Tag Archives: success

UNADULTERATED FREEDOM

Honestly, I’m not sure “Unadulterated Freedom” is the right title for this post. It was just something that popped into my head while I was thinking what to write. It seems to go with the theme. No limitations right I am not following some kind of guideline when it comes to naming this post. So perfect, “Unadulterated Freedom” it is.

I am reinventing the way I write this thing. Yes, I have been out for a while. I was having one of those moments that last for months. You see, I was following all of the advice of keeping a website/blog. Be consistent with the theme, find an audience, etc. etc. etc. All good advice, but also a bunch of nonsense.

I was way into my head about it trying to find a specific topic to write about each week. It froze me. I lost my interest. It felt forced.

This wasn’t meant to be forced. It was meant to be a release for me, fun to write, and hopefully fun and relatable for you to read.

Guys, I am back where all of this started for me. I started this website a couple of years ago when I moved from Boston to NYC. Right out of college, when I didn’t know what to do with my life. I started to write, I started taking acting classes, and I ended up moving to LA for a Master of Fine Arts in Acting.

I definitely didn’t see that coming when I started writing this thing.

Which taught me that sometimes life has a more exciting journey than you expect. But I was definitely resisting my creative/artistic path up until a few months ago believe it or not.

I just called it a hobby.

Not anymore. I’ve accepted that I am an actress, and a writer and all that comes along with it. It is exceptionally freeing to accept it. More than it is scary; and I’m definitely excited for what’s to come.

I will be writing here about whatever it is I want to share. Whatever I want, Encouragement, self-empowerment, self-discovery stories, life in New York, and maybe even some short stories.

Hope you are also finding your freedom.

Cheers, and stay tuned!

THANK YOU INTERNET – WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE YOU

I have to admit, I watch a lot of Netflix. I love TV shows, I love stories. Most of the time, the series I watch spring out of the writer’s imagination, most of it being fiction inspired by real events. Sometimes however, I really love getting into a show that tells a true story. The Tudors, The Crown, even Vikings, are great examples of these shows. I am fascinated by what happened in years past; and truth is, history can be even more fascinating than fiction.

Most recently I watched “Kurt Seyit ve Sura,” a Turkish show set in the early 1900’s. The show was a love story adapted from a novel; which happened to narrate a real story between two people during the Russian Revolution and WWI. It is an incredibly emotional show, and there is no consolation in saying: “it’s just a show.” Because it isn’t. It happened, regardless of specific details, the story is true.

Kurt Seyit ve Sura

You might be wondering by now, where am I going with this?

Well, the show is set in times of war, were families were separated, and when going on a voyage from one country to another might mean you might not see the people you are leaving behind ever again. It made me reflect on how lucky we are as a generation.

I am also from a country that is having social and political unrest; but watching this show made me thankful about the opportunities I have, that people one hundred years ago did not even dream of. Communication and travel have never been so accessible in history.

Why not take advantage of the things we have now?

The internet has made it possible for us to stay connected with those whom we met briefly on a weekend in another city; with family members on a foreign land, and with childhood friends who went on a different direction.

 

It has never been easier to explore the world, and to enrich our lives with experiences. We can work from anywhere in the world from our laptop. Everyday there is less need to go to an office, and sit in a cubicle. The difficulty lies in our own patterns.

Because it’s the way it has been done for so long, it becomes hard to break away. Even if you consider it for a second, many of us dismiss the thought as something crazy. I invite you to consider the possibility. Allow yourself to dream. Because with that kind of exploring and adventure, comes interconnectedness and understanding. Understanding of different cultures and its people.

What would have been the fate of the people in the Russian Revolution if they had the tools we now have?

PS: If you want a real tear jerker, watch Kurt Seyit ve Sura on Netflix

WHY WE LOVE BIG CITIES – I DREAM OF NY, I DREAM OF EUROPE

For a little over a year, I have been living in Los Angeles. I haven’t yet warmed up to the city to the extent that I feel comfortable to call it my home; yet, when I first arrived to Los Angeles I absolutely loved it. Why? The beaches, the weather, the mountains, the proximity to both ocean and snow, the diversity, the food, you name it! The creativity! There are so many people that come to this city with a vision of making their dreams a reality. So many artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers. I felt surrounded by people that understood my desire for a creative life. Yet, I haven’t been able to call it home.

After a long inner search, it finally dawned on me. I miss that constant novelty I got in New York City. Where all I had to do was step outside my door without worrying about a car or parking and I knew I could find a world of possibilities. An adventure awaited. LA is a big city, and unfortunately, not the best example for public transportation. There are great pockets to the city. But having to drive to them takes away from the spontaneity that I personally crave.

I am drawn to travel. I dream of a European home. Weekend trips to different cultures by simply jumping on a train; different architecture, different languages spoken. European cities are built for the human scale, for walking; for experiencing architectural beauty every few steps. I see that in my future, but for now, my craving goes to the concrete jungle in the East Coast. New York still holds my heart, even with all of its imperfections (aka. the subway at rush hour).

Turns out, my craving of novelty is a very basic human need. We are biologically disposed to want to be in locations with variety, with differences, with complexity. We all have different ways of fulfilling this need. Perhaps many don’t even realize why, or how to fill it. There is even research that suggests humans are healthier when we live among variety. That the cities of the future, especially here in the US, that are built for the bottom line, could cause even more depression – among other health issues. Boredom increases cortisol levels more than sadness.

Imagine the cumulative effects of working and living in the same dull environment. Day after day.  Ughh.

Yes, I realize this took a dark turn. It all started with a sunny happy description of Los Angeles. The wonderful city of Los Angeles. I truly do think it’s beautiful. It does need to work on it’s infrastructure for better public transportation. With so many artists in the city, I don’t think it is living up to it’s best potential just yet. For now, I am here to point this out, but I see myself moving back to New York City. After all, I know I have unfinished business with that town, and with that, be closer to my beloved Europe.

Cheers!

What do you think? How do you look for novelty in your life?

WHY OFFICE WORK IS OUT AND TRAVEL WORK IS IN

A few days ago, out of sheer curiosity for my own past – prompted by my love/hate relationship for Facebook memories – I decided to scroll through my own profile. I went deep. Scrolled past photos of friends who I haven’t seen in a while, funny videos I had shared, political articles, and a post about remote living. I stopped short. Around two years ago I has shared an article from Fast Company about co-living spaces for digital nomads. I remember at that point the idea of living a location independent lifestyle by working on my computer and being able to move around freely was the stuff of dreams. I thought travel while working usually required a company sending you out on business trips. I hadn’t realized that in out internet age, traveling freely while working, was not only for a selected few, but millions were already on this path.

Here we are in 2018 and I feel reconnected with that idea. I have become increasingly aware of the digital nomad lifestyle; and with that, I have also become aware of the fact that I am most definitely not alone. Today, 82% of millennials have said that they are more loyal to their boss if they have flexible work options. We are just not all wired for the 9 to 5 work schedule!  For example, at the time I write these words, it is 3:05 am in Los Angeles (where I currently reside). Not to say I normally find myself writing at 3 in the morning; but many creatives types find themselves in the night owl category.

The 9 to 5 work day was created to maximize efficiency at the time of the industrial revolution. The idea was: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, and 8 hours of sleep. Makes sense. Thing is, the world in quite different today than it was at the peak of the industrial revolution, and we shouldn’t have to adhere to those norms. My internal clock most definitely does not want to adhere to those norms, and shouldn’t have to.

Fortunately for me, and for many entering the workforce today, the rules are changing, and they are changing fast. Companies are adopting the remote work philosophy, and there are many other companies that operate completely on a remote workforce. In fact, by around 2030, the Millennial majority will likely have done away with the 9-to-5 workday entirely.  Insert happy dance.

Photo by Nubia Navarro

This is exciting for many obvious reasons. To me, since travel and discovery are some of the things which most exhilarate me, I don’t want to just be able to control the hours I work, but to be free to choose my location. After all, many of us humans are still nomadic at heart, we have been nomads for 99% of our existence. Nomad lifestyle, count me in. It is not my desire however, to move locations every few weeks, but to be able to see the world without being limited to an office space; and by having to waste another hour on commute to the office where I would sit on my laptop and use the internet.

My generation wants to get to know the world outside of a two week allotted vacation time. We are making it happen. There are more and more companies each year that are born based off of that desire. Companies like Roam, WiFly, Remote Year, and Hacker Paradise cater to digital nomads. Some are designed to help people jump-start their digital nomad career, others are for more established remote workers.

As of now, the future seems promising, and I am excited for that seed that was planted in my head over two years ago. Even though it has taken me until now to start searching for real solutions and ways to accomplish it, I am certain it will happen for myself, or any of my fellow wannabe citizens of the world.

Cheers!

Would love to hear your thoughts! Anyone else a digital nomad?

Airbnb’s Growing Pains and Luxury Travel

It seems like Airbnb is growing up, just like brands usually do… or, well, people.

My parents like to travel in style. They prefer to stay in hotels where all their needs will be met. They will most definitely not stay in a stranger’s home. Luxury hotels are usually a preferred choice. Who can blame them? On the other hand, I – aka their millennial daughter – don’t mind other accommodations as long as they allow me to stay in the city I want to visit.

There is a little caveat to that; if I can stay in a luxury accommodation, I most certainly will. I love a good hotel! And even though I have thought about it plenty of times, I have actually never stayed in an Airbnb. For someone who loves to travel so much, sometimes I can’t even believe I haven’t tried it yet.

It shouldn’t surprise you though, because apparently, most millennials will rather stay in a hotel as well; with Airbnb being an option after exhausting the possibility of a full-service hotel or staying with family. In fact, only 23% of millennials polled in a study by Resonance Consultancy said they prefer staying in an apartment/condo short-term rental.

Airbnb wants to shed the idea that they mainly cater to couch-traveling solos (which is definitely an exciting way of traveling, but not for everyone). Now they want to appeal to market niches like family vacation and business travelers. They are expanding into the luxury space with Beyond Airbnb and Airbnb Plus. They are growing up essentially. I understand. I am also beginning to crave traveling mostly in luxury, just like many people my age.

Photo by Chevanon

Will that mean a change for Airbnb? Will their brand and what they represent change? Perhaps. Their goal is to become a one-stop-shop for travel (including booking airfare). They have a long way to go though, most luxury travel agents still don’t trust booking their clients on Airbnb, even their luxury properties. It’s a bit of an uphill battle but they will have to prove themselves, let’s see how this goes.

What do you think of Airbnb? I would love to know. Comment below or contact me!

Millennials, Boomers, and Luxury Travel

For as long as I can remember, my generation – generically referred to as “Millennials”- have been at odds with my father’s generation; the Baby-Boomers (my mom is actually Gen X). As Millennials, we are called entitled, lazy, self-absorbed, blah, blah blah…

The truth is, every generation is criticized in some way, shape, or form; and we all have our own hurdles to get through. The thing is, the Boomer generation and Millennials actually have one big thing in common: desire to experience and travel.

As of now, there has been a shift of focus coming from major travel brands. They are taking attention away from my dad’s generation, and focusing on us: Millennials.

There is a simple reason for this: my generation is the most global and hyper-connected in history. Wecrave experiences. We prioritize “experiential affluence.” Now, I know that this is not true for everyone but it is a major shift on how the world has operated thus far.

But guess what? We inherited this immense curiosity of the world through our parents: the Baby-Boomers. Surprised? I would be, if it wasn’t for the fact that I acquired my hunger for travel through my dad’s desire to turn us into a nomadic family at least twice a year. So far, I have visited 20+ countries, and that’s a smaller number than some of my peers. The truth is, Boomers, compared to older generations, are more self-empowered and individualistic.

As Millennials, we are more time constrained than many Baby-Boomers who have gotten to the point in their lives of time affluence. At least in the US, people who are over 50 have 70% of the country’s disposable income. They are also a lot more experienced and sophisticated buyers. And because they know they are running out of time to try new things, they have an increasing appetite for experience. Millennials, we are time constrained, yes, but we are also time expansive. Primary reason luxury travel brands are now turning to us. We have a whole lot of time ahead of us.

Why does this relate to luxury travel?

Well, as I mentioned, Boomers are wealthy and time affluent. Travel brands should not be taking their attention away from this generation. At the same time, Millennials, even though some more willing to stay in youth hostels, are also interested in traveling in style. Plenty of them will forgo owning a home for being able to freely move through the world. In fact, only in the United States, there are 5 million millionaire Millennials (try saying that 5 times fast), that is 1 million more millionaires than Gen X. And that number is only bound to keep growing as Millennials get older. What do you think they will spend their money on? Safety? Or experiences? I would bet on the latter.

The thing is, the old ways of travel advising need to change. It’s happening with companies like Airbnb that now provide the option of purchasing an “experience.” But we no longer want a travel agent to book a ticket for us. We can do that ourselves. We want a personalized experiences, and agencies who know how to make that happen. Otherwise, we’ll figure it out ourselves – we also happen to be the DIY generation (we can learn almost anything through the internet). Boomers, though not necessarily inclined to turn to Youtube to learn new skills, are also fiercely looking for new experiences and ways to grow. Some of them also want a personalized experience. I have gone on plenty of trips that our family’s travel agency planned for us. My parents stick with them because they cater to their tastes and needs. As millennials we are more connected to social media, and we turn to our peers to imagine our dream travel destination and journey, but in truth, it might be time for a business to provide us with some “dream advisors.”

We want to engage with the brands, we want to see the humanity behind them. We know how to find CityGuides and the best rated restaurant on Yelp. We don’t want a travel guide. If travel brands can figure out a way to connect with us in a more personal level. You got us.

Thoughts? Questions? Emojis? I would love to hear your thoughts! Don’t hesitate to comment below, or even contact me!

Cheers!

What Is It We Are Supposed To Do?

On my last post I talked about working less. Working intelligently. About making sure that our life is not centered around the idea that we have to feel busy to be fulfilled. That we need time to create. Time to be. Time to connect with the people in our lives. That being busy should not be a badge of honor. That being busy is not synonym to success.

That is all true. Something that nags at all of us at some point in our lives is not necessarily that we are busy doing something; but when we are going to be busy, what shall we be doing?

I have friends that found their passion, their life’s purpose when they were young and they have been fortunate not to change their minds. That is not my case. That is not most people’s case. 

A lot of us constantly question our choices. Decide a career or major isn’t for us. Then we ask, but which one is it? Then comes some type of fear. We fear choosing the wrong one. So we create a quiet turmoil in our heads. We go through the motions every day but we wonder. Is this really for me? Is that for me? What if I don’t like that if I leave this?

The truth is we can’t think our way to our purpose. We have to try things. We have to do. Do our way into our purpose. And for many of us who have many interests, we also have to come to peace with the idea that perhaps there isn’t just ONE THING we are supposed to do. We need to let go of that.

Our 20s is a time for self-discovery and reflection; but also for action. I realized recently that no matter how many books I read, or how many people I talk to. I cannot reflect my way into what it is that I really will love doing. I have to do. Identify something that seems interesting and work at it. Perhaps some passion will develop and it will lead to something else. Perhaps I will just learn what it is I don’t want. 

Identify those things and go do them. Then you will slowly find your way.