Tag Archives: fortunate

Florence

For those who personally know me, the next sentence won’t come as a surprise, but for everyone else… I am fortunate to have been born and raised (for the first 7 years or so) just outside of Florence.  My dad has been living here for several years now, and since it has been 4 years since I’ve been back to Italy, why not #1 spend some time with my dad, #2 use our home in Italy as a base to explore other European countries and #3 make the eventual trip to Thailand not such a painful one from a flight perspective:)

I know, I know, I sound totally spoiled.  But I can’t help where I was born, I can only recognize how fortunate I am in many ways and most importantly to be thankful for what I am able to do and to have such an international family!!

Now that that is cleared up, I am currently still in Italy writing furiously to catch up on this blog from the years past travels so that I can write about more recent adventures and ones that are still to come:)  I arrived here in Italy at the end of August (2014- I know, I’m really almost caught up with blogging about my travels to present day!!!) at the Florence airport and was greeted by my dad at the airport with one of his famous “daddy” pick-ups, as we call it in my family.  That is simply where he insists on parking the car so he can go into the airport and greet the new arrival from the gate, instead of waiting outside in the car for the new arrival to walk out of the airport:)

We had a lovely dinner at a pizzeria near where my dad grew up and has been going for over 40 years!!  Let me just say, for the record that, in my opinion, there is no better pizza IN THE WORLD than the pizza in Italy, and more specifically the pizza in Tuscany!!!  The thin crust is to die for!!  Now the further South you go in Italy, the thicker the crust gets… Just a warning for those going South wondering why I’ve described the pizzas as being thin-crusted:)  Oh and the ham too… I’ve never tasted better ham either (on my pizza of course!!) than in Italy!!  Ok, I better stop talking about food for now… I’m making myself hungry!!

We headed to the house (about 40 Km outside of Florence) after dinner and turned in for the night.  The next few months were spent catching up, hanging out, hiking in the National Park that we back onto, exploring several surrounding cities, reconnecting with Florence, a trip to the Island of Elba, going to Salzburg, Austria for a few days together (then I left to explore more of Europe on my own), entertaining some friends from Scotland, blogging (for me:)) and now we are getting ready to head out on a cruise that the family organized for my dad’s 75th birthday present!!

It’s been a busy few months for sure!!  Not to mention that while I’ve been here I’ve been making sure that my dad has stayed busy making me homemade lasagna, limoncello, meat sauce, arista, crostate di more, pasta with the favorite sauce (can’t tell you the recipe it’s a family secret:)) focaccia, pasta fagioli, and on and on!!  It’s a miracle I’m not obese!!  Lol!!  Actually, it’s not a miracle… I workout vigorously everyday to counter the calories I indulge in while here:)

On to SpanItalish

Back to Europe

Oh… I should mention I’ve cheated a teeny bit on the pictures… All are current except for the Florence pictures… They are ones from winter 2010… But in coming posts of Florence I will have pictures from this trip, I promise!!  Just wanted to give you a little teaser to start;)

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A little background

First a little background and answers to questions I’ve received along the way…

In May of 2011 I quit my very stable and good job and sold everything so I could start traveling the world.  I am a college educated, single female and am traveling alone.

What prompted me to do this you ask??  Well, simple: in May of 2006 I decided that 5 years from that date, no matter how well I was doing or what I was doing or where I was doing it, I would quit my job, sell all my things and travel the world.  Call it a quarter life crisis or simply that I’ve always wanted to travel, so “no time like the present”… Either way, that was the starting point:)

Why travel out of the country??  What about traveling in the States??  I have been very fortunate in my life to have traveled 38 of the 50 states already.  There are of course a few I would still like to see (Montana) but for the most part, I feel like I have “done” a lot of the U.S. already and would like to expand my experiences to other cultures and countries.

Why did you choose 5 years?  No idea- it just seemed like a good amount of time to get and feel stable in one place for a bit before heading off.

So, you are going to travel the world!  You must be fluent or at least conversational in a language other than English, right? Ummm, no…  I am half Italian and am conversational in Italian.  Since my travels to Central America I am now conversational in Spanish as well.  As for the rest of the languages in the world, I know a word here and there, but luckily there are always English speakers to be found in whatever city/town/country I’ve been to.  But for those occasions where even English speakers weren’t found, thank goodness for charades and sign language!! LOL!! 🙂

Now wait a tick- you said earlier that you are a female and are traveling alone… Doesn’t that scare you?  It’s interesting really because before leaving many friends and family in some ways have expressed a lot of concern over this.  My response is best explained by a quote from the famous surfer Laird Hamilton: “I can’t not do something out of the fear of what could happen”.  I just love that quote!  Of course I am still careful and am being a smart traveler ensuring that I never put myself in dangerous situations, but other than that, I can’t fear going out on my own and experiencing and traveling because of what may or may not happen.  If I fail, I fail- but at least I tried.  I have never once felt in any real danger.  All of life is a journey and thus far I’ve got to say it’s been quite a delightful one.   I can only hope it continues safely and delightfully!  And for the record, I’ve never once been alone on this journey unless I’ve actively chosen to be.  Whether I’m hanging out with fellow travelers and new friends or simply thinking of my family and of all my friends in the states, I’ve never been alone.

How can you afford all these travels??  All of the money I’ve spent on travels is money I’ve personally earned.  Basically I save my pennies and when I have saved what I consider enough to travel then I quit my job and travel!  The first time was the trickiest as I was working for the Government and had an apartment full of stuff.  My Government job knew the day would come that I would quit to travel, so it wasn’t that big a shock.  And selling basically all but 4 boxes of my possessions was a little tough, but also a nice purge!  Since the Government job I’ve basically gotten bartending and serving jobs that are easy to quit.  All of my ex-employers knew that I would quit and travel once I had saved enough as well, so no one was ever in the dark about my plans.  I just don’t think it’s right to mislead people into thinking I would be a lifer there… Anyway, so that’s what I do!  When I run out of money, or get too close to my “emergency” money I go somewhere, get a job, save money, then travel again!

What is it you are expecting as an outcome of these travels?  What are you hoping to accomplish?  I can honestly say I don’t yet know.  But I feel like I am where I need to be for now and I hope that inspiration for what I’m supposed to do will come along as I continue to travel and grow.

Well that’s the basics and background folks!  Now… lets get on with the journey!

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