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!
Attraversiamo: an all-encompassing word meaning “let’s cross over”. For my Eat, Pray, Love admirers, this is already a familiar concept. But for those unfamiliar, what an enlightening concept to follow and become inspired by. I highly recommend either reading the novel or catching the film with the lovely Julia Roberts because it really is indulging in the highest, truest sense of the word. Shortly following what most would recognize as a mid-life crisis, Liz abandons her daily life and retreats for a year-long journey of self-discovery between Italy, India, and Bali. This adventure is nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster that has left me with an overflowing supply of inspiration.
Life is complicated, that's a given. I'm here to talk through the rough patches, and celebrate the successes of adulthood as a millennial travel professional.