Author Archives: Global Nomad. whatsusiebdidnext

About Global Nomad. whatsusiebdidnext

Global career and now global nomad. This blog is my way of recording what I'm seeing, thinking and doing (and probably also eating!). Twitter@susiebabani. Linked-In Power Profile. https://www.linkedin.com/in/susiebabani/

USA, Miami – My Street Art fix at Wynward Walls – Vhils

Thanks to my friend Beth I have learned to admire the work of the Portuguese street artist Vhils and searched out his work when I was in Lisbon – there is not much as they keep pulling down the buildings he uses!

This artist started by etching into the external walls of large commercial buildings and creating giant faces in the process. No idea how he does that especially given the size of the works. So I was very pleased to find five new works of his at Wynyard Walls which he did for the 2018 Art Basel event and equally pleased to find a solo exhibition of his work on different media including paper and incredibly polystyrene!!

His original works in a nearby Carpark that I saw last year.

These are the new faces on the wall plus faces using the medium of paper.

And finally, who knew you could create with polystyrene?

Reflections on my 2018 year of travels

So as we lurched into 2019 in a world which seems very confused and bifurcated, I thought I ought to take time to remember where I visited in 2018 before getting too embroiled in 2019 travel planning.

The year started off in my old home of Melbourne, Australia and ended in Las Vegas, USA. In between Australia and the US, I visited 24 Countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Grenada*, St Maarten*, Barbados, Martinique*, St Thomas*, Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland*, Greece, Spain, the UK, Germany, Austria, Slovakia*, the Netherlands, Iceland*, Greenland*, Canada, Bermuda* – *=new country, so I am now up to 99).

I was lucky to spend time with great friends many of whom hosted me in their homes, to take a cruise and make new friends, to stay in rented apartments and also hotels.

I have learned I can live out of 2 suitcases and without a base and actually I really like it. The freedom of not needing to acquire new things – because you have no base that needs to be filled with stuff and also because every item of clothing you buy means you need to throw an old item away – is quite liberating. I still enjoy shopping but it is primarily window shopping these days and clothing purchases are assessed by weight in my suitcase above all things – thank goodness for lightweight trainers.

What I have really loved is spending more time than just “ships passing in the night” with my friends in various parts of the world and the chance to spend longer periods of time in towns and cities so I can just “be” without having to cram everything I want to see in 3 or 4 days. I love time on my own too and can mooch around museums or parks or walk with no aim in mind other than finding a nice cafe for a drink or a snack while I watch the world go by or immerse myself in a book or even better listen to an audible book.

So I’m in no rush to change this strange lifestyle just yet and plan to do the same in 2019 while adding to the new country list.

Thanks to those of you who have followed my travels. It is great to see likes and comments. Below are some visual memories

(For travel geeks – more info below on exactly where I’ve stayed in case anyone wants any tips:)

Australia – Melbourne and Victoria; Vietnam– Danang; Thailand – Bangkok and Chiangmai Rai; USA – Miami, Washington DC, Pittsburgh; Buffalo; Princeton; New York City; Cleveland; New Orleans; Las Vegas; Boston; Canada – Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, Gaspe and Saguernay peninsula; Labrador; Nunuvut; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland; Caribbean – Grenada, Barbados, Martinique, St Thomas, St Maarten; Portugal – Lisbon, Salema, Evora; Czech Republic – Prague; Poland – Krakow; Greece – Mykonos, Crete; Spain – Estepona, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Seville, Córdoba, Carmona, Jerez, Cadiz, Malaga, Torremolinos, Gaucin, Ronda, Granada, the UK – London, Durham, Beswick on Tweed, Mayfield, Frome, Cambridge, Kingston; Germany – Munich, Murray, Nuremberg, Bavaria; Austria – Vienna, Graz; Slovakia – Bratislava; the Netherlands – Amsterdam, Haarlem, Giethoorn,; Iceland – Reykjavik; Greenland – Nuuk, and lots of tiny towns!; Bermuda – Hamilton and around the island.

And here are a few pictorial memories

Victoria, Australia, Vietnam and Thailand

Cruising in the Caribbean

Lovely Lisbon

Prague, Czech Republic

Krakow, Poland

Crete, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

The Algarve Coast, Portugal

Pinxtos in Bilbao, Spain

Estepona, Andalusia, Spain

The Bavarian Alps, Germany

Vienna, Austria

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Icebergs off the coast of Greenland

Quebec City, Montreal, Canada

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Buffalo, New York State, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Bermuda

New York City, New York, USA

Autumn colours And gourmet dining in the UK

The Alcazar in Seville, Andalusia, Spain

The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Andalucia, Spain

Winter in Seville, Andalucia, Spain

Xmas in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Year in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

USA, Las Vegas – 2018/19 New Year

Spent the tail end of 2018 and the start of 2019 in Las Vegas with my friend Beth. Always fun to be here even at this especially crazy time of year.

Flower decorations abound in the hotels

Saw Bruno Mars on New Year’s Eve and BoyzIIMen (throwback) at T mobile centre.

And also day 2 of the brand new Lady Gaga residency at the Park MGM – and Celine was in the audience too!!

USA, Xmas in New Orleans, Louisiana with a hint of voodoo

Great to be back in New Orleans after 16 years and of course post Katrina. The city continues to have a certain charm that is unique compared to anywhere else I have visited in the US.

The combination of the architecture in the French Quarter, the mansions in the Garden District, the cemeteries where everyone is buried above ground, the music on every corner, the food and drink (plus the luxury of walking around the city with plastic cup of anything Alcoholic you like in hand) make it a great place to spend a few days and while Xmas was festive it was thankfully not over the top.

Buildings in the French Quarter and the St Charles Street Tram

Mansions in the Garden District

The famous cemeteries – you now need to take a guided tour rather than wander around on your own – too much desecration especially of the voodoo graves!

Music is everywhere and so is Louis Armstrong!

The Riverside Park is great for a stroll to check out the steamship Natchez, sculptures and on to Armstrong Park where the sacred voodoo tree near Congo Square has regular drum beat events to respect their ancestors. The fruit under the trees is a typical offering – no beheaded chickens – that’s just the movies – at least so they say?

And the food here is excellent as are the cocktails and the oysters dishes.

Spain, Seville – a half day trip to Carmona

I visited Carmona briefly when I was here earlier this year but wanted to go back to see more of it and I’m glad I did as it is often neglected as everyone rushes off to ?Cordoba – at just 30 minutes drive from Seville it makes for a great half day visit or a bit longer if you stay for lunch (remembering that lunch is usually 2-4pm).

First stop was the Roman ruins just outside the old town – they feature remains of an amphitheater in not great condition but also a necropolis (Roman burial ground) which is quite large and worth a wander – and free too.

The city itself is surrounded by cliffs and is the only town in Spain that has never been invaded as it is virtually impenetrable. There is only on city wall entrance and that is two sets of very thick walls enabling a lot of spear and hot oil to be hurled down at marauders before they get anywhere inside. It has had sophisticated water retaining systems so could not be sieged either. Like many places in this part of Spain it was inhabited by the Romans (note impressive original mosaic floor), the Visigoths, the moors, the Jews and then the Catholics. The views of the valley show how high up it is and why it would be impossible to attack – also you could see anyone coming for miles.

Spain, Seville – It is the festive season (allegedly)

Ok I’ve tried very hard to ignore it but I have reached the point where I can no longer deny that it is that time of year again. And while we often think of the Northern European take on the festive season they do make rather a big splash with it in Seville too – and the main craft market doesn’t even open until next week! So what does Yuletide look like in Seville?

Nativity scenes at every turn and a nativity market where as you can see there are even babies for sale – had me in stitches. (Barbara – I can see you already sending me an email and asking me to pick up a few samples!)

Decorations are a must – they look great during the day

And at night – with sudden influx of crowds but only for one weekend and sanity has resumed again!

And then there are the shop windows and things that appeared in the hallway of my apartment block

So that’s the only acknowledgement – I think – unless I see anything as funny as the babies……. Have a good one however you spend it xxx

Spain, Seville – doing some usual and not so usual touristy things – River Cruise, Convent, Cadiz and St Nicholas Night and a little flamenco in the street.

The nice thing about staying in a place for a month is that you get time to visit the less obvious places in and around the city – so that’s what I’ve been doing a bit of while in Seville.

Still beautiful weather so decided to do the tourist one hour boat on the Guadalquivir River and see the sights from a different angle.

This shows the theatre and bull ring and also the rather odd and singular skyscraper in Seville. Nothing is supposed to be taller than the Giralda Tower but somehow this one got through a few years ago – very controversial. I assume some money changed hands somewhere along the way?

Until relatively recently there was only one bridge across the river – so the boat men made a killing – but now there are 7 of them. Top right was designed in the Eiffel school style – the others were build for the 1992 Expo.

The Golden Tower by the river seems to have many myths attached to it including that it once actually housed gold. I don’t think so. As you can see it is certainly not made of or covered in gold. I think the second pic has the answer as when it is reflected in the river it looks like liquid gold.

Thanks to my friend Sue I found a tucked away monastery – which actually is full of nuns – but anyway it was a delightful place that I nearly missed. It is called the Monasterio Santa Paula and has a church, museum, peaceful garden and the nuns sell their cookies and jam – very common in Spain and much prized. Yet another nice quiet corner in Seville

Also took the bus – yes really I am becoming very good at them – to Cadiz – 1.45 minutes from Seville. At last I got to see the sea -seems strange to be in Spain for this long and not to see it. It has a nice cathedral (simpler than most but no pics allowed) and it was pleasant to stroll along the beachside waterfront. It also has the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. I ate some great tapas but other than that – not the most exciting spot.

On my return from Cadiz, Seville was in mayhem as a million people appeared to have descended on the place – turns out it was St Nicholas Day Night – so lots going on plus this is a holiday weekend for constitution Day so no doubt more to follow but here is a taste.

And finally it is hard to go anywhere without seeing a bit of flamenco. I was especially taken with this lady – her dancing and her dress