Fort Pickens, FL

Over the last few years I’ve always made an effort to explore and get to know each unique place I have lived. Today my friend Brittany and I ventured out to historical Fort Pickens. Built in the 1830’s its purpose was to protect and defend the township of Pensacola.

Now the site is merely ruins; full of tunnels and damp, brick hallways dripping with stalactites and mold. A visitor can spend hours wandering through the crumbling hallways and rooms of the old fort. Quite a unique experience.

Brittany is a new friend and great photographer! She was teaching me the basics for a good shot on my new Canon Rebel SL1. 

Wearing: Free People shorts, similar ones here | Top from Pure Pilates in Pensacola | Georgina Sandal sold here or at Scout Boutique, also in Pensacola.

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There’s A Party On My Pants

I’m extra excited about yoga tonight thanks to my new Fiesta Leggings from Pure Pilates in Pensacola! I stopped by their shop on Palafox last week for the first time and was certainly happy about it. They had some awesome athletic pieces to motivate any type of sportswoman. I’m a sucker for colors and prints so I could not say ‘no’ to these leggings. They’re extremely lightweight and breathable, perfect for any class, especially hot yoga.

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Food For Thought: The Art of Stillness

I took my first hot yoga class this evening. I’ve been practicing at URU Yoga & Beyond in Pensacola, Florida. I’ll admit, after a day of work, hot yoga really kicked my ass. It was one of those workouts that pisses you off and makes you want to work harder.

At the end of the class, while we were in shavasana, the teacher had some great quote that I mentally logged to look up later.

In an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still. So you can go on your next vacation to Paris or Hawaii, or New Orleans; I bet you’ll have a wonderful time. But, if you want to come back home alive and full of fresh hope, in love with the world, I think you might want to try considering going nowhere.

I found that the quote was from a Ted Talk given by Pico Iyer in November of 2014. Iyer is a British travel writer with a great backstory including teaching at Harvard and working for Time magazine. After watching his 15 minute talk I’m feeling quite inspired. At age 29, Iyer decided to give up his ‘dream life’ and moved to Kyoto, Japan in search of stillness and ‘going nowhere’.

Iyer describes ‘going nowhere’ as taking a few minutes out of every day or a few days out of every season, or even, as some people do, a few years out of a life in order to sit still long enough to find out what moves you most, to recall where your truest happiness lies and to remember that sometimes making a living and making a life point in opposite directions.”

Much of our lives are spent in our minds, memories, and imaginations. Iyer notes that I found that the best way that I could develop more attentive and more appreciative eyes was, oddly, by going nowhere, just by sitting still.”

I have found in my personal life that whenever I attempt mindfulness or stillness, I struggle with what I may be missing while away, or what I could or should be doing for someone else. Iyer makes a good point:

And every season I do try to take three days off on retreat but a part of me still feels guilty to be leaving my poor wife behind and to be ignoring all those seemingly urgent emails from my bosses and maybe to be missing a friend’s birthday party. But as soon as I get to a place of real quiet, I realize that it’s only by going there that I’ll have anything fresh or creative or joyful to share with my wife or bosses or friends. Otherwise, really, I’m just foisting on them my exhaustion or my distractedness, which is no blessing at all.

While I haven’t physically tried to get away, this point hits close to home. Somedays I don’t realize what I could be bringing to the table in terms of ideas or attitude. I’m extremely guilty of being distracted and really up until now, haven’t realized how much my distractedness can affect those around me.

After watching this video, I’m now challenging myself to get my distractedness under control. From using my glowing screens less before bed to just being still in times of wait, I plan to incorporate stillness into my every day life.

Consider The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer added to my “To Read…” list.

The Broad Abroad Pt. 5 – What Travel ‘Looks’ Like

Hi again. In an attempt to make my blog more relevant I’ve collected photos of some of my favorite travel looks. Past posts elaborate on the actual travels, but now I want to incorporate my style choices. When I moved to the Czech Republic I took two suitcases and left a closet full of clothes in storage, woe is me. I managed to pack sensibly, as well as fashionably, for a warm fall and cool winter in central Europe.

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Paris, France Wearing: J Brand denim | Chelsea Boot by Clarks | Faux fur scarf from Madewell

 

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Vienna, Austria -Schönbrunn Palace Wearing: This Top Shop coat and H&M bag haunt my winter travels, it was always so cold that I ended up wearing my coat in almost every photo. It served me well along with the oversize, inexpensive bag. Perfect for carrying all travel necessities.

 

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Vienna, Austria – MuseumsQuartier Wearing: I managed to ditch the coat on second trip to Austria, as it was ever so slightly warmer. Top from Zara | Denim by French Connection | Chelsea Boot by Clarks

 

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Prague, Czech Repubic Wearing: Knee-high wool socks | Leather pleated skirt from Top Shop | Sleeveless top from Top Shop

 

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Czech Countryside Wearing: Adidas insulated running tights | Boots by Dr. Martens | My dad’s old plaid button-up | Vest by J-Crew | Kipling bag

 

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Berlin, Germany – The Berlin Wall Wearing: Faux fur coat from Zara | Top Shop denim | Puma tennis shoes (Thanks Cassy!)

 

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Paris, France Wearing: Turtle neck and skirt from TopShop

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**Below are more looks of key pieces recycled throughout my adventures.

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Český Krumlov, South Bohemia

 

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Prague, Czech Republic – Abandoned warehouse

 

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Switching trains in Linz, Austria

 

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Vienna, Austria – MuseumsQuartier

 

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In “The Nature” Czech Republic

 

Prague, Czech Republic – John Lennon Wall

 

Prague, Czech Republic – The Magical Cavern

 

 

 

The Broad Abroad Pt. 3 – Oktoberfest

I’m on a roll today, making up for ten months (or, a life?) of lost time. So, Oktoberfest 2014.

The Language House (TLH) came to a close days before the final weekend of Oktoberfest, how incredibly convenient. We booked our travels late in the game, but I was lucky to have friends already in Munich. We piggy backed on their plans and were fortunate enough to share their hotel room. After the final TLH exam we hopped on a Bavaria-bound train. After hours of riding through Czech Republic and German countrysides, slugging bier, and belting out songs with new friends from Israel, we arrived at München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Main Train Station).  Because it was already late on Thursday night we were greeted with hoards of drunk, dirndl and lederhosen-clad Germans fisting pretzels into their mouths, bellowing Ein Prosit (I salute you), and attempting to make their way home for the night. I wouldn’t expect to arrive any other way.

Upon arriving at the hotel I found a note and a bottle of vodka demanding that we catch up and meet my friends at a bar in the area. We wouldn’t want to upset our friends, now would we? We followed their instructions and kicked off Oktoberfest the right way.

After having experienced Munich’s Starkbierfest, or Strong Beer Festival, in February of 2012, I was well equipped for another Bavarian experience with my pink and green dirndl.

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The Broad Abroad Pt. 2 – The Language House

“Why was she going to Prague?” her reader wonders aloud.

To make sense of the situation, let me rewind to about this same time last summer. I spent close to a year and a half working for a Fashion PR company in West Hollywood, CA as the team’s Development Coordinator. It was my duty to create press releases for our 20+ client brands and blast off to all sorts of industry representatives. We collaborated with designers and brand reps to coordinate gifting for VIP and celebrity talent. I worked under my manager to create strategic gifting placements and ran office deliveries. I also assisted in management of all facets of social media. All in all, it was a great first job, with even better people. As the months went on, my feet began to itch and I began scheming different ways to get out of the country.  I decided that Teaching English as a Foreign Language was my best, and safest, option.

I did a general search, read some blogs, and stumbled on The Language House in Prague. I jumped through the company hoops just to feel it out, baby steps here and baby steps there – without making any real commitments. Next thing I know, I’m chugging wine and putting down a deposit. I told my job shortly after that I would be done at the end of summer. I spent the next few months planning, arranging storage, and pretending to study English.

In September 2014 I made my final travel arrangements and moved to the Czech Republic. It could be said that I should have done a bit more research, with such a big move and all, but apparently I just got lucky. The TEFL course took up most of September, it gave me all the skills necessary to teach English and also refreshed my memory on all things English language. Upon arriving to Prague, The Language House sets up housing with other students for the month. They did a great job of really helping us integrate into the new country, from a city tour, to a crash course in the Czech language, they really set us up for success in our new home. It should also be noted that they do a wonderful job of building a community around their new students, within the first week I had many new friends who were currently in the course, as well as previous graduates of the program!

I could go on and on about this course as it was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If anyone happens across this post and would like any more information, please don’t hesitate to email me at sakehm@gmail.com. I’d be happy to give a more in depth review and answer any questions!

Below are some photos of my favorite TEFL Language House memories.

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The Broad Abroad Pt. 1 – Oslo, Norway

Throughout the past few years I’ve had many opportunities to travel and see much of Europe. Through studying abroad at Lorenzo ‘de Medici in Florence to taking a semester at London College of Fashion, a flop of an “accessory design” internship in London, to teaching English in the Czech Republic, I’ve had my fair share of exposure to the wonderful cultures and people of pwanet earf.

I’ve gotten many inquiries about my most recent stint in the Old World, I’ll follow up with that in a future post as it is worthy of a full-blown review.

During my initial trip to Prague last fall, I had a quick stop over in Oslo. I couldn’t resist the temptation to hop on the fast train into the city for some quick sightseeing before jetting off to my final destination.

On the train I met a young Frenchman, whose name is escaping me at the moment. He had been road tripping around the New World with his American girlfriend. Also stopping over quickly in Oslo, we decided we would enjoy the city together, who doesn’t like making new friends? We explored the areas close to the airport, enjoyed a picnic in a garden, watched some pigeons, and went our separate ways.

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