travel

The incoherent rambling of a wannabe writer

Magazines have always been a favorite outlet of mine. Their glossy pages and giant letters called to me and encouraged me to pay the $5 for the random issue that stood out in front of me on the newsstand that day. That’s how I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to be one of the people whose names were printed in small black letters under a grand article title. I just didn’t know how to get there. So I interned. I spent every summer from the age of 16 to the age of 19 working in the editorial office of KIWI Magazine where I did everything from fetch office supplies to research holiday gift guides in June. It was not what I imagined. So I went to college.

In college I studied communication, focusing on journalism. I pretended I knew what I was doing when writing essays at 4am or when researching for an article about “BENNYs” for the school’s newspaper. But I could never say my heart was fully in it. I never felt complete after turning in a mock article. But I remember loving the research. I loved being given a topic and thinking of only that topic for 3 days straight; spending hours in the library researching and printing, I practically had my own computer there. But this was school. Life would surely be different. It was this thinking that lead to a new internship. My cousin’s girlfriend was working in the advertising department for a beautiful food magazine. She sold advertising space to mom and pop shops on the East Coast. She told me her friend in the marketing department was looking for an intern to help out for the summer. I decided to give it a go.

That summer was one of the best I’d ever had. I was almost an adult, I worked in an amazing office, I made a few friends, but was only allowed into the editorial office when dropping something off. Apparently there is a hard line between the business side and the creative side of a magazine. And that summer I was on the wrong side. So instead, I took home back copies and studied the glossy pages. I worked on their summer events and followed the magazine’s publisher around as if she were a god. I don’t think she ever actually took notice of me, though. Didn’t matter, I was where I needed to be at that time.

Next summer I graduated college. I was given the opportunity to intern there again, but turned it down in favor of a paying job… One I did not have yet.

July 2013 I was offered an advertising coordinator position at one of the biggest newspaper publishing companies in the country, so I took it. It really is all about who you know. I assumed I would work at the newspaper during the day and write at night. And that is how this blog was born. My first post was sent from my parents house in Naples, Florida the day before I flew back to New York to start my first real job.

But as days passed into weeks, and weeks into months my writing became almost nonexistent. By the following February I had sunken into a full blown depression. I wasn’t mentally prepared to work in a windowless office in a position that required absolutely no creativity. I was miserable and couldn’t even hide it anymore. By March I had booked a trip to Europe. My favorite place in the entire world was Rome, I thought it was about time I had gone back. After extensive googling and convincing, I bought a slightly sketchy groupon for a 6 day trip that would bring me to Paris for three days and Rome for another three. That November, with my boyfriend of a year in tow (much to my parents’ chagrin,) I touched down in Paris and squished the two of us into a train with the morning rush hour traffic.

The next three days we met Paris.

I visited museums and ate croissants. I was dumb and hadn’t researched enough, but it was fine. I was in Paris after all! We walked around the city eating crepes and ogling  fancy stores. On the fourth morning we woke up early and left our Moroccan themed hotel for the last time. We shuffled our way into Charles de Gaulle airport with sleep in our eyes and pillows in our hand. While walking to our gate, I passed the French version of the Winter issue of my old magazine, and it definitely caught my eye. Snowflakes covered the magazine name and every headline was in French, bien sûr. I needed it.

I have only ever bought magazines on the stand. I enjoy having the ability to buy whenever I please. I don’t feel rushed to read it and can take a month or a year if I so choose. But today something was different.

This afternoon, while reading the beginning of The Art of Editing No. 3 I was given the option to continue reading if, and only if, I subscribed to the Paris Review. I had always enjoyed the Paris Review but hadn’t been a loyal reader. But I was entranced by the article. The interviewee had my total and complete attention and I wanted to be her. I wanted to know everything there was to know about her life and her work, her career and her current whereabouts, so I subscribed.  I was given the option to subscribe for one year of four issues, or two years of eight. Each option gave me a “free gift” of interviews from over the years and neither was cheap. I have spent the last two years deciding whether I want to spend the $6 to subscribe to Conde Nast’s Traveler even though I check their site weekly, but this morning, I deep dove into a $95, two year subscription of a literary magazine that I rarely read.

Is this what a stroke feels like?

Yes ok, that was dramatic of me to say. But I feel different. As I get older, more of me is looking to become the elegant literary buff I wanted to be as a kid and less of me is looking to write. My book collection has grown 10 fold just from last January, and I haven’t even read half of them yet. I think it’s funny that now I dress in mostly black, with dark sunglasses and avoid eye contact with strangers so that I seem more mysterious. None of this is intentional now. Now it is just me, the way I react to being here, in a job that requires no creativity. I guess I’ve accidentally decided to let myself sink into invisibility so that when I do let out my creative ideas people are surprised, instead of expecting them the way they used to.

Reading and writing have always been my hobbies, they were my wheelhouse, so to speak. They were where I was most comfortable. But now I tend to gravitate to words that are already written; concrete ideas that don’t need me to develop them. I shy away from writing and it makes me sad. But writing isn’t something you’re just good at all of a sudden. You need to practice. I just wish I had more motivation to.

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Greece Day Octo

Tonight is our last night in Greece. We have to be up at 4:30am so we came back early to pack.

Today was pretty relaxing. We stayed by the pool drinking iced cappuccinos here (it was heaven) until our bus came to take us to Oia.   

  Oia is the town that comes up when you google search Santorini; the town with the  white houses and blue done roofs. Apparently those white buildings are actually churches, and I saw one the entire time I was there. My entire family dressed in white and climbed to a random high point on the island to watch he sunset but it was a little anticlimactic. Plus, we got stuck in foot traffic as hundreds of people poured down the side of the island after the sunset so Oia definitely wasn’t my favorite part of the island. I did chicken souvlaki for both lunch and dinner so that was a high point of the day!

I think I’ll be able to better reflect on my trip once I’m well rested and well hydrated (bottled water in Europe tastes a little funny) but it was definitely a success. I wish I was able to upload more pictures but once I’m in my own country and AT&T is back in the upper left hand side of my phone screen I will definitely be putting pictures everywhere. 

  
But until then, kalinikta my friends 

Greece Day Epta

Hellllllo and welcome to day seven of the Grecian adventure. Today we took a bus tour of Santorini that was equal parts cool and unnecessary. 

The packed out bus came to pick us up at 11:30am. The 6 of us spread out across the bus and my little sister and I sat in the last row. We drove about 20 minutes to the prehistoric town of Akrotiri, which is a lot like Pompeii, except older and a lot less excavated. We had a guilded tour there, then made our way to the black sand beach of Perissa, I believe. We had lunch on the beach then burnt out feet to a crisp while trying to get to the water. Black sand was a terrible idea.

After barbecuing our feet to well done, we walked through the traditional town of Megalochori. It took about 20 minutes and kinda looked just like every other part of Santorini I’ve seen. But luckily, once the walk was over we made our way to the highest hill in santorini. The view was insane

After the highest point, we were dropped off back at the hotel and got ready for our evening plans. 

At 9:30, we went to a interactive “Greek wedding” show where we acted as the cousins and smashed plates. There was no wind making it feel like 100 degrees, but it was still very fun.

Once the wedding ended, my brother, my middle sister and I got fish pedicures. It was gross. And definitely weird. But pretty cool.

That’s how we ended our night. 

I’m too tired to fight with my phone to load pictures right now, but maybe I’ll get to find some real wifi tomorrow.

Until then, kalinikta!

Greece Day Exi

Hello everyone and welcome to day 6 of my Grecian adventure. 

Before we got to Greece, we were told that Mykonos was the party island and Santorini is the island you go to in order to relax. Well, that’s not how this vacation turned out. 

Because our hotel on Mykonos was in the village of Elia, which was about a 15 minute bus ride from Mykonos town, we weren’t really given much time to party. In Mykonos, the fun doesn’t start until after midnight but the shuttle back to our hotel stopped running at 12:30am. Our 3 full days in Mykonos were mostly spent lounging by the pool and our nights were spent looking for legitimate Greek food and some non-frozen “shrimps,” which is the only shrimp offered on any menu I saw on the island. I just wanted some fresh sea food people!!

Now that we’ve arrived in Santorini and are only a 10 minute walk to the town of Fira, we haven’t been able to stop.

Yesterday, after our ferry trip from Mykonos to Santorini, we spent a few hours at the pool, then trekked up the hill to see the sunset from Fira. We walked around the town for hours, saw the donkeys bringing people up to their hotels, and finally got some real Greek food at a restaurant called Niki. The view was spectacular and one of the restaurants around it kept playing crazy covers of Beatles songs so it was a good time. 

Today we took a giant catamaran from the north of Santorini to a port on the south end. It was beautiful and delicious. The crew stopped the boat three times so that we could jump off and then cooked us a seven course meal that was amazing. My parents made friends with a couple from Norway who might be visiting us in New York sometime next winter. They were so blonde and their kids were adorable.

We finally got back to the hotel at 9:30, after watching a crazy Grecian sunset. My siblings and I ordered ice cream via room service (first time ever and it was GREAT) and now I’m ready to pass out. We were planning on checking out some of the bars and clubs in Fira but none of us are partiers at night and would rather catch a few extra hours of sleep. We have a pretty big day tomorrow, but I’ll tell you how it goes tomorrow night!

Kalinikta friends! Good night from Santorini 

Here are some out of order pictures from our sunset cruise!

   
Making tzatziki

  
 My lovely parents celebrating 25 years married 

 Sunset off the back of the boat
  Here I am jumping off the side of the boat with a noodle because sometimes I’m a baby
  

 

With more wifi comes more pictures! 

Greece Day Pente

I realize I skipped a day. Sorry. But yesterday was spent tying up loose ends and packing so nothing was missed. We had dinner at the hotel and dessert at the hotel connected to ours, delicious, but nothing to brag about. Except I did get loukoumades for dessert. So that was exciting.  

This morning we took a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini. The six of us slept almost the whole ferry ride and getting on and off the ferry was kind of scary but we survived and made it to our hotel unharmed. I think I like the last hotel better, but this one is still very nice. We’re very lucky, I have to say.   

It’s really interesting to hear about the lives of the people who work at the resorts. The bar tender who made us coffee frappé today told us that he works 7 days a week for 7 months straight at this resort and then has 5 months off to go back to his home town. I heard that from the waitress at the last hotel as well. It’s scary to imagine, but I think I would prefer the 2 days off every 5 days to the 5 months off and 7 straight months of work in 100 degree weather.   
Santorini has the most beautiful sunsets apparently, and witnessing my first today, I’m excited for what’s in store.   

I’m really eager to see the rest of the island, but I’m also not used to this much excitement. I need more sleep!  

So on that note, kalinikta my friends, good night!

Greece Day Tria

Today was our second full day but our third night in Greece. I guess I started counting weird, why stop now?

Today was spent by the pool, of course. It started with mini croissants in the morning and ended with a frappé after dinner and if that’s not the most perfect way to start and end your day, I don’t know what is. Right now, I’m sitting on the balcony of my room with my sister staring out at the ocean, listening to a random appartment’s music from another hill. This is how I picture heaven.

We went back into Mykonos town tonight to see the windmills, but we missed the sunset. Instead we had dinner at a restaurant called Familia. The food was great but their coffee and dessert was awesome. When we finally got to the windmills we took a picture or two and decided to head back for the bus to take us back to our hotel. Tonight I plan on getting to bed before 2:45am because I’m not as young as I used to be and I need to sleep more than I currently am. 23 and 3/4 is old apparently. 

   
   
Tonight I got 3 pictures to load. I think we’re making progress.

Kalinikta everyone. 

Greece Day Dio

Day two in Greece is at its end and it was even better than day one, plus I had a croissant at breakfast. 

My dad came to wake up my siblings and me at 9:30 because we thought breakfast ended at 10. Luckily it ends at 11 and we got to hang out with lots of delicious food. I think I tried everything, but if not I will try harder tomorrow.

For dinner, we went into town and ate at Avra which is a beautiful garden restaurant. I had fish risotto… Again. Until I find some Spanakopita or Pastitsio I’m probably going to continue to eat some sort of fish risotto accidentally. Mykonos is very touristy and there were souvenir shops all over. I started my souv list! 

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I hope it was as pretty as today.

Obviously my pictures won’t load (again) so maybe tomorrow? Wish me luck!