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How to find picturesque spots for your blog or instagram

9:08 AM
If you are a fashion or insta blogger, you probably know what it feels like when you can't find the perfect spot to shoot your outfit in your town.  I actually never had problems with the background, only trouble with outfits. Here are some tips for how to find a good spot to shoot your outfit.

- Look around in your house. If you have a white wall, you can add a wooden stylish stool, along with some plants and decorations, making a great spot for editorial or minimalistic photoshoots.
- If you don't have a good place to shoot at your house, you can always look around your neighborhood and find cool art wall or painted houses.  Try to find beauty in backgrounds that may otherwise seem normal.
- If you already took pictures with the suggestions that I offered earlier, find a good restaurant or cafe. If you follow big bloggers, you will notice that many take pictures while enjoying their meal.
- Another option is to shoot your outfit by going to public parks, a botanical garden or somewhere out of the city.  Nature often offers fantastic settings to compliment almost any outfit.

As you can see, I picked a simple background for this photoshoot and the pictures turned out very well. I am wearing a lilac oversized blazer (check out a similar one here from Shopbop) with plaid pants (similar here  or check high waisted one here). As for shoes, I wear my favorite sneakers from a Korean brand that is sadly sold out. occasionally receives Shopbop sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.

Reasons to Travel while Young

6:31 AM
Traveling has become a part of my life. Since I was a small child, I was eager to see the world and learn new things about it firsthand. My father was the first person who sparked my interest by taking me on my first road trip. To be honest, I barely remember where we went, but I have a warm memories of my dad's mack truck. It was the place we slept, our shelter from the elements, and dining room. I found it to be so fun to jump out at rest stops, checking out street food stalls and the other characters you meet on the open road. Later in my life, I always told my parents that I would leave Kazakhstan and live in Germany. Well, my dream came true! My first trip overseas was to Germany. I left my family for a year-long journey. Living in Europe taught me to not be scared and see the world with open eyes and ears. Today, I've travelled to about 40 countries and lived in 5 on three continents.

Based on my experience and perspective, I've come up with a nine reasons why you should travel while still young:

- Traveling can teach you many things: how to save money; how to be smart at packing your bag; how to move around efficiently.

-Traveling makes you happy. You can't imagine how exciting it is to be in a new place. You see new faces, experience new smells, and learn to appreciate nature or architecture in all of its forms.

-Traveling introduces you to new people, new languages, and new ways to live life. While living in Kazakhstan, I never knew that I would eventually have friends all over the world in places like South Korea, Germany, Romania, USA, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium, UK, Georgia, etc.

-Traveling opens your mind to cultural practices. I learned so much while traveling. For example, if you ever come to South Korea, make sure to use both of your hands when giving or receiving anything. This applies to using your credit card at the store or also.

-Traveling can help unlock hidden talents and passions. I found out that I am interested in fashion, which kick started my blogging career.

-Traveling teaches you to trust people. This is why I have so many awesome international friends!

-Traveling can help you with creativity. You can't imagine how many ideas I got while traveling, I always feel inspired after our trips and want to create even more.

-Traveling can help you to meditate and find peace. If you have something going on in your life, I definitely advise you to take a trip somewhere. It doesn't need to be far, but a trip will give your brain a rest and help clear your mind.

-Traveling teaches you to be tolerant and patient. Staying in long line for tickets, delayed flights or even loud people, can teach you to be more patient and tolerant of other cultures. I learned to not pay attention when people stare at me when we travel.

-Traveling is a good source of energy and great work out. Every time we travel, we end up walking over 20,000 steps a day. I never could imagine walking 10 miles a day while home. I barely notice it when exploring.

P.S. If you want to check out similar mini dresses, you can see them here.

The most instagrammable cafe in Tbilisi, Georgia

6:38 AM
I can't believe that summer has flown by so quickly. I truly had an amazing summer this year. We got to enjoy our last days in warm Tbilisi, had a nice belated honeymoon in Seychelles, flew to our new home country, visited my family in Kazakhstan, and even did a short trip to England.  Sounds like we had quite a busy summer this year. Don't you agree?!

I still have so much material from my previous trips and have been dying to share with you one of my secret places to shoot my outfits. Garden Shevarnadze in Tbilisi is one of the coolest places I found in the city. You will need to pay a small fee to enter, but you can absolutely spend the entire day out there shooting and taking breaks at their Little Cafe. On some days, it can be overcrowded, but sometimes you barely see anyone. I actually love that it located quite far from the center of the city, since it's not overrun with visitors. 

I have been there several times, and every time I adored the atmosphere and colorful green house. They serve delicious tea and other drinks. It might be a bit pricer than what you can find in the city (as in, a dollar or two more) but it's completely worth a visit. Don't forget to bring an extra outfit. 

It might be pointless to share my summerish outfit, but if you live in warmer climates like in California or Europe's southern countries, you can still rock some of these cute dresses that you can find at Shopbop sale. I bought mine during the sale season from KOTON and have seen similar linen dresses in many other stores. If you are hunting for designer pieces, check out similar ones here.

 occasionally receives Shopbop sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.

2-Day Albania Itinerary

5:52 AM
Albania is one of the countries that should be on your list if you are looking for a budget friendly trip in Southern Europe this summer. It is not only super cheap, but also safe, modern and beautiful. And if you think there is nothing worth seeing, so sorry, but you are absolutely incorrect. Albania not only boasts beautiful beaches, but also quaint towns with cool architecture and fantastic nature hikes in the mountains.

When we were traveling through the Balkans, I got only to see two cities in Albania. However, it was enough to entice me to start planning for a seaside adventure for next time. Our trip included the capital city – Tirana, and the country's second largest city of Durres. Many locals mentioned that we should be going south to visit Vlora or Palase beaches. Well, I will definitely share with you once we get back there.

What can you do in Tirana:

Tirana was surprisingly beautiful, featuring a mix of old and new architecture. There are a few things that you must visit. Skanderbeg Square is the historical center point of the city, where all citizens and tourists gather. It's a natural place where you can start your city tour. There you can also visit the National History Museum and take a look at Et'hem Bey Mosque. Sadly, we didn't get our chance to see it from inside, because it was under restoration.  Don't miss your chance to climb up on Clock Tower. The entrance fee wasn't expensive, and it was worth checking out the best viewing platform of the city. Also, in this neighborhood, you should definitely stop at BunkArt2 museum. This museum is really unique and built inside of a communist-era nuclear pit bunker. Right next to the bunker entrance is a stunning red building that's great for taking Instragram pics. If you want to see more cool buildings in Tirana, make sure to find the Rainbow Building at Wilson Square. The other cool thing you can do in Tirana is to visit the farmer's market, "Markata E Peshkut." Lastly, if you want to try delicious seafood, I would advise you to stop at Pireu Fish restaurant. It's one of those places where you can't go wrong with any pick off the menu. After seeing enough of Tirana, we went to Durres.


Et'hem Bey Mosque

View from Clock Tower on Skanderbeg Square

 Skanderbeg Square

Farmer's Market

Rainbow Building

Periu Fish Restaurant

What you can do in Durres:

The cheapest way to get from one town to another is taking a local bus. The buses go quite frequently and don't cost so much. The distance from Tirana to Durres takes only 30 minutes to drive. If you have enough money, you can actually take a cab. Sadly, in Albania, services like Yandex taxi, Taxify or Uber don't work. You will need to contact local companies. Anyway, if you get to Durres like us, make sure to see the 2d century Roman Amphitheater that was quite amazing. If the weather is quite hot, make sure to get cocktail drinks in at Durres Castle. Of course, many tourists come here for Durres Beach. These Beach stretch more than 10 km, where you will find many cafes and restaurants to enjoy your day. And as for the history lovers out there, you can visit the Byzantine Forum. It was quite hard to find, because the Corinthian columns are hidden in the neighborhood. It seems like local people don't take care of it. And don't forget, Albania is a muslim country. You will see mosques in the middle of the city. For this reason, you should visit Durres Mosque too. The atmosphere is super laid back and people don't mind if you pop in for a look.

Read more about Balkan cities here.

Roman Amphitheater

Durres Center

Durres Mosque

Byzantine Forum

Durres Castle

Durres Beach

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