Love

It Just Takes One

What means the most to you in life?

What does it take for everything to be put on hold, without any questions asked.

What if every time we said, “I don’t have time,” we replaced it with the words, “ It’s not my priority.”

How do we prioritize and make time in our lives for what’s important and what isn’t?

No matter how busy or how important something might be to us, there will be certain times in our lives where we will be the closest to heaven we will ever be, until we actually make it there.

When we get to that point the only 3 things that will truly matter is Family, God, and our Health.

Love

We close our eyes when we pray because the most beautiful and powerful things in life are not always seen but can sometimes be felt……

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.Be Kind

I Love You Mommy

Happy Mother’s Day

Flower Border

Happy Mother’s Day!

So I know we love them dearly all year round, but today is the day to really show it. Shower her with love and attention, spoil her rotten and of course abide by the number one Mother’s Day rule – she’s off duty and banned from lifting a finger.

Unfortunately, I will not be spending Mother’s Day with Momma this year but fear not she will be thoroughly pampered on my next visit to BC on her birthday.

She’s my best friend, my guardian angel, and one of the strongest women I know. I couldn’t live without her.

Look, she’s forever taking care of me…

Mommy

When I started writing this post, I was thinking about how inspiring and amazing Momma is. She has managed to put up with me for 34 years for a start.

But it got me thinking about all the incredible things she’s achieved – raising four children, working hard every single day, living in another country that isn’t the one she grew up in, caring for her own Mom, who is a world away when she became unwell and still being one of the most selfless people I know. She will move mountains for me, my siblings and her grandkids. In fact, she’ll try to move mountains for just about anybody.

We have also just celebrated International Women’s Day, which, at its heart, is about celebrating the achievements of women, past and present, from all around the world. It’s about praising those women who have broken through boundaries, inspired younger generations and given others a voice.

For me, my Mother is my strength, inspiration and support. She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since I started this blogging adventure. During the times when I have stopped believing in myself, she has unlocked my strength within and encouraged me to keep on going.

Today we celebrate Mothers. But it’s equally important for us to celebrate ourselves.

Whoever you are, wherever you are reading this – you are capable of incredible things.

We can achieve anything we put our minds to. So, let’s continue to break through glass ceilings, chart new adventures, dream big dreams and lift each other. Because when we lift each other, we rise together.

And in the moments of doubt and uncertainty (which are bound to happen), our Mothers will always be there believing in us.

Mommy

Momma, I want to Thank You for helping me to grow into the strong woman I am today and for always having belief in my dreams. I am always thinking of you. Your encouragement on all of my endeavors is all that I hope for and my main goal in life is to make you and Dad proud.

We have been to hell and back and I can never repay you for everything you have done for me. You mean more to me than everything in the world.

When I grow up, I want to be like you – kind, beautiful, strong, wise and just pure awesome.

I LOVE YOU AND I CHERISH YOU MOMMY.

BIG BEARS HUGS, ALWAYS.

And BIG bear hugs to all Moms! I hope you enjoy a glass of Prosecco or two.

Have a cherished Mother’s Day!

New Friends

The World Is A Big Place

Beautiful

People often say that traveling alone is the best way to travel and I wholeheartedly agree. Not only do you have time to get to know yourself better, but you will also be forced to meet other people. Being abroad and having that sense of anonymity is surreal, and it is definitely an experience that everybody should have. I probably had the deepest moments of self-introspection during the few weeks that I traveled alone.

Heaven On Earth

You don’t need to be rich to travel. There are so many people who make excuses from fulfilling their life dreams due to fiscal reasons. However I am a true believer in that if you want something badly enough, you will make it happen.

Paddle Boarding

Don’t be afraid. This is what prevents most people from traveling in the first place. There are a million “what if’s” that cross a person’s mind before deciding to travel. “What if I run out of money?” “What if I get mugged?” “What if I don’t enjoy traveling?” All of these concerns may be legitimate to a certain degree, but most of the terrible stuff you hear happening to travelers are over-blown by the media anyways. Embrace your courage and explore!

Wander

Take the path off the beaten road. Sure the traditional landmarks may be nice and all, but the most beautiful things that I experienced were not the touristy places, but rather those hidden gems that you fall upon in a moment of serendipity. So do not always feel obliged to see what is popular, but just let your curiosity lead you down mysterious alleys, over gracious bridges, and through unexplored tunnels. Relive the child in yourself.

Views

Flying via Ryanair is one of the best ways to travel through Europe. If you book flights early enough, you could go on flights from Paris to Rome for $3.00 (including tax and misc. costs). How the heck do you do this? Well first of all, these seats are special promotion deals and the times that they offer are very limited (super early in the morning, or super late at night). Furthermore, if you are limited in terms of what you can bring (only one carry-on baggage, and it costs extra to bring luggage as well). They bombard you with advertising before, during, and after your flight. But with a little bit of planning, you could seriously have your transportation within Europe for nearly nothing. And it’s so worth it!

Sunset

Living Simple Is Simply The Best

One of the greatest things I’ve learned from travelling is that most people want the same things in life. They want to be happy and healthy, and they want their families and friends to be happy and healthy, too. We all work and laugh and love. We all bleed the same blood. And the truth is, despite the endless barrage of bad news in the media, most people around the world are good. Most people will help you out if you’re in a bind, and most will go out of their way to do so. I’ve met people from all walks of life who have opened up their doors to me (or their arms, or their bottles of vodka, or whatever it is that I needed at that moment in time). While not every single experience I’ve had has been peaches and cream, for the most part the human race helps itself out, and I love that about us.

TraditionsThis photo makes me smile. New friends from all over the world wearing traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai with matching head piece and conical leaf hat.   Dog Lover“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner” ~Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Good Eats And Beautiful People

“For Vietnamese people, food is our life; we are forever eating, cooking and talking about food. Food is communication – food is culture” 

Vietnamese FoodSome of the best hidden gems are tucked away in the alley ways – don’t judge based on looks, as they are forever deceiving.

Banh MiBanh Mi on the streets of Vietnam. I have eaten these every day sometimes twice a day, always with different ingredients and always just as good as the last!

Banh CuonThis is one of my all time favourite Vietnamese dishes – Banh Cuon! Enjoying all the street foods Vietnam has to offer.

VietnamMy kind of place…cooking a nice meal for the ones I love and for new friends I’ve grown to adore.

VietnamQuoc starting his work day at his Banh Mi Bakery at 3:00am every single day.

Cafe Sua DaCa Phe Trung – Vietnamese Coffee With Vanilla Egg Custard.

Vietnam EatsSweet Lady enjoying her breakfast.

VietnamIsn’t he just the cutest – so precious!

Food Making99 years old and still making Banh. I want to be just like this beautiful woman when I’m 99…

Colourful Beach

Livin’ And Lovin’ Life

Door

The key to every door lies within you

Everybody is on their own path. There is no right or wrong way to travel, and everyone has their own reasons for choosing the path they end up on. While we were motorbiking through Southern Vietnam, some people were enjoying a luxury Mekong River cruise. There is nothing wrong with that. You do not have to backpack across the Congo to truly experience the world or be the next Indiana Jones to ‘live life to the fullest’. You just need an open mind and open heart. Accept everyone for who they are.

Beach

A smile is the same in any language. It doesn’t matter if no common language exists between people – a smile means the same in any culture. It is amazing how far a smile can really take you in any part of the world. We’ve made entire friendships with people we cannot communicate with simply by smiling and laughing a lot. There really is a universal language in this world, and it doesn’t take a lot to learn it.

Beach

I never want to stop traveling…for as long as I live.

Art

Deeply Felt

Deep Feelers…

…are the loners.

…the empaths.

…the introverts.

We live deeper than the surface. We can’t help it. From an early age, maybe even from birth, we noticed everything – every sound, every glance, every change in tone, every shift in energy.

Imagine that, if you are not a feeler. Imagine feeling Every. Single. Shift. In. Energy.

All. Of. The. Time.

Push. Pull. Up. Down. Fill. Drain.

Everyone feels – of course! We are all human. I am referring to those of us who need to almost constantly recharge from basic human interaction. A night out dancing is fun, sure, but is followed by a day of intense alone time, because too many people talked to you, who had too many feelings, and instead of filling you up, they sucked you dry.

Instead of getting a rush or a sense of fulfillment from interacting with people, we often feel like part of our energy or essence has been sapped, and the only remedy is time alone, or with someone very close to us, who does not tap that energy.

Ask yourself this: when you break up with someone, do you want to stay home alone or with one or two close friends, or do you want to go out, lose yourself in a crowd? I am, and am talking to, the first group. I have spent my life wishing to be, and usually dating, the second group.

Of course there is overlap. Some traits carry over. But these are the things I have found to be true of the feelers.

We are extremely sensitive to noise. I have slept with ear plugs for almost a decade, which is always fun (and sexy!) to explain to people. I shared an office with a friend once, a fellow feeler and general over-sensitive. I was about 30 seconds into my crunchy popcorn before I realized she was about to punch me in the face.

But it’s true. I wake up when the heat comes on. My hearing sensitivity borders on echolocation. I know people who can’t stand other’s chewing, nail tapping, insert vaguely annoying habit here. Be kind to them. Imagine a drop of water hitting the center of your forehead, every six seconds, for 10 hours. That is what our sensitivity feels like.

We are deeply emphatic. I don’t just mean we feel sympathy for people when their girlfriends break up with them, or compassion for hurricane victims in Southeast Asia – everyone feels that. Again, human. We actually feel the emotions of the people around us. So, when we are heartbroken and crying with a feeler, trust that they are likely truly feeling your heartbreak. When we are nervous wrecks and venting, our feeler friend is a nervous wreck with us. This is why it is often draining for us to spend a lot of time with others:

It’s not that we don’t love you, it’s that we need to make sure we can love you the way you deserve, with a full reserve.

We have strong intuitions. That means different things for different people. For some, it may mean strong gut feelings – hunches, or “just a feeling” we have that something is right or wrong. Some people are incredibly in tune with the people around them, and can gauge moods with startling accuracy. Some people can know things are going to happen with varying levels of clarity – not quite precognitive, but again, “have feelings.” Still others, our energy workers, channel energy through their bodies, their hands.

We’re criers. We cry when we are sad. We cry when we are confused. We cry when we are angry, which is extremely frustrating and unfair. Imagine being so mad that it is exploding outward, except instead of an eloquent and enraged speech about feeling wronged, it is a tearful, hiccuping mess that portrays the speaker as an angry child, despite the articulation attempted. When this is used against us, it is a guarantee that we will never trust that person again – we are vulnerable. We don’t necessarily like it. But it’s how we’re wired.

We want to know why. Why are things this way? Why are these the rules? Why do we treat these people this way, and these people this other way? Who decided these rules? Why aren’t they different? Why don’t we make them different? How do we start? We need to figure it out – and if we can’t, we will get to the bottom of whatever it is.

We are outraged. We have a burning desire to change the world, to make it better. We want to make our voices heard. We are teachers, social workers, counselors, writers, nurses, huggers, lovers.

We are the creative. We feel pain, beauty, loss, anguish, joy, and everything in between, in the extreme. We see the world, in its glory and in its grief. And we make the world – from deep beneath the surface, we work to make it a little better, a little brighter, one feeling at a time.