10 Things That Make Me Happy

Leaving aside traveling, there are a couple of smaller things that will instantly put a smile on my face even in the darkest times. Here is my list of happiness bringers:

  • Spring and warm weather

I am very influenced by the weather and the most difficult time of the year is winter, that is why I am so happy that Spring has finally arrived and with it the warm weather, nothing makes me happier than ditching the winter clothes for the lighter ones.

  • Sunny days

Cannot help but loving the sunny days when the blue is so intense that it hurts your eyes. If you combine this with a sea view then the smile is guaranteed.

  • Swimming in the sea

For many, this might not be a very pleasant experience because of the salty water and the effects it has on the hair and skin, but for me swimming in the sea is one of the best things. The smell of the salty water and the cold feeling that you get when entering the sea, are just what I am enjoying most.

  • Horseback riding

One of the sports that I practiced as a kid, horseback riding will always hold a very important place in my heart. From the moment you get in the saddle to the moment you get off, all my problems vanished. There is no way of better enjoying the present moment than when you are practicing the noble sport.

  • Shopping

Shallow? Yes! Pleasant? Also yes! Even if nowadays I am trying to cut back on the shopping, I am still enjoying the moments when I go for a shopping sprint.

  • Reading a great book

All the bookworms out there will understand the feeling you get when you start a great book and you lose yourself in the author’s universe. Not knowing when hours passed, I am unable to distance myself from the book until I turn the last page, only to miss it once it’s gone. As a kid, I remember crying when I finished the last book in a series that I fell in love with.

  • Going out for dessert

A guilty pleasure that I like to indulge in is eating a great dessert. Ever since I could talk, I had a sweet tooth and I was madly in love with sweets. Nowadays I like to keep the cravings under control, but every once in a while I love to go out and try different deserts.

  • Dressing up

Nothing changes my mood than dressing up, especially when there is no special occasion. Whether is accessorizing my outfit or simply changing from the basic jeans to a skirt,  this is my go-to treatment for the blue days.

  • Walking hand in hand with my significant other

Even the worst day can be changed in a second when I am walking hand in hand with my loved one. It helps with recharging my batteries and offers me a different perspective on whatever happened.

  • Coffee

Saved the best for last. There is nothing like a great cup of coffee to change my mood, even if I know that I spend a lot on coffee, this is the one vice I totally indulge in.

We all have our bad days, but even in those not so pleasant times, there are fast remedies that can better your mood. What makes you happy?

You Will Find Love At The Right Time

I am pretty sure the bestselling books are about ways you can find or persuade love. The recipes for happiness, the place you can find the ONE, how to get him or her back or even a few spells that you can cast. These are all on the internet or at least in a few books buried in the libraries. Nowadays, the trend is with books that help you become your own shrink, to read about who you are and how to find yourself as if you are somehow a lost puppy and someone should call the fire department to bring you back.

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Truth is there is no general recipe that you can follow, no 10-step program that you need to take, and even therapy can only help you find what you already know. No book, no conference, no show, no friend can help you with this matter, you are all alone in it and you are the only hero that can save yourself. Scared yet? You shouldn’t be, welcome to adulthood, it’s horrible, but you’ll learn to love it.

I cannot tell you how to do it, but I can tell you how I did it. By giving me time to discover who I am and what I like, by going on random dates with all sorts of people to learn who I want by my side and what are the deal-breakers. By dancing the night away in a fancy, hippy or rocker clubs. By not leaving my apartment for a full weekend and surviving on frozen pizza. By crying myself to sleep while holding my cat. By being heartbroken when I saw my crush holding hands with another woman. By driving until the gas runs out. By dancing alone in my house, with the music at full volume until the neighbors complained. By looking at a comedy and laughing with tears. By reading, by traveling, by living!

When I less expected, I realized that I am independent and that I can take care of myself. I am no longer afraid of putting gas in my car or taking it in for service. I am not scared of falling in love and getting hurt, I survived this already a couple of times so I will do it again if needed. That I am sometimes happy and sometimes sad, but most of the time OK. And so it happened, I found who I was, a random soul on a random planet, among other random people, living the life that I want, no boundaries, no rules.

As for love, I found that there is no “the one”, I found a couple of “ones”, each at the right time and place. Sometimes it was intense love, other times it was peaceful. Sometimes it was me who loved harder, other times it was the other way around. I got dumped and I also found myself leaving. I was cheated and I cheated, even if just with a kiss.

Some of us are lucky enough never to go through this, but unfortunately, most of us will have to. But only to add this to our life story. So you will find love a couple of times if you decide to take the risk. Each type of love will be unique and will bring happiness in its own way. The only constant that has to be is the ability to move forward and evolve. The rest is marketing!

Reasons #not To Cheat

A few days ago I saw that one of the visitors from my blog ended up here after searching an answer to the question “reasons not to cheat”.  So I thought I should address this here and now, my top 7 reasons never to cheat, even when it looks like the best answer.

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  • If you found yourself asking this question then you are half-lost, but not completely

When in doubt give it a few days to rest, see if you still feel the same urge to do this, or if were you just upset. We all have that moment when we would love to turn back time and have some fun, but again those days were not that great either if you think about the lonely nights. Don’t rush into something that you will regret later.

  • Cheating never solved the initial problem, it’s like only smelling a pizza when you are starving

If you feel that you are no longer happy with your current partner and you feel there is no turning back, then it’s time to call it quits. Cheating will not make things work between the two of you, will not bring back the fire, but will only make you even more confused. Take a break and figure out if there is still something that you can save from your current partnership, or if it’s time to pack the bags.

  • You will have to live with the guilt and since you are looking for reasons not to do this, means you already feel guilty

You might think it will be easy to go back to your house and bed after laying in a different one, but you will be surprised at the amount of guilt that can be build from that.

  • You will hurt the person you are currently with and the damage might be permanent

Sooner or later the truth will come out, you will make a mistake and your partner will find out. From that moment you will know that your relationship is doomed. Even if he or she will say that they forgive you, they will never do it. Put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel?

  • Relationships are built on respect and communication so don’t jeopardize those

In time the butterflies that you felt in the first years will die and will leave only the respect and friendship. The only way you can grow these 2 aspects is by communicating with your significant other and when times are bad that is what you should do, talk about the problems.

  • It might look like love what you feel for the new guy or girl but it might be just lust

After a while, in relation, you might want to feel the butterflies again and some innocent flirting could possibly take you there. You could get the impression that you are madly in love and that is your *new soulmate, but 99% of the time, what you are feeling is lust, so don’t throw away what you have for something that most likely will not last.

  • There are no such things as happily ever after, you need to create that yourself but that means that you cannot run into the hands of someone new when you are feeling blue

All fairy tales end when the two get together, none tells you what happens after 10 years, or after 20 years, 2 kids and financial problems. The honeymoon phase only lasts a few years, after that there will be times when you would want to run away to Paris and hide there, but before you pack your bags see if you can bring someone else with you.

From time to time we all feel lost and it is them when we start looking for some new purpose. We want to feel the chills and some adrenaline in our veins, and let’s face it, there is no bigger rush than lust, but that feeling won’t last, you will be just like a junky increasing the dosage to feel the same thrill. Have a change of scenery with your current partner and see if there is still something left to save. Go on vacation and asses if you are still in love, if not walk away! You have the right to be happy and if this person isn’t making you happy, then you should find a new one, but only after letting this one go.

About Love and Other Vices

In the era of fast communication and social media, love seems to have lost ground in the face of vanity and appearances. Somehow it becomes socially acceptable to trade happiness for the perfect shot, but at what cost?

John Milton: Vanity, definitely my favorite sin. –  The Devil’s Advocate

Vanity in Budapest

Looking for love is hard, always has been, at least for most of us. I know there are a special few that were lucky enough to find the love of their life from the first shot, but for the majority of us, finding that special someone meant lots of heartaches. Unfortunately, the modern inventions aren’t working in our favor and from my perspective is only putting more pressure on us.

The idea of that power couple that always looks flawless in pictures with the matching outfit is hunting most of us. Clearly, we all want to be Brad and Angelina on the red carpet, but can we all be “picture-perfect couple”? Furthermore, we all saw what happened to Brangelina, so looking perfect didn’t work in their favor either.

In the era of Tinder and other matching applications; Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, only to name a few social media ones, it is far more important to look happy, accomplished or stylish than to actually be happy. We have the perfect life displayed on our accounts, but how much of that is real and how much is just a “perfect” capture?

Clearly, we don’t want to show the world how our hair looks on a bad day or that we are suffering from a bad breakup, but the obsession with perfection made us distant and colder. It is as if we want to display only a side of ourselves, the pretty one, but we are afraid to let people in and see us for what we truly are, which is far from the perfection we present on social media.

Perhaps it is only my personal opinion, but to be fully accomplished means to have that special someone by your side, to share all the beautiful moments with him/her, to cheer up when you see their face and to want to make them happy. Most of these feelings will never be caught on camera and we should never even try to catch them, these should never leave the privacy of our houses/beds.

Many relationships these days end when they should have just begun, either because we formed an opinion of the other person when we browse their online profiles and that is far from the offline reality or because we don’t want to settle for something less than extraordinary when it comes to love. We want the picture-perfect couple idea, we want to be the true power couple that everyone says they are so beautiful and perfect together, but we forget that the idea of the power couple is not based on looks but on having each other back and helping each other grow.

Looks aren’t everything and vanity should never have priority over happiness, it is OK not to be perfect, nor to have the ideal house/car/boyfriend. What is not OK is to be unhappy and alone, because you set impossible to accomplish standards.

Life’s To Easy For You? Upgrade It By Dating @work!

Ever wondered what could you do to make your single life more miserable? Didn’t find it’s hard enough to be turned down by random people and wanted a daily reminder of a rejection? Or did you want to see your ex 9 hours a day? The answer to your prayers is here: date a colleague from work (or school – that will also do it).

Of course, he is cute and is making you laugh, especially in the morning when you are drinking your “so needed” coffee. Monday is making him blossom and all you want to hear from him are the magic words: “Will you go out with me?”. But is this worth the trouble?

A while ago I heard a myth that said the relationships that start between colleagues have more than 50% chances of ending in marriage. Well, I do not know who was the a*shole that said that, but I would really want to kick him, hard! I am not sure if he (I am 100% sure that is a he) was even in our time, but what I can tell you is that relationships that start between coworkers do not have higher chances. I believe the odds are kind-of the same as making a relation from Tinder or from a pickup bar work, but with a small difference: THE COMPLICATIONS.

There is an old saying “Don’t shit where you eat” and it cannot have a better appliance than in the matter of dating at work. Below you can find my 5 reasons why this is such a bad idea:

  • All eyes are on you

There is nothing juicier than gossip, and what better subject than the new romances from the office? Although you might think none is noticing, I can assure you that they do. The feminine intuition is working at full capacity and chances are, you are not the only one with the eyes on the prize. The loser will be the engine that runs the gossip machine and the others will also join for the entertainment.

  • It’s no longer your relation but your office’s relation

If you went out with him, everyone will assume it is on for the two of you. The jokes about you getting married, or tips about how awesome he is. You will see the smile on their faces as they pass you.

  • If it can go wrong, most likely it will

Murphy was definitely a wise man and the law from above will come to bite you on the behind when you are less expecting. Having to see your crush all the time (work & home) can bring a lot of pressure on the relationship, especially at the beginning so you might like to keep your happiness (and possibly later your sadness) to yourself. If you are getting into this, you must be 110% sure you are ready to settle down with this person.

  • It will affect your credibility

The fact that you mix work and pleasure will affect the way you are seen in the office. If you are dating someone that is higher than you in rank, you are seen as a gold digger, if that person is below you, then you are taking advantage of your position. If either of you is in a relationship, then you are both cheaters and so on. Even if you are on the same level and single, there will be a debate about who is better than who and if you two should be together.

  • If things go wrong, they will go all the way

Chances are that it might not work out for the two of you, and if that is the case, there will be a lot of drama to follow. First, you would see the pity in everyone’s eyes and they will not stop at only looking at you, they will want to comfort you with lots of remarks. You will also get to see him EVERY day and if you are on the same team, you would need to be professional about this (and let’s face it when PMS takes over its hard to be professional with guys that you didn’t sack, not to mention the other kind). And last but not least, you will get to see his new date and hear about his new adventure from all of your caring colleagues.

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Yes, we all heard of the happy end stories with people who met at work and now are living their happily ever after but don’t forget the other type of stories, the ones you most likely laugh when it happened in your office. So my advice to you would be to stay clear of dating at work, the possible complications are not worth the trouble. But if you don’t want to take my word on it, go find out on your own about the benefits this can bring you!

 

 

Traveling: Reasons To Visit Venice Before It Sinks

Scientists revealed that Venice is sinking 5 times faster than it was believed at first. With 2mm a year, you should definitely think about visiting the floating city while it’s still above the water. If you aren’t convinced yet, I hope by the time you finish reading the post you are. Here are a few reasons and hints on how to visit the “old lady”.

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If you chose to fly in, you should know that Venice has 2 airports Treviso and Marco Polo, none of them being on the island. In order to get to the city, you would need to take a bus that you can find at the exit of the airport and that will leave you at Piazza Roma. The price of the ticket is around 14 euro (22 for the round trip) and you can purchase it from the office or from the bus driver. If you chose to come by car, you have to leave it in a parking lot before entering the island. Make sure it is in the right space because fees for parking are up to 900 euro.

When you say Venice, you immediately think of old buildings, with high ceilings and wood furniture. You can picture the gorgeous courtesans at their balconies luring men into their chambers. If you want to feel the city, you should definitely rent an old apartment in the city center. The prices are not much higher than those of the hotels and due to the dimension of the city, if you choose wisely you can have everything within walking distance. I used Airbnb platform and rented an amazing 1 bedroom apartment, with old and new elements and paid for 3 nights around 200 euro. You should also know that the city resembles a maze so it can be hard to find the correct address, but the locals are very friendly and will guide you.

The only way of public transport around the island is by water: vaporetto, gondolas or taxi boats. I decided to make a 24 hours subscription for the vaporetto (20 euro) and visit also the islands of Murano, where you can see the glass factory and the island of Burano, known for the lace museum. If you decide to take this option, you should definitely take the boat at sunset and cross Canal Grande, the view is breathtaking.

While you are here, make sure you go for a ride with a gondola. The city is filled with places where you can take one, the ride is around 30 minutes (even if they say that it’s an hour, if they have customers in line, they will make it shorter), it costs 80 euro for the daylight version and 100 for the nighttime and a group up to 5 can go at a time (the online tickets are 60 euro and during the week you can negotiate the price ). The gondoliere will show you Casanova’s and Marco Polo’s house (for the Canal Grande tour) and will give you additional information about Venice.

San Marco is the main square and it is also the place where you can see the church with the same name. The entrance is free for the church, but the line can be very long, especially during the weekends. The access to the balcony, where you can see the lagoon, has a tax of 8 euro. If you decide to purchase a city pass you should include in the list of places to visit:  Doge’s Palace, Clock Tower, and the Lace Museum. Make sure you buy your pass online since it is the only place you can do it. Also in the San Marco square, you will find Florian, the first coffee shop in the world, it dates from the year of 1720, so if you are a real fan of coffee, make sure you visit it at least once (a cup of coffee is around 15 euro).

When it comes to food, you should brace yourself, because you will gain weight while you are in Italy, since it is the home of patisserie, cappuccino, pasta, and pizza. If you are a fan of seafood, then you are in luck, the pasta and pizza with seafood should be on your menu. As for the beverages, don’t you even think about leaving without trying the Aperol Spritz. An average meal will cost you around 25 euro, depending on what you would like to eat, but you can also choose to have the daily menu, just make sure it includes only Italian food and not regular fast food. I suggest you look for the small patisserie shops that you find within the island where the locals drink their coffee, the prices will be lower and the quality higher.

If you are wondering what is the perfect time to visit, you should know that between the 17th  and 28th of February the Carnival is taking place. You get to see the participants, and why not yourself, wearing costumes and masks. Make sure you purchase a mask made in Italy and not the ones that are imported, these are the best gift that you can buy from here and they come in all sorts of shapes and colors. During the carnival nights, you get to see the pairs dancing on the rhythms of waltz and tango.

I hope I convinced you to start booking your tickets for the beautiful city that stole my heart. Enjoy la grande bellezza d’Veneto. In the link below you can find more pictures from my trip: http://www.boredpanda.com/venice-in-the-time-of-the-carnival/

We danced our youth in a dreamed-up city–img
Venice, paradise, proud and pretty.
We lived for love and lust and beauty,
Pleasure, then, our only duty.
Floating then ‘twixt heaven and earth,
And drunk on plenty’s blessed mirth,
We thought ourselves eternal, then,
Our glory sealed by God’s own pen.
But paradise, we found, is always frail.
Against men’s fear, we always fail.”
– Dangerous Beauty, Veronica Franco

 

 

 

 

What’s in the Past Should Stay There

When someone from the past suddenly remembers your name/telephone / Facebook / WhatsApp / whatever, what are they really looking for? Is it that they miss you and want to get in touch with you or is it just to see if you are still available?

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In my experience, the latest was almost always the correct answer. And even those who seem to want to come back, they only did it because they didn’t found someone else. I have always wanted to be someone’s first option and not the backup plan. These people usually get in touch with you at Christmas time /  New Year / your birthday and, with a “legit” reason, they storm back into your life and make your heart a mess once again.

The feeling of “being remembered” is a dangerous one, although you seem happy that he/she didn’t forget you, it’s just cover up for the real deal: you got dumped, it hurts and you feel cheated. I’ve seen and been in a couple of toxic relations myself and you get to know the suffering so well that you actually start enjoying it. Every time you receive the “message” you just find some lame excuses for that person and you open the door wide once again, because perhaps “this time’s a charm”. I hate to break it to you, but it’s not. It is just one episode from a series. Even the “happy” relations where someone has returned are not so happy, one of them will always be suspicions and the other will always wonder if he/she made the right choice.

Of course, there are more sides to this matter, one is when it is you who is trying to reach out to your past. If you ever been in that position then you know for sure what were your reasons. The most common one is: you just didn’t have anything better to do, or, to be precise, none better to do it with. For the ones who are in a relationship with someone that is trying to make contact with the past, you should walk away and have a nice life or, chose to stay and be miserable. Last but not least, the ones whose partner is having someone reaching out to him, well you just have to step aside and let the other one fight his/her battle, you just keep an eye on the outcome so that you know what are your options. Do not get involved, don’t get into the mud with the pigs, ’cause you’ll become one of them.

When it comes to the past, I think everyone is in “a complicated” relation, it’s up to us if we let it affect our present. Always be someone’s first choice, it is the way you treat yourself that tells the other how you want to be treated.