Gracefully Global (Peggy)

Gracefully Global (Peggy)

@gracefully_global

📍Location independent, international educator, arts marketer & 🇮🇹 Italy travel expert. Join me & 📸 my camera here & on my blog, one city at a time.✈️
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

@gracefully_global


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I've officially made my transition to my new home in Florence, Italy.  After nearly four years in Bologna, Italy (and then some time in between in New York and San Diego) the transition hasn't been shocking, but the move has required lots of work, and I've been missing you guys with not enough time to devote to Instagram as I used to have.  I haven't had much time to shoot, either, but I enjoyed a night off recently and had some fun shooting near my apartment.  My neighborhood in Florence is full of long, narrow streets which make for great shooting, especially when the light is right and the weather is interesting.  At this moment it is snowing, not such typical weather for this region.  But I'm enjoying these days when the locals are out and the streets aren't bursting with tourists.  And I know the weather will warm up soon when that beautiful Tucan sun comes out. :)

2 Hours ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I apologize to all of you, as I've been a bit absent from Instagram these weeks preparing for my big international move.  I've missed following your adventures, but I'm looking forward to catching up on them soon. I've been trying my best to take advantage of every minute at home in San Diego with family and friends, and have even been making little side trips on the weekends to catch up with old friends and colleagues.  It has been exhausting, but definitely some of my favorite months that I can remember in a long time.  This photo I took on my beautiful walking route in San Diego's historic North Park neighborhood.  There have been some especially vibrant sunsets lately, and this photo I took from the top of one of the hills in the area as a plane came in with the iconic silhouette of the Museum of Man in Balboa Park in the distance.  I've worked for many years at the Old Globe Theatre, which is next to the Museum of Man.  So this photo represents many of the things that are most precious to me about my life in San Diego.  Even the power lines running through the frame are quite iconic, as this neighborhood is known for them, and they remind me of home. :) Isn't it nice when everything comes together so well? :)

57 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I've now long since said goodbye to Greece, but the impressions that this amazing country made on me were enough to ensure I will be back many times.  It was fitting that I finished my long months of solo travel here in Corfu, the place where Odysseus is thought to have finished his epic journey.  Right about here, actually, is where Poseidon supposedly turned his ship to stone but partly due to help from Athena, he still made it home to Ithaca safely after twenty years of adventures.  Every time I return home I am a bit different, the product of my adventures, and most importantly, my mind full of what I've learned from the many people I meet along the way.  It is always bittersweet to wrap up an adventure, but there's nothing like coming home to friends and family and home.

74 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Somehow when you travel alone you are more sensitive to finding the places that are full of people and energy.  The most famous of those places in Corfu is The Liston, Spianada Promenade, where long, porticoed walkways brought me back to my countless nights exploring Bologna, the city of porticos.  I loved the shiny walkway in Corfu that reflected the light of the bars and restaurants and the shadows of the many happy couples and families here to enjoy a night off and see what's up in the town.  The day after I took this photo I saw a painting in the Corfu municipal museum by George Samartzis called a "Night in Corfu," painted from the opposite side of this promenade.  I was struck by how much the people in the painting had in common with the people in my photo, even though it was painted one hundred years ago.  I love these moments when art that I see for the first time feels so familiar.  It makes the world feel smaller and much more manageable. :)

86 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I texted this photo to my stepbrother without explanation, and his response was, "Are you driving? 😳" Ha!

101 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I spent a wonderful day wandering around old Corfu Town, ending up at the Old Fortress as the sun was starting to set.  I was enjoying exploring this area so much that I was looking down every path I could find to see if there were any treasures I hadn't discovered yet.  Somehow I made my way down and out of the walled area into this peaceful shore along the sea lined with trees.  There were a handful of people scattered about, making the most out of this last hour or so of sunlight.  It was striking how peaceful it was here, a far cry from the windy sea along Mykonos, or the vast Pacific ocean that I am used to.  This woman sat silently in her pretty sundress with her feet in the sea.  She seems to be holding a story that we want to know.  I shot this photo and then made my way to a wonderful dinner at the sailing club, just past this clearing.  A double rainbow appeared soon after.

107 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I love Corfu's size.  Not too big, and not too small.  I easily got myself around the island via their public bus system and found myself in a new, wonderful place every day.

108 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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This view is one of the most famous in Corfu. The charming 17th century church pictured here seems to sit on its own tiny island. Nearby (not pictured) is a very famous little island called Mouse Island with a very small 13th century church on it. Tourists spend the afternoon hopping from island to island by little boats and narrow land bridges. But perhaps the most famous aspect of this tourist destination is the flight path of the Corfu airport that goes right overhead, with the runway easy to see from here. Tourists line up on the land bridge to watch planes take off, which happens, on average, every five minutes. A little restaurant at the edge of one side of the land bridge turned out to be my perch for several hours as the patient staff was happy to let me sit and people/plane watch. I saw so many stories taking place all around me. This made me appreciate the tourists, a big shift from the annoyance I was feeling earlier in the day. They made the place very vibrant. It was a lovely afternoon.

110 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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It was sad saying goodbye to my friends in Mykonos, and starting out again on solo travels.  But I'm beginning a new adventure in Corfu, and I'm so glad to be here.  I'm learning that, while Corfu and Mykonos are both Greek islands, in many ways, they couldn't be more different.  From their landscapes to their architecture, I'm learning to appreciate just how diverse Greece can be.

113 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Mykonos truly deserves its reputation as The Windy Island. The drama of the waves hitting the shore and the wind blowing us along as we walked by the sea are two experiences on this special island that we won’t soon forget. I loved seeing the silhouettes of travelers enjoying the seaside under the hot, late afternoon sun, and seemingly about to be blown away.

114 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I don't know about you, but I just love the creativity that comes with celebrating Halloween. The stuff people come up with for their costumes and decorations always tickles me. I think Halloween is becoming one of my favorite holidays! How about this evil flamingo Halloween decoration I spotted? Genius! Ha! ;b Happy Halloween everyone! I hope it is full of laughs and fun for you and your loved ones.

116 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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We all gathered on this glorious island for one big reason: to celebrate the birthday of our fabulous friend, @jerpatter.  He's taking this photo, so I can't point him out (sorry Jer!!). This was the surprise birthday dinner we organized for him where hired mykonoschefservices @gmail.com (I can't figure out what their real business name is so the email works well enough.) to cook his birthday dinner at our condo.  With this view, it was a must to do a wonderful dinner at home.  It wasn't easy finding and booking caterers, and I was so relieved to finally find these guys who turned out to be professional and great to work with.  And the dinner was sooooo tasty.  We were all pleased with Jer's birthday festivities. ;b  I love other people's birthdays more than my own!

119 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Watching the ferry come in from Athens from our perch by the pool of the lovely condo we rented in the hills outside of the city of Mykonos. This is the same ferry we arrived on. We didn’t realize how fortunate we were that we arrived on an unusually still day. You can see how the wind affects the water here, and I can only imagine, the sea sickness on board. But boy, isn’t it beautiful?

121 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Those four-wheelers I mentioned in the last post have been lifesavers.  In high season there aren't enough taxis to meet the demand on Mykonos, and many of the most beautiful beaches are a drive.  So in comes the four-wheelers to save the day.  The rental office where we got them was a bit shady, and our rentals took several tries to get machines that ran decently and helmets that stayed on.  But we managed and it was a thrill to ride along in a group like this on our way back from the beach, watching the sunset.  I was really appreciative, as the locals were also really respectful of us on the road.  We even got a few waves.  I took this pic from the back as @jerpatter drove us home after another exotic day on this gorgeous island. :)

124 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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This lovely lighthouse was just above the condo we rented on the island of Mykonos, so we took our four-wheelers up here one afternoon to check it out.  Getting there was no easy task, even on the four-wheelers, as not all of the rentals are created equal, and one of our four-wheelers didn't have enough power to get up the steep, rocky path.  So some of us had to walk while the drivers made several attempts.  When we finally arrived we met a dog who seemed to be the welcome committee, and then he ran off into the hills and we ran after him like the white rabbit until we couldn't anymore.  The wind was so strong we were worried at moments that it would push us off the hill.  My SLR was acting up, unfortunately, so I captured this on my iPhone from the back of my friend Jer's four-wheeler on our way home.

125 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Our arrival in Mykonos, The Island of the Winds, was dramatic as could be, and I just loved it. Nothing like a little spark of drama to liven life up once in a while, right? ;) We arrived in Mykonos by a ferry that we took from Athens bright and early. As the ferry approached the island under the bright early afternoon sun we were all told to gather our things and go downstairs, and we found ourselves below deck in the parking area for the cars onboard. They wanted us to disembark from here, which made for a very dramatic disembarkment as the boat maneuvered into the dock with all of us waiting inside without windows and then loudly opened itself up, the sunlight flooding in and all of us catching our first glimpse of the arid landscape and signature white-washed buildings at the same time. This was the start of an eventful few days on this gorgeous Greek island.

127 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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My time in Athens has wound to a close and we are off to a birthday party in Mykonos.  I know, I have not a thing to complain about.  But I am still sad to leave this beautiful city.  One thing is for sure: I'll be back soon. :)

129 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I often travel solo, not because I necessarily prefer it, but because I'd rather travel alone than stay put because I don't have a travel companion.  I'm so grateful for my adventures, and I have made a lot of friends along the way that I probably wouldn't have met if I had been traveling with someone.  But I rarely have photos of myself, partly because I'm just not used to them, and partly because I don't have a buddy along to take them.  It was so nice breaking up my normal solo travel routine being in Greece with @jerpatter, @jocardz, and @cscott86. And now I actually have photos of myself here!! :))

131 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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A typical Sunday night in Athens. Restaurants and cafes are open later than any city I've ever been in. Lots of soft chatter to overhear from people sitting on patios enjoying a smoke. Look down and you join the world of the numerous kitties, and look up and peek into the beautiful balconies and awnings made of gorgeous ironwork. Trees soften the urban landscape, and a bit of trash is littered here and there. The powerful street lights filter the night yellow for the long hours of darkness when people are up and out and active. You can feel the typical stone design beneath your feet as you walk and explore. I spent many evenings like this, exploring, and always felt very safe. I stayed in the Gazi neighborhood, known for its restaurants and nightlife. It was the perfect neighborhood for me - an easy walk to Acropolis, and so many non-touristy streets to explore nearby. I can't recommend my hotel enough, which is called The House. I paid full price to stay there, and I would gladly go back and stay there and pay full price again. The owner told me a tourist told him before he opened it that they would have picked Gazi to stay in if there were any hotels, as this tourist thought it was the perfect neighborhood for a traveler to stay. So that's what he did. I felt like an Athenian for the week I was here. :)

132 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Some of you social media friends might know by now that theatre was my first love in the world of art. Photography has become my creative outlet over the years, but theatre is where I found myself. Being in Athens is so exciting for a theatre person. I felt like I was where it all began. While the amazing Theatre of Dionysus isn't presently in good enough shape to host performances, the nearby Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre is in plenty good shape for audiences. In fact, the first plans I made after arriving in Athens were to buy my ticket to see a show here. This photo I took at intermission. I was in awe of the buzz running through the audience. The setting was incredible, and we all knew it. The house was packed. This is what makes theatre so special, the tangible energy that is unique to that moment in time yet is intrinsically tied to the performance. I was so grateful to be here and experience this, as fleeting as it may have been. I'll never forget it.

135 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Gazing at the city of Athens from our rocky perch on top of Acropolis, it is hard to not let our minds wander to thousands of years earlier. What did this place look and feel like then? What were the lives like of the people that lived here? And then you notice a cat that has an even better view than you do. And you realized that this cat calls this huge, ancient, stone building home. Cats and dogs are found in Greece in the most unlikely places, and admittedly, this wasn't the strangest I witnessed. But seeing this little guy lounging in the ruins and dwarfed by their incredible scale as if he were relaxing in a windowsill, waiting for his humans to get home that will never come, was random, yet just as much a part of the experience of being in Greece as anything else.

137 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Traveling, blogging, and keeping up with social media at the same time is not easy...right or...am I the only one who struggles with this?  I wish there were more hours in the day!  Somehow, though, I always have a few extra seconds to stop and take pictures of street art, ah! ;b

138 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I love arriving in a city without a big to-do list. Instead, I read a lot from different sources like bloggers, Frommers, and the New York Times to get the lay of the land and prioritize my time a bit.  Knowing a local is really the best, and luckily in Athens, I had a wonderful colleague that offered me that extra bit of advice that I needed.  Debbie @dkoutroumanos, a Greek-American, told me her favorite side-trip from Athens is paying a visit to the Temple of Poseidon at sunset.  I had no idea what I was getting into, but me and my buddies totally trusted her.  And it TOTALLY paid off.  My friends often say that sunset here was one of the best moments of their trip to Greece.

143 Days ago
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So many dogs and cats to see and meet in Athens. This little guy was the faithful guardian of his mom’s shop. As I snapped away my friends tried to meet him, but he was less than impressed by us, ha!

144 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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At the end of Ermou street (referenced in the previous post) is the beautiful Syntagma Square, and just past the square is the Hellenic (Greek) Parliament.  I loved walking through the square and seeing all the families and couples enjoying the area, which included a huge fountain and giant steps you walk up on your way to the Old Royal Palace where the Greek Parliament is housed.  There was something about the area that really reminded me of Millennium Park in Chicago, a place I love because it is in the heart of the city and has so much to offer recreationally, and doesn't cost anything.  After such an exciting walk to the Parliament, it was a real treat to continue my evening of discovery by arriving in time for the changing of the guard.  The young, great looking guards seemed so dedicated.  There was an older guard that checked up on them and controlled the crowds and posed for photos, while the younger guards weren't allowed to move outside of the motions that were a part of their job.  The people watching here is fantastic.

146 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I'm enjoying a stroll down Ermou this evening, a perfect activity for spending a beautiful Saturday night in Athens.  I love the people watching, the street art spotting, and the historical ruins.  There seems to be a bit of everything wherever you go in Athens.  Oh, and the views, which are perhaps my favorite part.  I love the many sloping streets which provide wonderful photographing opportunities, and views galore.

147 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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This is such a typical view of Athens, so I wanted to share it with you.  I took the photo from my hotel, The House, in the Gazi neighborhood (more on that later - I loved this hotel). These streets feel very urban and suburban to me all at the same time, and I can't quite put my finger on why.  The bouganville next to the street art, the cats running beside the cars parked bumper to bumper.  There's a very special quality about Athens, perhaps its energy, that gives this huge city a comfortable, relaxed feeling, despite its size and population.

148 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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Views like these in Greece seem to be the rule, not the exception, which make it feel like a fantasy land sometimes.  I'm from San Diego and beach scenes were part of my childhood, so I admittedly have high standards.  But this was undeniably impressive.  Stunning.  So grateful for our time in this beautiful place...

149 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I stumbled upon Areopagus Hill at sunset on my first day in Athens, which almost couldn't be a better perch by which to appreciate the gorgeous sunsets that Athens has to offer.  So when @cscott86, @jocardz, and @jerpatter arrived, we naturally had to pay another sunset visit here.  And thanks to them I actually have proof that I was here. :)) One of my favorite qualities about Athens is being able to enjoy Acropolis from so many angles...it always seems to be telling us a story from so high above...

152 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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There's nothing really fancy about this photo, but I wanted to share it with you because I think it offers a good sense of Athens. Athens is a huge city with lots of hills, but I don't feel the pressure and the congestion walking around here like I do in many major cities. I love that there are so many incredible ruins, where the connection to the past is always within reach. Not to mention that this city is really the home of rooftop bars. Finding a beautiful place to sit and eat and drink and enjoy a view that is so special that you can't even put a price tag on it is so easy here. I really love this city.

155 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I love solo travel, but these new adventures I'll be sharing with you are with a group of friends very near and dear to my heart. Like brothers to me, we are usually at least a country apart, so spending this time with them in Greece lifted my spirits more than I could have imagined. Here are Chris @cscott86 and Jer @jerpatter, taking in the beautiful Greek sunset...

156 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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I'm in transit and I love it! There's something about places of mass transportation that make them ideal for shooting. People-watching, lots of long perspective and angles. Not sure, but I take so many photos of train stations and airports and rarely get a chance to post them! I imagine I'm not the only one...;)

158 Days ago
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Gracefully Global (Peggy)

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You won't want to miss the music: A friendly suggestion to *turn your sound up*! :) The link to the full version of the video is in my bio. As many of you know, I spent a lot of time in Ireland this year, and fell in love with it. The place, but mostly the people. So I'm sad that this is my last post about Ireland for a while, and since many of you have followed my posts where I related how much I love the music in Ireland over these few months, I thought that sharing the music with you would be a great way for us to close this series. I picked out my favorite videos and sound clips of all the adventures that have been had, and edited them together here. Please excuse the quality - everything was recorded with my (old) phone. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks so much for all of your support following along over these months... @dingledistillery @dinglepeninsulatourism @liambolando @ireland_insta @ireland_travel @irelandaily @igersireland @topirelandphoto @loves_ireland @tourismireland @backpackireland @ig_ireland_ @wanderireland @wildatlanticway @lovindublin @weekendcelebrity @visitdublin @visitbelfast @sligotourism @kinsale.ie @kenmare.ie @galwaytourism

160 Days ago