Browsing Tag

family

Our Best Summer Yet

Family, Life In Italy By July 15, 2017 Tags: , , , , No Comments

This is turning out to be a summer that I am immensely enjoying – in stark contrast to my previous summers in Sardegna, marked by countless packing and unpacking of bags as I struggled to remain in a positive mood, enough to last three months, in an island where I did not speak the language, and transportation was limited.

Perhaps it is largely because of my recent adoption of a dog that found me on the street. For months, I truly knew I needed one. Despite my best efforts in adopting one from a shelter, it was met with a number of disappointments and not a few times of crying outbursts that lasted through the night.

These days I look forward to waking up in the morning. I do my stretches while I wait for my coffee.I give our adopted cat and dog their morning meals before sitting to enjoy the cool morning and my black Illy or Lavazza coffee. Afterwards, my Maremma-Golden Retriever mix of a dog that I had named Poldo, and I go on our hour-long morning walks to nearby beaches. Aside from helping me get fit, these quiet walks make for great time for reflection, and planning the rest of the day. Or I go on my Duolingo app to achieve my daily goal of 100 XP or more, improving my Italian or learning French. I am having the time of my life.

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Blue Mountains Three Sisters and Lincoln’s Rock, New South Wales, Australia

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By June 27, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

From the Botanic Gardens we drove to Blue Mountains to join the hordes of tourists at Three Sisters at Echo Point. Blue Mountains is approximately 50 kilometers NW of the Sydney CBD. Since it is a mountain range, several established towns are situated on its heights, including Katoomba, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, and Springwood.

The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular landmark and is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone.

From Blue Mountains, we drove to Lincoln’s Rock, a scenic lookout in Wentworth Falls. Sometimes it is closed and we were lucky to have been able to visit it. “As well as the all-encompassing views of Jamison Valley, which change colour throughout the day as the sun and clouds move overhead, the drawcard of Lincoln’s Rock is the impressive optical-illusion photo you can get as a memento, which makes it appear as though you’re sitting literally on the edge of a cliff.”

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Sibaltan, El Nido, Palawan

Family, Life in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines By June 5, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

It takes an average of two hours on a motorbike to get to Sibaltan. The drive is hot and dusty, and scooters are a definite no-no. We rented a proper motorbike to get ourselves there and took at least two stops on the way for respite from the heat and the accompanying stress of having to dodge rocks and holes on the road. There are two roads one can take to get there. The other has more paved roads but is longer. It takes the same time to get to Sibaltan then whichever road one chooses. The trip is largely uneventful, passing through dry forests, little villages, and few sights.

Soon, the roads from El Nido town to Sibaltan would become more accessible and as the town center becomes more and more crowded, more and more tourists looking for peace, quiet, and good old nature would find themselves going north.

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A Family Vacation in Siquijor Island, Philippines

Family, Philippines, Siquijor By June 3, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

From Dumaguete, we decided to take a ferry to the neighboring tiny island of Siquijor, where we stayed at one of the more expensive dive resorts – Salamangka Beach and Dive Resort. We almost never choose expensive accommodations but we only started looking for accommodations, ran out of options, and eventually decided we deserve this, even just this once. We took our breakfasts at the restaurant or by the pool while sunbathing and swimming. The pool-side bar afforded us swim while getting semi-drunk on cocktails and enjoying live jazz music. We were lucky in our timing because the owners had some of his friends over from New York who are professional musicians and they made beautiful music from sundown til late. When my then-boyfriend and now-husband’s mother asked us what we were doing and we told her, she infamously asked, “What about real life?” Still, our time spent in Siquijor was one of our most memorable, work-free, and stress-free family trips.

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A Future Without Me

MOMents By June 2, 2017 Tags: , , , No Comments

My daughter is getting more and more independent. Yesterday she spent all day taking care of me while I lay in bed all day writhing in pain from migraine. She made breakfast for herself, went to her grandparents’ house for lunch, and prepared the dining table for the dinner that was prepared for us. She prepared her travel bags. Today, I watched her take the elevator, her backpack behind her, on her way to spend the weekend with her grandparents in Bardonecchia for three days and two nights without me. On Monday, I will bring her to the train station where she will board a train to Genoa with her schoolmates, spending two days there, and one night “sleeping with the sharks” at the Genoa Aquarium.

“I am sorry I will not be here to take care of you, make you feel better, and make you laugh… but at least you will not have to think about me and take care of me. There will be less stress for you and you can relax,” my daughter said to me as she squeezed a tube of toothpaste in the bathroom the night before.

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Celebrating New Year in Dumaguete, Philippines

Diving, Family, Negros Oriental, Philippines By January 12, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

We are a simple family. When we travel, we avoid staying at expensive hotels or resorts. We prefer to stay with family, friends, or at AirBnb places. Our two-week stay in Dumaguete in January 2016 was no different. There are many choices for staying in Dumaguete. One can stay in the city itself, in one of its many hotels, BnBs, and hostels. Most of the AirBnb places are not in the city center though and we think that’s well and good. After hours of looking on AirBnb and actually driving around on our rented motorbike, we found a small farmhouse in a town outside of the city, and it was the perfect place to stay for the New Year and the days after. We played many games of Dobble, Fabio’s Christmas present for Lia, and watched movies. On New Year’s Eve, all three of us laid on the hammock, covered with a warm blanket, and watched and counted shooting stars in the night sky – the distant sounds of firecrackers, and fireworks a faint glint in the far horizon.

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We All Just Do The Best We Can

Family, MOMents, Musings, Personal By April 18, 2016 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

As a mother, I know enough not to judge anybody else’s parenting or mothering skills or approach. I always say that we can only parent the way we know how, and in the way we know best. No one can teach you to become a good mother or parent. We all just do the best we can. And this is a story of how I did it, at least in all the past seven years. Last year, I embarked on this two-month journey on my own to find myself and thankfully, I did. I came home with the realisation that I must prepare my daughter for a life without me and I came home with a journal. In this journal, I write letters to her when I can, for her to read in the future when she is much older and hopefully, much wiser. Let me share with you what I wrote on the very first page…

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Restart

Lifestyle By April 16, 2016 Tags: , , , No Comments

The past three years have been a whirlwind of airports around the world, visiting friends, relatives, and close family members all scattered in different parts of the world. I have given myself the title of “serial entrepreneur” after having had or started 8 businesses in the past 5 years: a rock and artists bar, an educational tours company, three online retail stores, a local travel agency,a boutique, a milk tea shop, a beach resort, and a beach bar. I am not stopping. I am a writer at heart. I love art. Art inspires my writing, as does music and performances. I used to think that in order for me to be an artist I had to be full of angst and desperation. After many travels and much contemplation, I realised that I am an artist powered by joy. I make art when I am happy.

And I am happy. Despite many wanderings, and many attempts at putting roots somewhere and anywhere, I have finally accepted that “home is not sticks and stones”. I have found home where I have found love. And there is love everywhere. And love is with me.

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Porto Conte and Capo Caccia, Sardegna, Italy

Italy, Life In Italy, Sardegna By May 20, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Capo Caccia is situated a few kilometres from Alghero, on the southern point of a huge limestone triangle that wedges out into the sea. There are characteristic, impressive cliffs (nearly 300 m high) on its west side. It is renowned for the underground labyrinth of mysterious caves discovered in 1700. The most famous one is Grotta di Nettuno (2500 m long) that can be reached by sea or on ground climbing the 656 steps of Escala del Cabirol that lead to the cave. Although we did not venture to these caves or the grotto because of Lia, the view itself was enough for us. And I guess for others too.

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