I brought in the new year in Paris. Had you told me a year ago that’s where and what I would be doing I would’ve said “pshh… Really!? Sounds good to me!” But really it was an unbelievable experience. So the lovely gents in this picture are a couple from Spain who came and sat with my mom and I on this boat tour. Which went along the river (romantic I know)… took us along side all the lit up monuments, it was lovely. Anyways among the people I have met on this journey they will forever stand out. They spoke mostly Spanish but had some English references. Alex (the one on the left) was using an app he had downloaded to translate what we all were trying to talk about. (If you know me well you what I do know in Spanish). It has been fun going to different countries and having to figure out different ways to communicate with someone of another language. There are usually always lots of hand gestures thrown into the mix. Then there have been times where my mom has started to talk to a stranger, for instances this one man on the train, I’m in the middle observing – she is talking about one thing, and he is talking about something completely different. Eventually I jump in and explain what the other is trying to say. Its rather entertaining. Especially since my mother thinks everyone understands her. But back to Alex-he was asking if we were mother daughter, from where, you know the usual first questions. Then there was a beat and he looked over to his boyfriend, took a deep breathe, looked back at my mom and I with a Cheshire smile and said: “this is my boyfriend!”… It was almost as though he was publicly announcing his love and relationship for the first time without a care. And my mom and I looked at each other and mentally communicated “yeah we know😊”…looked back at him and noddingly smiled. Then he asked if we understood what he meant cause he repeated himself as though he had been forced to suppress those kinda of introductions. But their love really had already spoken for them. It was just a really cute moment and I’m really glad to have met them. #ILoveLove
Category Archives: Ashley Abroad
Happy New Year!
It’s time to say goodbye to 2013, you’ve been very good to me! I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store. Tonight I will be ringing in 2014 in Paris. If you had told me a year ago that this is where I would be I would have never believed you. Goes to show all you can achieve in a years time. ❤ I wish you all a safe and hopefully memorable night, and I’ll be seeing you soon 2014…
Holiday Festivites with my Florence Friends
As I have said before one of the greatest parts about traveling is getting to meet new people. You may remember from my last trip (back in November) to Italy that I had made friends in Rome with two girls; Giada and Alice, who are originally from Florence. We have since continued to stay in touch and made plans for when they come to the states. With the holiday break both girls had come back home to Florence and I got to meet up with them again. Giada was gracious enough to invite me over to her home to celebrate the holidays with her and her friends the real Italian way. Which consists of; great company, a first course, wine, second course, wine, cigarette break, espresso, main course, wine, cigarette break, desert, desert-wine, another espresso and of course tons of conversation. Giada was such a great host, and her friends were very welcoming. Giada’s group of friends they have an annual holiday dinner together (Something I am planning on incorporating in my life when I get back home). This is an all day event, so apologies if I am not making much sense, I am tired and still in a bit of a food coma. So the day pretty much went like this; Giada woke around 7 to get a friend at the train station, came home cooked two turkeys, along with all the other dishes, we watched Miracle On 34th Street, listened to 80s music (which is quite popular here), ate, drank wine, talked… all over about 9 hours. This was the first time Giada had cooked turkey, apparently that is only an American thing. Luckily I’ve had plenty was able to help them carve it, cause they were a bit unsure how to serve it. It was funny once they set them down on the table they stared at the turkey, said something in Italian, looked at me, looked back at the turkey and looked back at me for a cue. It was great though getting to experience a holiday in a new way. The food was amazing! Unfortunately I am not able to share it with you but here are some pictures, sorry. I can’t wait until they come to visit in the states so I can return the favor.
Well the end of my time here in Prague has finally come. It seems as though I have been in the Twilight Zone, living in a dream. The past four months have flown by. In the past 100 days I have been to a grand total of 9 countries 15 cities! (I literally had to count and recount cause that seemed so crazy)… This has hands down been the most challenging experience I have ever been through. I have been blessed with so many great moments but equally some very trying moments. It wasn’t until my mom got here, and I was showing her around that I realized I really have accomplish somethings during my time here. I’ve learned how to; embrace change, solve problems on my own, accept that people are not always going to agree with what you have to say and you have to let it roll off your back, you are responsible for your own happiness, I cannot live away from the beach, not to judge a book by its cover, who the people are in my life I can rely on and most importantly family is forever.
When I first arrived to Prague I was excited and naturally wanted to talk to everyone I saw. The first few times I had been out in the city I was shocked at how stone cold people expressions were. For instance on the tram I would make eye contact with someone, naturally smile and not be acknowledged in return. However that is the culture here, I have come to learn that people are more reserved. It is not that they are rude, but from their perspective they are respecting your space.
As I mentioned before this experience has not only allowed me to make new friends but reflect on the relationships that I already had in my life. Before leaving for Prague I didn’t want to leave with expectations of who would write and who would drop off the face of the earth and I’m glad I did so because I have been more than pleasantly surprised and touched by the people who have made it a point to stay in contact. There have also been old friends that I have been able to reconnect with. Being so far away I have been able to take a step back and see certain relationships for what they are/were. That has been a big part of my growing process here. Relationships in general are a two way street it has been interesting to see who has and who hasn’t continued to maintain the “traffic” if you will. I admit in the recent year or two I have not been doing the proper maintenance that I should be. I am looking forward to changing that, taking the time to take a break from my constant go, go, go, and see my friends. I mentioned in another post that in Europe it is expected of you to sit for an hour or two at a cafe and just talk. I really have enjoyed that here, so I am going to make it a point to show the people who are important to me.
Prague you have been good to me. I am really going to miss my walks along the river, tram rides, popin champs, trying to speak Czech, hot wine, most of all the wonderful people I have gotten to know. I will forever remember this experience for it has helped me grow into a stronger person. Till we meet again…
Today in Prague…
Came across this outside a cafe near the castle – way to advertiseI decided to take a break from studying for finals and pay the Prague Castle a visit. The weather was great so I walked, got a coffee, took a few pictures and explored some side streets. The castle is about a 15 minuet walk from my apartment, I know life’s rough. This was actually the first time that I had been to the castle since I arrived here. This will be my final week here I figured I better get my ass up there to see it. I hadn’t been up there yet because at the time my class had a tour I was actually really sick, but I can officially say I’ve been to it. I didn’t go inside because I am waiting for my mom who is flying in at the end of the week, so we can see it for the first time together! I’m really looking forward to showing her around Prague. Hope you all are enjoying this Sunday – take the time to visit a place you’ve been telling yourself you are going to.
Vienna waits for you…
…a lyric made famous by Billy Joel in his song Vienna, never really made sense, until this past weekend. The cafe culture is really big in Vienna, in fact it’s expected that you’re probably going to there at least an hour or two. Coming from the California where everyone is constantly moving to avoid wasting time, I’ve really had to slow down and dig for patients. Which has been nice, but as it is my attention span can be short and when the espresso kicks in I’m ready. But in Vienna, like Italy, its part of the culture to go to a cafe and “rent” a table and hold a conversation with a person; who actually sits in front of you. Gee, what a concept. To think people actually still communicate face-to-face. Okay, all sarcasm aside that is one of my favorite things about Europe. Grab a cup of Joe and enjoy some more pictures from my weekend in Vienna. Continue reading
This weekend I am visiting Vienna. We arrived this morning and so far I am loving it. It is however FREEZING! Being from southern California lets just say I am not built for the cold weather. After we checked in we were given a walking tour of the city. There is a lot of really pretty architecture, and palaces, all of the Christmas lights add more magic. Here are some pictures from today. The Hofburg Palace Continue reading
Happy Turkey Day!
I hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life and glitter! No big family feast for me this year, instead an interesting performance and wine.
Fall Break Part III -From Roma to Firenze We Go
I recently got busy with school (yes I do have class and homework for all you wondering) so I haven’t had a chance to finish sharing the rest of my fall break adventures. After Rome the girls and I took a train to Florence where we stayed for two nights. Florence is a lot more laid back and relaxed in comparison to Rome. It’s a lot smaller of a city and the people there are in even less of rush. But we didn’t complain we were very much looking forward to relaxing. Rome was a nonstop trip, with no down time. There’s just so much to see and do. Here are some photos from our last afternoon in Rome before we left for Florence.
Throwing in my last coin into the Trevi before leaving Rome Continue reading
Fall Break Part II – ROMA!
One of the best parts of traveling has been meeting new people along the way. In Rome I had the pleasure of meeting Giada, Alice, and Valentina, who were born and raised in Florence, Italy. Giada currently is going to school in Rome, she study’s theater there. Her two friends Alice and Valentina were visiting for the weekend, they both are living and studying in Florence. It can be a little bit intimidating when your traveling to try and make new friends. But for me I love meeting knew people, there’s an old joke in my family that half the time we’re so friendly we could talk to trees. There’s been a few times I’ve caught my dad talking to some palm trees. None the less I think it’s important to let that guard down and just go up and talk to someone you find interesting. The worst thing that could happen is they just walk away, and you move on.
It was our first night in Rome and the nice gentleman working the desk at our hostel gave us a few suggestions of places to check out, that weren’t touristy and/or expensive. Let me tell you I’m a student ballin’ on a budget. Taking his advice a wondered in the direction he suggested and came upon buzzing streets, of bars and restaurants filled with a lot of young and hip adults. As we continued to explore we could hear live music, so naturally we followed our ears and they led us to a square where people were dancing, and playing homemade instruments. It was here where I saw Giada and Alice sitting together, and something told me “Hey, they look fun, go talk to them.” So I did. And I’m very glad that I did cause they were amazing! I don’t think there was ever a moment we weren’t laughing.
The girls were so kind enough to offer to take us out (Roman style) our last night in the city. By the time we met all met up it was around 7:30pm and the girls and I had been out walking since 10:30am, we were so looking forward to eating. But in Rome there’s no urgency for anything and they eat dinner extremely late. Which is great because back home I’m used to rushing and getting as many things done as I can in a short amount of time. However it’s not ideal when you’re starving. So us three meet up with the other three and the first thing they notice is how tired we look, and then Giada and Alice look at each other a giggle and say the reservation is at 9:00pm! Then we all laughed, note to anyone going to Rome anytime soon, carry snacks! Luckily Alice took us to an amazing Italian restaurant which was more than well worth the wait. But in the meantime Giada took us to a bar, which is apparently the usual thing to do, you go out get a drink, talk, go to dinner, drink, talk, end dinner, talk, go out, talk, drink (responsibly, ofcorse). It was truly a priceless evening, one I hope we can all come back together again and share.
The front of the resturant. Continue reading