After I graduated from design school, I unknowingly set myself on a path towards serious burn out, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Day after day, night after night, I continually put myself out there, made long lasting connections, and ramped up my blogging as much as I could. All in the name of “success.” And it worked. I started getting serious clients, made more money than I needed, and quickly became addicted to my career at only 23 years old. At that point, I didn’t realize the quiet warning signs telling me to slow down. So I kept going, striving towards goals I thought I wanted for me + my business.
Then, one year ago, on just another normal day at the office (AKA, our spare bedroom), I felt a surge of pain creep up my back and move into my neck and shoulders. I brushed it off as just a “tweak,” not realizing that complete burn out was getting ready to settle in and stay awhile. For weeks, I tried pain meds, new postures, and even started going to the chiropractor, all of which only helped a little bit. They were all surface changes, when really, what I needed was a lifestyle change. But of course, I didn’t quite “get it” yet. I kept my schedule overflowing with clients while simultaneously planning a wedding, online workshop, and a trip overseas. My focus remained strong, but my body was completely falling apart. And it was 100% my own fault. I promised myself that I would slow down after our wedding, but couldn’t quite commit once the time came. I kept going going going, afraid of what it meant to slow down.
During our stay in Rome, we took a long day trip to The Amalfi Coast (and Pompeii), a place I’ve always wanted to visit. We booked this trip through Viator so that we didn’t have to worry about transporting ourselves there, something that I was grateful for. Plus, we had a guide along for the ride which made for interesting times. ;) We drove the entire Amalfi Coast road (which freaked out my Australian bus neighbors since they are used to driving on the other side of the road) along beautiful cliffs and stopped in the towns of Amalfi and Positano, my absolute favorite being the latter.
Because we didn’t have much time on the coast (seriously only about an hour), I don’t really have any recommendations to share other than to wander + get lost. These towns are so small that it’s easy to see most of it in a short period of time and find your way back to the main drag when need be. At one point in Positano, I saw a small staircase that lead straight down the side of a cliff, so I decided to follow it and see what happened. With my friends staying at the top, I skipped down the steps and stumbled upon some of the most beautiful home facades I’ve ever seen. The buildings were painted in all sorts of pastels, covered with plants, and featured unique architecture after every turn. I kept going and going, most likely trespassing, but enjoying my little adventure nonetheless.
While we were adventuring along The Amalfi Coast, I saw many backpackers who were most likely hiking between towns, something that I’ve been dying to do for awhile. I mean, how cool would that be? YES PLEASE. Because that way, you can literally eat all the pasta and gelato you want without feeling terribly guilty.
If you ever get a chance (even just a few hours), The Amalfi Coast is an absolutely breathtaking place to visit and take in. I would love to spend more time there, or even check out Cinque Terre (another coastal area). So we’ll see what happens! Until next time … ♥
After 25 hours of traveling on Saturday, I’m finally back home + settled in enough to share some photos with you all from our trip! As I mentioned before, this time away was very important for me, as I decided not to work whatsoever and just enjoy. After being so career focused and going going going for the last four years, I’m happy to say that this trip marked a significant shift in my ability to just be and was exactly what I needed.
I went on this trip with two of my good friends and had an absolute blast. They are both really great at documenting things and journaled along the way (something I’ve promised myself to do next time), but I’ll try my best to recount what happened as well as share some of my favorite moments + recommendations. :)
We spent a good portion of our 11 days away just wandering around and getting semi lost (but not really because my friend Lindsey who was with us is very familiar with Rome). Getting to know a city from beyond the walls of tourism is something that I look forward to in every new city I visit, so it was fun to explore all of the neighborhoods around Rome to see what they had to offer. On one of my favorite days, we began in the Trastevere neighborhood, then continued up to Aventine Hill. Here, we stumbled upon a rose garden, saw a beautiful view of the city from above, and walked straight into small churches along the way to the top that were absolutely beautiful.
Another one of my favorite things to do was eat gelato (duh). In fact, that happened 17 times during our entire trip and I’m definitely not sorry about it at all. ;) In Rome, my favorite Gelato Shops were Del Teatro (try the almond!) and Fatamorgana. But if I were going by flavor alone, I would definitely suggest trying the creamy vanilla at Flor. On our last day, we each got 4 scoops because it was just THAT good.
Beyond wandering, we did put our tourist hats on and visit some of the most popular sites in Rome, like the Colosseum, Vatican, and other various ruins that seem to be scattered everywhere. All in all, I was most impressed with The Vatican and being able to see first hand, all of the beautiful architecture and artwork that I learned about so many years ago in Art History class. It was breathtaking.
And of course we can’t forget about food. Being that Italian food is my favorite, I had high expectations for finding some “life changing” pasta dishes, which is exactly what happened. So, I’m going to share with you my top four of the trip. ;) First up, is the risotto at Chiostro Del Bramante. I had a pomodoro version while my friend chose the asparagus, both of which were amazing. For lunch, I also really enjoyed pizza from Pizzarium, located beyond The Vatican. It’s a bit of a trek to get there from the center of town, but it’s totally worth it and fun to feel like you’re eating where the locals do!
The last two I’ll share were my absolute favorites, both of which happened to be from the same restaurant, Osteria Dell’Anima. They have a great gnocchi in pomodoro sauce, which I never actually got, but did sample from across the table since my friend got it. It literally melts in your mouth. So that brings us to the very very best. Something that I think I’ll dream about for years to come until I can have it again. Whenever that may be. Again, it’s from Osteria Dell’Anima and features ravioli stuffed with cheese + pears, and topped with a creamy carrot sauce. This one, I’m telling you, was life changing. Please get it if you go there, I promise you won’t be let down! I even did an intense victory dance after eating it two nights in a row. The photo above also expresses how I felt … haha.
Oh Rome, I truly enjoyed getting to know you, eating all of the gelato in sight, and walking miles and miles through all of your beautiful alleyways. I know I’ll be back. It’s a must. ;) Part two will feature our day trip to the Amalfi Coast (!!!), which will also be followed up with our time in Prague, another wonderful spot to see. More soon!