It’s not every day that you get to look out of your window and see the ruins of a 15th century palace. Or fortress. Or house of a wealthy family. Whatever it was atop that hill across from our villa on Isola di Ponza — that crumbling structure barely clinging to whatever historical moment in time it came from — it was a magical sight. Something out of one of my fantasies. I always dreamed of exploring ruins and castles as a young boy, but I had never thought I’d bee sleeping across from them.
Let alone have a hammock to relax in on the porch of a white-washed villa set in the rocky, green-brushed volcanic hills of Ponza Island.
Our crew of the This Is Your Time blog tour, all bags in tow, plodded along the winding pathways that snake through the hills of grey and orange rock, passing the white painted villas which seemed almost to be carved straight out of the hillside. This was after a winding truck drive down the small hairpin turns which rim the coastal cliffs that were incredibly treacherous and equally adventurous, with our whole blogger crew holding on for dear life.
Which made arriving all the more rewarding and the location even more fantastical.
After a brief hike (around Ponza, you definitely need to have good legs under you) we came up the hill and through the gate to our sweet getaway, our own bright white villa above Frontone Beach overlooking the sapphire blue Tyrrhenian Sea. A gentle breeze brought up the salty sea air and cooled our brows as we all heaved our bags down happily, ready to take in this beautiful place and relax.
Take a VIP tour through the Colosseum and Hypogeum.
Excerpt: “Imagine yourself as a gladiator of Rome, a slave warrior, deep under the enormous Flavian Amphitheater awaiting battle. The thunderous noise of 50,000 rabid Romans rumbles the roof above. You cannot see a thing. Their stomping and shouting sounds the exact same as a storm rolling toward you. It is pitch black, besides the brief and fleeting light of a dim lamp that occasionally flickers on the uneven stone walls, casting long and ghastly shadows which crawl over the ceiling like demons from the underworld.
Somewhere in that darkness, the feral roars from hungry caged lions and tigers echo, haunting that blackness. You cannot see who sits beside you, but you can smell them. You can smell the sun-burnt olive oil on their skin slathered on everyone to make them glisten in the sun. You can smell the sweat beading and dripping from yourself and the warriors around you.
That immense stench of sweat, a salt smell like a vast ocean as if you stood on a beach with your eyes shut — yet no cool breeze to cool your brow or culls from seagulls to calm your nerves. Just blackness and sweat. And in that blackness is the smell of death. Even though none have died yet, many have before you after leaving that blackness. The smell of death is of the piss and the shit and the sweat that happens before battle — the fear takes hold of some more than others and they lose their bowels and minds before being released into that sand-pit of death.
Soon the ceiling will crack open, raining dust and sand onto our heads. Light will pour through the opening and we will rise up to the cheers of thousands. And with that light, we do not rise up to meet life, but death.
Sometimes the darkness is better.”
Read the whole post HERE
Excerpt - “I was pursuing my dream. I still am pursuing my dream. Because a dream isn’t a destination or a finish line, it is the journey of the body and mind and heart and soul in pursuit of what makes you happy. In pursuit of what you love. It is something that, if you are truly chasing, you can never fail by not reaching some peak or apex, since the glory of a dream is never-ending. You can only fail if you choose not to follow it.”
Modern day exploring. Haiti’s La Citadel, a mountaintop fortress that was built during Haiti’s fight for freedom watching over the North from 3,000ft up.
See more at http://justchuckinit.com
"I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go … Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is … And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight."
After revealing that I took the plunge and bought my ticket to Thailand, and proceeded to show you my über happy dance, you might think I am spending every waking moment scouring the interwebs about Thailand.
And that hasn’t happened.
Has the excitement of leaving again died? Hell no.
I look at this countdown every day.
Then why haven’t I memorized the city layout of Bangkok by heart, made Thailand the background of my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Pro. Why don’t I know Thai phrases yet, which shots to get, where to take my TEFL course, and where I am staying?
Because it turns out that I am terrible at planning ahead…
I did find this Thai airline wallpaper though which has me quite excited.
If you hadn’t followed my blog previously before GoDaddy took a shyte on it and lost my server files, then you may have watched the hilariously desperate video confession when I ran out of money in New Zealand. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
You would think I’d do everything to prevent that from happening this time by planning every aspect right?
Well, I am planning for Thailand. Sort of.
Even though I haven’t been oozing every second about Thailand on the blog and doing research, I have been working my freakin’ tail off for this trip!
Last month I set a goal to save up $1,000 a week at my job. How the hell can I do that?!
Well, the perks of working at a restaurant in the United States is that we make tips, and my restaurant we can make heaps of money. If you work hard.
It’s been tough running the blog and working at the restaurant, but it’s definitely worth it. Even though some nights I only make $100, other nights I’ve been able to pull in $470 in one day! I credit my impeccable smile and charming personality for that one =)
But do I really need to plan every detail for Thailand?
There has been a consensus from tons of people that have traveled to Thailand and Southeast Asia that I don’t need to plan a thing, that traveled through the country is extremely cheap and easy, and that getting a teaching job will be no sweat.
I sure hope so! Nonetheless I’m sure as the days go by leading up to this trip I will start preparing for Thailand more and more, doing tons research on Southeast Asia, and undeniably gushing about how excited I am on the blog.
Until then, the clock is ticking and I’m working hardcore to meet this goal set.
In the meantime, enjoy some of these stellar photo as I am from other bloggers
Have you been to Thailand? Got any tips?
Reflections of Gros Morne in my Sunglasses near the Rocky Harbor Lighthouse at Sunset. #explorecanada
Reflections of the mountains near Rocky Harbor lighthouse in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada.