My name is Christina Hubbard and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Now, you should know that I am 23 and a college graduate, but I’m still trying to figure things out. At first, this made me very apprehensive, and sometimes it still does, but for the most part, I now like to think it keeps my life interesting.
A little background info for you: I grew up in Los Angeles, more specifically, the Valley. I am the oldest of three children and the oldest of all my cousins. I feel like that’s necessary to share because it explains a lot about my personality (and some of my only-child tendencies). My family is Italian, Catholic and abundant. And on top of that, we all pretty much live within a five-mile radius of one another. Anyone else who comes from this type of background should understand what I mean when I say this also explains so much about who I am.
After I graduated from high school I hopped on a plane and headed more than half way across the country to Loyola University Chicago. This was quite the surprise to everyone, including myself, considering I had applied to twelve schools and eleven of them were in California. Scared to death, you would have thought my mom was dragging me to the Midwest, but eventually this turned out to be the best decision of my life. I ended up having the college experience that I think everyone should be given the opportunity to have.
My junior year at Loyola I studied abroad at the John Felice Rome Center. It was there that I fell even more in love with the Italian culture and all things European. If moving to Chicago was the best thing I ever did, studying in Rome for a semester was the second. This experience gave me a passion for travel that I will have for the rest of my life. I look back at pictures from my time abroad and my heart literally hurts from missing it so much. Italia ha cambiato la mia vita per sempre.
This leads me to how I came up with the name for this blog. “Va bene” is an Italian phrase that translates to “okay, whatever or oh, well.” It was something I picked up pretty quickly in Rome because Italians use it ALL the time. Whenever something would go wrong (which seemed to be always) they would just say “va bene,” “oh, well!” It was just a way of saying, “it is what it is.” Life happens, shit happens, but you just have to move on. Get over it. All is well. Just go eat some gelato and smile.
I grew to love this little saying because I feel like it’s a great attitude to have toward so many different situations in life, and it’s something I really had to work hard at embracing. Being in Italy had such a profound impact on me anyway; I thought “va bene” was a good way to sum up a lot of what I learned while I was there. Basically, don’t sweat the small stuff. Take a step back and a deep breath. In life, things are going to happen that are out of your control and they usually aren’t as catastrophic as you may think they are in the moment. I feel like “va bene” are words of wisdom for everyone, and the perfect message for me to send through this blog.
Anyway, after I graduated from college in 2009 my gut was telling me I needed to stay in Chicago for a while longer. This choice mainly had to do with the incredible group of girlfriends I had in the city who had become my second family. I stayed for a year and after that my heart was telling me it was time to move back to California. I said farewell to the Windy City and here I am.
Okay, enough about me. As you’ve already probably guessed, I talk too much. Hopefully this gives you a better sense of who I am and what I’m about. Enjoy the blog!