it’s OK not to stick to a workout routine

If you read my last few post, you might remember I’m trying to bullet-journal, and to also introduce some workout sessions in my life. Of course, since I’m notoriously lazy and sometimes I have projects to work on, working out daily is impossible.

And that’s OK.

And it you also want to work out more, you came to the right place, because I will try my best to encourage you on your journey. I’m not a trainer, nor a health guru – but you already know that. I’m just sharing my experiences to help others that also struggle like me.

The biggest mistake I noticed I made was to expect myself to workout daily, the way I have the impression others do. Others, in this context, are various bloggers and vloggers I either follow or sometimes stumble upon. And you know what? I’m pretty sure this is wrong,  because we sell dreams. While my intention is NOT to sell dreams, I can’t know who will come across my blog one day, reads it, and thinks “oh, I wish I was more like this author” [I secretly hope for this, to be honest]. Personally, I wish my writing style was more funny, similar to that of the guy behind My Crazy Chinese Family blog – but now I’m going off topic. Let’s return.

WHAT ARE MY RESULTS SO FAR

Last month I managed to workout during 11 days, out of 30. I’m not really impressed, but I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.

This month I only worked out 2 days so far. I want to improve the number, but we’ll see how things go.

My workout sessions lasted about 30 minutes and less. I get out of breath very fast, my heart pumps like mad, and I have to stop or else I feel like fainting. It’s OK to stop your routine when you feel like fainting! You also don’t have to work out for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time!

Most importantly, when I was done, I would feel happy and proud of myself. Something to do with my body releasing more endorphins. Feeling more happy can motivate a person to keep at this new found routine.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK OUT?

There are many reasons for people to be interested in starting this journey: to get back in shape, to prevent weight gain, to participate in a marathon, to simply change their lifestyle, for health related reasons, and even because they think they should.

So, how about you? Me, I could subscribe to all the reasons above, except the marathon. I simply can’t run it makes me feel like veins and nerves are breaking in my brain, I can’t see well anymore, and faint. It’s really bad. [on a side note, I see many people running downstairs, back and forth. in a way I feel I should do the same, and I feel guilty because I can’t. How silly is this? it’s not like anyone knows…]

My advice to you is not to compare yourself to others, because everyone is unique. And if you feel fine without working out, nobody can tell you otherwise.

Challenges you might face

Starting and getting into it is the most difficult part. Also, having a busy schedule can make you feel like you don’t have enough time for this. These are my 2 main reasons why I only worked out for 11 days last month. I hope to change this.

Having to wear appropriate clothing that you don’t own. Sure, it’s better to work out in workout pants, but honestly, as long as your clothes allow you to make any movement you need to, then it doesn’t really matter. you could be working out naked, but please do so only in the privacy of your house.

Speaking of where to workout, many think it can only be done at the gym. Or they think a gym subscription will motivate them into visiting it. Truth is, this is unlikely. Instead, stretching a bit after you wake up right beside your bed is perfectly fine. There are countless routines that can be done at home or even outdoors.

Now, if you want to have more muscles, you’ll want a gym membership and to be strict abut visiting it. A personal trainer will be very helpful as well.

WHY DON’T I SEE RESULTS?

Results don’t appear overnight. We’re somehow programmed into thinking results appear instantly, but this is the biggest lie we could ever believe. 11 days of working out and a reduced amount of food consumed in June [mostly because the heat took away my appetite] made me lose 1kg. It’s not a lot, but slower results seem to be the ones that stick more.

So results will appear only if we’re consistent. Also it depends on why we start, on our somatic body type, and the type of routine we try. My somatic body type is the one that gains weight the easiest and has the hardest time losing it – and I forgot what’s called. oops.

CONCLUSION

Whether you decide to exercise more or not is fine! whatever you will wear to do so is fine as long as you’re free to move as you like. Not doing what others do, is also perfectly fine and OK. Don’t do something just because you think you must: you don’t.

I hope you’ll feel more inspired to live your life as you please because sometimes it takes courage to do so.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

how to become your cat’s favorite human

You might already know I own 2 cats, but I will talk about the younger one for he likes me a little more than the older one. You want to know a secret? You can also make your cat like you more than the rest of the family [if you have a cat, that is].

DISCLAIMER: this method is not 100% foolproof, and is more successful on kittens. It is still worth giving a try – hopefully your cat is not a the spawn of the devil and can be [gently] handled. i credit expert cat owners with the discovery of the method.

I hope everyone planning on getting a new cat or kitten will find this short entry a bit useful. If you dislike cats, I hope you will change your mind about them a bit.

So this is Mikey, the younger cat – he turns 6 years old on July 4th. I cannot tell you how attached to me he is.

To put it into perspective, he knows when I arrive home, he doesn’t let his older brother come to me, he makes sure to leave his scent on me whenever he can [even when I’m in the bathroom], and he cried a lot last year when I would be gone to my 9-5 jobs. That’s not all, he also gained a lot of weight last weight: it seems he ate his feelings [and i feel bad for it].

One of the ways he showed his affection was by ‘cleaning’ me while i slept – my face, hands, arms, hair, whatever he could. His older brother never did it. He also loves sleeping next to or on top of me.

i dont think it’s healthy to sleep so close to the cat.. but what can i do?

So, how come he prefers me?

You must know I got him when he was a kitten, and I basically stole him from his family and mother. I don’t think he was fully weaned, but he was eating cat food.

So, when I got him, i had to act like cat-mom, and make him relieve himself. This is easily done by holding the cat over the litter and gently rub her behind with a damp towel – it should have the same texture as a cat’s tongue. Your cat will believe it’s her mother taking care of stuff, and in a way will think you’re said mother – your scent is all around after all, and her mother’s scent is not. It’s almost natural that you’ll be replacing her mom at this point.

There is one more important step you should not ignore, when going through this process: “burying the gifts” AKA the cat pee and poop. Gently grab one of the cat’s front paws [or hands if you prefer] and move it from the front towards the back, while touching the sand [or litter bed. we use a special type of sand.. bentonite, clay? I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I recommend silica type because it disappears, so you throw away less stuff.] The movement should imitate the one the cat does when she covers her waste.

This paw movement should be done right after wiping her behind with the damp towel, even if she doesn’t relieve herself. This is one of the best methods to teach a cat where ‘the toilet’ is, no matter the age. It is especially useful when changing houses and getting a new cat.

If for some reason you consider changing the type of litter, make sure to do it gradually, so that the cat will get used to the new type slowly – or better said so she won’t realize. if you change it all of a sudden [because you couldn’t find the one you usually get] try this method I described above.

Cats can be and are just as loving as dogs, perhaps even more so. This is why an older cat will take some time to get used to new humans, if re-homed. She might act distant with her first humans, but maybe she’s generally more distant. Remember that not all cats are the same, just like not all dogs are the same.

I hope you found this article a little helpful.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Online shopping haul

Not long ago I promised I would show you guys the stuff I bought online, from a Chinese website called wish.com.

DISCLAIMER: this is not a sponsored post, I bought everything with my own money, and the opinions are my own!

Online shopping is good, as long as you don’t buy clothes, shoes, or expensive electronics. You must pay attention to what others have to say about the seller too, to see if you can trust  – but even then, you can get cheated.

This site wish is easy to use, you can sign up using your gmail account or even your facebook account. I paid with paypal, but I think credit/debit cards are also accepted.

This is what i ordered – a tote, 3 watches (!),  a deck of regular playing cards, and a tarot deck. I also ordered a bra for my friend – it fits her, but i will not show the actual product, and a whetstone to sharpen knives – it never arrived 😦

This is the Shadowscapes Tarot deck, translated into simplified Chinese, i believe. The English card names are at the top of the cards. There is one typing error on one of the cards “nice of cups” instead of “nine of cups, ” which i find quite funny, especially since this is a good card to get in a reading. The typo is barely noticeable, so it doesn’t bother me.

There are 2 extra blank cards included – I guess I can use them in case I lose one. As you can see the cards are quite long, so normal hand shuffling is a bit difficult. Maybe my palms are too short?

My other card deck is a playing one. But the images are with Vampire Knight, as you can see. Vampire Knight is a manga [Japanese comics] by Hino Matsuri. The cards are quite small compared to the tarot. Shuffling them is so easy!

I must admit, when i got them, i thought they’re bigger – before opening them up. I was quite impressed that they were sealed in plastic – the tarot wasn’t. Once i took them in my hand, i thought they’re really cute because of how small they appeared.

I didn’t use them, but I assume in dim light, it will be difficult to tell which card is which, so probably if you ever get your hands on a similar deck, play your games in stronger light.

So these are the watches I got. Why 3? well, i have a small obsession for watches. I have 4 of them in total. One – the first I ever got, is a Michael Kors. [I can’t really remember where it is] I’m not wearing it because it needs a battery and it had a small accident, and lost a decorative plate. I’m pissed about it – I still have it, but I have trouble putting it back with glue it doesn’t stay.

These watches didn’t arrive all at once, though the green ones have been ordered at the same time. The lighter green one was supposed to be more blueish. but the green one looks amazing! The first one to arrive was the one with a black bracelet. It is a mechanical one – the reason I got it. The other 2 cost me $1 each, and $1 shipping for each. I really liked the design, even though they require a battery.

The seller was nice enough to send them with a battery in AND with the hour set for Romania! how cool is that?

The tote is not as big as I thought it would be. I can fit a 15″ laptop in it, if i put it with the narrow side in. And it doesn’t go in all the way – but I rarely take my laptop with me, so that’s fine. It seems well done, though the sewing could have been more straight – in places where it is noticeable.

I like that it has a small inner pocket. The front is purple, and the other side is gray, like the handles and the bottom. The handles are long enough to allow you to wear the bag on the shoulder.

SHIPPING

The mechanical watch was the first to arrive, after some 3 weeks.  I thought i will never get to see my tarot deck nor my playing cards – they arrived quite late. The bag also arrived quite fast, but i forgot how fast. I also forgot how fast the other items came, but the 2 green watches arrived 1 week apart – shipped separately, though the seller was the same.

Speaking of sellers, there are many sellers on wish, just like on ebay or etsy. The prices can change from one day to the other, but they’re generally low. If you know me, you’ll know these items were cheap – since I hate spending money on expensive stuff.

site pictures VS real item pictures

There are slight color differences between the real life items and the image you see provided by the seller. The light green watch was the biggest offender, but since i like green, I’m not complaining. My light, though natural, wasn’t the best to take pictures. The tarot deck is less intense, much more pastel. As for the mechanical watch – just like with the others, several colors were available, that’s why mine is not golden.

Sadly, if you have a problem with your item, the customer support is from wish, and it is not the seller. you might also have the “luck” of talking to someone who doesn’t speak English well. You have 30 days for returns or refunds. This means i lost whatever I paid for my whetstone.

This is all for now. See you again next week!


©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.

5 Romanian etiquette rules

In my previous post I mentioned I would make an entry related to etiquette in Romania. So, here it is! These are stuff I either saw myself or was told.

1. Shoes – on or off?

In Romania, you take your shoes off when entering your own home, or the home of those close to you – friends and family, unless told otherwise. It helps with keeping the house clean(er).

You keep your shoes on when you go visit people you’re not very close to – say, if you meet the parents of your partner for the first time. Some of these people you don’t know very well, might ask you to take your shoes off when entering their home.

  • why should I take my shoes off? If it rained, chances are your shoes are dirty and your host doesn’t want their floors or carpets to get dirty, especially if the house looks as clean as a 5 star hotel room.

2. Bring something when you visit someone

In the past, when paying a visit, it was a sign of good manners not to go empty handed. People were usually bringing something symbolic, like flowers, something sweet, or something to drink. The “something sweet” was something home made, but bought stuff were also OK. A casserole of home cooked food also works well – remember this is something symbolic. If the younger generations do this these days, it must be because they grew up seeing their parents do it.

While this habit might seem weird for some, consider that Romania used to be a communist country and during the regime the living conditions were harsh. For some people it would have been a financial burden to receive and entertain guests, so the guests were considerate towards this effort by bringing something to the “party.”

3. Greet your neighbors when meeting them

This applies for when meeting them in the common areas of the apartment building, as many Romanians still live in apartment buildings. If you happen to meet any of your neighbors, they will say “hello” and the polite thing to do is to reply. Easy, right?

When visiting friends, you might encounter their neighbors and they might say “hello” even if they don’t know you. It costs nothing to reply back with a “hello.” Greeting random people they see waiting around their building is not that weird since many Romanians are renting out their apartments. Your friend’s neighbors might think you’re renting a place there and you’re new.

4. Greet your cashier

All cashiers I went to, would say “hello” to all their customers, me included. They would also say “bye bye” after giving them their change and receipt. The client is supposed to answer to both greetings. This gesture sure doesn’t cost nor time nor money. I generally say “thanks” before leaving. I sometimes add “have a nice day” as well.

5. Speaking of the change… Don’t expect it full

Let’ assume you’re supposed to receive 7.37 … well, let’s just say you’ll receive 7.35 instead, and demanding the extra 0.02 is nowadays considered a bit weird, if not quite rude. The cases when you’ll receive your full change is rare (I only saw it happening at one supermarket- Kaufland) The coins of the 0.01 value (1 ban) are generally disregarded by most people. I don’t think the 0.05 coins (5 bani) are too popular either.

Don’t ask me how much money I lost this way. However, you’ll be surprised to learn or see just how many Romanians simply leave all the coins in their change to the cashier. They might take the 0.5 coin (50 bani) but not the 0.1 coins (10 bani).


disclaimer: i don’t own the pictures in this post, they belong to their respective creators. i just found them online.

©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.

Please think twice before adopting a pet!

This is not a sad story, but rather one that might make your blood boil to the point where you want to smash something. But let’s start with the beginning.

Back in November I was coming back from buying some groceries. As I was opening the door to the apartment building where I live, this little [mostly black] cat dashed right in with me. I have no idea where it came from, but it sure wasn’t shy. This little fellow simply followed me home. So I took her in… Lucky that my two 7 and 6 year old male cats didn’t try to kill her, but she wasn’t happy with their presence either.

In the end, it all worked out just fine. see below:

This black furry thing wasn’t shy nor scared of being touched or even handled. I quickly discovered this was a female cat. “Sweet! I never had a female cat before” I thought to myself. Of course, I talked to my friend about it, and we decided to keep her for a while, until we find a more suitable furrever home. The little cat went in heat in about 2 – 3 weeks after finding her. Her screaming sounded as if someone was torturing her to death. I waited till it passed, and then got her spayed. Quietness returned.

There are more reasons I need a new home for Milky – this is what I named her. Ironic given her color, right? but it’s mostly because she likes to nurse on tshirts and pants of a certain texture. She also LOVES milk, so now the name seems more fitting.. The most important reason is that we will be leaving the country this year [hopefully soon], and there is no way to accommodate 3 cat at the new place [with some relatives until we find a job, and a place of our own].

So we posted a few “up for adoption ads” for Milky.  A few nights ago I received this phone call from an older lady showing interest in Milky [the female cat]. We decided to meet the next day, with me bringing the cat to her place. Said and done.

I wrapped the cat in a blanket as there was no need for a cat carrier, and off we went to meet the lady. Luckily, she lived some 3 bus stops away, and this means easily reachable by foot as well. As soon as the lady saw the cat, she melted -“a good sign” I thought to myself.

She led us to her place – some 5 minutes by foot away from the bus stop, on a quiet street. When we entered, I was requested to take off my shoes. She had a good point for it: that place was SO clean and everything nicely arranged. [I will most likely address etiquette rules regarding wearing shoes indoors, in the next post. Let’s just say it is not really polite to ask your quests to remove them.]

I told the lady everything she needed to know about the cat, I showed the cat where the litter was, and I was ready to leave. Right before leaving, the lady informed me it is customary to give a little something in exchange for the cat, so she had prepared some bananas and a box of chocolates.  I took that, my blanket, and I returned home.

Later in the evening, she called however I couldn’t pick up the phone. I called her back the next morning… The lady informed me she wanted to return the cat! Yes, you read that right – to return the cat after she promised she would take good care of her and all! She complained that Milky cried, that she went on the opened window, and that the cat wanted to suck her pajamas at night. Apparently she couldn’t sleep because of all these! Other than the clothes sucking, all the cats go on open windows and cry in a new house!

  • if you’re going to adopt a cat, expect her to cry at least the first night if she’s sociable, or to hide if she’s less sociable. dogs and puppies also cry the first night or two.
  • your new cat or dog is an ALIVE CREATURE! it is definitely NOT a toy, piece of clothing or some other thing you can just return the next day because you changed your mind!
  • having a pet is NEARLY identical to having a human baby! it requires your attention and it needs you!

Do expect your new companion to give you some headaches, but seriously, children are no different.

Milky literally LOVES knocking things over because they stand in her way… or in what he thinks is HER place.

LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS TOO

My life has been chaotic the past few months. This is why I haven’t updated this blog in such a long time.

Let’s just say I had a full time job with a weird working schedule.. it got me exhausted. both mentally and physically. The worst part is that even my cats suffered because of this job. One of them gained a lot of weight even though he didn’t eat more than before. [or this is what I think.]

However, talking about this job is not why I’m here, but to mention that I did have friends that saw the effects of this job on me, and they got worried. They told me to quit it or else.. [I will get ill or regret it later..]

Did I listen? NO! of course not! Why would I listen to my friends? Do they care about me, or are worried about me, or even know my needs or desires? Given that they’re my friends, the answer should be “yes” for most, if not all the above questions, right?

It turns out they were right.. the job was bad for my body…and mind. Or at least the effort needed to perform the tasks on the job and the long hours were too tiring.

friendship-day

Image found here

For instance, I had no physical power and no mental energy to deal with or to think about cooking or even cleaning the house. I could only shower, eat a bit, sleep, and wash a couple of dishes [by hand] … and that was it. every. single. day. I also didn’t manage to get enough sleep either, for some reason or another. Seeing my friends or even close family members was also out of the question: I was too tired in my days off to have visitors or to pay visits to people.

I was leaving home at about 1pm and return at about 1am.. daily. With the exception when I had to be there at 7am and still return at 1am for 2 days in a row.. Good luck with that, superman-me! I did it a few times, until my body was too tired to hear the alarm and wake up at the time I had to be leaving out the door.

So, what did I do in the end? I finally quit this soul-sucking job only to realize just how tired I really was.. just like my friends predicted [or already saw].

friendship-whatsapp-status-quotes

Picture found here

My advice for everyone reading this entry is to just listen to your friends, or whoever else you have near you and cares about you when or if you are in a similar situation. Listening to them might just save you from a trip to the hospital, from a situation in which you realize you’re completely alone because you prioritized the wrong thing, or even from the day you realize you live in a pig’s house instead of a house for humans because you had no time or energy to vacuum.

How I lost weight

It seems that talking about a person’s weight turned into a taboo subject as it always ends up in a ‘body shaming’ topic. It seems everyone likes to point how the others are worse looking … but they forget to look into their conscience mirror to see how ugly their thinking is.

I’m not here to promote any secret magical diet given to me by Fairies. Sorry 😦 It’s not because I don’t want to share, but because I have yet to meet said Fairies. I also don’t want to tell you “You absolutely MUST lose weight” because in the end, it is your life and your body and you have the right to control them as you think it’s fit.

That being said, in a much earlier post I promised I would tell you more about how I managed to lose some weight. I never got around to do it.. until now.

Why did you want to lose weight?

The reasons for which I wanted to lose weight are simple: I couldn’t fit into my pants anymore and I didn’t want to go shopping for others as I really liked what I owned. I always bought larger shirts, so that wasn’t an issue. Just my pants.

So, what did you do to lose weight?

Let’s make a few things clear, shall we?

  1. I dislike working out – especially running or jogging.
  2. I’m trying hard to use my common sense.
  3. My common sense tells me that most “losing weight diets” don’t give long lasting results.

The first thing I did was analyzing my diet AKA what was I eating and when. I discovered:

  • I would eat the most in the evening and then I would go to sleep.
  • I also found out I was eating a lot of bread and not enough fruits and vegetables.
  • My eating pattern wasn’t  ‘regular’ – I never ate at the same hours.

When I realized a few of the things I was ‘doing wrong,’ I decided it was time to change all that. I never tried to follow this or that “losing weight recipe,” but I did try to see a common pattern in them and follow that instead.

I cut down on bread to the point of not eating any at all with any of my meals. I was left still hungry at first. Then, an idea occurred to me: what if I ate SLOWER by chewing my food more? and what if I drank more water?

This actually worked! I would chew more, and therefore I got the impression I was fuller! There is science behind this, so feel free to go search it yourself to convince yourself. I also started to eat more vegetables and white meat [just chicken, though I like fish too].

Not eating in the evening was the most difficult part though. I went and drank water every time I felt hungry. I started hating the water 😦 However, in the end, not eating in the evening started to feel OK, even normal…?

Another change I made was paying attention to how much I ate, AKA the size of my portions. Eating smaller portions means less ingested calories as well.

Did these changes do anything?

You mean, if I saw any positive results? Yes, I did. Or I wouldn’t have written this.

I do have to mention the results weren’t fast, like say in 1 week, but maybe more like a month? One month is the earliest I started to see a difference.

You should know that this “common sense diet” is actually a change in lifestyle. It doesn’t make one obsessed with counting calories, though doing that would help in faster results. I wouldn’t recommend it though. This “diet” doesn’t force one say “oh, I can’t have cake because I’m dieting,” because you can eat anything you want, just not too much.

Do you have any further tips?

Seriously? Wasn’t this enough?

Well, if you insist, the last piece of advice I have for you is to look for those diets doctors insist diabetic people follow. They are specially designed to keep diabetes and weight in check, and why wouldn’t they help other people as well?

If you like working out, you will also see faster results and your body will tone up as well.

I hope you find some of these tips helpful.


©2013-2016 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Waking Up Early IS Possible!

What’s up guys?

This entry is not motivational, or at least that’s not my current intention. What I want to talk about is what I noticed that changed since I started waking up early.

βΑ¢ΚŠτØℜϒ  – that should read backstory, in case you can’t see the characters-

I work as a freelance writer for 5 and a half years now. Like most writers and freelancers I discovered that I’m more inspired to write at night – not to mention that my days were also filled with other activities and chores.

This meant I would end up going to bed really and I mean REALLY late. Think of 1 am which slowly and steady reached 3 and 4 am, sometimes even 6 or 7 am, just to finish a task.

I need to sleep at least 8 hours every night, so I would wake up not earlier than 10 am. During 2015 I would wake up at 1 pm or even 2 pm at times, even if I was asleep at 4 am.  This wasn’t good for me … mentally.

tip: ƒ¡ηР¡ηšΡ¡ℜα†¡Øη! – that reads “find inspiration!”

I also was [and still am] watching the videos posted by Grace about her daily life in Japan. I watched them and I started feeling ashamed of myself.

I’m not saying she leads a perfect life, but in my opinion hers seems more put together than mine. She’s also a blogger and a freelancer, so I kinda started looking up to her.

I guess her videos started to inspire and motivate me [if just a little bit] to want to be more proactive in taking control of my life. But the first step was to control my sleeping pattern.

I needed a change. And the change came.

†Η€ ¢Ηαηg€ – that reads “the change”

I decided I should search for a 9-to-5 job to make sure I earn more money – I really want to buy a house [=house around here means apartment, and translated to a place that I could call “my own”].

This type of job means I would have to wake up earlier than what I was used to in the past few years. MUCH EARLIER. Of course, that is easier said than done. And it also meant I would have to go to bed earlier as well.

I forgot how I started doing it, but I did. I most likely started to set the alarm to ring throughout the morning and to make an effort to get up from the bed each time – I would go use the toilet or drink some water. It did took a lot of will power, but it had to be done. But then I would go back to sleep and repeat till 1 or 2 in the afternoon, every 2 hours.

TIP:  If you want to make sure you get up at a certain hour, place the alarm across the room: you’ll be forced to get up from the bed to stop it. 

While I did manage to start adjusting to being waken up throughout the morning, I still wouldn’t manage to be in bed earlier.

However, the “secret” was to remain awake at an earlier hour: say, 9 or 10 am. In the evening, the body would be too tired to be able to still stay awake till wee hours. I managed to do that and it started working. My sleeping pattern started to slowly improve.

In the end I did find a job and I was forced to wake up at 6 am. It was still way early for me. That job wasn’t meant to be, but I did learn some stuff, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. Plus I got paid too, so I can’t complain too much – plus I’m trying to be positive here 😉 .

†Η€ ρℜ€š€η† – that reads “the present”

Currently I wake up at 8 am, though the alarm is set for 7:51 am, no exceptions allowed. This means that even on Saturdays and Sundays I continue waking up at the same hour. I go to bed at midnight sharp and I get enough sleep.

Of course, I was forced to go to bed later than midnight, however I still insisted in waking up at 8. I only lingered in bed till 9 for two days [one of them being today] and I’m not happy about it.

I do consider that sometimes is OK to wake up a bit later, especially if there is nothing waiting to be done on the spot. I just need to make sure this doesn’t slowly revert to my old habits.


©2013-2016 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Tips on testing a new cafe

Last week I went out to have a drink and relax. I had no idea where to go and I just wandered around until I found this cafe called The Drunken Lords.

The cafe, or bar -as I’m not entirely sure what its label is- is located in the Historic Center of Bucharest. This area is full of cafes, restaurants, bars, night clubs, and even random shops, especially those selling wedding gowns. I may show some of these stores in a future entry.

I never went here before, and I often go to new places just because. The downside is that I never know how the service or the drinks are.

I came up with a simple and rather sure way of testing out new cafes. I will share my observations with you, because you know, “sharing is caring,” and I started this blog for this particular reason.

Check out the atmosphere of the place.

This means you need to observe “each detail.” For instance, what do the seats and the tables look like? Do they seem comfortable? How many people can they accommodate? What type of decorations are there on the walls? Is there a funny scent, or is it too smoky?

The Drunken Lords had tables for two but tables for 4 or 6 persons as well. The  owner or the designer thought about using a combination of chairs and sofas [or couches] to appeal to the preferences of more people.

I sat on a chair, while my friend used the sofa to sit at the same table.

I really liked the wall decor and this is why I took two pictures of it. One of the walls was completely covered in these old books – most likely nobody would have read them anymore. Among all those books, some really old fashion suitcases were also sprinkled. You can actually see a little bit of one of them in the above picture.

I didn’t take a better picture because it took me minute to realize what was I looking at, and was feeling self conscious taking pictures. On another wall, the designer used the portrait of a gentleman [see below] – too bad my phone and the spotlight were at a bad angle. I really liked how the middle section was left as it was while the upper and the lower sections seem painted over.

Check the bathroom

You may not need to go, but you should still go wash your hands before consuming anything. This is exactly what I also did. Having a look at the cafe’s restroom is a great indicator of the care they put in serving their clients.

Luckily most of the restrooms I went to while being at a cafe, were CLEAN. They might not have someone to clean the place after each person, nor advanced Japanese toilets, but you won’t feel like throwing up while walking in there.

I never sit on the toilet seat, but that’s a different story. This restroom was not only clean, but it was nicely scented too. They have one for the ladies and one for the gents, separated, unlike many other places. 2 people can go in 2 separate stalls at the same time, and there were 2 sinks with soap and paper towel dispensers as well.

Can you tell I was nicely impressed?

Pay attention to the staff

Of course, many people would pay attention to the staff, and notice faster if the staff is rude or not polite enough.

The folks on duty on that evening were all smiles and excited to talk to me and my friend. This made the experience more relaxed and much more pleasant.

There is one slight minus that happens virtually everywhere I go: when the order came, there was no napkin in sight! 0.0 I realized this when it was too late, and took my own out [taken from another cafe. When our waiter noticed, he got upset, but he didn’t say a word. ooopsies]

I should have asked for some, but I’m not sure why I didn’t.

The way your bill is presented at the end is also important. Since you’re going to a more fancy place, you should receive it inside a little something, and not just given in your hand. Different locations have different ways of presenting it: in glasses, inside small fancy looking boxes, or specially created cases.

Place your order

This step is one of the most important one when going to a cafe or restaurant. However you must be prepared ahead of time.

What I like doing is quite simple, and uses common sense [I noticed not many people still have it these days, sadly].

I order some drinks I really like and that are super easy to get right or fail. [Well, I also pay attention to the quantity and the price, to see how ‘fair’ they are or if they’re trying to rip customers off – this is something that happens at times].

We ordered a lemonade and a hot chocolate with a side of a standard drink – Pepsi Cola [hey, Pepsi folks! can I get some change here for advertising your drink? =P LOL]. Pepsi was the last resort if we hated the other two drinks 😉

Lemonade is something REALLY easy to make. And it might sound ridiculous to some of those reading this entry, but I had a few places bringing me a NASTY lemonade. If they don’t know how to make a decent lemonade, how are they going to make other more complicated drinks?

The staff at The Drunken Lords made a nice lemonade for me. Its size was decent too – not too large and not too small either. I also found its price rather fair, so I can’t complain in this regard.

Hot chocolate is something that I had a bad experience with on a few occasions. This one was a good one, and therefore I have no complaints here either. The bad experiences were related to watered down chocolate, and the drink not being hot enough [at the same time too at least once], OR it being a pudding chocolate.

Hot chocolate is supposed to be like hot Nutella and a bit more creamy or liquid when hot. And the barista at The Drunken Lords did just that. YAY! [can I get some cash for advertising Nutella as well?]

All in all, I had a nice time there. I also liked it because at the time it was mostly empty, so it was more quiet.

The music was nice as well. At least in the beginning of my stay, because I can’t remember the whole playlist, but the music was pleasant all the way.

If you’re in Bucharest, you should totally check this place out. This is their website.


©2013-2016 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Why does a blogger’s life seem perfect?

It’s been a long time – my offline life changed for a while, now it seems to be back to ‘normal.’ I just want to share a few thoughts and insights regarding the life of a blogger [or a vlogger].

I’m not going to lie here: I read several blogs and follow several vloggers on Youtube. What’s more is that they seem to lead a perfect or ideal life – it most certainly looks better than mine, from my point of view.

But that’s just MY point of view.

However, I did notice how others seem to share this impression, but the reality is different.

The internet is everyone’s tool and chance to become famous.  Or to at least get noticed a little.

Some people are more successful or lucky than others, and they become quite famous online. Some of them use their online fame to make a change in the [offline] world around them.

This is something I also secretly dream of. But I’m not going to put my hopes too high.

In any case, I recently realized that most of us that decided to share our experiences with the world have one thing in common:

We present a chopped, idealized reality.

And we do so because we want to inspire others to be better people and not do the mistakes we make.

You could say we are selling dreams.

Except, not all of us are receiving money for this.

The internet is literally a shopping street, and with the right tools, some of us can show you our dreams while earning some money as well.

I did mention before that some bloggers and vloggers share their experiences and opinions as to inspire others as well. Some of them started their blogs and channels from a passion they had – beauty, fashion, gaming – or because they have a rare life-style – married to people from a different culture, living in a foreign country, so on.

Everyone wants to lead a better life, and some people are simply scared to do what it takes to live their dreams.

All bloggers and vloggers took it upon themselves to show the world that it is not impossible to live a [near] impossible dream.

It just takes a lot of hard work, courage, and will power.

They are showing the world no dream is impossible if enough passion is used while working. Some of them managed to start their own businesses through which they do whatever they can to help other people to follow their dreams for a better life.

A blogger’s life is not perfect, because they are just humans, and there is no perfect human out there. They might have reached the “star” status, but even so, not even “stars” have a perfect life.

Bloggers choose to show the better parts of their life for two reasons:

  1. life is too short and full of negativity and they [we] choose to spread a positive attitude and energy.
  2. one cannot inspire others into become better and more brave by sharing the bad parts in their life.

I hope you can now better understand why the life of a blogger seems perfect, but it actually isn’t.


©2013-2016 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.