That Balancing Act

Written by Jennifer October 3, 2014

Hello All!

The first travel weekend has past, and the days are starting to run together. Not only have classes started to kick up, but so has the laundry. Let’s just say I’m getting better at balancing which is much needed.

The classes I’m enrolled in are: Italian, LEAP, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Intro to Law, and International Business Environment. To be honest, I really enjoy them all. Yes, you read that correctly, I enjoy the classes I’m taking while studying abroad. We took the “Strengths Finder Test” for LEAP and one of my five qualities is learner so I guess that’s just a more gentle way of saying nerd. Now you know. For LEAP we also practice “Mindfulness”. I wrote about my confusion of what it meant in my second blog and I think I’ve got the hang of it now. So mindfulness is not meditation, but it does come from the practices of many religious groups such as monks. Mindfulness is being completely focused on the present. Sounds easy, right? Maybe for you! We have Mindfulness practice after lunch on most days and what we do is sit in a room, feet on the floor, hands resting on our legs, and think about the sensation of each breath we take. We are starting at 6 minutes and will work our way up to 12. I consider myself a daydreamer and what I’m learning is that I struggle a lot with controlling my unconscious mind. Within those 6 minutes I cannot even tell you how many times my mind strays from the past to the future to even the itch on the bottom of my foot. I know I will really benefit from this class- just by the state that I’m starting with. Nowhere but up!

Cinque Terre was the first travel destination of this trip. It consists of 5 different towns that are hike-able distances. My group, including other fellow blogger Natalie Butler, stayed in Riggamore.

Cinque Terre

We shared a hostel- all 10 girls. Let me reiterate that, 10 girls and 1 bathroom. Fortunately you spend the minimal amount of time there for sleep and showers! We took a quick train ride to Vernazza and explored the beach for some time. Close your eyes and think of paradise….you’re in Vernazza (Maybe a less crowded Vernazza, but you get my gist).Hike to Vernazza

The water was beautiful and the food was delicious as well. Part of the group split off and began hiking to the third town of our journey. We had dinner in Vernazza. I had the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire- (second best, Mom).


Pizza from Vernaza

Photo Credit: Taylor Hammeke

To really get to what I want to say, if you’re in Italy, go to Cinque Terre.

Can’t wait for the next adventure! Thank you for reading!!