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Venezia, Italia / Venice, Italy


Life seems to be moving at the speed of light. It seems that just a few weeks ago I was celebrating the new year, having a birthday, and starting a new routine in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Yet here I am, nearly three quarters through 2012, on north american soil, days away from a new semester and my mama's wedding, and less than a year away from my college graduation!

Yes, indeed. I have said it a thousand times before: time truly flies.

In early June, my love and I visited Venice – a first-time experience for us both. It was breathtakingly beautiful, vibrant and lively and ancient. The textures and colors alone were indescribable, and I longed to have my paints with me to capture the soul of the city. I took many, many photos and must divide them into several posts; not only does each image contain a thousand things to look at, but I need to take my sweet time editing them as I feel that I will only finish this huge project in small sessions!

Venice left me speechless with wonder and amazement. I so hope I will be back soon –  for a proper visit this time; a day trip is far too short to take in so much – to explore not only the narrow, winding alleyways, tiny shops brimming with trinkets and bobbles, and the hundreds of bridges crisscrossing turquoise canals, but also the surrounding countryside and other well known places like Rome and Florence. And next time, I'll be sure to bring my paints.

Returning


I arrived on North American soil last Tuesday by way of three different flights. The trip was surprisingly smooth, and the past week has been lovelier than I expected. Feelings of European homesickness have been creeping in, however, and with a looming final year of university ahead of me, I daydream of starting this year over from the beginning just to live in Germany all over again.

The photo above was taken in Austria just before my boyfriend, his friend, and I hiked to a huge, thundering, beautiful waterfall, melted snow tumbling down from the Alps. (Click the image to view it smaller.) We had just arrived after a long trip from Germany; the afternoon sunlight was golden and the mountains breathtaking. I am so grateful I can relive these memories again and again through the hundreds of photos I took while studying abroad.

There is so much I want to get done in the last week before I dive into academics again: I want to paint, add substance to dreamed of workshops, edit photos, write, read, visit friends, and take day trips. I want to sort out my clothes, donating as much as I can part with. I want to find a dress for my mama's wedding, just a few weeks away. I want to spend time with my not-so-little brother before he travels halfway around the world to the Philippines again.

And I want to feel present here and on Facebook, sharing encouragement, inspiration, art, photographs, and love.

Of course there are also the hundreds of things I have to get done, like paperwork, lingering research assignments, phone calls, emails, and preparations.

Oof – what a to do list!

I hope that wherever you are and whatever you have planned for the coming months, you are enjoying this moment, right here, right now, taking deep breaths and feeling your heart beat in your chest. It's such a gift to be alive.

All my love!

On to the Next Chapter

Already the eighth month of the year, and already my last day in this country that has become so close to my heart. Germany has treated me well, and I leave it grateful and full to the brim, treasuring new friends, experiences, and a language (nearly) mastered. I am a little teary-eyed, too, that it is time to say good-bye to deutsche Bäckereien, öffentliche Verkehrsmittel, and schöne Altstädte (german bakeries, public transportation, and beautiful old parts of cities) among countless other european uniquenesses – and of course I will dearly miss this funny, generous, sweet love of mine. Oh, how I will miss him!

I have fallen so far behind on editing photos and telling adventures of my time spent here and I know that posts about my time here will continue long after I have returned to my family. I have yet to share about Venice, Italy, my trip to Berlin, and the time I spent with kindred spirit and fellow art journaler Sandra, as well as a peek at the beautiful city where I studied. I'm also putting together a summer manifesto, inspired by iHanna, and have created several art journal pages I'm excited to show you.

I hope you are well and happy and soaking up summer.
I'll be writing you soon from the other side of the Atlantic. All my love!

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