My International Staycation (inspired by my brother)

looking down on machu picchu

I’d be lying if  said my passport didn’t contain quite a few stamps. I’ve visited Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Italy and France. I studied abroad in college and lived for more than four months in Ecuador with an Ecuadorian family that spoke no English. i swam with the sea lions on the Galapagos Islands. I’ve hiked the Inca trail to reach Machu Picchu. I just returned from a week long honeymoon on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. So it really should come as no surprise to me that my brother would follow in my footsteps. Still, I couldn’t help but shriek in jealousy when I received an email from my brother outlining his summer travel plans, as nonchalantly as if he were describing what he needed from the grocery store. The email is below – I’ve shortened it and bolded the important parts for you:

Hello, hello!

As some of you may already know, I will be traveling abroad this summer. I leave today from Boston to spend a few days in Paris with a friend from Dartmouth. I am in Paris until Tuesday, in which I fly to Venice. There, I will be studying Italian, art history, and the likes at Ca’ Foscari University through a Columbia-affiliated program. The program ends in mid-July.

Around July 20, then, I begin my WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) adventures! I head down to the town of Policoro on the southern coast of Italy, where I will be working on an apricot farm through August 6. I am then traveling to the small town of Grosseto in Tuscany, where I will be working on a vineyard and olive grove until August 20 or so.

The final leg of my trip will take me to India, where my friend Olivia and I will be visiting our other friend, Mia, who lives in New Delhi. We will be exploring the city to its fullest (as well as nearby destinations like Agra). At last, I leave on August 28 for an epic and exciting plane ride home to New York …

… I hope you all have a wonderful summer.

Take care,


How will I be spending my summer? In my current home – Cleveland. I emailed my boss, telling that I’d be joining my brother for the net few months and hope he didn’t mind — but he just laughed it off. So I guess I will not be traveling to the Italian countrysite, helping farmers make olive oil or preparing grapes for wine. I won’t be jetsetting to Paris, tasting crepes, chocolate and cheese. And I can guarantee I won’t riding an elephant or having my own sort of Slumdog Millionaire / Bollywood adventure in New Dehli.

What will I be doing? In honor of my brother, I’ll  be spending the summer being as international as I can, right from Cleveland. Here’s what I’m thinking for my international staycation:

In honor of his trip to France:

  • Sipping champagne and indulging in some serious chocolate
  • Trying the crepes at Crepes De Luxe at the West Side Market
His various escapes throughout Italy:
  • Checking out the international art exhibits (and Italian masterpieces) at the Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Buying more gelato
  • Sipping Italian wine on my patio
  • Buying fresh olive oil, and using it in my cooking
  • Making my own pasta with my new KitchenAid pasta attachment
  • Going to the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy
His finished trip to India

How else can I celebrate all the international-ness that Cleveland has to offer? Do you have any traveling family members who you enjoy?

A Recent Pic of My Brother and Me

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