Relaxing in Romantic Rome

Here is a photo journal of my few days in the beautiful city of Rome. It really stole my heart and I would definitely love to live here some day.

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My Observations…

Everyone is so friendly here. They dont speak with their hands as much as I expected.The men are living up to their Romeo reputations and are not shy in their approving stares!It is not as busy as we expected, even in the very touristy areas like the Colosseum. The streets are filled with trattoria and people eating al fresco, although there is a noticeable lack of presence of open green areas- none to be exact.I read about pop-up pools alongside the River Tiber but we didn’t have time to sample these cooling treats. I did, however, have plenty of famous Italian gelato to cool me down! My favourite part of the city are the cobbled stone streets, and its italianess is accentuated with the many scooters flying along the narrow , haphazard streets.The map of Rome is quite hilarious and seems to have no plan or strategic method to it at all and yet everything seems to be within walking distance, thankfully, as I’d say the public transport leaves much to be desired here!My second favourite feature in Roman life are the shutters on all the buildings.Fascinatingly old most of the time, but beautiful. I imagine myself living in one of these old buildings, waking to the sound of the singing birds, with the sunshine streaming in through the filters of the dusty shutters and when opened, I could observe the busy village affairs on the cobbled street below, with Italian men shouting loudly at a tv screen with the soccer on and the local women sitting on the steps, idly chatting, with one eye on their diapered, bare footed children who are happily playing with stray dogs.I havent actually seen this scene with my own eyes but I can imagine it’s not too far from me!Something new I learned here is that they call many things pizza, not just what we westerns call pizza. After trying spaghetti bolgonese last night I am sure I could adapt to their simple diet of pasta and pizza, with the odd mc donalds thrown in of course 🙂 I was also saddened to learn that pizza originated here out of necessity to feed the poor population and unfortunately there is still a noticeable homeless population present.There is also a lot of construction work going on in the local buildings and basilicas, though obviously the authenticity and character of the buildings are strictly maintained. Romantic Rome you have truly stolen my heart.

Ciao XX

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The girl who travels… Doesn’t need to date

The girl who travels is the happy, confident girl that lights up the room when she enters. She is accustomed to meeting new people and doesn’t find it difficult to make friends out of strangers. Because of her fun loving nature she has amazing friends all around the world. She may have brief relationships in each place she settles but her friends remain her priority. She will never want to give up a night out with her pals or go home early because you want her to.
The girl who travels is opinionated. During her travels she encounters various and diverse opinions. She will appreciate your differences but also loves a healthy debate when she feels passionately about something. She is able to speak for herself and does not need a man to speak for her.
The girl who travels is passionate about life. Her desire to make the most out of each and every day will always come first. Keeping a guy happy is second to making herself happy. It’s not selfish. She knows that you only get to do each day once and wants it to be the best possible experience it can be. Each day isn’t always full of bungee jumps and sky dives but it’s her positive attitude and perspective on the days events that turn an unexceptional day into something special.
The girl who travels likes to share her happiness with others. In her friendships and relationships she loves to make others happy and make them feel special. She can do this easily because she is always happy in herself. She doesn’t need a man in her life to ‘complete’ her. To truly live is to experience and with each new experience she is growing and completing herself. She does not need anyone else to make her feel whole.
The girl who travels is strong. At times, she enjoys the comfort of a cuddle and hug when times are tough but her true strength comes from within. Each time she overcomes a hurdle thrown at her by the inevitable mixed fortunes of life, she becomes more confident in herself and her abilities to independently conquer any problem.
Love is a core component of living and while it is common practice to look for love in others, the love of ourselves and the world around us is often overlooked. The word love refers to a feeling of respect and endearment that we humans can have for everything in existence, including ourselves. Therefore, finding someone to fall in love with is not a priority of the girl that travels as she is too busy finding love in everything that surrounds her. She loves her life, her family and her friends. She loves the experiences she has and the places she’s been. She has learned that if you love your life it will love you right back 🙂

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My first steps in the direction of the world

I never wanted to travel. My mum, an avid traveller, tried convincing me to go to Germany for the summer when I was 16 ( we have relatives there) but I said no, much to my fathers relief. During my teenage years I visited many European countries with my family but this still wasn’t enough to inspire and instill a longing for new surroundings and a sense of adventure in me. Summer holidays were taken in Spain, Greece, Portugal, generally a package holiday for a week or two where the only priority was to enjoy the well needed sunshine. Girlie nights out, parading ourselves down the strip ( doesn’t matter which one, different countries but they’re all intrinsically the same) getting lured into the bars and clubs with promises of free shots and 2 for 1 drinks, followed by sleeping at the hotel pool the next day, turning periodically, ensuring that important all over tan. Lather, rinse, repeat. Return home, happy to show off your colour, blissfully unaware of the beautiful towns, villages and beaches that may have been only a short walk or a bus ride away.
When I qualified as a primary teacher and had the added bonus of being paid for my summer holidays, the annual sun vacation was complemented with a trip to the States for a few weeks each summer. Sightseeing, sunshine and shopping, what more could a girl want. That was until one year, three weeks before the summer holidays, I googled ‘girls travelling alone’ and came across forums where women were discussing their experience in this subject. I was shocked at first, curious and finally emboldened. Reading that these girls could traverse the world alone I decided I could do it as well. Less than 24 hours later, I took the plunge and booked a return flight to Bangkok to depart in 3 weeks for the duration of the entire summer.
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That summer taught me so much about myself and stirred in me a yearning for more. I realised how much there is in the world to see, to learn, to do and that living in Ireland teaching for the rest of my life would inhibit my ability to experience all these wonderful things. Within 6 months I applied for a career break and 3 months later I embarked on, what was to be,the greatest adventure of all time… MY LIFE.
My advice to anyone who wants to travel is book a flight and just do it. Over thinking just allows time for your mind to come up with excuses, some valid, some not, but nothing should stop you following your dreams. Action speaks volumes. Take that first action in the direction of your dreams and you’ll soon find things fall into place. You only get one life, fill it with passion and adventure. Make it a journey that will live on after you’re gone, by inspiring others.

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