Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 18 - Does Food Help Happiness?

This is a question that keeps coming back to me. I love cooking, I love sharing recipes, I love eating, I love doing all the above with friends and family. Ok, I'm Italian and this could be cultural in a way.
The other day I was playing with my nephiew and nice and we decided to cook together, We did 3kg of pizzas and focaccia bread. We were preparing the dough, playing with it, following the recipes and sometimes adding some exceptions to make it more original. Then we cooked it and shared it with the all family. Everyone was happy.
Do you think that food helps happyness? I truly believe in it, but I'm wondering if you do think the same...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 17 - It's My Life (by Bon Jovi). When Music Matches Your Feelings!

A few days ago I was coming back from the airport. I was driving my car with the radio on. Suddenly the song "It's my life" from Bon Jovi started playing. I so remembered how much I used to like Bon Jovi as a teenager (I know, this says it all about my age and I'm totally fine with it :).
The song starts saying, or better Bon Jovi starts shouting "It's my's now or never..."
I started smiling, a lot. And yes, this was totally representing my feeling at this time!

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life

Thank you Bon Jovi! You made my day :)
Enjoy the video!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 16 - How Big is the Generation Gap, Technologically Speaking?

Lately I've been discussing with my nephiew (13) and niece (9) about a crazy idea: spending the summer together and studying how to write mobile applications for android. Obviously the idea is to study and practice and then to start offering them to the android market for free. I totally loved the idea and they also did (my niece already started writing her ideas on her own diary, btw, she's the creative director).
This makes us closer than what we are in other circumstances where I'm the adult and they are the kids. In this challenge, we're all at the same level (meaning zero :) and technology actually makes the generation gap quite insignificant, or at least, this is my impression.
Do you think that technology make the generation gap smaller or bigger?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 15 - Reading Eat, Pray, Love while in Rome. Did you like the book?

A few weeks ago I bought a book in the Frankfurt airport: eat, pray, love.
I didn't know anything about it, I just heard there was a movie with the same title. I started reading it while I was still working, 15 days before starting my gap year. I kept reading it quite slowly, just when travelling and I found myself reading it while landing in Rome and heading to Naples afterwards.
I felt the same freedom of Liz (the writer and main character of the book-movie) while in Rome and Naples. The book is probably a bit superficial, but on the other hand, is more on the feelings you might have when you're free and experiencing time with yourself and what you learn and are, and especially what you want to be, if known. I liked it and felt the same way. This also reminded me when I was working and living in Argentina. I kept asking questions "why this", "what does this mean". A good friend of mine told me: "why are you keeping asking questions like you were a child?". I loved it and I felt it's just a good way to learn, like being a child and discover. It's all about being open and asking yourself and others questions on both basic and complicated topics.
Have you read the book? Have you liked it?

This is the movie trailer, just as a reminder :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 14 - Feeling Freedom and Follow the Flow

A few days ago, I was on a plane to Rome. I had just a hand luggage and was pretty light (and I was actually proud of it!). As in EasyJet they allow you just one piece of hand luggage, I put my purse inside the trolley before the boarding. I was ready to go in the plane with just a book, a bottle of water and my passport in my hand, nothing more. Once I boarded I was told that there was no space for the trolley and that it was to be shipped. I said "ok, no problem" and took a whatever sit in the plane.
During the flight I realized that I just had a bottle of water and a book with me and my trolley could actually get lost, stolen or forgotten in Milan or wherever by the carriers. I suddenly thought: how can I do if I don't get it back? The second thought was: I'll manage, who cares. I've my water, book and passport, I will survive :). I smiled at this. I'm usually a quite calm person and solution driven, but in the past I would have been a bit worried about this. I would have found a solution, for sure, but on a tight schedule loosing something at the airport means a lot of troubles. Especially if there's your phone/wallet/everything else inside the bag. But this time I didn't care at all. And it was a really nice feeling....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 13 - What is Success?

This is a question I like: what exactly is success?
I looked in an online dictionary and found the following:

success [səkˈsɛs]
1. the favourable outcome of something attempted
2. the attainment of wealth, fame, etc.

I really liked the definition N.1, tough I think we always refer as in N.2.
If I think of success I immediately think of somebody with a great career, money, fame.
I always thought it was cool. Now that I stopped a bit, I actually changed a bit my mind. In my opinion it all depends on our objectives, whatever they are. If you have small/big objectives and you reach them, then you're successful in what you do. This could or couldn't bring wealth, fame and so on. This is a plus, not the only objective itself.
That's my new vision of it, what is yours?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 12 - Is writing a book still an option in this era?

In your Gap Year, you're supposed to have a lot of free time (well, so far I didn't really experienced it...). So one idea I had was: why not to write a book.
But just after I had this idea I questioned myself: "is it so impactful to write books not in the internet era?"
Is there any other better way to communicate and impact other than a book?
What do you think?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 11 - The Power of the Network

The world is extremely small. Yes it is. I've just spoken to a friend who I met in Brazil, who's now in Switzerland and will be in London soon, he'll be having the MBA with another person I know, same class.
What does it mean? Besides being happy that friends meet friends and create new versions of the network, it means that there's a powerful energy you should totally care about in the network.
First of all, you're never alone. The network you created will help you thinking, share ideas and give you feedback. It doesn't work on its own, it all starts from you. You first create a network and feed it and then you can start asking opinions. I just think it is great. I wasn't aware of it when I started creating a great international network of friends and professionals. But I really think it's amazing!
What do you think, is the network so important for life and work?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 10 - Gap Year and Social Network, does it mean we always look back?

I have been away from my previous life, that I like to call Paola 2.0, from 10 days now. I kept quite active in Facebook, YouTube and I'm now thinking to reactivate my old Twitter account. And yes, I've been writing everyday in this Gap Year blog. My question is: is it valuable to use all these social networks and communicate so much? Is it positive and forward looking or it is just looking back at the past?
What do you think?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 9 - Do We Exist Because of What We Do or Because of What We Are?

I know, this is again about work, but I can not stop thinking about this question.
Do we think of people because of what they do or because of what they are?
It happened to me that people changed dramatically their mind about me when I changed job in the past. First I was in the non profit sector and people weren't that impressed of my work (although I had a lot of responsibilities and impact), then I joined Google and YouTube and apparently I become a genius and everyone was kinda judging me differently. I am the same person, but the perception was different. I'm curious to see how it goes now that I'm in a gap year, meaning no labels could be attached to me. It's just me :).
So, the question is: do we exist because of what we do or because of what we are?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 8 - When to start thinking about work?

I have been in my Gap year since a week and somebody already asked me: so what are you going to do next?
Well, in my opinion that question is always in the back of my mind, but ideally I'll give it some space later on.
My opinion is that you need a fresh mind to get started again and get great ideas. If you just keep focused on job opportunities, what's the point of having a Gap Year?
When do you think a gapyearer should start thinking about work?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 7 - Internet resources for Year Gappers

While checking on the internet I found a cool website for Gap Yearers:
There are quite a lot of useful info for who has taken or is planning to take a Gap Year :)
Do you reccomend any other website?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 6 - The "Julie & Julia" effect

I saw the movie "Julie & Julia" on a plane from Lima to Frankfurt last February.
As soon as I started my Gap Year a week ago, I kept asking myself if I need a challenge like the one Julie had. Or better, should I just find my way as Julia did? Or, should I just follow the flow?
What do you fellow reader suggest?

Here comes the trailer of the movie, in case you haven't seen it (btw: Meryl Streep is amazing, as always ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 5 - Blog, Vlog or Flog?

I've been trying to understand what's the best way to communicate during this Gap Year, but at the end I haven't decided yet.
Is it better a blog, vlog or flog? Or a mix of the 3 of them? I know, blog is quite the past, but the question keeps being: is a vlog or flog better?
Any ideas?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 4 - 1x10 is the Golden Rule

1 gap year every 10 years of work should be a golden rule.
Now, think how many years you work in your life: 30 or 40. Right. Think how many days off for holidays you get in a year. From 10 to 30 days off a year, depending on the country. Right. Now, how many days of holidays do you really enjoy a year? You might take some days off for some burocratic staffs, to help your family or friends or to visit family and friends. Now, the question is: how many days are you really able to enjoy without any external influence? 50% of them?
Well, if you can enjoy 50% of them, this means that it's from 5 to 15 days off a year.
Right, this becomes quite little if you consider that you work the rest of the year.
While doing this calculation and considering that everyone of us will be working 30/40 years, I decided that I'm really worth it to have a gap year every 10 of work ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 3 - Gap year doesn't mean pure relax

It's true. I haven't stopped a single hour in these 3 days. The plan ahead of me seems already quite busy.
Today I'll be doing some sruffs in Frankfurt and then I'll go by car to Italy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 2 - The Head Hunter Call

9.15am the phone rings. It's a head hunter. She mentions that it's a great opportunity. Before she starts, I tell her "thank you, this is really cool, but I started yesterday my gap year, and my free time has the highest priority now". I felt so good :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 1 - The Taxi Driver greatings

I was going to the airport. Said goodbye to everyone. Prepared my luggage. A couple of last second hugs to close friends. Then on the taxi. I arrive to the airport and the taxi drivers says: "have a good weekend of travel". I didn't answer, but smiled at him and thanked. It's going to be much more than that. But it was good to hear that as a goodbye from a total stranger. Bye Ireland, Bye Dublin, Bye Google and goodbye my lovely friends.

Wecome to MyGapYearLive

Hi to you!
I just started my gap year and I want to share this with you, yes you! But not only. I would like for MyGapYearLive to be a place for everyone on their GapYear to share experiences and tips. And for the ones thinking about a GapYear, this should be a good place for inspiration and to gather information.

Welcome to this MyGapYearLive!