#OneDay : In Milano, Italy

I know, I know. I know what you’re thinking: This is about to be a post about visiting Milan in the summer and walking the streets of the city, catching a train to a swanky Italian club, good pasta, and an unexpected something. Well. I can tell you right now, this is not what you think.  Bear with me, because this might just be worth your time. And, did I really just use the word swanky?

Stay: Meliá Milano  Via Masaccio, 19, 20149 Milano MI, Italy Phone: +39 02 44406

This place is stunning. Now, it’s not hotel Shangrila, but it comes pretty close. 8 floors, outside the city center, stained glass ceiling panels, comfortable beds. I walk into the lobby and everything is well lit, of course, it’s 8 in the morning, but this is Italy, come on, everything looks glamorous. My room is this modest but complete amenity heaven. Queen bed with down sheets, fully stocked fridge, Lights that change the mood at the touch of a touch-screen, and the best part: the bathroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_7254-1img_7256

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I love bathrooms, I do. I’m that person that judges a place on the condition and feel of the bathroom, how weird am I, right? Well, I don’t care, because this bathroom was it. Glass paneled shower, plush towels, and a toilet with a bidet head. You’re wondering why that’s so important now, but you spend a day walking around in the hot Italian sun and look me in the eye and say you dont wish there was a bidet in your room. Haaaaa That’s what I thought. It was a lovely stay.

Walk: Literally Everywhere.

Yes, there’s a metro. Yes, there are rentable bikes, and yes, there are taxis. Truthfully, I couldn’t find a console to buy a metro ticket, and after further research, they could only be purchased from a few select stations, so I was out of luck. This was nothing like France. That aside, yes, walk everywhere. I encourage it; you get a feel for the true nature of Milan and the people who live there when you’re not hopping from tourist attraction to landmark. After checking my iPhone, I found out that I had walked some 13 miles which is not too shabby!! My feet were killing me by the end of the night but I did not care- I loved every minute.

Visit: Parco Sempione   Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy  Phone:+39 02 8846 7383

A beautiful park in the center of the city, this made me realize the true appreciation I have for cities with a healthy balance between nature and man-made. The park is lovely, with side cafes, a playground, and a full-on bar. Very European. A playground a couple of steps away from one of the many entrances, and a dirt path looping around and through the entire park. I walked around for an hour, people watching mostly, and listening to see if I could make sense of any conversation with the French that I knew. I picked out a few words. My favorite part of all in Sempione was the pond. I fed the ducks, and I should have been better with taking pictures, but this moment was just for me. It was so fun, I don’t think I’ve ever just taken a minute to feed the ducks alone like that, and it was calm and cool in the shade of the willow trees.

Eat: Serendib Indian & Sri Lankan Cuisine Via Pontida, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy  Phone: +39 02 659 2139 

dsc01766
Outside the Restaurant
Enter a caption
Mango Chutney, Green Cilantro Spicy, Plum Chutney
Potato Samosas with Rics Cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dsc01757
Aubergine in Spices, Potato Curry and Stewed Lentils
dsc01759
Vegan Byriani at the end

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you roll your eyes, take a second. Sri Lankan in Italy? You’d be surprised about the Asian population in Italy – I have to go back and more research. But this restaurant. This place was amazing! So authentic and genuine, the owner really cares about his guests. I was new in Milan and I needed good food that’s wasn’t pasta, know what I mean? I was so pleased with my choice. Serendib is in this side street off the main square and it doesn’t look like much when you walk up, but inside is gorgeous. Authentic decor, truly amazing smells of food and the promise of a good meal. I knew walking in that I was going to want to stay forever. They delivered. I had the vegan sampler: potato samosas as a starter and a main course of eggplant in traditional spices, potatoes, mixed veggies, and biryani so good it’ll make you fly to Milan just for a taste. And order the mango juice- with ic, bc disclaimer, (Europeans do not do ice in their drinks unless upon request) – it’s so good!!!

All in all, Milan is a flex zone! Got there if you want to shop, or if you’re with your girls, your significant other, your lover. Go if you’re ready to stunttt, and shop, and all the boogie glamorous things. I was not ready, but I will be next time. The time was too short!! It really I need to go back. And next time, yes yes, I will try the pasta.

#SubiAdventures: Spontaneous Trips & Nostalgia

Hey there pals!!

Summer has come to an end, classes are in full swing, and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. The days seem shorter, the sun peeks into my window a little earlier, and I feel like I’m rushing against the clock. In an effort to keep the summer magic alive, in the middle of July, I made spontaneous plans and took a trip to Florida. I had no qualms about searching for a flight and booking it the same day, and it was so cheap, I couldn’t pass it up! (Let me know if you guys want details on how I book my flights and travel and I’ll be sure to post about it!)

From Monday – Saturday I had a whole spread of sunshine and opportunity to glow, recharge and enjoy life with my OG travel pals: family. From visiting places that I used to love as a child, to trying new foods, I could feel all my worries slipping away and becoming simple whispers upon the wind. There are tons of things that I want to share with you guys, videos and pictures and laughs, but I’ll save that for the Tube. (Yes, Guys!! I’m headed to YouTube finallyyyyy) All the content I’ve been creating will be live for you guys to see by the beginning of October, so stay ready so you never have to get readyyy!! For now, I’ll share with you guys some of my favorite highlights from the trip.

FullSizeRender 6
Swap Shop Drive-In Movie Theater!!

3291 W Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

(954) 791-7927

https://www.floridaswapshop.com/

Swap Shop

To an outsider this may not look like much, but the Swap Shop is a Caribbean Gyal’s paradise. Here, vendors and hagglers, schemers and dreamers alike all gather the same roof to sell their goods. There are food carts, and clothing booths, electronic stores and beauty corners. But the best part has to be the fresh food isle. Located in the back of the market grounds, Haitian men and woman dominate the playing field.

IMG_1821
My top and shorts are from Forever 21, and my sandals are from Marshalls!

There are fresh dragon fruit, sweets, mangoes and my favorite- fresh coconuts. As a little girl I used to come here and beg my dad to get a coconut for me and have the coco-man cut a hole into it. He would stick a straw in it and just like that, my favorite drink was ready for the taking. Over the course of the week I returned here 5 times with my parents, to buy new threads, eat coconuts and have a few laughs with the woman we always buy mangos from. It was all good fun- from the first day we got stranded there in the pouring rain to the final day when she gave me a free avocado for the road- I was in paradise.

fullsizerender-6.jpg
My top is from Marshalls and my shorts are vintage Old Navy!

Key West

It was first time this far south in Florida, and the drive was long. From Miami to the Keys during that 5 hour drive it seemed that with every 20 miles the sun shone brighter and the sky turned more blue.

How can you come to Florida and not visit the beach? You can’t. If you stayed on the coast like we did, then it is unavoidable, and for good reason. Here, you can find the house of Ernest Hemingway, one of my favorite writers, and some of the yummiest homemade ice cream on the coast. I was asleep the whole ride minus a few times I woke up to film the spreads of water that we would pass, and I woke up in an iguana filled wonderland. No seriously – this place was filled with iguanas! In the streets, on the trees, lurking in the grass, basking in the sun, they were living it up! The picture above is the southern most point of the continental US. Here, you’ll be just  90 miles away from Cuba!

IMG_1826

Little Haiti

This town is everything that I thought it would be. From the colorful murals ,the blues the pinks, the yellows, it was like stepping into a tropical crayon box. From the fruit filled markets, all the way to the warmth of the people who lived there, Little Haiti felt just like home. As a Haitian American living here, I make it my mission to stay connected to my culture. Diaspora communities like these are not few and far between, especially in Miami; little Haiti was in a less than glamorous part of town, but even so, the charm and genuine nature of the inhabitants was clear.  We started off at a community center that had an art exhibition of Haitian paintings and a summer program for children in the community.

IMG_0675
My choker is from Asodáre, my overalls are vintage Tommy Hilfiger and my sandals are from Marshalls!

Rita’s Italian Ice

This way to Happiness! That’s how I feel whenever I eat Rita’s. I convinced the fam to stop and let me get some shopping in st Sephora; down the street something caught my eye- Rita’s!  The Ice’s are either water or cream based and they taste so good and have such yummy flavors! My favorites are Swedish Fish and Cotton Candy, and I get it in a Gelato, which is a dessert that has a base layer of a cream or water ice, custard (vanilla, chocolate or swirl), another layer of  italian ice, and then a last dollop of custard. The Vanilla is my favorite!! Ice cream and ices are one dessert that i can eat anytime and anyplace– this includes the winter time — and not feel guilty about it. xoxo Rita’s I love you.

IMG_5079
My Choker is from Asodara, my crop top from Forever 21 and the overalls are vintage Tommy Hilfiger!

This trip was essential to prepare me for the beginning of my last year at University. It was the first time in a long time that i travelled with family, I visited places that I only remember from memory and the food was bombbb. I can’t wait to share all the magic of this trip with all of you!! Be on the lookout for more updates on social media, and let me know in the comments below, or email, what you’d like to see more off, less of, of if you just want to say hello!

Sending you smiles and a healthy promise of good things to come. xoxo

Sincerely,

Subi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Happiest Place on Earth

Hello there! It’s been such a long time since I’ve updated you guys on my travels. I had no idea I would be as busy as I’ve been, but I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and write a few entries! Here are 3 things that I’ve had on my list for a while and finally got to check off!

img_9146
On the bus from the train station

We came into Paris on a windy day of October. Back in Montpellier, they were warning us that the weather might be cold, rainy, un-agreeable even, but we got lucky and the whole weekend was just gorgeous. As soon as we stepped out of the train and onto the platform, I just knew I was home. We walked to our hotel and dropped our bags off, freshened up, and set off to make some dreams come true.

 

 

 

 

Stop #1: Ladurée AKA the Heaven of Macaron. 

img_9401
First time Trying Macaron at Ladurée!

If no one knows what Ladurée is, you have to listen. There is literally no place like this on earth. Here’s some history:

Parisian tea rooms’ history is intimately tied to the
history of the Ladurée family. It all began in 1862, when
Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller from the southwest of
France, founded a bakery in Paris at 16 rue Royale.
In 1871, while Baron Haussmann was giving
Paris a « new face », a fire in the bakery opened
the opportunity to transform it into a pastry shop… And the rest is history! This tea hose has the best macaron in the world, not to be confused with macaroons which are the coconut swirl of a desert widely found in America. Thy have flavors that range from coconut (niox de coco) to pistachio (pistache) and even rose petal (pétale de rose)! These pastries are super delicate, so don’t throw it in your bag or drop them , because they will crumble into a million delicious pieces! I waited to try macaron for the first time in France, and they were amazing. If anyone ever goes to Paris, don’t leave without trying them first!

Stop #2 Trying Escargot for the first time. 

img_9143
The parsley and butter sauce is marinating in the escargot just right!
img_9142
These Escargot were actually really good!

When you go to France, do as the French do, yes? It’s commonplace to have escargot, or snail, as an appetizer, or entrée when having a traditional 4 course dinner in France. So naturally, I wanted the whole experience! Only served as an entrée, escargot are not hard to cook. Chefs typically cook them in a simple reduction of butter, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. The snails cook in this simple sauce for less than 25 minutes and then they’re ready to go! Escargot are served in a dish that has a concave hole for the shells to rest in –>

I thought that it would taste weird – or slimy even, but it was surprisingly pretty firm, like a properly cooked shrimp or conch, which is a sea-snail that shows up in Caribbean fare. It’s pretty safe to say that I’ve found a new favorite appetizer! Now if only I could find this on a menu in the States…

Stop #3 Dreams Really do Come True 

img_4161
Eiffel Tower at night

You know that feeling that you get when everything feels right in your world and all things suddenly click into place? That’s exactly how I felt when I saw the Eiffel Tower for the First time. Two of my friends had already been to Paris, so they were excited, that I was excited. They were telling me that as soon as I turned the corner from the metro stop I would be able to see it. I had been dreaming of this moment since I was 5 and I though about it as a real thought in the 8th grade and started learning French, but I never wrapped my head around the idea of actually seeing it.

We turned the corner and I laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower for the first time and like the Cancer that I am, I got emotional and couldn’t help but burst into tears. Suddenly all my hard work, all the sleepless nights studying and missing events to get ahead on assignments, were all worth it. And I couldn’t be happier. We went back to the Eiffel tower every day after that, and one night to see it light up on the hour. It took my breath away.

Guys, when you’ve found your happiest place on earth, write to me, comment and let me know, but I can tell you right now, I’ve found mine. I’ve never been so content then when I was in Paris for those 3 glorious days, and this was only day one! This city has stolen my heart and I can’t wait until I go back.

img_9195
My Happiest Place on Earth

Never stop chasing your dreams, don’t ever settle and keep pushing because the finish line is closer than you think. Don’t forget to comment, subscribe, and let me know what you think guys, I want to hear from you! Be blessed ☀️

Sincerely,

Subi

 

My First Full Day in France! and more

Hi everyone!

This was my Facebook post after I arrived in France on September 7th:

Hello from France!

Today has been eventful to say the least! I arrived safely in Paris yesterday morning bright and early, and it was smooth sailing from there! I love my host mom and her son, they were so welcoming and easy to talk to! Here are my first meals for today (September 8th) breakfast, lunch and dessert at lunch. Thank you for all the well wishes and prayer, much needed and appreciated. is going to be an amazing 3 1/2 months.

Bonjour de France!!

Donc, Aujourd’hui a été riche en événements pour le moins! Je suis arrivé en toute sécurité à Paris lumineux hier matin et au début, et il a été la voile en douceur à partir de là! J’aime ma mère d’accueil et son fils, ils étaient tellement accueillant et facile de parler! Voici mes premiers repas d’aujourd’hui (le 8 Septembre) le petit déjeuner, le déjeuner et le dessert au déjeuner. Merci pour tous les souhaits de puits et la prière, bien nécessaires et appréciés. va être un incroyable 3 1/2 mois.

Where:  I will be in the south of France in a town called Montpellier. francemap-1

It’s the 8th largest city in France and the majority of the population consists of students both foreign and native to France.

Who: I’m not staying in a youth hostel, but chose a program that places me with a host family. They provide 2 meals a day for me and I’m on my own for lunch, but that’s the most exciting meal of the day! I found that if I get a sandwich and yogurt, lunch can cost less than 3 euros! I speak French all day every day unless I’m with some of the other UGA students and even then we try to speak french and practice with each other. I’ve only been here for a week, but I already feel like it’s been forever.

When: The program (UGA en France) lasts from early September to early December

Adventures: I have some trips planned, of course!! Europe is amazing because all you have to do is pick a country and you have access to the whole continent. It’s all because of the train system here. In France it’s called the TGV and it’s a high-speed train that can take you to almost any country in Europe. You’d be crazy not to take advantage of it!

I’ll have more exciting news without a doubt! If you have questions for me, suggestions for places to see, good places to shop, let me know! I am so excited to go on this journey with all of you and most of all, to experience the world. I’m so blessed to be given this opportunity and I can’t believe it’s real! AAAHHH! I’m in France! Je suis trés contente. (I am very happy).

Sincerely,

Subi

Waiting… and Waiting

Dear Reader,

As I step into my junior year at The University of Georgia, I experience a different feeling. I which my closest friends go from class to class and meet up for lunches and catch-up between advising appointments and yet, I am not doing any of these things. I am not attending classes, I’m not booking advising appointments and I’m certainly not gathering syllabi from professors. I am waiting. I am waiting for my third year to start. I am getting my passport situated and researching “how to pack and not go over the weight limit” or booking my plane ticket. Instead of going to class August 11th like all of my friends, I’m preparing for my biggest adventure and challenge: Study Abroad.

I got the news that I had been accepted into the UGA en France study abroad trip in the Spring of 2016. I was over the moon with excitement. New place, new continent, new language, new culture? It’s everything I ever dreamed of. But somehow in the midst of that I still found myself at a standstill. When I applied, I was encouraged to go on a trip without any of my friends in order to get that full experience all for myself, and I did. Now that I was in, really in, I started to put things in perspective and really think about how I wanted this experience to go. The doubt started to settle in. And the what-ifs piled up.

IMG_6039
Finding out I got into the program

What if I don’t make any friends? What if I don’t do well in my classes? What if my host family doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like my host family? What if I can;t pay for the trip?What if I get robbed? What if I get taken? All these suppositions and I hadn’t even gone to the first orientation, and I realized that that’s all they were, was supposition. These thoughts were based on fear. So, I took it one step at a time. I created a gofundme page at https://gofundme.com/SubiToFrance and I became proactive in raising the necessary money needed to get me to where I needed to be. I have been waiting for this opportunity since the 10th grade when I started to look at UGA seriously. I knew the ins and outs of the trip and I had researched and prayed and worked for this. I knew I was ready. All that was left to do was get there.

The summer passed by, May, June, July, and suddenly it’s August and classes are starting… and I’m still waiting. It’s a different kind of feeling, being on campus when I don’t have obligations to attend classes or buy books, and all I have on my agenda is work. You have a new appreciation for meeting up with friends in the Student Center or grabbing coffee and a muffin in between classes. All the time is precious. I leave Athens for home in 4 days. That gives me 96 more hours with my friends until I disappear for 4 months to another continent. But you know what? I’m ready for this adventure, ready to challenge myself and immerse my thoughts in the French language and culture. So while I sit and wait for another 24 days until my departure, this is what I have to look forward to, am looking forward to. This is what I am waiting for.

Sincerely,

Subi

You are your Greatest Adventure

Dear Reader,

There is no time like now, today, in these moments. And that is why it’s called the present. ~ Some Wise Person

As a young adult in America, you see so many new ads, trends, the new hype of fashion and the aesthetic of not caring about the world and living in the moment. It get’s to be a little overwhelming, don’t you think? These all-natural diets that claim to make you feel good inside and more alive (been there done that), let m put it this way: all the bs gets old. But as a young adult in America in this day in age, you have the opportunity to do what our parents may have not been able to do: Look for the real you.

 

First things first, you need to really stop and think. This is big step, finding you, it’s going to be a little hard, hey, and maybe it’ll be easy! You up for this?

Make a promise to yourself: When the going get’s rough, you’ll look in the mirror and say, “Hey there gorgeous/handsome. You can do this.” Make a list of all the things you’ve always wanted to do just to get you started. Here are some of mine:

  • Go hiking
    • If you’re not the adventuring type, this might just be the thing for you! Now hear me out, hiking doesn’t mean you need to scale up Kilimanjaro tomorrow, but find a nature trail near you, get some good sneakers and some comfortable clothes. Leave your phone off. Or on do not disturb. You’d be surprised how much time you have to think when you’re not snap chatting your nature walk or sending videos of the cool bird you found or the sunset in the woods.

 

Hiking-Trail

  • Swim in a clear ocean
    • You know what that means! T R A V E L. Save up and go to that place and getaway just like you always wanted to. Yow that’ll love it, I promise. I’m taking my own advice and doing that soon!!! (Another post to come)
    • And if you’re afraid of the ocean (some people are) find a natural spring, maybe a national park, and swim there. Still good.

420ff2c99c8d403d11d608a5b452cc6a

  • Fly a kite
    • Let’s be real I just thought of this one, but now that I think about it. hey, why not! I’ve never done it before. It looks like fun!!
  • Go to an art museum… and really look at the art
    • This past week, I went to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Now it’s not the Louvre or the Guggenheim, but man it was fun! Three floors of art, one space, winding staircases and the light, don’t get me started on the amazing sunlight all throughout the building. (Not to mention the selfie lighting! Ladies you know what I mean)

High-FastForward2

  • Read all the books you’ve wondered about (make that list)
    • I used to read all the time. When I got to college I “didn’t have time anymore” but you make time for the things you want to do so I’m going to do just that. Starting with Ana Karenina.
  • Eat new foods (another list)
    • Try new restaurants… alone
    • Ethnic food is always a  y e s. Do it.
  • Find a new favorite food
    • Right now mine is shrimp, I can make it into anything.
    • When I tried sushi for the first time I found a new favorite fish – yellowtail. But I only like it raw and classic sushi which is interesting!

sushi7

  • Pray more
    • Believe in something. The Bible and the Quran are holy books there is so much to learn, so much knowledge. And even if you decide not to convert, prayer is soothing and it helps sort out all the gunk in life. There is this calm that passes over you, and this feeling of… completion. Try it, let me know what you think, just throwing it out there.

o-ON-ENLIGHTENMENT-facebook

Always remember that you owe it to yourself to find out who you really are. This journey is going to change your life and you’re almost there! Last piece of advice: trust you. You got this. And even if you don’t you will eventually. There’s no rush on the creative process and you are your greatest masterpiece.

 

adventure_is_out_there-234442

Don’t miss out.

Sincerely,

Subi