Amigos de todo el mundo – El abogado de Argentina (Friends Around the World – The Attorney from Argentina)

As you can see in the title both the Spanish and English language are represented. My friend Flor, who is a lawyer in Buenos Aires, and I met in Florence, Italy in 2015. Since then, she’s traveled many amazing places and balances work, life, and traveling. You’ll find that the following blog will be in both Spanish and English as a representation of our friendship. Enjoy!

Como se puede ver en el título tanto el español como el inglés están representados. Mi amiga Flor, que es abogada en Buenos Aires, y me reuní en Florencia, Italia en 2015. Desde entonces, ella ha viajado por muchos lugares increíbles y equilibra el trabajo, la vida y los viajes. Usted encontrará que el siguiente blog será escrito en español e inglés como una representación de nuestra amistad. Disfruta!

Esta es la histora de Flor. This is Flor’s Story!

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¿De donde eres? ¿Qué ciudad y país?

 Me llamo Flor  y soy de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 ¿Viaja con frecuencia?

 Me gradué de la universidad en diciembre del 2014. Hasta el momento que estuve muy enfocada en mis estudios y no tenía forma de solvente grandes viajes.Una vez ya graduado decidí ir a Europa un mes y medio a modo de “festejo”. Ese viaje resultó el Puntapié inicial para descubrir que viajar es una experiencia única que te conecta con un sin fin de emociones.En la actualidad trato de organización de viajes (cortos-largos) con la mayor frecuencia posible.

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Portobello Road Market – London, England

Que país ha sido favorito? ¿Qué te ha gustado?

 No puedo elegir uno solo. Mis dos favoritos son Inglaterra y Costa Rica.

Londres fue la primera ciudad europea que conocí y quedó fascinada con toda su estructura y perfección. Lo mejor de todo: Los parques.Mi preferido Holland Park y una hora del centro Houmpton Court.

 En Costa Rica existe una energía especial. Más allá de la belleza de sus playas creo que lo mejor es su gente. Utilizar la frase “PURA VIDA” como saludo. Son dos palabras que simbolizan su forma de vivir: alegría, armonía y paz.

Mi playa favorita: Santa Teresa. Sus atardeceres son de película.

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Santa Theresa – Costa Rica

 ¿Tiene algún otro viaje planeado para el próximo año?

 Si, México en abril del 2017.

¿Qué es lo que más te gusta de viajar?

 En una palabra: La libertad.

Si pudieras decirle a la gente algo que inspirar a viajar, ¿qué dirías?

¡La vida es una sola, you live one !!!

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Cliffs of Moher, Irlanda

English Translation:

Where are you from? What city and country?

 My name is Flor and I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 Do you travel frequently?

 I graduated from university in December of 2014. Until then I was very focused on my studies and had no way of planning great trips. Once I graduated I decided to go to Europe for a month and a half as a “celebration”. That trip was the starting point to discover that traveling is a unique experience that connects you with an endless number of emotions. Currently, I try to organize trips (short and long) as often as possible.

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Portobello Road Market – London, England

What country has been your favorite? What did you like?

I cannot choose one. My two favorites are England and Costa Rica.

London was the first European city I visited and I was fascinated with all its structure and perfection. Best of all: The Parks. My favorite was Holland Park and 1 hour from downtown Hampton Court.

In Costa Rica, there is a special energy. Beyond the beauty of its beaches, I think the best is its people. They use the phrase “PURA VIDA” as a greeting. These are two words that symbolize their way of living: joy, harmony and peace. My favorite beach: Santa Teresa. Their sunsets are like the movies.

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Santa Theresa – Costa Rica

Do you have any other trips planned for next year?

Yes, Mexico in April 2017.

What do you like most about traveling?

In a word: Freedom.

If you could tell people something to inspire them to travel, what would you say?

You live once!!!!

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Cliffs of Moher – Ireland

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Coffee has a Story – Review: The Coffee Room

Much like recent posts, the focus of this one will be a review of a local place. Coffeeshops and cafes have my attention. Each one has a particular story, unique coffee, and a style all its own. The Coffee Room is no different.

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It is elegant and warm, quiet and refined, and their team seeks to provide high quality coffee that has been ethically sourced. There is a story for every cup and passion for every pour. If you’re interested in some quiet time in a quaint downtown cafe, The Coffee Room is for you. It can be found in downtown Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Not only is the coffee wonderful, but they also have quite a selection of delicious food. I enjoyed the peanut butter, green apple, and strawberry jelly panini. It was the perfect balance of tart and sweet for a late afternoon snack, which paired well with the lavender latte.

Amanda Yats, fellow coffee and travel enthusiast, described the mozzarella, pesto, and tomato panini as mouth-watering. “All of the ingredients on the panini have flavors that really compliment each other.” (@amanda_yats – Twitter). Marry Moore, a graduate student from Ireland, studied while waiting for a bite. She also found the peanut butter, apple, and strawberry jelly panini to be a fantastic choice. (moorem29 – Instagram)

The Coffee Room is an inviting space where you’ll find baristas who are happy to welcome you into their home for a warm cup of coffee or breakfast on Sunday. It is a place where passion rules the day and a commitment to the process really makes all the different. You’ll find good coffee with a story to tell. From pour overs to onsite roasting, The Coffee Room is must visit.

Follow The Coffee Room: @narrativallitycoffee on Instagram

Follow Amanda Yats: @amanda_yats on Twitter

Follow Mary Moore: @moorem29 on Instagram

What Dreams Are Made Of – Review: The Dreamer Coffee Shop

Cafes and coffeeshops are among my favorite places in the world. You can find them in almost all cities, towns, and communities. Even if you can’t find a good coffeeshop, you can find a place with its qualities – warm, creative, simple, and just what you need to slow things down. That’s what dreams are made of. In the busyness of life, coffeeshops are the place I come to be still for a while.

As of late, my favorite place has been The Dreamer Coffee Shop; affectionally known as Dreamer to regulars. Dreamer has a simple, warm environment that is welcoming for individuals looking for a creative space to relax or groups looking to study (really procrastinate). The open concept, bright walls, large bay windows and warm lighting make this the perfect coffeeshop to start a quiet weekend or spend your Wednesday evening to get over the midweek hump.

The coffee is great, the people become friends, and the space is perfect. Some of my favorites are the Maple Latte, Apple Chaider, and just their plan Cafe Latte.

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The Dreamer Coffee Shop is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Follow them on Instagram: @dreamercoffeeshop

Follow me on Instagram: @vince_thurman1

 

One Year of Blogging – Number 50

This is blog number 50! I started using The Big Picture to reflect on my experiences a year ago this month. It’s amazing to think about all that has happened in a year’s time and to see it backwards by revisiting certain posts. Some highlights are My Life or Master of None, in which I compare my life with a Netflix Series staring Aziz Ansari, What do you want to be when you grow up?, which focuses on navigating life as a young professional and developing skill to land a job you want, and the recent Office Spotlights.

For this post, I want to talk about the benefits of blogging:

  1. My writing has become more precise and focused. Blogging has been a great tool to practice writing without pressure. I can write at my own pace, revisit thoughts, and make edits after taking a step away from it. Is my writing perfect now? Not particularly, but it has gotten significantly better. Some people are gifted writers. I am not one of them, but that doesn’t stop me from practicing. Progress not perfection is my current mindset.
  2. Reflection is immensely important for learning. I have learned many lessons hours, days, weeks, and even months after having experienced some event, taking a class, or participating in an adventure. Quiet, intentional reflection leads to a deeper understanding of some concepts, a heighten sense of self-awareness, and a strong connection to what I experience. It is one thing to take in new information. It is another to process the information so it can be applied later. (It’s also one of my favorite activities as an introvert.)
  3. Stories. Stories. Stories. Storytelling is powerful! I look back on some of my blogs and laugh my heart out. I look back on others and feel a sense of contentment because of how far I have come. While I have gotten better at storytelling, I must say I have a long way to go before I have mastered this skill. Stories bridge the past with the future, which allows us to revisit moments that are important to us. This was a lesson learned from a friend and mentor, Carlos Cortes.
  4. Lastly, I’ve learned that blogging is a simple way to connect with people. There is a human element to many of my posts and often times they serve as a mirror to what others may have experienced or are currently experiencing. Making simple, yet meaningful connections that are rooted in authenticity is deeply important to me. Being able to do that through blogging is an avenue that is only just opening for me. I’m excited to see where it leads!

Here’s to one year writing for The Big Picture.

 

Style Revisited – Something New

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about style, being unfamiliar with fashion, and finally taking risks. I’ve decided to revisit the topic to share what I’ve learned about myself and style in the past few months. Here are six lessons I’ve learned:

  1. My confidence has grown tremendously. Taking risks and seeing them pay off is a great way to boost confidence. I’m not talking blind risk. I’m talking thoughtful, calculated risk. Making smart decisions after going through some trial and error. Some outfits were great and others were… Well let’s just say I won’t be wearing a few of them again. This has benefited me in my personal and professional life. Decisive. Bold. Flexible. Creativity. These are the words that come to mind.1
  2. Less is more… I paired down my wardrobe down to the essentials and a few extra luxuries. I have 7 pairs of paints including jeans/denim, 3 pairs of shorts, closes to exercise in, 8 dress shirts, approximately, and 10 t-shirts varying for seasons. Based on that count I’d say I’d have approximately 40-50 total items of clothing, excluding shoes. That can be saved for a different blog. I have less stress about deciding what to wear because I now have less an 100 items to choose from. It feels great. You can always buy what you need to fill in gaps.2
  3. Understand the occasion. Thinking back to a few years ago, I would dress how I wanted to dress. It wasn’t bad, but sometimes I wasn’t dressed appropriately for the occasion. There were times when I was overdressed and others when I was woefully underdressed. If you aren’t sure about what’s appropriate, ask. It’s okay to ask questions. Better ask and find out, than show up and be out of place. 3
  4. Be comfortable. Look Good. Feel Good applies here. First and foremost, you have to be comfortable. If you aren’t, people will notice, which doesn’t matter a ton, but you’ll probably hate every second of it. Constantly readjusting is a sign that you might not be comfortable. Make sure the fit is right on whatever you’re wearing. When the fit is right, the entire outfit looks better.Style 1
  5. Own your style and try new things. If you’re creative, find a way to pull an outfit together that you didn’t see before. If you’re unsure about that haircut or hairstyle, try it. If you don’t like it, change it. If you like to dress up, get out of bed a half hour earlier and get ready for the day. If it’s Saturday and you aren’t going anywhere, rock the joggers or sweatpants. 4
  6. Don’t let people dictate what is right for you. Style is about a swagger or an expression of your personality. Don’t force it and play around with the ideas you have. You might find that you like something you were afraid to try.

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Also a special guest quote from my friend Julie Fredrick: “SHOES ALWAYS MATCH THE BAND OF THE WATCH.”

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Photos taken by: @SarahFiorillo (Instagram)

 

Out of Office Spotlight – Dan Ekonen

Dan Ekonen – the man, the myth, the Squatch. Dan spends time outside of the office playing with Betty White, listening to the Lumineers, high-fiving Porkchop, and buying endless amounts of champagne. While enjoying craft beer, he mocks hipsters by wearing homemade, capri, cut-off sweatpants, not fitting in phone booths, and hosting baked potato themed tailgates with Jesi Ekonen, his domestic partner.

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Uncharted Territory – Style

Confidence is Key. One of the lessons I learned in undergrad is that sweatpants just don’t cut it, for me anyway. Style is something that is personal. It’s something that should fit your personality and fit the occasion. I learned this the hard way – from showing up overdressed for some occasions and woefully underdressed for other situations. It’s all a learning process – I’m not a fashion expert at all, but I am an expert in combating insecurities, accepting that sometimes I look foolish, and getting out of my comfort zone.

So if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m diving into the world of personal style and how it fits me. As I write this, I can’t help but laugh at myself for some of the previous fashion statements I’ve made that I thought were cool… But really, they were pretty bad. I was trying to figure out what worked for me by mirroring the style of people who I believed mastered style. Sometimes it worked  and other times I had to figure something else out. No matter how different the blues are, you can’t wear all blue… same goes for every color except black and white, but even those have to be the SAME black or the SAME white.

So what did I do after a couple years of trying to figure it out? I looked to a hero of mine – Andre Benjamin better known as Andre 3000. Not only do I have a great appreciation for his music, but I also respect his opinion on style. In an interview with Complex Magazine, Andre 3000 said, “Style is a feeling. And I mean, you can get caught up into chasing and pleasing other people, but you’ll feel like shit inside. You’ll do it for a while, and then you just say ‘you know what? I don’t feel that way’ and then you’ll just grab what you feel like and you’ll feel great.” So that’s what I did – I made some mistakes, I learned a few lessons, and I’ve figured out and still figuring out what makes me feel and look good.

Will I make more mistakes? Quite simply, yes. Does it matter all that much? Maybe on first dates, interviews, and in the workplace. Am I dressing for anyone but myself now? Not really. Earlier I was listening to Take Off Your Cool by Andre 3000 and Nora Jones, which prompted me to write this post. Be authentic. Make yourself happy sometimes. Try something new. Honestly, what do you have to lose? Enjoy some photos of my style over the years.

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