Days on Your Own: Self-Care Time while Abroad

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Andrew Masciarelli
November 27, 2023
A breathtaking sunset from Villa Borghese

Without a question, one of the most valuable elements of my time abroad has been the adventures I’ve embarked on alone. Amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy workload, it can be easy to become socially overwhelmed. To remedy this, however, I have always found it essential to revitalize my social battery through alone time, but while in Rome I’ve found myself worried about losing critical time by staying in when I need to be on my own. As such, I have learned to make the most of the limited time we receive abroad by doing self-care adventures into the new parts of the city. Resultantly, I have discovered the value of personal time in public. In this post, I detail the daytime activities that have helped me to release stress.

Villa Borghese

Coming in first on this list is Villa Borghese. A park situated northeast of the city center, this space is my favorite one for finding sojourn in nature. With expansive greenery and a lively atmosphere, you can be on your own in this place while people-watching, journaling under a tree, or just catching the fresh air offered by the foliage. Then, if you’re feeling it, you can catch a breathtaking panoramic view of the Roman sunset from the edge of the park!

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

One of my dear friends once taught me that whenever we feel uninspired, the key is to consume art. A few weeks ago I found myself at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which is quite proximal to Villa Borghese! As I strolled the halls, I was amazed by the rich meaning instilled in the works by their artists. When I exited the museum, I felt so renewed and my walk home was one of appreciation for the world around me! I was inspired to produce my own art and went into my upcoming school week with increased attentiveness and passion.


Sometimes, the weeks can get exceptionally busy as you strive to balance class work and friendships. In those moments, it can feel impossible to leave time for yourself. Zalib is something of a solution to that challenge. A dedicated coworking and social space in Trastevere, Zalib allows you to enjoy a modern outdoor space in which you may find others enjoying a coffee, conversing, and getting work done. In the evenings, it also becomes a hub for students, allowing you to expose yourself to others from around the world! As a heads up, there is a membership fee, but once that is covered, you can enjoy the space as much as you’d like for your time in Rome!

Live Music throughout Rome

One of the issues I find myself facing in a busy week is monotony. When you get busy, it can be easy to feel like your life becomes repetitive. To combat this, I live in spontaneity. I will turn off the GPS on my phone when walking to a destination and deliberately take a new path. In doing so, I have found myself in random piazzas, listening to the beautiful music offered by live performers. Whether they are singing, playing guitar, or working with an instrument I have never even seen before, the creatives of Rome are sure to put on an incredible show. I love to spend a few moments practicing mindfulness and taking in their work, for it inspires me to find gratitude in the moment.


Self-care is the most important part of finding comfort for me. If you share this sentiment, make sure that you are not neglecting this aspect of yourself abroad. It can enable an enhanced experience, as you will find yourself in a better state of mind. This allows for greater appreciation of the world which surrounds you, and when you are in the city for such a limited time, every moment deserves to be cherished! 

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Andrew Masciarelli headshot

Andrew Masciarelli

Hey there! My name is Andrew Masciarelli, and I am a rising junior from Occidental College studying economics and politics. Outside of my studies, I love to cook, and I am also spending as much time as I can teaching myself how to play the guitar!

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