Fat Bologna – post number two!

Please check out my second post on fat bologna.com here!

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My New Site

Dear readers and fellow bloggers,

I am closing this blog, as I’ve decided to move on to a more exciting opportunity. I’ll be reviewing restaurants, giving travel suggestions and hotel information for any potential tourist looking to visit Bologna, Italy. I hope the blog will be up and running with several posts by the end of February. I hope you consider visiting, you can see the site here, or fatbologna.com Happy reading!

Tip 1: Save for A Dream Vacation

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Maybe you’ve stumbled across a beautiful destination in a magazine, or read one of those “Places You Must Visit Before You Die” lists, and thought, “Wow! I have to go there!”
But the same old always happens. You get caught up in paying the bills, student loans, or whatever, and your ideas get tossed on the back burner.
It’s hard to save for a romantic escape to Venice or a bike tour in Amsterdam, but it’s very do-able.
My advice? Visual stimulation. Many people will tell you to open up a travel savings account. That didn’t work for me. When I was running low on cash, I took it out of my savings fund. However, last year (and this month) I’ve made a travel box. Since it’s both my boyfriend and I who are planning on travelling together, we are going to add the same amount of money to the box each month. If someone does something unproductive (ie. starting a fight about which movie to watch) we add 2 euros to the box.
What makes the difference for me are the pictures. Last year, I had a visual board of Spanish beaches that were on my desk next to my bed. I would see these every morning and was reminded that it was something I really wanted to do.
This year, the pictures of my s.o and I will do the trick. It’s much more personal than a savings account and a daily reminder. We decided to put around 50€/person a month in the box. That’s 1000€ by next summer. It will give us more than enough for a trip to Santorini, Greece. Even if you’re traveling alone and put less in your own box, you will still have a substantial amount by the time you reach the intended travel dates.
For those of you that think saving a little cash is impossible, it’s really not. Cook dinner at home once in a while instead of going out. Have 1 beer rather than 2 or 3. Make a coffee at home rather than spending money at a Starbucks or cafe. Don’t buy another pair of shoes. After all, a dream vacation is worth suppressing temporary temptations.

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

Finding a sense of contentment has become difficult in a society that advocates sadness. We focus so much energy on the pursuit of happiness that we risk losing it during the journey.

If I ask you, what was the happiest moment of your life?
You won’t tell me about the time you bought a new car, or your new phone, some may say a job promotion, but hardly that either.

The moment you most felt alive was with another human being – your children, your partner, your friends, your pets. This is what gives everything meaning and makes you feel alive.

What good is it to watch the world from your new television, when you can’t be there – to smell it, to hear it, to live it! The following year will be devoted to being grateful, rather than searching for something missing.

– I vow to make my time meaningful. I want to be scared. I want my beliefs and ideas to be tested. I will do something each day that will help me grow, even in the mundane tasks of daily life.

– I will not look at my small apartment and wish for more space. I’ve got a bed! Yes, a wonderful bed that waits for me every night. How lucky I am to have a bed when so many people do not.

– I’ve got so many books hugging the shelves around my bedroom. Yes, books! Wonderful books that will teach me new things and fuel my imagination. I can read a new chapter everyday – a gift that must be appreciated, as many don’t have the ability to read, or a place to curl up with the pages of a fantasy world.

– I can’t buy a new computer, or a new phone – but let me take a look at the one I have. Filled with photos of my favorite people. How wonderful it is to be able to have pictures with so many wonderful people who love me. My friends, and my family, and the love of my life! Many people in this world have been torn away from their loved ones – yet I’ve got loved ones in different countries around the world! What a beautiful thing.

-I will learn another language so I can speak to new people. What a privilege it has been to study and continue to learn after so many years. Some individuals don’t have access to education, yet I was in school until I turned 22! What a wonderful opportunity.

-I’ll save for a trip to somewhere new. It’s amazing to be able to discover so many new places, and see the beauty the world has to offer. These are the memories that will be mine forever.

Most importantly, I will be present. Present to those around me and grateful for every opportunity that has been presented to me. I will not lament for having less than others, for I am already so rich, in so many ways.

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