What I Packed – Bucharest 2018

Open ● POEM

The moment she opened up 

When she let you see her

Was not when she undressed

Or when she let her skin

Be touched by your fingers

It was when she bared her soul

When she looked into your eyes

And allowed you to see

©Christina de Vries


Brought a Moth Back From Bucharest

I’ve been fascinated with moths for as long as I can remember. There’s something very mystical, dark and yet fragile over them. As a little girl, I used to just sit and watch them whenever they had ventured into our home, and I always thought of them as shy night butterflies.

When I went to Bucharest, I had so many tattoo ideas running through my mind, but for some reason, I always came back to the moth. And then I got curious!

As one does, I got on Google and searched for what the moth symbolizes, and no wonder I was so drawn to it.

There were two symbolisms that were very fitting for my personality and my journey.


The way that moths always seek out the light in the dark is a symbol of positivity, but also a sense of naive positivity because the brighter side that they are drawn to often hurts or kill them. 

Growth and Transformation

The development into a full-grown moth is easily likened to personal growth as we look to shed our hindrances and strive towards a better state of living.

The more I looked into it, the more I fell in love with moths all over again. And suddenly I found myself with only one option for a tattoo that felt right.

And that’s the story of how I brought a moth home from Bucharest❤️

Thank you to Radical Ink for the beautiful souvenir!

With No Shame!

The photo is by the wonderful Thomas Amdahl 😊 Check out his Instagram here!

Isn’t it weird how the most natural part of us, the bodies that we are born in, are causing us so much anxiety, stress, and insecurity? How often do we look at it and think that it’s not good enough? How many times have we made plans and changes in our lifestyles just to alter our human form? How often have we compared ourselves to others? And how many of these times were we actually comparing our real bodies with those that are manipulated and unrealistic?

We grow up watching picture perfect bodies and faces and come to expect ourselves to meet those standards. We let ourselves be fooled into thinking that the fiction and manipulation that we see every day is in fact real.

It’s so unhealthy and we are all victims of the crime of doing it. Some way more than others.

And in the midst of all the fake, so many have become uncomfortable with their bodies and about nudity. They see it as something that’s filthy and offensive. This wonderful and natural thing that embodies our souls has been corrupted in the minds of its own beholders.

We should be able to talk more openly about our bodies, with no shame. We should be able to be proud of the skin we are in, with no shame. We should be grateful for the gift that it is, and what it allows us to do, with no shame.

It’s so wonderful to see that more and more fashion brands are choosing to use models of different colors, shapes, and sizes. That people so clearly has had enough of being fooled, discriminated, underrepresented, and deceived. The demand for real bodies and real images of those bodies are being heard, and it makes me so happy!

We have a long way to go though, but I think we have to start with getting a healthy relationship with our own bodies. We have to be grateful for what it can do. We have to fall in love with it and take good care of it, and yes sometimes that means just staying in bed and eat ice cream. Being good to ourselves and to love our bodies isn’t always about working out or eating super healthy. It’s also about allowing oneself to indulge and to enjoy. To not be so mean to ourselves. To find that childlike joy and curiosity in exploring our bodies.

So take the time to get to know your body. Be proud of the body that you have, even though you might be on a journey with it. Be mindful of the transformations and the senses.

Love yourself, with no shame ❤️

The Things I’m Left With

Through the years, there have been some people who came into my life and are now no longer a part of it. Some ended in goodbyes, some just disappeared and other’s are still around, but not in the same way.

Here are some of the things they left behind:

  • I have new holes in my bookshelves. I’ve given away so many books, and I don’t regret a single one. That being said, there are also some new additions to my collection that came from people who stopped by. Thank you💛
  • I now kind of like pineapple on pizza, and I like raisins, which are both things that I used to despise! You made that happen and I have no idea how. Thank you❤️
  • So many of the songs on my Spotify playlists are ones that are left behind, and ones that I probably would have never discovered if it weren’t for some of you. Thank you💛
  • More depth to my stories and my characters. Every single one who has ever been a part of my life are poured into my writing. Some inspire a whole character and/or story alone, while other’s only play a tiny part. My stories would’ve never been the same without you guys. Thank you ❤️
  • Some of the destinations I’ve traveled to were gifts or invites. The trips would have never been the same if it weren’t for some of the adventurers I’ve met. Thank you💛
  • Some of the courage that is now a part of my everyday life comes from having to stand up to you. I wish it didn’t have to happen, but I’m happy for all that it has taught me. Thank you❤️
  • My self-love! None of you gave it to me, but if my heart hadn’t been broken in so many pieces that it has, I probably wouldn’t have learned to cherish every piece as much as I have. Through the cracks, new flowers bloom, just as the pain caused by you turned into a love for myself. Thank you💛
  • Those things that I now know that my body likes and can do. In the way that hands explored my body, I got to know it in new ways. By allowing you to explore, I learned new trails on this map of my body. Thank you❤️
  • The knowing of the fact that I’m still able to fall in love. There’s been a lot of pain through the years. For every time I’ve opened up to one of you, taken down my guard and then ended up broken, it gets harder and harder to do it again. But for every time that it happens, I’m also reminded that I can still fall in love. It’s nice to be reminded that even though I’ve been broken, all the parts still work.            Thank you💛


These are some of the things that I’m left with, and I’m insanely grateful for each and every one of them!

The answer is love and gratitude. Having that as my main focus has changed my life in ways I couldn’t even have imagined.

Thank you❤️

This One is Important!

“What do you think the meaning of life is?”

Have you ever gotten that question? Ever sat down with a glass of wine and pondered over it? Has it ever kept you up at night? Made you stressed and insecure about your whole existence?

If the answer is no, then good for you! Kudos, high five and a happy dance from me to you!

If the answer is yes, then I know how you feel! I used to be there. I used to stress and worry. At times I had trouble sleeping because of all the big questions that were just too massive for my brain to process.

And yes, you read that right, I said I used to.

Do I worry about things? Oh yes, from time to time. I don’t think I’d be much of a human if I didn’t.

Do I worry about the meaning of life though? Absolutely not!

A couple of years ago, and I can’t for the life of me remember who asked me, but someone did ask me about what I thought was the meaning of life. Whenever I got that question I would usually just shrug and tell the person that I had no idea. For some reason though, I wasn’t able to shrug it off that time around. It stuck with me for days, and then suddenly, when I was out for a walk, these words came to me:

The important thing is not to find the meaning of life, but to find what it is that gives your life meaning. 

It came to me then and has never left me since. And with those words came a profound sense of relief. A way of thinking that I had no idea that I actually needed, but has helped me so much in finding my way to the life that I live today.

So many of us just settle for everyone else’s ideas of what our lives should be, and don’t even consider the idea of our dreams becoming a reality.

What gives your life meaning? Have you asked yourself that lately? If you haven’t, then I think it’s time you should! Sit down and have a quiet moment with yourself, ask the question, and really think about it. And if the things that give your life meaning aren’t something you’re doing on a regular basis, then I would highly suggest that you consider adding some changes to your life!

Why on earth would you waste the precious little time that you have on things that don’t matter? Do you value your time that little? And no, I’m not saying you should drop everything, quit your day job and hope for the best, unless you really want to and dare to. I wish I could. I wish I could afford to take that leap, but I can’t. Instead, I’ve made a very conscious choice when it comes to how I live my life. I constantly ask myself if the things that I’m spending the most amount of time on are the ones that give my life meaning. If the answer is no, then I look for ways to minimize those tasks. If the answer is yes, then I look for ways to be able to do more of them.

Even if it’s just adding a few minutes more of doing that which gives you meaning every day, that’s a way of starting to move in the right direction! We all have to start somewhere, right?

The important thing is not to find the meaning of life, but to find what it is that gives your life meaning! 

Make that list (either an actual one or a mental one) and then remind yourself of your answers every day. And if something on it doesn’t give your life meaning anymore, then remove it! It’s your list, so who the hell is gonna tell you not to?

It’s your life, and it’s so precious and unpredictable. So with that in mind, can I just ask one thing of you? This one is important:

Please, don’t waste it ❤️

The Beauty of Old

If there’s one thing that I will take with me back from Bucharest as the thing that really struck me about the place, it’s the random and detailed beauty of the city. So much has been broken and destroyed, or is slowly decaying, but if you look around there are beautiful details everywhere. Some are big and in plain sight, and others are more hidden. 

The details are amazing. I find myself sitting down with a coffee and just let my eyes wander from building to building, trying to map out the stories and the details. Trying to picture how it looked back in the days. It’s hard to imagine, but still, there’s a certain magic in trying. 

I’m pretty sure it would’ve been something to see all of this when it was first built, but then again, it has it’s own kind of beauty when it’s all mixed in with all the happenings and history of the city. 


If I had the time I would’ve dedicated a full day to just walk around and take in all of the old buildings and the atmosphere that surrounds them. 

Maybe next time 😉


One of My Top Traveling Tips!

I think one of my best tips when it comes to traveling and learning more about the city that you’re traveling to, is to search for free walking tours. Most big cities have them, and they’re a great way to get to know your way around the city, get a feel of the things you’d like to explore further and to learn the history of the place.


Unirii Square


Yesterday, we went on a free walking tour here in Bucharest with Walkabout Free Tours and it was so good! Our tour guide Monica was so engaged and informative. We got to learn a lot about Romania and it’s history. From Vlad the Impaler, how the story Dracula really came to be, to Nicolae Ceaușescu and the revolution in 1989.

So much has happened in this city, and the amount of destruction and pain that’s been caused before the revolution is hard to even try to imagine.

Just the fact that the destruction of the city center that happened so that Ceaușescu could build his vision was on the same scale as Hiroshima, is hard to wrap one’s mind around.

Walking through the city with a local, we got to spark conversations with other travelers, and we got some great recommendations for other places to visit as well.

Being a tourist doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of great affordable options for exploring around the world, and I always encourage people to look for tours like this.

Stavropoleos Monastery

Now, they, of course, have some deals with restaurants, cafés and so on, so they will recommend these throughout the tour, and might even stop at some places for coffee breaks and such. You are not obliged to use your money there, but take note of the places and consider going back to them.

We went back to one of the restaurants that was recommended and it was definitely worth it! And we got a discount card that made the meal even more affordable. Win-win-win!

So get on out there, walk around and learn some new things!

Church of Saint Anthony



None Do it Justice!

Some places are so massive that one gets awestruck just by the magnitude of the place. The Palace of the Parliament is just such a place, and I feel like no matter how many pictures I took of the place, none do it justice.

It’s the largest administrative building in the world with a height of 84 meters, an area of 365,000 square meters and a volume of 2,550,000 cubic meters. The building has 1100 rooms!

Apparently, it’s the ninth most expensive building in the world with a total construction cost of  3.0 billion US dollars.

Last night we ended up at Wine and Street Food Festival at The Palace of Parliament. The food trucks were all situated outside the palace and all the wine was inside. It was quite a special experience to be able to walk around and get tipsy inside this massive building. There are so many details inside this building. From the chandeliers to the staircases. It’s nothing short of a bit insane! I can’t help but wonder if there’s anyone who’s ever been to all the rooms? And are there secret ones?

I did some research about this place and there are rumors going around that the place is actually haunted by ghosts. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?! I definitely need to look more into this!

Fascinating! Utterly and truly fascinating!