If you haven’t noticed it quite yet about me, I very much like to be outside. And so, if I am offered the opportunity to do something outdoors, regardless of what it might be, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll decline. This weekend, I was given the opportunity to try cross country skiing for the first time. I’ve seen it on the winter olympics many times and thought it looks simple enough, is clearly an amazing workout if you do it quickly and you get to be in the mountains (aka: sign me up). Continue reading “265. Try cross country skiing.”
I know I have this terrible habit of falling in love with places very quickly. Hong Kong was perfect, London was perfect, Taiwan was more perfect and I imagine I’ll think a lot more places I spend extended periods of time in are perfect but this time I’m using the word intending the actual meaning rather than just throwing the term around. Torino might just be a perfect fit. Continue reading “264. Torino might just be perfect.”
It is my biggest pet peeve in the world that Native English speakers don’t bother to learn other languages (generalising). You don’t need to be fluent, you don’t even need to be good, but you can always give the basics a go if you visit another country – particularly if you intend to actually live there.
Why is it that if you visit Hong Kong or Taiwan or even Switzerland, most natives can speak three languages before they’ve even reached seven years old. And most other countries, at least have their English to a respectable standard. Continue reading “263. Go to the cinema, go on tours and only eat with people who don’t speak your language.”
If you move around a lot then you tend to meet a lot of people. Often, it’s fleeting, sometimes it’s lonely and sometimes it’s exciting to be be sitting around a table from all walks of life. But, given all of this, it’s very important to make sure you have those close few people that have your back no matter where you end up in the world. I am fortunate enough to have collected the best of them so you’ll have to settle for the seconds. I’ve picked them up in various places – one on the doorstep of a grimy apartment block in Hong Kong’s busiest district. Another, on a tea plantation above the hills of Taipei. My oldest, in the classroom on the most awkward first day of highschool. Continue reading “262. Being on virtually the same time zone as your bestie is great.”
If you’ve ever had the ‘pleasure’ of driving Italy’s roads then you’re sure to know what a madhouse it is. It is, quite simply, terrifying that, as a sweeping generalisation, an entire nation of people can collectively drive so dangerously. It’s like MarioKart with your eyes closed and instead of mushrooms and bananas you just shoot hand gestures and cuss at each other. Continue reading “261. Italian driving is the same, if not a little better, with alcohol.”
In some ways, the more you travel the bigger the world gets. Suddenly, you find yourself amongst people who have been here and there and somewhere along the way your travel bucket list is longer than you’d ever thought it could be (mine was already going to take me a lifetime), filled with names of places and numbers of people you didn’t even know existed. On the other hand, traveling and moving around a lot makes the world feel a lot smaller. I think a lot of people think that upping and moving to a new country on a regular basis takes a lot of balls because you’re going far from the people that love and care about you, but the truth is, nobody is ever really that far away in the 21st century. If you find yourself in a situation that you’re not happy in, the simple fact is that you can jump on a plane back home whenever you want. Sure, it costs a little money, but you can always make more of that. Continue reading “260. After living thousands of miles away, just being on the same continent feels like home.”
Chinese is one of those languages that you need to be practicing very very regularly or you’re very much at risk of forgetting it all and having to start from square one. I for one, complained about this fact to my friends here in Italy, who then proceeded to drag me around various shops to introduce me to all the Chinese people that they knew so that I could get in some practice.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot of the world now and whilst stereotypes aren’t always an accurate portrayal of an entire nation, sometimes, they’re dead on point. When it comes to Italians, they’re romantic, passionate, love their families more than anything else in the world except maybe football and wine – and they talk as much with their hands as often as words come out of their mouth. For me, Italian culture is one of the best in the world – it’s warm and welcoming and have you ever seen a more beautiful group of people? Continue reading “258. Go Italian for the weekend.”
One of the best things about living in Italy is that you have all this incredible food at your fingertips. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say that living in Taiwan for a year and searching for good Italian food is just not worth your time, because you’ll never find it. Here, you have the opposite problem, in that in Italy, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get amazing every single time, thus leading to crippling obesity.
That being said, if you do find yourself in the land of deliciousness and have the opportunity to explore further, make sure you’re eating the right things in the right places because it’ll always take your tastebuds one level higher. Queue, pesto from Genova and pizza from Naples etc etc. Just do it.
Italians seem to do everything with flair. They’re just ever so cool. This past weekend was my first time skiing in Italy with a group of Italians and it transpires that their skiing is no different from anything else they do – cool. Continue reading “256. There’s skiing and then there’s Italian skiing.”