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The Bohemian Storyteller

Visual Stories crafted with Soul, Creativity and Love! #Travel & #Lifestyle #Photography | #ShotoniPhone | #thebohemianstoryteller

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. I must have Flowers, always, always! - Monet at Horburgpark

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. Felt like home. The prayers, Hymns, Offerings and amazing lunch. It’s so wonderful and heart warming to see the Srilankan community integrate beautifully into the Swiss culture and the Swiss reciprocate by immersing this beautiful Hindu temple into its ambience. . . Celebrated my Hindu birthday on Sunday with my parents and a few close friends. The customs aren’t the same as Indian ones but it’s a great reminder of how all cultures have one beautiful way of celebrating and reaching salvation. at Basel, Switzerland

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. Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely moms, including mine, who always have and continue to put everyone else before themselves. Thanks to my cousins and friends who’ve always let me share their motherhood journeys so generously and to their lovely kids (all my nieces and nephews) who respond back to my maternal instincts with equal love, and respect. Sending everyone a special hug today 😘 #happymothersday #mothersday at Basel, Switzerland

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. Number 29! Instead of focusing on a ‘To-Do’ list, make a ‘To-Be’ list. Back in 2017, when I started to work on my mental health this was probably one of the first things I wrote down. I think I had read something somewhere and it stuck with me. Instead of writing down a ‘to-do’ list, I wrote feelings/ qualities I wanted to feel and embody. . . I wrote that I want ‘to-be’: 1. Happy 2. Calm 3. Loving 4. Healthy 5. Awesome 6. Positive 7. Confident By changing the narrative, I could take back control by literally choosing from a wide canvas of activities and choices to reach the final destination, a state of being in this case! It took a huge pressure off of me as I no longer had to conform to unrealistic norms and tall unattainable benchmarks (even those set by me) . . As an example, rather than saying I want ‘to do’ a diet and lose 20 kilos, I chose ‘to be’ healthy. It made me work on mindfulness of what I was doing for my health, what I was putting inside my body and how I could choose to be active. . . I found that a ‘to be’ list is more positive, liberating, achievable and sustainable in the long run. It also gives a perspective on how you’re feeling rather than being boxed into a category of things which when go not as planned, further push you into a vicious circle of stress and expectation mismatch. . . Have you ever worked on a ‘to-be’ list as opposed to a ‘to-do’ list?? ————————————————— In the coming days, I’m going to share 39 nuggets of life lessons I’ve learnt, things that have made me the person I am today! One for each year I’ve revolved around the sun. Hope these will resonate with you 💕 #amsiesfab4ORTY at Basel, Switzerland

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. The party doesn’t stop! Thank you for all the calls, videos, messages, happy birthday songs, gifts, flowers and presence on what turned out to be an epic party night and morning now. My face is sparkling and my smile doesn’t fade thanks to all the overwhelming love and affection you guys shower on me. Love you all and I will get back to each one of you, promise!!! Thank you 💕 #amsiesfab4orty at Basel, Switzerland

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. Number 31 and 30! Define YOUR own ‘normal’! Revel in your UNIQUE life path! There is this mirage society sells you – you are supposed to look a certain way, behave a certain way, have a set of milestones in a particular sequence and at so called appropriate times in your physical life.. You’re supposed to want the same things that this mirage is comfortable with.. You’re expected to say things that do not rock any boats, toe the line in putting everyone else before you! Any deviation to these set of rules and you know there will be a bunch of people wanting to throw you out of the game… It gives these people a right to ostracize you, make you feel like a freak or abnormal in any case and to tell you what a loser you are… For the longest time, you believe this drivel!! You think, this is what you want for your life too… To fit in, to tick everything on that utopian checklist they keep telling you about, to be accepted into the folds and to not stand out… Your life doesn’t follow that pattern and you think there is something wrong with you, you actually start to believe in them – “yes, I must be abnormal”, you think!!! But… If you’re lucky and blessed, there comes a time in your life which you spend only with yourself and your own thoughts! You seek answers and you finally ask yourself – is this what you truly want?? Do you even want to play this game?? This moment of self-reflection and the answer you receive from the deep recesses of your heart – this is what will make you soar high.. “This is MY normal”, your heart will tell you! This is who You are and who you are meant to be... When they call you abnormal, they do not realize that You are unique! What they see as you deviating from the paths drawn out before you; is just you chartering your own journey!! When they say you aim for lofty ideals, always remember that they lack the wisdom to see your flight towards fulfilling your own destiny while rising to your full potential! Yes this is YOUR NORMAL.. This is what defines YOU! Claim it, Revel in it and wear it like a badge of honor! at Portugal

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. Number 32! Embrace your mediocrity, elevate it by sincerity and consistency!! . . I told someone recently that for a long long time, I woke up each day thinking 'today is the day' - the day when things will just miraculously fall into place! My brain will just come out of the cloudy fog that it generally is hidden under! . . Today might be the day I will suddenly come across an idea that would change my life, make me famous or just generally take me towards that elusive feeling of ‘being settled'... . You see there is this pressure for hurtling towards 'having arrived' or just being clear about 'what I want in life'!! 'Discovering myself' seems to be the most challenging goal I've ever faced!! I know I've beat myself up and pressurized myself to feel all of the above!! Felt inadequate because there is 'always something missing', a sense of grandeur that hasn't revealed itself yet!!!! . . To those who feel like me - have you ever thought about this?? What if my superpower is my 'mediocrity'??! . . What if I will always be a 'Jill of all trades, mistress of none'?! Why is that not okay?There is no shame in admitting that the epiphany is not going to happen! . . Maybe this is the purpose of my life - just living each day with being a CONSISTENT 'Work In Progress'! It's OKAY to be doing the routine, mundane, nothing spectacular for every single day, for the rest of my life!! Coz' even though Routine is 'Boring', it can be 'Comforting' and there is surely some magic waiting to be discovered within 'COMFORTING FOREVER'!! ————————————————— In the coming days, I’m going to share 39 nuggets of life lessons I’ve learnt, things that have made me the person I am today! One for each year I’ve revolved around the sun. Hope these will resonate with you 💕 #amsiesfab4ORTY at Brussels, Belgium

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. Mayday Mayday!!! Hold on to 2019, coz it’s flying off the shelf. Can you believe Month 5 is here? It only feels like yesterday that I was sending out ‘Happy New Year 2019’ messages!! 😭 . . On the positive side though, birthday month is here and this is a big whopper of a milestone birthday for me. It’s also the first time I’ve genuinely been excited about my birthday, so much so that I’m throwing an actual big-fat birthday party for my close friends. . . Party planning is therapeutic and stressful at the same time, and fingers crossed that I will survive the next few days with grace and gratefulness 🥰 . . Welcoming May with colours and flowers from Basel 💕 at Basel, Switzerland

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. The trouble is, you think you have time!! at Basel, Switzerland

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. Came back to Basel only to find Tulips planted along the pathway leading to the park opposite my apartment. . . I’ve never seen this colour on a Tulip before, have you? at Basel, Switzerland

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. Guten Morgen aus Basel! Good Morning from Basel! . . I was watching news footage of the #srilankablasts and there was a woman who was talking about watching people die in front of her. At the end of interview she said, “I will never go back to Church again, I am too scared”. . . This is the success of negative destruction based terrorism. It seeks to put fear in the hearts of people, making them go away from what they love and have done for years. It seeks to change the fabric of humankind. . . Places of worships (be it from any religion) have been a sanctuary away from the world - a symbol of a safe haven from hurt, anger, hate and pain. It’s heartbreaking to see how evil ideologies seek to destroy these safe havens. . . The blasts in Srilanka are not just a terrorist act but an act against everything humanity stands for! . . But it is especially in times such as these, when we as global citizens should stand in solidarity - not within our ‘groups’ as Hindus or Muslims or Christians or as Americans or Indians or Germans or whatever affiliations we may belong to. We must stand together as ‘Human’ to not let hate win over us. We need to come together as one to ensure no one feels scared or hopeless to go back to a place of worship or anywhere for that matter, out of fear of death and destruction!!! . . The world needs to Unite - in love over hate, peace over conflict! I wish and hope one day this would be possible. It starts with each one of us, let’s make it happen one person at a time! . . In the picture is the stunning St. Paul’s church in Basel, which I pass every day on my way to work! Gorgeous and Peaceful, isn’t it?! #lovebasel at Basel, Switzerland

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. Since I could not make it to the Tulip fields @visitkeukenhof I am sharing a throwback photo from my visit in May 2016! This was my birthday gift from my family friends here in Belgium since I just love flowers in general, with Tulips being one of my most favorite blooms! . . I got my own mini field in @roermondoutlet yesterday so I didn’t quite miss the visit to Holland that badly. Also saw these pretty Daffodils and Forget me Nots planted along most pathways. . . This post is dedicated to all those who perished in the condemnable act today in @srilanka There is no place for hate in any civilized society by anyone who perpetrates these atrocities. May everyone affected by this tragedy find peace and healing. Happy Easter dear friends. Here’s to new beginnings and for Peace & Love to prevail 💕 at Netherlands

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. From the day I landed in Belgium last week, I was waiting to go over and see some windmills. But that plan wasn’t quite falling into place. . . We drove over to the Netherlands today for shopping instead of the Tulip gardens as originally planned. Time to share another hidden jewel - @roermondoutlet is a place that’s amazingly magical. I had no plans to shop, but seeing the 40% discount on most stores, I’ve come back with quite a few bags 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ . . On the drive back to Antwerpen, we passed lots of 🍓 fields and I finally got my wish of clicking a windmill. This cutie is a working mill and even has a name - it’s called the AURORA, which was originally built in 1845 and re-commissioned in 1971. . . Please excuse the lighting - this one is clicked at 20:50 this evening right before sunset! at Aurora

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. Couple of you wrote to me asking about chocolate shopping in Belgium. Some of the well known brands out here that I’ve tried and can totally recommend very highly are: 1. Godiva @godiva 2. Leonidas @leonidas.chocolate 3. Côte d’Or @cotedorchocolates 4. Neuhaus @neuhauschocolates 5. Planète Chocolat @planetechocolat The Flanders region (Flemish region of Belgium) has two of the globe’s biggest chocolate factories, Callebaut and Puratos. Check the following website for a beautiful read about the top Belgian chocolate brands - https://www.visitflanders.com/en/themes/belgian-chocolate/buy-the-best-belgian-chocolate/belgian-chocolate-brands/ . . Today though, I would like to introduce you to a widely kept Belgian secret - an artisanal chocolate lounge @delreyantwerpen . Del Rey has no outlets other than the one in Antwerp (apart from one in Japan) and sells all things chocolate - truffles, handmade chocolates, desserts, cookies and hot chocolate. It’s an expensive and explosive assault on your senses, one worth splurging on. I bought a box of cookies and chocolate desserts for my family friends, which will be polished off after dinner tonight. If you’re in Antwerp, do not forget to stop by this decadent house of sinful delight 😬🥰 at Antwerp, Belgium

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. Part 2 of Ghent photos from walking around the town. Ghent is a very popular shopping district and the food scene is very international, with many many options for plant based sustainable choices. I visited two amazing places @greenway_foods (plant based burgers and more) and Faja Lobi Café (Surinames Café, not just plant based) . . Ghent is primarily a port and university town, and a hub for culture. It has many museums which is an added attraction to the medieval city center. I would totally recommend a stroll around this cute town! at Gent, Belgium

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. While the world was going gaga over the latest season of GoT, I got a chance to meet a dragon of my own. . . Keeping in with my lookout for not so touristy smaller intimate places to visit, I went for a day trip to Ghent today. The city center is an ode to medieval architecture and many of the beautiful buildings still tell a tale of an era of glory gone by. All I did today was explore some local food scenes, walk around the city to take in the atmosphere, shopped at @maccosmetics and took some pictures. Sharing some impressions! . . First set of photos of and from the 91-metre-tall belfry of Ghent, which is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city centre of Ghent, the other two belonging to Saint Bavo Cathedral and Saint Nicholas' Church. The belfry of Ghent, together with its attached buildings, belongs to the set of belfries of Belgium and France inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. (Wiki) at Gent, Belgium

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. As you know I’m visiting friends in Brussels. On Saturday we visited the Groot-Bijgaarden Castle (Dutch: Kasteel Groot-Bijgarden, French: Château de Grand-Bigard) which is a 12th-century castle in Groot-Bijgaarden in the municipality of Dilbeek, Flemish Brabant, Belgium. (Wiki) . . There is currently a Flower show called Floria Brussels running on the 14 hectares of castle gardens from 6 April till 5 May 2019. On Saturday, they had a beautiful Venetian parade underway and I got a chance to click some portraits of the artists in full Venetian costumes and masks. Stunning costumes, warm sunlight, chill breeze, gorgeous Tulips and Hyacinths in bloom made for a beautiful afternoon picnic. Totally recommend this if you can’t make the hike over to Kuekenhof to see the Tulips fields! at Groot-Bijgaarden, Brabant, Belgium

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. Köln is one of my favorite cities in Germany! I’ve been here a few times on my own and spent one of my birthdays with my parents too. It holds some special memories for me and one of the best ones is to visit the @koelnerdomofficial Did you know that this cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires? The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world. (Wiki) I love sitting bang opposite the Cathedral, in a 150 year old Coffee house turned speciality restaurant - Cafe Reichard. They have amazing breakfast buffet options, lunch menus and a Confiserrie selling delicious house made cakes, Tortes and Pralines. I love the friendly staff and just sitting here looking at the majestic Cathedral and people walking by. In addition to the Cathedral, the Alt Stadt or the old town of Köln is one of the most quaint areas you’ll find in Europe, which transforms into a vibrant shopping district during the day and pulsating night life every weekend. Walking along the Rhine promenade and visiting the bridge of locks is another highly recommended things to do here! If you’re looking for a quick day break, Köln is a beautiful destination that never disappoints! at Kölner Dom - die offizielle Seite

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