My name is Val and I used to write a (travel) blog.
It was filled with thoughts, some sadness, and lots of images. It was far from perfect, but it was a personal exercise for creativity and motivation.
That blog stopped being, one too many reasons involved. I spoke many times about this lack with fellow creatives (and I know it sounds douche to me to think I belong to that category just by typing words and posting images on an almost-free platform but bear with me), not finding the right way, or even a way, to be reconnected with the medium. Don’t get me wrong, I kept travelling, even if less than usual – fun fact, my less is always more than an average person – but I didn’t bring my better camera along, or worse, I didn’t take the right amount of time to reflect, select my feedbacks and rearrange the images afterwards. Basically, to get a grip on what I experienced, if you allow me to be annoyingly sentimental.
Now, I can keep digressing on how my mind was moulded into letting this blog silently die and live out, in my memory, of the words I will never type since it takes time, energy, even soul every so often to do this job. Yet, two years have passed by, many hard but good-in-the-end events happened to me… I am in a position now where I really want to amend that lack in mine.
I still have that pressing feeling I am pretending, but motivation is coming back, creativity then will follow. “To find me you have to get lost in my words and pictures. Visit my website!” says my patronising-much bio on Instagram. Well, I better go back finding myself, so I can post something better than this soppy, existential-crisis-of-a-self-called-artist chapter.
See you soon,
Cambodia, 2015 – never got around to write about it, too many photos, too many feels, cheers.
If you take in consideration the amount of times I mention my melancholic soul, or when it clearly shows up in my words, you might understand how much I was longing to visit Lisbon. But then money, time, flight routes didn’t align. Until recently. I had my little slice of Lisbon, on my way to Spain, and it felt like I was finally reunited with myself.
It might have been the many houses crowded in the hills facing the sea, the churches and palaces popping up like flowers at every corner.
It might have been how the black and white stones on the pavements, the arches and main squares interact with the wind.
It might have been the sun peeking through the window of its trams, or the shadow created under the gigantic bridge in Alcantara.
It might have been, maybe, the city talking to me, while I thought I was spending the day only with my very own inner voice, bad jokes included.
In less than 24h I kept moving, so did my mind. I came up with new stories, galvanised by the constant ocean breeze. I didn’t see much, mainly because I didn’t plan on a stopover-experience overkill, anyhow I felt a lot and that mattered.
I can’t wait to come back for more, Lisbon, wait for me.
As I self-describe myself, I’m a Nordic creature. I am very used, and much in love, with the peace given by following the rules, getting all tucked up in layers, and being surrounded by green and blu sceneries, especially if gifted, from time to time, by white snowflakes.
I know, I sound like a broken record and every time I travel south I start blabbering about it, but desert somehow makes me uncomfortable. I have, anyhow, found the perfect balance when I travel during autumn and winter time to southern locations, such as I did with Palermo.
It turned out to be a delightful weekend, marked in my memories to come “The Palermo Affair”.
So much to tell. First, people are vocal, loud and generally happier than the people I met in northern Italy. How come, since the city is, in fact, a tropical mess? The walks ups and downs the city center made me believe that it’s a mix of factors, such as the sun – less aggressive this time of the year – and the food that make the difference.
Hey, it’s for sure not roses and unicorns, lots of houses and streets are just broken and decadent, you can tell the majority doesn’t live a pretty rich life, and some parts leaves you with a sense of unsafeness, but for some aspects, it looked a nice place to spend holiday, maybe also to live for a bit.
Second thing, the landing was in one of the most impressive set ever, between a mountain and the sea. So peculiar, so lovely.
Another thing I noticed was the unusually high number of shops for male clothing, that you can combine with the fact that men are quite attentive – and again vocal -to women, you get the idea that Sicily is still pretty much a male-based community… I can hear Trump cheering.
On the bad note, I spoke with some of them, especially at the restaurants where I had incredibly-good-but-overpriced fresh fish, and they all told me I do not look Italian. So they were applying the price for foreigners.
Anyhow, I spent two days roaming around the streets, visiting the x wonderful baroque churches, visiting the street markets, eating yummy fish and soaking up under the sun at the harbour. It was a positive getaway weekend, indeed.
Remember me to go more often to a seaside city. The sea is food for soul.
Of all the places visited in Malta, Mdina was the one that struck me the most.
I knew that everybody was saying it was beautiful, but it was more than that. It was such a slice of ethereal Malta. I loved everything about it: the enchanting little alleys, balconies, and stunning flowers on the walls. It was pretty much a paradise for photo lovers, or to say it in a more modern way, Instagram goals. 🙂
A trip is made of small moments, thoughts, revelations, laughters, all together, some at the same time. I had many of those during my Trip to Mdina. I also knew that the main reasons why I loved it were:
– because there weren’t so many tourists;
– because it was finally almost warm;
– because my cynic spirit for once was wrong, since it wasn’t expecting Mdina to be truly that beautiful;
– because something beautiful becomes even better when shared with others.
There, I’ll say it. I found it was a special, magic place, that sunny afternoon.
Turin is the first big Italian city coming from West.
I came from East, from the soulless, business-oriented region of Milan. The good thing to reach from one city to the other is to see the continuous groups of rice fields between them, separating their distant personalities. The trip gets a bit cathartic, like a silent, natural cleansing of your mind.
Looking outside the window
Turin was the first capital in Italy, the first in many things. Was. Somewhere roaming around you can still feel it, in some other parts it still holds the crown of being the capital of local, even of lost.
I remember my first time in Turin, maybe 15 years ago. I found it sad and kinda empty. I’ve changed my mind during the years… Turin has had a sort of newborn vitality, all around events, museums and arts. There’s one thing I’ve always loved loads of Turin though: la Mole.
For me, one of the most magical building men could ever create.
Perfection, anthropology and mythology together.
Well, I was in Turin for a reason: to learn about an artist. What I learnt from that day was much more, especially from his sons’ eyes and story telling. And while I was listening to them, I started remembering little things. The dynamics of a family, the smell of an Italian house, a wall by no reason left white, but filled with paintings, the little gardens with wild flowers, kids eating gelato, couples looking at the shop windows on a Saturday afternoon. Everything frankly so much more than my lonely life.
That day I also tried to switch camera, and left my beloved Titty to my friend. The pictures along this posts are actually his. Enjoy.
I’m back to talk about my seasonal favourites, spanning through music, film, radio and much more.
For this 2015 I decided to explore the topic “Playlist” on a different level, not anymore on a monthly basis, but based on the seasons, on each colours, weather and events that happen along the way. This winter has been unusual, cold and grey, but snow lacked, for my disappointment. Spring came with a windy week of clear sky and sun, here in Berlin. Quite a blessing, culminated with the solar eclipse on March 20th, equinox day, what a show.
Well, let’s start with the favourites, let me know what you think.
Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.
– Music –
In this playlist you can find:
– Flowers –
You can tell it’s January in Berlin when you can find the first narcissuses and tulips and more in every supermarket. I love them! such a colourful presence in my flat. I personally like to buy myself a nice posy, to display in my bedroom. It’s a lovely feeling to wake up and see flowers, indeed!
– Film –
I watched Song One because of the beautiful presence of singer songwriter Johnny Flynn and a great soundtrack. Despite the music, the movie itself is meh, I must admit, so maybe skip the movie and go listen to the OST.
I also watched Birdman since it won the Oscars, and I can tell that it’s an excellent movie, but I simply can’t explain how Boyhood didn’t bring the statue home. Seriously I can’t wrap my head around it.
I ended up watching Still Alice a Saturday night that I was home alone. I generally liked the idea, and Julianne Moore really studied the pathology before playing the role, but what a weird way to roll the narrative, highlighting things that would not necessarily be highlighted (Husband cheating? Kids’ daily drama?)…Dunno. Not impressed in the end. I have also to say I really dislike the choice of letting a saltless actress like Kristen Stewart such an important character?
Whiplash wowed me. What a great, cruel movie about music and jazz. It reminded me of a past boyfriend practising jazz until his hands bleed. It’s true that that kind of practice makes you a fierce human being. Sometimes a bit of a superior asshole too. And then, well, there’s my homie Miles Teller. I always watch and support him, he’s finally starting to move forward shitty blockbusters and work with his talent for nicer, more meaningful scripts.
I want to suggest you StartUp, from Gimlet Media. At the beginning I thought that the podcast was a spin-off like Serial of TAL (I spoke about my devotion for this podcast and host Ira Glass last year) bur it’s something different. I really liked the story telling and the genuine enthusiasm and tender naivety to the business world, while he is approaching to start his own business.
Shattered, plus slightly intoxicated by the previous night I was fighting the frozen air conditioning system at the airport.
Done with my routine ipod-security gate-ipod, I started battling with myself if to buy a sandwich, they are so good in Italy it is highly tempting, yet so expensive. Yes no, yes no, yes no, I queued up at the bar. I then chose the most deserted part of the gate to sit, facing the runway, pretending I was about to jump on that plane to a more exotic destination. Why am I so early this time? I hate waiting when hungover.
I started reading a book, stopping for a moment to look at the Emirates flight attendants with their red and beige suit and funny hat (that by the way i totes rocked here). In a hipster moment of creativity I then took a picture of my sandwich looking at the runway and the plane, the sky in the sunset over a hot and humid Venetian lagoon. It’s the end of August.
I pushed myself to stay awake by reading, but my heart started galloping with the announcement: they’re calling my flight. The frenzy to get on the plane started around me, but I always stay sit until the very last moment, enjoying to watch people in a rush to leave. I am always alone at the airport, yet I was not feeling lonely, I had my music. It’s time to fly, to my next destination, and this is what my ears, what my soul, is listening to in the process.
“When the night is falling in the summer love / Tell me where you gonna stay tonight”