I’m on the top of the world and looking down on creation

It’s not every day you get to be on top of the world, but today I was. Well, maybe not the very top, but at least the top of the Bay of Naples, towards the southern tip of Italy. Today was the day that I walked up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius. This volcano is not just a breathtaking site which gives you the opportunity to soak up the coast of Italy, no, to me it was much more than that. To me, it represents everything I love about History and the journey I’ve taken to getting here. You see, Mount Vesuvius was responsible for the destruction of the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The ash initially destroyed but then preserved these ancient sites and they have formed the very basis of my studies in Ancient History. I was first exposed to the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum through my Year 11 and 12 Ancient History teacher. Sadly he is no longer with us, but he taught me the value and importance of History and awakened the ancient cities for me. He showed me that down the coast of Italy some hundreds of years ago, the residents of Pompeii were waking up, putting bread in the oven, having their daily leisure baths, when the sleepy Mount Vesuvius started to grumble, shattering pillars and homes in its wake. As I stood on top of this once-destructive volcano I tried to imagine those final moments and how the panic and fear would have consumed many. I thought back to my days as a History student and could now completely empathise with those victims. It’s funny how travel can make History come alive, and how it can have the power to alter the way that you see the world. I thought back to my high school History teacher and thought how much I would thank him for sharing his love of History with me if he were still here.

But this time it was me telling the story of these ancient cities to my Year 11 and 12 History students – 22 of them in fact. I had helped to organise an ‘Ancient History Tour of Italy’ and twenty-two of my students have agreed to go on this adventure with me. I pointed towards the old cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, I pointed to the spot where Pliny the Younger wrote his ‘eye-witness’ account of the eruption. I watched the jaws drop, the eyes open, the smiles widen. I had managed to share my love and passion with my students and connected travel and history for them.

Before I left I took one final look at one of Mother Nature’s creations. I leaned over the railing to look down in to the crater. How ominous and scary it still looked after all these years. On my way down the mountain I took off my teacher hat and put on my tourist hat. I purchased a 5euro bottle of wine from a vendor halfway down the mountain. Why? Well the label said ‘Mount Vesuvius’ and I just couldn’t leave without taking home a souvenir.

Greenwich Lane finds a home!

Newflash! Greenwich Lane has purchased an apartment! After countless weeks of open homes to inspect and dealing with pesky real estate agents, we finally found ‘the one’. A beautiful one bedroom apartment in the heart of our favourite city, Sydney. We get the keys in a month so lots of packing and organising before that comes around! I promised Lex I’ll be tidier in the new place. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes! Check out some photos of Casa Greenwich.

Lis x

Luggage essentials – a list of non negotiable items for your suitcase

  1. A power board – before my first European adventure my brother’s wife suggested I pack a power board and now it is an item I always travel with. Why? Hotel rooms are notorious for not having a stack of power plugs and this way all you need is one! It’s great for travel with a partner as well. I know with Lex and I most nights in our hotel we will charge: 2 x iphones, our camera, our go pro battery, my Fitbit…with a power board you can make sure everything gets charged.
  2. A scarf – this lightweight item is a perfect travel companion. I place mine in my carry-on luggage so that I can scrunch it up and use as a pillow or throw over my shoulders if I get cold. They also come in handy once you’re at your destination for the chill factor, to cover up for visiting religious sites -definitely in Rome and Thailand I’ve been required to cover my shoulders, as well as just mixing up a neutral outfit (I tend to pack a lot of basic items so a scarf can make me feel a bit colourful and like I’m not wearing the same outfit for the 10th time!
  3. A go pro – I know that they’re expensive, but in my opinion they are worth the investment. Lex and I have been carrying our go pro with us every trip we go on to document our travels. They are a moving memory and I feel that you get more out of a video than you do a photograph. After all, you can stand and take a photo out front of every cool building you see, but recording your facial expression when you first see Big Ben, or that joke that you and your partner shared walking along the Hudson River, or that little fall that Lex had walking through the cobbled streets of Barcelona…those memories are priceless.
  4. Noise-cancelling headphones – these changed my travel life. Now I can sit on the plane without any noise and if you’re a bit of a nervous flyer like me they take away the general rumblings and sounds of a plane.
  5. Flip flops – When I travelled to Italy last year I made the mistake of not packing some flip flops (or thongs as we call them in Australia). They have multiple uses starting from walks up and down the aisle of the plane to get your blood flowing, as well as walking around your hotel room and lobby. I never think to pack flip flops and always find myself having to put on my runners every time I need to duck down the hallway to the vending machine or to go somewhere quickly! They’re also great for travelling if your feet swell up with plane travel. When you get to your destination you don’t have to worry about swollen feet and squishy them in to your shoes.

What are your travel must haves?

Lis x

Crushin’ on Paddo to Palmy

I’ve followed Paddo to Palmy on Instagram for quite some time now but never really interacted much with their page. Cue the holidays and endless surfing to kill some time and I found myself on Paddo to Palmy, completely immersed and completely obsessed. The site started as a blog about renovations as the founder moved from Paddington to Palm Beach, and evolved in to a lifestyle and clothing site. I am obsessed with some of their current pieces. You should definitely have a browse (and no, I don’t get paid for any of this, I just wanted to share some style!). Their pieces are pricey but quality and made to last which is so important for me. I’m continuing to move away from fast, fad fashion and instead investing in quality pieces that are eternally stylish.

https://paddotopalmy.com.au/

My favourite pieces are below.

Lis x

PP01

PP02

PP03

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