Giving The Top Tourist Cities In Italy "The Boot"

Giving The Top Tourist Cities In Italy "The Boot"

A country town in Italy? Count me in!
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In Northern Italy, there is a small town called Reggio Emilia. I have recently fallen in love with Reggio Emilia due to it’s quaint country feel and huge historic value. Most tourists would look right over this province since it is not as popular as Tuscany, Rome, or any of the other tourist’s sections in Italy. I, however, found this town while researching for study abroad. I can’t wait to tell you more about it!

In Reggio, there are restaurants, shops, and historic buildings, just like your typical town. But, there is something very special about this town. It is the home of Italy’s tri-color flag! You can find the Tricolor’s Room in City Hall among the other artifacts in the museum. I never knew that the flag was adopted in such an unknown town! I guess you do learn something new every day. Another cool thing I found out is that there is a parmesan factory called Parmigiano Reggiano. This is amazing to me since I absolutely love food. I love adventuring and trying new things that I would not find in America. Some of the most popular things in Reggio Emilia are cheese, (as mentioned before) and balsamic vinegar! As M says in her blog, “Married to Italy”, “You must be a foodie to appreciate everything that Reggio has to offer”. I fully plan on taking her advice and trying everything I can get my hands on! I cannot wait to see what is for dinner.

Besides all of the amazing food, Reggio is known to be “purty darn country, with piggy poo and hay bales everywhere” according to the “Married to Italy” blog. Coming from South Carolina, this makes me even more excited to go to Reggio! It is also sister cities with Ft. Worth, Texas. This clearly makes it far more interesting since I get to experience Italy AND Texas at the same time. Talking about being country and our “lack of education”, I won’t forget to mention that Reggio Emilia is also a teaching method! How cool?! The method encourages students to learn what interests them instead of just having to stay attached to the required classes/curriculum. This is sort of like Montessori in the United States which also gives our educators a chance to learn more from a different country if they took this program as well!

Going back to the city part, Reggio is very clean since everything they have is the original. They take pride in their province and are very friendly people. They are always excited to get tourists since the province is rarely visited by internationals. Rachelle Lucas from, “The Travel Bite” blog, mentions how one gentleman stopped them in the street to show them “his building’s courtyard so we could admire the stone lace frescoed walls while he explained to us the history of the construction”. It means so much to me already that these locals take such pride in their buildings and city.

I look forward to all my adventures no matter where I end up going!

Cover Image Credit: Study Abroad USAC

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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7 Things Never To Do While Visiting London

Abandon all hope, ye who use public transport during rush hour.

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As I've said before, London is an interesting place to be, however, there are a handful of things that should be avoided. Of course, mistakes will be made and lessons will be learned, but maybe if you read this, you'll know better faster.

1. Do not stand on the left.

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... of the escalator. Some people prefer to walk down to their train, and if you're in the way, it's as if you were sent from hell itself, especially during rush hour

2. Do not take the Central Line.

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Unless you're going to the Museum of London or St. Paul's. Or you're into weird smells and clinging to the pole because there is no such thing as a smooth ride. To each their own.

3. Do not attempt to get anything to eat in Leicester Square after 4:30.

Tenor

Leicester (pronounced like "Lester") Square is one of the best places to grab some grub in Central London because of the sheer amount of choices. Just plan to eat early because everyone else knows that very thing and you'll end up waiting an eternity for a table, then food.

4. Do not rely completely on an app.

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It's totally fine if you have no clue where you going or how public transport works, but once you get the hang of it, you're allowed to trust your own judgment. Maybe you don't have to get off the train then switch twice before getting there instead of riding a few stops more and switching once.

5. Do not attempt to take the Tube during Rush Hour when you have other options.

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Just take the bus if you have to to the national railways. The SWR trains are slow, but at least you're not packed in like sardines and there are usually open seats.

6. Do not forget to check for student discounts and bring your ID.

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Remember this when you go to the palaces, it could save you six pounds and make a real difference if you're going with others.

7. Do not let anything ruin your day.

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There will be a lot of things that will try to ruin your day... Like people who intentionally break some rules above, lines (Sorry, queues), poor navigation skills, etc. Still, you're in London. Savor your visit, and don't let any mistakes or people without common decency ruin your visit.

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