Mountains & Broken Things: No Stopping Me

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Update, #SPRANGBREAKKK was a major success. But then again, how could ten days of Greek Island hopping be anything but amazing? Ask my bruised thigh, pride, or my swollen foot. They are not my biggest fans at the moment so I am sure they will be happy to tell you.  Continue reading “Mountains & Broken Things: No Stopping Me”

Bring on the Next Obstacle

Erica in Prague!Alright ya caught me. I have been A1 slacking with this blog the past couple of weeks, however, I can assure you this uncharacteristic shadiness comes with some painfully original excuses. Leaving that one open for interpretation ,we will pick up right where we left off…

The weekend after channeling my inner Julia Roberts throughout Napoli (only the real ones will get the “Eat Pray Love” reference), and gaining new affirmation in Roma, I was back. I gotta say, finding your way to the self you know you are, after such shaky grounds, is a damn good feeling. So good, in fact, my spontaneous nature was set on overdrive. Having had an especially busy week, it was not until Wednesday night that I realized I was free to leave as soon as I could shove my backpack through the door.

Commercial Break:  Italian apartment doors are notoriously slim, the reasoning for which remains to be determined, because… well… Italian cuisine, man!  It’ll get ya and you won’t even be mad about it! I have not felt this bloated since I was a “husky” tomboy in middle school. And by that I also mean as a regular female in high school… and kind of freshman year… and a little bit now again too. Haha! It’s not that serious, thanks to the exercise that is traveling. Still, it is so beyond refreshing to be able to laugh about the extra couple inches, rather than fixate on every little calorie. I realize that to the average person, that probably does not mean much. But to the girl, who low-key, kicked a long-term, yet all too well hidden eating disorder not so long ago (in London, believe it or not), that is a hell of an accomplishment. Like I have said before, traveling is so much more than the seeing of sights. For a lucky few, yours truly, happily being one of them, it is the platform for healing, and eventually the ultimate medium for self-love. Continue reading “Bring on the Next Obstacle”

Clichéd Experiences or Something More?

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I guess it’s true. Time really does fly when you are having fun. I am not even apologizing for the cliche, because if you have been following this series, you know that cliches are to be expected.  Back at home, even before returning overseas, “tumblr quotes” were merely a platform for jokes in my eyes. Of course, some of them were so, hilariously extra and they still are. Disobeying such a direct order from the universe to use them would be a disservice to us all, and that just will not do.  #InWittyMockeryWeTrust

I am also a fan of hashtags.

But here,  “here” being not only Firenze, but countless other magical cities across Europe; the very cliches I once smirked at are the ones I find myself exuding more, and more intensely every day. Though I felt it for three weeks last year in London and have been feeling it for even longer this semester, I still struggle to describe this feeling, this “it”.  Continue reading “Clichéd Experiences or Something More?”

Sky High

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So, I did it. This past weekend we traveled to Interlaken, Switzerland – the extreme sports capital of Europe –  and I freaking did it. After a picture perfect venture, with some fast but surprisingly genuine friends, I took the ultimate plunge, and skydived over this gem of a city. And let me tell you, it was worth every single franc. It was not what I had initially hoped, no; it was truly far beyond I could ever have imagined. Indescribable, really. Which is great because, although I do not regret any part of it, I sure will be making QUITE a few coffees at Dunkin Donuts this summer to recuperate my bank account. Maybe, for the purposes of writing this post, it being “indescribable” is not the best thing. But, for the purposes of my life and that experience that will stay with me (forever, I hope), “indescribable” is perfect.

Continue reading “Sky High”

Tragedy & the Transformative Power of Travel

Erica Sky.pngThroughout the first two posts of this series, I shared some of my past hindrances, as well as my present successes. Now that we are a little more acquainted,  I think it is time to get into something deeper.  I was saving this post for a rainy day, if ever I was to write it. Plot twist: It may, very well, be the sunniest day yet, here in Florence. On top of that, my trip to explore and skydive over the Swiss Alps, specifically, Interlaken, the extreme sports capital of the entire continent, departs in a few hours. So yeah, maybe I am just feeling a little extra ballsy today by writing this post now. One of the reasons I decided to write for

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Interlaken

Project MyStory, in the first place, was to force myself out of my comfort zone. Now, I am writing about the worst day of my life, while I am  getting ready to  fling my body out of an aircraft from 14,000+ feet. I am doing this for a blog that is (haha – nervous laugh),  showcased on the front page of UAlbany’s website. In the endeavor to self-progress, “backing out” is no longer an option. Accountability is everything. Believe me, you, sweet reader, are helping me as much as I hope I am helping you, whoever you are. So screw it, open book, people! Continue reading “Tragedy & the Transformative Power of Travel”

More than a Program

bubble.png.jpgToday marks the one week point of my hundred-and-five day study abroad program,
here in the beautiful little city of Firenze. Funny, as I write this I realize just how arbitrary the word “program” has become to me. Three months ago, I was practically shouting from the rooftops about this “program” had been accepted into. Saying that every other breath I exhaled, clung to the phrase “study abroad program,” is less of a dramatization than I care to admit. But now, I cannot help but eye-roll at this past self of mine. By no means, out of embarrassment by my initial excitement; I have been immersed in this fairy tale long enough for it to be reality and believe me I am shouting louder than ever. Continue reading “More than a Program”

Around the World and Into Myself

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Hey guys, My name’s Erica and I’m a sophomore here at UAlbany.

To be honest with you, I am not even sure anyone will ever even see this (I mean really how many people do you know would choose some basic nineteen year old girl’s blog over that lit twitter fight?) Well, for those of you who do, what’s good? Oh and before I even get into whatever spiel this ends up being, I’d like to clarify my less than scholarly descriptor words back there. More often than not, the terms “basic” and “girl” strung so closely together paint a picture of hashtags and Starbucks — or #Starbs, if you will (SO insta worthy btw). Now don’t get me wrong I’m as much a fan of social media, and anything that rivals my now increasingly irritating job (@Dunkin) as the next person. But, the Erica everyone else has come to know, and inevitably love (What can I say? I’m great!), you too will soon realize, is anything but a basic girl. You see, here, “basic” refers to my past. I grew up in your traditional white-picket-fence realm of suburbia, raised by traditional parents in a traditional family of five. But really, even as my own fingertips graze this keyboard with the intent of sincerity, I know that “traditional” is just a frilled way of saying average.

Again, please don’t get me wrong, I appreciate this upbringing. The close-knitted community blessed me with more than I could probably ever fathom. It saved my family in a time of tragedy, a story, I will  save for another day. I would not change my years in that small Connecticut town I call home for anything .

It all started just over a year ago: I was a first semester freshman, performing averagely in my, mostly gen-ed classes. Apparently getting accustomed to the academic shift between high school and college did not come nearly as naturally as the social one had. Personally, I blame frat houses. I mean they’re just so clean and tame and it’s almost like heels were tailored specifically for those rickety spiral staircases! I’m sorry I literally just cannot help but laugh at that one. But I could not, solely, blame the staircases  for the damage my body had, undeniably, absorbed. I went from the palest white to black and blue REAL QUICK. Continue reading “Around the World and Into Myself”

Fly Away

Are you thinking about studying abroad? Take your thoughts to the next level and visit the Office of International Education on the first floor of the Science Library.  There are opportunities to go abroad for one semester, a year, for spring break, for two weeks in the summer, and everything in-between. One can study, intern or join an international volunteer program for credit. Go to their office, visit their website and start planning. In the meantime, click on the picture below to follow Alison’s study abroad experience this semester in Florence, Italy. My favorite post, so far,  is “The Devil Disguised in White Metal.”  Alison is a UAlbany Junior and she encourages others to fly away. For now, simply check out her blog; perhaps while drinking an espresso!  – Rachel Moody, UAlbany Academic Advisor

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Photo from Alison’s Blog. Click Here for more.

Hot off the Press: Fukushima Ambassador’s Program

Japan Ambassador's Program

Program Information

Several years have passed since March 11, 2011 yet the impact of the Fukushima disasters continues to affect those living in the prefecture. Thousands of citizens remain without a permanent home or a stable source of income, and concerns, often unsubstantiated, about radioactive contamination continue to bedevil small businesses and industry within the prefecture. The Fukushima Ambassadors Program is an opportunity for students to see, hear, and reflect objectively upon the challenges faced in Fukushima today. By implementing a community-service based, hands-on approach to learning, the program helps students evaluate any misconceptions they may have about post-3/11 Fukushima, and become, if they wish, an agent for its recovery after their return.

Freshmen are eligible to apply.

Click Here for More Information!