Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

Tiny Traveller: Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip

Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip throughout Brussels, Rome, Florence, Venice, Disneyland Paris, Lucerne, Bavaria, and Holland

The wanderlust is strong in this (little) one.


FIRST, AN EXPLANATION FOR MY DISAPPEARANCE...

Hello, it's me...before I invite you to dive into my archive (arc-dive?) of some of my earliest travel memories, I feel like I owe an explanation for my absence of late. It's relevant to this post, I promise. For the past 3 weeks I've been so uncharacteristically silent on social media that a worried Aftab showed up at my house to make sure I wasn't dead and had my face eaten by cats. I've been sort of in a bad way, mentally and emotionally. Without going in to too much detail (have to keep my head doctors in business, eh?), for almost a month I've been struggling to keep my head afloat in the mire; a perplexing mix of ecstatic highs followed by extreme lows and then apathy, despite having exciting new prospects to look forward to. All of this wild oscillating between both ends of the emotional spectrum have been overwhelming to say the least and not helped by unrelated daunting tasks at hand. As always, I choose isolation rather than burden friends and family with my feelings until I 'sort myself out', so to speak. How very East Asian. 

Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip throughout Brussels, Rome, Florence, Venice, Disneyland Paris, Lucerne, Bavaria, and Holland
Me in a more innocent time and with far better eyebrows.

One of the places I've been retreating to is memories of my childhood: a simpler time, carefree and untainted by troubled thoughts, when my greatest fear was not being able to take my favourite stuffed toys - I had 2 plush turtles: a small one with a yellow, red, and blue shell; and a oversized pastel pink one - with me to dinner. In the spirit of #THROWBACKTUESDAY (is that still a thing? I wouldn't know, I've been AWOL from the internet for, like, forever) here are some photos from my earliest travels which might be the catalyst for my serial wanderlust, and also proof that I've been throwing shapes since before social media was a thing. Are travel bloggers born or made? Take a look at 7 year old me, then decide.

June 06, 2017

Tiny Traveller: Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip

The wanderlust is strong in this (little) one. FIRST, AN EXPLANATION FOR MY DISAPPEARANCE... Hello, it's m...

15 Cities, 6 Countries, 20 Days: The Ultimate Itinerary for a Austria, Balkans, & Italy road trip

15 Cities, 6 Countries, 20 Days: The Ultimate Itinerary for an Austria, Balkans, & Italy road trip


20 days of summer. 6 European countries. 15 cities and towns (19 if I visit all 5 towns in Cinque Terre)Inspired by this month's travel linkup - in which we writing wanderlusters discuss destinations as a starter (short haul), mains (a looong trip) and pudding (a destination that leaves a lasting impression) - today I share the itinerary for my upcoming trip: My 15-Course Travel ‘Tasting Menu’ across Austria, the Balkans, and Italy. 

Ya'll should know by now that I am super extra. Like, "consolidate my 'save for later' online shopping purchases into a master Excel spreadsheet and picture collage" extra. Extra, extra! Read all about it! So when I picked up the updated edition of Tim Marshall's Prisoners of Geography I naturally devoured the book in 4 days. Then I re-read the Joe Sacco graphic novel The Fixer: A Story From Sarajevo. Curious to fill in the hole that is my lack of understanding on world history (thanks a lot, Malaysian Sejarah syllabus. What were we taught about WWII? Literally only: the Japanese f*cked up our sh*t and then the Americans f*cked up their sh*t. The end. Whut) I did what any lazy person would - learn about it on YouTube. So after watching Feature History - Fall of Yugoslavia, I wound the clock back a World War and discovered that Franz Ferdinand is more than just an excellent rock band from Glasgow.
   
Thanks to this information black hole I've now got the Balkans on my mind. How does one go forward? The only way is Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Oh, and throw in a bit of Austria and Italy too for good measure, why not? This summer I'm spending just under 3 weeks touring *deep breath* Vienna, Maribor, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Plitvice, Trogir, Split, Sarajevo, Mostar, Kotor, Budva, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Pisa. Here is the Itinerary for My Balkans 'Tasting Menu' ft. Austria and Italy.

May 01, 2017

15 Cities, 6 Countries, 20 Days: The Ultimate Itinerary for a Austria, Balkans, & Italy road trip

20 days of summer. 6 European countries. 15 cities and towns (19 if I visit all 5 towns in Cinque Terre) .  Inspired by this m...

Ciao Milano! How To Do Milan in 24 Hours


Stay at Palazzo Parigi, dine beside the Duomo of Milan at Obicà Mozzarella Bar and Terrazza Aperol, shop for Valentino and at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, take in art & culture at Fondazione Prada, eat at Il Salumaio and Bar Luce, then party at Bar Martini by Dolce & Gabbana AND Cavalli Club.
Ciao, darling! Have you got a minute, or rather 1400 minutes to spare in Milan? Si? Molto bene! With the summer sun shining upon us, 'tis the season for European city breaks: be it a Baltic tour of Riga-Helsinki-Tallinn or London-Paris-Rome or Amsterdam-Berlin-Lisbon; pick n' mix, make it your own. Take advantage of the continent's proximity (and homogenous currency) yet incredibly diverse culture by embarking on what I call the 'Euro Express' - the perfect 'short but sweet' holidays for the eager beaver on a time-budget. I've written Brussels Express and Edinburgh Express city guides, and now it's time for How To Do Milan in 24 Hours
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines...
PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDS BY JASIMINNE YIP. ALL PHOTOS OF ME BY CATHERINE LUX. ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS: 2 & 3, 4, 29 & 30,  35 & 36


June 22, 2016

Ciao Milano! How To Do Milan in 24 Hours

Ciao , darling! Have you got a minute, or rather 1400 minutes to spare in Milan? Si ? Molto bene ! With the summer sun shining upon us...

Ciao, Milano! Fondazione Prada, Milan




THE (ART) HOUSE THAT MIU MIU BUILT: THE NEW MILAN VENUE OF FONDAZIONE PRADA

June 15, 2016

Ciao, Milano! Fondazione Prada, Milan

THE (ART) HOUSE THAT MIU MIU BUILT:  THE NEW MILAN VENUE OF FONDAZIONE PRADA

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 4: Arrivederci, Roma

Thus far our Roman adventures had included the obligatory pilgrimage to Rome's more touristy destinations (the Pantheon and Colosseum to name a few) and having eaten our body weight in gelato, pasta, and pizza (even venturing to the backwoods of suburban Rome for dinner), to say nothing of meeting Pope Francis (in a way) and being dazzled by the opulence of the Vatican City. The blisters on my feet remain, even now, two weeks after returning from the Eternal City, testament to our intrepidness. But the true test of stamina was saved for our last day in Rome which also ironically was to be the most idyllic. 

Verily, the view of Rome and the Vatican City from the top of St Peter's Basilica dome is unparalleled in terms of sheer elevation. But the problem with being on top of the world isn't loneliness, it's that the one view you can't enjoy is your grandeur overlording the domain at your feet.


So we scaled the Spanish Steps up to the Villa Borghese gardens where we could appreciate the imperial stature of St Peter's, this time from across the city. 
July 14, 2014

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 4: Arrivederci, Roma

Thus far our Roman adventures had included the obligatory pilgrimage to Rome's more touristy destinations (the Pantheon and Colosseu...

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 3

Release the cats!


At the birthplace of fight night and Russell Crowe (long may he live).

I smugly waved two tickets for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill in Henry's face. As I flapped them about they gave off a faint heat, they were still warm from being freshly printed. 

"You know how they say 'A Roman queue wasn't finished in a day'? You'll see it for yourself when you get to the Colosseum and see the queues to buy tickets. You'd think they'd figure out that you can buy them online."*

*What my smug self was not prepared for was the torrential thunderstorm that rained all over my historical parade. 

Henry's face lit up. "How ever so lovely! I have not been here since I was a lad. I do hope the Colosseum has not been cancelled, I am so looking forward to watching thieves being eaten by lions. T'would be more fun than the World Cup."
July 09, 2014

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 3

Release the cats! At the birthplace of fight night and Russell Crowe (long may he live). I smugly waved two tickets for the Co...

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 2

Wednesday, 25th June 2014.

On the morning of our second day in Rome I woke up early to the sounds of the hustle and bustle of Rome drifting from Via Cavour up and trickling through the old-fashioned windows of our studio apartment. T'was most convenient as I am the sort of tourist* who endeavours to wake up early, see and do as many things as possible (God forbid if one item on the itinerary goes unchecked), and be in bed by the very respectable hour of midnight. 

*A happy side effect of travelling is that it enforces a rigidity so often lacking in the schedule of a freelancer, even now, two weeks later I bolt out of bed at eight and review the day's tasks. This is hardly groundbreaking nor innovative for those who commute to 9 to 5 jobs working for other people. But I work for myself and this is revolutionary, dammit! I'm even contemplating buying a Nespresso machine for mornings!

July 07, 2014

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 2

Wednesday, 25th June 2014. On the morning of our second day in Rome I woke up early to the sounds of the hustle and bustle of Rome dri...

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 1


The ceiling of Santa Maria della Vittoria church which I thought was grand enough until I visited St Peter's Basilica.

Rome wasn't visited in one day. Henry and I valiantly attempted four. They say the test of a relationship is to travel together with your significant other and if by the end of it neither have tried to rip out the other's throats then maybe, just maybe, the relationship will work. (The true test however is whether a couple can survive a trip to IKEA together) Anyway, true to form I planned this short trip down to every last detail, itinerary and all (the only exception was Cuba, that was Luxy's pièce de résistance). All Henry had to do to was to say 'yes dear' which as every smart man knows is the key to a happy union. Boyfriends and husbands take note!
July 02, 2014

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 1

The ceiling of Santa Maria della Vittoria church which I thought was grand enough until I visited St Peter's Basilica . Rome w...

Vatican City

Last week Henry and I Pope-d over (hee) to Italy and Rome-d around (heehee) the Eternal City and Vatican City. 

Now, I'm not especially religious. I'm not an atheist either. I'd say I'm agnostic. I am spiritual, very superstitious, I believe in the supernatural, the world of spirits etc. and I do believe in a higher power. I don't believe that this higher power necessarily takes on the form of a anthropomorphic, fatherly figure nor that this higher power must be called by a name and have a face. The way I see it is that the crux of all religions are the same: be a good person, help those in need, chew with your mouth closed. Whether you pray to Jehovah, a nameless faceless presence, or nobody at all, the enduring message that religion wants you to keep close to your chest is to have faith, love, help, and protect your fellow (wo)man, and just don't be a d-bag.

The thing is, for a few years I had a great disdain for religion, more specifically the religious (This was during the inevitable socialist-communist-atheist phase I went through during university. I also wore Doc Martens and shaved a side of my hair just because). I thought of the devout as sheep. I thought of religion as the cause of most of the bloodshed recorded throughout the annals of history to present day. I sneered as religion as a tool of oppression. An atheist (and in hindsight a savant snob) I was dating at the time said, with curled upper lip, that 'Religion has one purpose and that is to keep the wretched in check. Without the promise of being rewarded with a better life after death in exchange for good behaviour they would have nothing to lose and therefore threaten polite society. Only the desperate and the stupid would believe such dogma.' My personal view on the religious while not that extreme was incredulous. How could anyone unquestionably agree with everything they were told was gospel truth? How could anyone dismiss evolution and say that science should not be taught at school? How could anyone in their right mind agree with a twisted preacher who insists that his interpretation of the Holy Book dictates that we should hide and oppress women? Add to that the corruption in the Catholic church, people telling me that I'm going to hell for not picking a side (or rather their side), and people trying to convert me against my will. Is there any doubt why my view on religion is so tainted? 

So for a long time I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I chose to focus on the details I disliked about religion, specifically the Catholic church. That it was outdated with its dismissal of contraception and the persecution of those they deem 'heretics', the hypocrisy of denouncing gays when there existed a subculture of male priests sexually abusing male adolescents...need I go on? In short my view of Catholicism was a bunch of out-of-touch old dudes telling everyone they were going to go to hell which was ironic given that they were covering up atrocities within their walls.

Then along came Pope Francis. Need I say more?


I wanted to see for myself the Pope who embodies what I believe a religious leader should be: a humble man who serves the people, eschews grandeur and opulence (he said no to official papal apartments, opting to live in a more modest 'Vatican hotel' and wants to take the bus to work), has the common touch and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, gets with the times. And who can forget 
July 01, 2014

Vatican City

Last week Henry and I Pope-d over (hee) to Italy and Rome-d around (heehee) the Eternal City and Vatican City.  Now, I'm not espec...