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I have deep love and appreciation for Milan. I lived in the city a few times in my life, while modeling, and It never ceases to amaze me how much you can do in this city and how many great spots are there to see! Including, amazing hotels! Townhouse Duomo is a five-star hotel located above the Duomo Square, one of the hottest locations in Milan. If you are looking to explore the city of fashion in great style, this is definitely for you. We stayed in one of the 8 beyond sophisticated suites with the unbeatable views of the Duomo Cathedral and I must confess that at first, I thought the special touch about this hotel was the views of the Duomo and the views only, but then, I was really amazed by what I experienced. Milan can be very chaotic at times, and it worried me that staying right above the Duomo (one of the hottest touristic spots) would be very loud. Again, I was surprised. What I loved the most about TownHouse Duomo was it’s calming-spa feeling. It didn’t feel like I was in the heart of the city after all. Accommodations The 8 suites facing the Duomo are all different from each other. Yep, that’s right. Each suite was designed by a different Italian architect, and they all got 3 things in common: elegance, comfort and a ton of style! Beautiful spacious bed, very cozy atmosphere, big windows, private balcony with breathtaking views, rain shower, Nahho bathtub, complete toiletries kit, full mini-bar, room service, etc. The longest bathtub I have ever seen. Kudos to Nahho tubs! If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for a great tub. If you don’t know me, that’s all you need to know about me (smiley face included here). I’m 5’11 and usually I can’t really stretch my legs completely in any bathtub, so… YAY! Fine dining restaurants Townhouse Duomo has 3 restaurants: Terrazza Duomo 21 – Weather you just want to grab a cocktail, a bite or go for fine dining, you will enjoy this place. It also has amazing views of the Duomo. We enjoyed drinks and lunch here. Pavarotti Restaurant Museum – Authentic Italian food and ambience decor in tribute of one of the greatest artists; Pavarotti. Felix Lo Basso – Last but not least! The one-star Michelin chef Felice Lo Basso will make sure you have an amazing time and taste of his refined cuisine.   Townhouse Duomo also offers a complimentary tour of the galleria and they provide exclusive concierge services. For more information, you can check out their website: TownHouse Duomo Disclaimer: We had the pleasure to partner with TownHouse Duomo in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own, even when I’m often silly. If you are headed to Milan, I hope you have an amazing time! Enjoy it for me and, you know:    
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I always dreamed about visiting Cappadocia, in Turkey, and to find the perfect hotel was my number one mission. I have been to many hotels and I want to say that it was a blessing to have come across Azure Cave Suites. The way we were treated was out of this world amazing. The owner and staff were the kindest people, taking care of every single detail – it truly made us feel at home. The hotel is on the top of a hill right by the Çavusin Castle – the views were astonishing and so peaceful. Azure Cave Suites is 10 minutes away from Goreme, the main tourist center in Cappadocia. How to get there Azure Cave Suites is located in Çavusin, and you have 2 airport choices to fly to/from. You can fly to Erkilet International Airport in Kayseri city, which is about an hour away from the hotel, or to Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport in Nevsehir city, which is about 40 minutes from the hotel. Usually a taxi from Kayseri to Azure is around 200 Turkish Lira (around USD $50). Once you get to the airport make sure you confirm with the taxi driver that the rate is 200TL, otherwise they will use the meter and it can be much more expensive than that. Also, I recommend having cash on you, If you only have credit card, make sure to confirm with the taxi driver before starting your ride. You can also use the public or private transfer from the airport to the hotel, and the concierge at Azure can book that for you. For the public transfer you pay 25TL (USD $6.50) per person and the private transfer from Kayseri is 200TL (USD $50) for 1 to 4 people/ from Nevsehir 150TL (USD $38) for 1 to 4 people.   The Cave Rooms Our first night, we stayed at the Superior Cave Suite #1. I was really impressed; like a child checking every single corner and details, touching the walls and ceiling, mesmerized! These cave rooms are 700 years old. Super clean and very cozy. The beds were very comfortable as well. The Superior Cave has a stone framed king size bed, a little desk area, rain shower and a large jacuzzi. The second night, we stayed at the Azure Honeymoon Suite #11. So spacious, also a king size bed, an amazing extra-large jacuzzi, rain shower, Turkish bath. The Azure Honeymoon suite has its own private balcony and from there you can watch the sunrise, see the balloons floating around, and also see the beautiful sunset. Also, from the jacuzzi you can see outside, but it’s very private since the doors are mirrored on the outside. All the rooms are equipped with toiletries, mini bar, safe, heat, tv and I also believe they all have a jacuzzi, if not all, definitely most of the rooms. Azure Honeymoon Suite #11    Superior Cave Room #1   Yummy Yummy in my tummy stuff Azure Cave Suites has a complimentary beverage and snack bar open from 08:30am to 10:00pm. Anytime you feel like snacking, there are some delicious pastries, cakes, tea, turkish and regular coffee waiting for you. Also, I was impressed with their breakfast, it’s a variety of yummyness that you can order from their menu. Azure Cave Suites doesn’t have its own restaurant, but it doesn’t matter because If you want to eat lunch or dinner at the hotel, they give you menus from a couple of restaurants and they can order food for you. There are also a couple of restaurants just down the street from the hotel that you can walk to.   What to do Right down the street from Azure is the Çavusin Castle; a sacred historical place, you can see the remains of the Church of St. John the Baptist inside of the Castle. It’s free and oh, so beautiful! If you are interested in doing the hot air balloon ride, Azure can book it for you, make sure to let them know in advance. Also If you don’t feel like enjoying the ride, you can watch the balloons floating around the hotel’s Terrace, get ready to wake up early. The balloon ride starts at sunrise. There are many touristic things to do in Cappadocia and Azure can help you book it all. Their concierge is open 24 hours and they are very kind to show you all the tours that works better for you. They also offer different promotions throughout the year, such as private breakfast at rooftop, honeymoon packages, etc. Check it out: Azure Cave Suites Also, don’t forget that amazing jacuzzi and some “me” time with a nice glass of Turkish wine; which btw is delicious! Whenever you go to Azure Cave Suites give them all a big hug for me.   Dear Zerrin, thank you so much for a beautiful time! We are very grateful for your kindness and we think about Cappadocia and Azure all the time. We will be back very soon. Much love!  
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First of all, I need to contain myself so this post isn’t 10 years long! This place is beyond special and my heart smiles because so many beautiful moments happened here. Santhiya Resort is located in an island called Koh Yao Yai, in Thailand. Between Phuket and Krabi, this little paradise with sandy shores is the perfect place to stay If you are planing to visit Phuket, the Phi Phi islands, or to just love and enjoy yourself fully. Koh Yao Yai is a very special place, not only because of it’s enchanting views but also because of it’s people. The main religion in Thailand is buddhism but the majority of the people who live in Koh Yao Yai are muslim, and the tradition culture is very strong. They lead a simple life making a living out of fishing, building boats and farming. These people taught me so much about humbleness, love and kindness. I hope you have the chance to experience this place one day. How to get there The only way to get to the island is by boat and you have two options: If you don’t want to deal with booking everything on your own, you can make arrangements with the hotel. If you are flying into Phuket, you can book their package that includes shuttle van + speedboat for 1,250 baht/USD $37 (per person). It takes 30 minutes from airport to Ao Po Grand Marina pier, and 20 minutes from pier to the Hotel. The hotel has it’s own pier, so you arrive directly at the hotel. Second option, If you don’t care to do everything on your own, it might be slightly longer but much cheaper; you can get a taxi from the airport to the Bang Rong Pier (around 500 baht/USD $15), then from Bang Rong pier you get on a speedboat to Koh Yao Yai (around 120 baht/ USD$3 per person) and finally, once in Koh Yao Yai island, you can get a taxi or tuk-tuk to Santhiya Resort (prices may vary). Since it was our first time on Koh Yao Yai and we were traveling for nearly 30 hours between long flights and connections, we chose to have the hotel do it all for us and booked their package. Once you get to the hotel, they greet you with a delicious lemongrass iced tea, and a complimentary 25min neck massage. When it’s 100oF outside; Iced tea + neck massage + paradise= heaven. Once the massage is done, they bring you the check-in papers to you. We arrived super early in the morning and our room wasn’t ready yet, but we were still able to take a shower and enjoy the hotel facilities.         Where to eat The hotel has 6 restaurants and they serve authentic Thai food, Western cuisine, authentic European, etc. There is also in-room dining and you can even book a romantic private dinner at the beach. We opted in for breakfast included rate and I’m so happy we did it. Their breakfast buffet is extensive and insanely good, no photos could do it justice. Also, you are in for a treat with the view. Breakfast is served at Saaitara restaurant, they also serve lunch and dinner. The food is very well made and so delicious, my favorite dish was the risotto. Peter loved the Thai food, and one day out of curiosity I ordered a hot dog, and it was amazing!   What to do *Private Beach Paddle boards and kayak rental is complimentary. You can also just relax on the lounge chairs, order food and even get a full body massage.   *Main pool and infinity pool There are two amazing pools for all guests to enjoy; the main pool, which is huge and has a beautiful waterfall, and also the infinity pool with an amazing panoramic ocean view.   *SPA | Massages The spa is divine, smells like heaven and it’s pristine clean. The ladies are so sweet and respectful. Once you get there, they give you tea and a cold towel to freshen up. The spa offers many packages; massages, body scrubs, baths, mani and pedi, facial etc. After your treatment, they offer you an amazing dessert. Massages can go from $50 to $200 depending on what you choose. For the packages price may vary.   *Other Features They offer complimentary Yoga and Muay Thai classes everyday. You can also book cooking and dancing classes for a fee. You also get to enjoy the fitness center, beauty salon and their souvenir shop. I highly encourage you to get out of the resort and go exploring around. The souvenirs outside the resort are much cheaper, and you get to contribute to the locals! When traveling to Thailand (or anywhere where the culture is different than yours), please be mindful, learn and be respectful. We experienced nothing but love from these people, and we truly left with our hearts full of gratitude. Special thanks to Aminta and Fern, these two beauties below that made our stay even more amazing! “Kob kun ka” ladies, until next time!          
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Before we dive into this, can you tell me how is it already September? Isn’t it crazy how fast time is passing by? Are you overwhelmed, or feel like you are spending most of your time doing things for others and doing almost nothing for yourself? I know a lot of people feeling this way, they are not rich of the new currency. Are you one of them? I was talking to a dear friend of mine, and we were dreaming about having more hours in the day so we could do more of what we love. Less work hours, more sleep hours, but then we came up with the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter. If we had 36 hours instead of 24, we’d still do exactly as we do now, and not take enough time to ourselves. Because that’s what we do, we procrastinate, specially when we are the subject. Have you ever questioned why is that? Some people wake up everyday already tired or irritated, in a hurry, many times to go to a job that doesn’t fulfill them. If all of your time is dedicated to your partner, children, work, friends, family, co-workers, and none to you, you need to think about this. Have you ever noticed that it might be because there is something about you, that you don’t want to deal with? You don’t want to recognize that your fears are taking over your actions, and that you think you are not enough, or that your life is meaningless. That’s a reflection of guilt. These are fabricated stories you keep telling yourself. These are choices you are making unconsciously, and you know that If you use your time to make it about others, then you will succeed by not making it about you. I’m going to use this time and space, to encourage you to make a full stop and notice what’s happening around you. It’s time to be about you. And please, love that. Make an effort to make time. How about less time on social media feeding yourself with comparison and enviousness? How about less time watching the news and feeding yourself with all the negativity and misleading information? Instead, feed yourself with nutritious positivity, joy, love and compassion. Taking time is a mindset. If you believe you don’t have time, and you say it out loud, it turns out you will always be in conflict, full of problems to solve, and guess what? Yes, you won’t have time for anything. Spending time with preoccupied thoughts of the past or future pushes you away from mindfulness. Make an effort to bring yourself to the present moment. Here are 5 quick steps to make better use of your time and appreciate yourself more. 1. Create a positive Mindset Positive thinking is the cure for everything. Think that negative thoughts can turn into internalized feelings, so how about start your day with positive affirmations, such as “Today will be a great day” or “I am grateful for Today”? Self affirmations can improve your life in so many ways. Don’t “should” yourself. You did exactly what was meant to be done, and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Also, take care of your surroundings. Surrounding yourself only with takers can leave you drained, irritated, even depressed. We all experience moments of self-doubt, it’s part of being human. Watch your thoughts so they don’t become habits, do your best to improve the positivity around you and inspire your family, friends and co-workers to do the same. 2. Stay away from gossip Everyone has a friend or a co-worker that loves gossiping. If you don’t have one, maybe you are the gossiper. Gossiping is a bad habit, do what you can to get rid of it. Hating, ridiculing, holding grudges, only shows you have so much work to do on yourself. It’s unhealthy, and If you are not the one bringing the gossip, remember, the same person who gossips to you, gossips about you. When you feel like saying something, ask yourself these 3 questions: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? If the answer is “no”, then zip it. #LetThatShitGo  #BreakTheGossipHabit 3. Use Social Media Wisely It’s very rare to find someone who is not on social media nowadays, and it’s even more rare to find someone who is not always checking how many likes per photo they got. To focus your energy on how many followers, how many likes or the perfect filter, is the ideal combination for depression. It decreases your productivity and self-esteem. Most of the content you see is not even real, or it could be real, but the person on the other side is also human, and also has imperfections, doubts and fear. It’s hard, I know, but try not to compare yourself to anyone. Also, try going electronic free for a few hours. I understand some people use a lot of social media for work (like me), and If you can’t checkout completely, focus on using it more for positivity and self-development. 4. Create your Zen Zone Nothing better than bringing yourself to the present moment, followed by a calm and organized environment. Remember, If it’s cluttered around your house, it’s cluttered inside your mind. Schedule some time to clean and organize your space. Spend some time looking for what calms you down, and that could be music, incense, lavender diffuser, some sage, stepping outside and enjoying nature, could even be just the sound of water playing in the background. 5. Meditate Let’s start with something simple but very important; be open to it. Even If you don’t know where to start, or have a hard time meditating, reserve some time to sit still everyday. Try 10 minutes, then 20, and upgrade as you go. As you sit still, pay attention to the emotions that rise up and stay with it. Don’t try to push it away or pretend you are not feeling it, allow yourself to have that feeling. Put your hand on your heart, feel the beat, breathe. If you want to go deep on mediation, you can find many free guided videos on Youtube. The present moment brings transformation from inside out. Take that moment to love yourself and honor the beauty that you are. I hope this post inspired you! If you enjoyed, please share with your friends and family ♥ xoxo Aryanne
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I understand the resistance to travel because of many factors, including money, time and the fear of the unknown. Some people often see it as a luxury, but the truth is; traveling can change your life. I’ve always seen traveling as the cure for everything. I choose to see the money and time as an investment, because that’s exactly what it is. There are so many possibilities and opportunities out there, you just have to go see it for yourself. Ready? Here are 10 reasons why travel should be the #1 thing you need to start investing in now!   1. You get to know yourself better Traveling broadens our admittedly narrow horizons, and help us grow in so many ways. I’m a believer that the place where you were born, says very little about who you are. There is so much more to be revealed. You are unlimited. When you start traveling, something inside you changes, you can’t fight it. It’s a beautiful transformation; you become happier. You see the world with the eyes of a child, you enjoy yourself more. You become more creative, inspired, curious, enchanted with the beauties you are yet to see and the ones you already fed your eyes with. Traveling is self-development, it teaches you about your own limitations and to value experiences, the present moments. You are bound to fall in love with something you didn’t even know existed. Another very important thing you learn is tolerance. A lot happens when you travel, and being patient is the key. Whether it is a delayed flight or an overweight baggage drama, you become less frustrated and learn to roll with things. Exchanging experiences with strangers and exploring through this amazing planet takes courage, and you will learn you got a ton of it inside you.   2. You Learn Other Cultures/Traditions When you travel, you have the opportunity to educate yourself. You not only learn about history, geography, economy but also, cultures and traditions. Once you dive into other cultures, it puts your whole world into perspective. You will be constantly surprised by each culture you learn. It’s all about being present, you have to experience it, and then you will understand exactly where the other person is coming from. Even If you don’t speak their language. To be interested in other cultures says so much about you. It shows respect, and people appreciate that a lot. You start treating people differently, the animals, the environment, and of course, yourself. You start seeing things from a different point of view. All of a sudden, you improve your senses; you observe more, listen better and detach yourself from judgment. “The beauty of the world, lies in the diversity of its people.” – Unknown   3. You Try Some AMAZING Food Let me start with this beautiful quote from Luke Barr: “Cooking and eating in a foreign country may be the surest, truest way to its soul”. If you look back at your most memorable moments, it probably involves food somehow. I mean, I don’t know about you but I love food. Every time I’m heading to a new destination, I think about all the amazing food that I will get to experience. I try to go eat at places where the locals do as much as possible. You want to immerse yourself in their culture, it brings people together. If you are a picky eater, you can take baby steps, ask around what’s the must-have dessert, for instance. You can’t go wrong with dessert, right? Actually, you can, (trust me on this), but at least you tried. Also, it doesn’t have to be super exotic, could be something simple with a traditional/cultural touch that you haven’t experienced before. Like a Vietnamese Iced Coffee. I’m not a huge coffee fan, but ever since I tried the Vietnamese Iced coffee, I crave it. And Brazilian coffee too, it’s amazing! My dad used to say that even If you haven’t enjoyed a certain type of food, you still have to try it again and again, in different places, cause everyone makes it differently. Food is love, be open to try new things, even if it’s for the sake of improving your palate.   4. It Kills The Ego If your ego is attached to the material world, traveling will be a huge positive lesson. On our last trip to Thailand, we stayed at an amazing luxury resort in Koh Yao Yai. The resort was so big, that even spending around 6 nights there, we didn’t get to enjoy everything. Meaning, you can get lost in that world and not see anything else outside of it. But since I’m very curious to explore the surroundings, we also took time to enter the reality of the people living right outside the resort gates. Some areas were very simple and poor, but there was something beautiful about it; the people always had a big smile on their faces and actually spoke with a lot of gratitude. Every time they did bow, it humbled me, I just wanted to hug them. What I love the most about Thailand, is what they taught me, silently. Simplicity, gratitude and humbleness will get you far. I promise you that. Another example, few months ago, while traveling to the beautiful Norway (one of the richest countries in the world) we met this amazing guy, OJ. He mentioned that many students there (including himself), can’t really afford to go out to eat, like…ever! He is a hiking guide and saved my life (story for another post), so we took him out to dinner as a treat for his kindness. Nowhere fancy, but he was still thrilled. During dinner, we were talking about helping the planet, and how much food is wasted. He said that sometimes, he goes with his friends to the restaurants dumpsters to collect the sealed meat that they throw out. He smiled, he doesn’t waste food. He is part of the solution. His big blue eyes told me he was a happy man. I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable, so I quietly cried inside. You might not be close to this reality when visiting a country, but still is the reality of so many living in it. It’s humbling to see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t have much. The more you travel, the more you feel like leaving things behind. Remember to always cherish the moment and the presence of the ones around you. Practice gratitude.    5. It Makes You Smarter “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you’ve travelled.” – Mohamed By traveling, you will be exposed to other cultures, languages, history, people’s habits, etc. Please understand that there is no going back to the old you, every destination makes you new. You are going to be part of some amazing experiences and eventually you will develop a new skill/interest. I learned by traveling, that I was great at picking up new languages. And I recently discovered that I can mountain bike just fine – I was never really interested in it until I actually tried this time and had so much fun. When you open yourself to the new, you welcome joy. Your brain expands and unlocks areas that were inactive. I’m sure you will catch yourself being more social and charismatic, yes, you have been to that place too and now you have so much to share. Not to mention the access to awesome museums, monuments that were built thousands and thousands of years ago, and how about being able to actually step foot in many prehistoric sites? You will always come home with new ideas, more inspired, and smarter. Above you see a photo of me in front of the Stonehenge, in England. One of my favorite prehistoric monuments. We will talk about it later in another post.   6. You meet new people/make new friends Get rid of fear, go out there and meet new people. I’m still not a social butterfly, remember I’m a recovering anti-social? Well, it all begun with my mom telling me not to talk to strangers. I took that advice a little too far. BUT, I changed, now I talk out of my elbows lol. When you meet someone while traveling – especially If they are also a foreigner, you already found something in common; you both enjoy traveling! It’s amazing how a great conversation can happen just by “asking for directions”. That’s when you find out you have even more things in common. I can’t even begin to tell you how many friends I have around the globe and it all started with a simple “What time is it?”. It’s a gift to meet open-minded people. Culturally, emotionally, physically, whatever makes you different from the other person, also unites you. We learn so much from others all the time, keep your heart and mind open when meeting new people. Making foreign friends is much more than having a couch to surf on in another country, you can meet the love of your life or your future best friend. Even If you don’t see each other again, you will always remember the great moments together.   7. You develop a better sense of direction If you are one of those people who get lost in walk-in closets, you need to start packing right now lol. I wasn’t always the person that knew what direction to go, even having the map right in front of my eyes. So, yes, I get it, It can be overwhelming. To be fair, I still don’t know where East or West is, but I will get you there! When you are about to leave your hotel, make sure you review your route on a map, and memorize it. I developed a sense of knowing how to move around unfamiliar places pretty quick, by creating mental maps. The more you travel, you will understand there is no reason to panic If you get lost, cause you become more intuitive on where to go next, it will happen naturally. Also, you learn that it’s ok to ask for directions, some people are shy to do so or think it’s an inconvenience to others – it’s not, and It can save you a lot of time and headache.   8. You learn new languages/habits My first International trip was from Brazil to China. I spoke zero mandarin, they spoke zero english, and oh, so did I. I couldn’t even understand my modeling agency’s text messages without a dictionary. YES, people, the hardcover type. I had one with me everywhere I went, it was ridiculously cute. I wasn’t even 15. I remember going to the grocery store and buying cucumber juice thinking it was lemonade. I had to learn english in order to survive. I couldn’t understand the photographers, I would show up for auditions on the wrong dates, looking for the wrong person. Something needed to happen. I HAD to learn. Thank God for my friend Daniela, she helped me so much, we didn’t have Google translator back then. Today I speak 5 languages. Sure, sometimes I can’t even remember a specific word in Portuguese (my first language) but it happens If you don’t practice. Don’t be afraid to start or engage in a conversation because you think your english is “broken” or your french accent is not perfect. It took me some time to understand that the other person doesn’t care, and sometimes even thinks it’s cute. You will also learn things you are not supposed to say, and catch local habits by observing people. You will never learn If you don’t take the first step. Listen to people talk, ask for them to correct you as you speak. Listen to music, read books in the language you want to learn. The key to learning a new language is to listen. The key to learning anything in life, is to listen.    9. You become more independent You expose yourself to so much vulnerability and how awesome is that? Yes, you are expanding, getting out of your comfort zone. It’s not easy to arrive in a new country where many times you don’t speak the language, you know zero, zilch, nada, about their culture – you don’t even know If you like the food. But, guess what? You bought that ticket, you hopped on that plane and you landed, perhaps looking like crap but full of excitement. #YAY. You took action, and that’s what life is all about. You know your way around, even though you have no idea where South is #ICanRelate. You managed to get through a challenge that takes courage, planning, money and time! You became more self-sufficient. And you are always ready for the next destination. #HighFiveBitches   10. You actually get to see the world I mean, hello?! The beauties of this world! The awesomeness of this planet. Created beautifully to be our home. Yes, we need to take better care of it. So start taking the first step. Be kind to the places you go. Be nice to people. Be more gentle with children. Be more loving to yourself. When we take care of ourselves, we take care of the planet. And when we take care of the planet, the Universe rewards us in many beautiful ways. When you go out there, honor this gorgeous world, be respectful, be present. Make sure you are taking everything in, letting it transform you. Make sure you make your trip pleasant to not only yourself, but the ones that you left behind and the ones that are on the journey with you. And If you can’t go on a trip soon, stick around, I will take you many places. Life is short, buy the ticket! Much love, Aryanne
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I always dreamed about visiting Cappadocia, in Turkey, and to find the perfect hotel was my number one mission. I have been to many hotels and I want to say that it was a blessing to have come across Azure Cave Suites. The way we were treated was out of this world amazing. The owner and staff were the kindest people, taking care of every single detail – it truly made us feel at home. The hotel is on the top of a hill right by the Çavusin Castle – the views were astonishing and so peaceful. Azure Cave Suites is 10 minutes away from Goreme, the main tourist center in Cappadocia. How to get there Azure Cave Suites is located in Çavusin, and you have 2 airport choices to fly to/from. You can fly to Erkilet International Airport in Kayseri city, which is about an hour away from the hotel, or to Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport in Nevsehir city, which is about 40 minutes from the hotel. Usually a taxi from Kayseri to Azure is around 200 Turkish Lira (around USD $50). Once you get to the airport make sure you confirm with the taxi driver that the rate is 200TL, otherwise they will use the meter and it can be much more expensive than that. Also, I recommend having cash on you, If you only have credit card, make sure to confirm with the taxi driver before starting your ride. You can also use the public or private transfer from the airport to the hotel, and the concierge at Azure can book that for you. For the public transfer you pay 25TL (USD $6.50) per person and the private transfer from Kayseri is 200TL (USD $50) for 1 to 4 people/ from Nevsehir 150TL (USD $38) for 1 to 4 people.   The Cave Rooms Our first night, we stayed at the Superior Cave Suite #1. I was really impressed; like a child checking every single corner and details, touching the walls and ceiling, mesmerized! These cave rooms are 700 years old. Super clean and very cozy. The beds were very comfortable as well. The Superior Cave has a stone framed king size bed, a little desk area, rain shower and a large jacuzzi. The second night, we stayed at the Azure Honeymoon Suite #11. So spacious, also a king size bed, an amazing extra-large jacuzzi, rain shower, Turkish bath. The Azure Honeymoon suite has its own private balcony and from there you can watch the sunrise, see the balloons floating around, and also see the beautiful sunset. Also, from the jacuzzi you can see outside, but it’s very private since the doors are mirrored on the outside. All the rooms are equipped with toiletries, mini bar, safe, heat, tv and I also believe they all have a jacuzzi, if not all, definitely most of the rooms. Azure Honeymoon Suite #11    Superior Cave Room #1   Yummy Yummy in my tummy stuff Azure Cave Suites has a complimentary beverage and snack bar open from 08:30am to 10:00pm. Anytime you feel like snacking, there are some delicious pastries, cakes, tea, turkish and regular coffee waiting for you. Also, I was impressed with their breakfast, it’s a variety of yummyness that you can order from their menu. Azure Cave Suites doesn’t have its own restaurant, but it doesn’t matter because If you want to eat lunch or dinner at the hotel, they give you menus from a couple of restaurants and they can order food for you. There are also a couple of restaurants just down the street from the hotel that you can walk to.   What to do Right down the street from Azure is the Çavusin Castle; a sacred historical place, you can see the remains of the Church of St. John the Baptist inside of the Castle. It’s free and oh, so beautiful! If you are interested in doing the hot air balloon ride, Azure can book it for you, make sure to let them know in advance. Also If you don’t feel like enjoying the ride, you can watch the balloons floating around the hotel’s Terrace, get ready to wake up early. The balloon ride starts at sunrise. There are many touristic things to do in Cappadocia and Azure can help you book it all. Their concierge is open 24 hours and they are very kind to show you all the tours that works better for you. They also offer different promotions throughout the year, such as private breakfast at rooftop, honeymoon packages, etc. Check it out: Azure Cave Suites Also, don’t forget that amazing jacuzzi and some “me” time with a nice glass of Turkish wine; which btw is delicious! Whenever you go to Azure Cave Suites give them all a big hug for me.   Dear Zerrin, thank you so much for a beautiful time! We are very grateful for your kindness and we think about Cappadocia and Azure all the time. We will be back very soon. Much love!  
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I understand the resistance to travel because of many factors, including money, time and the fear of the unknown. Some people often see it as a luxury, but the truth is; traveling can change your life. I’ve always seen traveling as the cure for everything. I choose to see the money and time as an investment, because that’s exactly what it is. There are so many possibilities and opportunities out there, you just have to go see it for yourself. Ready? Here are 10 reasons why travel should be the #1 thing you need to start investing in now!   1. You get to know yourself better Traveling broadens our admittedly narrow horizons, and help us grow in so many ways. I’m a believer that the place where you were born, says very little about who you are. There is so much more to be revealed. You are unlimited. When you start traveling, something inside you changes, you can’t fight it. It’s a beautiful transformation; you become happier. You see the world with the eyes of a child, you enjoy yourself more. You become more creative, inspired, curious, enchanted with the beauties you are yet to see and the ones you already fed your eyes with. Traveling is self-development, it teaches you about your own limitations and to value experiences, the present moments. You are bound to fall in love with something you didn’t even know existed. Another very important thing you learn is tolerance. A lot happens when you travel, and being patient is the key. Whether it is a delayed flight or an overweight baggage drama, you become less frustrated and learn to roll with things. Exchanging experiences with strangers and exploring through this amazing planet takes courage, and you will learn you got a ton of it inside you.   2. You Learn Other Cultures/Traditions When you travel, you have the opportunity to educate yourself. You not only learn about history, geography, economy but also, cultures and traditions. Once you dive into other cultures, it puts your whole world into perspective. You will be constantly surprised by each culture you learn. It’s all about being present, you have to experience it, and then you will understand exactly where the other person is coming from. Even If you don’t speak their language. To be interested in other cultures says so much about you. It shows respect, and people appreciate that a lot. You start treating people differently, the animals, the environment, and of course, yourself. You start seeing things from a different point of view. All of a sudden, you improve your senses; you observe more, listen better and detach yourself from judgment. “The beauty of the world, lies in the diversity of its people.” – Unknown   3. You Try Some AMAZING Food Let me start with this beautiful quote from Luke Barr: “Cooking and eating in a foreign country may be the surest, truest way to its soul”. If you look back at your most memorable moments, it probably involves food somehow. I mean, I don’t know about you but I love food. Every time I’m heading to a new destination, I think about all the amazing food that I will get to experience. I try to go eat at places where the locals do as much as possible. You want to immerse yourself in their culture, it brings people together. If you are a picky eater, you can take baby steps, ask around what’s the must-have dessert, for instance. You can’t go wrong with dessert, right? Actually, you can, (trust me on this), but at least you tried. Also, it doesn’t have to be super exotic, could be something simple with a traditional/cultural touch that you haven’t experienced before. Like a Vietnamese Iced Coffee. I’m not a huge coffee fan, but ever since I tried the Vietnamese Iced coffee, I crave it. And Brazilian coffee too, it’s amazing! My dad used to say that even If you haven’t enjoyed a certain type of food, you still have to try it again and again, in different places, cause everyone makes it differently. Food is love, be open to try new things, even if it’s for the sake of improving your palate.   4. It Kills The Ego If your ego is attached to the material world, traveling will be a huge positive lesson. On our last trip to Thailand, we stayed at an amazing luxury resort in Koh Yao Yai. The resort was so big, that even spending around 6 nights there, we didn’t get to enjoy everything. Meaning, you can get lost in that world and not see anything else outside of it. But since I’m very curious to explore the surroundings, we also took time to enter the reality of the people living right outside the resort gates. Some areas were very simple and poor, but there was something beautiful about it; the people always had a big smile on their faces and actually spoke with a lot of gratitude. Every time they did bow, it humbled me, I just wanted to hug them. What I love the most about Thailand, is what they taught me, silently. Simplicity, gratitude and humbleness will get you far. I promise you that. Another example, few months ago, while traveling to the beautiful Norway (one of the richest countries in the world) we met this amazing guy, OJ. He mentioned that many students there (including himself), can’t really afford to go out to eat, like…ever! He is a hiking guide and saved my life (story for another post), so we took him out to dinner as a treat for his kindness. Nowhere fancy, but he was still thrilled. During dinner, we were talking about helping the planet, and how much food is wasted. He said that sometimes, he goes with his friends to the restaurants dumpsters to collect the sealed meat that they throw out. He smiled, he doesn’t waste food. He is part of the solution. His big blue eyes told me he was a happy man. I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable, so I quietly cried inside. You might not be close to this reality when visiting a country, but still is the reality of so many living in it. It’s humbling to see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t have much. The more you travel, the more you feel like leaving things behind. Remember to always cherish the moment and the presence of the ones around you. Practice gratitude.    5. It Makes You Smarter “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you’ve travelled.” – Mohamed By traveling, you will be exposed to other cultures, languages, history, people’s habits, etc. Please understand that there is no going back to the old you, every destination makes you new. You are going to be part of some amazing experiences and eventually you will develop a new skill/interest. I learned by traveling, that I was great at picking up new languages. And I recently discovered that I can mountain bike just fine – I was never really interested in it until I actually tried this time and had so much fun. When you open yourself to the new, you welcome joy. Your brain expands and unlocks areas that were inactive. I’m sure you will catch yourself being more social and charismatic, yes, you have been to that place too and now you have so much to share. Not to mention the access to awesome museums, monuments that were built thousands and thousands of years ago, and how about being able to actually step foot in many prehistoric sites? You will always come home with new ideas, more inspired, and smarter. Above you see a photo of me in front of the Stonehenge, in England. One of my favorite prehistoric monuments. We will talk about it later in another post.   6. You meet new people/make new friends Get rid of fear, go out there and meet new people. I’m still not a social butterfly, remember I’m a recovering anti-social? Well, it all begun with my mom telling me not to talk to strangers. I took that advice a little too far. BUT, I changed, now I talk out of my elbows lol. When you meet someone while traveling – especially If they are also a foreigner, you already found something in common; you both enjoy traveling! It’s amazing how a great conversation can happen just by “asking for directions”. That’s when you find out you have even more things in common. I can’t even begin to tell you how many friends I have around the globe and it all started with a simple “What time is it?”. It’s a gift to meet open-minded people. Culturally, emotionally, physically, whatever makes you different from the other person, also unites you. We learn so much from others all the time, keep your heart and mind open when meeting new people. Making foreign friends is much more than having a couch to surf on in another country, you can meet the love of your life or your future best friend. Even If you don’t see each other again, you will always remember the great moments together.   7. You develop a better sense of direction If you are one of those people who get lost in walk-in closets, you need to start packing right now lol. I wasn’t always the person that knew what direction to go, even having the map right in front of my eyes. So, yes, I get it, It can be overwhelming. To be fair, I still don’t know where East or West is, but I will get you there! When you are about to leave your hotel, make sure you review your route on a map, and memorize it. I developed a sense of knowing how to move around unfamiliar places pretty quick, by creating mental maps. The more you travel, you will understand there is no reason to panic If you get lost, cause you become more intuitive on where to go next, it will happen naturally. Also, you learn that it’s ok to ask for directions, some people are shy to do so or think it’s an inconvenience to others – it’s not, and It can save you a lot of time and headache.   8. You learn new languages/habits My first International trip was from Brazil to China. I spoke zero mandarin, they spoke zero english, and oh, so did I. I couldn’t even understand my modeling agency’s text messages without a dictionary. YES, people, the hardcover type. I had one with me everywhere I went, it was ridiculously cute. I wasn’t even 15. I remember going to the grocery store and buying cucumber juice thinking it was lemonade. I had to learn english in order to survive. I couldn’t understand the photographers, I would show up for auditions on the wrong dates, looking for the wrong person. Something needed to happen. I HAD to learn. Thank God for my friend Daniela, she helped me so much, we didn’t have Google translator back then. Today I speak 5 languages. Sure, sometimes I can’t even remember a specific word in Portuguese (my first language) but it happens If you don’t practice. Don’t be afraid to start or engage in a conversation because you think your english is “broken” or your french accent is not perfect. It took me some time to understand that the other person doesn’t care, and sometimes even thinks it’s cute. You will also learn things you are not supposed to say, and catch local habits by observing people. You will never learn If you don’t take the first step. Listen to people talk, ask for them to correct you as you speak. Listen to music, read books in the language you want to learn. The key to learning a new language is to listen. The key to learning anything in life, is to listen.    9. You become more independent You expose yourself to so much vulnerability and how awesome is that? Yes, you are expanding, getting out of your comfort zone. It’s not easy to arrive in a new country where many times you don’t speak the language, you know zero, zilch, nada, about their culture – you don’t even know If you like the food. But, guess what? You bought that ticket, you hopped on that plane and you landed, perhaps looking like crap but full of excitement. #YAY. You took action, and that’s what life is all about. You know your way around, even though you have no idea where South is #ICanRelate. You managed to get through a challenge that takes courage, planning, money and time! You became more self-sufficient. And you are always ready for the next destination. #HighFiveBitches   10. You actually get to see the world I mean, hello?! The beauties of this world! The awesomeness of this planet. Created beautifully to be our home. Yes, we need to take better care of it. So start taking the first step. Be kind to the places you go. Be nice to people. Be more gentle with children. Be more loving to yourself. When we take care of ourselves, we take care of the planet. And when we take care of the planet, the Universe rewards us in many beautiful ways. When you go out there, honor this gorgeous world, be respectful, be present. Make sure you are taking everything in, letting it transform you. Make sure you make your trip pleasant to not only yourself, but the ones that you left behind and the ones that are on the journey with you. And If you can’t go on a trip soon, stick around, I will take you many places. Life is short, buy the ticket! Much love, Aryanne
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First of all, I need to contain myself so this post isn’t 10 years long! This place is beyond special and my heart smiles because so many beautiful moments happened here. Santhiya Resort is located in an island called Koh Yao Yai, in Thailand. Between Phuket and Krabi, this little paradise with sandy shores is the perfect place to stay If you are planing to visit Phuket, the Phi Phi islands, or to just love and enjoy yourself fully. Koh Yao Yai is a very special place, not only because of it’s enchanting views but also because of it’s people. The main religion in Thailand is buddhism but the majority of the people who live in Koh Yao Yai are muslim, and the tradition culture is very strong. They lead a simple life making a living out of fishing, building boats and farming. These people taught me so much about humbleness, love and kindness. I hope you have the chance to experience this place one day. How to get there The only way to get to the island is by boat and you have two options: If you don’t want to deal with booking everything on your own, you can make arrangements with the hotel. If you are flying into Phuket, you can book their package that includes shuttle van + speedboat for 1,250 baht/USD $37 (per person). It takes 30 minutes from airport to Ao Po Grand Marina pier, and 20 minutes from pier to the Hotel. The hotel has it’s own pier, so you arrive directly at the hotel. Second option, If you don’t care to do everything on your own, it might be slightly longer but much cheaper; you can get a taxi from the airport to the Bang Rong Pier (around 500 baht/USD $15), then from Bang Rong pier you get on a speedboat to Koh Yao Yai (around 120 baht/ USD$3 per person) and finally, once in Koh Yao Yai island, you can get a taxi or tuk-tuk to Santhiya Resort (prices may vary). Since it was our first time on Koh Yao Yai and we were traveling for nearly 30 hours between long flights and connections, we chose to have the hotel do it all for us and booked their package. Once you get to the hotel, they greet you with a delicious lemongrass iced tea, and a complimentary 25min neck massage. When it’s 100oF outside; Iced tea + neck massage + paradise= heaven. Once the massage is done, they bring you the check-in papers to you. We arrived super early in the morning and our room wasn’t ready yet, but we were still able to take a shower and enjoy the hotel facilities.         Where to eat The hotel has 6 restaurants and they serve authentic Thai food, Western cuisine, authentic European, etc. There is also in-room dining and you can even book a romantic private dinner at the beach. We opted in for breakfast included rate and I’m so happy we did it. Their breakfast buffet is extensive and insanely good, no photos could do it justice. Also, you are in for a treat with the view. Breakfast is served at Saaitara restaurant, they also serve lunch and dinner. The food is very well made and so delicious, my favorite dish was the risotto. Peter loved the Thai food, and one day out of curiosity I ordered a hot dog, and it was amazing!   What to do *Private Beach Paddle boards and kayak rental is complimentary. You can also just relax on the lounge chairs, order food and even get a full body massage.   *Main pool and infinity pool There are two amazing pools for all guests to enjoy; the main pool, which is huge and has a beautiful waterfall, and also the infinity pool with an amazing panoramic ocean view.   *SPA | Massages The spa is divine, smells like heaven and it’s pristine clean. The ladies are so sweet and respectful. Once you get there, they give you tea and a cold towel to freshen up. The spa offers many packages; massages, body scrubs, baths, mani and pedi, facial etc. After your treatment, they offer you an amazing dessert. Massages can go from $50 to $200 depending on what you choose. For the packages price may vary.   *Other Features They offer complimentary Yoga and Muay Thai classes everyday. You can also book cooking and dancing classes for a fee. You also get to enjoy the fitness center, beauty salon and their souvenir shop. I highly encourage you to get out of the resort and go exploring around. The souvenirs outside the resort are much cheaper, and you get to contribute to the locals! When traveling to Thailand (or anywhere where the culture is different than yours), please be mindful, learn and be respectful. We experienced nothing but love from these people, and we truly left with our hearts full of gratitude. Special thanks to Aminta and Fern, these two beauties below that made our stay even more amazing! “Kob kun ka” ladies, until next time!          
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Before we dive into this, can you tell me how is it already September? Isn’t it crazy how fast time is passing by? Are you overwhelmed, or feel like you are spending most of your time doing things for others and doing almost nothing for yourself? I know a lot of people feeling this way, they are not rich of the new currency. Are you one of them? I was talking to a dear friend of mine, and we were dreaming about having more hours in the day so we could do more of what we love. Less work hours, more sleep hours, but then we came up with the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter. If we had 36 hours instead of 24, we’d still do exactly as we do now, and not take enough time to ourselves. Because that’s what we do, we procrastinate, specially when we are the subject. Have you ever questioned why is that? Some people wake up everyday already tired or irritated, in a hurry, many times to go to a job that doesn’t fulfill them. If all of your time is dedicated to your partner, children, work, friends, family, co-workers, and none to you, you need to think about this. Have you ever noticed that it might be because there is something about you, that you don’t want to deal with? You don’t want to recognize that your fears are taking over your actions, and that you think you are not enough, or that your life is meaningless. That’s a reflection of guilt. These are fabricated stories you keep telling yourself. These are choices you are making unconsciously, and you know that If you use your time to make it about others, then you will succeed by not making it about you. I’m going to use this time and space, to encourage you to make a full stop and notice what’s happening around you. It’s time to be about you. And please, love that. Make an effort to make time. How about less time on social media feeding yourself with comparison and enviousness? How about less time watching the news and feeding yourself with all the negativity and misleading information? Instead, feed yourself with nutritious positivity, joy, love and compassion. Taking time is a mindset. If you believe you don’t have time, and you say it out loud, it turns out you will always be in conflict, full of problems to solve, and guess what? Yes, you won’t have time for anything. Spending time with preoccupied thoughts of the past or future pushes you away from mindfulness. Make an effort to bring yourself to the present moment. Here are 5 quick steps to make better use of your time and appreciate yourself more. 1. Create a positive Mindset Positive thinking is the cure for everything. Think that negative thoughts can turn into internalized feelings, so how about start your day with positive affirmations, such as “Today will be a great day” or “I am grateful for Today”? Self affirmations can improve your life in so many ways. Don’t “should” yourself. You did exactly what was meant to be done, and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Also, take care of your surroundings. Surrounding yourself only with takers can leave you drained, irritated, even depressed. We all experience moments of self-doubt, it’s part of being human. Watch your thoughts so they don’t become habits, do your best to improve the positivity around you and inspire your family, friends and co-workers to do the same. 2. Stay away from gossip Everyone has a friend or a co-worker that loves gossiping. If you don’t have one, maybe you are the gossiper. Gossiping is a bad habit, do what you can to get rid of it. Hating, ridiculing, holding grudges, only shows you have so much work to do on yourself. It’s unhealthy, and If you are not the one bringing the gossip, remember, the same person who gossips to you, gossips about you. When you feel like saying something, ask yourself these 3 questions: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? If the answer is “no”, then zip it. #LetThatShitGo  #BreakTheGossipHabit 3. Use Social Media Wisely It’s very rare to find someone who is not on social media nowadays, and it’s even more rare to find someone who is not always checking how many likes per photo they got. To focus your energy on how many followers, how many likes or the perfect filter, is the ideal combination for depression. It decreases your productivity and self-esteem. Most of the content you see is not even real, or it could be real, but the person on the other side is also human, and also has imperfections, doubts and fear. It’s hard, I know, but try not to compare yourself to anyone. Also, try going electronic free for a few hours. I understand some people use a lot of social media for work (like me), and If you can’t checkout completely, focus on using it more for positivity and self-development. 4. Create your Zen Zone Nothing better than bringing yourself to the present moment, followed by a calm and organized environment. Remember, If it’s cluttered around your house, it’s cluttered inside your mind. Schedule some time to clean and organize your space. Spend some time looking for what calms you down, and that could be music, incense, lavender diffuser, some sage, stepping outside and enjoying nature, could even be just the sound of water playing in the background. 5. Meditate Let’s start with something simple but very important; be open to it. Even If you don’t know where to start, or have a hard time meditating, reserve some time to sit still everyday. Try 10 minutes, then 20, and upgrade as you go. As you sit still, pay attention to the emotions that rise up and stay with it. Don’t try to push it away or pretend you are not feeling it, allow yourself to have that feeling. Put your hand on your heart, feel the beat, breathe. If you want to go deep on mediation, you can find many free guided videos on Youtube. The present moment brings transformation from inside out. Take that moment to love yourself and honor the beauty that you are. I hope this post inspired you! If you enjoyed, please share with your friends and family ♥ xoxo Aryanne
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