Italy · 73 Days · 28 Moments · October 2014

Emily Etzkorn

Etzkorn in Italia

26 December 2014

Life is happening all around you. I'm on the plane from chicago to Amsterdam. In theory, I'll be taking a plane from there to Rome after a casual 11 hour layover and then I'll meet up with Giulia. As long as I can get back in the country I'll be okay, and able to exhale. Man, I don't want to be going back. More than anything, I with I was sitting on the couch with my parents watching frasier or something. I like being home. I like America. I know I have to move out of the house eventually, and I do want to, but home feels comfortable. And the earliest I'll be going home will be Easter, so I need to figure out how to get through now through then, if not longer. I need something to believe in. I need something to focus on. I need something to keep me going. I honestly thought living in Europe was for me. You can't predict everything. I wish I had studied abroad. And more than anything, I desperately want to find something, anything, whatever it is I'm looking for, to get me through.

3 December 2014

I'm almost back in Rome. I'm going to (hopefully) take the Leonardo Express train from Termini to FCO and then spend the next few hours awake in the airport. I have to check in around 4 am and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GOD let me be able to get on my flight home. Then to Paris, and then Chicago 😍 If all goes well (why is there no fingers crossed emoji yet?), 24 hours from right now I'll be in Chicago. Nothing could make me happier. So I'm doing my best to think positively and be calm and collected. Thank god for Tim, honestly. And obviously my parents. Ugh and I have to hopefully buy another card to put my credit on my stupid Italian phone. I feel bad, I completely abandoned Catherine in the middle of our conversation. I really dislike the whole rechargeable thing. I don't get it still. If I could see where I was at online it would help. Alright. I think I'm supposed to be at Termini in 14 minutes. I'm pretty sure there's at least one or two more Leonardo Express trains. Cheers 😬

22 November 2014

There's something so utterly European about this picture to me. Quiet riverside, quaint, colorful apartments. I'm really here.
I hung out at a castle in Verona today. Life is grand.
Verona is magnificent.
It is, in fact, possible to go from my apartment to bologna centrale, buy a ticket, validate it, and get on the train with 3 minutes to spare in 15 minutes. I got no sleep last night so I was just gonna skip it and go to verona tomorrow and then I was like "if I get ready in 9 minutes i can make it!" And then it took 14 minutes before I was ready to leave but I made it! So I'm about to be in Verona, exhausted, but i made it! I'll sleep in tomorrow and then starting Monday I wanna start getting up at a more reasonable time and just leaving the house in the morning, if for no other reason that to not have to get roped into working or dealing with the baby. That and hello, I'm in Italy. Time to start acting like it.

20 November 2014

Never will I ever take for granted the fact that I am fortunate enough to live in the United States of America.

18 November 2014

I've gotten used to a LOT of things being here. I've also come to take on lots of the ways Italians do things. When it's hot out, I'm alllll about the siesta. No air conditioning and 100 degrees? I'll sleep in the shade for 3 hours. I'm truly working on taking life at a slower pace in general. I drink coffee now! I enjoy cappuccinos and am getting friendly with espresso. I love the idea of having a pastry and coffee in the morning around 10 or so. I accept olive oil on lots of my food-even if I don't actually like it. But one thing I truly don't think I can adjust to is eating dinner at 9 pm. I'm just so, so hungry that I start to feel like a small child myself. Sigh.

13 November 2014

Today I walked around bologna-got myself lost is really more accurate-but it was almost dream-like. It was drizzling and I was walking through Europe listening the the P.S. I Love You soundtrack. The only thing that could have made it better would be if I was actually in Ireland doing the same thing, but I'll get there. It was perfect. What an experience. What a trip. What an exciting life I'm living right now 😃

4 November 2014

Time goes slower here. Which is interesting, because the pace of life is slower here. It's just generally accepted that you're going to wait in line, have a conversation with the man behind the counter while buying prosciutto, and exchange pleasantries with anyone else you see. You would think that as a result, you would get far less accomplished because you stop for a cappuccino rather than running around at breakneck speed, but it seems quite the opposite. It's an interesting change from America, where you run around as fast as you can and still only manage to accomplish 3 out of the 10 things you want to do.

2 November 2014

The problem with Europe is that no camera can even come close to capturing the vividness of the colors. I may end up going home broke, but what a way to spend my first year out of college. I'm doing things I've literally only dreamed about. This is amazing.

1 November 2014

The world. The world is worth seeing. How lucky am I. How absolutely blessed am I, to have the parents and family and friends that I have. How absolutely fortunate I am to be able to say that at age 23, a brand new college graduate, I got to see the world. Obviously I'm only seeing a small chunk of it, but it's WAYYYY more than if I had stayed home. I'm sitting on a bench in Venezia at 1015 pm and I feel like I'm in a movie. So much of Europe just has the past engrained in everyday life. It's a treat for the eyes, to see the beauty that not just Venice, but everywhere in Europe, holds. It's magical. Absolutely magical. I can never repay my parents for helping me live out my dream. Just incredible.
Hostels are basically like summer camp. It's kind of fantastic.
Lolol that girl we met last night who had that massive bottle of wine. She just kept thrusting it at us and saying "vino!" What a fabulous way to make friends. I liked her. I also really liked the guy with the weird hair. I feel like he was probably not attractive at all, but he was really nice. Good conversation.
I dunno if that map was really free, or he just pretended to give it to me to feel special or something, but either way I'm a fan. I have a map of bologna! Now I just have to do the same thing in Verona and Venice.
My first weekend trip and I missed my train. Off to a good start! Thank god for europe's train system-there's a other one in an hour 👍

23 October 2014

(Con't. 4) mom and dad visiting at the beginning of June would really tide me over well, to get through those last few months. Though I wonder what was with that California business, that's weird to me. What if we all go to California for May, June, and July? Then I would just stay there. Maybe Carli and Catherine could come visit me in California and we could have our own little vacation there before going back to chicago! That could be a lot of fun, too. Sigh. I've got from having a lot unknown to just feeling unsure about how the next 9 months are going to play out. I really hope that 4 or 5 weeks down the road I'm looking back at these posts and just laughing because I'm absolutely loving life here, and can't imagine being home. We'll see.
(Con't. 3) the amount of interaction I have with the kids, that part is okay. Like I said though, it's just a waiting game. If I don't feel like, truly settled and content and happy and at peace (as stupid as that sounds) by like, the end of January, which would be 3 and a half months from now), I think I'll seriously have to reevaluate. But then again, if I make it all the way to the beginning of February, it's only 6 more months. I wonder if mom and dad will be able to visit. They probably won't be able to till at LEAST Sam's spring break; it's probably already too close to Christmas time to book anything that's not going to break the bank. Man, if I go all the way till August without seeing them I *might* actually die. That's so so long. Maybe they'll come after Sam graduates but before she goes back to camp, that could be fun. Giulia at the end of 2014, mom and dad and Sam at the end of May/beginning of June, and Carli and nick and hopefully Catherine, and Rachel in August?...
(Con't.) her dad won't have wifi. I do like talking to Viky, she seems just super reasonable and chill and normal. My fear is just that the kids absolutely will not listen to me at all. I hope to god there's a fenced in yard, cause if they run off I'm FUCKED. I want to stay, I want to travel, I want to drink and party and make out with boys in bars and have friends here and have friends and family visit me....I just also want to get to a point where it doesn't feel like the months are taking 9 times longer than they should, and to a point where I don't feel like I'm constantly counting down the days till I go home. I wonder how I would have liked it being an ESL teacher. I definitely have more freedom in this kind of position, which I like....but there's also something to be said for going home to your own place, you know? If things keep going like they have this week, I *think* (I hope!) that it'll work out okay. It would be nice if the kids listened to me more, but in terms of....
I feel like the "other" tag should really be customized for me as "thoughts to mull over as I contemplate life." Well, I have a solution to my phone/internet situation, which makes me really really happy. I liked the other au pairs I met last night, it was really really fun. I feel bad saying this/thinking this, but I wish the baby wasn't around because I would legit be free until the kids came home from daycare and stuff. And I do think for the most part I can be, ish, I just really want to have time to set aside to work out every day. That's going to be my "me" time, and I need that to stay sane. Tomorrow could be hellish, if they can't go to daycare because of the strike or whatever. I so am not prepared to spend all day with those two. I don't know what to decide between, too: going to abruzzo or staying home with them. Mom's probably right, I should go there. At least id be seeing a different part of the country. Hopefully I'll have my phone by then too....something tells me....

22 October 2014

(Con't.) that flight one more time, I'm gonna be put on some no-fly list or something. Fack. I wish life was like in the SIMs, where you could just hit the super fast forward button and life would speed by and in 30 seconds it was 5 months later. Or I wish I could have a crystal ball to show me that in 3 weeks I can have my money situation and internet situation sorted and that I'll actually like being here, living with this family, and that I can handle it. Gah I wish it was the middle of July and I had only 2 weeks left here, and then 2 weeks in Roma with friends visiting and then I'd be home in a month. That sounds semi manageable, though still pretty daunting. I dunno.
I'm just so hesitant that I'll be able to do this. Am I really ready for this to be my life for the next 9 months? (295 days, to be exact). If I can't get the internet situation worked out, it's a definite no go. It's just not happening. Not even sorry, I'm not willing to sacrifice my friends, my family, and my connection to the world, literally. If I can really get an iphone here though, for 27 euro a month, the unlimited data thing is what's going to keep me going. I could plan one trip a month, excluding when Giulia and my family are here. That means I'll always have something to look forward to just 4-6 weeks away, minimum. That would also help keep me going. I'm definitely going to need mom to send me my itouch, so I can have Christmas music. I dunno. I do want to stay here, I don't want to feel like I'm giving up and going home-again. It'd be SUPER great if I could not change my aer lingus flight AGAIN- for one, id be saving money 👌 and for another, I feel like if I change...

20 October 2014

I know it sounds stupid, but it always makes me do a double take when I see some kind of natural setting that looks just like home. Obviously the clouds and the sky and the trees look like home, it's just nature. But we just pulled out of the Termini station and for half of a second I was transported to union station in chicago. The combination of the train yard and the clouds and the phone lines looked just like home. Then I looked out the other window and there was gorgeous roman architecture and lol jk no nevermind still in Italy. But it's cool.
(Con't.) and then I'll really have the whole persona of a 23 year old traveling through Europe. God, it's still so surreal. I can't believe I'm *actually* here. Now fingers crossed that this part of the adventure goes well!
Well. I'm on the correct train-I hope!- to move to bologna. Thank GOD I sent that other suitcase home. I honestly probably could have managed to get on the train itself with 2 bags, but no way in hell would I have been able to get from the apartment to Termini with 2 bags. I felt like I was crashing all over the place. "Look out, here's the crazy American with luggage that weighs in total more than she does!" The train is supposed to depart for all our various stops-there's more than I expected-in 7 minutes. I hope it leaves on time, and I hope it stays empty like it is now. I'm planning on watching the Lizzie McGuire movie on my Kindle and hopefully there's a lot to see out the window! I feel very "college graduate backpacking through Europe-y" today. I'm taking the train across a foreign country! Just like in the movies! Admittedly, I definitely have way more luggage than if I was just backpacking; I'm so excited to take weekend trips with just my backpack....

15 October 2014

I'm reading "Every Boy's Got One" by Meg Cabot as I sit inside the freaking Colosseum. I'm sitting inside one of the most famous buildings in Roman history. There's something so cool about this, and so utterly unattainable in America. Maybe it's because America is so much younger than Europe, or maybe it's just because America hasn't done as good a job preserving it's historical pieces like Europe has, I'm not too sure. Either way, this is incredible.
I feel very Roman, wearing my gladiator sandals as I explore the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and Palatine Hill.
Reading Meg Cabot inside the Roman Forum. Life as a college grad isn't so terrible.