Decide what to do with the time given to us

I love this quote from J.R.R. Tolkien. Make the most of every opportunity because life can be short. You never know what will happen tomorrow. So enjoy and be grateful for every day.

We cannot choose to live in other times or jump into the future immediately if we don’t like a current situation. However, you do have a choice about what to do in the here and now. It is your decision of how you want to live and what you want to do. Be grateful for the gift of life.

What is it you always wanted to do? Why are you still dreaming about it? Write down what you want and the reasons why you haven’t pursued it yet. Now read it again and be honest with yourself. Are your reasons excuses? If your answer is yes, then forget about the excuses and just do it. Do not waste any time.

Are you still not sure? Is fear holding you back? Now, that can be a serious issue. I recently wrote an article about it: “How to overcome your fears”: click here to read more about it. Are you scared of failure? You most likely will not fail if your mindset is positive and if you do experience unpleasant things, take it as a lesson learned. You have nothing to lose.

Still not sure? Ask yourself if you would horribly miss out if there wouldn’t be a tomorrow? If the answer is yes, go for it and don’t hold back.

It is your life; you make the decisions of what to do in the time given to you.

For me, it was to fulfil my dream travelling to South America. It was the best decision I have ever made. The photo below is me after the hike to the Fitz Roy mountain glacier lake; it was an 8 hours hike return, exhausting but rewarding.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
―J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring   

Hiking in Fitzroy National park, Argentina. Exhausting but so rewarding.
Hiking in Fitzroy National park, Argentina. Exhausting but so rewarding.

Why you should visit Ushuaia in Argentina

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world in Tierra del Fuego on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia means ‘the bay facing westward’ in the language of the original Yamana inhabitants. The town is surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel. It is in Ushuaia where the Andes meet the southern ocean in a sharp ski.

happiness
Ushuaia the most southern city in the world.

Ushuaia was once a penal colony for political prisoners and criminals. Nowadays it is a busy adventure hub for tourists. Antarctica cruises start here in Ushuaia’s port.

Ushuaia
port in Ushuaia, Argentina

The Tierra del Fuego National park is 63,000 hectares huge but only a small part of it is open to the public.

How do you get there:

There are daily flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.

In case you are planning to see El Chalten, El Calafate and Torres del Paine National park in Patagonia first, you can take a bus from Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas is a small town of approximately 100,000 people, Chile’s southernmost city. The estimated travel time via bus is approximately 12 hours depending on the border. Once you get close to Ushuaia the scenery suddenly changes. It is worthwhile experiencing the bus ride if you have the time.

What to do in Ushuaia:

In winter the town is a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers.

There are plenty of hiking options available in the Tierra del Fuego National park. Also sailing, kayaking and even scuba diving options are just minutes away.

Ushuaia is the base for cruises along the Beagle Channel to observe the marine wildlife. Expect to see lots of sea birds, sea lions and penguins. In case you cannot get enough from penguins, you can book a trip to the penguin colony and walk around the little cuties and get a bit closer to see the king penguin.

The Beagle channel:

The Beagle channel is named after Darwin’s expedition vessel and is a strait in Tierra del Fuego Archipelago on the extreme southern tip of South America partly in Chile and partly in Argentina.The channel’s eastern area forms part of the border between Chile and Argentina and the western area is entirely within Chile. The Beagle Channel is about 240 kilometres long and about 5 kilometres wide at its narrowest point.

Harbor cruises are usually four-hour morning or afternoon excursions to cormorant colonies

sea birds from the Beagle Channel
sea birds from the Beagle Channel

and to sea lions.

sea lions from the Beagle Channel resting on the rocks
sea lions from the Beagle Channel resting on the rocks
southern american sea lions from the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia.
southern american sea lions from the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia.

You will be cruising along small beautiful islands:

Beagle channel near Ushuaia
Beagle channel near Ushuaia

and pass the lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ called ‘end of the world’ on the north shore of the Beagle Channel:

View of the Lighthouse 'Les Eclaireurs' called 'End of the World' near Ushuaia on the north shore of the Channel
View of the Lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ called ‘End of the World’ near Ushuaia on the north shore of the Channel

After a few hours on the boat you will finally arrive at the penguin colony.

Magellan penguins from the Beagle Channel
Magellan penguins from the Beagle Channel

The Magellanic penguins were named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who observed the penguins in 1520.

a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.
a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.

If you prefer to take the bus to the penguin colony tour you will pass some interesting rough scenery on the way.

the trees are shaped from the strong winds in Ushuaia
the trees are shaped from the strong winds in Ushuaia

Reached at the colony you will be able to get closer to the penguins

King penguin with attitude
penguin with attitude

and also see the famous king penguin.

king penguin on the penguin colony, Beagle Channel
king penguin on the penguin colony, Beagle Channel

When you are visiting Patagonia, make sure you stop in Ushuaia and enjoy the wildlife and scenery.

Have you missed my previous posts about Patagonia? Just click on the following links:

Enjoy reading.

Happy travel.

 

 

Extraordinary things in an ordinary world

Making it all the way to Machu Picchu, standing mid in the clouds and looking at this stunning Inca site was simply breathtaking and spectacular. An ‘extraordinary’ example in an ordinary world.

Machu Picchu is an Inca citadel in the Anden mountains 2,430m above sea level. It was built by the Incan in the 15th century and never found by the Spanish conquerer. Machu Picchu is known for the use of its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar. The buildings are set in an astronomical alignment with panoramic views over the Urubamba River valley.

Are you interested in reading more about Machu Picchu or the Inca trail? Please click here.

view of Machu Picchu through a doorway
view of Machu Picchu through a doorway

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “(Extra)ordinary.”

Good people bring happiness and best people give you memories

Ushuaia

In one of my previous posts I was talking about that ‘everything happens for a reason’ even the people you meet in your life have a certain reason.

We meet a variety of people. Some of them have a happy aura and bring pure happiness. It is easy to hang out with them; they make you feel good and happy.

Unfortunately not everybody you have to deal with is such a positive person; you might have a negative co-worker, boss or even friend. If you can, try not to stick around and surround yourself with positive people. Negativity is toxic and can make you depressive. It might be a hard decision to make but you feel so much more relieved once you dealt with the situation. If it is a person at your work place, try to sort it out and if nothing works you might want to start looking for another job.

However, we cannot always pick the cherries and we sometimes have to deal with certain people. It is up to you for how long you are willing to put up with that certain situation; but always remember, people enter our life for a reason. Don’t blame anybody for anything happening to you in your life. You might need to gain some experience to strengthen you for the future or we have to learn a lesson because we did not realise what is going on. On the positive side some people bring happiness into your life and very special ones give you great memories.

“Never blame anyone in your life. Good people give you happiness. Bad people give you experience. The worst people give you a lesson; and the best people give you memories.” – spirit science

Ushuaia
penguins from the Beagle Channel, Argentina

How to make the best of your life

The best years of your life are the ones in which you take ownership and decide to take control of your life. It is when you stop blaming others and circumstances and realise that you control your destiny. Take action and make decisions for your life which will lead you to happiness.

It is an easy way out to blame others when something doesn’t work out the way you want it to be. People keep complaining about their life and wonder why nothing ever changes. Well, nothing will change if you don’t take control of your life and start making decisions for the better. Stop complaining and take actions. You are the only one who can control your life.

If you don’t like your situation, change it and if you really cannot change the situation that quickly, change your attitude. Make a decision which will makes you feel good. Choose to be happy.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president. You realise that you control your own destiny. – Albert Ellis – 

King penguin with attitude
King penguin with attitude

The magic Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia

Patagonia is an amazing and beautiful place in the world. There is so much you can see. In case you have missed my first post about Patagonia click here.

Now I want to introduce you to the magic Perito Moreno Glacier. It is approximately a 2 hours bus drive away from El Calafate where plenty of tour companies offer daily visits.

Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno glacier was named after the explorer Francisco Moreno who studied the region in the 19th century. The ice formation is 250 km2 huge and 30 km long. It is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water.

Perito Moreno Glacier in summer
Perito Moreno Glacier in summer

The glacier is one of only three glaciers in Patagonia which is still growing. The toe of the Perito Moreno glacier is approximately 5 km wide and 60m high above the surface of the lake ‘lago argentino’. The total ice depth is roughly 170m.

This massive river of frozen water and huge chunks of ice move down constantly crashing into the lake waters below.

massive ice mass from Perito Moreno Glacier
massive ice mass from Perito Moreno Glacier

You can go on a boat trip and get as close as possible to this glacier.

the huge Perito Moreno glacier makes a boat look like a toy
the huge Perito Moreno glacier makes a boat look like a toy

Being in front of this massive glacier is just an incredible feeling.

Ice glacier
Ice glacier

The view from the boat trip:

Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier

From here we left to Puerto Natales and prepared ourselves for a three day hiking trip in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

Stay tuned and happy travel.

 

How to have difficult conversations and knowing when to bite your tongue

King penguin

Honesty is important and all that matters. Lying and betrayal is breaking trust.

However, it is sometimes hard to be brutally honest and we may hurt the other person involved. In circumstances where our mouth is faster than our brain we might regret what we were saying. I am not saying to lie but the question is how to tell somebody what you really think. Bear in mind the other person has feelings too. Do we always have to be right? Isn’t it sometimes better to be kind?

If you have to give somebody some negative feedback, be constructive, so the other person can learn from it. Always start with the positive things. There is always something positive, just think about it.

Some situations might make you just want to scream and shout – stop exactly before you do it. When you feel your emotions are rising, inhale and count to three. Go for a short walk and breathe. If after that you still feel you need to raise your voice, do it but in a nice tone. Don’t let the emotions overcome you. Stick to the facts and what exactly it is what is annoying you. Don’t judge and make your own interpretations. Ask that person ‘why’. That way you will be able to understand what the other person’s thought process was. Make it clear how this ‘action’ or ‘saying’ impacted on you, how did it make you feel. There is nothing your counterpart can argue against it as you talked about your feelings. Agree to an action plan of how to solve the situation and follow-up on it. When you speak, speak slowly and carefully consider the full impact of your words. Be diplomatic and gentle in phrasing your opinion.

Mostly fights are happening because people judge and make up their own interpretation without asking or trying to understand that person. So my advise, keep it to the raw data and your feelings only. Ask and try to understand and agree to a solution.

Having difficult conversations is probably one of the hardest and most people try to avoid those kind of conflicts. It is probably harder if it is your boss. However, don’t avoid it but try the way described above and see how it goes. You might be surprised about the positive outcome and a happy you in the end.

Know when to bite your tongue

King penguin
Know when to bite your tongue.

Photos that make you want to travel to Patagonia

You love being in nature, hiking in the mountains and always wanted to go to Southamerica? I have a solution for you, Patagonia has it all – beautiful colours, breathtaking landscapes, lots of trekking possibilities, ice glaciers and wildlife you haven’t seen before.

When you are flying to El Calafate and are about to land, you will notice the turbulences. Don’t worry – it is very windy in Patagonia, that is normal. I will tell you some wind stories from Torres del Paine later but first I want to introduce you to Fitz Roy National Park.

The landscape you pass when you are on your way from El Calafate to El Chalten cannot be described in words. The colours of the glacier lakes are amazing, believe me there is no photoshop processing involved – it is real. I have never seen such a beautiful landscape before.

Colours in Patagonia
the amazing colours of Patagonia

Further on the way to El Chalten we could see the clouds formation which is just incredible.

clouds
Fitz Roy National Park in Patagonia

This road leads to El Chalten. Behind the clouds you can see the Fitz Roy mountains.

the road to Fitzroy Nationalpark in Patagonia
the road to Fitzroy Nationalpark in Patagonia

The weather in Patagonia can change quickly and you might have 4 seasons in one day. I was there in December which is the beginning of summer but don’t expect it to be that hot. Arrived in the sunshine the first rain cloud came in.

storm clouds
storm clouds over Fitz Roy NP, Patagonia

The next morning we started the 22km hike within the Glacier National Park’s northern end, where granite pinnacles spiral upward into the sky from the third largest ice field on earth.

El Chalten
Fitz Roy glacier lake

Luckily it was not too windy, just cold in the morning which is fine once you are dressed up with a beanie, scarf, warm jumper and windproof jacket. The walk is pretty easy and good manageable. That photo has been taken from one of the viewpoints we have passed. Seeing the huge glacier is incredible.

hiking along the glacier lake
Fitz Roy glacier lake

You can go all the way up to the glacier and walk around it.

The hike to the glacier lake is moderate with clearly marked and well-maintained trails, though there are some challenges in and between.

The last one hour up to the top was one of the challenging parts, a very steep hike. We were lucky and the sun was shining which means it was pretty hot. So now you need to pack your warm layers back into your bag and walk around in a t-shirt. Yes, that is Patagonia for you.

Once arrived at the top of the glacier lake, Laguna de Los Tres, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, what a stunning view. The lake was so clear, still and so peaceful. The glacier lake was like a mirror. The sky showed itself from its best side. What a nice place to chill out and enjoy some lunch.

the amazing sky over Fitz Roy mountain, Patagonia.
the amazing sky over Fitz Roy mountain, Patagonia.

When you keep walking you reach another beautiful lagoon with an awe-inspiring view:

Lagoon in Fitz Roy NP, Patagonia
Lagoon in Fitz Roy NP, Patagonia

On the way back to El Chalten (another 4 hours) you see more of the beautiful landscape.

Los tres
Fitz Roy mountain

The glacier creeks have the best water you can drink; it is absolutely safe and tasty. Fill your bottles and enjoy.

water creek Patagonia
Fitz Roy mountain

…and here my favourite photo which summarises the beautiful Fitz Roy National park. The ‘Parque Nacional Los Glaciares’ has some of the most spectacular natural sights you will see in your lifetime.

A beautiful day in Fitz Roy National Park in Patagonia.
A beautiful day in Fitz Roy National Park in Patagonia.

That was just the beginning of the Patagonia journey. From here it goes to Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine NP before we reach ‘fireland’ and the most southern city of the world ‘Ushuaia’.

Happy travel.

 

Why should you visit San Telmo in Buenos Aires

San Telmo

Hola, welcome to Buenos Aires, the city of the tango. If you have missed my previous posts on Buenos Aires:

Now I would like to show you around in San Telmo, an arty neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. It is one of the oldest suburbs in Buenos Aires which is blessed with cobblestoned streets, an amazing weekly antique street market on Sundays and many great cafes and restaurants. San Telmo has its own flair which you don’t want to miss.

Where is San Telmo situated? It lies six blocks from Plaza de Mayo, bounded to the north and south by the Microcentro and La Boca, and to the east and west by Puerto Madero and Avenida 9 de Julio. Walking through the market in San Telmo, listening to the tango music and watching the dancers on the streets felt like I was arrived in Argentina, everything else was like being in a big city but this neighbourhood with its special charm got me.

When you walk through the alleys in San Telmo you can see a lot of amazing graffiti street art.

street art
Graffiti art in San Telmo
San Telmo
graffitti art in the streets of Buenos Aires
San Telmo
Welcome to San Telmo in Buenos Aires. This is one of the most beautiful graffitti art I have ever seen.
San Telmo, Buenos Aires
graffitti art in the streets of Buenos Aires
street art in Buenos Aires
in the streets of San Telmo

San Telmo has some charming cafes and restaurants to chill out and to enjoy an empanada.

cafe San Telmo
cafe La poesia in San Telmo, Buenos Aires
San Telmo cafe
colourful cafe in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

When strolling through the streets of San Telmo I came across the smallest house in Buenos Aires, how fascinating.

Casa minima
the smallest house in Buenos Aires (Casa minima)

Buenos is a great city to visit but I couldn’t wait to escape into the nature of Patagonia. Stay tuned for my posts on the beautiful South of Argentina and Chile.

Happy travel.

Do more of what makes you happy

happiness

I love happiness quotes and instead of reading it to myself, I thought I will share it with you together with one of my travel photos from around the world. Enjoy.

Are you sometimes curious of what life has to offer? Why don’t you just go and find out?

This little penguin, I called him ‘Mr Curiousity’, wasn’t sure if he wanted to go for a swim or not. In the end he did.

Do more of the things what makes you happy. 

happiness
Mr Curiousity from the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia, Argentina.