About Me

My favorite spot in Rome
Hi, I'm Rachel Apfelbaum. My last name translated from German to English means apple tree and it has become a nickname of sorts.  I am a twenty-something who has always been interested in traveling abroad long-term.  While I have always loved travel in any capacity, what really interests me is truly getting to know the people and culture of the place I am. 

I guess we do look kind of different
My past trips abroad have been relatively short-term vacations with my family or class.  My first ever international trip was to Mexico in the 7th grade, and I will always remember snorkeling on the reefs in Cancun.  When I was 17 my parents and I went on a Caribbean cruise; one of the most fun moments was spending a night salsa dancing at a local Puerto Rican club where I learned that I don't actually know salsa and a tourist didn't believe my mom was my mom.

The 18 euro gelato
Then two summers ago I made my first trip to Europe... my dad, brother and I spent one week on a cruise that visited different cities in Italy, France, Spain and Tunisia.  One of the things I learned in Portofino, Italy is that it is best to stay away from touristy shops, mostly so that you can experience authentic local food and secondly because my brother and I spent 18 euros ($25) each on a gelato!  However Portofino was my favorite stop on the tour, it is a beautiful seaside village who's name actually means Port of the Dolphin.  I also got to ride a camel in Tunis, Tunisia which definitely does not feel the same as riding a horse!

My last week in Europe was spent in a flat in Trastevere, Rome, Italy with my mom and brother.  When this was my favorite part of the trip, going to the local grocery store and feeling like I really lived there, I knew that I had to go back and spend a longer period of time somewhere so that I could really assimilate.

Portofino ("Port of the Dolphin")
Since that trip I have said that I would rather go back to Italy first than go somewhere else.  So when I hit a point where I wasn't sure which way to go career-wise (social work or counseling), I thought what better time to go?  This blog will follow my adventures around the world, starting with my upcoming second trip to Italy (this time 3 months!).  Here I will give you travel tips, great sites for meeting and staying with new people, and share all the crazy exploits I get myself into. 

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