Sunday, November 21, 2010



My first day in Rome was hectic. I had started my journey from the Portland airport at 9am and after stops in Seattle and Paris, arrived in Rome at noon their time the following day. Luckily I'm not afraid to ask for assistance, because I had no idea how to find the train into Rome, or how to buy the tickets. After I got it figured out and a half hour train ride, I was at the Termini Station in the center of the city. I was to stay in a hostel that night called The Yellow and I had a few simple directions on how to reach it from the station. What I didn't know is how crazy the drivers would be, that almost no one would speak English, and the street signs are not signs at all but carved into the sides of corner buildings. With assistance from about five different people, while lugging around my stuff over cobblestone and dodging mopeds, I finally arrived at the hostel. It was super cute!

Once I checked in I got on the web to let everyone back home know that I had safely arrived in Rome. While I was in the bar doing that, I met a man named Austine Igwe from Malta. We became quick friends and decided to get dinner and see some sights before it got too late. He's very nice and easy to hang out with. We had fun walking around seeing the Republica and inside of the Santa Maria Basillica.

That night we drank wine and met about 15 people outside. I brought my guitar down and we played and sang songs, drank wine and shared stories from our travels. I will not forget that night. What a wonderful introduction to my trip!

The next day Austine and I met up in the morning, stored out things and went to see Old Rome. As you get off the metro and walk out into the air, the first thing you see is The Colosseum. It was breathtaking!! The energy that it puts out, and the way the light was shining through its columns was quite a sight to see. Of course all the surrounding arches and ruins were fantastic as well. We walked down and continued to take in the sights, piazzas and then finally Trevi Fountain. I made my wish, he made his. It was beautiful to see it and all the people gathered there.

Austine split up with me to head to the airport to catch his flight home and I headed back to the hostel to use the internet. On the way there I bumped into Lindsay. (we met the night before) She's a videoblogger from California. You can follow her Twitter @ twitter/lindzluvs She's great fun and since I realized I'd have to stay another night at the hostel, I got moved into her room and we visited at the bar and made friends with some guys visiting from Germany and had a nice chat. We got a bit of sleep than woke up the next morning and headed out to see The Vatican.

What can I say? It's overwhelmingly beautiful. I plan to post photos on my facebook.

The ceilings alone, (ALL OF THEM) were beyond anything I'd ever seen. The attention to detail in Rome is quite amazing.

After that and a bite of lunch, Lindsay and I headed back towards the hostel, we both had to head to Termini station, so she could head off for her side trip to Paris, and so I could meet up with the amazing Jack Stafford.

It's great fun traveling with Jack. His sense of humor never stops and he helps keep me confident during this new experience of hectic traveling.

That first night we played at a couchsurfers ( meetup in Rome. They fed us and we met a bunch of people. This is where I met Kisha who put me up that night so I didn't have to pay for the hostel again. She's a gal from New York living in Rome, living the dream really. She leads quite the life! She was good to me and helped with directions in the morning so I didn't get lost and miss the train.

Speaking of missing trains, Jack and I missed our first one, but luckily there was another shortly after. We made it to Reggio earlier than expected and while we waited for Giovana we did yoga in the square. Even though we got funny looks, it did us a bunch of good and it's always better to have a companion to do strange things with, then you don't mind the looks really.

Giovana came and got us in her car and we went out to her vineyard/b&b. What a beautiful piece of land! And that was in winter! I can't imagine how perfect it must be in season. We had an entire villa to ourselves. That night we sang a concert to about 25 people who all brought food, wine and great attitudes to share in the evening. They were a wonderfully attentive audience and all very nice people. I sold some albums, as did Jack.

The next day was a traveling day and it was train, train, walk, ferry.

20 hours later we landed in Barcelona. Now I lay here in a bed offered by Jack's kind friend Ilix. We will be here until Wednesday and then we will head to Madrid. We play a show tomorrow night.

Until next time,


Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm sitting here in the Portland airport. I have about 24 hours of flying ahead of me, and 6 weeks of European adventure. I'm excited and nervous. I've never been traveling alone before and although I will be meeting up with my friend Jack Stafford and tagging along with him for the majority of my time there, this is a big step for me. I love my friends and family and love spending my time with them. I also love the holidays. This will be the first Thanksgiving that I will spend without family or very close friends.

Enough of that! That's sounding way to whiny. I'm SOOOO Excited! My first week will be spent in Italy. I have three days off to roam around Rome. I'm ready to walk! I'm also ready to sing on the Spanish steps...

So I'm going to try and be faithful with my blogging and other media updates. I started a tumblr account today that is dedicated to my friend Steggy and our adventures together. You can check it out at

I love you all and will look forward to keeping in touch via the wonderful worldwide web.
xoxoemma hill