From Astoria to Cannon Beach on the Goonies’ steps

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Rome, 1988. 
It’s a hot, mid-Summer afternoon in the southern outskirts of town. Children are playing in the streets; sweaty t-shirts, grazed knees and sticky gelato fingers. Three floors above, a 9-year old boy sits on the couch staring at the TV, legs crossed and rounded eyes. A VHS tape is whirling in the player and on the screen a gang of four ill-assorted kids are laying their eyes on an old pirate map. They’re up to no good and it’s the beginning of an adventure. Continue reading

The road to Bellaugello, where guests are asked to be who they are

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Umbria, the region at the heart of Italy, has that feeling of being a mystic gem silently suspended in space and time. Since the moment I owned a car and to the moment I left my home country about 11 years ago, I regularly road-tripped to Umbria where I would embrace the region’s mentally and spiritually healing power by walking through its narrow medieval alleys and taking in the wide panoramas over silent green hills that tell stories of centuries ago. Bellaugello Guesthouse, where I’m headed, perfectly fits the mould offering its guests the luxury of forgetting about the here and now; as its Scots landlord Alec puts it, ‘The only thing that is asked to them is to be themselves. Continue reading

Holding hands along the Seine

There comes a moment; a moment of realisation in a person’s life when a fortuitous event or a person randomly placed on our path, opens our eyes and we finally see what has been there in front of us the whole time. We just couldn’t see it. When that happens, we set ourselves free of emotional barriers and we learn that it’s not the world that doesn’t let us be who we want to be. It’s ourselves. Continue reading

Learn a Language and Share


New York, May 2012

I’ve been trying to learn English since I realised that languages were my ticket to the world. It was 2000 when I moved abroad to really live the language; I was 21 and my thirst for learning a new idiom was taking me across the Pond for the first time. I arrived in New York and using my broken English, I made it through passport control, answering all their questions and convincing them that I wasn’t there to do anything naughty. Continue reading