Tag Archives | Cinque Terre

How Cinque Terra Saved Our Relationship

One of our fave locations is one of the gems of the Mediterranean: Italy’s Cinque Terre. Clinging to the rugged coast lies 5 cities: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each unique village has its own flavor. During our recent trip, we really gained interesting perspectives on travel and relationships. We’ll share a few with you. Please make sure your belts are low and tight and the tray tables are up…

Its harder than it looks

Our trip began fairly uneventful. When we say uneventful, that means we fought like cats and dogs, got lost, and saw some amazing Italian countryside. We drove from Nice, France, through Genoa, Italy to a meek town called Levanto. Levanto is a great place to base your explorations of the coast. We arrived late, in the dark, and luckily found our little bed and breakfast. The next morning we headed out armed with our Rick Steves book, 15 liters of water (see fight #45), and a passion to see some amazing sites. We were not disappointed.

After watching hours of tour programs in preparation for our trip, we “intended” to saunter to each of the villages along the trail that connects all five of the cities. We made it to two. It was tough! We opted to take the easier method of getting to our next destination: the ferry. Relationships are so similar. We all expect things to go smoothly. That’s what we see on TV. Right? Committed relationships take work. Expect the paths to be bumpy. Expect things to not go according to a fairy tale playbook. Roll with it. (or push them over the cliff and collect the insurance money.)

Hold Hands

The trail that connects the cities is rugged. There a ton of ups and downs. Ocean mist blows up and the path can get a bit treacherous. We had to rely on each other at times to make a safe passage. It’s the same with our relationships. When one person is on the emotional high ground, we need to lend a helping hand to our sweetheart. We need to be fiercely loyal to each other in the face of rough patches. Sometimes a lifting hand or word means more than we know.

Make Your Own Map

Needless to say, a location as popular and as scenic as Cinque Terre, there was a ton of people. Restaurants were crowded, the tourist shops were a plenty. At one point, we had enough. We struck out to get lost in one of the towns. We did. It became one of the highlights of our visit. We wandered in the narrow allies climbing up, up, up. Sometimes we need to leave the well-intended advice of all our family and friends behind and set out on our own. Be yourself. Make your own map.

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Enjoy the Vistas

Words cannot describe how beautiful the sea is along Cinque Terre. It is breathtaking. The sea breaks against the cliffside of each of the cities. Each city’s zoning requirements must be pretty strict! The colors of the homes create a collage of cool. At one point during our journey, we sat at an eatery perched over the ocean and gorged ourselves on fish. During the lunch, I put down my spoon and just took it all in: beautiful surroundings, sitting next to a gorgeous woman, eating incredible food. The dolce vita! Take those moments, cherish them. You will remember them for the rest of your life. I will.

This is not Germany

At the end of the day, we made it to the last city. Hooray! We elected to take a train back to our car. Italy has given the world much: Italian sodas, spaghetti, square toed men’s shoes, the world’s best fashion designers, and a bunch of other stuff. One of the country’s few weaknesses is punctuality of its trains. They are not what you would call “on time” or “on any kind of schedule”. So, on the platform we sat. And sat. And sat. Being late in the day, we were not exactly … talking to each other. The lesson learned here is patience. The train will come in its own time. In relationships, we want things to improve right now. Each of us is human. Regardless of how we try to change the other person, change takes time. Follow the sage advice of the wise Italian-ish philosopher, Axlito Rosetta of Guns N Roses: Be patient.

So that’s our trip in a nutshell. We truly hope that you found something that was meaningful. We highly recommend Cinque Terre. The water, the rugged coastline and the scrumptious food are not to be missed. Happy fighting & traveling!



7 Questions with Kali & Christy of Technosyncratic


We are continuing our series of 7 questions with some of the coolest couples out there traveling.  This installment we highlight Christy and Kali of Technosycratic.com.  They are currently driving around the us in an RV!  We will look for some more great fights from them!
Blog:  Technosycratic.com
Twitter:  @Technosyncratic
1) How many countries visited between the two of you?

Only six countries thus far (Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Canada, India), because most of our traveling has been around the United States in our motorhome.  There are just so many cool places to explore in our home country!  In another six months we’ll be moving abroad and traveling more extensively through other countries, though, so I imagine our number will increase quite a bit over the next two years.
2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?

Kali:  Any reasonably non-annoying person with an English and/or Australian accent.  I love accents, so listening to someone whine like a Brit would probably make whatever they were whining about infinitely easier to tolerate.

Christy:  I would totally travel with Wes from Johnny Vagabond for a bit; he’s hysterical and always manages to get himself into the most random situations.  I’ve never met him, though, so he’d probably be like “who the heck is this random person following me around?”

3) What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

Kali:  India.  That’s a large “destination”, but we find the whole country captivating.  We visited Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra on an academic trip, and it was fascinating to meet with community leaders and develop a deeper understanding of the societal conditions we would have otherwise just seen in passing.

Christy:  I really loved Cinque Terre in Italy.  We visited with a friend of ours and the three of us hiked the entire way between the five villages.  I have never seen so many stairs in my life; for weeks after that I would have a panic attack whenever we came to stairs!  But aside from that little downside the area was beautiful and the gelato was abundant.

4) If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

Christy:  While wandering around the super sketchy part of Naples on our first backpacking expedition, we stumbled on a tiny little pizzeria where we had our first Italian margherita pizza and limoncello.  I thought the limoncello was lemonade, silly me, so I gulped it down and almost died.  But eating that pizza was like tasting the divine!  We vowed to return, but didn’t write down the name and then got lost on our way home.  For days afterwards we for searched and searched for that little Napolian pizzeria, to no avail.  I refuse to die before I’ve tasted that pizza again, so I’ll find it eventually.

Kali:  On that same backpacking trip we also went to Marseille, where we found this little Tunisian restaurant that had phenomenal mediterannean stew and couscous.  We couldn’t finish it all, so we combined the couscous and stew and asked if they had a container for us to bring it home…. and they yelled at us!  We don’t speak any French so we couldn’t figure out why he was so angry… maybe because we mixed the dishes? He thought we hated it?  I don’t know, but he was really, really upset and he wouldn’t let us take our leftovers.  We left the restaurant empty-handed and traumatized, but (while it lasted) the food was spectacular!

We love cheap, hole-in-the-walls with authentic ethnic food, and hunting down the best local joints is an important part of our travel routine.  Other favorites include Il Vegeteranio in Florence, Dottie’s in San Francisco, and a little Ethiopian joint we never caught the name of near the train station in Rome.

5) How do you pick the places you visit?  Spontaneous vs. planned?

Kali:  Spontaneous

Christy:  Planned.  Wait a minute….

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

Kali:  People need to queue the eff up!  Seriously, people, lines are a brilliant invention, and they make everything go smoother (I’m looking particularly at you, over-the-hill French matriarchs who look down your noses at young backpackers’ naive attempts to form an orderly line when you waltz into train stations at the last minute and push your way aboard before those of us who’ve been waiting for hours, but who don’t speak enough French to dare question the goings-on around us, realize what’s happening!).  Ahem.  And world peace, of course.

Christy:  On a serious note, one of the most horrific things happening in the world right now is the ongoing trend violent gang rapes in the Congo.  The extent to which sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war is devastating, so I would use my theoretical powers to address this issue (and its underlying systemic roots).  But until that happens, you can make a difference now by donating to Doctors Without Borders, a great organization offering medical assistance and support to the women being affected.

7) You knew it was coming… what has been your greatest travel fight?

Kali:  It has to be our infamous brawl in the Paris subway.  We’re usually pretty tame when we argue, but this fight was fueled by exhaustion and frustration and mean Parisians who kept giving us the wrong directions while we lugged our heavy backpacks all over the city on our first day in Europe (combined with growing terror as time wore on and we realized there was NOWHERE to spend the night for under 300 euros).  We took all that out on each other in the subway while trying to figure out which line to take.  There was much screaming involved on our parts, and much disgusted eye-rolling involved by the people walking past us.

Christy:  It certainly wasn’t our finest moment!  We try to be nice to each other even when we’re fighting, but every civilized thing we’ve ever been taught just flew out the window.  At one point we were so angry we just sputtered and glared.  We find it quite entertaining to think about now, but at the time it was a hot mess.  We were pretty ridiculous.