Published: August 21st 2010August 21st 2010
The first of many handstands from my upcoming trip to Italy & Europe.
So I promised myself I'd write a blog a week or so before I left for Italy - well, here it is! A lot of developments have happened in the past few weeks leading up to my departure. I got my housing assignment as well as my roommates (there's 4 in total), I received my Visa back from the consulate, and I found out the dates of some of the trips I will be going on. Besides receiving information, I've also kept busy by working my ass off, working out a lot
, and getting things together for the trip. This is my last long weekend of work before I leave and thank god! I'm a waiter at a busy restaurant so a 40-hour work week really gets to you after a few weeks when you never really sit down and are always on the run. Top that with the amount of exercise I've been doing and getting myself somewhat stressed out from budgeting, and I'm left with a pretty have load on my shoulders. My shoulders are broad, however, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so I'm not too bummed. In fact, I'm pretty excited. I start packing Monday and I'm going clothes shopping on Tuesday so that I can look nice and fresh for the trip. All things considered, life's good!
As far as my living arrangements go, I think I'm living in a pretty sweet location. At first I was a little apprehensive about be housed with 4 other guys but I think it will end up being pretty cool. We are living in the neighborhood of Prati which is next to the Vatican. About a block away is a bus hub which is pretty cool - knowing the bus system is vital to getting around Rome. Right outside my door step is Mercato Rionale which is a very popular covered food market. Considering I'm very into fitness and health, it's pretty awesome that there's a market right outside my door. I expect there to be a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in my apartment at all times. Also very close is Via Cola di Rienzo which is a very, very popular shopping district - that is about a block away from my apartment.
I'm a nerd and I get very excited when I have something like this coming up so I even went to MapMyRun . com and checked the distance from my apartment to John Cabot University. It's about a mile and a quarter - not to far at all. Then, I became even more of a nerd and went into the street view on Google maps to check out my route to class. The first half is along various highly populated streets that I can definitely find some espresso on and the second half is along the Tiber River so I'm pretty excited about walking to class as much as I can and diggin' Rome along the way.
Another set of locations that are close to me are Villa Borghese & Villa Doria Pampili. Although they are far from one another, my apartment is pretty much right smack in between them so I will have to test them both out and see which one is better suited for my needs. I plan on doing a bunch of exercising at those parks (hopefully they have some bars). Some might think that exercising while on a trip like would be tedious and annoying but I beg to differ. I'll be living in Rome for 4 months and fitness is very much apart of my life so it's something that I'll enjoy. I also suspect that going to the park and gym for workouts will give me both the opportunity to see parts of Rome that most study abroads won't bother with and to interact with other like-minded Italians. Let's be real - I'm going to be drinking A LOT more than I am now and while I'm not looking to improve on my fitness level while studying abroad, I definitely don't want to worsen it.
I'm also considering working as a promoter for a pub crawl. Pub crawls are all over the place in Rome. I went on one while I was in Rome last summer and it was a blast. Toward the end of the crawl one of the head promoters asked me if I wanted to promote when I came next fall and I'm definitely thinking about it. I'm not looking to work much at all while I'm studying abroad but a few extra bucks here and there seems very doable considering I will have a bunch of free time. It seems like a pretty laid back job where you can come and go as you please so we'll see what happens with it.
Finally, I'm pretty excited about traveling around Italy & Europe. The company that I'm studying abroad with (API) sent me the list of trips/cultural excursions that are included. Among them are a few tours around different places in Rome, a trip to both Sorrento & Florence, and a bunch of smaller-scale cultural events like wine-tastings and such. I already booked Oktoberfest on my own which should be awesome and then I plan on going on about two more weekend trips which I still haven't decided on yet (any suggestions?). For the past few weeks I've been trying to think of a witty signature pose that I can do in multiple locations when I travel. I came to learn that it was harder for guys to do this because most poses are faggy. Then, with the help a friend who I CrossFit with, I got the idea to do handstands! It's the perfect pose for me and matches my personality very well in my opinion. Imagine putting together a little slideshow or photo album of handstands in different famous places like the Pantheon and the 'I AMsterdam' sign - pretty cool if you ask me.
Well, that's all I got for now. Next time I write a blog I will be in Rome! I'll leave you guys with the first photo from my upcoming handstand collection - it was taken on my front yard. Enjoy!