Find your passion

I find bursts of creativity and the best AHA moments triggered by ordinary things.

This happens for some years now, since finding my passion for both photography and writing.

I’m like treasure hunting through my lenses.

So, I discovered this beautiful sewing machine, and for a moment it took me back in time.

Back when I was a child and on my aunt’s carpet, an aunt who is a seamstress and used to worked on orders.

I was too little to have access to that machine.

Being a stubborn child I conviced her into teaching me how to manually sew buttons on random pieces of cloth.

So one day, after she finished working on her machine,  she couldn’t fine one single button (from hundreds that she had) to work with on her ordered dress.

I was so used of listening the sounds of her sewing machine and observing her feet setting up the rhythm, while me sewing all those buttons… so  laughing at it.

Now, when looking  at this machine, I realize no piece of clothing gets ready only by wanting it or by wishful thinking.

It has to have an input: all the needed threads, materials, the human factor.

This is what happens with our passions too.

We need the materials and tools and then, the most important:

  • The effort: to show up and do the work (my aunt had a large household back then, lots of animals and fields to take take care of)
  • The time: to make it, since the expression of “having time” is doomed from beginning (I don’t remember to hear her saying she has no time because each day in the afternoon she was making time as religiously as made time for going to church)
  • The willingness: to have ups and downs, success and failure (more than 20 years ago, she did it all from scratch and papper patterns, with many fittings, and failures were worked up to successes. She always found the perfect button for that one dress.)
  • The perseverance: to never quit, because having a passion and not living it can count us as dead inside ( orders kept on coming for my aunt because her passion and good work were transmitted by the spoken word so fastly. She was working her and into her passion every day)

Now, it’s me and you with all that we know as passions for ourselves, and we here to do the same.

It should be way more easier now than 20 years ago, and if she managed we will manage.

And if by chance you don’t have a passion to fire up in your heart, do make yourself a favor and find it.

A passion in life is like seasoning to a food… like that extra special button to my aun’t dress.

Are you up for it?

Invitation to "my wagon"

A short train trip  to the mountains on a regular Saturday winter  morning.

Gorgeous walk, sunny weather, delicious food and perfect company.

The trip back home with a slower train..

The long walks take their toll on me and when I sit down and with the warm air hugging me I deeply relax.

I am looking through the wagon and encounter a variety of  fellow travellers.

And I have my phone in my pocket for the rest of the trip while I take time to look at everybody.

Bring to paint a picture of their stories in my mind.

Snowboarders, fathers left in a boy’s getaway with their baby boys, elder people heading back to their homes, an Indian speaking English with a delicate redhaired woman  that proved  to be his wife.

I’m melting in my seat, and outside the shades of the sky are rapidly changing, like in a kaleidoscope.

I close  my eyes for a second and the swing of the train rings back  memories from me being a baby swung in my mum’s loving arms.

I feel warms and protected and I open my eyes grateful for the amazing day I am having.

It seems waves of mixed relaxation and sleep gently sweeps our wagon and the sounds are lullabies for my ears.

The snowboarders swish silently their gloves and coats to fit better without disturbing anyone.

The fathers with  the getaway are softly speaking to their boys trying to put them down to sleep before they do. Luckily the boys fall asleep in each others arms, and the parents are silently giggle in content.

The elders put down their glasses in their pockets and rest their eyes and I can almost sense their eyelashes fluttering down, in the same rhythm of their heartbeats.

The Indian chit chats  with his enchanting lady as softly as everybody else, while her gaze is caressing his  warm brown skin.  The’ve had the same amazing day, I can feel it..

And the train makes its way into the night while  the little boys sleeping in front  of me are snoring gently like kittens purrring.

Luckily my trip is almost ending, and I won’t join the little fellows in a deep nap myself.

Never thought that  one hour train trip after an amazing day could be so soothing.

Grateful for this day, and for the people with good vibes from train 3088, wagon 03.

The world as a stage

There is something up in the air.

I love looking up, just like a kid in a fair: eager to find all the beauty and just relax.

To be more precise, each beginning of January hosts an exhibition of sunsets.

Fluffed up clouds painted in sophisticated nuances, juts like candy candy in summer.

Savage orange shades like shamelessly splashed from furious volcanos.

A free exhibition for us all, ultra HD, crafted by nature and offered for our indulgement.

If only people would only trade their black mirrored smartphones for  the navy deep skies.

There is something below the clouds.

I love also looking down: like being fully present and mindful.

To be just as precise, each tiny moment counts as unique, and all summed up equals our life.

The sunset is gone, the air is crisp and thin, making it’s way through my lungs in tiny needles.

Like a wake up call to pay attention. The pavement under my feet is frozen.

I look around at people passing by, like soft silhouettes melting into the night.

Snuggled into thick coats and hats, with heads bent while looking ahead and not being in the moment, maybe not even seeing me.

I can feel their breath and sighs.

It’s an exhibition the civilization puts down for us.

A contrast between fluff and cements, pastels and greys, warmth and cold, mindfulness and the lack of it.

I absolutely love both kind of shows, and trying to be present and engage you TO  BE.

Allow yourself to be amazed today, this year… always.

Fast or slow in Brasov?

As told you in the previous post, I’m spending the end of the year in magical Brasov.

Exploring the streets at night here is for the fast one and for the slow one.

The old city centre decorated in millions of lights, and animated by the dedicated artists embraced by the waves of tourists that keep on arriving.

For us, Romanians, this a familiar image of our winter traditions, and if you’re not from here you might enjoy it very much.

We are well cherished and appreciated by tourists, like you, and it’s a delight for us to initiate them in all our Romanian delightful bits and pieces.

This one from the photo it’s a mix of ancient traditions, “hardcore”drums and rivers of energy from these people that seem restless.

All this flood the famous Republicii street, and night is suddenly transformed into day.

At least until people harnessed by a terrible hunger to the amazing culinary locations prepared just for them.

An then, with warmth running through the veins and a comfy full belly, they slowly fill in the tiny streets, fulfilled with happiness and peace.

They will arrive at their hotels, hostels, air b&b’s and slowly fall asleep in this world of winter wonderland.

Enjoy and be magic this evening my friends.

Reporting from Brasov with love,

Andreea

A glimpse of wintery Brasov

Arrived in Brasov early in the morning to be honest.

So early that cars were still sleeping from last night, covered in a sheer blanket of fresh snow.

I completely forgot how cold the “mountains cold” really was it but I was bitten by it without hesitation.

A slow beautiful day without any plans.. just BEING here: Brasov, and taking photos in Piata Sfatului and surroundings.

It’s amazing how through so much technology the magic of a Christmas tree is a crowd gatherer and enchanter.

From the smallest to the eldest, everybody was taking in the scent and the light.

Warming up with hot chocolate, warm apple juice with rum or mulled wine..

Everything seems possible in this mix of cold snowflakes on the cheeks and spicy hot sips down through thirsty throats.

Next days will be spent in long fresh walks, lots of photos and hopefully lots of goodies to be discovered.

Wishing you the most peaceful winter evening here.

Transylvania: The Corvin Castle

Tranylvania (in Romania) is like this huge magnet for tourists from all over the world.

If not for for its myths then for its medieval castles and wonderful traditions.

And today I am taking you with me through The Corvins Castle/ Hunyadi Castle.

The most well preserved medieval castle from Transylvania, built in the 14th century in a full gothic architecture.

And we will stop here with the theory because the last thing I said was “gothic architecture”.

But not only the architecture was gothic.

It can easily be used as a set for “The beauty and the beast” story.

I will show you, in photos why I sensed it as being a castle of contrasts: the rich and the poor, the good and the bad.

It was not hard imagining fine banquest being held here, with all the honors and intrigues.

And in the mornings, how the high class ladies enjoyed zooming the suroundings from the insides of the thick walled castle, keeping them safe from the outward world..

Long afternoons used for choosing the outfits for the evening to come: selecting from the finest silks, to sweeten up some bitter realities .

Because just below, on abrupt stairs, and dark hallways, things were far less glamorous and much more cruel.

In their own castle, whom to protect them for evil, from cold hearted people?

Life was not easy in medieval ages, people were not easy in their manners or in their ways in attaining different pursuits.

No matter how many candles burnt out to bring light to the dark ages, there were places where light never reached.

Not always people was patient enough in finding how their peers acted, so no surprise that in the hidden black rooms a painful truth was born: torture.

Looking at these could not ask myself: how to produce tools with wich to inflict pain on other people?

Masks to be heated in fire and applied to the prisoners’s faces, or to screw their eyes inwards.

This is not imagination, yet it was other people’s nightmare and reality.

Dozens of torture methods, one meaner and more horrifying than the other.

Forcing people to confess their sins, or worse.. things they were not guilty at all just confessing whatever for gaining freedom.

It’s mindblowing when you study their expressions and try to relive these glimpses of history.

It’s revolting to see faces of authority who perhaps could have stopped it , and yet they chose the other way around.

Trust me: this is a castle to be seen. Not all enveloped in milk and honey, fairies and princes.

A true castle, giving us the ultimate universal history lesson.

A lesson about people, humanity and the lack of it.

A “not to do” history lesson, which to make us appreciate our health, our rights, our freedom.

This is a reminder that we should always be pro peace and not anti war, standing up for both ourselves and for the weak ones who can not see the light just yet.

The Corvin Castle will imbue into yourself, like a living entity.

You will leave from there richer than you entered, ready to overflow with humanity onto the others.

Visiting Istanbul: not ordinary tea and coffee

If you are like me, you just can’t say no to a steaming cup of tea or to a cup of fresh coffee.

And if you are in Istanbul, you will see they developed a splendid craftsmanship around the pottery that serves both brews.

At art level.

Delicate yet strong enough to face the hot liquids from the summer hot days till the snowy December nights.

Don’t get fooled by their apparent frailty.

If tea is what steams up your soul and you want to buy some, head over the Egyptian bazaar (part of the grand bazaar).

Please do not even consider those sad tea bags we are used with in our rushed lives.

What bout these?

Mountains of teas arranged in such a harmony that create a delight for your eyes and enchant your nostrils.

For those of you who prefer single plant teas… behold 🙂 rose buds, linden, apple, pomegranate, mint, of course the black tea, and so many others.

But just for the love of it and for senses to be totally swept of their feet, tea blends are also present.

Be honest: aren’t you just a bit curious what’s the deal with this “love tea”?

Should I even mention you can take that and spice it up a bit more perhaps with 2 slices of dehydrated coconut slices, or blood oranges? Just to add a glimpse of summer in your concoction.

I was explaining you in a shopping related post about their merchants: their skills combined with a special gift of sensing what people want and need.

That was not an exaggeration. You will find yourself entering in a such a shop for curiosity and there the “treasure unfolds” before your eyes.

And of course, the vendor will try to offer you his best supplies. And by offering I mean he will prepare you a glass of fresh tea.

There, in the store. He will catch the glimpse of satisfaction from your eyes that will confirm him which is your favorite flavor.

Who cares outside is burning hot and perhaps you are too? The tea is there to comfort you, and you will not leave empty handed, that’s for sure.

Tea is more than a tradition and a ritual in Istanbul.

Perhaps you know the special tea glasses, perhaps you heard about Turkish people enjoying tea while socializing, after meals, and pretty much each time they have the chance.

It’s lovely seeing the small colored tulip glasses flying up and down the streets, from hand to hand, putting a smile on everyone’s face.

I did not come home without a kilo from 2 of their tea blends and without a gorgeous set of glasses.

And, each evening, before retiring to the living room, I brew some fresh tea, pour it in the glasses and enjoy it… like I learned from them: in totally peace and gratefulness.

That’s the lesson I learned from Turkish tea: being in the moment, grateful, in peace and creating an unique moment.

Ok, coffee lovers, haven’t forgot about you, I got your back also.

I enjoy coffee, in all forms, and to be honest espresso in Italy is my favorite coffee strength, creaminess and quality wise.

Turkish coffee: that’s not just a different story, but this tiny cup is a story by itself.

From the tiny cups in which it is served, to the pinch of cardamom that spices it up, to the sand where it’s traditionally prepared in.

You can enjoy it along a nargila (hookah) or just plain, in small sips, but only after a couple of minutes after they brought it to you.

This is a great tip, trust me (just after it being poured in the cup, coffee grains float around, and they need some minutes to.. relax on the bottom of the glass).

Please for your comfort, don’t skip this step. Otherwise you will get annoyed (perhaps), and start the experience from an unfair position.

You enjoyed your coffee and to complete it, fresh water is always a perfect end to it.

I imagined that in this point it doesn’t surprise you that even the glasses for water are so “not ordinary”.

Why everything so tiny, little, minuscule? Well I asked myself this question over and over again.

And this is what I learned from this: we cherish more all that is amazing and that comes in the smallest quantities.

Now that you know, I am so curious what would you try first when visiting Istanbul.

It’s it coffee or tea?

Visiting Istanbul: fast, busy, charming

Planned on visiting Istanbul for quite some time and it happened.

And since Atatürk airport closed a while ago , landed on the brand new Havalimani Airport.

It’s huge, but fresh and welcoming, just like a promise that you’re in good hands.

The hands of Istanbul.

In my case no pre arranged transfer from the airport to my hotel in Sultanahmet area.

But guess what? It was perfect.

Their bus system is fantastic: smart, clean, efficient.

From the plane to the bus into the city where wow… You are instantly taught what traffic jam or crowds of people really are.

Here the old town crowds:

Don’t mind them or the tiny streets, cabs and huge busses simply slip through them all like nobody’s business:

And if you want crossing the city like a local, just buy an Istanbul card (Istanbulkart).

That can be used for everything included in public transport (buses, tramways, funiculars, boats even).

You deposit some money on it and jump for example in the long colorful tramways that look like gummy caterpillars.

See?

And if a my gummy caterpillar was not attractive enough, how about a short trip with this baby?

And yet, whatever you do, when and if you get to Taksim, their new part of the city, the crowd changes.

A younger, passionate one, one from which you can feel true energy and the courage for change.

And yet, here in Taksim all these young people don’t lose tradition and keep this amazing red jewel:

It simply pops up in the street and magic occurs.

After so many trams, busses, crowds perhaps in the evening you’d think of escaping to a short trip on Marmara sea to chill even more.

That’s an amazing idea because the boats and landscapes are so worthwhile.

You can focus on breathing in the beauty and let every other thought washed away by the calm tides.

Trust me: I am writing this post with a huge smile on my face and sipping from my Turkish tea from my Turkish tulip glasses.

Should I even say that I can’t wait to write more about my experience in Istanbul?

Well, keep close and I’ll be back with a new piece .

“Widen your world”

This was taken last week,  on my Istanbul- Bucharest flight , when getting back home from my holidays in Turkey.

And this time, I will write about my travel experience some kind of backwards.

And if you  wonder how is that , is by starting with the main conclusion.

The one I was  given on the display from the airplane: “widen your world”.

Call it faith or.. sincronicity.. what were  the odds that the flying company’s motto to fit perfectly?

So, after the plane took off, I gazed into the clouds and  digged into this message.

Each time after I return from a holiday abroad I feel that I filled myself up. And that I want and need more of that.

Seeing new places, meeting new people is something that absolutely fascinates me.

I have an unbelievable   thirst for it, so that when getting off a plane I would get back in another in a blink of an eye.

This trip was caught on a thousand photos on my camera and some hundreds on my phone.

I am grateful to photography that it taught me and teaches me to see, to observe, to catch this world  in my photos just as it feels to me.

Turkey added a great deal to my world and taught me things I’ll share with you.

It took me a week to think how will I start writing about it, because it was all overwhelming.

And here I am now, having a clue, and I will keep on working on this trip photos so that some rich posts will follow.

 

Until then: widen your world, say yes to opportunities. This is my motto, and I am planning to follow it.

 

 

 

 

Missing Italy. Badly.

If you haven’t visited her already: just go.

If you did already: do it again.

I miss it badly because:

1. Her air has an unique warmth which embraces you just as welcoming you.

2. When you have a pizza and you hear Italian being spoken: breath in deeply and cuddle these memories inside you like a treasure. In your lowest days, these memories will gently come out and cuddle you back.

3. She is genuine and will look you into your eyes and invite you into her home.

4. The red of a Vespa makes you smile even when remembering it from your holidays. She is part of the spirit.

5. The streets are so stylish and home like when you are so far away from your own.

6. Osterias will charm you and wine will make time slow and your days will have as many hours as you dare them to have.

7. The lesson Ferrari gives empowers each of us and makes us feel a part of something bigger than us.

8. You’ll have tattooed on your retina this image when you’ll be hot as hell.

9. Oh… she’s is a living museum each turn you take, and because you breath in pure art.

10. Gellaterias are like a breeze of freshness even when seeing them. It’s like you’re in the fairy tale you imagined when you were a kid.

11. Nights are as slow or fast, hot or cold as you fancy them.

Two years in a row spending my holidays in Italy aren’t enough for me to get enough of her.

The more I see of her the more I want her.

Entering Italy I feel like I am finally home and when leaving her a part of me stays there to assure her that one day I will be coming back.

Ti amo, bella Italia ❤️