Unforgettable Stories: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

How much of our character is shaped by the time and the era into which we are born? Can we truly think for ourselves without being outcast from the society in which we live or is our only choice to comply with the current times if we want a normal, happy life?

There are far too many periods and places in history that would turn any bright sunny day into a cloud of darkness and despair, if we had the misfortune of living in one. The 1940s in Germany during the unspeakable horrors against humanity for one. The 1790s in France during the horrific period of the French Revolution for another. The 1980s in Tehran at the height of the Iranian Revolution and a reality of my own childhood, for yet another.

And the era in which Kathryn Stockett’s brilliant novel is set: Mississippi, USA, the 1960s, for yet another. [Read more…]

The Art of Deciding Your Next Travel Destination

Hakone_Japan_2008
I
n a poor attempt to test my spontaneity yesterday, my clever husband asks me if I am up for going to Japan in 7 days. No plans, no preparation, no idea where we would stay except that this time, we must go to Hakone to climb Mount Fuji – be not impressed; it’s no Everest, everyone can climb it – and that we would have confirmed seats in business class; the fares are extremely reasonable due to significantly slower travels to Japan.

Ah Japan! One of my biggest loves, even if I rarely talk about it around here. [Read more…]

Michelle Moran: “Madame Tussaud”

Madame Tussaud book by Michelle Moran

Good heavens, I have seriously fallen out of my reading habit. I used to read one or two books a month and now I find my mind far too preoccupied to read half as frequently. A tad bit ironic how I had to leave the corporate world to come to understand the real meaning of work, sweat and labor and no, I wouldn’t trade it for a million shining jewels but alas, it is high time to get back into reading.

Are you reading enough? I don’t mean news articles, blog posts, or the stuff in that Inbox. I mean real solid books — or virtual ones that come on your iPhone, Kindle (loved reading Dumas on the Kindle) or iPad or favorite electronic gadget. Books with a beginning, middle and an end. Books that have always been the basis of all education and knowledge, among other things. [Read more…]

A Visual Journey on Why you should Embrace Travel in your Life

Tell a story without so many words for a change!

There is the newest challenge yet from my spouse. An exercise in brevity and a tall order to my devotion about writing my epic blog posts but variety is the spice of life and so I am up for the challenge. Thomas Jefferson once said: “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” Where words are scarce, I shall rely on the beauty of photography to tell my story.

Should we have a reason to travel? Why, do you have a reason to breathe, to live, to get up in the morning and face your days? You travel to be somewhere else and yet in that place, to find a sense of home and belonging, to explore the fabulous world we live in, to meet your other self, to step an inch closer to another culture and another people, to embrace Mother Nature in its stunning glory, to find out how you get on with your sweetheart, your life companion or most significant of all, just with yourself, to grow, to be fulfilled for months and sometimes years later from memories that you create, to share your stories with others, to open doors that no fantasy or reverie can lavish upon you because this earth is better than any dream and filled with more promises than any heart can behold. So get up, pack your bags, do away with your excuses, put an end to the waiting, pick a destination, and TRAVEL. [Read more…]

Amsterdam Memories and Why to Travel Spontaneously

Arriving into Holland

The travel fever is upon me again. It is a fever that insists on recurring despite my best intentions to starve it and it seems to be in full swing this summer. We all travel for deeply personal reasons, and I am generally one to love the sights and sounds and all the history and excitement about the place – but my one day visit of Holland’s memorable city of Amsterdam had very little to do with scenery and everything to do with watching life go by on a lazy Saturday in October of 2007.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” — Miriam Beard
[Read more…]