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About Me

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. You're probably wondering who the person behind Journal by Assia is. 

You've come to the right place since I am going to share my story with you :) 

Since I was little, I've always enjoyed scribbling my thoughts and feelings, short stories and matching these with my own pictures and drawings. This is why my bookshelves are full of diaries and scrapbooks that are like a hand-written version of my blog.

As I grew up and went to secondary school, this passion of mine continued, but it wasn't until my first year of university that I got to understand how the Internet could really help me channel my interest. It was then that I started a Facebook page that I later turned into a blog. From writing short commentaries on movies, books and a few pictures I'd taken around the world, it evolved into a platform with longer posts and only pictures of my own. 

And now the question I always get asked: why in English?

Well...here's where it gets a little bit more personal. 

I grew up in Florence, Italy, but my family isn't so culturally typical... I have Middle Eastern background from my dad's side, and I sometimes practiced English with my mum, who's actually Italian. And since my Arabic is colloquial and Italian isn't the most spoken language worldwide, I opted for English, which is a very accessible tool for my relatives and friends worldwide. I also just love the English language, and even though English is my main working language, blogging is a great way to practice writing after university. 

What are you passionate about?

I love travelling, but unlike other bloggers I don't feel the need to travel to faraway, exotic destinations right now. I am happy to wait and see what magical trips the future holds! I want to get to know other cultures through an authentic lens and not just from visiting standard tourist attractions and following a banal guide book. This is why in my travel posts I aim at sharing my impressions as much as I can and keep track of my experiences around the globe as a journal, rather than an objective account. 

I enjoy reading a lot, though I have to say I have recently become quite lazy. My favourite genre is historical fiction; specifically, I love stories set during the Second World War and stories set in Europe and the Middle East. In a conversation, I'll always try and let you know what my current read is about, perhaps dragging you into a long account of the plot of a novel. Of course, you'll have to tell me about what you're reading as well. I just can't help it!

I also love reading self help and spiritual books, as I feel that they help me reflect on my daily intentions, mindset and life purpose. For the past six years or so I have been making room for mindful rituals (mainly meditation, but also yoga, reiki and more) in my daily routine. Every day I dedicate some time to my personal development and spiritual journey by reading, writing and meditating. More recently, I have been practicing the law of attraction. If you're also into any of this, let's chat about it and exchange our experiences!

I love languages and always have. A day well spent is a day when I have spoken more than one language (I'm sure most linguists will relate). Italian and English are the languages I use the most, both for work and personal life. I use Spanish and French at work, while Arabic is family-related, though lately I have been using it for work as well. 

I also love spending time near the sea - walking, reading, writing or just laying on the beach. 

What do you do?

Until two years ago, I was a modern languages, then an interpreting student living in the U.K. These are the paths I considered following back then...

While a few years ago, I considered becoming a full-time blogger, I noticed that it would involve a lot of time spent in front of a screen. And despite my love for writing, I think that real life isn't to be spent in front of a screen but with the people you love and outside, in the city or in nature. So, I took that off my list. 

At some point, I also considered becoming a part time yoga instructor. Until some time ago, yoga was a key part of my morning routine. I would wake up, unroll my mat and stretch for a good 10 minutes. My love for yoga was born in Bristol and it increased in Barcelona, where I started considering attending a yoga teacher training. By working full-time, I realised the importance of having a balanced lifestyle, and this would have been a fantastic opportunity to do so. Yet, due to some physical issues which I thankfully no longer experience, I would get hurt easily, therefore I started a different fitness journey. So, I took that off my list too!

After graduating in modern languages, I did an MA in conference interpreting and translation, a path I’d been fantasising about since I was in secondary school, that I hadn’t taken seriously though until my final year of BA. This was one of the most challenging years of my life, as it took a lot of hard work while taking a toll on my mental health as well. Somehow though, I managed to finish the course and become an interpreter and translator. 
In my final year at university, I also realised how much I missed Italy; from its food, to its weather and people, and most of all I missed my family. So after graduating, I decided to do what most international students fear the most – going back home to one of the European countries with the lowest employment rate, despite most people telling me I was making a huge mistake. And I can tell you, finding work there did not happen overnight! But I’m glad I followed my gut instinct, because I’m so happy to be back. I am now working as an in-house interpreter at a fashion school and as a touristic interpreter on guided tours, and learning how to dance salsa and bachata fusion. There are still so many things I want to learn but so far this is how I've been keeping myself busy. Have I been lucky? Not at all. I’ve just worked really hard, keeping in mind my goals and dreams! And now... back to blogging!

You can follow me on Instagram and keep updated with the blog. Thanks for reading, I hope you have a good day :)

2 comments:

  1. I'm LOVING the new blog layout, Assia! Your blog feels like such a breath of fresh air to me, I enjoy reading and looking at the photographs so much :)

    -Lor
    www.acozyspace.org

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    Replies
    1. Lor, I'm so happy you like it! That's exactly what I aimed at with the new design, so it's great knowing it's working with the readers :)

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