This Week In Pictures

This week I’m in Rome, Italy enjoying la dolce vita, or the good life. : ) Here are a few photos from the past few days….

Cappuccinos are a must-try in Rome. Italians make some of the best, and my fave is when they sprinkle chocolate on the top….

due cappuccini.

Back in Germany, I almost never see any national flags. But here in Italy there are flags everywhere! Italian flags, European Union flags, Rome flags – this place has them all.

eu + italia + roma

Tuesday, I went for a long and great hike along the Italian coast through Cinque Terre….

riomaggiore.

The Mediterranean is the clearest, bluest, most beautiful water I’ve seen. I loooved getting the chance to step back into it again….

mediterranean.

I’m heading back to Germany tomorrow night, and I can’t wait to share more photos and impressions of Italy later!

Arrivederci! : )

Guest Post: Lucky Enough Blog in Ireland

You’re in for a treat! Here’s a special guest post from Lizzie over at Lucky Enough Blog. She’s studying in Galway, Ireland and today’s she sharing how Ireland has lived up to her expectations….

 
 
as soon as i told friends and family that i was going to study abroad, i received the exact same feedback multiple times a day: “oh my! you are going to have the best time of your life!”

now i think that is a whole lot of pressure to put upon a brand new adventure. moving from san diego, leaving my full time job, and deciding to study abroad in ireland was big enough on it’s own. but now it had to be the best time of my life? wowzers.

weeks before i left for ireland i spent hours online reading other study abroad students’ blogs. i looked at photos and read stories about so many amazing experiences. i made a list of places i had to see and photos i had to take and things i had to do.

and then i landed in ireland. i moved to the most exquisite, quaint, and welcoming town galway. for the first month i was bogged down by my lists. i beat myself up for having jet lag. how could i be wasting precious time sleeping? i beat myself up for not seeing the entire island within the first two weeks. what was i doing with my time?

and finally, during a trip to the cliffs of moher i let myself go. i decided to just live. looking over cliffs as majestic as the cliffs of moher you are forced to feel a monumental change inside your soul. i let go of my lists and my must dos must sees. and i tried very hard to just see and do as it happened.

my entire life i’ve always built up such high expectations for everything. i’ve always been that girl who cannot sleep the night before going to disneyland. i’ve always been the girl who paints lovely pictures of what each event in her life is going to look like. and while optimism has never been an issue for me, i’m filled to the brim with it, letting go of strict expectations has not been easy for me.

ireland has exceeded my expectations ten fold because for the first time, i’ve let them go. the only thing i truly expect is that ireland will love me just as much as i love her. i love her green hills and her blue rivers, i love her cold winds and her persistent showers. i love her people and i love living here. am i having the best time of my life? well who really knows. but i know i’m happy, and that’s truly all that matters.

if you’re lucky enough to be happy, you’re lucky enough

Thank so much for sharing your experience abroad with us, Lizzie! Ireland sounds amazing, and I hope to visit it someday. : )
 
You can read more of Lizzie’s adventures in Ireland on her blog, or follow her on twitter @luckyenoughblog.

Spring Break: Viva Italia!

Spring Break has officially started, and I’m excited to be spending it in Italy!

I’m staying in Rome for 11 days, and making two day trips: Florence and Cinque Terre.

It’s been crazy busy at school lately with projects and papers and presentations and research, and I am mega excited to relax and sightsee in Italy. Today, my friend Emily and I visited the Vatican and saw St. Peter’s Basilica (including visiting the very top of the cupola on the roof for a great view of the whole city!), the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel.

Here we are in the square of St. Peter’s Basilica….
st. peter's square.
And for lunch we got our first real, authentic Italian pizza! Yummm….

pizza italiana.
The Vatican + gelato + authentic Italian pizza…. our first full day in Rome was so exciting!

AND! Today, April 21st is Rome’s birthday – celebrating Rome since 753 BC. I love being around so much history. : )

Springtime in Freiburg!

  
It’s springtime in Freiburg!

Along with the warmer weather and longer days, other small changes are taking place all around town. For example, more and more flowers are for sale each day at the open-air market….

flower stands.

Trees and flowers are blooming everywhere….
sidewalk.

And even the ground beneath your feet is decorated by the spring blossoms!
pink.

I love Germany in the springtime. : )

Sailing the Baltic Sea

 

This has been such an exciting week! I’m studying the northern region of the European Union as part of the North Trip — I started out in London, then traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, and now I’m blogging live from the starboard side of the Baltic Queen…. sailing the Baltic Sea from Stockholm to Tallinn, Estonia!

The views of the archipelago outside Stockholm are beautiful….

swedish archipelago.

It’s sooo cold on the water this far north, and snow lingers on all the islands….

from the boat.

The sweeping scenes of the water are so peaceful and gorgeous!

starboard side.

This is an overnight boat, and I’ll be arriving in Tallinn, Estonia early in the morning. I don’t really know what to expect there, but I’m excited to check out the city and learn more about it!

Can’t wait to post more soon. : )

Live from… Stockholm!

 

The other day, I blogged live from London. Now, I’m excited to be blogging from my hotel in Stockholm, Sweden!

Stockholm is our second stop as part of the North Trip… studying the politics, economics, and culture of England + Sweden + Estonia.  It’s been fun and interesting so far, and I’ve learned a lot about some differences between these northern European Union countries.

One of the first things I noticed about Stockholm: technology! They have great technology and design everywhere. Our first morning, I headed for the metro with Abbey and Kelly to travel around the city, and we discovered this awesome, modern, interactive metro/city map….

This is the fanciest metro information I’ve seen in any city! It’s fabulous and a great example of the efficiency, design, and usability of most things I’ve seen in Stockholm.

So far, I’m loving it here! It’s sooo cold this far north, but I’m piling on the layers and having a blast! : )

Live from London!

 

This week, my study abroad program is taking us around on regional trips in the EU, and so… I’m posting this blog live from an internet cafe in London! : )

The program split us all into three groups based on which region of the European Union we wanted to study more indepthly: I’m on the North Trip visiting London, England + Stockholm, Sweden + Tallinn, Estonia. There’s also the South Trip heading to Rome, Italy + Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. And lastly, the Southeast Trip is exploring Greece + Bulgaria + Romania. It’s an exciting week for everyone!

One of the striking things about England is the way they drive on the left side of the road. To help pedestrian visitors, lots of crosswalks are painted with helpful reminders….

look right.
This way, you’ll know which way to look before crossing the street. I never realized what a natural instinct it is for me to double-check in a certain direction until everything was flipped in the other direction here! Now, I notice it at every crosswalk.

So far, I am looooving London! Can’t wait to post more later : )