Signal Mountain Blvd, Tennessee, Untied States of America
I used to drive past the Space House every day as I went up and down the mountain. When I first moved to this town, I thought it was a hilarious local quirk, someone’s unfortunate bad taste in architecture. As the years went by, I stopped seeing it as an eye sore. It became just another sign that I was coming or leaving home.
Via della Santucce, Cortona, Tuscany, Italy
UGA renovated this 15th century monastery to serve as dorms and art studios for their art study abroad program. I lived here three months, painting in the old chapel, learning to cast bronze, and exploring the town. The program included people from all over the country, with wide and varied backgrounds. We ate pasta and pizza, learned to drink wine and hiked the Tuscan hills. I read used books on the balcony above the front door and looked down into a valley where Hannibal himself defeated the Romans.
One day, I’ll go back. One day, I’ll paint the Italian light again.
Pont Neuf, Paris, France
I once sat on this exact bench on Pont Neuf with my best friend. We ate crepes at night as we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle like diamonds. I can’t remember what we spent those hours talking about, but I remember how happy I was to have her as my best friend.
Royal National Hotel, London, United Kingdom
I lived in this hotel for three months when I was in college. My friends and I had to camp out in the busy lobby to get the free wifi access we were promised. We used the window ledges and freezing temperatures in lieu of refrigerators, and those lucky enough to have minifridges in their rooms smuggled them in suitcases each time management inexplicable forced us to change rooms. One friend had to change rooms three times because of bed bugs, and one person’s shower spewed out only boiling water. Every morning trying to get breakfast was like navigating a great white shark feeding frenzy. At night, sounds of sirens and other street noise filled the rooms.
I have never been happier than those three months.