six months.

Time to check in!  I realized while watching the sunset last night that it has been six months since I moved to Virginia.  It’s been a long six months, made to feel even worse as a result of losing my Grandpa halfway through.  But overall, I think I’ve transitioned well.  There isn’t a day that I don’t miss living in Italy,  but Washington has its charms.  I love to experience the city with my camera; I find it helps me to pay more attention to my surroundings.  I remember streets and buildings more clearly.  I take notice of the people around me.  And there are so many beautiful and historical buildings.

I’ve also started to coach volleyball, which is something I’ve wanted for years.  Seeing my team play each week, knowing how excited they are to improve, makes me happier than any achievement at work.  I love to know that I’m helping others to develop skills and encouraging their love for a sport that I’ve enjoyed for 15 years.  Here’s to the next six months…

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just my luck.

This year hasn’t been smooth. It certainly hasn’t been perfect. It’s been absolutely full of speed bumps, imperfections and problems. But it’s probably been one of the best years of my life. I’ve been blessed beyond belief and luckier than a single person deserves. As the end of the year gets closer, all I’ve been able to think about is all of the great things that happened. The sheer fact that I can place the good times in more prominent memory than the bad times is yet more proof of my luck.
During the spring semester, my soul sister of 10 years finally visited me at school. One of my favorite friends from home even came with her. I also lived with one of my best friends and spent weekends exploring Virginia (aka doing wine tastings).
For spring break, I split my time between New Orleans and Nashville and was again joined by two close friends. New Orleans was a new destination for me but I chose to visit because it was the site I had picked for my senior thesis design project. Nashville is a longtime favorite travel destination that always puts a smile on my face.
At the beginning of May, I graduated. By my side, I had my loving and supportive parents. I also had one of my best friends ever – a friend who flew across the country to sit through my graduation because she was so proud of and happy for me.
Next up was my first trip to Los Angeles to visit the soul sister. It was such a fun few days and I can’t wait to go back one day.
Summer was full of babysitting my nieces and nephew – who are my four favorite humans on this earth. My last single sister got taken off the market this summer, so we celebrated a wedding shower, a bachelorette party and a wedding. I guess watching the Cavs win the NBA Finals wasn’t too bad either..
Next, I moved to Italy. I met a whole new group of people, spent lots of time with my cousin and got to see new cities. Oktoberfest was too much fun and I practically had to be dragged away. Seeing Amsterdam – the architecture especially – was one of my favorite parts of my time abroad.
Now that I’ve been back home and my life has settled down a little, I’ve returned to spending time with cute babies and making lots of desserts to fatten them up.
It’s been a crazy year and hasn’t always made sense (just like this blog post), but I’m very happy about that. Even though I’ve had a lot of bad parts during this luck-filled year, I still am optimistic about what will come next.

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“No matter how far I roam, my heart will always be at home”

firenze.

so, i’m getting ready to move across the world and start working in sales and marketing as a tour guide for FlorenceForFun, a travel company that caters to college study abroad students, and i couldn’t be more excited.  i mean of course, i have the typical “am i going to be any good at this?” and “holy shit, i’m growing up” jitters; but i also know that this is the right move for me at this point in my life. it’s what i want for now and it’s where i want to be, plus i have no ties to anyone or anything in the states. i don’t think i’ll ever stop worrying or being surprised that i’m growing up – because are any of us ever really ready to take every responsibility onto our own shoulders? and i’m absolutely more worried that i won’t be good at it right away because i’m missing the most crucial point of the sales season as a result of problems getting my visa. the worst part is that i have to watch on facebook as my roommates / coworkers are befriending all the students upon their arrival – and securing their sales for the semester – which means there will be less students available to buy trips from me when i finally arrive in florence.

so if you know any students studying in or near florence, italy this year – tell them, beg them, bribe them to use my promo code (SAMANTHA) at http://www.florenceforfun.com. i’ll love you forever. and if you want to see travel pictures from around the world, you can follow my travel account on instagram – @samimay7

here are some pictures i’ve taken over the years of the gorgeous city i’ll soon call home once again – hopefully they entice you to help me with sales *fingers crossed*

milano.

i’m always dreaming about one italian city or another.  perhaps that’s because i’ve spent my life admiring and learning about architecture, art, and the greats of the past.  when i walk down a street to see the galleria dell’accademia, orient myself by the orange-ish hue of the duomo, or casually stroll past storefronts for every italian designer i’ve heard of but can’t afford, it brings me a warmth and joy unparalleled to that which i’ve experienced in america thus far.  these breath taking moments exist on every street of every city in italy.  something continually reveals itself as the most fantastic sight i’ve seen that day.

 

america has its own architectural beauties and natural phenomena which are wonderful and awe-inspiring.  but there’s something about the italian way of life and daily routine that has captured my heart – and it doesn’t seem like it will be letting go any time soon.  the only remedy is for my wanderlust to be followed, to the streets of milan and wherever else my passport and bank account will allow.