Gina Mussio

From the moment I decided to go to Accra, Ghana on my first international trip, I knew it would be difficult trying to nail me to the ground. South Korea, Mexico, and a study abroad trip later and I just recently found a place to “settle down.” In February, a month after graduation, I moved to Monza, Italy into a beautiful little apartment with a lease that ties me here for at least the next year.

I work as a freelance writer and ESL teacher when I’m not attempting to learn how to cook Italian food, drive stick-shift and fully immerse in la dolce vita.

My blog is a reflection on my time here, my travels and, hopefully, a deeper insight into the different cultures I encounter.

You can work pretty much where you want to – on the road, do you find it hard to work or do you just have fun and work when you come back home?

When I'm traveling the only "work" I do is to take decent pictures, excellent notes and live good stories. The only difference from other travelers is that when I get home I try to combine those three things into fun or informative blog posts to share with others. It's human instinct to tell stories – my travels are where I collect them.

Do you feel many people are envious of your lifestyle?

I do have some friends who often comment on my move to Italy and frequent travels, but most also know the difficulties and the courage it takes to permanently move to another country. I'm fortunate for a billion reasons, I try to remember that daily and help others remember it as well! Whether actually travelling or not, the idea and spirit of travel exists everywhere, even at home.

In which countries have people recognised you, even when you thought nobody would?

One of the most amazing experiences was revisiting an orphanage in Piedras Negras, Mexico six months after my first time there and having all the kids not only remember me, but remember my name. Though the trip had an lasting impact on me, at the time I could only hope I was making a difference for them by going, playing, listening to their stories. The children see a lot of new people throughout the year so the fact that they recognised me was an amazing surprise.

Which three items would you never travel without?

I can't say camera, because I'm known to leave it behind but I definitely wouldn't leave home without a pen, enough underwear for every day of the trip (even if a laundry machine is available) and face lotion – very exciting things, I know!

Are there any specific souvenirs or other things you collect from the places you go to?

I don't collect anything specific but my mom collects magnets so I try to get her one from each new place I go to. I've gotten them from street markets, train stations and one time from underground in a cave gift-shop!

Tagged as: Italy

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