A Travellerspoint blog

Una dolce festa

Everything I ever wanted...even a little more

The difference between 24 and 25 is everything. At 24 years old I was engaged and living a life I never really wanted. I tried to trick or make myself believe I wanted the house, car, wedding dress and “roots”. I say roots, because they are grounded, they stay in one place. When really I wanted to be a turtle with my home on my back, free flowing where ever the wind wanted to blow me. As I shook myself free, I had no one or nothing to blame except myself. Do not misunderstand I am not blaming myself or beating myself up over a failed relationship. But, I am the person who let it happen. I never said no, stop this is not what I want. How can you make another person happy or be happy yourself if you never wanted something in the first place?
I am only full of love and happiness at 25 years old. I live in Italy with my friends who have become my family. I have a wonderful job and I love my students. I am grateful everyday for what GOD has brought into my life. I stand in my kitchen I share with 3 other girls with my friend that is visiting for the weekend eating cake and making coffee. At 24 I did not have a piece of my own birthday cake, this year I had an entire party of “dolce” sweets and pastries. My best friends in Italy surrounded me with love, sweets, wine and music. It was the best birthday gift in the world, everyone helped in some way. The boys “my big brothers” brought me candles and a huge birthday cake and chocolate. The girls brought wine, homemade goodies, pastries and helped me clean everything. A good friend painted me a beautiful picture of the city we live in and another hid an India hymn book in my locker. I am exploding with love…it surrounds me and is inhaled with every breath I take.
Cello and I spent another amazing weekend together. He met all my friends, we danced, ate pizza, drank bottles of wine outside of an amazing restaurant, walked around the old city, drank more wine and an Italian liquor, made coffee, smoked cigarettes, got drunk in a jazz bar with my friends, talked to my mom at 4:00am, walked or stumbled home with a full tummy and giggles at 6 am chatting in Italian. The next morning I woke up to his voice whispering I love you, love…in Italian and then English. I smiled and said I love you too, but please get me an Advil

I have everything I have ever asked for even a little more. Simple things, I am so grateful.

Posted by goldenomad 04:42 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Guadagno...only thing I lost is a button

Losen up my buttons baby


Gaining or guadagno in Italian by definition is a merit or craft that is achieved. What is negative about that? Nothing. On account of the definition gaining is a positive and lovely verb that can be represented in many situations. So, why is it so difficult to come to terms with. What I have gained from living in Italy for six months is my life! My life, I lost myself and now I am gaining it back in small dolce (a sweet or pastry) size pieces. I have gained my appetite for the balance of life. We need food to survive, thrive; we need adventure to feel alive; friends to keep us in line and smiling when we fall. I have simply gained all of these things. One aspect of gaining has been more difficult then the others, gaining weight. The word gives me a similar physical reaction to that of the sound of someone’s nails on a chalkboard. But what I must come to terms with and realize is that it is okay, and this adolescent way of thinking has taken over my life, and I once promised to never let anything take over my “being” again. I can not go breaking promises to myself now, eh? If I can not keep and vow a promise to the most important person in my life (me), who can keep a promise to me? No one.
So I gained, and told my story to friends sitting on a terrace drinking wine and eating pasta on a warm November afternoon. As I share my story, one friend looks at me as we are stuffing our faces, and says I understand…But sometimes you just have to get over your Fing self and enjoy everything you are suppose to feel. We have five senses to touch, see, smell, hear and taste for a reason. “So, have another damn plate of pasta, salad, olives and cheese and get over your damn self”. We all were in hysterics due to her quiet and calm nature. I took my good friends advice, and started gaining.
In every positive obtainable, tangible object or goal I have gained, gaining weight is at the top of the list of things not to do. But I live in Italy, and why do I want to look like a 14 year old girl when I am a 25 year old woman? So, I ate! I am spending time with my new friends drinking the best wine, talking and eating and eating. That is all we do, we come from one meal just to turn around and eat again. It is a blast! And the life style and culture here. Fresh pizza at 11:00 at night for dinner is normal, Italians know how to live. Where have I been all my life? Hiding under a culinary rock? Well to shed light on the situation, yes.
As I look at pictures of me then and now, I feel I look like the healthy smiling woman I once was. I am not saying it isn’t hard looking at my round cheeks or joking with my girlfriends about our muffin tops. Laughing in the dressing rooms asking each other if we could use the next size up. This is very “eat, love, pray” but I get a phone call to come over to my girlfriends house it is an emergency. She is lying on the bed trying to wiggle into her pants and can not button her them! We are hunched over in laughter and giggles as we are literally expanding. The button flies off as we are both pulling for dear life. I tell her to put on some tights, they stretch, and I hope your hungry because if we don’t hurry we will be late for the midnight dinner. We laugh and link arms singing down the cobble stone path; in tights.

I have gained everything and lost nothing.

Posted by goldenomad 04:39 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

And whaaattt are yoooouu doing?

The wonderful charming city of Bari has illuminated my thoughts. Something about living on the Mediterranean has gotten into my blood, my every pore. It has changed me, changed my “appetite” for life. For living, and just being me. I do not see myself leaving any time soon, only for a short visit in December. So, what have I been doing in this Southern town? Everything….
The teachers are an amazing group of young people from all over mother tongue English speaking countries. We have been going out, traveling, eating fresh pizza and gelato and just hanging out. It has been an incredible, fun, journey. I can not help but start each day with a smile and feel thankful for the sea, people and culture that surrounds me.
The first weekend I arrived everyone went out to the “old city”. A charming historic part of the city recently developed into bars for the yuppies. We went from bar to drinking, eating and talking. I didn’t get home until the birds were singing and the sun was rising over the sea. This has been the regular weekend since. The morning birds sing me to sleep while I dose into a wine drenched slumber, only to wake up and meet everyone for espresso and pizza. Then do it all over again. Italians know how to seek pleasure, so that is what I must do it identify with this vibrant culture. Ohhh my life is tough J
This weekend is a long holiday weekend….and I have been a slight crush on a man that works with me. He is tall, Italian and has been living here for living here for five years. It started with a classic long night out, filled with philosophy discussions, wine, cocktails and sitting out side on a warm October night. We talked, laughed and drank. He asked me to hang out the next day. So, I did…
I took the lovely train from Bari to a town thirty minutes away, where he lives. The scenic route was filled with olive trees and the sea in the horizon. The scent of coffee lingered in the air. He was waiting for me when I stepped off the train. We jumped in his car and headed south. First, we stopped at a sea side town sitting on a hill. Had a great laugh when he lost his money in the gas machine at the gas station and then drove away while the pump was still in the gas tank. Had a paritiva at a local bar, which is a cocktail and an array of fresh local appetizers. Then we proceeded south listening to music, singing, talking and taking in the beautiful view. We stopped to walk on a deserted beach; the wind was warm and fresh. We picked out seashells and sea glass and he attempted to teach me how to skip stones. The water was rhythmic and soothing.
We hopped in the car and continued the “excursion” or adventure. He took me to a completely white city. It is protected under law that every bar, building and house is white. It was incredible and took my breath away. It is situated high on a hill and is filled with churches and alleys. We walked in back alleys and took pictures; local’s laundry hung out of windows and the scent of home made pasta filled the air. We shared a dolce or sweet and had cappuccino. The town was filled with art shops and local food; we stopped for what Americans would call a calzone and beer.
We spent a terrific day seeing a few other towns, drinking beer and standing on balconies over looking the sea. One town had natural caves and cliffs and we hung out with fisher men and locals staring at the sea over 100 meters below. We finished the day by meeting friends at a teachers Halloween house party. Surrounded by the people I have fallen in love with, dancing with the girls to American and Italian hip hop in the hallway and drinking more wine. It is a great start to who knows what.
I am so in love with all of them all ready and it has only been two weeks, and I will be here for another eight or nine months. Then in the summer I will travel Europe and teach camps with the other teachers, then come back to Italy in the fall. I can not help but feel lucky and love my life here. It doesn’t mean it is not difficult to be away from the people I love, but Italy has seeped into my heart and soul…Perhaps I have met my true love…pizza margarita and the Mediterranean.

Posted by goldenomad 04:36 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Where the H E double hockey sticks are you?

Hello Bari, I'm Krys...nice to meet you


Thank you Italy
Where the heck are you Krys? Rome? Sicily? No and No… I have found myself in the Southern town of Bari. I have been here for a week and a half, and already have started to make it “home”. I have a new home, new friends and a new job. Life is going just the way I didn’t plan it. It is even better. Everyday is my gift and I have so much to look forward to.
I moved into an apartment with two Italian girls and a chick from Albania, I am hoping to improve my Italian and learn from these three talented, intelligent ladies. But, it isn’t easy. Cultural differences, language barriers and ONE yes ONE scary bathroom make it loads of fun and lots to learn. Luckily for me the ladies are very clean, when I say very clean I mean we have a cleaning schedule and must follow the “rules”. Shoot, I am not very good at following anything. They are the “good girls”, and I just may be the bad seed in the house. What’s new? I told them a story of me getting lost walking home from work every day; I stopped a fine man on the street for directions and ended up in his car because I was quite far from my house. The next day I was lost again, yes I got lost the entire first week, he picked me up on a motorcycle. I happened to be wearing a dress, so natural I hopped on the back and told him to go as fast as he could by the sea shore and famous port that links North Africa. My house is located near the sea side and port. We ended up drinking wine and talking for a while…p.s he speaks NO ENGLISH. Nothing at all, so we communicate only in Italian, we text in Italian and speak in Italian. It is very amazing to me, I just love saying I am learning Italian. The girls were laughing and horrified. I think they may have a little something to learn from me, if they take anything from me living with them for the next year I hope they shake out their long dark hair and let it lose, because they can be or do anything they want too.
I am among the most amazing group of people at my work. It is unreal how lucky I am! They are young people from around the world, teaching English. It is a large network of teachers, about 20 in all. And it is a blast! We go out at night, and boy can Europeans drink. I am only one of three Americans. I have linked up with this awesome mate from Scotland who has been traveling around Spain and Italy for the last three years. It has been incredible to say the least, I can not help but feel so luck and blessed in this moment. Everything works it self out and I was always suppose to be here, even though I cried on the plane and hated to leave my Roman man.
So, I am spending the next year in Bari. Teaching English to an amazing group of adults and children. I am keeping busy and working a lot, also taking an Italian course and spending my two hour lunch break in cafes with my new friends. Here is where I pick up my pen and continue being the author of my story. Instead of you are welcome Italy….Thank you for everything you have shared with me.

Posted by goldenomad 04:32 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

L-E-T-S G-O!!

Well friends it is time I rock on...

Good bye Sicily, good bye family, hello world
It's time to go I think to myself. After the events that have occured in Sicily it is time to go. Without many words I found myself in a sticky situation where houses were searched and houses were moved and news and cameras were all around. I know when I need a change; I know when it is right. I never struggle with leaving when it is my time. I must leave Sicily early, reasons are secret. I tell the family I have been living with for the last year that I must go in one week. I got an offer at a college in Bari, Italy. It is in the South and a perfect opportunity.
First, I decided to leave for Rome, to see the Roman man, try to find a job and an apartment. My logic is I have one week to find a job and apartment in Rome and if it doesn’t work out I will go to Bari. My body, my soul screams for Rome. I wake up early and Vacenzo a “worker” is waiting to take me to the airport. The family helps me as we hug and kiss good bye. I say good bye to Sicily in my heart as we drive to the airport. I get out and haul my luggage to the gate, I get an espresso and smile. Hello Rome, hello world, hello love….Adventure waits for me, he waits for me, my heart beats and I pray

Posted by goldenomad 04:15 Comments (0)

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