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Entries in study abroad (2)

Monday
Jan302012

Ferrara, Italy

Hi friends! How is everyone's Monday going so far? Today I have some photographic inspiration to share with you, some of my own photographs that I took a few years ago. When I was living in Italy and going to school there I was based in Como but being in Italy you have to travel around to experience as much of the insanely beautiful country as you can. Today I'll share a few of my pictures from Ferrara a small, medieval town in Emilia-Romagna (close to the Veneto). 

I spent most of my weekend editing these images and compiling them into a Blurb book. This will be my second book with Blurb. I just loved seeing my Amsterdam pictures bound together so I'm on a role now with my second one. Hopefully a third, fourth, fifth will all come soon after too. For years these images lived on my external harddrive but I wasn't able to appreciate them. Now these books can sit on my shelf and I can open them up whenever I need a pick-me-up. 

Ferrara is the perfect, quaint Italian town. The historic center is easily walkable and bicycles are everywhere (it's the Amsterdam of Italy!). There is fantastic Renaissance architecture, as well as even older buildings. Cars are not allowed into certain parts of the center so it is quiet and very pedestrian friendly. It is not a main stop on Italian tours but I am so glad that we stopped there. 

We were part of the bike culture and rented our own. Hours of entertainment ensued.

The old city walls are now converted into a raised walkways for bikers and pedestrians. You can see up over the city and get away from cars. Such a nice spot. I wish my walking route looked like this every night. 

And yes, that is me on a zipline having the time of my life. We found this children's park on the edge of the city with this mini zipline and an oversized slide. Good thing there weren't any kids around because these twenty-somethings sure got a lot of use out of these toys. 

Aw, these pictures make me happy. A good way to start off a Monday. Has anyone ever been to Ferrara? What spot are you dreaming about this week?

Wednesday
Aug252010

Traveling Away Stationary

This weekend my family got together to have a big feast and to say goodbye to Tamra, a good friend/my brother's girlfriend, before she left for Germany.  She is studying abroad there for the fall semester and I could not be more excited for her.  My study abroad experience changed my life and my memories from that trip are some of the best I have.  I know that her journey will be the same.  I will miss her (I'm sure my brother will miss her more) but I am so happy for her and I cannot wait to live vicariously through her Facebook pictures and emails.  I have already informed her that she can rely on me to give her lengthy advice about where to go and what to see once she is in certain cities (clearly, I can only give advice on the cities I visited).  I have definitely already mentioned the amazing burrito place she must visit in Berlin (because seriously you start to miss good Mexican food in Europe...although the doner kebab is truly amazing).  

I could not let Tamra go without a little something to remember us by...a cute, handmade present!  I decided to make her some personalized stationary, just in case she finds the time to write real letters to her loved ones.  When I went abroad, I was horrible about sending mail, even postcards.  In the first couple of weeks, I bought a whole bunch of postcards to send back to friends and family.  I wrote to everyone on our long train rides.  They were ready to mail.  But then I took forever to buy stamps and once I did get some stamps, the store only had five stamps left so that was all I bought.  So five lucky people got postcards.  I still have the rest of the postcards (filled out with addresses) that never got delivered.  Sorry people!  Hopefully Tamra will be better at keeping in touch than I was...it wouldn't take too much effort either.  

So here is what I designed for her.  I may create a version of this card set and sell it on Etsy because I think it's adorable.  Maybe if I would have had something this fun to write on, I would have been better at correspondence while abroad.  Happy travels Tamra and happy writing!

The maps I used actually came from a book...Yes, I cut pages out of a book.  Sacrilege!  I consider books sacred and I definitely do not go around cutting pages out of them often but I needed an old map and this is all I could find at the antique store.  The book is definitely dated (it probably still says USSR) and my intentions were good.  Sorry book!  At least you're getting used and not wasting away at some antique store anymore.  You helped make a beautiful creation!