Will Puke For Travel

Isle of Capri Italy travel

Travel can be quite ugly at times. It’s not always sunshine and roses. It can be frustrating, exhausting, and even messy… like when I threw up on the boat in Italy.

I never was the greatest with being on water. It messed up my equilibrium in ways that did not end pretty. But this was a special occasion. I was on vacation in Italy with my family back when I was in high school. We had a nice day trip planned, and despite the fact that there was a boat involved, it was expected to be a short ride.

It was all smooth sailing at the beginning (pun intended). I felt great, it was a gorgeous day outside, and I was in Italy after all. This was all good to be true, of course. Soon enough, the waves got increasingly choppy until it seemed like we were in The Perfect Storm. Okay, slight exaggeration. But the waves certainly were picking up, and I wasn’t the only one feeling it.

The crew began walking around with the dreaded “barf bags,” passing them out to the pale faced passengers. The crew themselves did not seem to be phased at all. “Look out at the horizon,” they said, which sounds great in theory, but I was glued to my seat. Any sudden movement and I was sure I would explode.

Just a little longer, I kept telling myself. We should be there any minute now.

Apparently my inner monologue wasn’t enough to keep the seasickness from making its mark. Just minutes before our arrival, the sea got the best of me. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one green with nausea. There were plenty more passengers on board who were having just as hard of a time fighting off the queasiness.

The question is, why put yourself through all that?

Because travel is so beautiful that it conquers the ugly.

There comes a time for everyone to have a bad travel experience. Whether that be getting sick, robbed, or simply having a bad case of jet lag. Whatever you do, NEVER let the negatives define what travel means for you. The world has enough debbie downers.

Think about what you learned from these bad experiences. How can you help others to make sure the same situation doesn’t happen to them? You never know what may come from a travel mishap. I have multiple friends that have lost their passports while in a foreign country. Not too fun at the time. However, they tend to make great stories looking back! If losing your passport means you get an extra day in Barcelona or Athens, it may not be such a bad thing after all!

As for throwing up on the boat in Italy? That boat was heading to the beautiful island of Capri.

Island of Capri Italy

Capri Italy

It ended up being my favorite part of my trip to Italy. Traveling is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to seek out new experiences. Take the risk of being uncomfortable for a while and the reward will be even more worthwhile.

It’s been years since I’ve been to Capri and would love to visit again. Nowadays, there are plenty more options to cure motion sickness. But even if there weren’t?

I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

What would you do for a spectacular travel experience? Hitchhike across the country, eat caterpillars, or give up technology? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Taste Of Italy In The North End

Our final full day in Boston was May 8th, and it sure was a delicious one. This post is basically all about food, so if you are hungry… you have been warned. We spent the entire morning on the North End Market Tour by Michele Topor, and it was one of the best parts of our entire trip. We got to learn all about Italian cuisine, cooking, and using authentic ingredients. You get to visit all different kinds of shops and taste various ingredients, while also having an expert foodie tour guide that knows all about not just cooking but the history of Italy and its food and wine culture as well.

Being Italian, this tour was extremely interesting and I learned a lot of new tips and history about cooking and Italy. As long as you have an interest in Italian food I think anyone will highly enjoy this tour, and it is one that I would definitely recommend if you are ever in Boston. Since the tour travels in a big group there is not much time to make any purchases in the shops that are visited, but my family returned to many of the shops after the tour. I will highlight some of my favorites of the different places we visited.

Our first stop was Maria’s Pastry Shop. You have to have dessert first, right? We got to taste many delicious homemade sweets here, and this is also one of the places we returned to afterwards. One of my favorites was the freshly made crispelle that you can see in the picture below. It is an egg-dough pastry filled with honey and nuts. They also have “Boston’s Best Cannoli,” which they fill to order, and many more tasty homemade treats!

Maria's Pastry Shop

Crispelle

Crispelle

Next stop was… drumroll please… The Pasta Shoppe!!!! This day sure was starting off right. First dessert, now pasta?! We learned about finding authentic olive oil and balsamic vinegar and their correct uses. They had tons of different homemade pastas and various Italian meats. They even sold Sopressata, which my family makes homemade. And of course there was plenty of tasting! We returned back here to pick up some pasta, which I am planning on cooking next week!

Pasta Shoppe

Sopressata

One final stop I would like to highlight is Polcari’s Coffee, a family owned business that has been around since 1932. They are a grocery store that supplies numerous authentic ingredients, beans, spices, and much more, many of which you cannot find anywhere else in the area. Once again, we made sure to stop back here to pick up a few items.. one of them being some licorice sticks! Yes, they are actually sticks. They are taken from the licorice plant and the flavor is extracted from these sticks to create the popular licorice candy most people are familiar with.

Polcari's Coffee

Italian Grocery Store

Inside The Store

Eating Licorice Sticks

Eating Licorice Sticks

After being surrounded by and talking about food all morning, we headed to lunch at Quattro, a new North End restaurant that just opened in March. More amazing food of course!

Quattro

After more walking and a short rest after lunch, we decided to have dinner at Trattoria di Monica. Being our last meal while in Boston we discovered it really is nearly impossible to find bad food in the North End. Just about everywhere you go will have great, fresh food.

Trattoria di Monica

Caprese Salad with Prosciutio

Caprese Salad with Prosciutio

To work off our dinner we went down to the harbor and walked along the water. It was a beautiful night with beautiful scenery, and to top it all off we ended the night with some gelato and then prepared for our flight the next morning.

Boston Harbor IMG_2890

Overall, going to Boston was a great trip and definitely someplace I would love to return to. I would mainly like to return to try all the restaurants we were not able to eat at during our short time there! If you will now be eating something after this very foodie-style post, buona appetito!

Little Matters,

Marissa

Eat Pray Love: The Beauty of Little Things

So I have already told you all about my travels abroad in the British Isles, but today I am going to back up a little bit. Going into college I knew studying abroad was something I wanted to do at some point… but the near future never occurred to me. It was always “someday” or “next year.” But then something changed my mind. I watched the movie Eat Pray Love and it changed my life. It instantly moved to the top of my favorite movies list and I knew I needed to stop putting things off, especially studying abroad.

I began looking for programs that fit my interests and I found an advertising course that looked like an amazing opportunity. When fall semester rolled around I applied to the program, going over my essays countless times to make sure they were flawless. Around mid-December I got the email- I was accepted to the ADV 399 program!! I was ecstatic to know in a few more months I would be exploring the British Isles.

Later during winter break I read the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert that the movie was based off of. It was even better than the movie (just like most books are), and I was even happier that I had applied to study abroad rather than waiting another year. Everyone is always waiting for that perfect moment to come around, when really that perfect moment might be out there waiting for you.

This is one of my favorite clips from the movie. In Italian, “il bel far niente” means the beauty of doing nothing. Sometimes we all just need to take a minute to relax and enjoy the moment. Along with making me realize that I needed to stop putting off studying abroad, Eat Pray Love also made me appreciate what I was seeing while I was there. Whether it’s a Friday night skate through London or the detail that goes into cutting the grass at Wimbledon, appreciating the little things is what makes life worthwhile.

Life is what you make of it. This world can get pretty ugly at times, but it can also be pretty great. How you look at it is up to you. Find something beautiful in life and your whole world could be changed forever.

In a world full of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real.

-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

Little Matters,

Marissa