Barcelona, Round Two…

I must admit, Barcelona was not my favorite destination the first time I was there. Part of it might have been the fact that I was saying goodbye to some amazing friends and I had been traveling nonstop for a month. However, this time I went to Barcelona with no agenda, and found that I loved the vibe of the city–my view on it definitely changed.

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What places have you been to that your perspective has changed?

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What I’m Reading…

Raise High the Roofbeam by J.D. Salinger ~ 4/5

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda ~ 5/5

Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ~ 4/5

Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo by Tim Parks ~ 3/5

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie ~ 4/5

The Humbling by Philip Roth ~ 3/5

Mexico City Blues (242 Choruses) by Jack Kerouac ~ 4/5

Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav ~ 5/5

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Volume 2 by Joseph Gordon Levitt ~ 4/5

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed ~ 3/5

A Year Without Make-Up: Tales of a 20-Something Traveler by Stephanie Yoder ~ 3/5

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert ~ 3/5

Without Feathers by Woody Allen ~ 3/5

Myths to Live By by Joseph Campbell ~ 4/5

Whiteout by Ken Follett ~ 2/5

Purple Moon by Tessa Emily Hall ~ 5/5

The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin ~ 3/5

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald ~ 5/5

The Pleasures of the Damned by Charles Bukowski ~ 4/5

Satori in Paris and Pic by Jack Kerouac ~ 4/5

The Basic Writings of Nietzsche by Friedrich Nietzsche ~ 4/5

The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari ~ 4/5

Dear Life by Alice Munro ~ 4/5

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce ~ 3/5

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald ~ 3/5

What have you been reading?

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Just a Quick Update…

Sorry that this will be just a quick update, but I’m officially moved into my new apartment in Florence with some amazing roomies. I’m now TEFL certified, and I’m planning some trips to some fun places within the next few months (Bologna, Paris, Pisa, Barcelona, London…) and also thinking about what will happen when I have to head home for a friend’s wedding and what I will want to do after that.

Life is strange, but it all works out…you just kind of have to take it as it comes…

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A Look Back on 2013…

2013 was probably the craziest year of my life–in so many ways. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person, both good and bad. I got to cross off some things from my 25 Before 25 list, made some new friends, reconnected with some old ones, and made plans for an even better 2014.

Here are my top five moments of the year:

5. Graduation.

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I finished up my degree in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College in May. It was a bittersweet moment–I had made so many new friends there and I had a hard time deciding whether or not I wanted to stay in New York. But it was also exciting to know I was moving on and doing something new.

4. Concerts, concerts, concerts.

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Our family has always been one of huge concert goers, and this year did not disappoint. I saw Daughter, Barenaked Ladies, Paul McCartney, The Avett Brothers, and Iron & Wine all this year.

3. Back to New York.

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In November, I took a trip back to NY to see my friends and to see the city. The fall colors were beautiful, and it felt good to be back in a place that was my home for two years.

2. Montana.

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Though coming back to Montana for a few months was more of a default option for me than anything else, I enjoyed spending time with some of my friends and knowing what has been going on for them in their lives while I was back at school in New York. Plus, it’s a pretty gorgeous state, and my friends from NY made an appearance, as well.

1. Europe trip.

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The day after graduating, I headed over to Europe, where I toured close to ten different countries. I met some amazing people and learned so much…had a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, tried Belgian beer, practiced my Italian, and went to Shakespeare’s home in Stratford (among other things).

What did you do this year?

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What I’m Reading…

We Are Water by Wally Lamb ~ 5/5

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon ~ 3/5

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen ~ 3/5

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy ~ 4/5

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy ~ 3/5

Tenth of December by George Saunders ~ 5/5

The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges ~ 3/5

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson ~ 3/5

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt ~ 4/5

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri ~ 5/5

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan ~ 4/5

Marrying Mozart by Stephanie Cowell ~ 3/5

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini ~ 4/5

The Assassins: A Book of Hours by Joyce Carol Oates ~ 2/5

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny ~ 3/5

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain ~ 4/5

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes ~ 3/5

On God: An Uncommon Conversation by Michael Lennon and Norman Mailer ~ 3/5

What have you been reading?

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Sunshine Blogger Award…

I got a wonderful surprise today when I realized that the awesome Danielle Ryan had nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

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I’m supposed to nominate ten people, and then say ten things about myself. Without much ado…

1. Tessa Emily Hall–Teen writer and coffee affectionado.

2. Afternoons and Coffeespoons–For her amazing photography.

3. Firegirl Photography–My friend Jess who is always on the road and always on an adventure.

4. Aunt BeaN–Great literary wisdom and laughs.

5. Spit and Shine–My best friend’s tumblr, filled with inspiring images.

6. Outside Air–Pretty pictures and a pretty life.

7. The Magnificent Something–For his very thoughtful posts.

8. Sorry, I Can’t Stay Long–Wanderluster and photographer.

9. Mandi Lynn–Teen author and should-be comedian.

10. The Bare Naked Truth–Author Bekah Hamrick’s blog, funny and sweet at the same time.

And now ten things about me:

1. I’m obsessed with cheese. Really any kind.

2. I can’t help but wander. It’s just who I am.

3. I try to read a book a day.

4. I can speak rudimentary French, Italian, and Spanish. Hopefully my English is better than rudimentary.

5. I’m a klutz, and it actually gets worse the older I get.

6. I believe you should live life to the fullest because you only get one chance to do it. (Though you won’t catch me saying “yolo.”)

7. When I get homesick while traveling it’s always for my family, friends, and the Montanan mountains.

8. I once ate cuttlefish when studying abroad in Venice. I also fell in love (in many different ways) and learned that Italian coffee is the best.

9. I’ve been to fourteen different countries.

10. Growing up, I honestly didn’t think my life would be this awesome.

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