понеділок, 20 листопада 2017 р.

Brussels diaries: My minimalistic room

Hello, amazing people!

Today I'm moving back to Palermo. Actually, I'm writing these words in the airport, enjoying my last Leffe Blond and waiting for boarding. 

Am I sad? No. 
Am I ready to go back to my beautiful Sicily? Yes. 
Am I going to miss Brussels? Oh, hell, yes!  

It was a great time - I managed to accomplish many amazing things, travelled a lot and was very productive. And even though I'm pretty sure I will come back to Brussels many more times, I want to remember and honour this page in my life. 


So by clicking on the video below you can watch my room tour. I moved to Brussels with 2 suitcases and brought things for two different seasons and a smart casual dress code. And I was very happy with how my room turned out - I didn't invest in any decorations and opted for functionality and simplicity, and it really worked for me. So without further ado - please, watch, like, share and subscribe!

My gate was just announced. What is waiting for me on the other side of the plane flight? A wonderful new chapter of life, a new flat, new projects, my loved ones and a beautiful Sicilian winter.

Stay tuned and thank you for your attention and kind thoughts! See you!

понеділок, 13 листопада 2017 р.

Travel diary: Forever tied to Amsterdam

Hello, amazing people!

I spent this weekend in Amsterdam and it was the second part of my this year's birthday gift - to me from me.


I've been travelling quite a lot in these past 4,5 years (raise your hand if you remember me writing that crazy post "Hey, guys! I have a big news - I kinda moved to Thailand!") and have been to many cool places, had many amazing experiences and met an impressive number of great people. 

And I cannot believe that I'm saying it, but I think this trip to Amsterdam was in the top 3 of those trips. I wasn't actually expecting much - I was going by myself, only for a few days and my only plan was titled "museums, walking, going to bed early".

*Sidenote - I rented an AirBnb in Almere, which is 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal. I stayed in a place called Home by Anita - I recommend it to everyone as it was great value for the price. The owners are very friendly and welcoming, the place is very pretty and tidy, they provide a lovely breakfast and the atmosphere is really great.
Also if you are about to travel with AirBnB for the first time, you can get 25 euro of credit by registering with my link. I will also receive a small credit when you are going to complete your first trip, so everyone wins! :) 

And in the retrospect, it was the best thing to do. Because in the end, my experience with Amsterdam was not touristic, but eye-opening and almost spiritual. Sometimes you are searching for a moment to reflect upon things and sometimes a moment is searching for you. So a quiet weekend in a beautiful city is what you actually need. 

вівторок, 7 листопада 2017 р.

Travel diary - Autumn in Paris

Hello, amazing people!

This past weekend I went to Paris. This was one of the experience gifts I made for myself for my birthday this year, and I cannot be happier about it!
(stay tuned for the second part of the gift - coming to you next Monday!)

So... It was my first time in Paris. And I never had a dream about going there. And I'm not one of those people who think that it's the epitome of romance, beauty and elegance.
And... I absolutely loved it, even despite the fact that I find calling Paris "the city of love" is a super cringe-worthy cliche.  

1 blog

I went there by myself for many reasons but had a great trip and can safely say that the first part of my present was very well received by the birthday girl (ME!).

As you can see in the video, I've taken two different walking tours, and I loved both of them for different reasons. It's actually one of the things I love to do in any new city (especially those ones, where I have only a few days), and I cannot recommend this type of tours enough - it's perfect to have a quick view of the city, meet your fellow travellers and see some of the places even locals might not know about. One and a half years ago I published a post about the similar tour I took in Copenhagen, and five years ago - about the tour around Lviv, Ukraine.

So this time, as I didn't have much time, I register for two tours with two different companies:

- Discover Walks that showed me around Montmartre - the tour was very nice and friendly, our tour guide showed us Montmartre with love and care of a person that calls it his home. Also, I really liked that fact that, even though I registered for the tour online, it wasn't obligatory, any person can just come to the meeting point and join the walk (this is the way it's supposed to be).
The only criticism about this tour - I really don't like the fact that the company posts the amount they expect you to tip your tour guide. Don't get me wrong, I know that Paris is an expensive city. That's why I always opt for local tours and not for those that are organised by international conglomerates. But the fact that they published the expected tip, and that the guide also voiced it on a few occasions (and this time it was 3 euro more) - I don't really like it. I might be old-fashioned, but tips are tips. If you are not happy with the amount people are leaving you, set a price for your services. 

- Sandemans New Europe with the Free Paris Tour - this one was the "city centre" tour that took us around the most famous sights of Paris (Notre Dame, Louvre, Tuileries garden etc). I loved that the tips were not set as a fixed amount, but this time I had to register and print my ticket out to be able to take the tour. 

Apart from this super touristic activities, my stay in Paris consisted of a lovely brunch with my friend, lovely walks, some shopping and, I admit, eating baguette with red wine under the Eiffel tower (yes, I am a walking cliche sometimes, no matter how much I would love to avoid it).

BTW, I also took an espresso at "Shakespeare and Co" - it was the worst espresso I had in my life, worse than any Nescafe or other instant coffee brand. But it was something I wanted to do for years, so I call it a life lesson.

For other details about my trip, including the details on where I stayed, what I wore and what I did - click on the video, and remember to subscribe to my channel, because you can expect lots of cool content coming your way.


See you around! Ciao!

Birthday gratitude post

Hello, wonderful people!

Almost two weeks ago I celebrated my birthday. This year I decided not to write a big post like I did last year (read here) and to save my resolutions for New Years. But let's quickly reflect upon the goals I set for myself last year on my birthday:

So for my 32nd year on Earth, I said that I want to:
- proceed to the second year of my PhD with grace - I believe that the first time I wrote "with a little bit of grace", and it was my mistake - it was kind of a bumpy ride, but the outcome was amazing and I am very happy with the point I am at right now,
- finish NaNoWriMo with something to show for it - unfortunately, I didn't write anything last year, as I was quite busy with building contacts for my research, but, spoiler alert, this year I'm making it happen and am really enjoying the process.
- work more on Saathi and bring it to the place it deserves - not as much as I'd love too, but some very cool news and an updated website are coming your way very soon!
- renew my permit of stay as fast and easy as possible - yes, this is where it got really tricky. This year I waited for my residence permit for 7 months! Yes, I agree, it is ridiculous. But that's the reality of an immigration process in Italy (and in Palermo, of course). For this year I already paid the tax and have my appointment in December, so I believe I will have it much faster this year :)
- see at least 3 more countries - on the day of my birthday I could say that I saw only two new countries in the past year, them being Greece and Belgium. But this past weekend I went to Paris and now I can proudly say that I've also finally visited France (not counting waiting in De Gaulle airport two years ago and 7 hours-long layover in Beauvais last year). 
- one of them being Tunisia, as I'm planning my trip there for two years now - nope, still didn't happen, but I'm not complaining - this year was amazing.
- go back home for 2 weeks - I went there for 10 days, but it was amazing and totally magical.
- have a great NY celebration - yes, it was great and we have photos to prove it
- make a big progress on my research - yes, this I did, and I'm very happy with how everything is going.
- write more articles because it makes me ridiculously happy - I published two articles and currently still working on one more that's turning much more interesting than I thought in the beginning.
- learn to play ukulele - I didn't, and I'm kicking myself because of it. Because it's the only instrument I have available and I love how it sounds. So I guess I need to finally make an effort :)

And this year, instead of setting goals, I decided to make a video and say thank you to the universe for everything that I accomplished this year, for all the amazing opportunities and for all the new wonderful people in my life.

So click anf enjoy (and please - like, share and subscribe - it helps me A LOT!)


понеділок, 30 жовтня 2017 р.

Travel diary - Ghent, Belgium

Good Monday, my friends!

As usual, I have a new video for you!

Yesterday I finally went to Ghent - one of my must-see destinations in Belgium (yes, I do have a list, and I'm basically flying through it!).


Ghent is a beautiful city quite close to Brussels (I don't think that it took me more than 40 minutes to get there from Brussels Midi station) and it always was one of my priorities for this three months in Belgium. 

So... I kinda both liked and disliked it. Let me explain:

It's an absolutely beautiful city and I wish I could spend a few days (rather than a few hours) there. But it was one of those weird trips when way too many things went wrong - the weather was weird (it was sunny, gloomy, rainy, warm and ridiculously cold at the same time, I took the wrong tram from the station and had to wait for the right one in some unidentifiable place in cold wind, everything (and I mean everything - every shop, supermarket and bar, apart from those in the city centre) was closed, so I couldn't even hide from the rain until I arrived in the centre.

But... It was still worth it. Because Ghent is absolutely beautiful and charming, and I really need to visit it again, but in better weather and day of the week (I should've been used to the fact that almost everything in Belgium is closed on Sunday, but I still can't).

Anyways, check out my video and please don't mind my weathered looks - it was way too windy and cold to look nice.

Have a great Monday evening and see you around!

неділя, 22 жовтня 2017 р.

Travel Diary - Bruges, Belgium

Hello, cool people!

I was just uploading my new video for tomorrow morning and realised that I've never actually shared this video with you.

So prepare to see one of the most fairy-tale'ish cities you will ever find! Let's go to Bruges!

And don't forget to tune in tomorrow for a short, but warm video about my one-week long trip back to Palermo, full of sun, street performances and talented people drawing portraits!

понеділок, 2 жовтня 2017 р.

Travel diary: Antwerp, Belgium

Hello, amazing people! Today I want to share my recent trip with you.


A few weeks ago I was in a bit of a funny mood. You know, one of those times that make you reflect on things and also feel quite lonely, especially if you are living in a new country and don't have a whole lot of friends there.

So instead of sitting at home the whole Sunday and feeling sorry for myself, I picked myself up, went to the train station and bought a ticket to Antwerp.

And it was a great decision!

As you can see in the video, it's a very pretty and lively city, and I was very lucky to see a super cute fair on the main square, listen to street musicians and do some people watching while enjoying a great cappuccino with soy milk in one of the coffee shops.

So Antwerp gets my recommendations as a very nice weekend getaway, especially if you are new to Brussels (or Belgium) and tend to feel lonely sometimes.

Have a great day and see you around!

вівторок, 26 вересня 2017 р.

Wanderlust Tag 2017

Hello, people!

Today I'm cheating a bit - instead of travel or minimalism/volunteering/mindfulness videos I have a tag. I know it's not the same, but I really wanted to film a sit-down video before I go back to Palermo for a bit, so this was the number one tag in my idea bank.

Please forgive me for the weirdest camera angle, I'm working on it.

And click on to see me rambling about some of the funny travel experiences I had in Europe and Asia over the last 4.5 years.

Brussels diaries - The kindness of strangers

Two days ago was exactly one month since I started my experience in Brussels. 

I kinda celebrated this day by going back to Palermo for a couple of days to deal with some bureaucratic stuff and also to attend my friends' wedding in beautiful Castellammare and Segesta (the video about this trip will be up on Saturday on my channel).

But this post is not about this. It's about kindness that doesn't cost us anything but can really change someone's day.


... It's raining in Brussels - whole day, every day. I'm going out of the tram on my stop and open my umbrella - it's too small to really protect me from the rain, but it's better than nothing. I want to cross the road and get home as soon as possible - to put on a pair of warm socks, eat some hot soup and watch The Good Place on Netflix. To do this I need to let the tram pass first, so I'm patiently waiting as it will start moving. A guy next to me all of the sudden decides to run across the road exactly in this moment. I makes me angry, so I look at the driver who as to hit the breaks. I assume he will be angry but he just smiles at me knowingly (because we both kind of judge that guy for being irresponcible and impatient) and shows me that I can also pass. I smille back and accept his offer. This little thing brightens up this grey evening and I return home happy and full of energy. Instead of Netflix I manage to work for a few more hours very productively.

середа, 13 вересня 2017 р.

Brussels diaries - the Atomium

Hello, people!

Since I was a very, very little girl I always dreamt about travelling. I don't remember ever wanting to marry a prince that badly, but I do remember imagining myself in various places around the world (mostly in Karnak or Acropolis) all the time, as I was reading every adventure novel I could find. Mind that in those times travelling, especially with a Ukrainian passport, wasn't all that easy. 

So now, as my dreams started to come true 4 years ago, I already saw three places I was absolutely obsessed with - Angkor wat in Cambodia, Acropolis in Greece (only from afar, but I will go back there) and now the Atomium here, in Belgium. 


I saw it for the first time when I was about 5 years old - my grandfather was working in Syria in the beginning of the 60s and he brought back many cool things with him, including a small device with a few boxes of slides from around the world. And I was spending hours looking at the pyramids of Giza, Greek temples, Damascus and its beautiful buildings covered in mosaics. And the Atomium, that was a very new thing at that time - it was constructed for the World Expo of 1958. 

I instantly became obsessed with it - to the same extent, as some people who are mesmerized by Eiffel tower. It looked so cool and futuristic and modern, and just like something that I really wanted to see. 

But as I was growing up I was adding more and more must-see destinations to my bucket list and the Atomium wasn't a number one anymore... Until July 2017, when I realised that - holy cow, I'm going to live in Brussels! 

So yes, on my first weekend here I went straight ahead to the Atomium and had an amazing day dorking out at how weird, futuristic and old-school sci-fi it looks. I have a feeling I will go there a few more times till the end of November, because... just because!

For some more footage and photos check out my video and instagram, and subscribe if you like what you see :)