Thursday, November 30, 2017

Being Thankful: Yoga Practice

I am #beingthankful for my yoga practice. For my yoga teacher. For my yoga class.

Yoga has been part of my life for some time now (3 or 4 years, can't remember exactly) and it's just this year that I realized how much my yoga practice has actually changed my life.
Not only is my body stronger but my mind is as well. It's a feeling that is difficult to describe. I am stronger, mentally and physically, but at the same time I am softer. And you should see my upper arms :-)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Being Thankful: Traveling

It's obvious that my first post with the hashtag #beingthankful should be about traveling. It's an important part of my life and I am thankful:
-to travel to places all over the world (alone or with friends),
-to afford to travel in the first place and
-that at some point in my life I found the courage to travel alone.

2017 was a travel intense year. It started in December/January with Lisbon. A wonderful way to say goodbye to 2016 and to welcome 2017.

In March I spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica and Mexico City. One of my highlights of this year! Costa Rica was a destination that felt like balm to my soul. I soaked up on nature, on the silence, on the friendly people. Never to be forgotten!

Mexico City was the pure opposite (with insight I wouldn't visit the two places on the same trip - it was too much of a shock!). I was glad though to spend some days with my friend S. It was wonderful to be able to catch up on our lives!

I started off my summer with spending a few days in Cattolica. I am grateful for the hospitality of my friends, the hotel owners. Cattolica is not about traveling, it's about vacationing!

Traveling to Lake Como had been on my bucket list for a while now and I am thankful to my friend J. to have agreed to travel with me. I enjoyed the hours spent shopping, the boat trip on Lake Como but I'm particularly thankful for the dinners and lunches in nice places. That is something I don't do while traveling alone!

In August, it was time to travel to Greece. I am thankful to my friend who invited me to her Big Fat Greek Wedding. Not only did I get to experience my first (and probably last) Greek Wedding but I am happy that I got to discover very nice new places. Yes, I am talking about Milos, one of the many islands in the Cyclades.
The Cyclades are definitely a new item on my bucket list. Thank you M.!

My birthday present for myself, i.e. trip to Nice, was a wonderful way to say goodbye to Summer!

Torino, the place where I didn't take any pictures (remember?)was my last trip for 2017. Oh no, wait. Actually, not the last. the second to last. My last trip (I decided on going only a couple of days ago) will be to Italy. To Cagli/PU (where my mother is from). I will leave after Christmas and stay for about a week (haven't decided on how long I am gonna stay but certainly longer than New Year's Eve).

What an amazing 2017! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

I am not much into the whole Christmas festivities / Holidays festivities. I like December however because of the lights on all the houses and trees. The days are short, the nights are dark. I love to let the current year come to an end in a smooth way. It's a special time. In January I usually feel like spring could come along like immediately (hahaha) but right now I appreciate them :-)

I love the idea of Thanksgiving Day though. It's not part of my culture and I do not celebrate it in any way but I love the idea of stopping for a moment and saying thanks to everything that happened this last year. To say thank you to all the people that are part of my life. To be thankful for all I am and what I have. Etc. Etc.
Therefore, I decided to dedicate some posts during this last month of 2017 to give thanks. I feel like it's important for me to think about what exactly I am thankful for and to say it out loud.

For today though, I just want to say: HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Friday, November 17, 2017

When Money Sets the Pace

I had planned on going on a road trip to either Lago Maggiore or Lake Constance (remember my post?) in November but then .. my bank account happened or rather my computer happened.

Buying a new laptop has been on my list of stuff to buy for quite some time now. I kept putting it off and off because there always was something more important to spend money on (mostly travels, what else?). Then one day I realized that my old laptop was ... old. Like really old. The face of the guy in the shop where I bought my new laptop said it all when I told him that my old one was running on Vista! You should have been there. It was hilarious! At least, I thought it was hilarious. He probably thought that I was pathetic. hahahah
Anyway, the poor thing was so old that I was afraid it would die on me without notice. It was updated. And ssslllooowww (you cannot imagine HOW slow). 10 years for a computer these days is an age to be proud of, isn't it? Definitely time for a new one.

To cut a long story short. I am writing this post on my brand new, sleek, thin and elegant new laptop. New technology is really cool, I have to admit even though postponing my road trip wasn't easy at all!

Friday, November 10, 2017


I don't know where you live  but where I live ... winter has arrived. Well (luckily) not the snow and the ice and the below zero temperatures yet ... but the short days, the cold and the rain. Therefore, it was time for me to put away the furniture on my balcony. To put away my short short-sleeved clothes and my sandals and to welcome back my sweaters, my long-sleeves shirts. And my boots. And the candles! Let's not forget the candles because they, and my pretty winter boots, make my wintertime more bearable!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Be Gentle With Yourself

Are you familiar with moments when words said to someone are in fact words meant for yourself?
I had such a moment the other day when I replied to a friend: "I don't know the answer to your question. What I know is that, if I were you, I'd start with talking to yourself in a more gentle way."
Oh my, somehow I had just said out loud what had somehow, unconsciously, been bothering me for some time. Something that I want to do consciously now:
Be gentle with myself (accept my way and my pace).
Be gentle with my thoughts (not brush them aside as if they were toxic or something)
Be gentle with what I think of my body.

It's high time to start treating myself (my thoughts, my body, my soul) the way I try to treat the others:
gently, respectfully, lovingly.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

About Music and Feminism

Don't you think that a little update on my alto flute skills is overdue?
Well. What to say? I'm doing fine. It's fun. Music does me good. I am proud of the progresses I've made. I got over some serious "I will never be able to play the flute" kind of moments with more or less grace. Frustrating moments became highlights! I have learnt that my level of frustration is quite low (sigh!) but I am proud to have kept on practicing.

6 months later I am proud to say that I am able to play short songs. You don't think that it is something worth mentioning? I'm sorry to say: You're wrong!
It's not the fact that I actually play an entire song ... it's that now these songs actually sound like the actual songs (and not just like notes hazardly linked together). I feel like calling myself a musician now. A beginner, indeed, but a musician nevertheless! (See me writing this wearing a happy face!)

Music is also something that connects me to my nephews / to my niece. We talk about music a lot. They show me their favorite songs/videos of the moment (keeps me updated!). We talk about which groove / beat is cool and which not. Sometimes I explain some cultural background to a certain song or the meaning of the song's words to them.
Pretty cool, I must say!
What's not so cool though, is that almost EVERY SINGLE video shows a barely dressed woman. Thankfully they are still of an age where they go all "ick" when seeing a girl (and my niece is too young to understand the notion). Their luck is that their Zia (Italian for aunt) is a feminist and always says stuff like "what is this barely dressed woman making there? Makes no sense!" "Why is it always an almost naked woman and never a man?" etc. etc.
I want them to realize that almost naked women are not a normal occurence. Same goes for four-letter words that often denigrate women. I want them to be conscious of what they see and what they say!

I know, I know. Barely dressed women have been part of videos ever since (or maybe not ever since but for a very long time) but my perception of this fact has changed since I watch videos with my young nephews/niece.
Is this what we want to teach them?
Is this how we want them to perceive women?
Isn't it time to change things? It is! Please, dear producers, dear video makers, think of other ways to entertain us. Be part of the change!