Caption: A day at Sokolniki Park, Moscow, spring.
I love flowers! To me flowers have always been a way to express my femininity. Flowers are as beautiful as women are; the variety in them is the same as in women. It's mother nature - perfection - there is no better example.
This is why when flowers begin to blossom in spring, I feel this connection as one perfect creation. I begin to blossom, too.
In Moscow, you can really appreciate the significance of flower gardens, especially after a long hard winter spent waiting for that moment of glory - the metamorphosis, spring!
Caption: Inside GUM Shopping Center, celebrating spring.
I call it a metamorphosis because it's really interesting to see the seasons transition from one extreme weather to another. It's when you appreciate the most what is about to come. Spring is here! It is almost like starting a new life - the perfume of its flowers spreads, the green grass grows fresh, lovers walk hand in hand, young girls wear their sweetest outfits. There is no need to hide under layers and layers of clothes. It is time to walk free and light. Most importantly, it is time to move faster again, with more energy, perfect for discovering new places, for traveling.
Caption: Vitrine Boutique in Moscow Center showing a Spring Collection.
Here is a list of things you can do in Moscow in Spring:
1. Check out the botanical garden Aptkarsky Ogorod. Are you a nature lover? If so, visit Aptekarsky Ogorod, Russia's oldest botanical garden.
Caption: This is not Aptkarsky Ogorod park, but you can look at some pictures of the garden HERE.
The garden shows exotic flower exhibitions, including the Winter Orchids Festival, one of the most popular winter orchid festivals for the largest variety of Orchidaceae ever imagined. It was founded by Peter the Great in 1706 to grow medicinal plants. Since 1805, the garden has been the property of Moscow State University.
Go there, get stunned, take pictures, create your own album of orchids or just give pleasure to your eyes inside the greenhouses and have a relaxing time.
2. Visiting Gorky Park is a must.
It is the most extravagant recreational park in Moscow. It's in the heart of Moscow, with stunning music fountains, flowers all over, cosy cafes and a view towards Moscow River. The park has become a main point for cultural life. It even includes a small public beach for everyone, including families. Rollerblading is one of the main activities for Russian people; it may be the perfect occasion for you to try it too. Gorky park won't disappoint you!
3. Take a Radisson Boat.
Caption: My first trip on the Radisson Boat in Moscow.
In my personal opinion this is the best river cruise for a tour and, what is even better, it is not expensive at all. During the two-hour trip you can see all the main Moscow attractions, and if you start the trip around 5 pm, you will, for sure, enjoy an unforgettable sunset.
4. Watch the Victory Day military parade on the Red Square.
The biggest parade happens on the Red Square, on the ninth of May. It is a big celebration! People go to the Red Square to attend the parade and watch the fireworks at night.
5. Visit GUM.
Caption: GUM shopping center.
GUM is the country's greatest store. Now in spring time, the shopping center is decorated graciously. There's always a season-inspired exhibition going on and luxury is the word that characterizes it. Read everything you must know about the store HERE.
6. Enjoy the golden hour at Novodevichy Convent.
Caption: Novodevichy Convent and the lake with view to Moscow City.
The place is sacred in every sense. At sunset, the convent reflects the golden body of the sun, making pure magic out of it. Plus, just a few steps outside, you will find a lovely lake said to have been the inspiration behind Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. The convent was built in the beginning of the sixteenth century and it has witnessed many historical events in 400 years. Its architecture remains one of the best in the country. (Read more about Novodevichy Convent here.)
There are many other activities and places to visit in Moscow in spring, and I'll be posting pictures and information about those.
What other places in Moscow do you know are perfect to visit during spring? Please, let me know in a comment bellow. I'd love to know about places I haven't seen yet. And if you have never been to Moscow, but want to know more about it, keep tuned.
Thank you so much for your time, for liking and sharing. Keep traveling for your dreams, sometimes even only traveling with your heart is enough! Never stop dreaming!
Tons of Love,
Have you ever held a globe in your hand, closed your eyes, spun it and, with your eyes still closed, chosen a place where to go?!
This is exactly what we did this time. There was no logic in our trip, no preparation, no plans. Just a dream! We had to choose between two places, Hong Kong and Singapore. We chose the first one because … because it was the first one from left to right. Dear visitor – don’t try to understand why we made these choices – we just hoped for the best!
Hong Kong is the city of the future – modern buildings, technologies… in this city the modern coexists with the past.
Only here you can find beautiful parks with flamingos in the middle of a concrete jungle; it's also here where you can take an ancient Chinese sailing boat called junk and see the harbour view, here you can see the biggest Buddha in Asia and find many many things to do!
I want to write some useful tips for visitors of this city, because it is so easy to get lost here.
First of all, after arriving at Hong Kong International Airport you need to smile, to tell yourself that you are brave and you are not afraid of so many people. You need to tell yourself that people who live here are different from those living in Europe, America and other parts of the world. This is Asia! People in Hong Kong speak English! And this is good news! They are very friendly and helpful!
Now we are ready to start, here are eight wonderful tips on vacationing in Hong Kong!
1. Buy an octopus card at airport.
It is useful. You can pay for all kinds of transportation with this card and even use it to shop in supermarkets. You'll need one card per person. It costs 50 HK and you can top up in any 7-11 Supermarket if needed. What is more, when leaving the country you can get 42 HK back from the place where you bought it.
2. There's three ways to reach the centre of Hong Kong from the airport.
- on a double-decker bus for 45 HK. The buses go to every destination in the city.
- by train to the central underground station for 120 HK
- by taxi
(Note: We took the Bus and enjoyed it a lot. Well, at some point I fell sleep!)
3. Have a warm jacket on you at all time!
This helps a lot. The normal temperature in Hong Kong is 30 ºC, but the metro, the buses, the restaurants and so on are very airconditioned and cold!
4. Book a hotel in the center.
Despite there being many places to stay and plenty of underground trains and busses traveling to the center of the city, we believe that staying closer will give you more time to explore places of interest. We stayed in Aberdeen for two days and in Mong Kok for ten. Night and day!
5. Be ready to experiment with food.
We visited many places. There is not much difference between the cheapest Michelin- starred restaurant in the world and a normal cafe in Hong Kong. That is why you shouldn't waste energy and just choose the first place you like. You can be quite lucky!
6. Take a night trip on the Aqua Luna Red Sail Boat with harbour view.
The cost is 200 HK per person for 45 minutes. It is not cheap, but this money you will get you a beautiful boat trip: amazing view, tasty vino and great emotions!
7. Who likes to start the day with coffee and cake?
In Hong Kong the best option is Starbucks and Mike’s chocolate cookies. Price for a big cup of coffee: 48 HK.
8. Visit Ocean Park or Disney Land.
Price to get into Ocean Park is 385 HK per person. The park opens at 10 AM and closes at 5 PM. Be ready to spend the whole day there! photo
This is it for today! More tips and stories from our trip will be shared in the next post. We will write about our visit to the Big Buddha and the monasteries.
If there is something in particular that you would like me to cover in the next post, or any questions related to Hong Kong, don't think twice, use the comment section bellow. I'll be happy to share.
Thank you for liking and sharing, and dream on!
'To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.'
Tons of love,
Mike & Yamilka.
How does not visiting the beach for a year feel like when you were born on an island?
It feels antinatural. The body feels thirsty. Deep down, one knows it's not possible to give up the pleasure one was once used to.
This has been my case. As I wrote in one of my previous post, I had real difficulty adapting to the Moscow weather. I even experienced the Blue Winter (seasonal affective disorder). I found myself in a situation in which I had no option other than packing my suitcases and flying off to Costa Rica in order to recover.
After all, being healthy is very important. We can't give much if we lack energy and emotions.
“Recognizing that you are not where you want to be is a starting point to begin changing your life.”
I realized I wasn't where I wanted to be, my body desperately craved those rays of light that usually make me smile, feel alive, awake, ready to do more than just expect someone to fill the emptiness that some circumstances provide.
E voila! Now that I am in Costa Rica, I spent the weekend on one of the beaches I hadn't visited in years. It felt like heaven. Despite it not being the most beautiful beach in the country, it does have incredible sunsets! Sunsets to dream of for years after.
I want to share with you the images I captured, as I am sure words can't describe its beauty!
However, before that there's one thing I want to tell you:
If you feel unhappy that you are not in the right place; if your heart is telling you that something needs to change for you to have the energy and enthusiasm for life that you deserve, please, don't be afraid to make a change. This is your life, you are one of the lucky ones that made it to this unique adventure that we call life. Only you know how you want to live it. And how you will live it will depend on what words you tell yourself, what reality you create.
You will never be alone no matter the choices. I repeat: you will never ever be alone if you believe so. Go for your dreams! Go for what gives you energy!
Now, enjoy the images, share your thoughts in the comments bellow and thank you very much for being part of the journey.
Playa Hermosa in Puntarenas, located just 8 kilometres from Jaco, is one of the best surfing spots for pros, offering one of the most reliable surfing experiences in the world.
Unfortunately, it is not the most recommended beach for swimming due to the strong waves; however, lying under a palm tree is always a taste of heaven.
One advantage of Playa Hermosa is that it's located at a short distance from the Capital, San Jose.
Waves at Playa Hermosa reach up to 13 feet in height, which is why, the beach hosts the International Quicksilver Surfing Championships every year in August, which attracts hundreds of expert surfers from all over the world.
In terms of accommodation, many people stay at Jaco beach and travel to Playa Hermosa, since there are more and cheaper options in Jaco, starting from hotels to restaurants and shops.
As for myself, I prefer to stay far from the crowd, enjoying the white sand beach of Playa Hermosa. A perfect place to watch the sunrise & sunset, and to lay down for some meditation.
I really hope you have enjoyed the pictures!
Which Beach in Costa Rica do you want me to write about in my next post? Leave your comment on the section down below and again, thank you for being the source of inspiration. Yes! you! the one who appreciate beauty!
Tons of love,
Caption: Beautiful Tuscany.
All my life I dreamed of visiting Italy. I started learning Italian when I was only 16. It sounded so beautiful to me. I was in love with Italian culture, especially their music, history and passion. I used to memorize all Italian songs I heard. By the age of 18, I could speak fluent Italian.
Visiting my favourite country in the world was not only a goal, it was my biggest dream at the time. Years later, my dream came true. I went to live in Florence, the heart of Italian Renaissance.
I could write pages and pages about the majestic Florence, but instead I am going to share a poem I wrote about Tuscany's countryside while I was there.
Perhaps because I was born in a small town, or maybe because I am a nature lover, I just know that Tuscany's countryside stole my heart. Mamma Mia!
(The poem is in Spanish. I'll make sure to publish the translation later.)
Caption: Lost in "Wondertuscany".
Paraíso engendrado de belleza tú eres,
Fresca brisa de amor inundada de color
en las tardes de verano.
Veo en tus entrañas, la flor que ríe
cuando el cielo abre sus puertas
para que nazca el sol.
Gala haces de ti misma
cuando te vistes de verde y amarillo,
e invitas a correr por tu cuerpo de elefante
a niños, ancianos y jóvenes.
Caption: Taken from a high point in Tuscany.
Envuelves en delicia los corazones
de quienes te ven lucir elegante y bella,
hechicera de la vida.
Caption: Poppies in Tuscany.
Señora naturaleza, dejas retoños por doquier,
los cipreses, las amapolas,
todas las flores perfumadas a embriagar el juicio
de quien conoce tu valía.
Caption: Me drinking fresh water.
Caption: Cypress trees in Tuscany.
Paraíso mágico tú eres,
cuando regalas tu luz en faroles que penden
decorando las inmortales noches que te habitan
o cuando los refulgentes ocasos
ciegan el alma del humano en centelleos
que arden muy dentro.
Caption: Sunset in Tuscany.
Caption: Sunflower field in Tuscany.
Caption: Tuscany landscape.
Quien no ha llorado por ti Toscana.
Quien no alucinaría contigo, tus olivos.
Caption: Olive trees in the heights of Tuscany's countryside.
Caption: Me falling asleep in the shade, in the quiet countryside of Tuscany.
Caption: A different view of Tuscany. I remember I had to stop the car to get this shot, so refreshing.
¿Y tus vinos?
huella del poeta romántico
que derramó en tus valles su amor.
Caption: The peaceful countryside of Tuscany.
Quien no viviría en ti,
en tus ojos de te quiero,
en tu rostro taciturno;
perfecto para callar mis miedos.
In those days, staying in the countryside gave me the feeling of having achieved something big, my first Big Dream. Being there, in the expansive and perfect nature, feeling alive, free.
I was staying in a rather peculiar house and there were no other houses in sight. The nights were noiseless and fresh, and during the days I explored the tiny roads, the local towns and the food festival, called 'Sagra'.
Era tutto così bello, un vero sogno ad occhi aperti!
Has a country ever stolen your heart? Which one was it?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, for liking and for being my inspiration. I really appreciate your words!
Un caro saluto (with love),
Caption: Toucan. They are common in the Caribbean Side of Costa Rica.
Two and a half years ago, my boyfriend and I moved to one of the most exotic parts of the world - the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. We chose Costa Rica because I am a Costa Rican citizen and had lived there for five years before.
The first time I visited the Caribbean was when I had just started traveling with my boyfriend. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca was our first stop. We were so in love with the Caribbean that we made a promise to each other - we were going to return. Six months later, after traveling together around the world, we settled in the Caribbean. We settled in Playa Chiquita, which means Chiquita Beach, four kilometres into the jungle.
Caption: One of the many beaches of the Caribbean.
We lived in a very unusual house, a lovely and colourful cottage. Someone actually told me that it was one of the oldest houses in that area. It took me three days of incessant house hunting to find this particular house. I would literally ask everyone I encountered if they knew anywhere nice. I guess in the end I was lucky.
The house was a stone’s throw from the beach, surrounded by gigantic ceibas, water apple trees and hundreds of coconut trees all along the beach. It was, in a way, our own private beach as we had very few people walking around, even during high season.
It was raining non-stop for the first few months of us living there but we didn't care; it was still warm and astonishingly beautiful. Everything was so new to us! What I liked most about that house, apart from the fact that it was immense (it could accommodate ten people) was its personality and the colours, which were very similar to those of Frida Kalhos' house.
Caption: Our home in Playa Chiquita.
There were others houses not far from us but none as special as our blue cottage.
Caption: One of the few houses situated right in front of the beach in Playa Chiquita.
I must say that it was pretty uninhabited around there. There were not many houses, mostly nature and sea. The locals were predominantly settled in Puerto Viejo, a tourist spot where you can find restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, supermarkets; anything you need. We were happy in Playa Chiquita, we enjoyed the silence and the peace we had at the time.
Soon enough, I found myself integrated into the wildlife, without losing my feminine essence. We were one with nature. I think most people who live on the Caribbean Sea of Costa Rica can relate to that feeling.
But there were still more blessings to come our way. We adopted our first pet Fifo Kote a Persian kitten.
Caption: Photo of Fifo in his first day with us in the Caribbean.
We brought Fifo with us from the capital, San Jose. We couldn't stop showering him with affection; he was so special to us. As a Kitten, Fifo was absolutely full of energy and a bit crazy too. We love him so much!
Although Playa Chiquita was, and still is, a Paradise, I won't lie, it was also a challenge. For instance, that two-month period of non-stop rainstorms was particularly difficult for me because I happen to suffer from astraphobia (abnormal fear of thunder and lighting). Falling asleep during those months was hard. The lightening would often hit the beach and with our house being just a few steps from it, I found falling asleep hard. I would see the light from my windows, hear the sound and freak out. Fifo was scared too and sometimes we’d to hide together.
Caption: Surfer girl in Puerto Viejo, after surfing in the furious Sea.
Once our house even got flooded. There was so much water that we had to stay in the second-floor bedroom all night.
Dealing with our neighbours, the animals of the jungle, wasn’t easy either. Even thought we always respected their space they didn't always respect ours. We would often have venomous snakes, frogs, ant colonies, monkey troops, iguanas, birds, sloths, etc., all around and inside the house. Luckily, they must have felt we were friendly and meant them no harm; perhaps otherwise they would have tried attacking us. In some ways we were all just one big family, LOL!
Caption: One of my neighbours in Playa Chiquita, cute Mr Sloth.
Sadly, now and again we’d catch Fifo trying to hunt the hummingbirds that would occasionally get inside the house. Fifo was becoming a hunter and I worried about him.
After all of this, and the fact that we were learning about ourselves as humans and as partners and were raising a pet together for the first time, I can definitely say that living in the Caribbean was a profound life experience.
It was a simple life but I wouldn't hesitate to call it a RICH LIFE. We met special people and ate spicy Caribbean food accompanied by excellent cocktails. We rode bicycles in the jungle, had Thai massages, chocolate spa and we went to the beach almost every day. We had our jobs, a big house and a cat. What more could we have asked for?
One year in the jungle had a big impact on our understanding and perception of life. We grew as human beings significantly. I gathered the courage to start my own small business, YN Production, creating commercial videos for the local community, and my boyfriend discovered his biggest passion - cooking.
Caption: My boyfriend cooking in our blue house.
Caption: Me painting. Painting was a hobby I started practicing for the first time in the Caribbean.
Caption: Fruit from our garden.
Caption: Fifo growing in the Caribbean.
It's been two and a half years since then. My boyfriend hasn’t stopped impressing me with his food and I haven’t stopped dreaming and working to be a source of inspiration for the world.
We found a place to live that’s perfect for Fifo. He loves Moscow and sleeps long peaceful hours now that he has nothing to chase and the weather is perfect for his kind.
We don't know if we’ll ever return to Puerto Viejo, but we do know that it was an unforgettable experience that we will keep in our hearts forever.
More pictures of my journey living in the Caribbean Sea of Costa Rica on Instagram
Have you ever been challenged by a new place or circumstances? What did you learn from your experience? I would love to hear your story, I am sure it will be very inspiring for all of us.
Don't forget to share this post with your friends, who knows, it might motivate them to follow their dreams.
Thank you so much for liking and sharing and being such a blessing!
Tons of love,
Lets get social
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