This Pinay is sitting still no more

pinayonthemovealaska

 

Finally on the road again. Nervous energy. Excitement. Tackling my longest trip by far – a #3monthsabbatical around 15 European countries. It’s not really slow travel but I’m still doing it on my own terms. I need this. I want to be thrown out of my comfort zone again so I can feel and experience things beyond my own little bubble. It was getting so comfortable yet stagnant.

Deep breath.

Here goes.

Wish me luck!

My top three favorite Christmas memories

I’ve  been reminiscing about memories of Christmas past and I realize how I miss having a proper Christmas celebration. You know, the kind where you have the whole clan on Christmas Eve, dressed up in red or green getting ready for grandma’s big, sumptuous dinner. The house decked out with the latest Yuletide décor complete with tiny, golden lights. The kids would be near the tree preoccupied with trying to guess the contents of carefully wrapped presents while the adults are busy cooking or catching up on gossip. In the background, you can hear Johnny Mathis or Bing Crosby sing a classic carol.

Ah, those were the days! Didn’t it seem so much more magical when we were kids and we didn’t have to worry about the expense associated with this holiday?

In more recent years, I have used Christmas as an excuse to travel. It’s a slow time and it’s the end of the year, so it makes sense to use those vacation days. I have had as much fun and “magic” celebrating Christmas in a non-traditional manner. So for this post, I’m sharing my top three favorite Christmas memories.

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Travel Photo Thursday: Turkish-Egyptian Belly Dancer

The lights dimmed and she glided gracefully into the middle of floor. The music starts and we hear the sound of the drums creating a beat that was tribal. All eyes were glued to the beautiful dancer as she started to shimmy.  Her hands skillfully beckoning and her hair seductively swirling. Even the thick tobacco smoke cannot conceal the sparkle of her golden coins. We were mesmerized.

She moves to the corner of the room where she picks up a large sword. She twirls it around and unsheath it. I gasped as she places the big silver sword on top of her head. My tummy tightens as I anticipate disaster. But alas, she balances the sword on top of her head while she continues to dance. The crowd starts to clap as she moves faster. It was at that moment that I felt that I was transported into another world.

That night I was in a Turkish tent in the middle of the desert. Sipping hot mint tea as I lazily inhale from my hookah. I was part of a caravan and we were on our way to mysterious and unexplored territories. My phone buzzes on my lap and reality sets in. I realize that I need to go on a search for good deals on Turkey holidays. For now part of my bucket list is to learn belly dancing in Turkey. Perhaps Istanbul or Bodrum? Regardless, I’m going to make it happen.

This is my submission for Travel Photo Thursday. Check out Budget Travelers Sandbox to see more great shots!