The Sophomore Slump

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Last Call…

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Africa

It’s been a dream on mine to go Africa. I wanna see the beautiful people of Africa, and of course, the animals.

10. Place where you’d like to go

Paris, France

We didn’t exactly have a lot of time when we were in Paris. I’m grateful for my visit there, but a day and a half in Paris just doesn’t cut it. I would want to explore Paris more.

09. Place you’d like to go back to

Crete, Greece

chania (30)

My girl in Crete was a good one. She took good care of me. I will never forget her.

08. Place where you lived a romantic moment

Italy

07. Place where you lived a memorable moment

Vigan, Philippines

[E]mpanada in Vigan

I would trade any other food I got in exchange of Vigan empanada. I’ve been many places and have tasted many culture food, but Vigan empanada is THE best of them all. We tried a supposedly Vigan empanada in Manila, but it’s just not the same as if you’re to get it exactly in Vigan. I’m craving for Vigan empanda. What I wouldn’t give for my lips to have a meeting with Vigan empanada again.:)

I wonder when we’d get to invent something that would record taste into memory. AhihihiūüėÄ

06. Place where you had a tasty memories

Seville, Spain

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There’s just so much to see and do in Seville, and it’s just so pretty. I had a memorable fun night there too.

05. Place which surprised you

Mykonos, Greece

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My fault for having such a high expectation from our trip to Mykonos. I just don’t see how this place is popular.

04. Place which disappoints you

Iwo Jima, Japan

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We walked and hiked from the air terminal all the way up to Mt. Suribachi for 4 hours, to and back. I was beat. I couldn’t imagine the soldiers braving to go to war and fight, and then imagine them with the physical exhaustion they had to go through.¬† Mad respect to the servicemen who fought the Battle of Iwo Jima.

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03. Place which touched you

Italy

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I hated my work when I was in Italy. But it was such an awesome country, and I had THE BEST circle of friends.

02. Place where you had fun

Philippines

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I’ve been all kinds of places, but Philippines is the nearest and dearest to my heart.

01. Place you always bring with you

I decided to, for the first time, follow a rule of sticking to just one answer.ūüėČ

I was tagged by Living Out The Box and About Her Small World. They both have outstanding responses to this tagged post. I say head over to their posts instead of staying here on mine.

I’ve been wanting to do a post where things are backwards. I finally found one that I can apply that to. I apologize if this makes you dizzy and confused.ūüėÄ

 

The Typewriter in Rome, Italy

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This typewriter was made for a particular person.

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This typewriter is massive. It’s the biggest typewriter I’ve ever seen in my life.

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This typewriter, unlike other typewriters, is definitely not something people would just ignore.

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This typewriter is hard to miss.

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This typewriter is different than most of its kind in Italy.

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This isn’t your typical typewriter that gets antiquated.

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This typewriter, because of how it is made, will never fade with age.

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This typewriter can be blindingly bright.

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This typewriter goes by the name Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II.

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This typewriter, you may be able to figure out by now, is hated by the Romans.

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That is not because this typewriter can’t actually type or write, but because of its pompous name and presence, its sheer volume, and how differently it was made and designed.

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To avoid calling it by its actual name, the Romans gave it unflattering nicknames such as “The Wedding Cake”, “The False Teeth”, or “The Typewriter”.

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As a tourist, I love this typewriter.

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Last Call …

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.

Here is more of Rome, Italy …

Back in Rome
Revisiting Rome
Spanish Footstep
R O M A

Amalfi Coast in Italy

Back in September, I was lucky to attend a two-week training class in Italy. I Didn’t let that chance to re-explore Italy to just slip away. I decided to go to a most personal favorite city, Rome, and what was a new travel destination to me, the Amalfi Coast.

I bring you …

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…Amalfi Coast.

The coastal drive to get there is a sightseeing experience on its own. South Italy Coast is just gorgeous!

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There is a remarkable church behind the port.

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By the time I was done roaming around, it was already getting dark. The moon made a dramatic appearance.

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It made the views of Amalfi Coast even more picturesque.

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Amalfi Coast, to me, is one for the bucket list, but not exactly one for the books. The coastal drive really makes up to my high expectation of it. A gratifying, dream-come-true travel destination nonetheless.

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Last Calls…

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Catania in Sicily, Italy

I only had a weekend to explore Catania in Sicily, Italy. During my short visit there, I saw it as a cross between Naples and Rome.

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I was actually walking around with a very awesome travel buddy. We were in the same training class together. We talked about travel experiences over Sicilian cuisine, arancini (very popular there), and glasses of wine and limoncello. I was lucky to find a travel buddy who has itchy feet like I am and would not complain about places like Catania, places that are not exactly aesthetically pleasing to most people.

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It’s quite … uhm … dumpy over there. The buildings look aged¬†and uncared for. But if you can be open minded and really look pass the … uhm … “greasy” layer of the buildings. you can still notice how¬†magnificent the architectural designs of the buildings are no matter how battered the appearance is.

 

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The city looks so unorganized. Dysfunctional. It’s noisy. It’s clammy. It’s mucky. It’s busy as heck! And to me, it looks so alive … so liberating.

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And despite it’s chaotic nature, the historical side of the city is so evident everywhere.

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They have an elephant statue, an elephant!, standing as an emblem of the city. Something that is so uncharacteristic of Italian culture.

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You can still drive a little further and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Catania may never be a contender for the cleanest, most organised city, but to me …¬†I was soaking in the chaos surrounding me as if¬†I was lying down a peaceful meadow. I was loving the moment of being in a city full of everyday people living real everyday lives.

Last Call…

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All images are taken with an old Nokia phone.

South Italy Coast

South Italian Coast is gorgeous! …and that’s putting it lightly.

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We were ooh-ing and aah-ing inside the bus. It certainly took my breath away.

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Last September, I was blessed to revisit Italy once again after five years of ever dreaming of coming back. I had two weekends in Napoli. I decided to travel to a familiar place, Rome, and a place that I didn’t get to see before, Amalfi Coast.

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It’s cheap transportation too! The fare from Napoli to Sorrento is only about 3 Euros. Then the tour bus costs 16 Euros to and from Amalfi. So that’s about 22 Euros of transportation expenses in total. I say not too shabby for such incredible views and travel experiences.

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And, you can visit Sorrento and Positano all in one.

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The road is narrow, winding and steep! I recommend just taking one of the tour buses or having an experienced driver to take you there.

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If you’re ever in Southern part of Italy, a trip to Amalfi won’t be a disappointment.

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The drive there is an unforgettable sightseeing on its own.

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I’ll show you Amalfi Coast on a later post. Here’s for now…

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Back in Rome

Last September, I was assigned to three weeks of classes in (yey yea!) Italy- one week in Sigonella and two weeks in Naples.

I was there for training but rest assured that I did some traveling. I managed to revisit and visit old and new places. I chose to come back to Rome and Amalfi Coast.

My return to my most favorite city was more than bliss.

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-Rome-

It was an entirely different feeling when you come back to a place you’ve known than seeing it for the first time. Returning back to Italy was most profound. It’s like having your precious memories come to life again.

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-Colosseum-

Granted my ardent love for Rome will never cease, i’m so grateful that I was given a blessing to come back and see it all over again.

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-Vittorio Emanuele-

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-Roman Forum-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

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-Pantheon-

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-Trevi Fountain-

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-Spanish Steps-

Rome is one huge majestic outdoor museum, and what I always love about it is the plethora of historical and architectural sights you get to see.

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-Piazza del Popolo-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

I resided in Italy for 2 years. I love and missed it so much. I always hoped of returning, but I always thought that would only stayed as a dream. I really felt so blessed to be given that opportunity to come back. I was there for a day so I didn’t get to hit a lot of other great spots like St. Peter’s Basilica. My time there was short. Even then, I’m very thankful.

If you ever plan of going, be ready to do a lot of walking. Given my time restriction, I steered clear of places where there are waiting time just to get inside.

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-Spanish Steps-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

P.S. A lot of construction works when I was there. If you look at the Trevi Fountain picture, I only took the upper part of it because there are works getting done to it. I also noticed a lot of giant advertising billboard signs (see a car advertisement on the first picture of Piazza del Popolo) are put up in front of or around the sights.

Related Topics:
Revisiting Rome
ROMA

Greedy as it may sound, I do hope to revisit Italy for the third time. It doesn’t cost to dream, right?ūüėČ I hope for everyone to be happy with whatever or wherever life takes you.

Last Call …

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5 Seconds

THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMENDS:

Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – Packed with bits of¬† sentiments and details both in words and in visuals, this novel earns one of the best child narrators I’ve ever read.
In Rainbow by Radiohead – Music that takes you in a trance and¬†lyrics that will rip your hearts apart. Seriously, Radiohead albums should have a forewarning: Do not listen when depressed… or driving on the road at night.
Almost Famous¬†– Very interesting that this, well, very interesting life journey is loosely based on the director’s (Cameron Crowe) teenage years. One of the top music-related movies to date.

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I was tagged by Rommel of The Sophomore Slump¬† to list the 5 places I’d like to go back to. I am listing just that.¬†Not exactly the best destinations,¬†but¬†5 places that I’ve been to and wish to go back to. To wander once more. To explore more and hit the areas I wish I knew then. Places I wish I had more time to be in.¬†Trips where I wish I used my times there better.¬†Places I’ve been dreaming about of returning. 5 places I wouldn’t at all mind going for seconds.

SEVILLA, SPAIN

The Alcazar alone is enough reason to go back Seville. The Cathedral,¬†La Giralda, the palace, the watchtower “Torre de Oro”, the bullring, all in walking distance are¬†icing on the cake. I will never forget the time when I just walked in the neighborhood¬†by myself very early in the morning. For no apparent reason other than just wandering around and¬†soaking in the moment.

CAPRI, ITALY

Not that I didn’t have a¬†great experience¬†on our trip here¬†per se. I did. It was adventurous actually. We explore a secret excursion that not many tourists know about. I just wish I knew¬†how awesome the¬†grotto really is. When I was here, I was with two friends who didn’t want to spend money to go on the boat that takes people to the Blue Grotto. Not only that, our time was not on our side either. I wish I was more pushy.ūüėÄ I wish to go back here for the Blue Grotto. Then¬†have more¬†to see its¬†pristine¬†water, the picturesque houses, the boats, and the overlooking view¬†once again.

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OKINAWA, JAPAN

I was excited to go to Japan for its unique culture. Although separated from the mainland,¬†I’d still definitely go back to Okinawa, Japan to¬†immerse once more of¬†the culture,¬†visit the amazing places,¬†witness the awesome events and meet the people again and again.¬†I wouldn’t even mind having the same experiences all over.ūüėČ Okinawa¬†provided me¬†so many “first” travel experiences.

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BOHOL, PHILIPPINES

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There is just so much things to see and do in Bohol. So many of it so define the culture and beauty of the Philippines. I highly suggest the water tours which include dolphin watching, snorkelling, and the most beautiful spots ever, Virgin Island.

PARIS, FRANCE

It is loved by many for good reasons. I got lost here from wandering around too much. :) Paris is Paris. I blame it solely on Paris.

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FEATURED BLOGS

Holistic Wayfarer: A Holistic JourneyConfessions: Mismatching Socks and My Deepest Longing – Just one of the most honest, eloquent, best written blog pieces I’ve ever read.

 

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