Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

I’ve spent the last five days pondering where exactly is home for me? Is it Canada, where I was born and raised? Or, is it the stunning mountainous ranges of Sardinia, Italy that I married into? Or, is it the seven mile long stretches of sand in Grand Cayman that I call home?

This is what home represents to me:

Canada

I was raised on this plot of land, I ran circles around my grandfather as he mowed the lawn on the driving lawn mower. I found kittens in the kids mini-house and watched them grow into mewing adults and there once stood a 5 bedroom house and a mountain of memories.

Weekly Photo Challenge Home by Jennifer Avventura 2013

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Sardinia, Italy

For the past five years I have called this amazing island my home. I have hiked from one mountain to the next, stopped at farms to watch running horses or to see the birth of a new baby lamb. I have witnessed the worlds best beaches and swam in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Sardinia has stolen my heart, she is my home.

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Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Thirteen years ago this tiny island in the Caribbean was my home; a few months ago she became my home once more. With her inviting waters and seven miles of beach, it is here where I relax, it is only here, at this time in my life that I will call her home.

How many homes do you have?

This is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Home. To see how others live around the world, click here.

Travel Theme: Mystical Niagara Falls

I see Canada as a country torn between a very northern, rather extraordinary, mystical spirit … ” – Robertson Davies

(click on any image to view in a larger format.)

This is my response to the weekly travel theme from Ailsa from Where’s my backpack. To check out more awesome mystical photos click here.

“It’s getting so cold, I wanna put my toque on.” – Coldtober in Sardinia

Cold air. Cold in here. Cold air. It’s getting cold in here. So, put on all your clothes. It’s getting so cold, I wanna put my toque on!” Sung to the tune of Nelly’s – Hot in Here.

It’s not only sunshine and rainbows on the second largest island in the Mediterranean; it also gets cold, very cold. Autummer no longer, ’tis now the season of Coldtober. Coldtober has generally been my favourite month in Sardinia.

NOT THIS YEAR!

Last October we had beautiful Autummer days where we lazed on empty beaches, not a tourist in sight. But this year, this year it’s been a rotten wet and cold Coldtober.

The following photo I snapped yesterday afternoon. We’d just received yet another lashing of torrential rain with a snowy mixture of hail and winds so fierce that it made the hail seem like bullets hitting against the side of the house. It was intense.

Bravely I tried to stick my head out the bathroom window; I wanted to snap a photo of this great tempesta. The hail was unforgiving and the wind relentless. I got walloped in the face with hail, wind and rain – certainly not your expectations of a beautiful blue paradise. Afraid for my camera, I retreated back inside to the warm comforts of my bed and with remote control beside me I popped in a chick flick.

Today – I dress myself as follows. I’m not kidding.

Me and my Canadian toque

Wicked weather all over the world. Just last week I was in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, we debated going to the beach but instead decided to clean out the car.

In western Canada there was a large earthquake registered at 6.3M which caused a Tsunami alert for Hawaii just 18 hours ago.

In Queens and Manhattan people were told to evacuate as Sandy starts her wicked decent on the east coast of USA and Canada.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods? Are you in Sandy’s path?

How to overcome fear while traveling on the road

There are a few things in life, for which I am deathly afraid of. My blood begins to boil at just the thought of seeing or being involved in one of these things. Here’s  a quick Top 10 list of my fears.

My Top 10 Fears

10. Snakes
9. Cows
8. Horses
7. Goats
6. Anything with antlers
5. Being a passenger in a fast car
4. Bungee jumping
3. Big, long bridges
2. Heights
1. Drowning

Numbers 1-3 really freak my freak and as a traveler there are times you can’t get from A to B without crossing a bridge. In 2005 there was one bridge which I crossed in Brazil. I was going from Rio de Janeiro to Cabo Frio; it was a hot, three-hour bus ride from hell.

We had just turned a corner when I noticed a low bridge in the distance which covered a huge body of water. My first thought was that the bridge is too low, but maybe it’s better because I don’t like heights. I started to get anxious and my travel partner assured me that we would be okay. I kept envisioning the bus careening off the bridge into the water; I thought maybe the bus driver is having a bad day or life and today is his day to stop living and I thought about some crazed passenger seizing the bus and driving it into the huge body of water.

None of this happened – thankfully.

In 2007 I boarded a plane for Vancouver, British Columbia where I met up with an old roommate from Cayman Islands. It was just like old times – two friends reminiscing about the good times on Seven Mile Beach; laughing at silly tales of stealing Vespa’s and riding to Rum Point; drinking too many cocktails and riding our bicycles back home – those were the days.

My friend thought it would be a super idea to rent scooters for the day to scoot all over Vancouver’s lovely streets and parks, I eagerly agreed – even though I had never operated a scooter in my life, maybe it’s like riding a bike, I thought.

After a few spins around the Rent-A-Scooter parking lot, I was confident enough to hit the road. I followed my friends lead onto the busy roads, I felt a little vulnerable – the only protection was my helmet, I wished for a full body suit.

We scooted here and we scooted there. I yelled to my friend to slow down but for her, riding a scooter was like riding a bike – easy. I brought up the tail end when I noticed a King Kong sized bridge up ahead. I thought no waaaaaay! We are not – no, I am not going on that bridge.

I screamed out my friend’s name but she could not hear me – the traffic was increasing as were the transport trucks and the traffic lanes were doubling.

Oh dear me – she is crossing the bridge. Do I chicken out? What do I do? Mommy??? Is it legal to drive a scooter across this bridge? What if my scooter decides to do the funky dance over the railing and into the water? These were the thoughts crossing my mind.

Thankfully – none of the above happened.

Lion’s Gate Bridge – Vancouver, British Columbia

Source: Wikipedia

And me, in the Rent-A-Scooter parking lot, before the bridge.

In the span of three seconds, as I entered that bridge the top three things I’m deathly afraid of soon became a reality.

How do you overcome fear while on the road?

My advice is – Just do it! You won’t regret it.

I didn’t chicken out, I didn’t allow fear to stop me from experiencing the single most frighteningly fantastic event of my life. I did it!

How have you overcome fear while on the road?

Source: Lions Gate Bridge via Wikipedia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

silhouette is the image of a person, an object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single color, usually black, its edges matching the outline of the subject. The interior of a silhouette is basically featureless, and the whole is typically presented on a light background, usually white, or none at all. The silhouette differs from an outline which depicts the edge of an object in a linear form, while a silhouette appears as a solid shape. Silhouette images may be created in any visual artistic media.¹

Silhouette photos haunt me; this week’s photo challenge haunts me. I’m not super artistic when it comes to these types of shots and actually prefer to never take them. It wouldn’t be called a challenge if it weren’t, well, challenging.

Do your silhouette photo’s have hints of colour like mine?

This is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Source: Wikipedia¹

1st International Day of the Girl | October 11, 2012

The United Nations has officially declared October 11, 2012 as the world’s first International Day of the Girl Child.

The theme of this year’s IDG is ending ‘child’ marriage.

Over 30% of girls in developing countries are married before 18 years of age; around 14% are married before the age of 15. Early marriage is a risk factor for early pregnancy and poor reproductive health outcomes. Furthermore it perpetuates the cycle of under-education and poverty.³

Facts

Around the World ¹

  • Around the globe, girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys.
  • Of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls.
  • Each year roughly two million girls between the ages of 5 and 15 are trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade.
  • Girls are disproportionately affected by a number of harmful practices, including early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • Girls continue to face obstacles in access to education and other basic services. 

In Canada ²

  • Young women from 15 to 19 experience nearly 10 times the rate of dating violence as young men.
  • Nearly 70% of victims of internet intimidation are women or young girls.
  • Girls and young women are nearly twice as likely as young men and boys to suffer certain mental health issues, such as depression.
  • Issues of body image and self-esteem remain prevalent among girls.

We must empower our young girls with a healthy self-esteem and the right tools for a brighter future.

We must put a stop to the suffering of a ‘child’ marriage.

If you’ve read this far I highly suggest you read: Canada’s Honourary Youth Ambassador  for International Day of the Girl 2012 – Ms. Alaina Podmorow. She began her quest for change when she was just nine years old. She is now fifteen years old and has won several awards in Canada for her continued support for young girls in Afghanistan. She’s an inspiration for young women everywhere.

Are you wondering what I’m going to do for International Day of the Girl?

  • I will blog, tweet and FB about International Day of the Girl.
  • I will go to my English tutoring session this afternoon and empower two young Italian minds to be the best they can be!
  • I will spread the message to my three young nieces, who, I hope will spread the message along to their friends.
  • I will hold this close to my heart until there is an end to ‘child’ marriage.

What will you do?

1 Sources: Plan Canada; UN Women.
2 Source: Statistics Canada
³ Source: WHO International Day of the Girl Child

My Sardinian Life Travels the World

It was an overcast afternoon when I decided to check my all-time views by country. Addicted to watching my stats climb … and fall but I rarely check out the country views.

Surprised to see that 17,764 Americans had checked into My Sardinian Life – what y’all searching for? One of the most searched for phrase on My Sardinian Life is ‘system error.’ Is it possible that 17,764 of you found this? Pretty awesome, eh? Thanks America, you rock!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

This weeks challenge is all about people and the things they do. I’ve never been one to photograph people as I prefer rolling landscapes and blue waters, so I’ve dug a little deep to find some people pics. I hope you enjoy.

Two days ago a mistral blew through northern Sardinia and we headed to the beach to roll in the waves. Elated to see about eight surfers in the water, I knew what I had to do next; out came the camera and I snapped away. Surfing is an everyday occurence (when the weather permits) for many surfers in this neck of the woods.

A few years ago I made my way back to Canada for a visit. Along with my sister and her beautiful family we drove to Gatineau, Quebec to visit my sister’s in-laws. We had many beautiful adventures: walking among the freshly fallen rustic leaves and watching the ripples fade in a mirror-like pond.

We also went tobogganing!

Prague is one of my all time favourite cities, and I don’t like large cities. I climbed the bell tower and snapped this photo of everyday life in Prague.

My girlfriends and I packed up the car and drove to New Hampshire for a four-day long weekend. Surprised to see the New Hampshire Police force using this mode of transportation; I guess it’s part of their everyday life, I sure had a giggle.

In 2007 I had the pleasure of traveling to Santorini, Greece with this group of fabulous travelers. I have been a member on Virtual Tourist since 2005 when I was searching for information on Brazil. These people are a wealth of information and are a great group to ride a donkey up a steep mountain with. I would do it again, yes I would!

Now the following photo shows my everyday life, albeit six years ago when I was running around as a waitress in a busy restaurant overlooking Niagara Falls, Canada. I loved my job, really I did. This photo is dedicated to one special person, and all the douchebags that don’t tip!

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