Lately I've been very naughty with the blog and not being consistent with new posts which they say commonly leads to the eventual un-following and demise of all blogs eventually. So I decided to let ya'll know that you can expect a new post on Fridays, I will aim for every Friday but it could also be every second Friday (cut me some slack here, we have a wedding in September to plan for!). But yes, this is just another reason to love Fridays. And remember you can keep more close tabs on things here in Italy over on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/questadolcevitablog.
I woke up this morning mentally preparing myself for laundry day ( so much more of a hassle in Italy due to the extra step of setting-up the wet, wrinkly clothes to air dry, don't underestimate your dryers people). It was going to be a normal day. But then I read my e-mail and all of a sudden, one of my lifelong dreams came true:
I found out that I was chosen as a contributing author for an anthology of expat stories curated by Canadian expat legend, Lisa Webb, to be titled "Once Upon an Expat" and scheduled for publication this summer!
I know I sound like a broken record repeating the same childhood aspiration story, but I really, truly always wanted to be a painter-writer. Read this post from 2014, it will confirm I'm not delusional:
" If everything had been up to me, I would have been a painter-slash-writer. I love to create, I think it is an innate need that exists in all of us. It amazes me that a blank canvas, with purposefully placed strokes of color, can become something wonderful."
The same can be said about the written word, it's akin to a visual art with a perfect composition consisting of carefully chosen combinations of letters. Needless to say, this is an absolute DREAM for me and just so soulfully satisfying to see three of my favorite things come together (writing, wine, and Italy) to make it a reality. Perhaps you are wondering why the wine (I'll have you know this is a ludicrous question and you should be ashamed)...because I write with wine, that's why.
To stay updated with the book and the release, as well as to meet all the authors, check out Canadian Expat Mom (click to see the book cover release) or search her page on Facebook. I'll of course post anything new or interesting on the blog and my Facebook page as well. I post neat things all the time, including the Daily Dolce photo, so you should follow if you aren't already. MUCH LOVE.
I'm on Day 4 of the Jasmine and Jhumpa Project, it's a far cry from a year's worth of writing but breaking it down into little bite-size bits of Italian practice is actually quite palatable, dare I say, enjoyable. If you're studying or have studied Italian in the past, I invite you to join me in doing 365 days of writing! How fun if it became a group endeavor, like book club...! You could write right on my site: http://thejasmineandjhumpaproject.weebly.com/blog/day-4 or even make your own. Anyways, the only point of this post was because I found this super cute photo on Mindy Kaling's Twitter essentially posing with a book which is essentially my signature move. Thought I was the only one that took selfies with books like this, apparently was wrong.
I am soooooooooooo excited because I finally got to see our House Hunters International episode on an Australian online streaming website after we had thought we missed our chance when it aired at the end of December in the US. If you are also tech-savvy, you can use a VPN service like Express VPN (same method as how expats watch American Netflix abroad) and change your settings to "Australia". Here is the link: http://www.9jumpin.com.au/show/househuntersinternational/episodes/season-82/episode-8/bella-vita-in-bergamo/#autoplay I also much preferred the Australian title of the episode which they called "Bella Vita in Bergamo" as opposed to the American version which was less of a title and more of a run-on sentence. Here are some random screenshots I took as I watched our episode for the umpteenth time, enjoy! If you've seen the episode and found your way here, hello! Let me know in comments or e-mail how you liked it.
P.S. Our cat Puffo is seriously famous though, he's been in an Italian magazine AND on television worldwide (check out his cameo at the end). What a natural.
Unbeknownst to us (and only discovered after Massi's friends in the US told him), our House Hunters International episode has already aired once and is scheduled to air again tomorrow! It is not the same schedule that is being followed by the network HGTV in Canada, so I think all of us north of the border are SOL. So if you happen to be reading this and can PVR our episode, please do and tell me all about it! Also if you happen to be reading this and are an internet mastermind and have somehow found our episode, please forward and you will have a lifetime supply of pasta and my eternal love. Or I suppose if you have a time machine to take me back to yesterday, I will obviously honor the aforementioned means of gratitude. Here's the upcoming airdate (tomorrow):
Recently, I had the chance to do an interview with Multicoolty, a site aiming to connect the thousands of stories lived everyday by people all over Europe with a focus on the idea of those who are global citizens- the nomadic among us that have lived in more than one country. Here's a snippet from "Meet Our Team":
We are (Eve short from Evgenia, Inga, our collaborators Nasima, Ying, Masha, Lorena in Italy and Federicain France) a team of journalists, bloggers and migration experts passionate about storytelling and photography. We have lived and worked in different countries and our international experiences have shaped our global perspective on the world we live in. We are real multicoolties and global citizens!
Every day in the countries where WE are (Germany, Italy, France) we meet plenty of people from all parts of the world just like us: bright and inspiring people who bring their cultures with them making Europe more diverse. And so the idea of Multicoolty was born as we see how Germany, Italy and France increasingly become more multicultural and global. With this project we want to provide a glimpse into the lives of multicultural community by taking pictures, making great videos, collecting short and long stories from real people we meet on the streets (and not only) of various European cities.
Anyways, check out my full English interview here (I've included just a small portion of the questions and answers from it below), or if you like, read the short and sweet Italian version here.
What brings you to Italy?
Moved to be with my fiancé, I was a pharmacist and now am doing a mixture of blogging, freelance articles, and taking advantage of being a mother tongue English speaker for teaching and consulting.
What were the initial struggles when you moved?
The main challenge is leaving behind your old life- everyone and everything in it. Besides friends and family, I had just started a profession as a pharmacist and practiced for a little more than a year before moving so that was hard to give up. Talking to other expats, the most common struggle is the language but I had a slight advantage having studied Italian back in Canada.
What are the things that you like/dislike here?
Life in Italy is so coveted because it’s really well-rounded. You have the opportunity to be immersed in pretty much any “vice” you desire – great wine, food, scenery, art, shopping, history…you name it, you can find it in Italy. Plus, being such a small country, you can travel from one city to another easily and see the topography, dialect, and food change even between short distances. There’s only one thing I dislike- the bureaucracy. Everything that should be easy is made exponentially more difficult by the need to go to several different offices with several different documents on a variety of days (during hours you would normally need to be at work)…basically it’s a nightmare and you need to behave like an Italian to get things done. By this, I mean you have to be extremely persistent and not be afraid to raise your voice!
We've launched Dolce Vita Public Relations: Social Media and Public Relations Solutions for Italian Companies
Hey everyone! So excited to introduce this new little project of mine that was basically born out of my personal experiences these past nine months in Italy, working in a variety of positions from a private bilingual school to an advertising agency. Basically anywhere I went, I noticed that everyone I worked with benefited greatly from having an "on-call", "in-house" English consultant. I started getting asked to compose content, proofread documents, and have since been directly involved alongside an advertising agency in creating social media content directed at the North American market for an Italian client. Essentially this is a need that I've recognized is not isolated to one industry. With several "high-profile" cases of English errors (Expo was probably the most recognized), Italian businesses are getting more savvy and are more aware of the effect English content mistakes can have on professionalism and first impressions.
If you are an Italy-based company, group, or even individual looking for consulting services, head over to our website at www.dolcevitapr.com or click here.
Ciao a tutti! First off, today is the last day before unofficial summer vacation for practically all of Italy. Not sure if you knew this, but in August, the majority of Italian companies shut down to allow for their employees to head out to the sea and basically live the dolce vita that Italy is so famous for. In the past, this used to be even a month long, nowadays, the standard is usually 2 to 3 weeks but hey, who can complain about that?! This whole concept has evolved around this time of year as August 15th is Ferragosto, an Italian and Sammarinese public holiday coinciding with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary (yup, that's straight from Wikipedia but let's pretend I knew it off the top of my head). We are so stoked to be headed off on the motorcycle starting tomorrow so make sure to follow the Instagram feed (@questadolcevita) for immediate updates on where we are. First stop>>>SIENA!
Second thing on my agenda today is to share with you a new blog that suggests wanderlust might just run in the family. My cousin Allison and her boyfriend Chris are both born-and-raised Edmontonians (actually I'm not 100% sure about the boyfriend but meh!) just like me and attended the University of Alberta, graduating with degrees in something that requires you to be exceptionally smart. They then behaved like most normal, logical human beings, working and saving until they decided to quit their jobs and head out on the open road for an EPIC AROUND THE WORLD trip which will eventually see them to Australia. I can't help but be overly enthused about this because of 2 reasons. First reason is that is means I'm not the only crazy person in my family and second reason because they are visiting places I've never been which means I get to indulge in that 'living vicariously' thing through their blog. The blog is called 2Peas, find it here. I will now leave ya'll a little blurb from their "About Us" page:
Hey! This is our blog! It’s called 2peas.ca because we’re from Canada and also a little bit attached at the hip (that is, until one of us murders the other for being too annoying). I’m not going to write anything whimsical here about “leaving the daily grind” or “discovering yourself” because I think you’ve heard it all before. I do enjoy cheesy couple photos though, so here are a bunch. I’m sorry about that. But not really.
Anyways, I’m Allison and I like to program things. Christopher doesn’t know what he likes to do. If you’re here you probably already know that since we’re not cool enough to have readers that aren’t our friends or family (YET). We’re on the road and writing this blog to document stuff so people (Hi Mom!) know we haven’t died. Enjoy!
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
BUONE FERIE A TUTTI!!!
See you in Siena, then Montalcino, then Montepulciano, then Gubbio....and the rest is to be announced. (Notice how all these places have amazing wine? Strategy friends, strategy).
I had never heard of Wayn (Where Are You Now?) when I was contacted to be part of their Persona Programme which aims to profile awesome, travel junkies (I'm evidently a very awesome junkie) in order to inspire the entire social network community which is made up of travellers and wannabe travellers. It's a networking site much like a Pinterest/Facebook hybrid, however with travel and wanderlust being the primary focus. The idea was born when a couple of guys were backpacking and essentially imagined a way in which like-minded people could connect based on location and as such, share tips and travel experiences along the way. Anyways, it's a neat initiative and according to recent stats, the website boasts over 22 million users worldwide.
Check out my profile here: http://www.wayn.com/profiles/Jasmine-Mah.
I've also uploaded a myriad of globe-trotting photos, some from when I had blonde hair (yikes!), as well, you can see videos of one of my all-time favourite travel moments- when I went bungee jumping on the border of Tibet and Nepal at the longest natural free-fall site in the world!
Want to be part of the Persona Programme crew?
Head over to the website and Tell them about the amazing things you are doing by completing THIS SHORT SURVEY, and you could be next.
Ciao all! My newest collaboration just went live yesterday- so honored to have been asked to be one of JJ Caprice's "Savvy Travelers" for the Summer Travel Series where the site is featuring a different country every week:
Each week for the months of June, July and August we will spotlight a different country. Inspired by summer travel and adventure, our goal is to explore the globe, one cool city at a time. Each week we will feature country-specific content including Q&A's with savvy travelers who have visited, content from natives who want to share their favorite local spots, destination-specific outfit guides, travel tips, food recommendations and more. Let the wanderlust begin!
Let the wanderlust begin indeed. Click here to read my Q&A (or click the screenshot above!) and be sure to check out www.jjcaprices.com for hand-picked (by Jen personally), locally-sourced gift ideas from all around the globe.
Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned freelance writer, foodie, and fashionista from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.