S1 Episode 4

[deanna_nwosu]: All right we are live. I have with me, Jennifer Salerno and Jennifer. I’m so excited to have you with me. Just take a second and introduce yourself to the listeners. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

[jen_salerno]: Thank you, Deanna. I’m so excited to be here and I’m really excited for you to  start this podcast. So thank you for having me first of all, but um, yes, I’m Jen Salerno. Now, I am a twenty year veteran of the events in hospitality industry, Um done, hotel, CVB and housing bureau work, Um, I am actually  the host of my own podcast called The Room Block, It is the podcast where  hospitality and event professionals meet, and I am also available to host emcee or moderate your virtual or live event.

[deanna_nwosu]: Wonderful. That was a perfect little intro. I need lessons from you on my elevator pitch. We actually met through your podcast. I’m glad that you call that out. That’s kind of your your pet project, your baby of COVID, so so tell me about that experience and of how you got into it and how you’ve been enjoying it so far.

[jen_salerno]: Oh, sure. yes. Um. and this is really why I’m so excited for you too, because  it’s been extremely life enhancing. Um. I started the podcast last summer, so Um,September 2020, and really was a direct result of becoming furloughed, and eventually laid off from my previous industry position and it was a way to channel my energy. Um. I was not used to not working and not having a you know a purpose, so this was a way, a perfect way for me to to take that you know, frustration, um, and sadness and grief, and turn it into something very positive and at the same time stay connected to this beloved industry of ours, Um it, and it totally accomplished that not only to stay connected to my former network, but  enhance and expand my network so much like, like you said, you know, we met through Um, chatting about my podcast and I’ve met so many other wonderful people, So it’s been a wonderful experience.

[deanna_nwosu]: Yeah, I, I’m hoping some of your good juju will rub off on me with this project, but I totally agree, I feel like once we met, we just kind of hit it off and we’ve just been champions for each other ever since. So so glad to have you here today. So you know this show is all about travel and events and experiences, And I know you know through work you’ve traveled. I know I have. But what’s  typically your travel philosophy for pleasure? You know, what kind of vibe are  you seeking when you travel?

[jen_salerno]: that is a good question. So we haven’t taken. We’re not the type to take a lot of small trips. Um, and I think that has probably just in the past been schedule related. Um, we have two young children, Um, ages seven and ten, So you know, just with school schedules and the fact that life just gets busy. Um, you know we’re not the type to do a lot of like little weekends away. So uh, when we travel we tend to plan and then do like a big trip. Um, every,

[deanna_nwosu]: I love it. Go all out. Go big or go home.

[jen_salerno]: Yeah, exactly, and uh, you know, I’m very very fortunate to have Um, grandparents that live near by us, And so Um, my husband and I have gotten a chance you, we. we’ve done some awesome trips with the kids and some trips without them. Uh, which I know is, it may be unique for some parents with the younger children to actually have the chance to get away so low. Um, but we have, and it’s been wonderful.

[deanna_nwosu]: Wonderful. That’s pretty cool.

[jen_salerno]: Yeah,

[deanna_nwosu]: And, um, you went on an epic anniversary trip with your husband. But before we dive in what I thought, what I kind of took away immediately when you told me about this was it was for your twelfth anniversary. So why is the twelve year mark like? Typically, that’s not a milestone.

[jen_salerno]: well exactly, and you know I was going to write you and say a belated ten year  anniversary. The, The. The plan was to go for a ten. I don’t remember why we didn’t – something that, some kind of life got in the way. Um, But so we actually finally did plan it in twenty eighteen, and so went for our twelfth. So that was? it was just a a belated ten year.

[deanna_nwosu]: Ah gotcha. Sometimes life does get in the way right kids work, especially as event professional hospitality professionals. You know, we work when everyone else is on holiday, right where

[jen_salerno]: Yes,

[deanna_nwosu]: Um. we’re at the hotel, were at the event on holidays nights weekend. So a lot of times it is hard for us to take that time off now. Yeah, I loved when you mentioned earlier about having the the benefit of grandparents close by and being able to you know, maximize on that opportunity and get away just with your husband.

[deanna_nwosu]: I would love to remind any listeners out there who are married and maybe you have young children to rely on your village. if you can, when you can because marriage is for life, and typically kids are for eighteen years, so keep that in mind, if you can get that time with your spouse, your partner to definitely take advantage of it if you can. So Yeah, I want to circle back to this anniversary trip that you took. So you and your husband went to Europe and you went to two different locations. So how did you land on where you want to go?

[jen_salerno]: That’s a good question. I’m trying to remember exactly how it went down, but  Um, we have been to Europe before, Um. Husband had been to Italy twice. We have been to Italy together. Um. I had been to Paris separately. I went with my mom and sister, my aunt, and so Paris, first of all, was a place that I really wanted my husband to experience. So if he went to art school, he’s very artistic. He appreciates architecture. and and you know all of that, so I thought like you have to see this. But it’s very hard for us to travel to Europe and not go to Italy, because we just love it so much. Um, and haven’t you know, haven’t gone that many times, but it’s just either. There’s so many different regions within Italy, We just it’s hard to not go back and to explore more. so we decided to you know, my my mother very much encouraged us to take like two weeks or ten days or however long it was like. not just a week like please. If you’re going go, you know ’cause we’re not going to go like every year and she

[deanna_nwosu]: right?

[jen_salerno]: was right, So um, so we decided so yeah, just pick pick these two destinations and I think Yeah, we. we flew between the two. Um. We didn’t take a train, but yeah, we. we were trying to debate what how we would travel Between two we flew, and it was very easy to do that. and um, yeah, so that’s that’s how we landed on the two.

[deanna_nwosu]: So you were in Paris, And then what area in Italy were you in?

[jen_salerno]: All right. It was. uh. A. I just loved this area and I I hesitate to tell people because it was like, Don’t go. Keep it. No, I’m kidding. No, I’m

[deanna_nwosu]: You can be general right, like in this kind of region, but not

[jen_salerno]: kidding. I could.

[deanna_nwosu]: specifically this city.

[jen_salerno]: not at all there. So there there’s a region of Italy, called the Cinque Terre and it is five,  uh, like five fishing villages, and it’s on the northern coast of Italy. I think they call it the Italian Riviera, So it’s not that far from like the French Riviera as just south a little bit. and it’s not you know, fancy like that. Um. So these are. there are like five villages and they were like built into the cliffs, Um on the ocean, and or some kind of sea. I forget what the ea? Which sea it was, but, Um, I mean, you can’t get. There’s no car access. Really, you can. you can get there by a train and there are hiking trails that connect these five villages.

[jen_salerno]: So uh, a lot of people end up taking day trips to them from Florence or wherever nearby. And we witnessed that while we were there, you we be. We actually stayed in one of the villages called Manarola, Uh, we stayed there for five nights, so I’m so glad that we did that instead of just doing the day trip, because we were fully able to immerse ourselves into that experience. But it was fascinating and kind of sad to see how hordes of people would descend upon these little villages. Walk around, do their thing and then leave. I mean, of course it’s it’s tourism and that’s the city’s relying on that, but I don’t know them when they were built in the thirteenth century. It was intended for thousands of people to come and walk those streets at the same time. You know what. I’m saying.

[deanna_nwosu]: it’s so funny. You mention that, because you know during the height of covid, seeing all these very touristy locations that were desolate, you know there is no one visiting them, and you could see what would happen if tourism was removed in terms of helping the infrastructure, helping the environment. And you know tourism is great for economy. It’s great for jobs, but you know there’ two sides of the sort right there. There’s other things that come along with, so that you mention that of you know, just because the town might like all the dollars that are influxing with these people that are coming in,  is the infrastructure meant to support these like you said, hordes of people coming in everyday. I find it interesting that you are kind of in Paris. This cosmopolitan of you know, renowned for just being super trendy. Very, you know a large metropolitan and then you went to this, which are these remote villages. Fishing villages sounds a little more rugged. Kind of talk

[jen_salerno]: oh yeah.

[deanna_nwosu]: about. like the extreme of those two, Um experiences of converging

[jen_salerno]: yes. Well it, and it’s funny when I think about it. Maybe that is our actual true travel philosophy because we’ve kind of followed a similar pattern in the past, like for our honeymoon, for example, Uh, you know, we went to Hawaii and we started um on Oahu and Honolulu, and then we ended up in Maui, like you know, so kind of go  from like the more city feel and then go to like a more remote feel, And we’ve done that with other trips in the past, too, So I think our our philosophy there is that we’re coming from Chicago. We’re coming from a big city. so it’s I think it’s kind of like how do we integrate? How do we? How do we ease into a  vacation? Go from big city to big city. Explore that, get our walking in. You know, and it in Paris. It was. It was five days of of just walking and eating and drinking, and I mean, just but so much walking and just exploring. That’s what we like to do. is just like, hit the ground and walk

[deanna_nwosu]: Mhm,

[jen_salerno]: and we did that And it was it was wonderful. But so then, after a few days or five, six days of that, then it’s like Okay, Now we’re now we’re in full vacation mode. Now we can ease to the next destination That took a little more chill, a little more calm. and and go for that, But it, it did feel very different. That’s true.

[deanna_nwosu]: I like how you talked about the emotional journey of leaving home. You know, the hustle bustle of everyday life of work, schlepping kids to school and all that that entails than going to another metropolitan area. So you’re on vacation, but you’re kind of still. You know, on alert of like your day to day and then like you kind of wore yourself out essentially  to to get to the point where you could really kind of really relax and kind of decompress. I love how you guys basically kind of planned it according to your mood and your emotions, and what you guys knew you would need at the beginning of the trip versus the tale end of that, so I would love. I would have to kind of hear from you if you could like, like close your eyes, bear with me for a second, Jen. Now you’re in the hustle and bustle of Paris. You guys are eating you exploring seeing all these things And now you’ve flown to the Cinque Terre region of Italy, and you open your eyes, You step out of the airport. What’s your first impression?

[jen_salerno]: well, I guess I have to back up and say we flew into, I’m trying to remember. Now I think we flew into Milan and we took a train because the only

[deanna_nwosu]: okay,

[jen_salerno]: way to only way to get there was to take a train and it was a little stressful because we like behind and the train schedule. So the actual, that whole journey was the stressful travel day. But so I’m going to say we get off this tiny regional train that actually ends up getting us into the Cinque Terre, and I was so happy that we made it before the sun was down. Because it, so it was, it was sunset, but the sun was not totally down. and so I mentioned that these are cities, villages, I should say villages built into the cliffs.

[deanna_nwosu]: Mhm,

[jen_salerno]: So we get off the train and we’ just looking and like Okay, we need to walk with our luggage up. I mean every road like a steep, steep ramp and stones. and you know like they’re not like road we have here. Um, and it, if we’re we’re going to try to find our little you know vacation rental  for the next few days And it’s like a matter of you know, you have to call the guy and he was waiting for us because we had to actually arrive a little bit late. and he was like, Oh, I’ll meet you down with the key, you know, like a real key. you know. it’s like it was. It was so fantastic to finally get there because it was such a stressful travel day and then you arrive and you’ I couldn’t believe. I kept saying And my husband’s like, Stop saying this. It sounds. what. Why would you say I? I can’t believe this place exists

[deanna_nwosu]: right,

[jen_salerno]: because it was like out of a storybook. I mean, just like people live here. If  people live here. It it was like just this little fantasy village. So, um, I hope I’m describing it correctly, or or, or giving you the answer that you’re seeking. but I mean, really, just for going from the hustle bustle  of Paris, The the various train rides throughout the day, and then finally exiting and just seeing this little beautiful village where you were just like. Oh, we finally made it like, But this then to make it and to see the sun setting, and the it was like Wow, Like now we have arrived This. This is now a vacation.

[deanna_nwosu]: you’ve, you shared some amazing photos with me and I love the one like the sunset and I feel like it really encapsulates that area because you see the the rows of of fishing boats. I imagine it just has like the smell of sea air constantly, and you know sea gulls, and just I don’t know about you, but any time I go to the water, whether it’s a beach or a lake, for you know, type of water experience. it is so soothing and calming. Just um, the the hearing the water rush, but also like the the sea breeze and the wind and the smells that come along with that. Um. I read a study recently that just talked about. You know all the physical uh benefits of just living near a body of water and just one of them is just. It’s actually stress relieving  just because of the sights and sounds of living near the water, so I can imagine that getting off that tiny regional train after a full day of travel.  Um, and for anyone who is, you know like us, Americans. and if you haven’t  traveled to Europe, it’s just it’s different because things are smaller. The cities are very much more congested. So it’s not built for for traveling like Americans, with five pieces of luggage like we’re used to. You know, it’s not built for that. It’s cobblestone roads and the cars are smaller as well. You know the people are smaller. so um it it is. I totally understand. I actually just got back from Spain last week and it was definitely, Um. I had that experience of you know, lugging luggage through the train. and yeah, it’s stressful and so for

[jen_salerno]: Yeah,

[deanna_nwosu]: you to kind of like go through the slog of experiencing all that and then finally not only to arrive to this beautiful quaint village, but in time for sunset like that, just sounds like the epitome of of reaching the mountain top.

[jen_salerno]: Yes, it was, and you you could say pun intended because it was. it was up there.

[deanna_nwosu]: You were on a mountain.

[jen_salerno]: We were on a little mountain. but um, and then just that you know Italian hospitality, it, they was so gracious even though we arrived late. But you know, just because it was like a you know husband and wife, they owned this little place and they just like we’ll bring you to your your unit And it was just like this little apartment, Um of super ce, Like weird, right, like you know,

[deanna_nwosu]: Yeah,

[jen_salerno]: Not like a hotel room that we’re used to, which is exactly what I wanted. You know. I just winded our our little place and it was it was wonderful. There would be a little place to sit outside, and every morning you know we would wake up by the sound of the church bells ringing. It’ just like again, Like am I really here? Does this place really exist or am I have I died and gone to heaven? Like what is this?

[deanna_nwosu]: exactly exactly. Yes, so talk a little bit about the people. I think anyone that loves travelling or attending events and experiences a large part of that is you know, sharing that time in that space with other human beings, right, the human element. so tell me a little bit about, like the owners of the of the facility, the waiters and waitresses. Was there anyone during that trip that just really you know, left a mark on you and you’ll never forget them.

[jen_salerno]: Well, there is a really funny story that I have to share. Uh, this is out of Paris. Actually, this is the first part of that trip, so I sent you a photo of a waiter. That was, uh, I think our last night in Paris, and he. after we were sitting outside and after you know a little bit of wine as one does in Paris, look at this waiter and I’m like Man, he looks just like Aaron Rodgers, You know, like the Packers’ quarterback. I’m like. I’m going to ask him if he has ever heard that before,

[jen_salerno]: and my husband’s like, Oh, he’s a Bears fan. he’s like, Don’t even talk about the Packers. But so I say, “has anyone ever told you you look like Aaron Rodgers?”

 And he goes, “Eh-rin Ro-geh?” and, and and um I, we were. just we just laugh about it like forever. because just the way he said “Eh-rin Ro-geh” (Aaron Rodgers), I mean, it was just like a silly thing, but um, and I have to say, the  it was fascinating to experience hospitality well in Europe. in general, I will give the nod to Paris, though, Oh, like the my husband was, I hate to say this, but I just have to say it because he kind of like I mentioned. He never been to Paris and he kind of had that preconceived notion. He said. Our French people going to be rude. You know. that’s what I’ve always heard. I’m like. I’d No, they’re not. but you know, so we go and like the first night we were there in the way staff, and it was like within like two seconds my husband was disarmed because they’re lovely, so gracious. I mean

[deanna_nwosu]: Mhm, Mhm, Yeah,

[jen_salerno]: it is a profession you know to serve out there and they take it very seriously, and so generous, and and like I said, just gracious and welcoming. so Um, everybody was like that honestly, even more so in Paris, then um. our the region that we were in Italy.

[jen_salerno]: People were very gracious and wonderful. I felt like they were a little weary, and I and I did. I do want to mention that again, just because of the how I was struck by the onslaught of tourists that would come in during the day, Um. But in general everybody was just very gracious. But but yes, that, our our innkeeper, you know, just so so sweet, so wonderful. You know. we were all trying to understand each other. I mean, they could speak English, but you know it’s like not super easy. Accents are very strong. And um, you know, but they’re just just so helpful. so welcoming. you know. Here’s different restaurants. Go to this place. Tell him I sent you. you know that kind of thing, so

[deanna_nwosu]: What I love about Europeans? Um, because so many of them are bilingual, trilingual. even a lot of times they’ll say. Oh, my English is so bad. I tell them your English is way better than my Spanish or my French, or my. You know  their you know, Uh standards are a lot higher in terms of Uh language acquisition. then, I would say, definitely in North America, at least for Um, you know the United States and I know Canadians. A lot of them speak French and English, but Um, 

[jen_salerno]: Mhm,

[deanna_nwosu]: that’s what I really respect about a lot of Europeans is them speaking two, three four languages and having a good enough concept that they can speak it and have conversation. There might be some grammar or some minor issues. But the fact that you can comprehend that much and and share that with someone else. I just I’m in awe, every time because it’s just it’s amazing to me so.

[jen_salerno]: agree.

[deanna_nwosu]: If I go out of the country sometimes that’s my favorite aspect of traveling is if I can share a moment with someone in their native language and like, I feel like it’s just the most essential part of human interaction. Just communicating in a on a very real  level. Um, so yeah, so I, I totally understand what you mean in terms of you know using Google Translate as much as you can, or, but trying to also kind of speak. You know whatever Italian or French that you can, and and share that with the local people Um, talk a little bit more about that. I love how you mentioned. I don’t know if I “love” what you mention. but I appreciate that you mentioned, maybe some weariness of those who are around you. Um, what? what were the Um other tourists like? Did you kind of sense that they came from certain areas or was it really an international crowd? Or what kind of sense should you get in terms of the tourist impact on the local people? And you know their interpretation of that and how they received it.

[jen_salerno]: what. What’s always so interesting about traveling to Europe is that when you meet other tourists, you meeting them from all over the world, you know. it’s  not just not just meeting Italians in Italy. You’re meeting Australians and you’re meeting Germans. whatever. So that was really interesting. and so we did.

[jen_salerno]: Strangely enough, we did end up meeting Um, a lot of Americans, more so in when  we were in Manarola, in in the Cinque Terre area, but we. we tend to not do a lot of organized activities when’ on in vacation, you know, like I mentioned, we just sent to walk a lot, but I’m glad that we did take a chance in Manarola to take a a boat tour. And so it was a small. Um, just  because I mean like the sea, which is exquisite. We got to get out there. We need to get down that water, so we did take the chance to book this little boat tour and there was maybe like five couples on the boat, so it wasn’t huge, And then our, you know, the the captain and his name was Dan Ye. and he was a riot. I mean so good like just doing his doing his boat tour thing and told tell great stories, but you know, had this funny Italian away about him. Um, they’re just very engaging, very good storyteller. But I did have a chance to ask him, as we were coming back, Um, from wherever we were out visiting. I said you, How do you all feel about the tourism here? I was really curious

[deanna_nwosu]: Mhm, Mhm, Mhm, Mhm,

[jen_salerno]: and he said, You know. of course we’re so blessed, you know, to have such a beautiful place to live. And you know he had, he had left to go elsewhere, and then he ended up coming back to to work with his brother, and they both owned these. you know, these boat tours. But he said, you know he mentioned. he said it is hard on the locals.

[jen_salerno]: Um, in particular, like I mentioned, you know the day trippers that come in in the massive tours. Because yes, they’re coming in, but they’re not necessarily  utilizing or experiencing the restaurants in that city. They’re walking around, but they’re not staying in the hotels. They’re not eating in the restaurants. They’re just. They’re there to like sight, see it and then leave. so in a way, they’re not even always contributing to the economy of of the area. And he told us a story of Uh, a local family who came outside and there were a whole bunch of people just like eating. Um. you know, they had like packed sandwiches or something from somewhere else. Um, and they were just eating on someone’s front lawn.

[deanna_nwosu]: oh,

[jen_salerno]: You know, like it, just like. Can you imagine if that were you and you have this? You know, this placed your family home, and then you just have tourists like eating in your front yard, so that that hurt me a bit. just because I was able to witness first hand what it was like to be in that village waking up in the morning and having it be empty and so peaceful in the middle of the day. It was like you had to get out of there. Almost that’s when

[deanna_nwosu]: right, right,

[jen_salerno]: we took our chance to go hike up in the hills. like Be just crazy, then to come back in the evening and have it be just peaceful and quiet again. So  it was an interesting thing to experience.

[deanna_nwosu]: Yeah, I think it’s so important that when we do travel outside of our native area or home that we’re conscious of how we’re affecting those around us That you know, if you’re just traveling for an intram shot, if you’re just traveling to to see things, but you’re not actually exchanging with the people. Um, I think it’s really irresponsible. Um, you know, not just from like you know, like you said  the infrastructure standpoint, but also just kind of rude. You know you’re  in their home. you’re in the place where they reside. So if you can’t find a way to connect and share with the people, cause what I find too. A lot of times when I travel Is they want to ask me questions about where we’re from too. You know, they may not know someone. They might know people from America, but they may have never met someone from Ohio. so they want to ask You know what’s the weather like in Ohio, And you know what are the people like? And so it’s not just about us going and gleaning from the locals and taking from them, but also sharing our little piece of the world and leaving that behind too. So, um,

[jen_salerno]: Yes,

[deanna_nwosu]: I, I love the interchange of travel when it is is truly an exchange of, you know, people to people. That’s kind of the best part of it to be. so I appreciate you mentioning you know their take on how they’re affected.

[jen_salerno]: Mhm. Yeah, I mean, I don’t mean to put it. Uh, put a negative spin on it, but it is just like awareness. Maybe

[deanna_nwosu]: Yes, absolutely,

[jen_salerno]: Mhm.

[deanna_nwosu]: absolutely. Um, just a couple of more questions. I’m I’m really loving this conversation. but I see a lot of outdoorsy types of photos. So I’m assuming when you guys were in the Cinque Terre region that you are doing a lot of hiking. And and kind of what was that experience like for you, too,

[jen_salerno]: Okay, so yes, we did. Um. At the. This was October October time frame and it was interesting because Paris was, I don’t know. maybe like in the sixties. At the time fifties sixties. it was about it was. It was seventies there. So I was happy about that because it was great weather for hiking. But okay, these hikes. I, I’m not a super experienced hiker. Like when we go to Wisconsin and hike, I mean, it’s like pretty like level ground. For the most part, this ex, I, I think I sent you some photos and it, I remember taking them as we kept going up and up and up like these were straight up these these mountainous areas and

[deanna_nwosu]: Mhm,

[jen_salerno]: it was just step step steps. and I’m just like I don’t even know how many steps this is. But like you’re just getting up there, and it’s through the amazing thing about these hiking trails that connect these different cities is that you’re actually going through like people’s yards in a way like. And, I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean, it’s just like you. you’re You’re walking these trails and then there’s just there’s homes just right next to you. I mean, So you’re really seeing these? what it’s like to to live in in. It’s a very um, heavy agricultural area, so I mean they grow. They, of course, their grapes, and there were olive trees everywhere, so they were walking and you would just go through like an olive orchard, And there was a part when we were ending a hike, We went from one one uh village to another and we were coming back now down. and just I mean, it was just at this point it was just all kind of like loose rock, but

[deanna_nwosu]: Mhm, Mhm,

[jen_salerno]: like big like you could step on them. So I just remember, like trying to like step, and like, like dance my way down because it’s steep and I’m like you know you, just you kind of have like momentum when you’re going down a steep hill. but you have to be careful with the steps. But there were these trees above us and they. I don’t know what kind of trees they were, But the bees. There were thousands of bees buzzing within them like honey bees. like, so I wasn’t scared. I was a little scared, but you could just hear’ this intense sound of the buzzing out the bees and the smell of the flowers, and I’m like dancing down these rocks. It was just like a really interesting moment right where’

[deanna_nwosu]: right, right,

[jen_salerno]: Just like again. Where am I? We’re not in Kansas anymore.

[deanna_nwosu]: definitely

[jen_salerno]: But yeah, but it was Um, the hikes are amazing. they’re They’re hard. They were hard. I thought I thought I’m not seasoned, and like I said, but they, just very rocky, very steep, narrow cliff like, but then rewarded when you get up into a way up high and you can overlook the sea was gorgeous.

[deanna_nwosu]: when you describe that to me, Jen, you talking like of that buzzing bees is kind of in the background. It makes me think while you’re climbing that song Flight of the Bumble Bee in the background by kind of like that real fast symphony song, and just kind of like your emotions as you climbing higher and higher in altitude and a really steep cliff. But with that what I would love to know from you is if you could pick a song to encapsulate this uh trip with your husband, what song would it be? And why?

[jen_salerno]: I guess I’d have to go with Paradise by Coldplay

[deanna_nwosu]: Oh nice.

[jen_salerno]: because that’s what it was. That’s what it was to me. I didn’t you know I was trying to remember. I’m like, Did I have a song going through my head while I was there, Because you know that always happens right and I don’t know. it was a almost three years ago now, So I don’t remember if if that was happening at the time. Although I feel like it might have been because it. I just, I keep mentioning it, but you know you’re just so astounded by where you are and like  like H. again, How can this place be real? How can I really be here? So I would say that that has to encapsulate it because it was paradise. It was paradise for us. Um,

[jen_salerno]: I mean, I, If if I could spend all of my days doing that and no offense to my  children, I love my children. And but people would say you were gone from your kids for so long or whatever it was like. maybe I don’t know twelve days or something total. and I’ like, didn’t you miss your kids? And we said we miss Italy now more than we missed our kids when we were there. Like no offense, but like it’s just, it was just such a different kind of experience to to be in that setting to be out of you know, not working. not having to think about anything else other than what we were going to do that day. and I’m  very lucky to have a wonderful traveler companion and my husband. Like, we just, we really mesh on on everything that we want to do. You know, we, we like to eat at the same time. We like to wake up at the same time. I mean there’s. It’s not like we’re unbalanced so we’re just. we’re just in this constant rhythm of just like doing the next cool thing that we want to do. It was paradise. So

[deanna_nwosu]: It’s almost like it’s almost like solo travel, but but not like. You guys have the same mindset, but two two two different people on the trip together.

[jen_salerno]: yes, and solo travel is not something I have done yet. Well, Aside from work,  that’s a little different, because it’s not really super solo as you know, but um,  that would be my next. Uh, my next goal. For sure, a solo trip.

[deanna_nwosu]: Well, maybe if you, if you uh have a solo trip, we will have you back to kind of get your insights on how that goes.

[jen_salerno]: Yes, I, I feel like that would be a huge challenge. Like an incredible reward. I know it would be very rewarding, but I also feel like it would be challenging just to navigate by yourself

[deanna_nwosu]: I, I am in extrovert, and I did surprisingly much better on a solo trip than I ever would have thought. so, Um, definitely, for anyone who’s considering it, I wouldn’t um be too intimidated by the thought of being alone because it might actually surprise you.

[jen_salerno]: And you did Mexico, right.

[deanna_nwosu]: Mhm. Mhm, Part of it was in a group, but then I did do a portion solo. so Um, It surprised me how much I really enjoyed that time alone, so I definitely want to put that pull again for anyone who’s thinking about a so trip to try it.

[jen_salerno]: yes, I, I will.

[deanna_nwosu]: Well, Jen, thank you so much for joining me today. I really enjoyed this conversation. Can you tell the audience where they can find you and where they can catch up with you outside of this podcast episode?

[jen_salerno]: Oh sure, thank you. Oh, well, I, uh,The Room Block Podcast, is I have a website for that, So it’s roomblockpodcast.com. Um, I am on Instagram and LinkedIn at both, Uh, @jtsalerno personally, Um, or Jen Salerno on LinkedIn, and then um Room Block Podcast has a company on both Instagram and LinkedIn, So you can find me in all those places. personal website coming soon. not quite yet, but be on the lookout.

[deanna_nwosu]: nice, nice. Maybe, by the time this airs, it will be live and will be glad to, you know include that in the show notes.

[jen_salerno]: all right, that should be my goal. That would be. That would be a good driver, so thank you,

[deanna_nwosu]: perfect. Well, thank you, Jen, and thank everyone for listening. Have a great rest of your day.

[jen_salerno]: Thanks Deanna.

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