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My emerald travels

Tracey Greenstein:

“Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I left New York almost a year ago and spontaneously moved to Tel Aviv, with no job and no definitive plan. Today, I’m happy to report that things are going well – but I often have trouble explaining in words how unbelievably difficult it was to get to this point. This article really resonates with me, particularly the point that ‘this is my life, not a trip’.

Originally posted on Taking Route:

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The rewarding experiences one gains from living life overseas can sometimes be crowded out by the inevitable struggles that come with the full, expat-life package. But it’s through those struggles and challenges that you discover more about yourself and the world around you. You embrace lessons learned and broaden your horizons. If you’ve ever lived for an extended amount of time somewhere other than your home country, then you’ve probably experienced some if not all of these changes while living abroad.

1. You are constantly learning and unlearning language. I’m no expert on the brain, but I have a suspicious feeling that my brain regularly shuts the door on certain native-tongue-vocabulary words so that my search will lead me to the word I’m looking for in my newly acquired language. That’s all fine and dandy; that is, unless I was really hoping to find the word in my native language. It’s…

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Originally posted on Jo2TheWorld:

Just brilliant!  World, I am back from across the pond and after a month of traveling, some medical woes, and some major post-design job decompression, I have returned to you.

Whitby Street, London

Whitby Street, London

To make up for my absence, I thought I would post a double dose of Adore A Door – two doors in one!  I spotted these while wandering around my new favorite neighborhood in East London, Shoreditch.  The area is filled with beautiful street art and Whitby Street is no exception.

This entry caught my eye immediately.  What can I say, I’ve always been drawn to geometric graphics.  The lines and triangles are great on their own, but the combination of colors really stood out to me.  I love the use of primaries with pastels and the black and white striping mimicking the iron gate.

 I am not sure who or what resides here, but I took the message to heart: “LAUGH…

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When I traveled through Norway by boat I stopped in Nordkapp (North Cape), the northernmost point of Norway (71° N). 

The Sami are indigenous people found throughout Scandinavia (they are also called Lapps or Laplanders). They speak their own language – called Sami – and have inhabited parts of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in northwest Russia for at least 5,000 years. Why are they always in the north, do you ask? Because reindeer are arctic animals that can only survive in the north, and reindeer herding is the livelihood of the Sami people.

Traditional Sami homes are called Gamme or Goahti, meaning ‘turf home’. A gamme is built on top of wooden arch beams and covered in layers of bark and turf, which is incredibly insulating. We passed by this gamme while in Nordkapp, and I thought it was fascinating.

I love that something so basic and culturally specific can influence modern architecture. I think it’s clear to see the correlation (or evolution?) between the no frills Sami gamme and this hidden-on-a-hill beauty from Interior Design Magazine.

The past is always present.

Sure, I could share a photograph of the clear blue Pacific to illustrate the beauty of Malibu.  

After all, the ocean is probably the first thing you think of when you envision the real-life fantasy that is Malibu, California. One of the reasons I love Malibu is because it’s not at all what you expect it to be.  It’s not like Beverly Hills or Bel Air, and it’s not just another ritzy beach-side community: it’s a low-key, surfer haven found in the California canyons, a wonderment of old school American west, natural beauty and a dash of organic, haute hippie culture.  This is the real Malibu.

How I see it: Malibu, CA

How I see it: Malibu, CA

I recently returned from a trip to Concord, MA, a quaint, historic town that epitomizes Americana and the spirit of the Revolution.

Emerson's hat still hangs on the wall in his Concord, MA home

Emerson’s hat still hangs on the wall in his Concord, MA home

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a 19th century American writer, philosopher, poet, teacher and transcendentalist from Concord.  While visiting the Concord Museum I was really inspired by the following quote:

“If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side and admit of being compared; when the energies of all men are searched by fear and by hope; when the historic glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era?  This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I always hear people say they wish they were born in another era.  Now is as good a time as any.

Eagles Ridge Country House in Stutterheim, South Africa has an organic, barefoot, play in the forest all day kind of vibe.  

Click here to read my Eagles Ridge article on Forbes.com.

At first glance, Eagles Ridge appears to be a unique amalgamation of warm, contemporary and angular aesthetics.

The pleasant surprise is the interior, which looks like a luxury tree house.

Pure paradise, right outside the window.

Dream-catchers hang on trees that carve flower-filled paths around the property.

This is the entryway to the hut at Eagles Ridge where the Xhosas, a well-known South African tribe, perform traditional ceremonies and rituals.

A Xhosa woman preparing mealie, a type of flour made of corn.

Playing around the Eagles Ridge restaurant-art gallery before saying goodbye…an exhibit in and of itself.