Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Italy In Transit


This May. 

Yes, please!

I was planning on not planning a trip or vacation this year to save money.

Then, last week, an amazing opportunity came up for me to go to Italy on a volunteer trip this May.

At first I was like, "ABSOLUTELY!" 

Then I was like, "No Way! I can't afford to go to Italy and I probably won't be able to get time off from work."

Then Mona was like, "Don't be an idiot, this is Italy!" 

Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan
Last time I was able to go on a trip like this was quite a few years ago. I traveled to Asia to teach English as a second language in Mongolia. I loved everything about it! The culture and the people I met were amazing!

 I stayed in the capital Ulaanbaatar. We saw the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan and the Zaisan Memorial which was surrounded by poles covered in blue rags to bring good luck to those who tired them. 

I've been crammed into a taxi car with ten people and survived their insane traffic. 

We rode Mongolia horses across the grassy mountains and flew over the Gobi Desert. 

I've listened to Mongolia throat singers and was entertained by contortionists. 

Gher in Mongolia
I drank Airag, fermented mare's milk (an acquired taste), and shopped at the Naran Tuul Market (the black market). 

I've been inside a Gher and even learned to speak a few words in Mongolia.

But, I have to say, my favorite thing about this trip was the people, the Mongolians.  My favorite memory is when our bus broke down on the way to the country. We all sat, Americans and Mongolians, on a grassy hill beside the road with smiles on our faces, laughing and joking, as we waited for the bus to be repaired. The connections I made there, with these people,  I will never forget. I will never forget these people. 

I will never forget this trip.

How could I not jump at the opportunity to do something like that again?

Then I was like, "You're right, Mona, I'm in!" 

I put in my time off slip yesterday. 

My bosses are still doing all of the other employees priority vacation time (which I missed the deadline by a few days), so I will have to wait a while. But according to one of my bosses the middle of May (the trip is the 8th-20th) wasn't looking too bad for getting my request approved! 


Will all this travel talk, what has been your favorite traveling experience? 

{update: moments after hitting the publish button of this post, my boss came up with my vacation request slip. I was APPROVED!! They even drew a little picture of Italy on the paper!! I LOVE MY BOSSES!! ITALY HERE I COME!!}


  1. Brilliant. Where in Italy are you going to?

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ian! I believe we are going to Salerno...? But don't quote me on that!

  2. Awesome! Great news! Make sure you take advantage of the opportunity by having authentic Italian wine. Wish I could go, but I'm definitely broke. I would love to go to Canada. Actually, I want to live there, especially British Columbia. Everyone I have spoken with who has been there say that they also want to live there, and a few did move there. My second choice is Brazil for its culture, and my third choice is Vienna for its rich musical history. Have fun in Italy!

    1. Oh Italian wine! I didn't even think of that! Canada is on my list to visit... The sad thing is I'm so close, being I'm in Wisconsin, but I have yet to go there!