Scalea Travel Diary

I have finally returned from my vacation in Scalea, Calabria. For those of you who do not know, just like I did not know some months ago, Scalea is a comune in the province of Cosenza in Southern Italy. My friend and I decided to spend our holidays there because she had already been to this place years ago and the sea is beautiful.

We stayed at Santa Caterina Village, quite a peculiar hotel for two young girls. Let’s say that the village scene is more for families and older people; but it was fine. It was not spectacular, the days were all like the one before, but I managed to relax and that was my goal.

On the 23rd of July I got out of bed at 4:45am, picked my friend up and made our way to Roma Termini, the main train station in Rome. There, we took a Frecciarossa to Naples, which took about an hour and was, needless to say, comfortable. From Naples we took a Regional train to Scalea and let me tell you, I have never been on a more packed train. There were old men singing, children playing, my stomach was killing me and my friend was with her legs on the suitcase between mine. It was a journey which lasted 3 and a half hours.

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Note the despair.
Finally, we made it to Scalea, got our rooms after another long wait and after dodging the invasive guys who were there to animate the environment. As you can see, in our room we had a big bed, made of two single ones and then we had a single one, which became the resting place for my suitcase for the entirety of our journey.

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Note the relief.
After staying still for a bit, we went to the beach. The water was pretty, clear and unfortunately for me, almost immediately deep.

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Of course, as soon as the sun started setting, I had to take some pictures, before dinner. You guys know that is what I love doing on trips.

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The next days have been a little more photoshoot-intense, especially in my bathing suits. Unfortunately, the next days have also been pretty turbulent regarding the sea, reason why people were not allowed to swim. Regardless, I posed.

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On the 27th, we finally decided to get out of the resort and visit the city. Let me tell you, besides people not being very mindful and cautious drivers, the city itself is beautiful. All along the beach there are some shops (I went to “Il Brigante” to buy typical food items, such as ‘nduja, spicy salami and liquor), while the historical centre is situated somewhere higher and I am pretty sure it could be reached by car, although we did not venture so far.

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A habit of mine is taking pictures of old or peculiar houses and there were a couple which did catch my eye, both inhabited and non.

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Word of mouth had that there were some stairs to be climbed somewhere on the rocks where the view was fantastic, so we of course had to go. Besides the steps being steep, the view was indeed glorious and heavenly.

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Our last adventure before returning home was taking a train trip to Diamante, another touristic city nearby, probably less busy with tourists. It gave me the feeling of a fortress, with its high walls facing the sea.

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The remaining days and nights I spent chilling and dancing bachata before going to sleep. Our journey back was tiring; our train was 30 minutes late, packed and it stopped at random times. We got back to Termini with the same delay and we saw we were not the only ones, as there was a train 190 minutes late. I would have gone mad.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and the pictures that came with it.

Thank you for reading.

xx

My high school experience is Done!

I cannot believe this is real. I finally finished high school, after 5 intense and gruelling years (yes, high school lasts 5 years in Italy). The feeling has just started settling in even though when I am writing this 2 weeks have passed since I took my last exam.

I am content with the way my finals went. Could have they gone better? Of course, it can always go better, but I was well aware of what I have done during these 5 years and what my limits were (aka the math part was not really my forte).

I must say that I was not stressed in the least during my exam weeks. Yes, it was overwhelming but what was done was done and no late night study sessions could mend the spaces left behind. I was calm and collected, despite experiencing a very harsh UTI when I took my first exam. I know, it might be too much information, but it is what it is.

Now that all is said and done, I think I should reflect on what these last 5 years have meant and what they have done for me.

When I started high school I was a completely different person, and I really mean it. I was extremely shy, awkward and would not socialise whatsoever. Thankfully, I then became friends with a classmate of mine who was and is my complete opposite. She helped me become more open to opportunities and talk more. From then on, despite some people not believing in me, be it because I am female, be it because I am Romanian, I thrived. I often came out on top, regardless of whether I studied or not and that made people angry. The fact that I was respectful to everyone made people angry. And now, despite everyone’s doubts and comments, I am a happy woman, who feels fulfilled and who is extremely, extremely excited to move forward in life, and that means going to university.

I cannot wait (I mean, I can a bit) to start this new chapter in my life and take you guys with me. Thank you so much for reading.

xx

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox – Review

I finally got myself a pair of low white converse! I have been wanting these for quite a long time and I am aware that I am late to the party, since every single person has them, but at least I am here.

I have been in the lookout for low prices for a couple of months and Amazon came through. Here is the link on Amazon Italia, in case you are interested; I am sure you will have no trouble finding them on Amazon no matter which country you live in.

Now, let’s get to the shoe itself. The most simple and classic tennis show which no one uses for tennis. I have the canvas version, instead of the leather one because it is 100 times more comfortable. I have another pair of converse made of leather (here) and I still have to find a way to wear them without killing my heels.

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I love these shoes, despite them hurting the first time I wore them, but now everything is fine and they fit like a glove. I would not recommend wearing converse when you are, for example, visiting a city and having to walk too much, since they are very flat so not very ergonomic.

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The only downside, probably, is that you have to be extremely careful with not getting them dirty. These white ones are almost impossible to clean. Also because if you get them wet the glue may come out. To make them look as clean as possible I recommend washing the laces more often than the shoes.

Score: 9/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Look of the Day – July 9, 2017

I am back in the swing of things with this amazing impromptu photoshoot that my friend partook in; you can find her on Instagram here. Later in the evening we went to the pool where there were some salsa and bachata classes, so I felt like this dress was necessary. I bought it on sale from a store called Nuna Lie, but I am unable to find this particular dress on their site.

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I have never been one for colour, but I want this summer to be full of flowy dresses, both floral and not. Being able to feel the air and wind is phenomenal. Also, the colour scheme on this dress is lovely, with pinks and dusty pastels.

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I also decided to do something different with my makeup. I do not normally use colours, but since I have a couple of palettes I wanted to give it a try. I used the “En Taupe” palette by Zoeva, mainly the purple and lilac shades.

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And to top everything off, here we have a moment where I do not have my resting bitch face on. Surprise. That might be because I am happy as of late.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Thank you so much for reading.

xx

Book Review – The Power of Habit

Do not hate me, please. I know I have been absent for the past two months, but for good reason. I had my finals at high school and I mean my final finals. I graduated from high school! I am so happy and relieved and stress free it does not even seem real. I can finally read the books I want to read and chill and enjoy summer…until September comes along and UNI starts, but I am excited about that.

So here I am, back with another book review. This time I bring you The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I bought this book at the JFK airport in New York, on my way back in March. As soon as I saw it (the cover does attract attention) I wanted it. It cost $16 and it is worth so much more than that.

 

The genre it is part of is Business/Psychology and that explains half of it. Charles Duhigg decided to research why people do certain thing in life and business. He put together all the research done by scientists regarding habits and habit loops and cravings and served it to us on a pretty and understandable platter. I must say that the book is full of real life examples, also of pretty famous people (Michael Phelps was my favourite one). It is the kind of book that, if you take very seriously and practice what it preaches, could change your life.

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It tells you how to recognise habits, how to re-wire them for your gain and how to apply that in every area of your life. I am very happy to have found this book and it is the first of its type that I read; I already have a long list of others like this to purchase.

Score: 9/10

Thank you so much for reading.

xx

 

Book Review – milk and honey

This is the first poetry book I review and I must say I am proud of myself. I am proud of myself because I have evolved from the scholastic mentality of hating poetry because we were force-fed it for so many years.

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We can say I started with a bang. “milk and honey” is one of the most famous contemporary poetry works and it sold over one million copies in order to make it to the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list. The author is a woman called Rupi Kaur who, in her works, decided to analyse hurt, depression, love, healing, femininity, and abuse.

This book is divided in four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. All these parts are mended together by the awareness of the author of what she deserves, and that is the best. It explores all parts of being a woman, a person of colour, a heartbroken human, someone who wants to heal. She shares her past experiences of lost love and abuse and she lets us know that hurting in normal and that healing will come. Putting one’s soul on paper in the way that she did is admirable and reading these pages felt like getting to know somebody. Somebody who comes from a different cultural background than I, yet somebody who’s heart felt the same hurt I felt.

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Talking about formalities, this is not the same poetry we were taught in school. There are not many rhymes and rather than musicality we find obvious meaning which hits you in the face.

If I were to give this book, or should I rather say soul, a score based only on the themes explored, I would give it a 10/10.

Unfortunately, personal taste comes into play, and I am still in love with Dante’s poetry, where you are embraced by rhymes and music.

Score: 8/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Failure

This is probably one of the most annoying words in any language. Annoying, depressing, tear-worthy. I have encountered it few times in my life and I wish I had not.

Admitting I have failed at something makes my stomach turn and my brain get angry. Simply because failing is my fault and no one else’s. I cannot put the blame on my teachers for getting a bad or mediocre grade. I cannot put the blame on supermarkets for me gaining weight.

Saying “I have failed” is tiring and infuriating, so much that whenever it happens, I get cranky the whole day, until I have interiorised my failure and I am ready to move on. Admitting my failures is a process that has to happen in order for me to have mental clarity and sanity.

If I were to find the root of the problem, I would go as back as primary school. I was not used to failing. I always had top grades and was considered a nerd. That went on during middle school, getting admitted to high school with the highest grade possible. High school, on the other hand, was a low blow. Teachers expect more than average and they are not willing to give you more than you worked for; sometimes they do not even give you that. Of course, my behaviour changed too: I started working harder and smarter. I understood what they wanted and tackled the skills I lacked.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I worked, I sometimes failed. Usually, that happened in math (surprise…not). It has never been my strongest subject and it still is not. I have admitted that, despite my pride, and I moved forward, doing what I can.

Failing, or getting a mediocre grade, at math is not acceptable, but it is not catastrophic either. What hurts more is getting a mediocre grade in a subject I usually am one of the best at. Not getting the maximum in Italian or History or Philosophy stings for two reasons: firstly, because it hurts my pride, secondly because people have high expectations of me. This last part is something I am still struggling with.

Hearing my teacher say “I expected more from you” hurts more than them saying “You sucked at this”. In the last case, something must have definitely gone bad, where I could not have done anything to mend it. In the first case, it is all my fault, because I have set a certain standard that people, and also myself, are accustomed to and now expect.

Failure and expectations go hand in hand, especially because when I fail, there are always people who cheer. When you almost always are the best, people start rooting for you to fall. Had you been less stellar, your fall would not have made so much noise.

I guess failure itself is not so bad; everyone encounters it in their lives and it is normal and part of being human. What matters is how we deal with it and what we take from it. I believe in the “You win or you learn” motto. That is what life is all about: progressing and learning, which most often than not, are quite the same thing.

Thank you for reading.

xx