Holiday stuffed animals 

Puzo would like to say thank you to his grandma for bringing all these stuffed animals for his holiday present . Although he was to share with his sister Bella ,

She didn’t mind. Bella was too busy getting love from her grandma and getting the smiles for her new pink fleece and leg warmers. 

Give an animal a hug today !

Churros con amigos 

As Casa Aranda in Malaga opened at 8 am on a Sunday , people began to fill the chairs for their morning serving of churros con chocoalte. What’s beautiful about this city is as each stranger entered the room we were seated in , they greeted everyone with “Buenos Dias.” Although nobody knew each other , it was as if the term strangers did not exist.

How comforting it was to sit and linger in this atmosphere. Easily you can pretend momentarily you are living the life of a Spaniard , and are accepted.  

I ate too many churros, but had one remaining. As I saw a homeless man begging for money from their customers, I ran out and gave him my last churro. He smiled while saying Gracias, and he continued to say hello the staff . They greeted each other , I have a feeling he is also a regular there and gets his morning fill of churros. 

Maybe churros con chocolate can momentarily unite the world 🙂

Travel Seva 

Each time I travel I am stunned by the number of stray cats and dogs that linger the streets. This was the case in Greece. My heart went out to them. The animals looked like they haven’t been bathed in months, but they weren’t excessively thin. This means that are somehow being taken care of collectively by others. Perhaps a meal by this shop keeper, or leftovers from that restaurant .
 As we were passing an archeological site in Athens, I saw a couple feeding several cats outside the entrance. I assumed they were locals doing their rounds , but when they began talking to me I discovered they were from New Jersey. This couple (I never did learn their name) had been on holiday for two weeks in Cyprus and Greece, and had visited this exact spot the day prior witnessing the stray cats. Today they bought cat food and were on a mission to feed as many cats as they could in and out of this Athens tourist stop. It was the last day of their European journey and they spent it feeding stray animals. How beautiful is that? 
I always see homeless cats, dogs, and people when I travel. My heart aches , but I don’t do anything about it. These people were, even if in a small way.

Today was my last day in Athens with my mom. Two stray dogs followed us from one site to another, eventually they left after being scolded off by another dog and his owner. I purchased a new coral short Greek dress, and as we sat down for breakfast , I began getting emotional. I feel so blessed for the life I lead. I have my dream job, travel the world, meet many of the people I have admired through the years, and know the possibilities that are available to me in life. I felt so greedy and selfish for purchasing that last dress. I began reflecting on how I can give back. 
During breakfast , an older woman said something to us in Greek. Perhaps she was asking money for food. I ran up to her and gave her a piece of toast with an egg on it, untouched. She needed it more than me . I packed away the leftovers on our plate : feta cheese and tomatoes. I wrapped them in red napkins. I knew I could give this to someone else else. I dropped it off to someone sleeping on the street who had a cup out for money. Later I purchased a chicken souvlaki and gave it to a mother with two children who sat begging at the bottom of the steps of the subway . She said thank you in English . 
But I know ,this still isn’t enough.
Something today churned and awakened in me. I am unsure what idea is stirring, but I know a change will come in the future of how I travel. 
More than offering these gratitude cards for those who help.
More than offering small tokens of kindness for those in need.
I am not sure how things will change , but want to make a commitment in how I can serve the world in a deeper way

Beautiful commercial for our gift giving season

In our times of adversity, watching this brings joy to my heart. Props to Amazon !

Tightrope Walker 

Tonight I was able to watch one of my favourite female singers perform at a sold out show in London: Rachael Yamagata. It was so comforting to be in her presence. I always find such joy and contentment being in the atmosphere of familiarity as an expat. I have listened to her for over a decade. She helped me through breakups, longings, love, and bonding time with my friends. This is what artists do for us. 
Things have been quite heated in the US, during the past week. Emotional turmoil, negativity , and frustration are running rampant in our conversations in person, on social media, and even within the quietness of our hearts . This has influenced much of the world and definitely impacted Rachael tonight. It was beautiful to see how she elegantly took the high road in not getting stuck in the political drama and encouraged us the audience to begin focusing on the possibilities . She discussed the importance of sharing kindness within our circles. 
After the concert I was able to meet her , and share this gratitude card with her . As I described to her what the card was about , she gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek. It felt amazing to give at least some small token of gratitude to someone who has helped you for years throughout your life.

I feel so blessed to have met one of my favourite musicians and to be greeted with such warmth. 
Take the opportunity to share kindness with those in your realm . And if you ever have the opportunity to meet one of your heroes, take it , and tell them the impact it made.
Pass on the kindness 

The 7 wonders of the world 

Sometimes we find inspiring things in Facebook . Today it was A beautiful short video on how we want to view and choose the 7 wonders of the world . We forget how amazing life can be.

A beautiful piece on the importance of voting