I got back to Mexico City six days ago after a trip to Italy. It was an idyllic trip, pretty much what you would imagine as a traditional Italian vacation. Amazing meals overloaded with as much cured meat and cheese appetizers as you could handle, followed by delicious truffle-laden pasta courses, and somehow finding room for panna cotta or tiramisu.
I’ve been in the Italian countryside years ago (Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Verona), but Umbria was new to me. The region is full of castles and medieval villages on the top of hills. People settled in these places around 1000 B.C., and it feels like much hasn’t changed since the early Christian era.
My friends Andrea and Dasha rented one of these beautiful castles (with all of the modern touches like AC, appliances, and an awesome pool) and generously hosted us and several other couples. I knew some of the people, others I met for the first time. Everyone was extremely nice and easy/enjoyable to be with. The daily schedule was either exploring one of the other towns and having one of the above-mentioned lunches, then a feast at night at the house, or lounging at the pool with lunch at the house, and then dinner out in a town. We also visited a cool vineyard, the children of the couples put together an impressive play that they performed in the church part of the castle, we spent two days sightseeing in Rome, had dinner/drinks at a day/evening outdoor lounge on the beach near Rome, and went to a rough but authentic old school pizza place in Rome.
It was a perfect trip to detach from my normal life. It also reignited my interest in doing more foodie things in Italy and France. I’m more of a future focused person, and haven’t been as interested in places that feel set in their traditions like many countries in Europe. A week of eating recipes and foods that have been perfected for centuries though is undeniably enjoyable.
I’ve been able to sustain a good split with my trading and writing. It’s allowed me to enjoy and appreciate both things more. I usually write now with a 25 minute timer app (Pomodoro Technique) in the background, and write or sit there until it goes off. Slowly building my concentration and focus. It’s surprising how much I can actually write in those short bursts when I’m focused though. The strategy with that technique is to work 25 minutes, take a five minute break, and repeat. But you can’t do anything else during those 25 minutes. No email, phone scrolling, etc. With two Pomodoro’s of 25 minutes each I can write more than two hours of distracted writing. I previously wanted these huge blocks of uninterrupted time to get started writing knowing I might get stopped, but now it’s a lot easier to get going with that small of a commitment. 25 minutes of writing is no joke either. I could have written countless stories and novels by now if I’d started a long time ago.
I put 1-3 hours of trading research in daily too. I’ve been able to find more micro-improvements that keep adding up, and it’s been a good few weeks. Everything with that is in a good spot at the moment. It helps a lot to test ideas and improvements without creating financial mental pressure of “needing” to get some massive project going.
Otherwise I read, have coffee with friends, and just normal life stuff. I went to an impressive local CrossFit competition to cheer on some friends called “The Black Challenge” here in CDMX this past weekend. It was bigger and fancier than the first CrossFit Games (the world championships) competitions that I went to 10+ years ago.
Johanna and I are on the last episode of the series “The Terminal List” on Amazon Prime. A friend of mine recommended it, and even though it got panned by critics, it has completely opposite rabid positive reviews by normal people. We both loved it. It has action and excitement, but also a really cool paranoia thriller story too. Nothing about it is political to me, but for some reason I think that’s what’s driving the polarizing reviews. The main character is a Navy Seal, has an American flag, etc. and I think people conflate that with a political position thus wanting to love/hate it. It’s really fun entertainment though. It’s also a perfect length. One season, eight episodes, so there’s no “Game of Thrones” commitment or anything like that.
With that I’ll get back to normal life and leave you with some pics from the trip to Italy. Enjoy these last days of summer!