28 May 2013

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

Almost two weeks ago I spent five wonderful days in Paris. I had been wanting to visit again for some time now (I originally went when I was 16) but when I made plans in the fall, then in March, they all fell through. But! Paris in May is fabulous! I'm so glad I waited. For the next several days I'll share bits and pieces of my trip.

First, welcome to Notre Dame.

We spent a long time inside and outside of the cathédrale. Though it was crowed (however, not to the same standard of Rome right now) I still somehow felt completely tranquil and at ease. The beauty and majesty of churches usually does that to me. I watched as people prayed and lit candles, knelt on their knees, read tiny devotionals, all while a mass of tourists gawked with their heads tilted up and mouths open. In the same moment I felt like both a pilgrim and a tourist. I couldn't believe the lighting in there! It was nothing like I had remembered. This truly is a stunning cathedral - the sincerest beauty is found on the inside. 

I'll be posting more on Paris soon! 

By the way, if you ever go to Paris in May or June, don't miss this

09 May 2013


Currently planning trips to Paris, Prague, an island off the coast of Spain, Provence, and a road trip through the Balkans (Croatia, Montenegro, and Kosovo)

Currently taking this photography e-course 

Currently reading these books

Currently deciding my forthcoming future: Boston, MA vs. Madrid, Spain 

Currently sitting on my front porch

Currently drinking iced coconut coffee

Currently hearing birds chirping and seeing white roses blooming and feeling the sun's warmth

Currently smelling this candle

Currently wishing I was a speed-reader (too many articles and blogs I want to read)

Currently improving my resume and cover letter skills

Currently remembering my AMAZING two weeks with my brother and his girlfriend (I'll post pictures soon)

Currently hopeful for new habits, new opportunities, and new encounters

Currently dreaming, "if only I had the day off, I could do......"

Picture taken at the Herculaneum Archaeological Site near Napoli, Italia 

05 May 2013

Decisions Decisions

I stand on the edge of a cliff. I'm not sure whether to jump or to turn left and walk or to turn right and walk. Once I'm in the water, should I swim or dive or float? If I walk, will the path only lead to the cliff once again farther down?

I used to be exhilarated by decisions. Just the option of having choices kept my mind wandering with the possibilities for hours. Now, as I'm getting older (at the ripe old age of 25) I am beginning to realize that choices have consequences. I have so many paths in front of me at the moment, but I know in the choosing of each one my life could take on a new future. This idea scares me.

I could move to Spain next year to teach in a high school. In the process I could learn some more about International Education, possibly even some Spanish. I could (hopefully) continue to travel, while also beginning a small business idea I have to generate more income. Who knows, I could even volunteer some of my time at a museum to keep my professionalism up-to-date. I would only be here for a year, two at the max.

I could pursue my M.A. in Museum Studies in Boston. I could find meaningful, professional work in the Boston area. Maybe even work at Anthropologie on the side. I could settle in and find a good church, a core group of friends, maybe if the time's right, a boyfriend. I could begin to pursue hobbies and passions that were a bit difficult to cultivate abroad. I could take weekend trips around New England to visit my growing group of connections from my past. I could make Boston a long-term home, or the area  around it.

I could move back home, and as in 'home' I mean Orlando. I could easily find a place to live, a church to attend, hobbies to pursue (rowing and running), and a group of mutual friends I could connect with. I could possibly find a job relatively easy. It may be a bit random at first, but I probably would enjoy it. It would be a nice change in scenery to work for Cru or Rifle Paper Co. or Relevant Magazine or even Anthropologie. And in the process I could get my foot in the door with area museums or universities with International student offices. I could even do my little business venture from here too (and from Boston for that matter). I could also make Orlando a home, since it is where I came from originally. ;)

These are my three realistic choices for the future. Now, which one to choose...they all have something in them that I want ~travel & adventure ~education & career pursuits ~family & familiarization

Oh me oh my! What do I do!?

23 April 2013

Listing Extravaganza!

I'm embarrassed that I've been away for so long. Especially after paying for a blogging e-course in January. I still have yet to officially tell my friends and family about my new blog. For some reason I'm a little shy, but it's probably for the better since I've clearly lacked motivation and discipline for the past month and a half.

But, I'm back now!

And here are a few somethings I've been up to: listing for 30 days! It was so much fun to keep this little notebook full of creative lists for the month of March. I learned a lot about myself and recorded my '25-year-old-self' that I'm sure I'll love to remember in years to come. 

I also kept a gratitude journal for March, which helped me find joy even in my struggles and the daily grind. I've also started up a blog with a friend where we each post a picture and three things we're thankful for once a week. I was inspired to start it with her after reading these blogs. We're going to keep it private for a while since it's more about nurturing our friendship than displaying it for the world. She is in Colorado and I am in Rome. 

And the final project I've started on is journaling every week for a year following these guided prompts. It's always a lovely surprise in my inbox once a week to read the prompt and settle in to some intentional journaling. I've always been a journaler, ever since I received a furry pink and turquoise leopard print journal for my 8th birthday. I haven't always been consistent, but I do have a part of each year since recorded in one of my numerous journals (buying new ones is an obsession of mine). Yet I always seemed to write similar reflections or go off on the same tangent. But with the help from these prompts I'm able to reflect on parts of my life I may have overlooked. 

So, those are a few things I've been up to while I've been away. But now that's it's spring outside and the sunshine stays close by I'm more motivated to do things I've put off for far too long. 

09 March 2013


Seeing mountains all around me

Feeling snow under my (new) boots

Listening to this song (thanks to my employer's music tastes)

Wanting some privacy

Eating northern Italian food - polenta and beet ravioli

Enjoying my morning off

Smelling wood-burning stoves

Thankful for my casual, laid-back, American up-bringing 

Wishing my bag wasn't discolored by a close-call with a fire 

Writing out my lists and journals for this month (keeping me sane 
as the kids yell & scream all.the.time.)

*photo of Virginia, Enrico, and I after snow-mobiling out to a restaurant in the middle of the Dolomites

03 March 2013

Cross-Country Skiiing in Harrachov, CZ ::part two::

I wanted to finish my first skiing experience {See my first post here}as I'm heading out to (hopefully) ski with my Italian employers in Cortina d'Ampezzo for the next two weeks.

Around this time last year I was attempting to slide my feet back and forth as I tried to push my body forward on these two slim sticks which were attached to my arms and legs. Nothing felt more foreign. Snow shoeing, no problem. But cross-country skiing! And with strong semi-pro Czech men! I spent half of the day wondering what I had gotten myself into. We left our little pension early, rented our gear, and headed out to no man's land. Literally, I had no idea where we were. They dropped us somewhere along the border of the Czech Republic and Poland. (So, I guess you could say I've been to Poland, but I don't count it because I only saw it's vast ski-culture)

Amy, my American confidant who also was skiing for the first time actually began strong. I, however, spent two out of the four hours at the end of the group. Thankfully, Dimitri, stayed behind with me, coaching me along. I'm so thankful for his encouragement. He really is a great memory!

After a break at a log cabin-turned restaurant, we finished the loop and headed back to our car. Somewhere. It was a wonderful break in a rustic place with people speaking Czech, Polish, and German. Eating hot food-goulash, soup, sausages, beer. Once we regained our energy, we took a group photo and slid downhill. I felt much better after our pit-stop. I finally was getting somewhere on my skis and enjoyed the time sliding down, then across flat plains of snow, then down again laughing all the way. I think Dimitri was worried at some points because I was going so fast. But I've always had good balance. I kept my knees bent, arms in, and head down so I wouldn't hit any branches. With my poles I kept beckoning the snow around me to help me go faster.

It was a lovely winter day in the mountains.

In the late afternoon we returned our gear, got into our cars and made our way back to Prague. Exhausted and spent, but full of happy memories and sore muscles.

01 March 2013

Quick get-aways from my cozy bed

When I left after a quick trip home in September, one of my good friends gave me this yellow book (above) as a parting gift. It couldn't have been a better gift! There are over twenty travel stories in each book that take you all over the world. I've gotten to to re-live journeys while lost in these pages. I lingered in the squares of Savannah. I marveled at Florida's wildlife once again. I smelled the sun in the south of France. I dove back into the intrigue of Capri. I remembered my first vulnerable days in Prague. I strolled around Bath again as my sixteen-year-old-self. I've also been inspired to visit other places that have always held my imagination. Iceland. Jordan. Romania. The list goes on.

These books are great for seasoned travelers and those filled with wanderlust. I know they say chocolate is an instant vacation (for women). But, ten minutes in one of the various travelogues in these books will surely motivate you for the rest of the day!

You can find them online, at Barnes and Noble, or at Anthropologie.

Bon Voyage!

28 February 2013

Inspiration #2

This quote below makes me laugh. Since I've done both! Ha!

"Sometimes you just need to go somewhere and fill a notebook with a ideas. It's necessary. You can do this at home, if you are able to escape there. I often find myself compulsively cleaning when I'm home. And that's because my house is, apparently, always a mess. Ha! So sometimes it's good to get out. You don't have to go to Europe to find yourself. 

(But you can, of course. :)quote found here

10 (other than Europe) places to get inspired

How do you live an inspired life?

Photos: past journals, lists, and musings abroad / sketch of Venice / wandering the cobbled streets of Prague