A Travellerspoint blog


1st couchsurf experience

So I got to milano at 1200 and waited three hours at the train station until shelby was supposed to get in. And she made it!! Its nice to have a friend who will share this travel experience with me. We waited until our couchsurfer could meet us after he finished work. For those unfamiliar with couchsurf it is a online community of travelers kindof similar to a myspace or facebook, and people that are on there will vouch for you as a traveller or person so that way when you email someone about staying with them they can look at your references to make sure your not a weirdo. So I am staying with Felix and Manuele. Felix is Ghanian but was born and raised in France. He is doing an internship in Italy since Sept. and will leave in two weeks to go study in England. He is 21 years of age. Manuele is originally from north africa but has been in italy for 7 years, 6 of it in rome and this past year in milan working as an engineer, he is 36 years of age but looks freaking in his late 20s. The are very positive, upbeat conversational people. They first night they cooked for us and we stayed on a pull out couch. We have use of their internet and can come and go and do as we please. We couldnt have asked for better experience. I tried cooking last night but they said no no worries we are your host, just relax but I cooked the pasta anyway. What a sweet deal for not paying anything to sleep at their past haha.They were tripped out that I put the pasta in first before the water was boiling. I def. shocked them cause I cooked fast and was mixing different pasta. We went out to the club last night hoping to pay tribute to Michael Jackson, which was shoking news to Shelby and I. And the club had switched their lineup of music to pay tribute, but unfortunately the club roof had caved in, but we still went out and danced the night away to house music which i am not a fan of but they had michael jackson videos on in the background which was nice. alright got to go drink the capaccuino manuele has made for me. ciao

Posted by touché 02:39 Archived in Italy Comments (4)


overcast 25 °C

Florence for 5 days. This part of my trip has some random fun moments then it gets a bit dull as i have seen some attractions in florence before and I am going to wait to go when we return with the four other girls I will be with in a month. So I got there and met with Jonatan the boy I met four years ago. He took me to a party at a hotel where I was in heaven. Could I have asked for anything more than to be surrounded by good looking Italian men. I then talked to the bartender Riccardo, who is from Florence and has been to Spain for 8 months and studied in Holland. He was very attractive and I exchanged numbers so I would have someone to play with the next day. Plus he has a moto, which I have never rode on. So Jonatan took me home and I have yet to hear from him. Haha, scarred an Italian boy away, is that possible. He has a girlfriend for the past 6 months and was saying itlian women are a bit crazy. Its weird that the Italian women are very unimpressed by Italian men and more hard to get. But the next day Riccardo took me out for an apartivo, a drink which has bar food too...which is better than our buts and pickled eggs some bars provide for munchies. Appartently I tried to speak to him in italian and even spanish but i would mix them up and he just told me to speak in english, haha how sad...atleast i am trying. We rode on his moped and took me to the "romantic" spot in florenze, piazza michalangelo, which overlooks the whole town. We rode by a vending machine close to his place after and it was like a mini grocery store vending machine that you can drive thru, pretty impressive..there was prepared pasta dishes. riccardo is studying physchology and was a very sweet guy, i will hopefullly meet up with him when i get back with my girls to florence. the rest of the nights i wondered town getting lost in florence which is hard to do cause it's pretty small but I still managed to do so. I searched for the cheapest cappaccino cause I am obsessed with them and found one ofr 1.10 euro. They place where I stayed was a homeless shelter in the winter time and they hostel in the summer. The people who ran it were very hospitable young kids. it was a very quiet hostel though, but was very good location and legit considering i only payed 4€ a membership and didnt have to pay for the rest of the nights. pretty sweet deal. well i left for milan on the 25th hoping my friend shelby who has just got in will be on the train to meet me there!

Posted by touché 02:15 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

Under the Tuscan Sun


sunny 30 °C

I headed off Cortona/ Camucia via train. Unfortunatelly I missed that exit cause the button i pushed was broken on the train and the other ones i tried weren't working. (you only have like a minute at each stop) Just the blonde in me i guess. So I was able to get off at the next stop and the lady i worked for came and got me. Meet the Italian/Australian family Margaret, Mauricio, Tom(8yrs old), and Elliot (6years old). What an experience! I was feed and provided a place to sleep in exchange for 6 or so hours of work. The place is amazing, they are renevating their Tuscan villa inorder to get it ready to rent out. They techanically have three villas they are preparing to rent out, and their main house is right there. The place has a swimming pool overlooking the mountains in tuscany. I pretty much just painted, and did some odd end jobs.She is quite the handy women, learned a thing or two from her. She has some rabbits she keeps in the back that she killed the other day infront of me, not a vegetarians favorite moment, but it's life. They are very sweet people. One of the nights we got into politics discussion and of course they talked about how they love Obama, and rediculed Bush...as most Europeans. Its strange to me how much they know about world politics and how little American's know about others. Or maybe its just me, haha. They are both photographers. The whole family speaks italian and english. She was telling me how poor the school system they dont offer alot of programs like music, art,and pe. The eldest had school 6 days a week from 8 to 1:30. Crazy. Cortona is where they filmed under the Tuscan sun and was a 10 min. drive from her place, very small quaint village. My time has come to an end and off to firenze(florence). Im being replaced by canadian chefs at the Tuscan home.

Posted by touché 02:49 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Not off to a good start..

I Like to think of it as not bad karma, just bad luck.

the day before my trip I could tell I was coming down with something, too late to do n e thing about it now so I packed up my vitamins and left for the airport. I got to the Orlando airport at 930am on Tuesday June 9th. My flight went from Orlando to new york to helsinki, finaland, to rome. My Orlando flight was delayed 2 hrs, which was all the connecting time I had to get to my next flight, uh oh. When I got to New York I ran. Um if you hae never been to the JFK airport it is huge. I asked a worker there where to go to get my connecting flight and she assured me I would never make it, oh how assuring. She told me to take the taxi instead of the tram if I wanted a chance but I am to economical for that, I had to go through security again and that is when I hear my name being called, "Elena Neibaur (totally misprounanced) please report to gate number 4 for final boarding." Luckily it was only gate number four. I made it out of breathe, took my seat and that is when it hit me, 'I really don't feel so well" Luckily I had room to squirm around cause there was no one to my left and a young boy to my right. Unlucky for him though. I started getting a fever and was moaning until it passed. I probably tooted in my sleep because I had lots of sugar free cough drops, we all no what that does to people or just me I guess. I ate a decent meal that the airline offered then it came back up four hours later in a cup, couldn't make it to the bathroom. So when I get to Helsinki I have 8 hrs to kill, well time to rest cause I had no energy to do n e thing else. Once I was leaving the original gate to get to my next flight I had some issues with my passport. Apparently I gave him the wrong one, don't ask me why I have kept my old one and brought it but I did. But I gave it to him thinking I have given him the correct one so when he asked me if I had any other passports on me I said no, cause I thought that was a weird question. Well I ended up having to back track to cover my tracks and make sence of why I would carry around to passports. But I made it into Rome finally, but my luggage didn't. Which to me is a belssing in disguise I had no energy to carry that 40 lb bag around so they are sending it to the farm I am staying at which will arrive in a week, good thing I brought a toothbrush in my purse.The original plan was to sleep in the airport and take the 2 trains in the morning I had to catch, but thought it would be best to have a bed that night feeling the way I did. So I took one train to get to the main rome station so it would be easier in the morning to catch the next train. It was about 930pm this time and on the mission to find a hotel. PS don't ever let your crazy aunt and cousin make you watch "Taken" the week before you go to Europe. It will make you a bit paranoid and mistrusting of genuine people. Basically I went to two nice 5 stars hotels, a little out of my price range, about 150 each, so the gentelmen recomended my to go to this hotel close by, which is not the one I think I ended up going to. He was full so recomended a lady and called her up and she was on her way to get me, thats when paranoia kicked in. I thought it was weird she was coming to get me but obviously had some notion things would be ok or I wouldn0t have gone along. I was very short with her questions and thought there might possibly be men in a room waiting to kidnap me when we got there. But it end up being a cute little room, like a bed and breakfast connected to a kitcheen and one other room, which an older gentlemen lived. Assunto, the lady, set up breakfast for me and then left, she left me her number in case I had troubles but I was still got very little sleep jumping at every sound that sounded like a door being unlocked. Apparently the kidnapping dont happen to americans they happen to eastern eurpeans that are told they are going to nanny and then get drugged and put into prostitution. Well I made it through the night alive and off to Tuscany...

Posted by touché 08:51 Archived in Italy Comments (3)

Here goes...


Well I leave tomorrow. The game plan is I am going to work with an Australian Italian couple, in a town called Cortona(think where they filmed Under the Tuscan Sun), who have two boys to restore an old farm house. They will be providing me with room and board, I'll be there for 9 days and then off to a "homeless shelter" per say in Florence. It's actually only a homeless shelter during the winter time and then they open up their space to travellers and couchsurfers so I'm staying for 5 nights for only 5 euros. I am hoping I will be able to meet up with the cute italian I met four years ago, we have kept in contact via facebook:) It still hasn't fully hit me about my year ahead of me but it def. will when I am by myself on the plane tomorrow. My whole travel trip is going to take 40hours, haha that's what I get for wanting a cheap ticket. But it will be good hopefully I will adjust to the time change during this time. Gosh is this blog lame or what, haha. I will keep it interesting when I am able to update it with info on Italy and the farm and homeless shelter with some pics, lucky you guys! Love everyone and hope to hear from you guys...

Posted by touché 18:46 Archived in USA Tagged air_travel Comments (5)

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