The Significance of Traveling

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76 days… 76 days of completely immersing myself in the Chinese culture, language and traditions. To put into words the things I have experienced in the past 76 days would be nearly impossible. I have fallen in love, with life. I have acquired a stronger desire than before to see this amazing world we all share. Less than 2 months left here in Asia and I will be heading back to the States for the holidays just before turning right back around and starting yet another beautiful chapter of my life in Hawaii.

I am learning. I am listening. I am traveling. I am living. I am free.

It doesn’t take a plane ticket to the other side of the world and a passport to experience life for what it’s worth. Ironically, I am learning that the more and more I travel. For instance, I was walking back from the canteen when I noticed I heard a very familiar sound. Something that made me feel like I was standing in my driveway in North Carolina. It’s getting pretty cold here in Tianjin, the leaves have turned and are slowly trickling off the trees. As the wind blew, the crisp leaves made that insanely beautiful fall sound as they swayed against each other. This sound comforted me, made me appreciate that specific moment, that specific sound. It truly is the little things…I’m learning to open my eyes a little wider, i’m learning to look around a little more, i’m learning to listen a little harder, i’m learning to value life.

I am learning. I am listening. I am traveling. I am living. I am free.

-Berkley Wayne Alessandrini

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From Riding Bike Through Verona, to Camping In Venice…

I used to think the word spontaneous had almost a non-existing definition. How can one be spontaneous? How is it possible to be spontaneous while also having a successful outcome?

I have been traveling for over 2 weeks throughout Europe and I have finally experienced what it’s like to be spontaneous.

Last weekend my friends and I had a “free weekend of travel” in our study abroad program, we procrastinated to figure out what we were going to do for the weekend until the night before we were supposed to leave. We were up till 4 in the morning trying to find hostels, trains, etc. Stressed that we were not going to get to go anywhere we decided to just show up at the train station the next morning and just go somewhere…. We didn’t know where we would end up, where we would sleep, how we would get home, (home as in Genoa), etc. We ended up having the most amazing weekend from riding bikes through Verona, to camping in Venice and meeting the most helpful and kind people. When we were waiting in the train station to leave for Verona on that Friday, we ran into another one of our classmates running to catch a train to Nice. He decided last minute to just go… turns out he also had an amazing weekend as well, thanks to the gut inside him that led to him being spontaneous.

I encourage you to be spontaneous, it may not turn out how you expect, but if you can keep an open mind you will be introduced to endless opportunities.

-Berkley Wayne Alessandrini

3 Weeks In

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From constantly living in a full house, to sharing a suite with 3 roommates, I had no idea what to expect when I began living alone. Three weeks in, and I’m still alive!! For the first time in my life and I have realized that I have picked up some personality traits that I have never really experienced before. Some of these traits I see in my parents or grandparents. (kinda a scary thought).

#1. I began talking to myself:
I feel as if my nana is the queen of talking to herself. I remember growing up I would hear her just talking away, finally I would have to confirm that she really wasn’t talking to me because her conversations were so precise. Of course she would laugh and just carry on. Unconsciously I will find myself doing the exact same thing. From telling myself what I need from Publix, to even having an intense debate whether I should re-start watching New Girl or Gossip Girl on Netflix.

#2. Portions:
I have learned that I absolutely love to cook and try new things; however, I struggle with buying the right amount of groceries. I’m used to needing a lot of everything, and lately, I wind up with way too many leftovers. Who knew that was even a thing?

#3. I have time to think about things I normally would not:
This is probably one of my favorite things I have picked up. I have a few moments throughout my day where I have time to ponder and let my mind explore new perspectives on things or ask myself questions I would not have thought of on a normal day-to-day basis. For example, what would a lemon look like peeled?

These are just a few of the traits I have picked up from living alone. A few other things I tend to live by these days are: the 5 second rule, running to the bed when I turn off all the lights, chips and salsa for breakfast, and finally, no pants…ever.

-Berkley Wayne Alessandrini

Berta Cira Ramos

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In the early 50’s, Berta Cira Ramos fled from Cuba to escape communism due to Prime Minister, Fidel Castro. After successfully escaping Cuba, Cira moved to South Beach, Miami where she resided for long periods of time, traveling back and forth from South Beach to North Carolina. Cira was better known as my Wita, aka: abuelita, or little grandmother.

I grew up listening to her soft voice singing Spanish lullabies, drinking Cuban espressos at the age of 5 (probably earlier than that), watching her favorite novelas (soap operas), eating the best Cuban food imaginable (most likely drenched in mojo) and finally, listening to her stories about her time in South Beach.

The way she told her stories, I could have sworn the place was magical. People dancing in the streets, everyone having a different style (if wearing anything at all), to even just the simple diversity of the city. She would tell me how she would walk down the beach or Lincoln Road just to count how many different languages she heard from people passing by. I knew growing up that her stories would somehow make an impact on my life, I just never knew when or how.

Fast forward a few years, and here I am. Witnessing every single detail she used to tell me as a kid, now in person, and for myself. Since I just finished up with my freshman year of college at FIU (WOHOO), I am actually beginning to pack up and move into the exact same condo my Wita lived in after escaping Cuba. The condo has been in my family since my Wita passed, and I just do not have the words to express how amazing and heart warming this opportunity is. I am so excited for this summer, and I of course, am feeling truly blessed.

-Berkley Wayne Alessandrini

How to Survive the Last Two Weeks of a College Semester:

I decided earlier this week to blog about something that could potentially be very beneficial for my fellow college students. The last two weeks of a college semester can make you go a little on the crazy side. I experienced this for myself at the end of fall semester this past year. I totally lost my appetite, had a major lack in sleep, and I felt as if I could never catch up on my work. Although I finished the semester satisfied with the out-come, I decided to do things differently this time around. Below are only a few tips that I have found to be helpful during this crucial time.

1. As cliché as it sounds, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. We are getting down to the nitty gritty of the this semester, which basically means, everything in the world is due on one day. I have recently started a habit of putting due dates in my calendar a day earlier than it is actually due, and believe me, this little method has saved my life more times than I can count and more importantly, my GPA. (yes I put my GPA over my life)

2. Attempt to go to sleep relatively early. I personally find it almost impossible to fall asleep before 11:00-11:30. When I do fall asleep “early” it makes waking up 5x easier than if I had stayed up all night. Sleep is important, especially when juggling studying for finals, work, essays, etc. but, make sure you’re on top of everything to get the minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep a night.

3. Take advantage of all health and wellness services. I am guilty of not doing so myself. Most universities offer these services, for example, at FIU, students can go get a free 15 minute massage everyday if needed/wanted, aroma therapy, counseling, etc. We fund these programs within the fees we pay with our tuition; therefor, it is silly for us to not take advantage. And who wouldn’t want free massages throughout finals week? This is a perfect way to try and relax and calm down during an extremely stressful time.

4. Make a To-Do list. You may be tech savvy and like to have a to-do list on your phone, laptop or tablet. On the other hand, you may be more of a traditional writer and like to have it all written down. Either way you prefer, make sure the list is always in plain sight. This will unconsciously remind you multiple times throughout the day when you scroll or glance past it.

5. Sticky notes are your best friends! Last week I walked into my roommates X’s room to find literally at least 20 sticky notes posted all over her walls and closet. She is a bio major and keeping track of all of her classes, quizzes, and labs obviously have her a little stressed out. She swears to the method as being a fun and friendly reminder to help get her stuff done.

Most universities have about two weeks left including finals week. With this being said, maybe you will find some of the tips I provided to be beneficial. I know that it has saved me from a lot of anxiety and stress. A few other things that I like to do that also seems to help is; drink a lot of water, exercise to relieve stress, take time to “chill out”, eat healthy, and lastly, cuddle with your roommates. The last one may be a little far fetch for those of you who are not blessed with awesome roommates, who just happen to be your best friends. But let me just say, our cuddle sesh’s truly rid of all stress. I hope you find this post helpful and I wish you all the best of luck with the end of your semesters!

Why Not Now?

 

Through high school
and now through college I find myself constantly reading blogs for advise,
recipes, DIY projects, or for 
the pure
enjoyment of engulfing myself in someone else’s life. These are only a few
examples of the blogs I enjoy reading; the list goes on. 

With this being said,
I have always considered blogging almost like a therapy. Not only reading, but
also getting lost in the words when picking up my journal. Unfortunately, I
felt like my entries would never make an impact or carry the importance that I
felt was needed for someone to go out of their way to read my blogs. Since the
beginning of my first college semester I have told my roommates numerous times
how I could not wait for my life to become of more importance, so one day I
could start a blog that people would actually care to read about; however,
 

a few days ago I woke up with a new
perspective on the situation.

 Why not now? Why should I wait to share my life
experiences, thoughts, and aspirations? This answer is simple, and extremely
obvious… I shouldn’t. So
 here I am. 

I am finishing up my freshman year of
college at FIU (side note, time really does fly by). I grew up in North
Carolina and moved almost 1,000 miles away from home only one week after
graduation to, in my opinion, the most beautiful, HOT, and diverse city… aka:
Miami. I am learning so much about myself, experiencing new things, networking,
and building the most raw and amazing friendships possible. 

Maybe you will take
a few moments out of your day to read my blogs, or maybe you won’t. But for me,
I am just so excited to share and do something I love.
  


-Berkley Wayne Alessandrini