Sharing is Caring

Featured Image Source: Mrs.Anchelon

Call To Action:

Hey guys I am digressing from my usual blog posts to welcome you to submit a post about a city/town that you have visited and would like to see featured on my blog. This will be a monthly feature, so if your post has not been featured this month, resubmit a post and you may have a chance of being featured the following month (January). The rules are that you may only submit one post per month, so choose your destination with caution. While writing explain why this city/town is so special, what you did while visiting, and whether you have any advice for travelers whom would love to venture to your chosen destination. Furthermore, adding photos would greatly increase your chances as well as videos are welcome. To avoid deterring you from posting, I will not include any specific criteria, so feel free to write in a way unique to you.

Looking forward to reading your submissions! Best of luck!

Advertisements

Toronto: Strength In Diversity

Featured Image Source: SheratonToronto

Toronto is well-known for it’s multiculturalism and it stands as a prime example of being the most welcoming city for people from all corners of the globe. The following is a list of all the reasons why Toronto is a unique and great city.

1. Torontonians’ devotion to the  Maple Leafs despite their continuous losing streak is worth admiring. Every single hockey game is almost entirely sold out.

Source: IloveTO

2. The city where you will find a bar dedicated to the Rolling Stones, “Stones Place.” The owner has been collecting Rolling Stones memorabilia for approximately forty years and has walls plastered with the band. The bar features a lounge area, bars, and a dance floor with a DJ whom only plays tracks from the 60s to the 80s. Time to get groovy.

Source: TheOdysseyOnline

3.  The city houses the University of Toronto whose campus is unlike no other. The buildings resemble those of Hogwarts.

Trinity College – University of Toronto – Source: Wikipedia

4. If you have a sudden craving for Italian food and vino (wine), Terroni restaurant is one of the best places to satisfy your thirst and appetite.

Terroni – Source: Terroni

5.  Tired of partying and thirsty for knowledge? Well the Royal Ontario Museum is a compulsory attraction while visiting this diversified city.

Source: DepositPhotos

6. For the trendy fashionistas on a shopping spree for vintage and chic items to adorn their warderobes then Queen Street is for you. The street is adorned with both global up-scale retailers and local uncommon boutiques.

Source: Giphy

Feel free to share your experience while staying in Toronto. 

 

Fab Five Canadian Travel Blogs

Source of Featured Image: Whisper

These are the top five Canadian Travel Blogs which provide you with diverse locations and the top-notch captivating descriptions and recommendations for experienced and newbie travelers alike.

  1. Breathe Dream Go – This is an award-winning travel site by a Canadian blogger whose mission is to inspire travelers while providing captivating and original advice about all the beautiful places to see while visiting India. The author aims to revolutionize travel through the lens of a female “solo traveler.”
  2. Hike Bike Travel – Love to hike and bike? If so, then this blog is for you. Your legs can take you hiking anywhere, as can your bike therefore there are no excuses as to why you should not be exploring your city, province, and/or country. This blogger had quit his job to dedicate all his time to travel and photography. If this does not motivate you to go out of town this weekend, then I do not know what will.
  3.  Brendan’s Travels – Having traveled to eighty nations as a journalist and photographer, Brendan is a mandatory follow. His stunning photos and descriptive posts will surely answer all the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How questions you may have. A highly reputable blogger and informative blog featuring travel tours and workshops for travel savvy individuals and inexperienced travelers alike.
  4. Man on the Lam – Former corporate employee Raymond blogs about his “great escapes” to differing nations while entertaining his followers with a comical and unconventional writing style and perspective on nations and cities which he has had the privilege of visiting and the places which he plans to visit next.
  5. Candice Does The World – Candice freelances and travels at the same time. Sounds like she is living the dream. Her blog is not restricted to traveling rather it expands on the type of lifestyle which she finds so rewarding. Her blogs mission is not limited to writing about travel rather she enjoys unveils herself to be a dynamic individual ready for any challenge that may come her way.

If you have a favorite travel blog feel free to share and explain why you follow it with great affection. 

New York: A Whoville Nightmare

Source of Featured GIF: LoveThisGif

Yes, New York City is probably a nightmare for the Whovilles as well as it is for me. I have traveled to New York a few years back and to tell you the truth I was not impressed with the city. There are crowds of people swarming to and fro like bees from one flower to the next with a lack of consideration for anyone whom may be either in front of them, behind them, to the right or to the left. So long as they get to their destination nothing else matters. The surreal fantasy of “New York” is just that a fantastical dream and nothing remotely close to reality. Take housing for instance, either you are living in an apartment the size of your closet and paying an arm and a leg, or your excursion will take you two hours via transit or driving. Moreover, driving is completely improbable in the city, with a taxi being your only alternative which means spending money you already do not have. Furthermore, that paycheck you worked so hard to attain will all be spent on your living quarters and groceries. Therefore, if you even thought of dining out you should reconsider or burn your credit card unless you think sinking into a greater amount of debt is a viable alternative. Lastly, the compelling notion that this city is the place where all dreams come true is only a reality if you have the financial means and connections in order to transpire your fantasies.

Whenever I hear someone talking about how “fabulous” New York City is this is how I feel:

 

Feel free to peruse through this Buzzfeed “26 Reasons Why New York City Is The Worst” if the above reasons were not explanatory enough.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/samimain/reasons-why-new-york-city-is-the-worst#.jlwjd9nJw

This BBC article offers a new perspective on the nightmare that is New York City.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30512986

Not to end on such a negative note, there are great things about this city such as the Museum of Modern Art, the bustling nightlife, as well as the food; however, the impact of having a closet for a living space and paying a mortgage worthy of a mansion in other cities is not appealing.

Feel free to comment on the reasons why you dislike and/or like New York City.

Calabria: Seaside Oasis

Source of Featured Image: My3DCity

Move out St. Tropez and Nice, make way for a blissful getaway to Calabria whose sandy beaches and ethnic Italian cuisine, as well as reasonable prices will leave you wondering why you had not thought of the idea earlier. This regions rocky coasts, sandy beaches, warm climate, the mouth-watering local ethnic Italian seafood and shrimp pasta. Yummy in my tummy! All this will leave you wondering why you have not heard of Calabria before, and how this year you will pack your bags and discover this stunning getaway on your own or with someone special, OR  be an awesome friend and take someone who blogs about travelling with you….I am not suggesting myself, but hey if you insist I would not mind visiting this oasis and showing you around all the local places to dine and dance. I have digressed, therefore, allow me to give you some background historical information on the city so you can stun the locals with your knowledge of their city, and not be labelled as an ‘ignorant pesky tourist.’

Calabrian Style Grilled Tuna – Source: Good Food

 

Calabria Backgrounder:  Calabria is one of the oldest regions of Italy dating back approximately 700,000 years B.C. yet the first villages were built around 3,000-3,500 B.C.. Foreign dominance and intervention had come to an end in the 1860’s during the unification of Italy. However, prior to being unified Calabria was conquered by the Greeks  (800 B.C. – Magna Grecia), the Romans (2nd Century), the Byzantines (9th-12th Century), and it would not be until the unification of Italy when Calabria would become an independent and whole region within Italy.

Tourist zone: The well-known dazzling towns of Calabria are Tropea and Pizzo.

Tropea Pizzo Calabro
Tropea: Santa Maria dell’Isola   – Souce: Concorso Fotografico Nazionale
Pizzo Calabro – Source: TravelviaItaly

Where to eat:

Que Bravi Ragazzi, Tropea

Que Bravi Ragazzi – Source: Yelp

This quaint restaurant serves excellent pasta and pizza Calabrese style.

Le Chicche di Calabria, Pizzo

Le Chicche di Calabria – Source: TripAdvisor

If you are looking for a great lunch deli and cafe then Le Chicche is right for you. With its generous portions, and fresh options you will be swooned into eating more than one helping.

La Scogliera, Le Castella

La Scogliera, Le Castella – Source: Checkinly

Last but not least, my favorite restaurant in Calabria with fresh seafood and an amicable atmosphere and a stunning view of the coast.

Feel free to comment and share your experiences while staying in Calabria!

 

 

 

 

 

Verona: My Retirement Fantasy

Featured Image Source: Italia

This is one  of my favorite  destinations of  where I have traveled thus far. There is something about the ambiance and the air that is so inviting, compelling, and beautifully mysterious that has cultivated an inner passion in me for this city. I have decided that when I reach old age this is the city where I will retire and live out the rest of my days eating their delicious cuisine (there will be lots of ice cream), drinking vino (wine), taking long walks, taking in the wondrous sights of the city, and reading in the cafe’s while sipping Italian coffee and eating their pastries. I can see it already, now there is only another forty three years to go, and a million dollars to save up for the house and expenses which I will be incurring. I shiver at the thought of the medical expenses associated with old age. Yikes! I have digressed from the topic at hand, therefore, allow me to provide a minor historical backgrounder on Verona.

Verona BackgrounderThe city traces its birthright to the 1st century B.C. After decades of foreign conquests, Verona finally achieved its peace under the rule of the Scaligeri dynasty in the 13th Century. This period has been associated with the Golden Age of Verona, a time when the city prospered historically, culturally, and economically,. However, all good things come to an end eventually.  It would not be until the 15th century until Verona would become engulfed in family feuds and be taken over by Venice. Furthermore, Verona would become an Austrian trophy until the Italian Unification in the late 19th century, when Verona was once again liberated from foreign occupation.

Tourist zone: After a small historical background comes my favorite part: all the places to visit and eat at in Verona. Note: these are all locations where you will find a future 70-year-old me, that is if you happen to seek me out. Bask in the photos and grandeur of my retirement city.

 

Piazza Della Erbe – Source: Wikipedia

This is where I will  be buying all my souvenirs (everyone is getting a magnet) and this piazza will be the place where you will see an elderly me cafe hopping until I find the cafe with the best coffee.

Castelvecchio – Source: Wikipedia

At this castle I will be playing knights and dames. I do not need to mention that I am going to be a bad ass 70 year old knight on a trusty stead galloping through the fortress. My trusty stead will probably be a wheelchair, but where is the fun in that. Use your imagination!

Piazza Dei Signori – Source: Wikipedia

At this square I will stand in awe at the statue by the poet Dante Alighieri. Here one will be able to find me reading numerous novels about art history.

Scaliger Tombs – Source: Wikipedia

Once a year,  I will  pay homage to the Scaliger dynasty and for their contributions to Verona`s cultural and historical development.

Lake Gardia – Source: Telegraph

My weekends will be spent here swimming, and eating lots of seafood.

Casa Di Giulietta – Source: Telegraph

At the house of Juliet I will make sure  not to trip and fall over the balcony. This may be the place where my inner romantic Shakespeare novelist comes alive, although I would not keep my hopes up. Beautiful place to visit and leave a post-it `love note.“You are never too old for love.

Romeo and Juliet Love Note Wall – Source: Flickr
Teatro Romano – Source: Wikipedia

The Teatro Romano is where plays will be held and I will continue my arts and cultural education. Moreover, this Teatro will also be my playground for acting out plays while no one is in attendance to watch me embarrass myself as I enact the famous Shakespeare play: Romeo and Juliet.

Osteria Sottoriva – Source: Canon Club Italia

This will be my favorite local restaurant, and where I plan on gaining 10 pounds, since I will not be concerned about my weight past 70. In addition, eating out at this restaurant will not burn a hole in pocket.

To conclude this is a map of my planned activities in retirement. If you are ever in need of my old age wisdom I will be the old lady occupying a table for four with six varying dishes of food and wine at Osteria Sottoriva.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Paris

Source of Picture: BeMagazine.org

I will admit that I have never gone to Paris, however, with recent events, I have decided to pay homage to the City of Lights and the solidarity we have seen expressed in the past few days from Parisians and people from around the globe. Warning: This is not a travel blog, rather a disgruntled individual’s account of the aftermath of the attacks on Paris.

Throughout this blog post  I emphasize greatly for citizens to heed the following warning: xenophobic reactions towards the refugees will only benefit ISIS and help entrench their rationale of the western “imperialist” nations attempting to suppress their religion and Muslims alike. Therefore, not accepting refugees only aides ISIS in their quest for global dominance. The refugees whom do survive the perilous journey are afraid of the uncertainty of their condition as well as feeling overwhelming gratitude and happiness to have left the war behind them. Furthermore, imagine leaving your house, family members, and friends behind, or  being separated from them, not knowing where they are and whether they are safe, ask yourself how would you feel? The biggest cop out is to blame refugees for the problems of today and it grinds my gears having to read how negatively people have reacted to them in the United States and Europe. When will we learn that blaming entire groups of people for the actions of one group (and/or individual) is detrimental to all of us? This kind of rationale has been used by dictators to exclude and isolate minorities, fuel resentment, and in the worst case scenario to justify genocide. Hence, instead of excluding people we should be working twice as hard to integrate them in all aspects of the political, economic, social, and cultural spheres, while respecting their universal rights.

Embedded image permalink

Lastly,  what I have noticed is that world leaders have failed to recognize how effective of a narrative terrorist groups such as ISIS have. When appealing to youth they provide them with the assurance of “belonging” and “bonding” with fellow members, apart from classifying them in career areas they would potentially excel in. In the words of Dr.Scott Atran, ISIS’s key strategy is “finding, creating, and managing chaos.” He goes on to argue that the “Management of Savagery” is their political-military guide as Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” and Carl von Clausewitz’s “On War” are to western nations, with the exception of the ‘you’re either with us or against us’ approach; there was leeway and flexibility allowed for the creation of alliances and no themes of global dominance and striking terror in all nations against all peoples whom do not follow our ideals. I have digressed from the topic at hand; ISIS’s strategy  promotes the creation of chaos, instability, baiting the western nations to commit to a full-scale war, and harnesses the power and vulnerability of the youth population. In their manifesto youth are key. Here we have an organization promoting peace, security, glory, and self-sacrifice – the ability to have an impact and influence policy in a glorious manner, and all they have to do is join the organization, where they will be welcomed and given employment as well as partnered with a spouse. What a fantastical narrative! And we wonder why so many youth are radicalized and travel to fight for ISIS. What is the narrative to counter ISIS? Unfortunately, it does not exist. Therefore, in order to prevent more youth being radicalized, what is needed to provide for them is the opposing narrative; a reason to fight against ISIS and promote the universal freedoms bestowed upon us as well as emphasizing the need for integration and solidarity with ALL peoples from ALL corners of the Earth. Give youth something to look forward to, something worth valuing and fighting for and then will we see the young demographics rising up against ISIS and refusing to be martyrs for their cause.

Lastly, since Paris has been in the media for the past few days, I would like to also note that the day before there was a deadly terrorist attack in Beirut killing more than 45 individuals, as well as the Russian plane that was brought down by a bomb killing everyone on the plane, more than 220 people. Let’s not forget that many nations have been struck by terrorism and we should stand in defiance with all of these nations and show them our support, rather than valuing one nation over another. Let’s stand up in solidarity with all of these nations and their peoples.