September 9, 2009

More About Me

Welcome To  
The World Is My Oyster!

Where to start? Well, I'm Julia, and my dad is Italian,

My dad and me, January 1985 (I was about two days old)

and my mom is French,

 My mom and me, July 1986

(yes, they both have silly accents). But they met and got married in the United States, so instead of growing up in France or Italy I was born and raised in Cambridge, Ma. At first it sounds less exciting and exotic than living up in Europe, but they do call it The People's Republic of Cambridge for a reason, so it wasn't exactly a boring place to grow up.

Oh, and I also have a little brother. His name is Lucas, and when he was small and annoying I used to call him Mucus. But now he's twenty-three, twice my size, and can totally kick my ass, so I don't call him that anymore.

 Lucas and me, Santa Marinella, July 1992

Lucas, Harvard Graduation 2009

Because both sides of my extended family still live in France and Italy, my parents wonderfully took the time to teach us both French and Italian growing up (I say wonderfully because I know too many first generation kids who sadly don't speak a word of their parents' languages). It was sort of confusing - since my dad only spoke to us in Italian, my mom only spoke to us in French, and they spoke English to each other - but we managed, even if I occasionally mixed up the languages and made some funny international sentences.

They also managed to bring us to Europe every single summer to spend July in Italy with my dad's family, and August in France with my mom's. Though growing up I knew how lucky I was to be able to travel so much, as an adult I've really realized what an incredible privilege it was to be able to go to Europe every year, and to grow up really knowing my extended family even though they lived so far away.

The beach house, Santa Marinella

This connection I've had with Europe throughout my whole life is what really made it easy to move there when I finished school. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After spending eighteen wonderful years in Cambridge (aka Harvardopolis) I decided that I needed a change. So instead of sticking around in the North East (college central) I chose the Great White North, and went to university at McGill, in Montreal, Canada where in four years of school I spent equal parts of my time:


Charlene and Me, popping bubbly for my 20th birthday


Skiing at Mont Orford

and studying.

So I don't actually have any pictures of me studying, but this is me graduating (and getting bopped on the head by the dean, in a bizarre McGill tradition), which proves that I studied enough for them to give me my degree.

After graduating, I wasn't ready to go back to the US. I didn't have any job prospects and I wanted to spend some time in Europe. So I moved to Rome in July 2007, where I taught English (first in a language school then privately) and worked at UNICEF. 
At the Colosseum 

 Hugging a Fiat 500 (my favorite car)

 In Tuscany

My original plan had been to spend a year in Rome and then a year in Argentina (to brush up on my Spanish - which I studied for ten years - and learn first hand about the culture, since I minored in Latin American studies). But that didn't really work out. I ended up staying two and a half years in Rome (partly for work, partly for love) and I only managed to arrange for six months in Spain - which was good for learning Spanish, but bad for learning about Latin American culture.

But oh well, beggars can't be choosers and with an EU passport it was easier for me to stay in Europe.

So I moved to Madrid in January 2010, where I lived until June, teaching English in a private elementary school and learning Spanish.

 Me and the kids
(dancing to London bridge)

 My co-worker Amanda and me

In July I went back to Italy to spend a month with my family, including my cousins and their kids.
 Playing with Duccio

I'm currently getting a Master's in International Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in New York City (with a concentration in Human Rights and a specialization in International Media, Advocacy and Communication), and I plan to graduate in May of 2012. I've only been at school for a year and already I'm realizing what an honor and privilege it is to have the chance to study here and meet all of my amazing classmates. I'm very much looking forward to this last year, but I'm a little bit sad it's going by so quickly!



As for the future, I really can't say what will happen after that. I'm crossing my fingers for a lucrative career in human rights advocacy, but I think if you're making big bucks in non-profit someone is doing their job wrong.

But even if I don't end up rich, I'll be happy with any job that keep me globetrotting.


Aside from clinging to my pipe dreams, I love reading (if a book is any good, I will devour it in a day), cooking and baking,

eating what I cook and bake, traveling, wandering around beautiful cities taking amateur photos (I'm trying to get better at this one), vintage Italian cars (especially fiat 500s), and a cold glass of crisp white wine on a hot summer evening.

I love having a good laugh!

In Brescia, at my cousin's wedding

I love blogging, trying modify my blog and getting confused in the process, watching bad horror movies (and other kinds of good movies), Italian food, French food, Japanese food, Indian food... well, all kinds of food, really. So you'll find some recipes here. And I've recently discovered a passion for sewing, so there will definitely be some of that too.

Anything else you want to know?

e-mail me!


Kristen - Dine & Dish said...

It sounds like you have had an incredibly rich and full life so far!Can't wait to hear about what comes next in NYC.

shopgirl said...

I loved reading this story about you. I agree with Kristen. You definitely have had a rich and wonderful life for someone so young. I look forward to reading more.

Rambles with Reese

Abigail Guegain said...

So interesting! I moved to France from America a little over a year ago and that's about all the traveling I can handle. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for the opportunity but I don't think it's for me!
I like your blog, looks interesting :)