Looking at the little things in life

Looking at the little things in life

Sometimes in life the big things take over, they are uncontrollable and we lose focus. I prefer to look at the little things that make this world spin, that make me spin. The little things that get inside my head and complete me. Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (31)The little things that seem so insignificant to the bigger picture that I’ve forgotten how I got here. It was the little things that built my grand picture, the little things that held me up, the little things that make me believe, make me hold on to the dream that I will see you again.

Have you looked at the little things in your life lately?

An ode to the island of Sardinia

An ode to the island of Sardinia

Jennifer Avventura Sardinia 2012

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen your face, twenty-one months precisely. I can only imagine your sun-kissed shadows, the way the wind whips in the cold winter months, the sound of your animals going out to pasture and the lingering sensation of a well aged mirto sipped between my lips. For one day soon, I shall return to your green pastures, and help seed our own garden, made from love.

A poem for Sardinia

A poem for Sardinia

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life

This little poem is dedicated to the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to rebuild Sardinia after Cyclone Cleopatra.

Forza Sardinia.

Philippines Typhoon Relief and Renewal Fund – How you can help

The death toll of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) that ripped through parts of the Philippines is nearing 10,000. Thousands of houses have been destroyed and many areas are still cut off from transport, communication and power.

Hundreds of thousands of people are still coming to terms with this devastating storm and are trying to cope with the lack of clean water, shelter, food and medicine.

A good friend of mine recently married a beautiful woman from the Philippines. They now have nothing. There are young children without a roof, water and food. There are entire families and communities that are suffering from this natural disaster and they need your help.

Words from my friend Chris:

“Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) is the most powerful Typhoon/Hurricane in recorded history. My wife’s family is from a rural fishing and farming village. The family home was destroyed by the winds and they, like many others in her village, will need to completely rebuild their homes. I do not know what the cost to rebuild a home is in the Philippines but I am certain any money will help.

If we can raise enough to get their house framed in, I will ask T. to start helping others in the area who have lost their homes as well!”

UPDATE: November 11th, 2013

“I have just been on Skype with Theresa (She is in Iloilo right now) and she said that they have been told that they are probably going to be out of power for 4 months.  She is trying to get a generator so that they can power a refrigerator and have some lights and use some power tools.

They will need the generator and fuel for it.  I have transferred some money and am waiting on the Fundraiser site to complete the transfer of what has already been raised. They said it will take a couple of business days for the transfer.” Chris Faulkner

How YOU can help rebuild Banate, Philippines.

If you are able to give even $2.00 then please click the following link:

Banate, Philippines Typhoon Relief and Renewal Fund

Your name, amount donated can be kept confidential or you can choose to publish your name and amount donated.

If you can’t donate then please help spread this message by sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social media tools.

I thank you. The Faulkner family thanks you and the citizens of the Philippines thank you.

Sardinia’s Deadly Streets

car-accident-collision-mdFrom my safe, comfortable living-room I can hear ambulance sirens ring out, and I hope this time nobody has lost their life but it’s never that easy in Sardinia as every summer hundreds of people die on Sardinia’s deadly streets.

The statics are staggering, sad and preventable: every year day hundreds of people die on the streets of Sardinia from speed alone. The period between May to September is the worst time for street accidents as the roads are full of tourists who do not know how to drive on these curvy mountain roads.

Below are a few links related to deadly car accidents in Sardinia.

Car accidents in Sardinia a complete up-to-date list of road accidents in Sardinia.
Two dead in car accident in Sardinia
massacre on the streets of Sardinia: Two dead in Badesi
Sardinia – the cold, the wind, the sun … the car accident.

Most accidents in Sardinia are speed and alcohol related. Most of these accidents take the lives of innocent people who were just out for a morning ride on their Vespa.

Here are a few pointers on how to drive and stay alive in Sardinia

  • Wear your seatbelt at all times
  • Know the rules of the road for the country you are in
  • Use caution
  • If you are lost, pull-over and ask for directions
  • Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by Sardinia’s beauty while driving
  • Keep your eyes on the road
  • Use a GPS or a passenger to help with maps and directions
  • Allow the speeders behind you to pass by slightly yielding to the right
  • Never drink and drive. Ever!

On August 17th, 1997 I was pulled over for speeding and the police officer gave me two choices:

  1. Pay the hefty $500 speeding fine, or
  2. Go to an eight-hour lecture on road safety at the local university.

I choose option number 2, as on August 19th I was headed to Australia for a year of backpacking and I needed that $500 to help support my nomadic lifestyle.

8473283-illustration-seamless-pattern-car-crashThe lecture was a lecture of the best kind; complete with a slide show of the after effects of speeding and alcohol related accidents. I saw photos of cars that were demolished beyond recognition, photos of people with blood running down their face and even of people dead in their car, on the side of the road, in a tree, bush and on the other side of the highway. I was scared. Scared to death to speed again.

After that lecture as I was driving home slightly under the speed limit, I saw the aftermath of a car accident, a truly strange coincidence. It must have happened only seconds before my arrival as I saw people crawling out of the median ditch with blood splattered faces, their cars upside down, smashed and demolished. At that moment fear took hold of me and I vowed to never speed again.

It’s not possible for me to write only about the glitter and sand in Sardinia when there’s a whole other truth to be told.

Don’t let the sirens from an ambulance be the last thing you hear while on vacation in paradise.

Don’t drink and drive. Arrive alive.

When paradise turns deadly – Sardinia’s Somber Secret

Jennifer Avventura 2012 (15)Surprise washed over him as he found himself lying on the hard tiled floor of a pharmacy in a small fishing village on the coast of northwest Sardinia, Italy. “What am I doing here?” he thought as people curiously gathered around him. Continue reading

Stefano Cucca – the Sardinian man who left his home to bicycle around the world

On June 8th, 2013, 34-year-old Stefano Cucca left his home in Sorso, Sardinia to bicycle around the world to promote sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyles. Thus far, Stefano has ridden 30,000 kilometers and he hasn’t left Sardinia, yet.

The idea for this project came to him on one of his many voyages across the globe. Continue reading

A rum tour from Jamaica’s Appleton Estate

The Appleton Estate distillery is located in the picturesque Nassau Valley in the parish of St. Elizabeth. They have been distilling rum for 260 years with the age-old process of time and patience.

We spent a wonderful morning there, having a private tour and tasting every type of rum on offer. Extracting sugarcane juice was one of the ancient traditions of which we partook and even got to taste the fruits of our labour. Yum!

6-year-old aged rum at the Appleton Estate

Appleton Estate Jamaica by Jennifer Avventura 2013

Me in the carefully selected barrel room – full of rum!

At Appleton, the rum is aged in oak barrels which allows for a smooth and mellow spirit. The slow distillation process creates a flavourful and delicate rum, one that you won’t soon forget.

Do you enjoy rum or wine tours while on vacation?

Notes from 1997 | An Australian Maverick

This is a second installment on my series Notes from 1997. To read the first chapter click here. Enjoy.

“Bondi beach stop,” yelled the handsome bus driver in his smooth Australian accent.  I didn’t want to get off that bus … because the driver was the spitting image of Tom Cruise from the 1986 film Top Gun. With his silver aviator shades and black tussle hair he gave me a slight wink as I gathered my backpack and headed for the exit. Images of being whisked away in fighter jets to exotic locations around the world while Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone played in the background; I found my young head disrupted and my motor skills failed.

“Ma’am, you okay?” He grabbed me by the elbow and helped me up. “Uh – thanks. Just got in yesterday, I’m a little jet lagged.”

“Welcome to Australia. Is this your stop – Bondi Beach?” Was it my stop? I couldn’t even remember what day it was; he was nice and über cute in a young Tom Cruise-ish way and a sex-bomb – eat your heart out Kelly Mcgillis.

“Yes, yes, this is my stop. Thank you.” Embarrassed I turned to get one last look at his beautiful Australian perfection. His blue bus driver uniform was perfectly pressed, probably thanks to Momma; his arm muscles bulged under his shirt; his chest muscles, pumped from hours at the gym and his name tag read – Maverick.

My eyes did not deceive me. I read it right and I read it twice – Maverick. I tried to look through his aviator shades at his eyes as the sun reflected the twinkle that was already displayed in his smile. He smiled a beautiful smile as I swung my backpack over my shoulder and asked “You’re name is Maverick? You look like …” He didn’t give me a chance to finish “Maverick is my nickname on the bus my real name is Tom Crusher.” He held out his rugged, tanned hand.

“Well, nice to meet you T-T-Tom.” I held out my hand – goshdarnnit he was beautifully beautiful. “If you’d like to get a drink sometime … here’s my card.” I handed him my business/travel card which was complete with email, Canadian address, Mom’s phone number and a huge Canadian Maple Leaf image.

“I feel the need …” His pause was dramatic and the heavy sighs from the bus patrons grew with each passing moment. I pinched myself, this is not a movie – this is for real; he feels the need to … oh god! I’m never leaving Australia or this bus.

“I feel the need for speed. Do you like Harley Davidson’s – you know the motorcycle? If ya do … I’d like to take you on a tour of Sydney, on the back of my hog. How about tomorrow? It’s my day off; we could pack a light picnic and check out the sights on the other side of the harbour.”

“I do feel the need, the need for speed. Tomorrow sounds great! Where shall we meet?” My heart pulsated and my knees grew weak for tomorrow could not come fast enough.

“I’ll pick you up, right here, at this bus stop. I’ll be here at eleven-thirty. I look forward to seeing you. Oh – and wear those jeans.”

Applause erupted from within the bus, romantic hope applause or hurry up and get off the bus applause, it didn’t matter.

“Eleven-thirty, I’ll be here … in these jeans and don’t forget those specks and you can leave your cowboy boots on.”

I walked off the bus to the rush of fresh salt air; beach-goers busied themselves burying umbrella poles in the sand when I heard the sound of the closing bus doors. I raised my hand to wave goodbye. Maverick beeped the buses’ horn, smiled a Cheshire smile, waved and drove away.

*************************************************************************

I hope you enjoyed the story. I am open to positive critique, thank you for reading.

A magical trip down Halloween lane

Halloween is my favourite festival of the year. There is something magical and mysterious about donning a costume, painting your face and taking on a whole other persona; it’s the only time where we can pretend to be someone or something else without ridicule. Most of my childhood I spent in costume, whether it was for a dance recital, a soccer game or just playing around the house with face paints; it was truly a magical childhood.

Follow me on a voyage down Halloween lane.

(click on any image to view in a spooky slideshow.)

Happy Halloween from Jennifer Avventura.

Do you celebrate Halloween? What are some of your customs?

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