New Year's Eve in Florence...sounds dreamy right?!
Prior to 2018, I had spent most New Year's Eves at mediocre parties with my people, spending way too much money on below average atmospheres. I knew something had to change. Everyone always has such high expectations for "New Years" and it always disappoints.
So I figured, spending New Years in another country would be amazing no matter what we're doing! Last year, Amsterdam and London were incredible! I knew this year had to be something great- so my girls and I got together and decided- ITALIA.
We'll be going for 13 days over New Years- winter-time in Italy, and I'm very eager to see Italy not in the heat. My last time in Italy was in 2016- during the hottest months of summer and I'm so looking forward to being back and not dripping in sweat! Planning a trip with your girlfriends is such a fun experience- searching tours, sites, and more importantly restaurants! We're all dreaming about the pizza and wine we'll be drowning in just two months from now.
Our itinerary is pretty packed! Will post all the deets later, but we're so excited to visit Milan, Verona, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and Venice! So much history, and even more carbs!
Nothing beats spending time with some of your best friends in your favorite place on Earth. Italy is a natural energy source for me. Recharging to come home and be productive! A few of the girls have never been so I'm over the moon to share my bit of home with them!
Where do you go to re-energize? A place that feels like home away from home?
Drop some photos below so I can add your favorites to my list!
I was writing a packing list...over and over...getting ready to live in Florence: for FOUR MONTHS. The reality of that phrase was on repeat in my mind every second of every day until I was walking to my gate.
I felt as though all I wanted to do was shout my experiences from the virtual rooftops.
This blog was LEGITIMATELY a play by play of every single day of my study abroad experience; I am horrified to admit that at this time, the words um, like and yeah were sprinkled into my writing like a child's 5th birthday cake. Looking back on that blog, all I can do is shutter.
And then, I came home, and as most study abroad students claim, I had 'found myself'. I spent the rest of my college career brainstorming, writing, and revising my thoughts on my experiences abroad. It wasn't until I graduated and was headed back to Europe that I had a handle on those thoughts. I believed, and still believe, that life is for living. So I took that idea and ran with it...
I came home and it started all over again. The feeling of inaccuracy that "because life is for living" just wasn't going to capture everything I wanted to say. I wanted to share my world views, my travel experiences, my failures, with the world. There is just something about sharing my opinions, experiences, obstacles, and triumphs that has allowed me to grow as a person and writer.
And one day, justk8things was born. Seriously, I felt like it had been staring me in the face my entire life. It has always been 'a thing': people joking that my tardiness is just a 'k8 thing', or that my picky eating habits are 'just k8 things'. So after much thought, I realized there is no better way to share my life with the world than through justk8things. And I do have to say, I'm pretty sure this is where I'm supposed to be. For now at least.
because, you know, life is for living :)
You could say I'm catching flights... getting antsy and wishing my next travel plans were coming faster! When I'm dreaming of jet setting, there's only one way for me to ease my sorrows: settle in for a film to send my mind elsewhere. Here are my top 5 movies that always fill my travel withdrawals:
To put it simply, “The exchange really is forever”. Little did I know that those foreign exchange students whom I only spent a measly 20 days with in 2012, would still be in my life four years later. Rewind to June 2011 when, in the last week of my Junior year of high school, I received an email with the name Sophie Monachini, the Italian girl who would come live with us for 10 days that fall. Cut to September when all of us Americans were waiting at the gate with flowers and posters decorated with our respective Italians’ names.
As a study abroad student, living the Florentine life can be an incredibly rewarding experience filled with great food, amazing people, and new adventures. However, to truly get the local experience it can be helpful to focus on the culture itself. Otherwise it is very possible you'll end up with a semester abroad filled with memories of drunken kebabs and no Italian vocabulary. Here are some great ways to go about your life as a local in Florence while still enjoying your time as a student!
Life is complicated, that's a given. I'm just here to talk through the rough patches, celebrate the successes of adulthood and figure out what the hell we're doing.