Last week a good friend of mine came up with an idea. We were talking back and forth about our problems (don’t we all do that?!) and she said “I’m going to take you to a place very special to me”. Now, I’m not a very curious person by nature so I went with it. We settled on the details, as in which day we should go, but still didn’t know the destination.
Sunday rolled by, we hopped in the car and went on our merry way. When we exited the gas station she said “it’s time to reveal the destination – it’s the small village of Viscri and we are going to see a fortified church”.
I have to admit that when it comes to geography I pretty much know the general areas. As far as churches go, I enjoy the architecture though I am not knowledgeable in it, and that pretty much sums it up. But I was delighted to hear about our destination as Amanda (of A dangerous business, a travel blog I religiously ( ) follow ) was there last week. (more…
I’ve just read “The Land of the Blue Flower” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, more widely known as the author of “The Secret Garden“.
EDUCATION OF A PRINCE
The story, although short, was enjoyable nonetheless. It’s the story of King Amor who brings joy to his kingdom. In the beginning it was ruled by his father, the ruthless King Mordreth, and people lived in fear and poverty. When the prince is born, the Queen gives him to her mentor, called the Ancient One.
The wise man takes the prince to a castle on a mountain, where he teaches him to value nature (the sun, the sky, rain, the stars), he explains that there is no time to think negative thoughts, to feel negative emotions. When the prince grows up, he befriends the wild animals and birds, one of which brings him a seed of a rare flower. (more…
For the past year and a half I’ve been reading travel blogs. It’s no wonder since a) I love to read b) I love traveling c) I love photos d) I love dreaming about traveling, writing posts other people read and taking photos.
The majority of travel blogs follow the same ‘recipe’ : take one person fed up with the cubicle life, sell home/belongings, then hit the road with that one way ticket and never look back. Simple, right? In a much happier case, they can sell their business and fill up their bank accounts.
I am jealous of these people. And you know why? Because they can do that. I’m not inventing some lame excuse, but whenever I read blog posts that “you can travel too but you don’t want to” makes me want to scream.
I’m slightly bitter about the whole situation because the people of ‘get out there and do it’ come from countries where the currency is much stronger, and goes a long way. Also, I don’t possess the skills which will allow me to work location independent (such as web design or other web related biz), I find it difficult to find an English teaching job abroad due to me not being native English speaker. I suppose I could try to work on cruise ships or volunteer, but I’d rather travel and write about it. Here are the cold hard facts: I work 2 jobs, and the money I receive accounts to the grand amount of 600$/month. Did I mention that I’m a doctor AND a teacher? Moving on. This money is used to pay some utilities (the vast majority of bills is taken care of my parents, bless their souls, because without them I would be in a pickle). (more…
Last weekend I saw an article on a local website that there was a Festival of Light. The title caught my attention, and after browsing through the content it became clear that: 1.indeed there was a Festival of Light (shocking, I know) 2.it was that same night at 9.30 3.I was going to be there. Of course the article boasted a gorgeous photo of lanterns released into the night, and I have to admit that was the reason I wanted to go.
Apparently half of the city wanted to see the lanterns, as the space was so crowded you couldn’t find a place to sit, let alone park. But that didn’t deter me. I asked a friend to join me, then packing my tripod and trusted camera off we went. We arrived at around 10 and looked forward to the whole experience. (more…
Reading Tom’s post on how foreigners are regarded as scumbags by Korea’s MBC and Edna’s own story of facing discrimination as an Asian-American made me write this post. Thinking back on all my previous journeys, I’ve come to realize that I’ve also been submitted to the same treatment – being treated different because I came from a certain place.
In today’s world, where we preach equality (and I think it’s a losing battle), this kind of behavior doesn’t sit well with me. I confess, I look strangely upon certain people, but not because of their skin color, language they speak or what they wear, but because of their behavior. (more…
I don’t know whether I should consider myself a writer or not. Is it a hobby? A passion? A job?
What defines a writer? The approval of others? Is there someone who says – yes, you are/aren’t a writer because….
I try to update my blog(s). For a while I’ve been writing because I wanted recognition, I wanted to write for others.
Sadly, I was reminded over and over again (and not just with writing) that most people don’t care. That’s the truth. I’m not saying that nobody cares, after all, I have a few followers (whom I cherish dearly and hope that they will keep on joining me on my rants) . (more…
Yes, I’ve heard it many times. “I’ve been to Venice but didn’t like it as much as I thought I would”. After I regain my composure, I ask the natural question “So how much time did you spend there?”…the prompt answer “a day”. A-ha! Now I get it.
Dear folks, you can’t judge (or maybe you can) a city like Venice by staying for one day there.
Of course my experience wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies – I visited this city during my Italian summer trip with Mom last year. We didn’t stay in Venice per se, rather in Mestre, and took the bus to the islands.
When we got off the train, there was no bus ticket booth anywhere (plenty of train tickets though, as the next stop is Santa Lucia, located on the main island). After being fooled by a bus driver (paid double for a bus ticket, were told that the tram station is far – as in 5 minutes walk from the train station, and being told that the tickets were valid for the tram – they weren’t), we arrived at our hotel, which was located in a very nice, quiet part of Mestre, very close to the tram stop. (more…
Yesterday while waiting to see the new Madagascar movie (it was awesome by the way) I saw that the halls of the mall were full of hand made displays. As the curiosity got the best of me, I wandered over to see what it was. Turns out it was a huge art project, with recycling the main theme.
All of the masterpieces were made from recyclable materials (plastic and aluminum containers, paper) and natural materials (wood, straw) and others.
What is even more amazing is that all of this was made by children, starting from kindergarten to elementary school. (more…
Yesterday I saw Street Dance 2 in 3D. And people might bitch and moan that the movie has no story, but come on, it’s a movie about dance, about a passion. What do you want from the characters? Discuss philosophy between the salsa and street dance? Let’s get real. There are tons of movies that don’t have a story, even thought they claim they do.
Loved the movie, and it sparked something in me. I don’t go out to dance as often as I feel the need to, but occasionally I go out with friends and let loose. I don’t know if I have the moves or not, but don’t care. I feel the music and that’s enough for me.
So this brought an idea – while I’m traveling, I want to go dancing (and maybe fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine of dancing on the streets in the rain – already have the perfect song for it). And I’ll do my hardest to do it!
Places I’ve danced so far: home town, London, Budapest, Wisconsin Dells, Madison.
So if you have any suggestions for great spots to dance, let me know!
Here’s the song I was telling you about:
Since my upcoming trip is approaching fast ( yey ), and managed to borrow the camera from the parents, I’ve spent the past couple of days capturing nature from my balcony, mostly as an attempt to get familiar with the camera.
Last night I was eagerly waiting for the full moon, but alas, a fierce thunderstorm was unleashed. Now, I simply LOVE thunderstorms, and would have really loved to snap a few shots of lightning, but many sources politely said that the camera is not suitable for that (and started going on and on about settings – exposure, light, white balance, yada yada). Not being one to refuse a challenge, I mounted the camera on the tripod and waited. And waited. Then suddenly….the batteries went dead. I mean, seriously? Here’s my chance to snap an amazing photo and be on the cover of National Geographic (well I can dream, can’t I?) and the freaking batteries go dead. Unmount camera from tripod. Take out batteries. Charge them. This lasted for about half an hour when I couldn’t take it anymore. There were lightnings by the minute (or half minute) and I was getting antsy. So I snatched up the half charged batteries, mount the camera on the tripod (again) then getting down to business. (more…
Well finally I have time to enjoy my artistic side. My parents bought a cool camera, a Nikon at that, so being the loving son, snatched it up and away I went
For some time now I’ve been dying to take photos, after admiring the countless bits of photo genius out there on the internet. And since my trip to the US is coming soon, I want to take some awesome pics on the road, to post on this here webdiary, for folks to oohhh and ahhhh
I still have to figure out a lot of the camera’s properties/settings, learn how to use Photoshop, how to copyright my pics and stuff, but I’m on the right track (I think).
And here’s my first photo I want to share with you! It’s called Black and White drops!
Well not with me. Good Lord but I have trouble with patience. It’s a funny thing – when I’m making bracelets, I can spend hours at a time doing them, without so much as stand up and stretch my legs. But when I have to wait for something/someone, I can climb walls in frustration.
There are 2 more months to my trip to the US and every single day I have to hold back the desire to pack my backpack. In the meantime I’m reading travel blogs, seeking destinations, writing up packing lists and so on. Not fun.
Luckily though I have other projects to keep me occupied-ish. Really want to boost my other website – bookhurricane.com so I’m trying to get people I admire and whose blogs I follow to answer a couple of questions related to books. Then there are several small translation projects, a summer school approaching soon, reading a couple of books I need to review (and maybe even organize a contest).
My adventure starts in July. More accurately, by the end of July.
Ever since I’ve been reading travel blogs (January of 2011) I’ve been admiring (ahem…envying) all those people who had the courage to say (and do) “I’m selling (almost) everything I own, move in with my parents for a while, save up on money then head out into the world”.
Not that it is not a fantastic idea, but I’m not ready to make that jump yet. Sure, I can sell most of my stuff, move in with my parents again and save up, but my currency doesn’t go such a long way as the dollar does. Also, I don’t possess the skills (yet) to work online, while I’m on a fairly extended trip around the world. (more…
This need of approval is a major obstacle in our lives. How many times were you in a situation when you didn’t do something, or did something just to be praised? Just so you were accepted, even though it was against your principles/wishes.
I feel stuck. Lately some situations caused me to rethink my goals in life. Do I want to continue with practicing medicine? Surprisingly, for some time now, my inner voice responds with a resounding voice “NO”. And it scares me. I’ve invested 11 years of my life into this field. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. I love what I do, I love teaching, I love working in a lab, but I reached a level I cannot cross. I cannot evolve. Try as I might, it’s not working. Perhaps if I move to another country and be given the chance to prove myself in my field might help. Maybe this lack of opportunities brings me to the decision of quitting this field and switch to a totally different one. What could that be? I love foreign languages. I might try my luck in business, or management, administration, the book industry, basically anything that is not even remotely connected to medicine. I want to go back to school, learn different things, seek out new experiences. My great grandmother may have been right, perhaps I was not cut out for this. (more…
It seems that this year I skipped the tradition of writing a list of things about me at the beginning of the year, the way I did it on 2010 NYE and 2011 NYE (well, almost). But at times I reach a point when I stop, look back and see the road that lead me to where I am here now. I’m in a constant process of changing. It is induced by people, events and even life itself. If you are constant in something, there is no improvement. I don’t like steady things. I need challenges, even though at first I’m freaked out (it’s a natural response, there is nothing I can do about it). (more…
You may recall that I mentioned a couple of days ago that changes are taking place. One of these changes is starting a new internet project, and yesterday it was launched officially. The project is BookHurricane which stemmed from my love (some call it obsession) for books. Therefore, since I read a lot (by some standards) I have some material to share with you.
The idea behind it is to gather people who love to read, or love to talk about books and magazines of all varieties, have them share their ideas, likes and dislikes, for this website to be one big community.
I do hope that this project will grow, the categories be fuller, but for this I need your help. Any suggestions are welcomed, hit me up with a good book to read. I would really appreciate it!
This year there will be changes. I can feel it. Some changes will be necessary. And I will take the steps in the right direction to make them. I will stand up for myself. I will express my opinions. And if people don’t like, it’s their problem, not mine. I will make decisions and live with the consequences. I will be stronger. I will let go of things/people that stand between me and my goals. I know it sounds harsh, but I can’t afford to stray from my path. I have amazing parents, great friends and I know I can do this. And I will, just wait and see. (more…
You’ve been probably wondering where I was, or at least what happened to me since I kind of shied away from writing. What? You haven’t noticed? After 4 months? Or hey, maybe you have but didn’t know how to reach me and say “dude, what happened? why haven’t you written anything for 4 months?”…hmmm, ok, well Mom did ask me. Dad doesn’t read the blog so he’s not that concerned. But since all of you were asking yourselves what happened, and as I am the type of guy who likes sharing (except Twizzlers, with them it’s first come first served, be forewarned) I’ll tell you.
And we’ve finally arrived to our final installment of our journey – Rome. I’ve been there 5 years ago and I have to say I wasn’t flat-out impressed with the “eternal city”. Probably this had to do with the lightning fast tour, lead by the relative that I stayed at. Well, this time wasn’t the same, after all I was with Mom, but we stayed at the same relative and the same lightning-fast tour was announced. Mind you, he’s been in the city several times so the novelty kind of wore off for him, but hey, if I want to see a city, I’ll do it in my own rhythm, right? RIGHT? (more…
In our last episode, our heroes (Mom and I) were spending some quality time, and gathering miles in the beautiful city of Milan. Even though we spent 3 days there, I thought there were plenty of things to see, but we covered the basics. Hopped online and looked for train tickets to Venice. Back home we found one for 33 euro/person, but being the lucky people we are (after all we spun around 3 times on the bull’s balls in the Vittorio Emanuelle Gallery’s floor – if you’re ever there, you can’t miss it – people are forming a queue to take a spin) we found a train at half price – true, the trip took an hour more but we weren’t complaining – that time was spent reading (Why do men have nipples)! (more…