May the 1st: Flower Festival

Bonjour, lovely ones! I don’t want to see any moody faces today! It’s the first day of May, which means, we can all start counting down for summer vacation – if you haven’t already. I just wanted to give you a post that will make you smile and just stop for a second, look around and appreciate the small things. 

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Each year in my hometown on the last day of April, a flower festival is being held. Everyone goes downtown for the music and a glimpse of the beautiful colours. Oh, the colours are endless… It’s like a wonderland of pastels!

So, what better to do when it’s so warm outside and you know everyone will be there than a date night, walking around the flowers. Under the starry sky, as it’s already 25 degrees in the evening here in Greece, just a spaghetti strap dress and a denim jacket is enough. What did I forget? Oh, that’s right! The more-than-necessary-for-the-night flower crown.

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There’s certainly no better way to welcome May and all the amazing things she’ll bring… (well, May was always a female month in my head!)

Take in all the colours and smells and enjoy the last month of spring!

flowers tent

P.S. I know this one didn’t have any super interesting discussions but those flower pictures are a wonderful way to welcome May and I hope I got you in the mood to fill your house with colour end floral smells. More content coming up soon! 

 

have a magical day,

glance-at-the-sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

A little something you forgot to consider

When you look at the world you see a combination of brilliance and dirt altogether. It makes you want to get out and explore every single part of it, every possible human emotion and at the same time, it makes you want to run to bed and stay there forever. It’s like being in a huge library with a billion books. You wish you’ll choose the most fascinating ones, those that will teach you a lot and make you a wiser person but still… you cannot know the ending in advance. There’s always a risk.  It’s scary – terrifying actually – but I suppose life can give you a few things that are worth the “pain and the aches of the outcoming fortune” in the words of the Danish Prince.

It is incredible that you have all these choices concerning who you want to become and how you want to use your life in order to contribute to society. But what most people forget to mention when they talk about the endless possibilities is risk and fear. The smallest choice you make has outcomes. There’s never a win-win situation. You always have to face consequences, responsibilities and stand up for the path you took and for the person you are today.

We chose friends, behaviors, careers, lovers, places to live in and even ways to approach situations. Every little thing is crucial but there are some choices bigger than others. These are the choices that will change your life. When you stand in front of a choice this big, I tell you, it’s scary. Nobody mentions that. Everyone goes on and on about doing the right thing but… when you’re actually standing a step away from opening one door or another, you can’t see “right” or “wrong”. You can only see the regret at the end of each way and you’re afraid of it. There are paths that guarantee security and others that involve greater risk.

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Making the step is hard. But no matter what you have been thinking so far, no matter what all the voices around you have been going on and on about, you have to take a step back and put yourself in the microscope. I don’t mean endless hours of worrying and re-thinking – which is something I am guilty of, to be honest – but to really stand across your deepest desire and ask yourself “Where do you want to go?”.

This process is usually so hard because we forget to keep in mind the fear that goes with it. It’s what we forget to consider when we make plans. Fear is usually a huge part of our choices but it shouldn’t be. Go with your gut. There is an instinct inside every one of us, we’ve just learned to ignore it over the years while trying to rationalize everything.

Remember back when you were a kid? You took one look at a person and you knew if you liked them or not. You went to ballet lessons for a week to find out you want to quit and then you tried piano and Italian and none of those were right for you. You knew and you were not afraid to admit you changed your mind. Nobody would call you a loser. Then, you finally tried tennis or playing the tuba and it was fun. You couldn’t see the time to go to practice. That’s what we suppress over the years, our pure instincts. We learn to like what we should like but, how will we ever be happy if we don’t risk walking the road our heart tells us it leads to happiness?

Charles Bukowski said “Go all the way” and he was right. If you don’t go all the way, you’ll never know. It takes a huge amount of courage to stop thinking of every little thing that can go wrong and focus on your pure desire. Don’t be afraid of it. Take a step on the path your heart points at. There must be some reason. Show it some trust and you’ll eventually find out why it took you there.

Have a magical day,

glance at the sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

Never ending dream chase

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for the future. I would ask my mom how many days are left until I’m a grown-up – free to do what I want any time I want to. Little did I know… I had no idea that Peter Pan was right when he chose to stay in Neverland and I secretly wish I’d followed him when I still had the chance. But we grow… we become adults and take life in our own hands and those things that once seemed like a faraway dream, are now everyday worries, all written down in To-Do Lists on the refrigerator looking judgmentally at you day and night. What happened?

When you’re little, you dream, you idealize the future and somewhere inside you, you know that you will do everything right. You won’t make the stupid mistakes all the other grown-ups make. You’re so much wiser. You’ll succeed and thrive. It can’t be that hard when you’re free to do your own thing. Soon, life will prove you wrong and you’ll you might forget your great dreams somewhere along the way.

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Dreams are not only the most important thing of our childhood, dreams must remain a great part of our adulthood as well. The fast rhythm of life makes us lose our way and forget where we are going. We settle. We settle for safety, for comfort or because we are secretly afraid to find out what would actually happen if we had the courage to pursue that dream. We make up excuses that convince the rest but they’re never enough to convince ourselves. Deep down we all know they’re carefully made-up and brilliantly convincing lies. Not for our family or our friends who wonder why we changed our minds but for the kid in us asking why we ended up betraying that once-so-clear vision.

Taking risks in a world that never helps the ones who dream of something greater is hard. It takes everything you’ve got and yes… you might lose everything you gained with so much hard work but… there’s one slight chance if you trust that little dreamer you left behind somewhere on the way here, you’ll find the life you once thought you would have. Don’t you know that this is the one you deserve?

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Dreams must play the role of a map or a compass in life. We must always look at them to tell us where to go. The journey is what will make us happy and complete but looking at that destination will keep us on the right path. It’s ok to change your mind and let your dream change as you evolve as a person but never settle for less and never give up. There is incredible strength in each of us. You’ll be surprised to find out how much of it is hidden in you. If you have dreamt it, even as a child, you do have what it takes to do it.

It might mean you’ll have to sacrifice comforts and time and even people in your life. But would you rather wonder forever?

have a magical day,

glance at the sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

In case you get lost in the streets of Prague one night

I’ve been preparing for summer holiday for months. It had been such a busy year full of To-Do-Lists and cups of coffee that went cold. When the days of relaxation arrived, I couldn’t quite believe it. As you can tell form the title Prague was the place I happened to explore this summer and I’ve been planning to share! So, I decided – if I wanted to do justice to the place, I had – to split the experience in two parts. So… day and night.

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(That means… prepare for part two soon!)

When the sun goes down, the capital city of the Czech Republic is even more beautiful. Walk the lanes of the Old Town and you’ll find various things to taste – drink or food – depending on your taste and mood. Everything form a disco night club to a wine tasting bar or traditional restaurants. Try to avoid the extremely touristy areas – they are ridiculously expensive for  what they sell, in my opinion. Take a nice long walk, do your research and I am positive, you’l find the right place for a perfect evening.

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My personal suggestions:

I love to travel – ALMOST more than anything! – so I usually prepare a detailed list with what I want to see in advance, making sure I don’t miss out on anything interesting. I always leave open spaces for things I’ll discover during the journey, though. I must confess now what I discovered during my five nights walking the streets of Prague – they’re all things that you should also try if you get the chance.

  • the National Marionette Theatre

Yes, I am a theater person but this doesn’t mean anything. I know you’re skeptical about watching a two hour original Opera in Italian performed by marionettes. I understand. Trust me, though! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the show. It’s unbelievably well set and well performed. Every little detail will amaze you. The people involved are extremely talented and they will provide you with all you need for an unforgettable night. It’s certainly something you won’t easily get to see elsewhere. You will certainly laugh – I surely did! – and there’s NO way you’ll regret it.

  • the Jazz Boat 

I’ll start with the one thing  that stands out the most: atmosphere. Whether you’re a jazz lover or not, you will not regret getting on this boat (well, except if you hate music and nice food). For me, it was the perfect night. We were lucky enough to pick the night with an super talented jazz group that made us sing and clap along from start to finish. I am not going to say anything about the view! Prague all lit up in night time.. I envy the people who will get to go on the boat around Christmas time…

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  • the Blacklight theater of Prague 

It’s everywhere! If you’re planning to visit Prague and you’ve looked for Must-see stuff, I’m sure you’ve made a little note somewhere about it. It’s very famous all around the world. I’ll be honest here. It wasn’t as great as the Marionette performance, for my taste,  but it was indeed spectacular. The directors and choreographers of this show surely must have known what they were doing. They create beautiful images. It feels a little bit like you’re in a dream. The music creates an irresistible atmosphere that you fall into and then… there come the costumes full of colour and unusual shapes.

  •  the Walks 

Even if I gave you exactly a plan of what to see, you wouldn’t have as much of a good time as I did. Everyone has their own preferences depending on their taste and interests. Don’t be afraid to go out after the sun comes down and explore the city by yourself or with you friends. Trust your instinct and I’m sure that while walking the streets of Prague lost in the town or admiring the view by the river with a handful of bright star above your head, you’ll find out about amazing little places.

have a magical day,

 

glance at the sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou