Florence... we came, we saw, we conquered!
The temperature was high and the crowds were bustling, but the architecture was incredible, the gardens were peaceful and the vegan gelato at @cantinadelgelato was deliciously refreshing!
My two tips for visiting this beautiful city:
1. Book your sightseeing tickets in advance where possible (Boboli Gardens - this will enable you to jump the long queue at the ticket office, and the Duomo - tickets can sell out days in advance); and
2. If you want the best views of the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio, YOU NEED TO BE LOOKING AT THEM! This of course means you can’t be standing on them! So, climb the Bell Tower for the best close-up views of the Duomo, and walk along the river rather than across Ponte Vecchio to get the nice photos you’ve no doubt seen online (you can do a great loop that takes you over the next bridge and then back over Ponte Vecchio so that you still get to admire all of the incredible jewellery shops)! Next stop... Pisa!
[What unplugging feels like // Sometimes we forget]
5 days without cracking open the laptop feels like
The quiet slapping of shoes over cobblestone streets and the rhythm of music in the distance
The lightness of colorful flags flapping in celebration of being
The familiar comfort of a hot cappuccino after a stroll through brisk morning air
Alternating warmth and cooless across my skin from the sun peeking behind clouds on a winding drive through the mountains
A breeze tangling your hair and carrying a light scent of earth and minerals at cliffside
A slight glisten of sweat and lungs full of fresh air from scrambling up winding paths
Exhilaration of discovery around every new corner, of art, of ancient stone, of beauty
Slowly spreading peace from moments unhurried and the gentle rock of a hammock
The hot steam rising from a bubbling plate of food fresh out of a local kitchen
The thrumming of classic rock and the vibrating hum of a car engine on a long drive
Cool ice tinkling in a glass and the chill of a fresh cocktail as it hits your lips after a day of exploration
This past week was the first real vacation I've allowed myself in a while. (I even took my laptop to Machu Picchu.....😬)
It was a glorious unwinding and time spent being present, exploring Oaxaca and the gorgeous surrounding countryside. ⠀
Ruins, hikes, natural wonders, colonial streets, street art, local food, traditions, mezcal, storytelling, and relaxing....
And much needed time unplugged to connect to what's present.
The only lesson today is to remember to unplug now and again, and find ways to connect with what's/who's important to you. 💟
The countryside in this part of Tuscany is just like a painting 🌾🌻 Last week when I was there it was unbearably hot (global warming is real!), yet the views were so beautiful - nature's colours were turning into this golden palette 🎨
I went to school in a small town not too far from this valley... #childhoodmemories 📸 found on the internet, too good not to share.
Our local guide, Yukari Sakamoto ( @foodsaketokyo), loves the considerate nature of Japanese society and its attention to detail. Even the food is beautifully packaged. We’ll take you through her local favorites. Link in bio for more. Do you have a favorite spot in Japan’s capital? Tell us in the comments. #BTW#BTWTokyo (photo by @irwinwongphoto for @washingtonpost
This temple, Somapura Mahavihara, inside of a Muslim nation was once home to many practicing Buddhists around the 8th century. I found myself looking for historical landmarks that defined Bangladesh, moreover, their connection to India and the old life when they were a part of Bengal. It was strange to see Buddhist landmarks in a country so committed to Islam. In a way, Bangladesh had been affected by globalization long before the 20th century.
Bengal as it was known was changed forever by the Middle East as boats arrived in India for trade. Many were swept away by Islam. While India had spread both Hinduism and Buddhism across Asia, suddenly they were awe struck by a third religion. And then, Bengal would split in half. The Muslim portion would become East Bengal. And within this Bihar Province was cut in half. Bihar was home to Bodhgaya, where Buddha first attained enlightenment. Bihar province was the birthplace of practicing Buddhism. It only later spread to the Himalayas.
When Islam invaded Bengal and it became two, so did Bihar Province. Somapura Mahavihara, along with other great Buddhist monasteries became obsolete and some were even destroyed. Being Muslim, once India got independence the Muslims all separated from the Hindu practicing Indians. They divided into East and West Pakistan. While Islam was the first wave of globalization, colonialism had immense impact and when the British returned home chaos ensued. East Bengal (and East Bihar) or East Pakistan got its independence in 1976. Only it took a typhoon that killed a few hundred thousand people and a civil war that involved West Pakistan sweeping bloodshed across the once peaceful Buddhist landmarks around Somapura Mahacihara to the capital in Dhaka until they killed millions. Finally, after hundreds of years of outside influence, this tiny pocket of flatland, swamps, lakes and rivers became known as Bangladesh.
Seas The Day 🌊
What are you doing to reach your goals?
Stop putting your goals to the back burner and start making them a reality.
For me it’s all about taking small steps towards those goals and then without realizing your closer than you thought.
One of the goals I’m working towards is my fitness and health and there’s no better to do that than with friends having fun and outside in beautiful weather and in a pool.
Come join me this Saturday July 20th for the Seas the Day event hosted by @exhalemiami at the @epichotel@area31miami for a great morning of fitness, sun and fun at while being in a pool.
Head on over to @exhalemiami to get your tickets