Travel

All posts in the Travel category

My Most Memorable Travel Experience

Published March 18, 2013 by Malena

THE MIRROR OF THE NIGHT

My two friends and I had an idea to dance in the parks of Paris. But there was a twist. Because of work commitments I could only travel in winter. “We will put on layers of warm clothes, drink wine and tea, and dance to keep warm.” We chatted about as we sorted our costumes and routines. After not having seen each other for a year, we had a lot to catch up on. I lived in Europe for 8 years and left to return home to Darwin, Australia for personal reasons. We’d kept in contact via Skype and I continued to practise the dance moves. Another twist? I could hardly speak German. “French is more important,” Gala insisted. “You are in Europe and you are a dancer!”

At that moment, my heart almost stopped and I took a deep breath to wake up. My living, breathing dream was to be that. And what better place to dance than in Paris! Besides, I had a crash course on French weeks before. Our Bohemian Weekend adventure in Paris was born.

Gala’s apartment in Frankfurt is a beautiful high ceiling old German building. The most memorable pieces were a bookshelf that covered a wall in one of the living rooms that doubled up as a bedroom, dividing the space with a white silk curtain. The large windows and classic white walls gave the sense of more space, and mirrors were placed everywhere in arty ways. A perfect setting that set the mood for Paris that weekend.

MIRROR ME

The getting there said it all. I was so excited to enter the train and find our seats. Cherishing every moment, of course I had my camera, pencil and pad paper with me. I’d started learning to draw and had some coloured pencils packed in my suitcase that I never used. Oh, well.. next time! Before we knew it, we’d arrived in Paris. I packed much more than usual, because like every woman and dancer, I needed to have a variety of clothes and jewelery to choose from. I stepped out quite awkwardly but found the strength to walk with my luggage in confidence. It is, after all, why suitcases come on wheels!

Upon arriving at our apartment we were greeted by a large beautiful fluffy cat at the counter. “So French,” I thought smiling at the humour. That night, we decided to explore the place where we planned to dance. I had my high black boots on that weren’t the ideal walking shoes for the distances we had to do. I was so relieved to finally arrive, I didn’t mind the dodgy look of the place. It had a charm I couldn’t put into words, possibly because of the colourful lights that reflected on the water.

CYMBALS BY THE SIDE OF THE RIVERI saw many young people, especially men loitering about outside a club, surrounded by walls of graffiti art. It was midnight and dark, but the lively atmosphere reassured me as I began to play my finger cymbals Tak-takka-tak, tak-takka-tak, as Gala joined me with the hypnotic dance. Almost forgetting where we were I was startled by a guy who approached us, asking for a light and wanting to know what we were doing. Another guy followed, and thinking the worst we quickly fled.

3 artists, 3 silent voices walked the living streets of Paris late that night back to our apartment,  wondering what to do the next day.

What impresses me most about Paris is the way it embraces the good and the ugly, opening avenues for self-expression and beauty. Graffiti art and collages of posters were everywhere, encouraging my senses to explore further. My attempts at speaking French were welcomed by beautiful pouts of moving mouths. How do they do it? Everyone is beautiful in Paris because French beautifies their souls and integrates them into the Parisian unique style.

Paris has a place for everyone with quarters that appeal for every taste. Our quarter was accessible to other famous arty quarters such as the famous hill of Montmartre and in the other direction was Moulin Rouge. We placed our food shopping in plastic bags on the ledge outside our apartment window, which we used as our outdoor fridge and went to bed.

The adjacent building from our apartment block with 3 floors was the focus of my wonderings. There’s a dancer in the middle floor. She is not seen at nights because of the reflections by the lights and so she dances alone.” Gala and I exchanged ideas for writing as we got dressed the next day with colourful layers of skirts, pullovers, scarves, and dangly large earrings. “Oh my gosh!” I cried, “I have no more foundation. “Danke liebe Gott,” Gala replied, “that it will do your skin good to have a break.”  PICNIC AT NIGHT BY THE FRENCH PYRAMID

After a long day of preparation we finally arrived at a spot across from the brightly lit Louvre. We chose a tree with a bench surround its trunk, where we made our home for the evening. We were in good spirits as we drank sweet wine and set up the picnic, laughing and joking at the novelty. We had fine cheeses, salad, bread and meats that we ate as we got ready for our performance.

I noticed many men in the distance hanging around looking like shadows but this time I felt safer with just the right amount of traffic nearby not disturb the scene.

Maria Grujicic Dancing In ParisI took my cymbals and danced with the Arc de Triomphe du Carroussel as the beautiful background of the outdoor stage. Later, Gala and Lena also started to dance with hypnotic moves that synchronised and mirrored those of a partner. It felt like I was dancing on air.

Later, we walked a little and came to a  structure that felt like the Arc de Triomphe du Carroussel. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what the name of it was because I was too involved in the moment to care. “How does the Manchegas song go?” Gala asked as she suddenly halted, a cue for me to sing instantly. “Tarralum, tarralum, tarralum, tum, tum,.. My voice rang so loudly that it felt I was waiting for this moment all my life. The voices of my friends followed with echoing sounds that brought back memories of my time in Albacete, Spain. Listen to the song here:  01-Manchegas de Albacete We walked on after we noticed a security camera and took a train over to the river Seine.

We looked for different backgrounds for our dance by the side of the river. First we stopped at some steps and did fun dance poses, taking lots of photos.   I climbed up high on the podium at the bottom of the steps and posed like a dancing statue. Gala wrapped a beautiful red satin scarf around my head that exposed my large earrings and kept me warm. We continued closer to the water, feeling more confident and energetic as the night progressed. We stood on a large wooden plank where the boats dock, making sure we stayed in the middle and not fall into the water. This time, we used our veils to dance to the music from the ipod compact speakers.

The life of people still out and about seemingly pulling us as we walked on, arriving at a bench across Moulin Rouge, a street away from our apartment. We took out the dessert part of what was left of our picnic hamper and some hot lemon tea, sat quietly and people watched.

It wasn’t until later I realised I lost one of my finger cymbals that must have dropped by the side of the river. Losing a piece of dance accessory means a lot to me because of the history attached to it. Nevertheless, I got over it and the greatest souvenir of this trip will stay in my head. Words can’t describe the sensations of a weekend French Bohemian life but I managed to keep these by publishing a book, Poems That Touch The Soul. Paris by night is my favourite and the thought of this theme, along with the river and lights, the surrounding shadows of loitering men, I started to compose ideas of the mirror of the night, my poem later to be titled, Glorified Queen Bee which probably encompasses my impression of the weekend of Bohemian Paris.

The next day was our last, and we explored Paris by day.  We bought food from the grocery store which incidentally, was carefully chosen by Gala who was studying to become a naturopath. We walked to the famous hill, Montmartre on our last day to have an outdoor picnic lunch. As we headed towards the river we detoured into different streets, specialty shops, places to eat and a market.  Gala helped me choose earrings, practise makeup with the right shades of colours, a tribal dance costume, and other accessories to go with our tribal fusion and American tribal dance style look, bought at chains of budget shops.

I promised myself upon returning to Darwin, Australia that I will do more dance practice because I tend to write more than I dance. I don’t take learning dance routines as seriously as I possible should, or to be kinder to myself, I’m forced to prioritise because of lack of time, and so I fluke the steps and improvise, relying on my reflexes and natural instincts. Gala believes that it is more important to have graceful dance technique and natural style than know the steps. ;) This trip taught me the value of stepping-stones and the giant leaps that are possible by travel because through travel I have gained perspective. Perspective is what helps me see my progress and ways I can improve. My Paris trip didn’t go totally to plan. Certain things happened that could have turned out better but it was a way forward to better things.

Now, I keep positive and hope to one day return to Europe and continue my life there. Until then, I’m enjoying the moments I have.  Perhaps my luck will turn and I win this competition, and relive my dream for 6 months of my dancing in Europe. Look at the link here if you’d like to vote for me. A career in education was how I kept focused and justified my travel addiction over the 8 years abroad. “Just one more country,” I told myself. From London to Madrid, to Albacete, then Frankfurt. Finding another job in a different city was as easy as a click of a button on the computer at the local internet café and a phone interview.

“Yes, I speak very good German,” I lied. I was learning at the local school of languages but it would never be enough. And so I found myself in the most unlikely place, Frankfurt, Germany! Throughout my experiences abroad, I have always incorporated dance in everything I did but was always disappointed in myself for not starting at a younger age. It was just a few years ago upon making friends with Gala when my writing matured and realized that in belly dance age is not a barrier and in fact an advantage.

To be honest, I don’t really need this competition to find myself back in Europe. I can do this in time, but I wanted to enter because I think it’s a cool way to express myself and my passion for travel. Little excuses for travel transformed into unique, memorable experiences. A glass of wine in Paris or a tea in London and a why not try a different city, learn the guitar in Spain, another language, and getting totally lost in a big city, pursued me to places I may not have experienced with a travel guide.

Once a traveler always a traveler. In fact, my mind is always traveling because I’m the ideal dreamer. I can create anything from nothing everywhere I go because inspiration is inside me.  A traveler can be anyone, and once abroad, of course you then become one! The crunch is that my experiences changed me forever and I can’t remember the person I was. It’s like I disappeared!

Before heading overseas for the first time, I spent weeks packing and unpacking. You might know the scenario.. taking stuff you probably won’t need but taking it anyway. Comfort stuff like maybe a teddy bear memento, a favourite inspirational book to keep you going, a comfort blanket, and enough toiletries to last for months. How things have changed…

Bohemian Weekend Adventure In Paris

Published March 14, 2013 by Malena

Tears for a rainy day photo

Gala Yakovleva is my dance teacher and good friend who lives in Frankfurt, Germany. We met through our belly dance classes with a teacher named Soriah and even though we were dancers belonging to the same group, we didn’t talk much. I didn’t speak a lot of German and I was quite shy.

One night, after a few years dancing, Gala announced that she will be starting a new dance class of Tribal Fusion and American Tribal Style. I was keen to try a different dance class that would compliment what I was already learning. What begun as a dance class on Saturdays turned out to be something of an artistic performance creation, of which I found inspiration for my writing that I had only just begun that year.  Everything started to fall into place as I wrote as I danced, and I discovered new things about myself that I wasn’t aware of.

Have you ever felt in your heart that you really wanted to do or be someone who was so simple to the eyes of others, but was too shy to do it?

I love to dance, and have so all my life. I feel I was born to dance, but I never pursued it professionally. I’ve done other things and continued my search for the unknown. I even traveled abroad and stayed in Europe for 8 years searching for a career in education and other things… But why not dance?

Upon reflection I think I felt that because I didn’t start as a girl, it was too late for me to do it. Why do I call my passion a hobby, when I wait until the end of my work day, just to rush home, to nothing else but write and dance? I’ve settled for a teaching career, which isn’t bad, I’m a great teacher, but the truth is, that teaching spoils my spirit, my passion for life, because to me, the greatest teacher is life itself. And as a girl I wasn’t able to pursue my passion at school. My parents didn’t understand, and I was pretty much a dreamer the rest of my life.

And so I felt grateful that I found my friend Gala, who understood me and guided me and a handsome, supportive, loving husband, I found my dream in Europe. But there was one problem. Because of personal reasons, I had to return home to Australia. I left my dream behind. But I have kept in contact with my good friend Gala, and she keeps up my strength by swapping ideas and inspiration.

Gala taught me the connection between life and dance, and the inseparable nature of the two. I learned Tribal Fusion and American Tribal and ballet in dance. Last winter,  early January 2013, I went to Germany to see Gala for 10 days. We went to Paris with another dance friend, and led a weekend of Bohemian Lifestyle. Gala especially chose the food and wine at the grocery store. We prepared our banquet outdoors and because of the cold winter, we dressed in layers of warm clothes. We danced by the lights of Paris by night. I took photos and wrote ideas for poetry, philosophy, costume making, and went shopping for jewellery and make up.

The photos in my book were taken of Paris and dance classes in Frankfurt, Germany, reunited once again with my dance friends. I miss Gala and the other dancers, but I will always visit and have this wonderful book to remember the moments with them.

I learned many things about myself on my European adventure, including the conclusion that a true dancer, dances anywhere and any time. It was crazy, it was fun and we did it in Paris! I learnt to surrender to my dream, and this is a lesson that perhaps we all need to learn. Sometimes perhaps we deny ourselves our true dream because we are afraid, lack belief, or conditioned to believe that it can’t be true. Perhaps we may even sabotage possibilities with negative self talk in fear of failure.

Now that I’m back home, I am more determined to pursue my dream. & I’m sure of only one thing..that it can only bring truth, which I believe is the key to happiness. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I feel like I’m enclosed in a small space and cannot do what I truly want, and am surrounded by fast paced activities of nothingness. But when I start to dance, and write, nothingness disappears and I begin to see purpose for my life. If this can happen for just even a glimpse of a time in my day, I can truly be happy.

SUMMARY:

Sometimes we need to step away from our immediate surroundings for all to become clear and find truth. This is true for myself. It is how I came to write my poems as I realised my subconscious love and passion for dance. My varied life experiences at home and abroad led to self-discovery and a realisation of a life of dance that I have always led that relinquished my disappointment of lack of pursuit.

Life is dance, and without dance there is no life, and love for these are inseparable.

I’m a dancer and poet at heart. Two inseparable art forms, one soul. “Poems that touch the soul & don’t adhere to the pattern of life”, refers to a nomadic lifestyle that lends itself to reach the unexplored self. This is an art form, one of its kind because it can dance and has always danced. It unites strongly through poetic philosophy that delves into ethical boundaries, aesthetics, education and love. A concept that encompasses and revolutionises a soul. It becomes true in its purest sense as every word put to paper is felt by my heart and a last breath celebrates creation.

You may want to delve into this book from the end to the beginning or read a few poems in no particular order. They will still retain their sequence because they don’t adhere to the pattern of life. Each poem makes a connection to the soul in different ways and this is what brings the poems together as one.

46510_color_cover_front

Buy_now

Impressions of Europe & My Art

Published January 6, 2013 by Malena

My ideals are challenged, I’m not the mature person I thought I was. I’m in Europe. I ponder on a place where I can be alone, but not lonely. I put myself in that place. But it doesn’t quite work. I seek approval upon every stage of my life. I reject notions of my inadequacy, regroup and fight for another day. I’m in Europe, the mirror that plays with my self concept and my image. How have I grown after being away for a whole year, my friend?

I search back on my art, my past up until now and I see that I did well not to rush too much. I did a lot and I see the products of these but now I am very different. Imagine if I’d rushed, I would see more of these flaws that represent stages of growth. I would laugh at myself then curl up and die. But no, I created just enough to represent myself at a given space of time.

Art is like an anecdote of an expression in a given time. If I do it, I can look back on it perhaps and wonder who it was that did it.. like it wasn’t the person I am now. If I didn’t do it, it is like losing this part of myself that once was. One must if they are an artist, there is no why. And now I juggle this thought as I write, wondering who I am and who I will become, what will I be thinking when I read back on this piece of writing.

I’ve often stated that travel gives me a sense of perspective. But this is only valid for the present time. The future will forget because of its irrelevance and will then make up some other story, and I would have forgotten all that I did. But the feelings will stay strong and I will yearn to have these again. I will want to return again. And my anguish when I can’t, will then become the inspiration for my writing, my art, the way I see the world. It is the part of Europe I take with me, and it becomes a part of me. But this is false, Europe is my friend.

I have written a novel and I continuously go back to it and change it, but it doesn’t work. This is my anecdote in a particular place in time. The time I was in Europe. It’s hard to write about a lifetime, and I did it in the best way I knew how. I wrote it like a dance, reflected in a piece of writing that is much like a poem, that jumps from moment to moment without one realizing, and expresses emotions and not compact events. I think about whether anyone would want to read it, and cringe at the thought. It’s not really for an audience. I don’t think they’d get it or perhaps they’d be bored by it, think it outdated. Who knows. But I want it to be available, just so that this part of me, is preserved because it was so beautiful. I can hear the words in my mind.

My past writing is like a mirror I don’t want to look into at first but when I do, I am pleasantly surprised. I can’t imagine doing it all again. It would be impossible, and it wouldn’t be the same. And how wonderful to look into it and play!

 

NEW Poems That Dance Cards Video

Published October 18, 2012 by Malena

There’s a story to tell along with this video. I will need to write it another time. But for now, enjoy the range of new poetry tags!

AS ALWAYS
Impressions Welcome.

If you prefer, mute the audio in the video and use this one. :)


The desire to write grows with writing. Desiderius Erasmus

NEW Sudden Clarity Poetry Book

Published July 21, 2012 by Malena

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hi Everyone!
I’m pleased to announce that my poetry book “SUDDEN CLARITY” is out now. It is so far my best work and I couldn’t have done it without my artist friends from around the world. And of course my husband who is also an artist!

No words are enough to describe my feelings.
Keep on dancing!

To read the REVIEWS Click here.

 

Why I Draw With My Eyes And Heart, LOVE THY SUBJECT!

Published June 3, 2012 by Malena

She Spoke

She spoke it in a line
And
A
Random mind awoke
And
Walked
She drew it with her heart
And
Then
Eyes followed lines
‘Mine!’

A mouth pulled them apart
And
So
They spread in disarray
Be
A
Beautiful thought
It lay
Near
Me
She drew it with her heart
Over and under and through
Me
The light we could see.
‘Here!’
A mouth pulled it apart.
‘No!’
And
Random mind awoke
The moon
And
UnPreDicTaBiLiTy
Drew it the way she knew
As she smiled with me

By Maria Grujicic
Artist name, Malena

This is a poem that describes a love for the subject that one draws, of which I feel is required for the art work to be authentic and ‘real’. One needs to simply feel.

I find that as a poet it is important to me that I explore a variety of other art forms even though I am not expert at them. This is because I need to have perspective on the world around me and express these in different ways to bring out the inspiration in me.

I feel that creativity is holistic, like a picture and without other art forms my poems lack that special something. Venturing into something new is like nutrition for my poems. Disarray, it may seem though when it all comes together it forms that picture I have in my mind.

The rhythm to this poem is in my head as I recite it. I hope that this is clear as my audience reads it. I will do up an audio soon.

Comments are welcome. And as always, thank you for visiting.

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe.Truman Capote

Simply Be

Published April 13, 2012 by Malena

Why do I need a poetry class to do what is in my heart?
Why do I need permission to write when the environment nurtures my art?
Why do I look for inspiration when I have it within?
Why did I travel the world to search for my gift to find laughter in my eyes?
Why did I return to you when all I needed was me?
Why did I proclaim possession of my soul when all I needed was to simply be.

~By Maria Grujicic~
Poet and artist

Every writer I know has trouble writing.Joseph Heller

Come And Review My Next Poetry Book!

Published March 31, 2012 by Malena

The Skies of Darwin, Australia. Photo By Maria Grujicic

I just finished putting together a poetry book that I really love. It has a very different flavor from my other books for various reasons, but mainly because of the setting. The people who have been following me will know that I have moved back to my home city from Europe. I now live in a very tropical environment with not a lot of people in sight. With distance a barrier, and the expanse of the horizon, nature is more visible. The sense of reality is different here in Darwin, Australia. It has its own set of challenges along with its pleasures, and certainly a huge transition period for me. Change is the underlying theme of my poems and this includes memories of home, transition of times, and adapting to the new.

If you are interested in reviewing my poetry book, you can either join my Facebook fan page where I will be posting the link, or add me as a friend on Fastpencil. This is particularly useful if you would like to some day publish a book yourself! I hope to soon find the resources to do up an audio CD of my poems as well. If anyone has advice on this, I most welcome it!

LINKS> To Fastpencil
To Poems That Dance Fan Page 

You are also welcome to join me on Twitter!

I look forward to your comments!

Thank you for reading,

Maria Grujicic *Malena*
The scariest moment is always just before you start.Stephen King

A Place For My Quiet Smile

Published March 5, 2012 by Malena


I don’ t see you
With the kangaroos
It isn’t you
A hippy
With grace, humor and style
Inevitably
With a chance to stop
And breathe
And a time to cry
A pause
That exposed a soul
A risk
Unforeseen
That created a step
An entrance
To the outside
A place
A chance to stop
And breath
Honesty
Renewed a belief
And a place
An ability to see
And a place
For my quiet smile
A hippy
With grace, humor, and style
People, people, people
But not a soul in sight
I don’t see you
With the kangaroos
It isn’t you
A view, A vision replies
With quiet, heartfelt eyes
I see me
In a place
For my quiet smile

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

In

Published February 5, 2012 by Malena

A place, a scene,
I didn’t expect to be
In
I found something,
Unexpected
I left
And what remained
was a dream

I dreamed
And I floated
With my conscious Mind
My body,
I didn’t feel,
And I walked
With friendship
By my side
A Bond
Connected the bits
It was friendship,
Happy and free
I found this
to be
My dream
In
My past, present, and future
A distant dream
And the what I call reality
A distant dream
I create,
To shield my heart
I create a shell
of luminosity
for all to see
Clothes to bare,

They pull my skin
Together again
And create gravity
That bolts my body
In place
In a scene,
I didn’t expect to be
In

By Maria Grujicic

Listen to the poem.


A poem, a dance dedicated to my close friends Gala & Lena. A friendship, a place, a dream to be ‘In’. Danke xx

Best Health Foods

The Best Health Foods For The Best Health!

Lateral Love™

"The time is always right to do what is right" ~ Martin Luther King Jr

Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger

Where writing is a performance art and every post is a show.

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

CritDicks.com

A precariously critical, humorous take on life’s interactions with food and drink!

The top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

The top 10 of just about anything everything, from cakes to cats and dogs to caravans. Always a laugh, always worth seeing.

A Stairway To Fashion

contact: ralucastoica23@gmail.com

SUDDEN CLARITY

"Through travel we pursue perspective and find truth, and with love this becomes reality. Through life experiences we find ourselves in a position of sudden clarity."

Lum's space

Poetry, Prose and Wordwit Games

Poemotherapi Shoppe

"Oh How Art Thou Love Of Poetry"

LifePractice Learning

let's practice real life, right now

Nikki Anne Schmutz, author

I'm a writer bent on touching the lives of others, self-perfecting my poetry, sharing my insights, and promoting my book.

West End

Publications Independent Consortium

Fay Moore: I Want To Be a Writer

A gathering place for wordsmiths of all levels

Cuvinte

Cuvintele acestea nu pot avea sfârşit.

Little Teacher's World

My teaching and learning journey with my students

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 411 other followers