My Heart in Two Places

Experiencing and cherishing beauty

Monday, September 15, 2014

For me, beauty can be transmitted through photos and words, but the feelings that bubble up inside of you when you experience beauty are personal and powerful. Even though I live in Florence and just outside of Paris, I am exposed to a lot of beauty. I am very sensitive to my surroundings and crave beauty because it inspires me, emotionally moves me, and touches me deeply. [Read More]

Basking in Florence’s energy

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I plan out my weekends in Florence like most people plan out their vacations. I make mental lists of what I want to see, eat, and visit. The past couple of days, I’ve only been able to go out for brief periods of time due to my work obligations. At night, however, I’ve been walking around the piazze and streets to reacquaint myself with my beloved city’s energy. [Read More]

A part of me is always in Florence

Friday, August 29, 2014

I miss Florence. Not in a way that doesn’t allow me to be happy elsewhere, but in a way that doesn’t allow me to ever forget my beloved city. I don’t hold my breath when I am away from Florence, but almost. These six weeks in California and France have been way too long for me. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed my time away, but I still miss Florence and mostly how I feel when I am there. I long to return to my beloved city’s embrace where love flows so easily in and out of me like my breath. [Read More]

Testing out the third arrondissement

Friday, August 22, 2014

After my three-week stint in California, I wasn’t able to settle back into my “normal” life right away. The day after I returned, my beau and I moved into my friend's apartment in the 3rd arrondissement between the Marais and the Place de la République. For six days while she and her family were away, we lived in their Parisian apartment in a typical Haussmann building. Even though I wanted to ground myself after being away so long, I was willing to put that off so we could stay in Paris. [Read More]

Unplanned trip to the US

Friday, August 15, 2014

A month ago while I was in Florence, I received a phone call that you dread when you are an expat. My brother called me to tell me that his wife had passed away. I quickly made plans to return to California as soon as possible so I could arrive a couple of days before my sister-in-law’s service. After living so many years overseas, these calls are the ones that make being an expat difficult. No matter where your loved ones live, you can’t always be there so you do what you can. I wish I could spend more time with my loved ones in California, but it’s not easy when an ocean separates us (and they don’t all live in the same area either). [Read More]

Cheering for more than one team during the World Cup

Saturday, July 5, 2014

When you are an expat, you walk a fine line between two worlds: where you were raised and where you are currently living. It’s not like you can hold one world in one hand and the other in the other hand; you have to hold onto both worlds with both hands without crushing either one of them. I have the added benefit (and added challenge) of embracing three worlds: Italy, France, and the US. I try to embrace fully the world in which I am right now without negating the other two. At times, it can be a bit challenging especially when there is some international sporting event. For me, the challenge comes around every four years for the World Cup. [Read More]

Florence as friend, teacher, and lover

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My trip home to Florence went by so quickly, but I gained so much this time around. It’s interesting that each time I return home and then go back to France, my understanding of both city increases. Not in a way to define each one better, but to open myself up to discover more around me, to appreciate the details, and to understand that the world is beautiful in all of its complexities. [Read More]

The joys of being in Florence

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The time I spend at home in Florence fills me with so much joy. While I enjoy my time in France, I am always so happy to return to my beloved city. The minute I walked into my apartment on Wednesday, my body relaxed and I felt a wave of joy ripple through me as I looked out onto the Arno. The words that inspired me to move to Florence the first time always come back to me when I return, “You are home.” [Read More]

Either you're in or you're out

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

That’s exactly what I feel about Paris. When I first started coming to Paris three and a half years ago for work, I was staying in the city. I had taken a liking to the 7th arrondissement because I was able to run around the Champ de Mars and admire the Eiffel Tower every day. Since I moved in with my beau a year and a half ago, I have been living only two miles out of the city. But those two miles might as well be two hundred miles. Paris’s energy can’t be felt outside the city. [Read More]

Paying homage at Père Lachaise Cemetery

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thirteen years ago today my mom passed away. It sounds like a long time ago especially so much has happened in that time; however, with so many memories still vibrant in my mind, it seems like yesterday. To pay homage to my mom, I decided on going to Père Lachaise Cemetry. I had never visited the cimitière (cemetery) before although I did hear about many of the famous people who are buried there, like Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Honoré de Balzac, Colette, Oscar Wilde, and many more. [Read More]


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