Malta – The City of Valetta, Gozo and the Mediterranean Sea

I spent 10 days on the ancient island of Malta, located under Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea. My favorite city was Valetta, the countries capital. I also loved the island of Gozo, which has the worlds oldest standing ‘building.’ As you’ll see below, this ancient ‘building’ is a collection of stacked rocks from the neolithic era.

In this post I’m sharing my journey through photos. Enjoy!

P.S. If you like the way I edit my photos, you can shop the Lightroom presets I use here. It’s the most simple and effective way to boost your photography skills that I know of.

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Entrance to the city of Valetta

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Valetta walking tour – Always a great way to see any city as a tourist

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Inside a 17th century cathedral

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The oldest standing building in the world – neolithic era ruins

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drinking mulled wine with my dad and brother – literally SO delicious

 

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5 Things I Learned From a Balinese Healer

This is my account of spending a day with a Balinese healer where I did a private consultation and afterward a Hindu purification ritual in the sacred holy springs of Ubud, Bali. It was nothing less than magical and transformative.

If you’ve seen the movie and/ or read the book Eat Pray Love then you’ll appreciate this post a little extra. I adorned that novel for years (still do) and I also have an affinity toward ancient healing techniques so seeing this healer was a no brainer.

This tour was booked through Bali Agung Tours.

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Inside the Balinese Healers Living Quarters – Our local tour guide was adorable and full of knowledge

I am writing this over a week after the tour and can say that with time I do feel the consultation with this Balinese healer has increased the quality of my life in a positive and noticeable way.

The moment I sat down with this Indonesian medicine man he said, “you have backpain.” And I did. It’s been a problem for a year. And then he said, “why you no have no boyfriend?” Lol…

Longstory sort he was totally psychic, believe it or not. He knew a lot of my deepest desires and repetitive thoughts I had been pondering in the last year, a lot of which I have never even spoken of out loud. I’m not going into the details of this because it’s extremely personal… but I can say he offered me reassurance and guidance that I have been implementing into my life and the outcome has been very positive.

Here are 5 things I learned from the Balinese medicine man. Although this is tailored to my own self, I believe we are all interconnected and share similar experiences, so I hope that it will offer you value in some way. 

  1. Focus on positive thinking and stop worrying!! When we worry, we don’t trust ourselves. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Live more from your heart space, not your head. Stop overthinking and ease up. Have patience. Learn everything and do everything. Be grateful for what you have now and this will accelerate your growth toward achieving your goals. The healer predicted my future to an extent that sends shivers down my spine. He described my dream life in detail without me telling him anything at all, and so this made me trust the universe/ the process more than ever. Are we really that in control of our lives? I believe we are born with our unique desires and it is our job to live them out while we’re here on earth.
  2. He encouraged me to meditate daily, exercise more, and stay away from sugar. This is a practical one but sometimes its nice to be told what we know we need to do. If you know me, I am a huge advocate for meditation. I believe meditation is the holy grail of healing and thriving.
  3. He said while I wait for my largest manifestations to come, to create good karma and to learn everything I can until the middle of next year. In the middle of next year I will be delivered the “job” that I have been seeking. What I am learning now is preparing me, he claims.
  4. Get your energy right before all else. Things fall into place effortlessly when we are in a flow state. Take right action to stay in energetic alignment; everything is energy after all, and we attract what we are on an energetic level.
  5. Be happy and grateful, even when things don’t go as planned. Enjoy the journey. This healer seriously made me live in a more positive state of being that I have maintained every day since then. I’m sure being in a beautiful place like Bali is a major factor but still…

He then did a ritual to ‘detox my heart,’ because he is ‘preparing me for my future husband.’ This ritual was intended to rid me of my back pain, which it honestly has. I am writing this over a week later and have had little to no back pain.

I have implemented all of his advice and have honestly been smiling ALL the time lately. 

After the consultation with the healer, we did a purification ritual in the holy springs and then had lunch surrounded by rice terraces.

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The Holy Springs

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The Holy Springs where the purification ritual is performed
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A stop for lunch in the rice terraces

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Vegan Indonesian mystery meal

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I got to spend the day three other women from Canada and Greece. All three of them practice minimalism and live a zero waste life which was very inspiring to me.

I have met some highly conscious friends while staying in Bali, and many of them practice a zero waste lifestyle. They encouraged me to watch this TEDx talk on the subject and so I will keep their message going by sharing the video below.

Until next time,

Much love,

Alaina

I Summited Mount Olympus – Here’s my Story in photos

Mount Olympus is known as the mountain of the gods. It is a land rich in Greek mythology and beautiful landscapes.

I spent two days with a Greek tour guide and a group of students from the American College of Thessaloniki hiking the highest Greek mountain (2918m/9577ft).

Here is a short description with photos of what the hike entails.

Day 1: 3 hour hike up to the refuge (2100m).

Chill in refuge with friends, play cards, and drink hot chocolate and wine around a fire. Watch the stars. Wander the mountainside at sunset. Sleep in a bunker with everyone.

Day 2: wake up early, have breakfast in the refuge, and then hike all day to the summit of mount Olympus.

This is when the hike got difficult and scary at times. But very exhilarating. The views were unreal.

At times we had to scale the side of the mountain as it got more and more steep. If you fell you would be a goner, only do this hike if you’re fit.

This was the first time I rock climbed with gear outside a gym.

Once we reached the summit, we had to hike down the mountain back to the bus.

Half of the group got lost from the tour guide (I was in that group…) After 2 hours and some panic attack’s we found the bus.

“They say that there [Mount Olympus] is the seat of the gods, ever secure: it is not shaken by winds or drenched with rain nor do snowstorms assail it, but always brightness is spread about it, without clouds, and a clear light plays about it. There the blessed gods take pleasure every day.” -The Odyssey

Rock climbing

The rock ahead is significant in Greek mythology. It’s also at the summit.

This hike was more difficult and more beautiful than I could have imagined. I have to say it’s one of the coolest things I did while living in Greece. I highly recommend doing it, but with a tour guide if you’re new to hiking. Spending this much time in nature and in constant motion is incredible for our overall wellbeing. A good hike every once in a while makes life come alive❤️

What is your favorite hiking adventure? Comment below.

Delphi, Greece – The Legendary Oracle, Temple of Apollo and Athena

Delphi is an extensive mountainside archaeology site (4th century B.C.) that contains what’s left of the Athena and Apollo’s temples (Greek God and Goddess).

It is the home of a legendary oracle Pythia, where in ancient times royalty from around the world would travel to, consulting on important decisions. Pythia was the legendary priestess who was known to channel Apollo’s prophecies.

This site also contains an ancient stadium and theater.

The ancient Greeks considered Delphi the center of the world. This site and the ancient oracle had tremendous influence over the ancient world. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Delphi Archaeological Museum displays artifacts collected from the ruins.

 Ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi, overlooking the valley of Phocis.

Ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi, overlooking the valley of Phocis.

The Theater of Delphi

The theater of Delphi

Having a guided tour is recommended because of the sites extensive history.

Athens, Greece Photo Guide

Here are my favorite photos from 2 nights in Athens hosted by The American College of Thessaloniki. Athens is an incredible city and it was nice to have guided tours of all the major icons of the city. There is so much to see here!
*Acropolis Museum

*Acropolis with its beautiful Parthenon

*Changing of the Guards

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Above is the famed Parthenon, which is on the acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis Museum - houses artifacts from the Greek Bronze Age through Roman and Byzantine Greece

The Acropolis Museum – houses artifacts from the Greek Bronze Age through Roman and Byzantine Greece

“Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence.” -John Milton

“Many of our ideas of democracy, so much of our literature and philosophy and science can be traced back to roots right here in Athens.” -Barack Obama

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The Changing of the Guards – If you go on a Sunday, there is a ceremonial changing of the guards outside the Greek Parliament building

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Study Abroad Fam

Amazed by the Theatre of Dionysus

Amazed by the Theatre of Dionysus

The Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum

Have you been to Athens? What is your favorite place to see?