Go Travel and Let the World Educate You


Travel as education

Travel – the class we should all enroll in.

Ask anyone you know, and they will all tell you they love to travel.

Everyone is excited about the prospect of leaving the daily routine, obligations and stress and flying off to a desired location. That’s because on holiday we enjoy life more. As travellers, suddenly the morning sunrise has special colors, we carefully taste the flavors of the meals we eat. We really look, and see, the city we stroll through. When we find ourselves in an unfamiliar setting, we are more aware of everything around.

And when you have your eyes and senses truly awake, that’s the best time to open your mind for the lessons from the road. Because travel is not just leisure. Travel is education. Continue reading

6 Lessons on Content Strategy from ConfabEU Barcelona


Last week, Barcelona, Spain, was the host of the most important content strategy (CS) meeting of the year: Confab EU. Europe’s greatest and finest professionals gathered with overseas pros to share their expertise on everything content strategy.

The 3-day conference was packed full with almost 30 talks about content-related advice, challenges and new trends. Keeping up with all of it and taking in all the valuable insight was a true test. I’m sharing six main lessons I took home, from the talks I was able to attend:

ConfabEU Barcelona 2014 speech

1. It’s all about your audience and their (content) needs.

Long gone are the days when you could publish on your web only information about yourself, your company, your great team, your unique services. Now the roles have changed. You must research, understand and cater to your audience. Find out what they want to Continue reading

Discovering the Identity of Lisbon through the Azulejos


Streets of Lisbon

Streets of Alfama neighborhood, Lisbon.

Square, shiny ceramic tiles, colorfully painted, cover the city. They cover its walls, its tabletops, its staircase banisters. Its bathroom and powder room interiors, its churches inside and out.

All around, azulejos.

They take their name from the Persian al zulayj, meaning Continue reading

There’s a Monkey on your Back: a Walk in Ubud’s Sacred Forest


Let go of the banana, lady!”, shouted the Balinese guard.

The lady-tourist wouldn’t give up fighting for her banana, bought at the forest entrance. She absolutely wanted to feed the baby monkey, not the heavy papa that had climbed on her back as quick as a lean lizard.

Let it go!”, shouted one more time the guard, trying to save her from being bitten. Finally the lady listened, saddened she couldn’t feed the baby monkey, while the big papa was already gulping down the small fruit.

Macaque monkeys in Monkey Forest, Ubud Bali.

Monkeys in the Sacred Forest, Ubud, Bali.

Any time of the day you pass through the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, in Ubud, Bali, you can spot this episode. Day in and day out tourists flock to see the playful macaque monkeys jump around and seem to enjoy being stolen food from their hands and backpacks.

The access to the Sacred Forest is a short walk uphill from our hotel. But the macaque monkeys claimed their playground way before the forest entrance, on the narrow streets, stealing food from the warung terraces. Continue reading

Fashionable Milan: a Weekend-Long Surprise


A weekend in Milano is all you need.

Strolling under the glass arches of Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, the sun waves “hello” from the other side, while the Baroque buildings whisper untold stories about forgotten dukes and princesses.

The massive wooden gates of red-brick Neo-Classical Palazzo di Brera stand behind, tall and quiet, like an appointed castle-guard, as we enter the inner court.

The symmetrical arches of the Main Central Station, in their signature Art Deco-style, embrace me as I rush through them to catch a local train.

Vittorio Emanuele Gallery in Milan

A weekend in Milano is all you need.

Two days of walking around the narrow streets and on the large corso boulevards to figure it all out. The palaces and basilicas, the opera and the central mansions, they all have fallen behind. Continue reading

Costa Brava’s Botanical Jewel


Popular for family holidays, Blanes, the small resort on Spain’s Costa Brava, has all the beach amenities you’d expect. Long stretch of sand, turquoise-green translucent sea, nearby water park, even hidden calas, or rocky golfs, for the more laid-back traveller.

Blanes on Costa Brava, Spain

However, the resort has more to offer than beaches and 300-days-per-year sunshine. One hour north of Barcelona, tucked around a rocky, winding shore, Blanes has some surprises in its sand-sprinkled sleeves.

One of them is the botanical garden Mar i Murtra. Leaving below the golden beaches and the old town, and after a short twisting climb up the San Juan hill, the white reception building welcomes you. Travellers looking to discover mediterranean, American or South-African nature turn to this four-hectare partially hidden garden. Continue reading

Gracia Summer Festival: A Splash of Colors


It’s August, and the blazing heat is rolling over rooftops and hidden alleys. It’s that time of the year again when Barcelona’s artsy district, Gracia, holds its summer festival, festa major.

Festa de Gracia 2013, umbrella decorations

The city, otherwise depleted of locals, away in cool country homes and nearby beach towns, fills up almost miraculously for a few days around St. Mary’s Assumption, on the 15th of August. Tourists alike mix with the locals to experience this almost 200-year-old Spanish fiesta.

Continue reading