Tag Archives: live

Our Etna Experience

Each holiday has at least one big highlight, and while we were in Sicily, one of the highlights was visiting Etna. I admit, it was long overdue – in fact, visiting Sicily was long overdue! I bet not many Maltese people can say that they have not been to Sicily by the age of thirty. The thing is, that I am fascinated with the UK, and I mostly ignored all other countries for a big chunk of my life. It was in 2016 that I started exploring properly and I have not looked back ever since.

We left Etna for our very last day, it being so close to Catania airport. We arrived at around 9:30AM after a two hours drive from where we were staying. The Etna car park, by the cable cars was almost full. It happened to be May the 1st, which is a bank holiday in most countries, so there were a lot of tourists there.

Steffi enjoying Etna, Sicily!

We bought our tickets and made our way to the queue for the cable cars. Once we were at a reasonable height, we queued again for 4×4-style buses. Most of the tourists were laughing hard while we made our way on what we could only describe as a bumpy ride!  It took us to almost to the top of the volcano in no time. It was rather astonishing seeing people walking all the way up from ground level, seeing that Etna is 3,500 meters high up. I bet it takes most of the day going up and then down. We thought it was money well spent as this way we could enjoy walking around and inside the craters for a longer time.

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As you set foot out of the bus, you realise that the temperature changed drastically. From almost 20 degrees to around 2 degrees! Once you get accustomed to the change of weather, you start to embrace the surroundings. The view is breathtaking, the colour of the gravel varies from black to red to yellow. I have never seen so many colours on such a huge stretch of mountain-like land. It was simply amazing being there. No words were enough to describe what we saw, what we felt being so high up, on such a clear day. You could see steam coming out, touching the floor underneath your feet feels warm. You could tell you are walking on top of an active volcano. A bit scary and risky, but it’s an experience I will never forget.

We spent roughly two hours walking and exploring, and around three hours in total including the transport. The souvenir shop comes highly recommended. While we were there we tried several liquors and the famous mandorla wine. We ended up buying some, as well as lava made statues and decor, adding onto the issue we already had since we traveled with just a hand-luggage for a five day long holiday! On the way down to the car-park, there is a restaurant which in our opinion had the best arancini in Sicily. Do give them a try if you feel peckish!

Engagement Day

For many, the 19th of May meant nothing but the marriage of Prince Harry to Megan dsc_5108.jpgMarkle. To myself, my partner and our families, it was the day of our Engagement Party. For us, it was a very important day, not just as a milestone in our relationship but also because we wanted to share this with our closest family and friends. We wanted them to be present and share with us the happiness and love such an event brings.

It was also the first time my partner, Daniel, met with my entire family – with all my uncles and aunties. I thought it is a very important step before our wedding day next year to get to know where I’ve come from.

Since we planned the party ourselves, the months which lead to our party were busy; we spent a considerable amount of time planning it out. Not just the food, but also the music list, the guest list. Coming up with the invitation, and the decor. Needless to say the decor was for me the most exciting and challenging part. Thinking about what we might need on the day, creating and customising props and buying decor. Although I did most of the research, we chose everything together. Daniel also worked on building a wooden box from scratch, in which we put the cards the guests brought us on the day.

The party itself was filled with smiles and happy relatives and friends. It was also a get-together, as some of the guests we did not see for a good number of years! I thought, it was great, that we managed to do this. Especially for the fact that it was the first time in 24 years that my mother’s siblings were all under the same roof! Having family living overseas, makes it difficult for all of us to meet for every occasion, especially those who live as far as South Africa!

The blessing of the rings, and the cutting of the cake, were the highlight of the evening for us, mainly because of what they symbolise. The joining of two, who have the same outlook and dreams in life. To love, and to cherish. Now onto the big day next year!

 

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How To Feel Better About Yourself This Year

The beginning of a new year is often a fresh start for many people. For some, it can be a daunting thought that it’s just going to be the same old, but in a different year and that can be depressing for some, especially when you see people on social media appearing to have much better lives than you do. If this is sounding familiar then you more than likely need a confidence boost, and a helping hand to feeling better about yourself. Here are some ways in which you can feel better about yourself this year.

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Eat cleaner

A common reason for someone feeling sluggish and down in the dumps is purely down to the fact that you’re not eating the right foods. Junk food will bring you down in many ways, not just your weight. It will cause you to breakout in spots, have drier skin, and it can even affect your mental state of mind. Try eating cleaner and you will feel much better in yourself quicker than you think. You will notice that you’re less bloated, your skin will clear up, and you will have much more energy than before; therefore having a brighter outlook on life.

Sort out money matters

Another reason that people feel down in the dumps is because money is tight or their is a debt looming over their shoulders. Take on some extra hours at work or get another part time job so that you can build money up and not feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck. If you’re in debt and are worrying about how to pay off what you owe, it might be worth thinking about borrowing money to consolidate all existing debts into one loan and paying just one thing off every month. Take a look at these small unsecured personal loans and see if there’s anything that can help solve your situation.

Try something new

Trying something new can give you a brighter outlook on life almost instantly. This could range from trying a new place to eat out with your partner, or it could be taking on a new hobby that you haven’t tried before. Hobbies don’t have to cost much (if anything) either, and they can bring a new breath of fresh air into your life and make you feel better. Alternatively, if you’ve got something that’s been on a bucket list of yours, then why not take the opportunity to tick off something on your list?!

Have a clear-out

Having a cluttered home can bring even the strongest of people down. Take some time to clear out your home of unwanted belongings and give it a deep clean. Having a fresh clean home can make you much happier, and if things are more organised you’re likely to keep it clear too.

Finally, if you’re feeling hopeless a lot, don’t hesitate to speak to your GP. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of and you should never suffer alone!

Take the leap

I have probably wrote about this topic about a gazillion times, but hey ho… I am trying to understand myself better… and at the same time I am wondering if it is just me who’s like this, or whether it is something which is more common than I realise.

I am the kind of person, who puts others before her; be it their needs, their happiness… you name it. I try to always be there, to listen, to help, to support, to give others my two cents. To help them on their way to goodness, fulfillment… joy to the world they say!

And in return, I neglect myself. I put myself through shit.. through disappointment, through pain… just in the name of seeing others doing better. No, I don’t regret being there for friends, I love putting a smile on people’s  faces. But what about me?

Yes, what about me?

Okay, I don’t want to sound selfish… but this is definitely not right. I feel stressed, worn out… at times beyond repair.

My guess is, I am the problem.

I need to learn how to let go…. let go of people and things which are bad for me, who don’t deserve half the time and attention I give them. I need to stop people from abusing my generosity. I need to learn to be okay with just being me, and in my own company and shoes.

I should stop hiding behind other people’s problems and dive into fixing what is wrong with my life and myself. I have been here before, I take on more than I can keep up with, just so I don’t have to think about what needs to get done in my life; to stop focusing on what I am scared to face… to stop working on my dreams, just because I am scared to fail… yet again.

I know that, everything I want is on the other side of fear.

So, why can’t I take the leap?

I know what I want, so why do I do this to myself? Why do I punish myself so much?

More on this topic, here.

 

Things a’changing

There are days, when I question things about my life, and my choices. Today has been one of these forsaken days. Actually, I have been at it since 3AM, but that is beyond my point.

I was thinking about back in 2011, when I had my first Christmas alone, living far away from my family, friends, and on top of that, in another country – How courageous was I, to take such a big leap, leaving everything and everyone behind!

Before then, I have never lived alone, and I had no idea about the kind of responsibility and effort it entails to live and make ends meet at the end of the day, and month when all bills came crawling up. I have done a great job, and learned a lot from this experience.

When I have moved back to Malta, I was not willing to move back with the family, as I enjoyed my independent life too much to let go of it. So much so, that within a year of renting, I purchased my own property.

Although this made sense financially, this has indirectly tied me to this country without even realising at the time. Now that I have settled down in such a “grown up” lifestyle, it seems to me that I have become more self conscious when taking decisions. And I shall give you an example. This week, I was meant to travel, but my plans fell apart, and I have decided to give up the holiday based on two reasons:
1. I should not travel alone at night
2. Accommodation has risen up in price (it also being Christmas holidays, and included NYE), and a last minute purchase would have costed me my entire savings for my holiday.

If I did not have my house to worry about, and if I were not such a wuss, I would be in the UK right now, enjoying cold weather, possibly fog and snow, and beautiful beautiful scenery. How silly am I? Where has all my self confidence gone? What has tarnished my spirit in such a way?

And if you are wondering why I wrote this and why I am sharing this with my readers, it is because I want to be able to read this whenever I need to, so I do not repeat such thing ever again. And also, to try to keep reminding myself that not all my decisions in the past years have been as bad.

Now to try and live life guilt free… and keep moving forward… >>>

Dreams… are they an indication of truth?

Are you familiar with waking up just around 10 minutes before your alarm goes off? You do your best to sleep again, as if your life depends on it.

It is during these few minutes that I get the most vivid of dreams. Often than not, dreams that will shaken me for the rest of the day.

Today, it was one of them days.

It felt so real that I woke up with tears on my face.

Do you believe that dreams are meaningful? Do you think that there is a little truth in every dream…? Is it an indication of what will happen in the near future? Is it just your insecurities and worst nightmares manifesting when you are trying to get a few hours of rest?

I for one, hope not.

8 things to strengthen one’s relationship

Given the last 13 years of somewhat unsuccessful relationship “experience”, I have tried to gather and combine a list of things or tips, which I think would make or help in having a satisfying and working long term relationship.

  1. Honesty; Possibly the most important thing of all. Always be honest and truthful to each other, on all things in your life, be it as a couple or individual. Honesty helps you feel more comfortable and assured on where you stand in your love affair.
  2. Be respectful – Mutual respect is important in maintaining a healthy relationship. The wishes and feelings of each other are valuable even when you disagree. Be genuine and show interest in your partner’s life and hobbies – such things can only bring you closer as a couple.
  3. Trust – This is the foundation of a happy and fulfilling relationship. It take time to build trust and can be lost in a split of a second if one feels betrayed. Examples of being trustworthy are: being reliable and following up on your promises, share what you feel and always say the truth, be a safe place for your partner, be consistent (not only when it is convenient or things are going well).
  4. Be considerate – Keep each other in the loop, ask for holdinghandssunseteach other’s advise in decision making, especially when this will affect your life together as a couple.
  5. Affection – don’t just say that you love your partner; demonstrate it. Kiss each other good morning, be passionate, hold hands in public, take pictures together – make memories… surprise each other with a romantic date or a gift.
  6. Know your Priorities – Although we all lead busy lives, we should always find time for our partners. If you don’t see this as important, perhaps you should spend some time to think about this and why you are hanging onto a relationship which you don’t feel devoted to. If we all invest as much time on our relationship as we do texting, playing games, on social media and watching TV  or films, we might actually have a meaningful relationship.
  7. Security – Show that your partner can count on you to be there in times of need; be it emotionally or physically.
  8. Be a team  – You are stronger together, as a team. Make plans, ensure you have shared goals and same purposes and views long term. Work together.

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