyway, I do have legit reasons for not writing; I’ve been traveling a ton with my good ole’ friend Ryan Air. For those of you who don’t know, Ryan Air is a budget airline in europe, that bases its business on providing affordable flights for customers and then promptly finding every way to rip you off. As a young traveler, Ryan Air is a necessary evil. What I mean by that is, if you want to travel around Europe and not break-the-bank Ryan Air and Easy Jet are your best bets. If it wasn’t for Ryan Air or Easy Jet, I wouldn’t have been able to afford all of the trips I’ve taken so far, so for that I’ll put aside the negativity and talk about all the cool trips I’ve been on.

In September I traveled to Paris, Brussels, Maastricht and Amsterdam. The Paris trip was a separate trip, just a long weekend. All of the other countries listed, I did in the week before school started. The trip to Paris was mainly because me and a group of friends spontaneously bought cheap tickets to see Queen Bey in concert back in July. We figured that Beyonce was a good excuse to see Paris as well. I didn’t really know what to expect, because I had always heard that Parisians are snobby and hate Americans. But, I honestly couldn’t have had a better experience. All of the people we met were so nice and even though 3-4 days is nowhere near enough time in Paris, we really got to see a lot of the city and enjoy Paris and of course BEYONCE, who is as far as I’m concerned, one of the best humans on the planet. Other trip highlights were: our First thing incredibly cool hostel, Young & Happy Hostel in the Latin Quarter, Nutella and banana crepes, a free 3 hour walking tour of the city, wine by the eiffel tower at night and a boat tour with mimosas along the Seine.

Pics from Paris:

My next trip was a bit longer and definitely much colder. My friend, Rebecca and I flew from Bologna to Brussels with Ryan Air, almost missed our flight, because we had electronic versions of our ticket instead of a paper copy. We literally were about to board the plane when the lady took one look at our e-tickets and our passports and said “Sorry, you can’t use those tickets. You have to go downstairs and back through security to get a printed copy, because you’re American.” So, we ran around frantically trying to make it back in time to catch our flight, which luckily we did (we were the last ones on the plane). Lesson Learned: ALWAYS PRINT YOUR TICKETS FOR RYAN AIR. If you don’t print your tickets and go through visa check first, YOU WILL BE RUNNING DOWN THE PLATFORM, or will have to pay 15 EUROS to print a stupid paper version.

Even though the start of the trip was a bit rough, the rest of the trip was amazing! Brussels is a really cool city and has amazing food/beer. They also were having some sort of festival the day we were there, so the famous statue of a peeing boy in the center of town was dressed up and instead of peeing water, the Belgians fixed up so the boy was peeing beer, which they were handing out for free. I feel like that alone, tells you a lot about Brussels. My friend Sahar, from UCSD is studying abroad in Maastricht (Netherlands), which is super close to Brussels came to visit us and then we went back with her to stay in Maastricht for the week. Maastricht is a super-charming Dutch town, in the southern part of the Netherlands. I really enjoyed our time there roaming around the streets, eating waffles and cheese and doing all sorts of fun shopping. From Maastricht we went to Amsterdam for a night, which was incredible. Amsterdam is an amazing city, full of history, culture and of course stoners from all over in the notorious coffee shops. We went cheese tasting, visited the Anne Frank house and walked all over the city. We really saw a lot that trip and enjoyed everywhere we went. It was also so nice to see Sahar and casually galavant through European countries, like we always dreamed about back at school in San Diego.

Pics or it didn’t happen:

The most recent trip I’ve taken was my pal Ryan Air was to Berlin. It was this trip that made my resentment for Ryan Air grow stronger. First off, we flew out of Bergamo, which is closer to Milan, so we had to take Bla Bla Cars (people who offer rides on a legit website from one place to another) to and from Milan, because trains to Milan are way too expensive. The Bergamo airport security is stupid and made my friend Lily throw away her expensive hair product, because it was in a travel-sized container that wasn’t labeled and they made me throw away my corkscrew, which with I’ve had no problem in any other European city before. We were just really grumpy in that airport, because everyone was being so annoying, but I mean we made it to Berlin and had a great time. Berlin, for those of you don’t know is HUGE, but it’s cool because they have an amazing public transportation system that tells you exactly how long it takes for each train to come and is incredibly fast and clean. Visiting Berlin was nice, because we had a place to stay with Lily’s brother, who lives there. My favorite part of Berlin is the funky/artsy culture that seeps into almost all aspects of the culture. I definitely want to go back and spend more time there, but my little taste of Berlin was wonderful and will do for now.

Berliners:

I have one last trip planned for next weekend with the homie Ryan Air and that’s to IBIZA!! The whole trip was 5o U.S. dollars ROUND TRIP!! It was to cheap not to book, so we’ll see how the Spanish Island life treats us…

The Verdict on Ryan Air: I don’t like them, but I for now I need them. Until I find a better solution…