Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Max you know. The Max you knew.

Social media is an interesting beast... 

It allows people to connect and also reconnect from previous lives.  

Yes, previous lives.  Though I'm 33 and turning 34 this June, I feel that there has been a couple points in my life which changed the course of my life so drastically that I don't even think I'm the same person that I was 6 years ago.

If you actually have not spent time with me the last 6 years, please don't think that I am the same person that you knew.  If you have not talked to me, don't assume that the person and image you created is still the same as today.

You'd be sadly mistaken and miss out on the real me.

Love to you all.

 Mahalo for reading. Until next time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

TravelTalk - Independence Square (Kiev, Ukraine) - Unedited

Aloha everyone,

I received a couple of requests to see the unedited photos... and yes - most of my pictures will be posted on Google+.

Just in case you wanted to see the awesome work of +Poli P CLICK HERE

Friday, April 18, 2014

TravelTalk - Ukraine - Last Day

Considering I have my alarm set for 3 hours from now, I probably shouldn't be writing this blog...

Then again... there are a lot of things I have done which I probably shouldn't have.


Today was an awesome day - the weather was perfect, sunny, slightly breezy, not too hot, clear skies and beautiful...

With that said... most of the things I remember from my travels are the special moments... Yes, there is a lot to see here in Ukraine and Independence Square will be something that I will never forget...

but the people I have met are the ones I'll never forget...

(all pics will be posted on Google+)

Whether it's +Andrea Naccarato and having connoli at Curi Curi and making my first home made risotto fungi... or +Jamie Knight and +Amber Collins in Amsterdam, or having a picnic with +Donalie-An Mugnier, cooking tofu for +David Azevedo and +Joana Ribeiro, or bringing +jen mcveay a vanilla latte at 5 am in the morning, or +Putali Kandel (who always brings a smile to my face when I see her), and +Dàniel Pál (which we drank so much absinthe and puked everywhere to find out we were near the hostel the next day)... yes I can go on and on and on... 

 I feel that the people I meet on my travels really helps me shape my view of a particular place.

Kiev and Ukraine is no different.

The hospitality I have received here is beyond words.  This is why I somewhat make a difference between traveling and tourism...  My first night here, I was greeted by Alex... and eating home cooked meals of borsch and salo (with garlic), or hanging out with Arseniy and Olena, serenading Plain White T's on their guitar... not to mention giving an English lesson and getting to hang out with +Andrii Prepiialo all day...

To all of the friends I have made around the world along my travels and to my new friends in Kiev...

This blog is for you...

Now keep it down, I need to get my 2 hours and 55 minutes of sleep...

See you soon!

 Mahalo for reading. Until next time.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

TravelTalk - Kiev, Ukraine... day 7? 8? lol

Ooohhh... remind me to take pictures of my hostel... It's an awesome place... 
(yes, I know that hostels normally aren't "awesome") 

Oh yeah, my last hostel was so bad (compared to this one), it was in the middle of nowhere - took me 20 minutes to walk to the metro, and I didn't really sleep... there were no curtains and across the street was a super bright light... anywho, I digress.

Yikes... I can't believe I have 24 hours left... so many things I want to do 

Actually, on my last day, I'll probably take it easy and just go to a museum and go eat at different places. #nomnomnom

One of the things that I love about traveling is being completely open to the world around me... 

Yesterday, I went to the Kiev Polytechnic Institute University and gave an English lesson.  

It was quite fun... I got to see the campus, walk around 18-22 year olds... ha ha... 
(which I wouldn't have seen otherwise, if I wasn't invited by Ksyusha)

From Ukraine - With Love

English Class!  =D
After class, #selfie, I got to hang out with +Andrii Prepiialo and my couchsurfer hosts (which I will have to write a completely separate blog about... yup...) had a couple of beers, walked around and had a great time... (no, I didn't take too many pictures at night), oh... lol we stopped by a bar and we ended up speaking in Spanish... there's a bar (which we're going back to tonight, I only went to use the bathroom... =P) which has a cool Spanish vibe... My first time hearing a Ukranian speaking Spanish (quite well, actually)... 

Well, I really should write more, but I am hungry and my breakfast is here... 

Then off to the museum.  #last24hours.  Sun is out!  OMFG!

Mahalo for reading. Until next time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 5 - Independence Square - Kiev, Ukraine

Wow, I can't believe it's my fifth day here and I finally got to spend some time in Independence Square...

I was just a lost for words... While there are areas of destruction and signs of battles, I felt real safe.  An abundance of Ukrainian flags, music, and an atmospheric ambiance of pride was all here.  I literally stood in one spot for almost an hour just allowing the energy of this site to permeate my soul...

Photo edited by Poli,

Soldiers walking around, eating, chatting... Reporters with their camera crews recording videos... Me, standing there, trying to imagine what happened at this very spot... Acknowledging what happened in the past, living in the present, and providing hope for the future...

Photo edited by Poli,
My words cannot do this justice... See for yourself and try to imagine...
Photo edited by Poli,
Photo edited by Poli,
Photo edited by Poli,

Special thanks to Poli, for editing the photos... Don't forget to check out her blog... 

Monday, April 14, 2014

TravelTalk - My 4th day in Kiev, Ukraine (danger vs fear)

 I swear all of my Couchsurfing hosts must think I am bipolar.  I am literally sending out messages like, I'm going to Warsaw, then 5 minutes later, I am staying here... let's go hang out for a drink...

Why am I writing about this.... well, I think there is a difference between danger versus fear.... Danger can be quantified and minimalized if certain steps are taken to remove your self from risk factors which causes the danger.  With that said, today, I was quite freaked out about going to a new place, on my own and even meeting other people today, I kinda did not want to be in public.

After meeting my new host (more about him below), doing laundry, taking a nap and waking up to the sun, I finally agreed to leave the house and hang out with Dmitriy (pictured below)...  Ha ha... 

Seriously... my texts to him were like...
D: Let's hang out
M: Perfect
D: Want to meet around 1400?
M: Kinda paranoid, don't want to leave the house because I got punched in the face twice.
D: I hope you are fine

After nap:
M: Hey let's hang out... 

While, I am not saying you should not be careful, you should calculate risk.  Yes, I was walking around by myself to meet Dmitriy, but it was in a public street, during daylight, with a bit of crowds walking around - that's not to say that I was perfectly calm... but hey, I'm starting to feel a lot better...  

I didn't taste this... just took the photo.

My first pizza in Kiev

My host Arseniy and sister - a jam session!
He's my 2nd host here in Kiev and he's really laid back, inspiring English teacher - which he shouldn't have any trouble, likes to travel as well... and is prone to freak accidents - toe nail and surfboard - in Bali... (interesting story)

Funny thing is, I almost missed out on all of these things today had I listened to my fear... and not the actual danger which was minimal, since I took common precautions, such as traveling during the day, not walking alone (if it could possible be averted), well, for those of reading the news, try not to freak out, everyone here is not really sure what is going to happen to the lack of military response from Ukraine... 

PS.  Apple - you are F***ing stupid.  WTF. I'm selling this iPad as soon as I get back to Spain.

 Mahalo for reading. Until next time.