Tag Archives: Inspiration

Writing Around The World

Deanna Herrmann:

The Tipsy Lit feature this month is all about expats and travel writers! Make sure to check out new posts daily, Monday-Friday, and see which of your favorite expats wrote something fabulous!

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:


You may remember me mentioning the fact that I rekindled my love for writing when I started my first blog, From Casinos To Castles. This blog was created as a way to document my journey of taking a huge leap of faith in becoming an expatriate. It started off fueled by the inspiration found in our courage and has become a place where I share things about every day expat life. The travel writing community is unlike any other I have ever found online, but they are similar in that they all share a glimpse of what it’s like to be a part of another culture, another world.

I’ve now had an expat blog for over a year as well as a separate writing blog. It occurred to me how different the communities are and how little may be known about the expat bloggers/travel writers. Granted, we all stumble…

View original 230 more words

Saturday Feature: Creatrice Mondial

It’s been sunny and gorgeous here in Germany, but all I see across my social media sites is everyone begging for some sunshine. In the interest of Springtime, Summer, gorgeous photos and ideallyic travel locations, Amy is our Saturday feature this week.

How many of you out there know our lovely Amy, from Creatrice Mondial? She is a designer and amazingly talented at that. Her photos will blow you away as will the many people she has come across through her travels around the globe. And even more exciting?? She’s currently living stateside, but all that will change later this year when she becomes New Zealand’s newest expatriate!

Prepare yourself for the beauty you’re about to see….


Top 6 Best Mediterranean Views

We all dream of a Mediterranean vacation. The sun-kissed coast gently touched by a salty breeze and that crystal clear blue water… it truly just doesn’t get any better. There are many spectacular places to choose from for this dream holiday. Here, I will share with you six of the very best Mediterranean views, based upon my personal experience. In no particular order.

1. Capri, Italy

Ahh… Capri. With the fresh sea air keeping you cool as you sip on the famous limoncello… you could spend an infinite amount of time on this little island just across the water from the southern town of Sorrento. Main attractions include both the Green and Blue Grottos by sea, and the town of Anacapri by land. This tiny commune is located at the top of the hill, although it is more like a mountain to flat-landers. The views, such as the one pictured above, make the effort worthwhile. But don’t worry – you don’t have to huff and puff your way up to the tippy top. There’s also a bus and a funicular rail that runs between Anacapri and Capri, the main port town on the sea. Helpful after you’ve indulged maybe a little too much on the limoncello.



2. Cinque Terre, Italy

Everyone has seen a version of this photo before. In fact, you may have already seen it here if you read myadventures hiking Cinque Terre. This is the town of Vernazza, one of the five villages on the Italian Riviera that make up Cinque Terre, or Five Lands. Really any view from the rugged hike that hugs the coastline between these villages belongs on this list. Vernazza was my very favorite though, and it’s easy to see why. Combine that view with the perfectly sunny day we had for our hike and it’s amazing we aren’t still camped out there today, eyes glues towards the sea. The towns of Cinque Terre are easily reached by train, being located not far from Pisa. And if you don’t fancy a hike (although I strongly recommend you opt for this method) there is a train the connects the five towns that runs regularly throughout the day.



3. Ios, Greece

The Greek islands are famous for their white-washed buildings with beautiful blue roofs and accents. There’s no denying the mixture of sun, sea, landscape and architecture blend to give this region of the Mediterranean its own unique appeal. The island of Ios, among others, is also famous for its windmills, such as the ones pictured above. Ios is quite mountainous, and the windmills perch on top of hills in a prime location to catch those sea breezes as they whip across the island. I have no idea if they still work, but they have a particular charm sitting there, facing the sea. I stopped by this island during my spam-email Greek island sailing trip, when we spent 10 days sailing around, island hopping until we were all convinced we could live that life forever.


4. Mykonos, Greece

Oh Mykonos… what a crazy wench you are!! But you are good lookin’, so you’re forgiven for being a bit rowdy by night. The party reputation of this island precedes itself, but it would be a mistake to dismiss it as purely a hedonistic paradise (although that description does fit). While my stories from our stay in Mykonos is reminiscent of “Hotel California.” it is a beautiful place. It really wouldn’t be so bad to check in and never leave. The sea was a bit wild due to weather conditions the previous day, but it suited the place. The best activity by far, besides renting four-wheelers and driving all over the island, was enjoying a crisp glass of wine at sunset on one of those balconies pictured above. Gorgeous.


5. Santorini, Greece

This is not your typical viewpoint of perhaps the most famous island in Greece. But that’s because I wasn’t viewing the town in the typical way – we were arriving by sailboat, after a sunrise sail from Ios that morning. So instead of the views from the city looking down onto the water, we had the advantage of looking up. It is so impressive how they built the entire town into the cliffside. We were sailing into the caldera, which is actually a result of volcanic activity. It is formed when land collapses following a volcanic eruption, and thus the land here was reclaimed by the sea. In spite of its violent origins, it was really quite peaceful. And, of course, afforded stunning views.


6. Naxos, Greece

It wouldn’t be right to get through this entire list without including at least one shot of ancient ruins. This one, on the island of Naxos, features the Portara, a giant marble door that seemingly leads to nowhere. It faces the island of Delos, supposedly the birthplace of the god Apollo. The door is part of an unfinished temple, dedicated possibly to Apollo, or possibly to Dionysus  (who was worshipped on the island in ancient times). Either way, depending on which angle you view it from, the sun sets right between the pillars. It sits on a small island of its own, attached to the main island near Old Town by a causeway. It’s an easy walk from the port, and the best place on the island to watch a sunset.

So that wraps up my top 6 best Mediterranean views! Of course I realize there are many places left off this list (it would probably take an entire book to cover all of them). And it was largely influenced by the places I have in fact visited, and therefore experienced first hand. Now it’s your turn – any not-to-be-missed views you would like to add? Leave your contributions in the comments below, and I will promptly add them to my bucket list. Maybe we can all plan a group trip someday… rent a villa somewhere… sit outside sipping white wine and munching on fresh local cuisine. How fabulous does that sound?

See what I mean? Gorgeous.

Please leave a comment or stop by Amy’s blog and say hello. Have a great weekend!



J’adore: A Trip to Paris with Jessica

La Ville-Lumière. The City of Light. I had never been out of the country, but for my twenty-first birthday I was granted the opportunity to go to Paris with my best friend.

No one wants to hear about the process of getting my passport or the long flight or getting through customs but it was all just beautiful to me.

We went during the winter to avoid a lot of the tourists. Yes it was cold, but I didn’t feel it. With my broken French from high school and my friend’s learned French from multiple previous trips to the city, we would be able to navigate fairly well.

We stayed at the Hotel Dauphine St. Germain on the rue Dauphine, within walking distance of most things if we hoofed it. It was an adorable hotel with a tiny bathroom and twin beds and a view overlooking the white rooftops of Paris. Breakfast was delicious. Who am I kidding? The food the entire time was delicious! My favorites were the baguettes grabbed fresh from shops on the street, chocolate filled croissants, Orangina, and Nutella crepes. I had no idea Nutella existed before Paris.

We visited the Eiffel Tower, didn’t go up in it because it was freezing and crowded, but just standing beneath the thing was an experience. I looked up through it’s metal spirals and thought “I have arrived.”

Notre Dame was one of my favorite attractions. I am not an especially religious person but I felt reverent inside. My friend got sick so I went alone. I spent a quiet hour or so on a tour, observing the grand architecture and sheer history of the place.

But the Louvre, ah the Louvre, that was my absolute favorite place in Paris. We didn’t spend enough time there. You can go to Paris and just vacation there for the museum. It is that large and densely full of art and information. As artists ourselves, my friend and I were in Wonderland. The museum itself is beautiful, not to mention the works of art it showcases. I spent a good deal of time in the Ancient Egyptian section because I have a particular interest in that period of history. I was sad to leave. I vowed to its walls that I would return someday.

We also visited the Rodin museum. I didn’t know I enjoyed Rodin until we were done touring the site. Some of the sculptures, like the Gates of Hell, were so twisted and dark but held their own unique beauty.

I had only a few days to enjoy Paris. But it’s something I will never forget. When asked what my favorite city is? I answer with Paris. When feeling blue, I often recall my memories of the City of Light. And you can hear me on the phone with my best friend often sighing and asking, “Do you remember Paris?”

Jessica SitaJessica Sita is a full time writer living in Oklahoma with her husband and two dogs. You can find her writing at her blog,Watchful Creature or at Tipsy Lit . Also swing by and chat with her on Facebook or on Twitter.

Jessica is currenty trying to crowdfund her up-and-coming book of poetry. Check out this link to help: Outcrychapbook.pubslush.com.

The Monday Ante #2

Everyone really seemed to love this idea of a link-up ALL ABOUT YOU so here we go with week #2! You guys made it super hard for me to choose the featured post last week so I can’t wait to see what you come up with this week!


How is about you? One person from every link-up will have their post featured on C2C on Saturday just in time for weekend reading, gaining additional exposure for your blog. I will share your post with a link to your site and at least one social media option. This will also be publicized through my social media channels.

Why? Because you guys are awesome and the world needs to know! I want to say thank you for your readership and your support by helping to share and promote your work.

When. The link-up will open every Monday at 8am, closing every Wednesday at 11:55pm. (Time zone is CET - Central European Time which is GMT+1  - Greenwich Mean Time. If that is confusing, ahem, 6 hours later than EST. Hope that’s clear as mud.)

What you need to do. Look at your posts for the past week and pick your favorite. Come back here and link it up before the end of the day on Wednesday. That’s it! (aside from a few simple rules coming up)

What you don’t need to do. No badges. No prompts or topics - the post can be about  anything. No additional follows (aside from this blog). You don’t have to read the other submissions, but why would you not want to? Maybe you can find a new blog to love! Or you can just wait for the winner on Saturday and come back and congratulate them. It’s up to you because this is what???? ALL. ABOUT. YOU.


While I am trying my best to keep this simple and fun, there are just a few requirements for your entry to be accepted:

  • You must be a follower of this blog through Bloglovin’, email or WordPress. Obviously since I am doing this to support my readers, you need to be one. Duh. 
  • You must share this link-up via Twitter. Not only do we want people to participate, but we also want people to look forward to reading the winning post. There is a handy-dandy Twitter share button below you can use to make it easier or feel free to share on your own, but please use my twitter handle in your tweet so I know (@Casinos2Castles). If you don’t have Twitter, leave a comment and we can work on #1 why you don’t have Twitter and #2 an alternate way to promote if you are against twits.
  • No inappropriate, hateful or adult content. This one is a given, but I figured I’d better list it because, after all, your work will be highlighted on my blog; therefore, I am endorsing it.

That’s it! I am always open to suggestions so if you have ideas that you’d like to see or that you think will make this better, please share with me!

I’m looking forward to reading all of your great posts and I know selecting a winner will be difficult.

Again, thank you for being you and being a part of my blogosphere. <3


Now, link-up!

Be Brave Enough To Follow A Dream

From the time I was a young girl, I always loved to read. As I grew up, a love for writing naturally followed. English was my favorite subject and despite my inner rebel causing me to skip a notorious amount of classes, I rarely missed English.

I adored the beauty to be found in metaphors and symbolism, the flow at which some of the best authors convey their message. When I found that my emotions were more than I could handle, I would turn to those metaphors and spill them out on paper, usually in the form of poetry.

My English teachers easily became aware of my love affair with the written word, encouraging me to write. One of my poems won a school literary award while the other was published in the real world before I graduated high school. I remember these teachers, the guardians of my future, persuading me to consider a degree in literature allowing me to dream of a future writing career. Yet, my inner critic slammed down the heaviest of hammers on the idea.

What kind of future do you have as a writer? You don’t want to teach or become a journalist….you won’t make any money. You’re not good enough.

doubt, dreams , quote


And there lies the misguided direction of a teenager. My focus was hell-bent on success and happiness being driven by financial gain while my insecurities weakened my spirit.

I was wrong. 

Please don’t misunderstand, I am happy that I pursued a career in social work. Helping others soothes my soul and its rewards far outweigh its annoyances, but writing lights my fire.

Today, this post is my 100th post on From Casinos To Castles. I know I have been distant from this space. I accept that is has morphed into something unplanned. But this little space in my small corner of the blogosphere, will always be so special to me. Here is the place where I unknowingly rekindled my sweet love affair with writing. Here is where I found a supportive community encouraging me along the way, much like those teachers who once believed in me. Here is where I found a network of writers and other lovers of words that lead me to more new places.

Among these writers is Emily, from The Waiting, (you may remember me mentioning her here). I followed her blog for sometime as I always enjoy the clever and humorous way she writes, especially about her daughter Cee. One day, Emily shared a post about her new venture as Managing Editor for the reading and writing community, Tipsy Lit. She spoke about this fun, new community and mentioned that they accept submissions to be published on their site in addition to their book club and other features.

I was intrigued.

I messaged her, but was discouraged for two reasons: 1. I never considered myself a writer 2. I had never written fiction. Our email discussions grew which soon lead to my guest post on Tipsy Lit about being an expat blogger. I stalked Tipsy Lit’s author interviews, v-logs and other helpful posts doing my best to absorb as much as possible; to make me a stronger and hopefully better, writer. I was also introduced to so many more wonderful people, wonderful bloggers, wonderful writers along the way.

I was ecstatic when one day, Emily mentioned that they would like to have me join “The Crew” and become a regular contributing writer. I, of course, accepted and my first published piece goes live today.

So, you see, this 100th post of mine is special. You are special. So, you’ll forgive me if you have heard some of these things before? I felt overwhelmed by the need to share with you where I am today, my dreams and maybe even introduce you to a whole new world.

Until then, let’s all dare to dream. I’ll start.

Hi, I’m Deanna and I’m a writer. 

Source: Pinterest