Sunday, August 14, 2011

"How To Make It In America"

With my experience of overseas traveling, (This is my 6th trip to Europe) I pretty much know what to expect, what to pack, etc. But no matter how long my trip is or where it is I'm going, packing for an overseas trip is a little more difficult when you're 6'8" and wear a size 16 shoe. There's not much room left in my duffel bag after I pack two pairs of basketball shoes, two pairs of tennis shoes, and one pair of dress shoes, but somehow I made it all fit.

We arrived in Rome at 2:00pm (Rome time, 7am CST) after two plane rides (totaling about 9 hours) and a 4 hour layover in Dusseldorf, Germany. That's a long day spent traveling, especially if it's next to impossible to sleep in anywhere but a bed like it is for me. I don't even sleep that well in general and almost consider myself a borderline insomniac (My diagnosis, not a professional's), so I had to pack a lot of entertainment options as well to keep from getting bored. Instead of watching movies that would be relative to our trip like "Gladiators", "Angels and Demons", and everybody's favorite Rom Com "When In Rome", I chose to watch things that have absolutely nothing to do with our trip, such as "African Cats", "Fast Five", and my most ironic choice, HBOs "How To Make It In America". In addition to these movies, I was able to cram my laptop bag with these other entertainment options:

My Dell laptop, my passport, Iphone/iPod, "Outliers" by Malcom Gladwell, 1TB portable hard drive, Amazon Kindle, and an European electrical converter. Whenever the picture of that guy comes up on my Kindle, it scares the beejeezes out of me.

As you can see in my picture above, what made these movies so enjoyable were my travel essential, Bose noise cancelling headphones. Given to me at Christmas last year, I never travel without them. If I were to ever forget them though, the overwhelming amount of Beats by Dre my team owns has me covered. I don't even need a pair of headphones at all, I can just enjoy whatever music DJ is listening too, if I'm within a 10 foot radius.

So we arrived in Rome safely, and are here until Sunday morning at which we then travel to Florence. We have a lot of stuff planned while were here including tours of the Coliseum and Vatican city, as well as a game or two. I will keep you updated as much as I can throughout our travels, but for more updates, follow me on twitter at @tylergriffey or go to

Ibby and I in St. Peters Basicalla

Nnanna and I in the Rome Colosseum


  1. I've not traveled to Europe as much as you have (just twice), but of the cities I've been to, Rome is easily my favorite. So much living history. I love seeing the Illini shirts at these significant places. Thanks for sharing.

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