OLYA'S PASSIONS

PR, Advertising, Journalism, Public Speaking, Photography, Traveling and all those simple things that make me happy

Month: July, 2012

Thank God I’ve got true friends!

On Monday I turned 24. I received tones of birthday wishes from my family, my friends, my classmates, my university colleagues, from people I worked with, from people I admire, from people I get inspired by and from people I’ve learnt from.

I would like to thank them all for their kind words, I’m happy to have them in my life. I hope they felt the warm thoughts I sent back to them.

The most emotional moment of the day was when my 2 years old nephew started to sing a happy birthday song for me, while my sweet little niece was dancing in her mother’s arms.

My nephew Cesar and my niece Beatrice

Later in the evening I found a big surprise on my Facebook wall. Two of my very special friends made a video for me.

Dear Taboo and Nick , I’m sure you’ll be reading this post, I miss you crazy people! Thank you for the wishes!

Here is the video 🙂

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Surprise party in the mountains

The Alps

I spent a great weekend with a big part of my family. In the city the temperature was almost 40 degrees, so we decided to run away from the warmth. The mountains seemed to be the best destination. It took us about 2 hours to get to a peaceful place near Asiago, the most extensive area of high plateau on Alps, situated in the northeastern Italy.

We arrived on midday, so we had a picnic lunch, right on the grass close to the forest. When it came to desert time our picnic transformed into a surprise party. My aunt baked a very special cake for me, my smallest cousin took care about my wishes and lit a birthday candle on the cake and my dearest uncle picked me a lovely bunch of flowers. In that very moment my birthday started on Sunday, on a day earlier than it really is. We had a great time together.

I laid down on the grass, looked at the clear blue sky and asked myself “what else could I wish?”, well, I wish just to see us happy, healthy and close to each other. For my mom this day was even more important than it was for me. We didn’t celebrate my birthday together for about 6 years, so she was happy to have me close and I was happy to walk arm in arm with her.

Mountains give me a great feeling of release. The atmosphere up there refreshes not only my body, but also my mind and soul. When I get closer to the sun I let myself dream and believe I can fly. I don’t need wings for that; I have my thoughts, my ideas, my hopes and my dreams.

I believe I can fly

Street art in Rome

No future without culture

This picture I took some weeks ago near the students’ campus of the Milan Polytechnic University. On the wall is written “Non c’e futuro senza cultura” which means “There is no future without culture”. I find myself through the believers of this assumption.

Have you ever tried to define “the culture”? I’ve just tried and it was quite difficult for me, because it covers a huge dimension, it is more complex than art, literature, traditions. Culture is about ideas and attitudes. The easiest way to let it become a part of our lives is to be open-minded, to stop judging and to be empathic.

I would like to share with you a part of a street art exhibition I’ve seen in Rome, last week. Unfortunately, the artist was in a hurry and didn’t have the chance to speak to him. I don’t even know his name. His works were pun on a fence along the Ara Pacis Augustae Museum from Rome. I suppose he used for this exhibition things that he found on the streets, like a glove, a broken umbrella, a broken plate. There were also some of his paintings. Every piece had a comment; I really liked the artist’s sense of humor.

There was also a big old shopping bag on wheels, very popular in Italy, with the comment “Property of the author”, near it was a box for donations. I don’t usually give money, neither to beggars, nor to street artists. So, I decided to share with him my lunch and put a banana into his violet bag.

The idea is that we can find culture in simple things.

P.S. If you recognize the artist, please tell me his name in a comment. Thank you!

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Rome is an amazing place for dreamers. I’ve spent there just 4 days, but it was enough to enrich my life experience. The city is quite easy to discover, everywhere you turn around you can see the beauties of Rome. Even if you have no maps, no city books or guides, you shouldn’t be afraid to get lost. It happened to us on our first evening in Rome, when we went out for a walk and we bumped into the the Trajan’s Column having a great night view of the Coliseum. As we sat there on a huge rock, enjoying the sight, the clock struck midnight and I started to sing a “happy birthday” song to my friend. I would like to thank her for this special moment.
with my friend Tania in the Coliseum

The next day started with a traditional Italian breakfast and the big plan of visiting Coliseum. The imposing symbol of Rome impressed me a lot. It was worth staying in a two hours cue, for a one hour walk. At the Coliseum you can take a proper guide, an audio guide or a video guide. The ticket you buy at the Coliseum is valid 2 days and you can visit also Palatine and the Roman Forum. There were some groups of children sightseeing the antique Rome,I belive this is the most efficient way to learn history. I wish my kids will have the opportunity to learn history in this way.

Coliseum The Coliseum from inside

The Roman Forum Another view of the Roman Forum

In the evening we experienced Dolce far niente -the traditional Italian mood. We had a delicious gelato in Piazza Navona, a great dinner in Campo di Fiori and a spectacular walk down the Tevere river, with live music in the moon light. There is a little island on the river, between the bridge Garibaldi and the bridge Palatino, called Isola Tiberiana, where people gather to watch movies at an open air cinema.

View over the Tevere river

When you visit Vatican dress appropriately, no shorts or mini skirts are permitted; you should also cover your shoulders. The same rule applies for the Sistine Chapel from the Museum of Vatican.

Museum of Vatican San Pietro

Our roman weekend was exhausting. We walked a lot, trying to enjoy everything Rome can offer. I’m sure we haven’t seen not even a half of the places, still we tried. I would have to tell you a lot about Rome, but let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Morcheeba was right, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday to my travel soulmate!

Every day is a special one, but today I have much more reasons to be grateful to the Universe!

A dear friend of mine is celebrating her birthday. I’m so happy she is a part of my life, because I have so many things to learn from her. She has a brilliant intelligence, she is strong, ambitious and generous. She has high standards and thinks big about her goals, she always achieves them, but not always is aware of that. The thing I admire the most is her rebel spirit, that made her become a fighter.

She is used to fight against injustices of life, against regrets and disappointments, but I wish she starts fighting for love, happiness, peace and harmony.

We don’t meet each other too much, because there is almost 2000 km between us, even though, I feel her as close as 6 years ago when we first met, during our stay in Germany.

Our friendship is built on our “escapes”, this is why she is my travel soul mate.

The most enthusiastic thing is that today, on her birthday, we are enjoying Rome, together.

My dear friend, happy birthday and let your heart fulfill with light!

P.S. And don’t forget “when you need a friend, you got my hand” 🙂

Give and you’ll be given in return

Here we are, “to give or not to give?” this is the question of my first blog post. You may think Hamlet had a more existential problem, but this one is worth taking into consideration, too.

Some weeks ago, one of my friends posted a status on her Facebook wall, sounding like “never ask for what ought to be given”. We had a short conversation on that, but we didn’t go in depth of the subject. For this reason I was still thinking about the idea of giving and receiving. By giving, I mean helping, advising, doing something good for others.

Obviously, when somebody gives, other receives. But I truly believe the phenomenon of giving and helping is more than that. It works like boomerang, it returns to you when you throw it in the right way. And the right way is to help by being honest and sincere, to give without waiting to be given. Nobody ought to do something for us, but we can do something good for others. The Universe will find a way “to return the favor”.

I was very surprised to find this principle in business as well. The concept is called Giver’s Gain, firstly used by Ivan Misner, the founder of Business Network International (BNI). The philosophy is this: if you help other people, others will want to help you in return.

Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy, in their book “Branding Yourself”, explain that “Giver’s Gain means that if you add value to someone else’s life, you have gained goodwill. If you add enough value to other’s lives, the goodwill visited back on you will be returned many times. So, you, as the giver, gain more goodwill by being helpful than you will if you are selfish and try to keep all the opportunities to yourself.”

Giver’s Gain philosophy can be applied in any kind of activity, but in Public Relations it becomes a rule. PR is about building relationships and the “giver’s gain” principles help in strengthening those relationships. I learnt this lesson from my experience.

“The best way to start practicing Giver’s Gain is just to step into the circle and be the first one to give”, say Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy.

So, my online friends, I’m ready to give you a part of my energy, creativity, optimism, enthusiasm. I’m ready to share with you my experiences, dreams and passions.