260. After living thousands of miles away, just being on the same continent feels like home.

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.”

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259. Do allow yourself to be escorted around Turin being introduced to all the Chinese people.

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.

258. Go Italian for the weekend.

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.”

257. There’s no pesto like Genova pesto.

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.

255. Speaking Chinese in France and speaking French in your Chinese lesson will not get you very far.

It turns out that cracking out your Chinese in the French mountains doesn’t tend to lead to successful communication. I suppose there are much bigger problems to have but ideally I’d really like to get to a point where my brain can fully engage with a conversation in the right language.

By the end of my week in France, I was just about speaking the correct language again. Lo and behold, I came back to the UK and had a Chinese lesson where it took me doubly as long to answer anything because I kept thinking it in French first.