my favorite part of cinque terre: monterosso al mare

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

and if you were wondering,
yes, i do choose my tanktops strategically
so that they will match the umbrellas under which i eat.

cinque terre: the lomography version

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

i realized i’ve never posted these summer shots from cinque terre, italy, taken when one of my favorite friends (jenny) paid me a month long visit.
cinque terre is one of my favorite places in the world – i’m always looking for an excuse to jump on a train and spend a few days there.  and every time i go, i never want to leave.
so of course it was no surprise that jenny’s and my trip there was nothing sort of amazing.  indulging in the food, swimming in the coast,  watching every sunset, obsessing over the colors… we loved it all.
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why living in europe is the most humbling experience (for me, at least)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

parks-and-recreation-plaza (1)

after almost 3 years, i’ve finally come to terms with the fact that, while living abroad,

a) i will never really know what’s going on*


b) 50% of the time i open my mouth to speak a language that is not my own (usually german, sometimes spanish), i will sound like a complete idiot.

but i’d rather make the effort (refusing to speak english unless i absolutely must) and fail half the time than never try.  you know?  it’s worth it to me.  because, while i struggle a little bit every day, i manage to learn a little every day, too. 

and i’m not sure, but i think (i think!) that’s what matters.


* never really knowing what’s going on = me walking around in a semi-perpetual state of confusion…which, come to think of it, happens in the good ol’ US of A quite a bit too.  hmm….

cologne is pretty.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I had a work conference a just outside of Cologne.  As I’d never been to Cologne, I decided to take some time before my conference began to sight-see (with my friend Emily!).DSC00410122123124125
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – work trips are the best.  You get paid to travel!

perfect day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I spent the day after my birthday in Salzburg.
The weather was gorgeous,
I was in a great mood with friends I hadn’t seen in too long,
and I ate amazing food (which is really all that matters).
We wandered aimlessly around the city
without a care in the world
and the whole time I kept thinking,
“I could not be more content right now”.
And that’s a really good feeling.

my 24th birthday.

Friday, October 14, 2011

After Oktoberfest, my friend Chris and I took the train to Salzburg,
where I celebrated my 24th birthday.  Eva met us there for dinner, which I could not have been happier about.
Best birthday meal ever?
Pumpkin-filled Agnolotti topped with pumpkin seeds & grated Parmesan, served with salad.

It was a great birthday.
Is it weird being 24?  Yes.
To quote Jessica Simpson circa 2005,
“24 is so old…it’s almost 25, which is almost mid-twenties”.
In other words, it’s scary.

Oktoberfest in Munich (by night)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Big surprise:

my favorite part of Oktoberfest was the food.

Too bad a plate of food cost 13 euros.


My second favorite part?

The rides.

Too bad they cost anywhere from 5-8 euros a piece.

(But having generous friends like Chris who graciously provided food & rides

helped quite a bit!)

Oktoberfest in Munich (by day)

Monday, October 10, 2011

I hadn’t seen my good friend Chris (an American from New York) in over 2 years.  We first met in Salzburg while studying there in 2009 and fell hopelessly in love (with the Alps, of course, not each other) before going our separate ways.  He’s currently living in Barcelona now and we’ve been trying to see each other for quite awhile, given that with so many discount airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet – well, why the heck not?  But when he asked me to meet up with him at Oktoberfest, I had to deliberate for a bit before eventually agreeing.  When it came down to it, I just couldn’t say no on account of the fact that I am hopelessly devoted to preserving each and every friendship forged in Salzburg during that special year; I have a bond with these people that I just can’t explain.

And only such a bond could bring me back to Oktoberfest.

Last October, I attended the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest…and I sort of hated it.  For starters, I’m not a fan of beer (why bother going to Oktoberfest?  good question) and being surrounded by drunk people in claustrophobia-inducing beerhalls is just asking for an anxiety attack (for me, at least).  In fact, after leaving last year’s fest, I proclaimed right here on this blog that I’d never go back.

….cue my strolling right into Oktoberfest one year later.

I have to say, though, this year was quite different.  Whereas last October, I went on a Saturday (the final Saturday of the fest, mind you – terrible idea), this year, I went on a Thursday.  And because of this, I now liken Oktoberfest to ‘a German version of the Oklahoma State Fair’ (albeit with less crystal meth addicts wandering around) rather than ‘Hell on Earth, give or take a bratwurst’.

All you really need to know is that, while most people spend their money on liters and liters of beer, I spent the majority of mine on every type of food imaginable.  And lots and lots of rides.  Am I 5?