Our first trip to Europe

Hello ladies & gents! Here I am, still having withdrawals from my amazing trip to Italy with my love.

We stayed for 9 nights and decided to go on a less-touristy season (March). We went to Venice, Florence and then Rome. Florence was easily my favorite city out of the three because of its beauty, fashion and just overall young/fun vibe. But let’s talk about packing because that was the hardest part about this trip. And we made some very bad decisions, which I’d like to share so you can avoid.

#1: Pack light!

I read “pack light” in just about every blog I visited but I decided to be stubborn about it and not listen. I took two luggages with me and I packed them both to the max. It was completely unnecessary and a pain to be dragging them around between one city to the next. Trust me, if you are traveling to more than one city- spare yourself the headache.

#2: Comfortable shoes only!

I had one pair of heels and that was honestly all I needed. Maybe I wore it twice in 9 nights because after all the walking , all I wanted was to be comfortable. And don’t forget, cobblestones aren’t fun to walk in. And also ruins your shoes. I left a cute pair of boots behind because I walked so much in them that it worn off. Trust me, less is more. Boots and sneakers all day.

#3 Don’t buy leather that is less than $100

You will find all kinds of leather shops in Venice, Florence and Rome. Don’t let “made in Italy” fool ya. A lot of those come straight from China and aren’t real. And P.S. Florence is your city, if you’re looking to buy leather purses, jackets, etc.

#4 Trip Advisor

Don’t go somewhere without checking “trip advisor” first. It saved us from many bad meals and took us to many great restaurants!

#5 Plan ahead

There is just too much to see. Too many museums, churches, art galleries. You must plan it ahead to make the best out of it. Otherwise, you will end up missing out.

#6 European Destinations

We used a website called europeandestinations.com, which allowed us to pay the trip little by little. I never knew there was a site that offered this option. If you don’t want to pay everything upfront, I would highly recommend checking it out! =)

#7 Dress casual

We tend to think italians dress up but they dress super casual. They wear a lot of scarves, boots and nice coats. No need to overdue it on clothes. Also, you might want to save room for some shopping there;)

 

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Hope the tips above were helpful! Stay tuned for more pictures and tips!

xox- T

International Men’s Day, why?

Hey lovelies! Today is (as you probably know) International Women’s Day. I believe when any woman or man think of “International Women’s Day,” it’s easy to understand why we deserve a day to celebrate “us.” And if you are wondering why we deserve it, by the end of reading this post- you will be crystal clear.

Women have struggled to find equality, since always. In 1920, we were finally given the right to vote for the first time. But still, in countries like Saudi Arabia- only last year (2015) were women finally given the right to vote (let that sink in for a minute).

It’s insane how many countries today still give women ZERO rights to say or do anything without permission of a man. It really boggles my mind the THOUGHT of what women go through everyday and how much they suffer with discrimination, violence, repression, isolation, and the list goes on…

 

Here are some examples of countries you should stir away from as a women & why:

Afghanistan-

  • Domestic violence is so common in Afghanistan that 87% of women admit to experiencing it
  • The ONLY country that the female suicide rate is higher than of male
  • Women will live only up to 45- one year less than men
  • The majority of brides are under 16 yrs of age
  • One woman dies in childbirth every HALF HOUR

Democratic Republic of Congo-

  • Rapes are so brutal, many victims die or are infected with HIV- left to raise their kids alone
  • They can’t look for food or water without being exposed to more violence. And without money, food, transportation, they have no way to escape.

Iraq-

  • The U.S.-led invasion to “liberate” Iraq from Saddam Hussein has imprisoned women in an inferno of sectarian violence that targets women and girls.
  • Families are afraid to send their girls to school, fearing that they will either be kidnapped or raped
  • 1 Million women have been displaced from home, and millions more are unable to earn enough to eat.

 

The above facts are hopefully as disturbing to you, as they are to me. The fact that this is allowed and no one seems to be able to do anything about it is terrifying and mind bothering. As I reflect on my life today, I also reflect on others’ lives or lack of. Therefore, causing me not so much to celebrate, as much as to bring awareness to all women. The U.S may not have the “equality” we all seek for. But we are far better off living in this country than most- with our freedom to work, vote, talk, choose our partners, and live our lives with no fear- compared to the amount of violence women face everyday in many other countries.

 

In conclusion, my title “INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY” which by the way is celebrated on the 19th of November, makes little to no sense to me.

Did you know that in the month of March is when “International Men’s Day” is most googled? “Coincidentally,” in the month we celebrate “International Women’s Day.”

Men are praised and given more power, more money, and more authority than most women everyday. So when we finally get ONE day to celebrate us, someone decides- “well, we need gender equality. Therefore, men need their day, as well.” Excuse my french, but that’s bullshit. You watch the news, you read about what men are doing to women in this world and then you tell me about gender equality. I know there are many men in this world to admire, many heroes, many men that are great examples to humanity. And I’m not trying to dismiss them. But I can’t help but feel that gender equality should be discussed when men & women have equal rights altogether and women no longer have to fight for what’s rightfully theirs.

 

 

I hope this post made you reflect on today’s day a little differently. And that you continue to pass on awareness.

 

xox- Until Next Time

-T