Michelle's Life

Roaming Rome in 24 Hours

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Rome, one of the most iconic cities in the world.  A city at the tope of everyone’s bucket list.  Rome, the very first city I discovered in Europe has quickly is usually everyone’s first stop in Europe.  Depending on the type of traveler you, Rome could be visited by plane, cruise or train.  I’ve visited Rome every which way and it’s a different feeling each time.  

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            When Rome is discovered by land there’s usually more time to immerse yourself in the culture, in the sights, and let’s be real the food. Pasta in Italy just tastes better.  When you visit Rome by cruise ship there are few hours to visit the city.  The point of a cruise is to give you a little taste into a lot of destinations for you to decide if it’s a place you’d like to return. A cruise is also a great way to see a lot of places in in a short period of time and on a budget. 

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            There is no way you can see all of Rome thoroughly in 1 day I’ll tell you the fastest way to get all of the sights done quickly in 1 day. The port of Rome is called Civitavecchia, which is roughly an hour and a half from the city of Rome.  The most economical and fastest way to get there is by train.  The train from Civitavecchia drops you off right in front of the Collosseum.  There’s not enough time to walk into the Collosseum but you can admire it from the outside and take your picture and go take a walk through the Roman Forum.  

            From the Collosseum we took a walk to Pantheon. Fun fact about me this was my 4 visit to Rome and I had never visited the Pantheon before.  At the Pantheon, we decided to grab a bit to eat from a hidden restaurant & eat right on the steps while half of the group went in. 

            Next on the list was the Trevi Fountain, being the middle of November, which is considered off-season.  It made all of this fairly easy.  There weren’t many tourists doing the same things we were.  The streets weren’t as crowded, which made it all a lot easier to get around and the sites were more enjoyable than before.  The Fountain of Trevi was basically empty compared to my first visit there.  We were able to visit the fountain toss a coin and make our wish.  

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We also decided to make a quick stop at the Spanish Steps.  When I visited the first time, the Spanish Steps were so crowded you couldn’t even go up the steps.  There were people sitting literally all over the steps.  This time they were basically empty.  Perks of travelling during the off-season.  After this it was a rush to find a taxi to take us to the train station to get back to the port.  If you aren’t as rushed as we are I suggest the bus.  Public transportation is very reliable in Europe; we were actually waiting for the bus when we realized if we didn’t make it across the city in the next 30 minutes we were going to miss our cruise.  After that it was a seamless run through the train station to catch the last train back to Civitavecchia. 

Meet Michelle of 193 Life

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Michelle Antunez | Blogger and Owner of MCH Vacations, Inc |  @  michelles193life

Michelle Antunez| Blogger and Owner of MCH Vacations, Inc | @michelles193life

Hi I’m Michelle, of 193 life. I am 30 years old and on a mission to see the world.  This year I decided to dive into blogging as I have a lot to share!  Before we get to the good stuff, I wanted to give you a little history about how I got here and what you will get out of following my 193 Life. Read on to learn! 

- Safe Travels, Michelle

just book it!

L to R: Hector (Dad) , Maria (Mom & business partner), Michelle (Me)

L to R: Hector (Dad) , Maria (Mom & business partner), Michelle (Me)

My first trip to Europe was in 2010 and that’s when I got the “Europe bug” as my mom likes to say.  The following year I was helping a client with a trip for their honeymoon and I saw an incredibly affordable cruise to Europe which to this day, I believe was an error on their part,  and I decided to give my name and $100 deposit . I just booked the cruise without giving it a second thought.  My sister and I had a “gap semester” before we could graduate with our bachelor’s degree and I remembered about the cruise I had booked months ago . I talked her into joining me on a European adventure.  

Since we typically file with frequent flyer miles and try to find the cheapest prices, we ended up spending 21 days and traveling throughout 10 countries on our own.  While we were on that trip she had mentioned how great it would be to 1 day move to Europe for a few months in a specific country. The trip ended, life moved on and we never brought it up again.

making dreams a reality

Later I moved to Charlotte, NC for law school my sister, Caroline went on to teach 1st grade. I ended up getting sick and having to leave Charlotte and we both remembered that day we mentioned this dream we thought was unattainable and decided to do some research.  It turns out that 6 months later Caroline took a leap of faith and went off to Brno, Czech Republic and I went off to San Remo, Italy.  We both stayed in our respective cities for 1 month and traveled throughout Europe before and after our total stay in Europe was 3 months.  Dream accomplished.

One day I mentioned to someone that I had a dream of wanting to see the whole world and not just the main tourist attractions, but I wanted to visit every country in the world to see how they work to see how they’re different.  I was told it was impossible so of course being as headstrong as I am, I said I’ll do it! Watch me.!

As of 2011 I have made it happen.  I have tried to visit as many countries as possible.  It’s not always glamorous, it can definitely be exhausting, but it’s something I’ve set out to do. That's where 193 Life blog is born. 193 blog is my journey to visit all 193 countries of the world and share my experiences with you all. I love to not only encourage people to take these trips, I also have a gift to help plan! My agency MCH Vacations, Inc does just that--we plan your trip from flight to finish so you can Travel with Confidence.

There are challenges...

Traveling has become my lifestyle, not just a hobby . Something I plan my life around it and I’ve been very fortunate that my job and circumstances have allowed me to do just that.  In 2015, I got misdiagnosed with Lupus.  My inflammations levels were so high that the doctors could not understand what exactly I had (which in all honesty has been the story of my life).  As a result, of constant testing and trying to put all of conditions together I was diagnosed with severe case of psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  I was in a doctor’s room with my mom and I was just told I had 4 different auto-immune diseases.  In a moment, my life was drastically impacted by this news.  However, I refused for my life to change because of it. I had 5 trips planned for the rest of that year and I was determined to go and fully enjoy.  My doctors were also aware of my lifestyle and they knew how much it meant to me. They knew that nothing would change. 

MY PAIN, YOUR GAIN

Yes! I live my life in constant pain. I am constantly trying to find the most natural way to be pain free.  I’ve had to adjust my travels to accommodate my conditions.  However, I refuse to let it stop me from travelling.  It has taught me more about life and myself than I ever thought it would.  I have come to realize that at 30, every day is different with my pain level and some things might need to be adjusted and that’s okay.  It has taught me that life is short and we don’t have that luxury to wait until later to go somewhere.  We need to make things happen for ourselves and see as much of the world while we can.  In life we all need to acclimate to different things and this is my thing. I will go into more depth into each of my conditions in hope that I can help someone struggling with it also.

I'd like to shed light and awareness on auto immune diseases, obesity and stigma's associated with it because not everyone understands what auto immune diseases are or how they can affect someone.  Hopefully in the long run there will be some cures  or more help to make them manageable so people with auto immune diseases like myself can continue living a normal life.

These are the types of topics, issues and trends 193 Life will be spotlighting in 2018!

  • Destination spotlights
    • Where to stay
    • What to eat
    • How to get there
    • What to wear
  • Not so nice reviews (not every place is fabulous)
  • How to travel solo and safe
  • Traveling as a single woman
  • Causes
    • Puerto Rico Relief
  • Traveling with Autoimmune Disorders
    • Natural Remedies
    • Accommodations and Tips
  • Product Review and fashion (Including +plus size)
  • Resources and Tools
    • Packing lists
    • Apps and technology