A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Why, hello there. February 17, 2012

Filed under: Italy — italicana kitchen @ 6:26 pm
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Thanks to a reader who recently wrote me and asked me about my whereabouts, I am writing this blog post today. I always find that there are people or events that come unexpectedly into your life to pull you back on track towards achieving your dreams.  When this happens we have two choices: to make the changes needed or to let the moment and motivation pass. This choice is life’s little way to say, “Hey! What the heck are you doing getting lost in daily routines when you have a purpose. Your life mission is to follow that passion inside of you, to go after that dream!”  However, more often than not, these choices are often overlooked, tuned out or simply discarded like a crumpled piece of notebook paper with a few scribbled words.  Well, today, thanks to a reader I’ll call *S*, I am writing again. Why? Because, it’s my passion and what I love to do. Why haven’t I been writing? Simply put: fear.

Looking at this word, I want to laugh. I am not usually the gal that fears anything. Quitting my job, leaving my family and friends to travel the world trip—done. Sky diving, bungee jumping, canyon swinging, white water rafting—loved it. Moving to Italy by myself where I knew absolutely no one and had to find a job and build a friend network from scratch—bring it on.  Writing on my blog or writing my book—absolutely terrifying. I should clarify. It’s not the writing process that scares me, but rather the truth-telling-process. I have this inner need to write and tell the truth but am often blocked by my conscience. I want to write about real life experiences and about taboo subjects but once I start my mind interferes:  “If I say that will that person get mad at me?”, “If I talk about sex, what will my parents, my colleagues or boss think?”

I envy those who are so brutally sincere that when someone asks them if she looks fat in her outfit, the response is yes—regardless if it is their relative, friend, co-worker or a complete stranger. I say no—or, often times, skirt around the response by suggesting how it could look better like, “That skirt would look great with a long sweater,” where in reality I’m thinking, “OMG, get a longer sweater and cover that muffin top!”  But, really, how can I say those things out loud? Let alone write them down for the world to see?  I can just imagine all the people with their voodoo dolls poking me in the eyes, heart and, if they’re truly perverted, bum hole.

So that’s where I’ve been the past year since posting to this blog—in this wonderful state of non productiveness when I have so many stories and experiences to share—living in Italy, snowboarding in the Alps, falling madly in love, and being on the verge of moving in with my Italian boyfriend (and his family!).

The truth. That word is a loaded gun. What I want to shoot out of it, what I want this blog to be about, is that when you take that majestic leap towards following your passions, great things truly start coming your way. That is the truth that I know, and that is the truth that I want to continue writing about. I think different writers serve different purposes. Some make you laugh while others make you cry. Maybe I will never have the courage to tell you that the food you just cooked smells like a nursing home and tastes like dirt mixed with tomato sauce, but I do have the courage to tell you that there is nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams if you go out on that limb and try. So, for now, until I grow some bull-sized balls, I’ll just do what I do best and focus on that.

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The Land of Speedos… July 6, 2009

Filed under: Italy — italicana kitchen @ 2:14 pm

One thing I think I will never get use to is men in speedos.  Seeing a professional swimmer wear a bikini cut, spandex material bathing suit to reduce water drag in a competition is one thing, but a beach full of white, black, blue, pink and even violet speedos, this season’s “color”, is too much. It’s not manly. It’s not sexy. In my opinion, it’s just plain wrong.

So my advice to European men:  say NO to banana hammocks.

 

New Blog! :: Italian Isolation April 10, 2009

Filed under: Italian Life,Italy,living abroad — italicana kitchen @ 10:45 pm
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I will continue to write on a Traveler’s Terrene about general ideas and thoughts (and keep it going for when I take another big trip), but for everything related to my life in Italy you can go to my new blog: Italian Isolation.

From topics such as my passion to write a book to learning fluent italian, from whether Italian men are really stallions to where to find the best gelato–I plan to talk about it all. Think of me as your new travel spokesperson on life in Italy, and learn a little Italian along the way in the Italian vocabulary section!

 

Prayers for the Victims of L’Aquila, Italy April 6, 2009

Filed under: Italian Life,Italy — italicana kitchen @ 5:40 pm
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Today my heart goes out to the victims of the L’Aquila earthquake. In less than 3o seconds, a 6.3 quake left 92 people dead with the death toll still rising, over 1,500 injured, thousands homeless and historic buildings dating back to the 13th century crumbled into ruins. A devastating and horrific event, only proving that life is full of unexpected events that you can never predict.

My prayers and thoughts go out to the victims, families, friends and rescue teams.

 

Another Vocab Blunder… March 31, 2009

Standing outside a restaurant last week, my friend introduced me to a group of friends.  While he turned to continue his conversation with another person I began to chat with one of the women.

Of course, our conversation started out by saying the introductory greetings of “Ciao/Hello…” “Come stai?/How are you?”….etc.  Later in the conversation, I noticed her beautiful red necklace.

“Che bel collare!” I exclaimed.

I received a puzzled look from the woman. Then I pointed to her red necklace hanging around her neck.

“Oh!” She said a wide grin flashing across her face, “La mia collana.”

Ah yes…”collana” because “collare” means collar.

“What a beautiful collar!” …so…I basically just told the woman she looked like a dog. Awesome.

 

Flying Bread and a Scratched Eye March 29, 2009

Instead of trying to back track and describe all of the amazing and incredible experiences of living in Italy for the past month and two days, I am going to simply flash forward to the present. Well, the present minus one day…last night…

I accompanied a handful of my new Italian friend to a birthday party celebration at a restaurant they had rented out for the evening. I planned to stay for dinner and afterward, while the rest of the fifty-some group of friends were going to a discoteca to dance, I was going to a fashion show! Yes, my night was beautifully planned out and I was looking forward to both occasions.

The dinner party started out great. A buffet of exquisite Italian appetizers: asparagus topped with polenta, varieties of focaccia and pizza, rice and pasta salads, veal layered with tuna spread and one of my favorites, l’erbazzone , a thin pastry bread filled with baked spinach.

The main course was on it’s way out of the kitchen and while the rest of the group had found their seats, there were four of us still standing in conversation.  Unintentional, and certainly wine-induced, a fellow friend threw a piece of bread at the man standing in front of me to get his attention to join everyone at the table. Well, unfortunately he had horrible aim in hitting a large target and a surprisingly impeccable ability in hitting a bulls eye….that being my eye. Not above, below, to the left or right of my eye–but smack dab in the middle, and so quickly that my eyelashes didn’t have the opportunity to defend itself from it’s attacker: the sharp edge of a crusty piece of bread.

Time nor eye-drops made the pain in my eye go away and after a half an hour of not being able to open, or even see out of my left eye, I let a few friends drive me to the emergency room. The doctor cleaned my eye (to the point where I wanted to scream it hurt so bad) it then the pain was more or less abated. He prescribed some medicine to help heal the corneal abrasion and although I could get the gyst of what the doctor was saying, I was glad to have my friend Lucio there to translate, especially the dosage for the prescriptions.  Fifteen minutes later, I was exiting the E.R. with my wallet still full of money—it didn’t cost a cent. Got to love Italian health care…I could only imagine the fees this little episode would set me back in the states.

Lessons learned: be thankful for every part of your body every second of the day as you never know when something unexpected like a piece of flying bread could change your life. Fortunately for me, this incident should clear up in a few days, but some accidents don’t. So, right now where ever you are, just count your blessing for the health you currently have.

 

Living an Italian Dream. March 18, 2009

It seems surreal that it has been three weeks since I left the States to start my new adventure: to live in Italy for a year! Last year I embarked on an 10 month around the world trip, this year I am in pursuit of fulfilling additional dreams to live abroad, learn fluent Italian and write a novel–something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember but have never taken the time. When I look back on my life I don’t want to remember that I wanted to do something, but rather that I did that something. The fear of failure is the greatest failure in life.  Why would you deny yourself the opportunity to try to achieve what your heart desires for fear that it cannot be done?

Sure, I may  not achieve all of my endeavors, that is to be somewhat expected. However, with every pursuit I will certainly grow, learn and strengthen myself with the mere act of trying.  The end result is a compliment for ones ego, but the passion that fills one soul in the process is the true reward. To feel alive with passionate hunger and desire is the only life worth leading, without feeling and emotion life is a stagnant line. I want to be a heart beat. A pulse. A movement in space that is always surging and never at rest.

Let the infinite possibilities of life consume me,  my dreams engulf each moment I spend on earth, and give me determination and perseverance in maintaining an unwavering aim to lead a life of unrelenting passion and romantic adventure.