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Hi, my name's ellee ven, and I'm a self proclaimed groovalutionary. Today is episode number two of 11 stops on The Groovalution. On episode one, we were introduced to Bali, to Mexico City, to Marrakesh and to India. Today, it's anybody's guess, so let's spin the wheel.
Oh, oh, oh, we're going to Iceland. I bet you I'm gonna see a waterfall.
Now, if you think that all waterfalls are the same, you need to go to Iceland.
All right, I have tell you I went on yet another yoga journey to Iceland, and two things stuck out. Number one, you can drive for a long time in Iceland and you're not gonna see a gas station, you're not gonna see a mini-mart, you're not gonna see anything, and it's actually seeing everything. It's this amazingly beautiful place on this planet with mountain ranges and waterfalls, and then in Reykjavik, which is very pretty and, um, quaint, and delicious and sophisticated, they have delicious restaurants, they have art, uh, it's a really nice visit.
I went to a restaurant where I got a chef's seating, so you get to watch, like, you get to watch a hot chef, slice and dice before your eyes, and so I was captivated. And so, he delivers something to the table and I'm like, mm, this is so good, it's like a smoked fish, but I didn't have my readers on, so it turned out it was smoked over dung. Can you imagine? And, apparently, when things get rough in the Icelandic region, and the electricity goes away, they use dung for fuel.
There's another fun thing to do when you're in Iceland is to go viking hunting, and so I did that. That was amazing. The men are burly. Another interesting thing about Iceland, and this is actually just Iceland, this is not my fault, this is not me doing anything. They actually have a penis museum ... fun fact.
They also were very inspiring in the way of the blue lagoon. That was actually where the- the blue lagoon was where I drew the most inspiration from. It was this amazing thermal bath where they offered you free masks and there was a bar in the pool. So, that was a great time.
My word for Iceland would be ... viking hunting. Between the vikings and the landscape for days, I felt minute, and really in awe, as well.
So, next on The Groovalutionary train is ... U-S of A. I included it on the wheel of fortune because I thought that would be really unjust to not include my homeland on my adventures. And, like all of these other countries, I've been to particular cities in these countries. In America, you can choose to end up in New York or California or Phoenix or San Francisco or Minneapolis, and if you thought that that was how America was, each of those cities was exactly the way America is, you would be very, misled. America is a very, very fun, frolicking ground. I would say my favorite cities are easily New York and ... maybe Venice, California.
So my word for America would be, opportunity. The truth is- is there is, you know, we are so lucky, you know, we travel around the world, you see the poverty, you see what- what wealth looks like in different places, too, and in America, we truly have access to so much. It's hard for me to say we have it all, because I don't think all- anybody has it all. I think that we have to appreciate what it is that we do have, and whatever it is we do have, we have to make the best of it, and not squander it. In America, I think that there is a lot to learn and a lot to enjoy, and the country's beautiful, and the people, again, are- are all different kinds of people together, and so that actually is really amazing in its way.
Next on The Groovalution is ... oh my gosh, thank goodness, the Iberian Peninsula. You may not know this about me, but I'm 49.6% Iberian Peninsula and that is because my mother was from Spain. So, after she passed away, I'd been there a little bit when I was younger, but after she passed away, I definitely made a real effort to return with some regularity and, kind of, bond with the people.
So, I went to Portugal and I went to Spain. I've been to Barcelona and Madrid and Seville and Marbella. Portugal- oh, and Cantabria and Bilbao and San Sebastian, and then in Portugal, I went to Lagos and to Porto and to Lisbon. And I have to tell you, my mother was a total diva and she would say to me, "You no know what I sacrficia”. I'd be, like, "Well, thanks Mom. Yeah, I'm feeling really good about our relationship right now."
But now, after having gone to Lisbon, in particular, where people are literally singing in the streets and are so engaged and alive and happy and, I mean, it just feels that way, the people, the singing in the streets is a lot to take.
Another feature would be the nada, which is not nada, which is not nothing. It is a delicious, bite-size pastry that's basically you're own personalized crème brulee ... really good. And, of course, you have paella, and you have all of these things in Spain that are amazing. You have vermouth, which is really delicious as a shot. Sophiticated people do sip it, but not me.
You have to go to the Prado Museum. The Prado Museum is the biggest museum with the most Spanish artists in it. It's in Spain, it's in Madrid. They have a beautiful collection, they have all- you know, they have beautiful art works from all around the world, but, seeing all of those Spanish artists together is really, like, we really get a sense of how much art is actually comes from the Iberian Peninsula
Think about France. France is mostly people from France in it. Italy, England, you feel that way about those countries. Spain, because it's right across the way from Africa, also has a lot of Moorish influence, and so I think that really shows up in the architecture and even in the food, really, because, like, the paella is kind of related, you're getting into your, like, tagine and that kind of thing and Marrakesh and northern Africa, so I think there's just more of cultural connection to Iberian Peninsula and Africa. So my word for Spain is ... no way can I give you one word. There is so much to see there. There is, again, in a country there is sea, there is mountainous regions, there are cities, there are castles.
Where is next? Colombia. Colombia. Colombia. Okay, so this is gonna be a quickie because I was only there for three nights, and it was super stimulating, it was really delicious. Fresh fish to die for, amazing knits, amazing porches everywhere with bougainvillea hanging over, just all these, like, just luscious, and it's near the equator, so it's really hot. My hair was curly. Something that stuck out is everything is just incredibly colorful, everything goes together, it's like you want to put 25 different pictures on the outside of your house with a couple of angels for décor, it goes. You want, you know, your door to be purple and your, you know, walls to be yellow, beautiful, it works.
But then, there's also these layers, again, of sophistication, history, cultures, many cultures there, lots of different look- people, all look very different. Creative inspiration for Cartagena would be that everything goes together. If you like it, just make it happen. My word for Cartagena would be multicultural.
So, now we've been to eight locations together. I have shared with you some of my favorite spots, and we have three more- three more locations to share. I'm really hoping that by my sharing my travel experiences and the creative seeds that were planted from them will encourage you to go ahead and allow yourself to go through the experience of filling the well with great experiences, new faces, new places, and give yourself that experience of seeing something for the first time. It can really, really unleash your creativity.
My name is ellee ven. I'm a self proclaimed groovalutionary. Please subscribe and hit the notification bell and this way, you can join me on the third leg of our 11-step journey on The Groovalution.