Tag Archives: music

I Love…

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With winter blues and the news destined to make us feel negative, it is a breath of fresh air that we have finally made it to February, the month of love. I am a little biased because it is my birthday month, but I am happy that Valentine’s Day brings us a cheerful holiday to celebrate this winter. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I wanted to share a post about some things that I love, besides of course my family and friends. Hopefully this will help inspire you to step away from the negativity in the world and reflect upon what you love too.

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Source: Cool HD Wallpaper

I love… good health. It is so easy for me to take this for granted because I am healthy on a normal basis. A recent bout of the flu reminded me how hard it is to be sick and how refreshing it is to finally heal and feel better.

I love… cuddling. It is so simple yet so comforting and always brings a smile to my face. If we all spent a little more time cuddling with our loved ones or furry friends, I really think the world would be a happier place.

I love… sunshine. Especially in the winter when it is rare. Now that I am experiencing my first southern winter, I can tell you that it makes a huge different to see the sun regularly even when it is cold outside. The rays soothe the soul and remind me that spring and summer will come.

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Source: Pexels

I love… day trips on the weekends. So often I spend the weekends catching up, cleaning, and preparing for the next week, especially when I am at apartment in Columbia, SC. It is SO important for me to take breaks though, and one of the best ways for me to make sure that I take a break is going on a little weekend escape. Fortunately, Columbia is within driving distance of many exciting destinations. A couple weekends ago my boyfriend and I took a weekend trip to Charleston and it was the perfect amount of time away. We spent the day wandering the streets, feeling more like locals now that we have visited there a few times. We had a delicious dinner Coast, a seafood restaurant downtown. We spent the evening on King Street, going to some of the swanky bars and enjoying Jeni’s ice cream (the best part of Columbus, OH ;)). If you need a break – go on a day trip!! It makes a world of a difference on your next week.

I love… music. For those who know me well, it is rare for me to not have something playing, especially when I am at home. I listen to all genres of music and secretly love to sing along. I often say that my life is a playlist, because almost all hit songs from the past 25 years I can pinpoint to a particular life phase or moment in my life. I have also made a new year’s resolution with my boyfriend to practice playing piano again (I played pretty well for over 6 years when I was growing up). We have practiced a couple times and played duets, including songs from the award-winning La La Land movie and other love stories. A little music, whether listening, singing, or playing, goes a long way in brightening my day.

I love… free time. My yoga instructor recently inspired me to spend more time pausing, not scheduling anything, and allowing myself to simply be. Every week I am working on allowing myself free time to let my mind wander, relax, and do whatever brings me joy at that specific time. The free time helps spark creativity and refreshes me when I go back to my daily routine.

All of these things bring me warmth this winter and brighten my days when they seem gloomy. I hope that Valentine’s Day inspires you to focus on what you love about the world too. Whether it is your family, friends, home, job, new outfit or that leftover piece of chocolate cake in the fridge – we all have something to love in life!

inspirNational Music: Under One Sky by the Tenors

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Next up on the inspirNational music playlist is Under One Sky by the Tenors. My boyfriend introduced it to me tonight and we have been singing along to the lyrics all night.

The song reminds us that we are all united throughout the world under one sky. The music video captures people from around the world singing the song, “under one sky, our dreams come alive.” It is so powerful to watch and reminds me of my one of my life missions to connect the world. Traveling the world reminds us that we have so much to learn from those who seem different than us. To many people’s surprise, one of the main lessons we can learn from others is how similar we are in our core values, our purpose, our basic needs, and our joys in life.

Watch the video below:

I hope this song leaves you feeling as inspired as it has made me feel. As I begin my last year in my International MBA program, I am excited to embark on my career journey throughout the world, ready to face the opportunities and challenges, and comforted by the fact that we are all under one sky.

What Makes Salzburg Magical?

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The hills are alive…with the sound of music! With the filming of the world-famous movie, The Sound of Music, there has to be something magical about Salzburg, Austria. After visiting Salzburg for two days, I can confidently say that it will bring an ear-to-ear smile to your face.

As you’re planning your to trip to Salzburg, I have the following recommendations to make your trip magical:

  • Go on The Sound of Music Tour! Whether you are a fan of musicals or not, The Sound of Music Tour provides you with picturesque views of Salzburg and an interesting history of the city. If you have seen and enjoyed The Sound of Music, you will love the dramatic tour guide who will share insider stories about the filming of the movie and will encourage you to sing along the way. I promise, when you see the mountainous scenes, you will want to sing “Do Re Mi” too.

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  • Visit Mozart’s home and birthplace. You will learn about Wolfgang Mozart’s upbringing in a successful family and how he became famous. You will see pianos and other instruments dating from the 1700s and letters that provide perspective of the era. You will also notice the Mozart family’s significant influence on Salzburg, with several restaurants and cafes named after Mozart. I stayed in a fabulous hotel called Hotel Mozart, which provided a quaint Austrian breakfast and was within walking distance of the main tourist sites.

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  • Walk and shop along river and the main streets for fashionable boutiques and great souvenirs. Great streets and pedestrian areas include Getreidegasse, Judengasse, Alter Markt, Waagplatz, Mozartplatz, Linzergasse, and Kaiviertel. You also will want to check out the local open-air markets near Mozart’s birthplace for local goods, books and foods. I tried one of the famous Austrian sausages with sauerkraut and loved it.
  • Go to Zwettler’s for dinner and try weiner-schnitzel, spätzle and beer. If you are hungry, you couldn’t ask for a hardier or more filling meal. The flavors are heavenly and filling, perfect after a long day of touring the city. The ambiance is friendly and German-influenced, with dark wood, rustic decorations, and large groups of people laughing over a pint or two of beer.
  • Walk up the hill to see Fortress Hohensalzburg. Even if you don’t have enough time to tour the fortress, you get a spectacular view of the city, and see what appear to be little villages within Salzburg, including cemeteries, homes, and churches.

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  • Check out the Beer Hall, which is ironically connected to a church. You will go back in time, seeing kegs with refillable mugs and local vendors selling food, surrounding a large open room full of long tables for people to gather. I had the interesting experience of meeting a few Michiganders. It’s a small world, and it feels even smaller and more connected in a beer hall.

All of these experiences combined into one trip make Salzburg a magical place, one that I will forever cherish.

inspirNational Music: Renegades by the X Ambassadors

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Next up on the inspirNational Music playlist is Renegades by the X Ambassadors. While I have listened to this song over the past several months, it was not until this week that I watched the music video on YouTube. I was very inspired by the song’s lyrics, as they remind us to fight through life’s challenges. And rather than viewing our lives as a series of challenges, viewing them as opportunities.

The music video begins with a dialogue of a blind woman and man. The man describes that when facing life’s challenges, “It’s not a matter of enjoying [life] more or less. It’s about enjoying it differently. It’s enjoying it through a different vision. Through another lens.” I’m reminded of the famous quote that “You can’t always change your circumstances, but you can change your attitude.” As we take on the week ahead, I hope that we can all remember to enjoy life no matter what we face each day. Carpe Diem!

inspirNational Music: Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah) by Andy Grammer

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Next up on the inspirNational music playlist is “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)” by Andy Grammer. I first heard this on Siriux XM Radio while driving to Atlanta to get my student visa for France. With all odds seeming to go against me in the visa process and my goal to study in Paris, this song reminded me to have faith and feel grateful.

Below are some of my favorite lyrics:

“And if there’s a man upstairs, he kept bringing me rain
But I’ve been sending up prayers and something’s changed

I think I finally found my hallelujah
I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life
Now all my dreams are coming true, yeah
I’ve been waiting for this moment

Feels good to be alive right about now.”

I’m inspired to have faith with any challenge I face. And this strong faith has helped me obtain my visa to go to France this winter! With a long weekend ahead and Thanksgiving with family and friends, it feels good to be alive right about now.

inspirNational Music: Warrior by Diego Boneta

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Next up on the inspirNational music playlist is “Warrior” by Diego Boneta. I first heard this on Pandora and instantly put “thumbs up.” I like the meaning of the song, which reminds us to be a warrior when “fear is all we know” and “it’s wearing down your soul” because “love [or good things] are on the way.” I’m inspired to feel like a warrior with any challenge I face.

Also, check out his inspiring story on his actor and musician website!

Learning About Culture Through Urban Art

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Through moving and traveling over the past several years, I have noticed a common theme in each new city I have visited or lived: I can learn about local culture through urban art. Urban art, whether funded by the community or not, helps the community express ideas, demonstrate societal trends or challenges, and sometimes enhance the aesthetic appeal of the surroundings. Below I have captured a few personal favorites of many examples of urban art:

Spanish Graffiti: While studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain and traveling throughout the country, I noticed a significant amount of graffiti. I learned in my Spanish political history class that since Francisco Franco’s leadership in 1939, graffiti was and continues to be significant form of political expression in Spain. It often demonstrates political movements over the past several decades, such as fascism, marxism, anarchy, regional independence within Spain, gay rights, and world peace. Since 2008, cities like Madrid have funded graffiti artists to paint unattractive buildings to improve the cities’ appearance and influence the community with their messages.

Graffiti in Madrid

Graffiti in Madrid

Ann Arbor Graffiti Alley: Originally a mural created by artist Katherine Cost in 1999, titled “Infinite Possibilities,” the graffiti alley in Ann Arbor, Michigan has turned into a haven for graffiti artists and musicians. Visitors can get a taste of recent Ann Arbor and University of Michigan history and current hot topics expressed on the walls. At the same time, they will also hear tunes played by local artists, as the alley is known for good acoustics.

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Before I Die: A global public art project created by New Orleans artist Candy Chang, I first saw a Before I Die wall in Asheville, North Carolina. As a simple mural with chalk, anyone and everyone can write their wishes and “bucket list” items on the wall. Chang created this concept after she lost someone she loved. Her intention was to create a daily reminder about what was important to the people around her. Her idea has sparked the building of 550 walls in over 70 countries in 35 languages. While in Asheville, it was inspiring to learn about the priorities and dreams of the community expressed on the wall.

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Here's what I wrote in Asheville!

Here’s what I wrote in Asheville!

Next time you are exploring your local community or are traveling, I recommend that you seek out the urban art to learn more about the destination’s past, present, and future. You may be surprised to learn new insights about the unique heritage and character of the destination!