Exploring Venice, Italy

If I’m being honest I didn’t want to go to Venice at first because I thought it would be super crowded and touristy. I figured it would be better to go during the off season when I came back to study abroad. However, a couple weeks before I left Italy I made a new friend who is actually from Memphis and she convinced me to go. I’m so glad we went because when we got there Venice seemed almost empty, except for the main areas like the Grand Canal. We stayed at the Margherita House and it was the nicest hotel I stayed in throughout my whole time in Italy.

This was such a relaxing trip. We spent a full two days here so we weren’t really in a rush to see everything. We spent these days having drinks by the Grand Canal and exploring the island. I also got a fish pedicure which I’d seen on TV before and have always wanted to do. There were tons of cool shops here so I got some last minute souvenirs (which I’d neglected to get all summer.) I kept thinking that I had all summer to get gifts but before I knew it- it was Monday in Venice and I was flying back to America on Tuesday.

It’s been 2 and a half months since I’ve been in Italy and I’m longing to go back. I think about my summer all the time. I mostly miss how there were so many beautiful things to look at in the city versus where I’m from when you drive down the road and see all these gross fast food chains. It’s really a depressing change of scenery. I’m determined to go back as soon as possible so I’m thinking I will study abroad in Torino next semester and stay through the summer. I’m crossing my fingers that everything will workout.

xo Emily

Weekend in Cinque Terre

On my birthday weekend my friends (Katie & Sara) and I decided to go to Cinque Terre. This was a bucket list place for me and somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a long time. We stayed in Manarola (the one you see all over Pinterest) and rented an airbnb overlooking the sea. I definitely think we made a good choice staying here because out of the 5 towns this one is the most scenic in my opinion. I love all the colorful houses and the abundance of purple flowers here.

We spent our weekend lounging on floaties in the Mediterranean Sea and eating amazing food. One day we rented a boat and had someone take us around and show us all the good swimming and cliff diving places. This was probably my favorite part of our trip because we got to see all of the towns from the boat, went swimming in caves, and got to go to a natural swimming pool. This was a weekend full of unforgettable memories- from jumping in the sea at 2am to accidentally pulling an all-nighter and walking home to see the sunrise.

xo Emily

The French Riviera (Menton + Nice)



Earlier this month I went to Menton, France and it is now my favorite city I’ve been to on the French Riviera. All of the views were so picturesque and  I couldn’t get over the one from the graveyard. You walk up a steep hill and are taken to a very gothic styled cemetery overlooking the city. There are massive, decadent grave stones and flowers everywhere. You can see the whole city from here.

I came here because my host family’s friends own a house in Menton. There were so many people staying with them that there wasn’t a lot of room in the house so I got to sleep on a boat in the port. I was actually thrilled about this and thought it was so cool. Menton has so many cute little shops that sell things like soap, macaroons, etc. There’s also an artificial sand beach as well as the rock ones. I’ve learned that I’m not a big fan of rock beaches because they are terrible to walk on but the water of the Mediterranean sea is so nice that it always makes up for it.

Before I went to Menton, my friend and I visited Nice (last 3 pictures.) I really enjoyed this as well and we spent the whole day on the beach drinking wine and swimming. I’m going to Venice this weekend and absolutely can’t wait.

Have a great day : )

xo Emily

These Past Few Weeks in Italy

There are no words for how much I love Torino. When my flight was descending, it took my breath away. Every morning I wake up, go to my balcony, and am amazed by how beautiful the city looks with the Alps in the background. I’ve never seen anything like it. These past few weeks have gone by so fast and it terrifies me when I think about leaving at the end of July.

I’ve made some really good friends who are also au pairs. One is from Canada and the other from Missouri. Our days go like this- wake up, send the kids to school, take the bus to Piazza Castello, go to the cat cafe, walk around the city, go to the market,  have picnics in the park, eat pasta/pizza, drink wine , talk about life, get some gelato, and say our goodbyes around 4ish. I think I could spend everyday for the rest of my life like this. We went to Milan the weekend before last and it was a really good time. We saw the Duomo (big church above,) ate amazing food, and partied a little.

Today is my birthday!!! I can’t believe that I’m already 20. My Italian family is so sweet and is making me a vanilla cake with fruit on top. We’re also eating spaghetti for dinner, which I’ve come to find out is one of my favorite Italian meals. This is funny because I hate American spaghetti. I also didn’t used to like tomatoes or cherries until I tried them in Italy. I’m sitting at a cafe right now, close to the city center, just enjoying the beautiful day. I’m so excited because I’m going to Cinque Terre this weekend with my friends! We rented an airbnb right next to the ocean and are planning on relaxing all weekend.

I’ve been trying to make the most of everyday here and really take everything in. This has already been the best summer of my life and it’s not even over yet.

xo Emily


3 Months in Italy

One of my true loves is traveling. I love looking at travel blogs and reading about new destinations. So naturally when I read about girls my age going abroad to be au-pairs; I knew I had to do it too. If you’ve never heard of an au-pair the best way to describe it is like a nanny.  However, it’s slightly different because it is usually girls ages 18-30 that do it for the cultural experience. This is a good inexpensive way to travel and be fully immersed in another culture. I originally wanted to do this in France because I’m learning French and figured it would be a beneficial place for me to live. However, I ended up finding the perfect Italian family. They have two little boys and live in Turin. This city used to be the capital of  the country and I’ve read that it it is sometimes called the Paris of Italy.  After Skyping with the family for the first time my heart melted because of how cute they are. I’m so excited and this is all I’ve been thinking about for the past couple months.

I will be living in Turin for a month and a half and then when the boys get out of school we will spend a month and a half on a beach by the Italian coast. On the weekends I will be traveling a lot and I already have a long list of places I want to see. Some places I’ve been thinking about are: Cinque Terre, Milan, Lake Como, Florence, Venice, and Verona. I was also thinking about visiting Switzerland and the southern parts of France. Comment below if you have any good suggestions of places to go or questions about what I’m doing.

xo Emily