People of Roma

I’ve recently entered a photo competition sponsored by World Nomads, a travel insurance website that provides international coverage and safety services around the world. They’re partnered with The Lonely Planet, which is probably one of the biggest travel guide book publishers in the world. Basically, both involve travel so if you know me, you know I’m automatically interested.

I like World Nomads for a variety of reasons. The founder is a man who quit his job, sold everything he owned and started to travel the world. Although I’m not brave enough (yet) to take the plunge and even consider doing something like that, I truly admire what he believes travel stands for. For him, it’s a sense of adventure that acts as a catalyst for our actions; it’s what drives us. Anyone who’s traveled, whether it be across an ocean, or across the street to a new neighborhood that they’ve never ventured into, they can agree with me that with travel, you learn about yourself, your limits, and you challenge them and your perceptions of the world. Travel connects you to the world and gets you involved and that’s exactly what World Nomads strives to do by giving back.

World Nomads organizes annual scholarship opportunities that involve the multimedia side of travel. My lovely roommate and friend Bea first applied for the film scholarship, but she also let me know about photography scholarship. The scholarship prize? Get this– an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan AND the chance to be mentored by a professional travel photographer. TRAVEL AND PHOTOS. GAINING MORE SKILLS ABOUT WHAT I LOVE TO DO. POTENTIALLY LEARNING HOW TO MAKE IT LUCRATIVE (hey, I’m a soon to be college-grad with looming debt, it’s a thought that often runs through my mind). WHAT MORE COULD I WANT IN MY LIFE?!

*composes self.*

Anyway, the rules were to craft a photo story which could be composed of up to five photos. The photos had to tell a story about a place that I had visited.To them, place could have been anywhere. It could have even been my own Rogers Park/Edgewater community or even the Loyola campus, but my heart knew automatically which place I’d try to describe in five photos.

There’s something stupidly romantic about Rome. No, I don’t mean the romantic in the “I want to fall in love with some Paolo and ride on the back of his vespa,” although that is a part of it, but more so in the sense that it is imaginative, yet also impractical. Rome is chaotic, loud, sometimes dirty and smelly, overcrowded with tourists, etc., and yet, I find poetry in that. I idealize the Eternal City regardless of its flaws. Truly loving Rome is a passionate affair and the people in it are what are part of that. I could love and hate them, but they breathe life into the city and so that is why I chose the People of Roma as the story of my place.

Enjoy my short photo essay. Check out my entry and some of the others if you get the chance; you cannot even imagine the variety of stories that can be and are told through this contest.

People of Roma


Rome is a city that draws millions of tourists from all over the world to walk among the skeletons of history.dsc_0717It is a city one can lose themselves in, despite the throngs in the crowded streets.dsc_0735It is a city where one can spot more couples than cuppolas, despite its hundreds of churches and basilicas._dsc0325

It is a city where one can find magic in the torn pieces of paper that make up the confetti of Carnevale._dsc0106Where the Roman sprezzatura, or a certain carelessness, isn’t just a word; it’s a local lifestyle present in all of the piazzas.

And as always, check out more of my photos on my Instagram and follow my hashtag, #photowysocki to see my latest photographic endeavors!

P.S. The contest results are announced January 12th, so keep your fingers crossed and I’ll keep you updated. Personally (and an attempt to be realistic), I want to try and make the short list, but hey, I’m going to dream big and hope that I’ll be on that flight to Tokyo in the near future 😉



Open House Chicago 2016; aka Pretending to Be on House Hunters

The distinction of “pretending” needs to be in the title because let’s be real; unless I’m going to be making bank in the near future, I’m perfectly content in my three-floor walk-up in Rogers Park, janky stove and creaky floors included…, but I digress.

If you are not aware of the Chicago Architectural Foundation, I highly recommend you look them up because every October, they sponsor and organize an awesome festival that gives behind-the-scenes access to members of the foundation, along with the plebeian non-members such as myself, to over 200 locations in the Chicagoland area. I’ve only been to Open House Chicago once, two years ago, but it was an amazing time- for both architecture aficionados, Chicago history-lovers and photographers alike!

And plus, as aforementioned, it gives you the great opportunity to pretend you’re some bougie person on House Hunters who can actually afford some of these lavish lifestyles, so much so that you simply cannot choose a home because the three bathrooms is three too few.

A special shout out to Donny, who was kind enough to accompany me on my quest and deal with me for an extended period of time. He’s the best. After we visited the penthouse and rooftop patio of the MILA Luxury Apartments (goals), the Marquee apartments and common spaces at Block37 (honestly, such cool rooms), and the ballroom of the School of the Art Institute (why doesn’t Loyola have a ballroom?); we had dinner at Shake Shack and I’ll give it to Donny, despite being a Portillo’s fan myself, they make some pretty good cheese fries.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos!

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Check out more of my photos on my Instagram and follow my new hashtag, #photowysocki to see my latest photographic endeavors!  🙂