Let’s make memories…

Let’s make memories…

Let's Make (1)

Here’s to a well deserved vacation for the three of us – mom, dad and toddler – yeah!

Better last minute than not at all!

We booked very very last-minute but who said that you cannot be spontaneous with a child?

Sure you can!

Crete – a sunny summer destination

So our next trip will bring us to the island of Crete. Any tips are welcome, we are ready to explore.

I’ve been to Greece before but Crete is completely new to me. My husband hasn’t been there as well but maybe by coincidence we found out that the southern part of Greece is facing the Libyan sea 🙂

In general my Libyan husband seems not to be too wrong on that island, the climate is close to what he knows very well from Libya. Which brings me to myself, puuuh, I may discover the Cretan nights if the sun is too hot during daytime. As our son is a little night owl this would work out as well.

Anyway, whatever the weather will be, it will be an experience!

Spontaneous trips or planned schedules – an in-between

I’m not planning, just checking a bit before we leave. That’s the German part of our family, I want to know at least a bit before I travel to a new place. But in the end, all we need is a place to stay (we booked that), food (I’m sure there is plenty of wonderful Greek food available) and us!

Everything else will be discovered while strolling around. Our son is the professional here as he sees many things we would not realize without him. Ants, puddles (even the tiniest), insects in general, holes where he can stick his fingers in, ice cream cones (the new favorite) and many more interesting things. The word boredom is not in his vocabulary yet. Means I’m sure we won’t be bored.

Just now when I’m almost ready to leave my job for three weeks I find the time to write a short update here.

It’s a shame! Why do we always push the things we love aside instead of  giving us space for them?

A bit “Me”-time

One of my small goals for this vacation is to free myself from nonsense and focus on the things I love and which inspire me. Re-discover the happiness!

If you miss something but cannot find the time for it, breaking through these vicious circles isn’t always easy.

I miss my Yoga, really, as if I’m missing a good old friend! And this is not because I forget about it but because I’m often too busy in the mornings, too occupied during the day by my job and then my child (which is his right!) and too tired in the evenings. Finding time is often not easy but it’s not impossible! We can adjust, plan, move, what is holding us back?

Let’s make some changes.

Change is needed – I will try to take a few minutes each day just for myself. Yoga and a time-out (and when I find some more time I promise I will write!).

Focusing on new things is ahead, if not during a vacation, when then?

Until then I say goodbye to get ready for our first flight as family and for a serene and relaxing vacation on Crete.

Cheers

Our honeymoon is booked…

Our honeymoon is booked…

One of the last steps of the wedding preparation is done.
I finally booked our honeymoon – yeah – Ibiza, we will come for two weeks!!!
I honestly can’t wait for the relaxation part to start soon. Sure the wedding itself will be the most exciting part but I feel more and more tired of planning.
To have holidays in near sight gives me a good feeling as we can relax completely as Mr.&Mrs. then.
Why Ibiza and not the typical spots like Maldives, Seychelles or Caribbean Sea?
Who wants more than 10 hours flight time if we have so nice places just around the corner? We don’t want to start the honeymoon with a jet lag.
Ibiza for sure is well known as a party island but what we did is checking quiet places not near to the tourist region and we found something hopefully nice with the sea in walking distance and empty beaches around us. If we need action we still can drive into these areas. Most important for us was a quiet place, palm trees to sit below with a book, beaches where you don’t have to lay down between strangers, a small hotel with breakfast outside instead of standing in a row for the buffet and so on.
I will for sure let you know if we made the right choice but I have no doubts.
The smaller island on the picture is Formentera, we may take a boat trip for one day to check it as well.
Enjoy the sunny week as best as you can.
Yours,
Miss Faith

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The perfect getaway in the Caribbean sea

The perfect getaway in the Caribbean sea
 The perfect getaway in the Caribbean sea
Believe it or not, I won!
I couldn’t believe it myself when I received the official announcement letter back in 2008 but it was true.
I entered a code found in a perfume package just on the web page of the producer and hit the jackpot.
Twelve days and nights for two in a five-star resort on a private secluded island south-east from the Bahamas.
And as if that wasn’t enough, it was all, and I mean all, included. Flights from Germany over Miami to the capital Providenciales of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Transfer by boat to the island Parrot Cay which is really private and secluded plus a big amount of pocket-money for lunch, dinner, massages and other amenities.
When I called my best friend to ask her if she would like to join me she first thought I was kidding but then quickly said of course we go.
Women planning a trip – what to say? A man would just pack his swim trousers, one or two pair of denims, some shirts and ready to go…
But we started lists which grew longer on a daily basis. Clothes for the beach, for breakfast, for dinner, for walks around the island, for relaxing time just sitting on the balcony, for the night, for the trip itself, sun protection, body lotion, book, sunglasses, several pairs of shoes, camera, arranging documents, are our last vaccinations still active, do we need thrombosis prophylactic stockings for the more than ten-hour flight…I can go on for ages like this, women will understand, haha. We ended up with really heavy luggage just at the edge to pay overweight and our hand luggage was what some need for a three-day trip.
Here we go, two normal girls on their way to an island where we found out Bruce Willis has a villa as well as Donna Karan.
After the first ten-hour flight to Miami we were desperate for a coffee and for gods sake the first we saw after getting out of the gate in Miami was Starbucks right in front of us.
Our flight to Providenciales was delayed so how do women spend time while waiting? Correct, do some shopping, the first piece were sunglasses and the second a zebra scarf. We quickly realized on the island itself that there was only one shop at the reception and not a shop which was affordable for us. Unusual but this trip wasn’t filling up our suitcases.
Landed in Providenciales we were picked up by hotel staff for the boat transfer to the island itself. At arrival it was already dark so the whole beauty of the secluded island wasn’t visible for us that night. It hits us the next morning when we stepped out on the balcony and were welcomed with sunshine, orchids and birds chirping. Relaxation! Silence! Beauty! Food! The terrace for breakfast was directly in front of our room and turned out to be the perfect start for a day – they offered everything you can imagine. There was not one single piece you can think of which wasn’t served. It just took a few days for the servants to realize that we will need a second table to put the amounts we were ordering each day right in front of us. Pancakes with syrup, waffles with slices of mango, fresh orange juice, scrambled eggs with bacon, sunny-side-up eggs, coffee, cereals, fruits, … Before arrival we were thinking about leaving the island for a day trip once or twice during our stay, but when being there we got into a full relax mode, which you could call also lazy mode. If there’s no lack of anything and you feel completely pampered there’s no reason to change it. This mode was starting off with the breakfast followed by beach with book & fruit cocktail, during lunch time we went to the bibliotheque where cookies or cake and tea were offered and where it was cooled down. The bibliotheca was also the only place with access to the web. Afterwards we either went back to the beach / pool area or enjoyed the balcony of our room. And dinner was each night a ceremony of starter, main course and dessert, no way to leave one course as they all were so delicious. Instead of leaving the island we booked massages and went to the area with steam rooms and sauna, which is awesome even in the Caribbean sea as you have orchidees around you and stunning sea views. All shower and body care products offered there underlined the feeling of total relaxation. I never thought twelve days on an island without places to shop or heritages to look at will keep me to stay there more than forty-eight hours in a row but honestly, enough food, the sea, the weather and lots of silence were more than sufficient for us. We didn’t even had a slight thought about leaving for shopping or crowded places.
What’s the main conclusion after this trip?
If you win it, definitely accept and go! If you have to book it yourself you may choose another location which is not that expensive because it was expensive, almost not affordable for ‘normal’ people. If you want an idea, the trip for us with a stop over flight from Europe, twelve nights breakfast included was about twelve thousand Euro. A three course dinner was around one hundred dollar for two persons. We never had lunch and didn’t missed it as it was warm during this time and after the extended breakfast also not hungry.
They offer a lot of massages and treatments which are had to resist, at least once is a must during a staying.
Not much of us are falling into the category ‘I don’t care about money because I have enough’, if yes, book and relax.
If not, honestly, there are lots of offers even around the Turks and Caicos islands which are affordable. It won’t be the secluded exclusive island with security boats during night. This is a ‘nice to have’ but not really something desperately needed for relaxing holidays. I have seen the beaches and the surrounding out there and it’s awesome. White beach and turquoise water raise instantly a vacation mood, at least for me. I think I is kind of similar to the Maldives but I cannot assure it as I haven’t been there yet. I would imagine it to be similar. Nevertheless – we loved our stay and if I’m ever in the situation of having too much money I may consider to go to a second time but with my fiancé. It’s a romantic place where many spend their honeymoon or even get married.
In holiday mood? Enjoy a few pictures of the island.

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 3 (Departure)

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 3 (Departure)
One week alone in Italy – was it what I wanted?
On the bus travel back to the airport I was trying to draw a conclusion of what was good, what not so good.
There are many if I’m honest, I just tell about the main for me.
The first and most important lesson learned for me was that you always carry your mind with you, there’s no escape. But if you are out of your daily routine you are able to get another view on it. You have the time to re-think, over-think, search, at least I had the passion to do so and was driving back in a better shape.
Another good experience was not to be scared of traveling alone. If you are a bit communicative you will make contact to others. I kept it on a low level as my intention was not to make friends but nevertheless I had some nice chats with tourists like the two women or my neighbor couple as well as with some of the locals, the poolbar chief who had once a gelateria in Germany, one of his co-workers who proudly showed pictures of his newborn daughter and a farmer who lived near to the hotel.
This was a nice story as I was walking by each day and from time to time I was buying some of his fruits, tomatoes, pepper, and as he was only talking Italian he teached me some phrases. This reminded me again on my wish to learn Italian, unfortunately it’s still just a plan and I haven’t worked on it yet. But it showed me how friendly these people are and they don’t need big houses or expensive cars, they just enjoy there being which is something I took back with me.
Simplicity is often the healthier way to live instead of running after timelines, being stressed or work until you fell asleep exhausted in the middle of the night.
What I missed is someone to share the beauty with. If you are standing at the lighthouse and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea you miss someone next to you to share it with. I took so many pictures and for sure I shared them with others afterwards but the moment itself was just for me.
Also many of these places were romantic and these were the moments when I asked myself what I did wrong to be there alone instead of snuggling up into the arms of someone, but that’s life. Everything which happens in life has a deeper sense.
And it was still better than traveling in a group with a guide explaining stuff you don’t want to know. These guides which hold up an umbrella and you run after it. I think I would have felt even more lonely within such a group.
In the end it was exactly what I needed. I went back with new impressions, new thoughts, ready to do something in my life to change it. I wasn’t completely renewed but it was a step towards myself.
I regained the faith in me, trusting myself, having the ability to change and to live in a happy way.

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First holidays on my own in Italy – part 2 (Stay)

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 2 (Stay)I woke up early on my first real vacation day which is completely unusual for me. But why not – I wanted a change so I took it just like this and went for breakfast. I had no special plans for my day, just walking around, enjoying the sunshine, going down to the beach to see how it is, just drifting in different directions. This plan turned out to be the best I ever had. I’m sure I wouldn’t have discovered all these nice places when booking a guided tour or making tough plans on what to see during the days. Capo Vaticano, it’s a cute, small, one-horse town in Calabria. I walked up to the lighthouse and was already catched by it’s beauty. You have awesome views from there down to the sea. A small cafe next to it served the typical ice-cream for this region called tartufo. It’s hard to describe how I felt but it was a bit like Alice in wonderland, every now and then I saw beautiful flowers, small ways covered by trees with sunshine breaking through the leaves, always the sound of the sea near. Silence, exactly what I wanted. It was not the main season so not all places were crowded by tourists, it were mainly locals walking by and greeting as if we know each other in a friendly way. I was calm, more calm than all those weeks before. From time to time my past was hunting me, mainly in the evenings when it was getting dark outside, like ghosts they were appearing out of nothing but they didn’t brought me down like they did before. There were too many thoughts on my mind which left not much place for them. When I felt them, I just accepted that I couldn’t run away but also I started to search for inner peace to get rid of them completely one day. Thanks to Paulo Coelho here, as his ‘Warrior of light’ was a great inspiration. Another great experience was that I opened my eyes again to all what was going on around me. Like sleeping beauty caught in a never ending nightmare, I was awakening, step by step, back to the person I was a long time ago. Ok, without the kiss, but this was something I wouldn’t even think about. Before thinking about a man I first had the task to get back to myself again. Pushing my self esteem was not on my list but it was unavoidable as blonde in Calabria. I never believed all stories about Italian men but discovered very quickly that there’s a lot of truth in them. Believe it or not, cars were slowing down next me and men from eighteen to eighty were smiling and waving at me. Back in the hotel I relaxed at the pool, reading in the shadow of my umbrella, until one guy from the pool bar brought me a drink I didn’t ordered. With best wishes from our cook, who was standing on the opposite of the pool waving over. The rules that staff is not allowed to flirt with guests weren’t existing, at least not for them. But as long as it was not bothering in a rude way it was fine for me. To realize that I wasn’t invisible was pushing my mood. Servants giving me something extra, nice to have, I knew that it’s not because it’s me as person but who cares, as long as it feels good. When approaches especially from the cook became more I explained there’s no chance at all, I will not go for a drink, I will not drive to a private party, I just finish my drink and go in my room, alone, and sleep. He tried it again each night and in the end he was not saying goodbye like a huffish child not getting what it wanted. Poor guy, the next blonde was for sure there quicker than he thought and some will like it for sure.
The days were passing so quickly that I already thought why not two weeks instead of one. But one was ok, I was relaxing, I was calming down, I enjoyed the landscape in bright sunshine and not to forget the awesome Italian food.
What’s the conclusion of this week? See part 3

Amazon.de Widgets

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First holidays on my own in Italy – part 1 (Arrival)

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 1 (Arrival)
Did you ever had the feeling of being totally worn out?
It was last year September when I had the feeling the only thing I really need is silence, time for myself, lots of it.
This year was full of stupid bad stories and I was tired, soooo damn tired of everything.
I never went on holidays alone, it was always someone around me to share things with so I was a bit scared first of booking something just on my own.
What if I feel completely uncomfortable during the holidays or got homesick?
But the urge of relaxing and calming down was bigger than the little fear in the back of my mind. Not to over stress myself I decided to split my two weeks of holidays and start with a visit of family and friends, they can bring me back on track whenever I’m unsure, and for the second week I booked my first “just me” holidays.
I chose Italy as I’m loving the country.
When I was there for the first time I instantly fell in love with the landscape in Tuscany.
The food is one of my favorites and I’m also addicted to old buildings. But instead of looking for Rome or Milano I picked a small town in Calabria.
My aim was to relax and not to go from one big city to another and even if I like shopping so much, the need of silence was bigger.
Calabria in mid September meant still up to over 30°C and the sea was just a short walk away from the hotel.
Italy welcomed me with blue sky and lots of sunshine when I arrived in Lamezia Therme airport and the women from the travel agency was waiting for me to guide me to the bus driving tourists to their different destinations.
As I thought, there were so many German tourists, like the cliche with white socks in sandals, that I quickly turned my “I’m not German” mode on. After many travels I’m not too bad in pretending as I’m really almost running away when hearing my mother language in a foreign country. The last thing I wanna do is making friends somewhere. I have friends, thanks, and I’m fine just on my own. Even better than with groups of persons who order German food in Italy or expect everyone to talk German just because they are not able to adapt.
I sat down at the window and put music on my ears. It would be an one hour drive through Calabria and I just wanted to enjoy the view.
The music was not too loud, I was still able to hear people talking behind and in front of me and it proofed quickly that I wasn’t wrong with my assumptions.
“How dirty, did you see? They just put the garbage on the street. Plastic bottles, they need to put them extra in a separate trash can. This would never be possible at home.”
“Hey, there’s a German restaurant, remember the name so we may go there one day. Honey, our hotel has a German menu, I checked it upfront.
“It’s too hot here, I thought it’s around 25°C, hopefully it will cool down a bit during our stay.”
“Oh, did you see how the houses look like? Cannot imagine to live like they do. Awful.”
“Each car has big scratches, the decision to fly was the right, not that ours got damaged here.”
You wanna more, I still have many sentences in my portfolio.
I know that not everyone is like that but honestly, most of the tourists are annoying me wherever I have been.
I experienced the same in Hungary, Greece, Malta, UK, Spain,…
Maybe it’s me, sensing it, but in the end I try my best everywhere to get out of sight very quickly before I’m getting mad.
When we stopped in front of my hotel two women were leaving the bus together with me. I was the first at the reception for checking in and the receptionist was directly talking English so I communicated with her that way until I got my room keys.
The bad thing of traveling alone was the time of breakfast and dinner. I skipped lunch as I didn’t want to stay near the hotel each day to be in time for lunch. But there were still the mornings and evenings where I had a singe table just for me. And I was the only person there traveling alone. It felt strange the first evening, I had the feeling as if everyone is watching me. And not only watching, also like feeling sorry for me, sitting there so lonely.
Not to feel to uncomfortable myself I started to analyze the people around me.
The couple in the room next to me was, who thought it, from Germany and the wife said hello to me when I first stepped out on my balcony. They had a table on the other side of the room and she was smiling from time to time, saying cheers across the room. He just turned once to see to whom she cheered and then they were talking to each other like couples do when eating outside.
Next to me were the two women I had on the bus. They were also saying cheers in a nice but unsure way. They were talking a bit but nothing really interesting, just about the trip itself, that it seems to be a nice spot they chose and what to plan for the next days. The rest was only looking and from the different expressions on their faces you could start to assume their thoughts.
The young couple with the baby, he was staring from time to time whereas it was for me like he’s dreaming about something completely not related to me, I was just sitting in the same direction. She was looking at him as if she was jealous not realizing the situation at all. Maybe he was just tired, and she not feeling comfortable after giving birth with her own look, who knows but I wasn’t the reason for the silence between them while eating.
An old American couple where both were chatting as if there’s no tomorrow, where you saw they are not listening to what the other one is saying. Two people living in separate worlds but still a couple. They seemed as if they arranged and it was OK for them.
There was another old couple in a completely different style. She was only serving her husband, not saying anything without being asked. From time to time you saw in her face thoughts running but before she was starting to talk she held herself back with a sad face. He was only ordering, can you give, could you go and ask, will you bring, not even a please.
Interesting but also scary, how would I be one day? What I saw there was nothing I would love for my life.
After we finished dinner and just had our drinks left in front of us my room neighbor was waving me over to join her and her husband. She told me it’s hard to see someone sitting there alone although I was not looking sad or unhappy.
A nice gesture and it was ok. I wanted to travel alone but that doesn’t meant to avoid each human contact.
The two women who arrived with me were more than surprised and stopped on their way to leave the dinner. “Are you German? We just heard you during check-in and we’re both sure you must be from UK or US, what an awesome English you are talking.”
Not too bad as compliment because it was proofing that I really can pretend to be anything but German if I want to.
The first day was coming to an end and the first hurdles like eating my dinner alone were taken. I was tired in a good way and just sat for one hour on my balcony, reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘Warrior of light’, listening to the chirping of crickets, enjoying the sounds and smell of Italy.

Holidays to remember

Holidays to remember
Cyprus
 
After traveling a few places already I still have many vacation spots on my list to visit one day.
But the best things always happen unexpected.
After my year of struggling to get back on the feet it happened that I met my future husband. I wasn’t even thinking about a new relationship. My aim was to get along peacefully again just with me in my life.
Concentrating on a second person too was not my plan. But as I already wrote in a former post, there he was, entering my life without me being able to deny it.
 
To see him again we had to plan where and when.
As we both didn’t want to make it too complicated we just took the middle of the distance and decided that we meet on Cyprus.
No big hotel or all inclusive, we wanted to share daily life to see if we really are able to go along together in a near to normal surrounding.
We booked an apartment with a small kitchen, no restaurant, no breakfast buffet, nothing extra than in normal life also.
 
These holidays turned out to be the best we ever had although we both weren’t sure about it when we entered Cyprus from different continents and cultures.
Seventeen days to try daily stuff combined with holidays, relaxation and all of this in a nice surrounding.
Our apartment was in a small cypriot village and not in the tourism hotspots. It was interesting to discover routine things like stocking up the fridge, what to cook today, how do you drink your coffee in the morning, what may be bad habits the other one doesn’t like.
We met before but that wasn’t the same as the period was much more shorter and the main part for us was to become acquainted at all last time.
After our first meeting we were daily on Skype and talked several hours per night. This was the time where we shared our stories about childhood, how and where we were raised, when we started to work and as what, and also which aims we have for our life and which values count. I already thought during this time he could be the one.
I told him nothing about my feelings because struggles in normal circumstances or while living together should not be underestimated.
What we discovered on this small island is that we both like so many similar things, we have so much in common and most things were really easy going.
But the most important of all was that we indeed do love each other.
A feeling which cannot be described.
It was there and we felt it deep inside and it didn’t vanished up to today.
It’s growing each day.
 
On the last day we sat in a cafè and knew exactly what we want – a life together. Whatever we will face, as long as we are together, we will manage it.
 
You can think now how blue eyed Miss Faith maybe is…
First I’m green eyed and second is that we for sure have many things where we have to discuss, to make compromises, to even have small fights as our opinions are so different in some points.
But as long as we are talking and as long as we can say I love you it will not stop us from going this way together.
My grandmom told me one day that difficulties in life are there to manage them instead of running away. Giving up too quickly will never make you happy. And she was married more than fifty years to my granddad.
 
And what is important?
 
Here we go again…to keep the faith!

 

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If you plan to visit Cyprus yourself – check this guide, it helped us lots to find the beautiful hidden spots on the island.