Recalling travel days in photos

For those of you who are new here, I wanted to share some photos I took while living abroad in England. I lived there for three months in 2008, and again from 2011-2012 for six months. It changed me, formed me, and was such a gift. It, in many ways, launched my love for capturing beauty through photos, as well as writing and sharing my journey.  I don’t know what it is, but when we get away from ‘normal’, it seems we are more aware of our surroundings!

These photos are all available for purchase through digital file or prints, so please let me know if you are interested! (digital file is $40 each, prints: 5×7 $10, 8×10, $20) Enjoy!

Paris, France

Paris, France

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Roman Wind

Good morning! In my Facebook memory feed the other day was a reminder that it’s been five years since I was in Italy with a friend. I looked back on some of my writing and memories from that trip, and thought I would re-share an original post from here, called Roman Wind. Enjoy my little journey through Rome and what it taught me that day! (and boy does it make me want to pack up my little family and explore Europe!)

Bike, Rome, Italy

There’s this picture that I have framed at home that reminds me of a special day. A moment in time I will never forget. It’s a portion of a bike, the one you see to the left. Let me take you to that day …

I visited Rome, Italy with a friend last fall. We had six days filled with pizza, pictures, and people in masses. It. Was. Delightful!  On the final day my friend and I decided to go our separate ways for a few hours. I had been doing some research on Trip Advisor that week and REALLY wanted to rent a scooter. Hello Audrey Hepburn. I had envisioned a scarf-adorned up-do with large sunglasses and an ice cream cone in hand whilst whipping through Roman traffic. Well, not really. But the thought of driving a scooter in Rome sure appealed to me! Everything I read online however cautioned against Rome traffic with eager foreigners and I ultimately opted for safety over adventure.

Feeling a little bummed, I received a text from a friend in London about it all. He said the most brilliant thing that set me free to do what I pleased that final day. He said, “As long as you remember some things are coolest because Lani found them at 4:58pm with her own wind.”

It may not have been a scooter, but it did have two wheels, a basket and a dingling bell that made me smile! So, for several hours on that sunny Friday I was the happiest girl on a bicycle meandering Rome’s cobbled alleys as I passed pizzerias and leather shops.  I nearly hit several people in my glee-ish state, but I didn’t even care.  Scusi.

After I risked my life winding through some traffic, I decided I’d better stay on the quiet and narrow streets of Rome! During my bike escapade I stopped in Piazza Navona . This square of artists and musicians is surrounded by restaurants and the waiters stand outside, charming and beckoning you to enjoy their services. Cappuccino per favore.

I leaned my bike up to the restaurant while he steamed me a delicious beverage, and then took this photo. Coffee break, I call it.

I sat by the fountain outside the restaurant sipping my latte and enjoyed the live music. I was soon on my way towards the river, as that was my destination. After bartering for two purses with a persistent man on the bridge and nearly being attacked to purchase said purses, I turned around towards “home”.

On my way back to the bike rental place, I stopped in a leather shop and bought a purse. I was excited and savoured the Italian leather smell. About 20 minutes later, I stopped at a cash machine to get more Euro and as I reached into my backpack, my heart stopped. My camera was gone. My first thought, rationally lacking in rational, was that it had been stolen blind off my back. I kicked myself mentally and started saying “Jesus. Jesus. NO! My camera. Jesus.”  Glee was gone. My camera and the whole week of memories were ruined.

As I walked (yes, walked) my bike past the crowds surrounding the Pantheon, people stared. Mascara running in streams down my face no doubt. I returned the bike, paid my 10 euro reluctantly, and found my friend. As I talked through with her when I last used my camera, I remembered the leather shop and thought maybe, just maybe I had left it there.  To me it was a miracle, because half an hour later we retraced my sobbing steps back to the leather shop, and lo and behold there was a relieved sales lady holding my camera.  How we ever found our way back there is beyond me. Thankful for honest Italians, we hit up an espresso bar and ate some chocolate. As you do😉

I had found a piece of my own wind on the bike that day. I nearly lost my wind on the bike that day. And I believe God led me right back to where I needed Him to … on that day.

That day two wheels and a map of Rome, with no specific plan, will stick with me always.

You know, I think God sets in each of our hearts little things just like that. That makes us smile. It’s like a little gift meant just for us.

Psalm 139 talks all about how He has intricately woven our hearts, and knows our every thought.  He says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are deeply known and created with such love and intent, that I think it’s a shame if we live our lives with the wind knocked out of us.

That bike picture will always be a reminder to follow my heart and of my God that sees much more than my eyes can see.

Whether it’s meandering happily on a bike, or something else that you need to find that makes you smile like it does for no one else, then do it! Try new things. Because I believe that even along the way, God is with us in that pursuit and makes it so memorable.

Travel prints: Now available for order

Architecture, to me, is one of the most fascinating things to photograph when travelling. Our world is such a diverse and beautiful place. When I travel, there have been a few key things that always catch my eye… doors, bridges, bikes, boats, broken down stone, you name it!

Now, you can order your own custom print of any of the following photographs, in the following sizes. Each photo will come with a label on the back, telling the story of that location and photo. Photos were taken in such places as: England, Paris, Prague, and Italy.

All prices include shipping, and will be sent within ten days of order.

8×10 – $25
11×14 – $40
12×18 – $50

Get a deal! Order 3 or more photos, you will receive a 10% discount off the overall price. Payment must be received before photos will be delivered, via Paypal or eTransfer.

For any questions, please email lanilupul@gmail.com.

Copyright, Lani Lupul 2015

Seaside town, England

Seaside town, England

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Blue door, Liverpool, England

Blue door, Liverpool, England

Seaside pub, Leigh-On-Sea, England

Seaside pub, Leigh-On-Sea, England

Green door, Oxford, England

Green door, Oxford, England

Red door, York, England

Red door, York, England

Big Ben, London, England

Big Ben, London, England

Canoe, York, England

Canoe, York, England

Bridge, Chelmsford, England

Bridge, Chelmsford, England

Bike, Rome, Italy

Bike, Rome, Italy

Autumn color, Ripley, England

Autumn color, Ripley, England

Tall brown door, Oxford, England

Tall brown door, Oxford, England

Stately green door, London, England

Stately green door, London, England

Notting Hill, London, England

Notting Hill, London, England

Black door, Liverpool, England

Black door, Liverpool, England

Green door, Liverpool, England

Green door, Liverpool, England

Welcome home, Chelmsford, England

Welcome home, Chelmsford, England

Black door, Leigh-On-Sea, England

Black door, Leigh-On-Sea, England

Black door, Notting Hill, London, England

Black door, Notting Hill, London, England

Autumn, Chelmsford, England

Autumn, Chelmsford, England

Excuse me, I’m in my way

It was a dark night in Rome as we meandered in and out of leather and souvenir shops, snapping photos as we went along. My style of holidaying in Europe was to take in as much as our feet would allow us – because who knew when I’d be back in Rome!? At this point in the evening, my friend and I needed to warm up.

The tiny clothing store we entered was narrow, with furs and sweaters lining the walls, and a table of goodies in the middle. Harsh fluorescent lighting greeted us, along with an Italian woman smiling, ‘Ciao’.  I likely fumbled something in response, often confusing my Italian, French and Spanish.

As I walked to the back of the store, I excused myself around someone. They seemed insistent on moving the same direction as me. After two seconds of frustration, I looked up only to realize I was excusing myself. The back of the store had a mirror and I had stumbled upon it in a very touristy fashion.  I looked around to make sure no one saw my embarrassing dance steps, and carried on shopping.

How many times do we get in our own way? How many times do we blame our roadblock or lack of progress, in any area, on someone or something else?

You know, we can only blame our weaknesses, failures, shortcomings and mistakes on someone else for so long – and then we have to ‘man-up’ or ‘woman-up’ and realize that the path our lives takes is in our own hands. We have choices.

I have a lot of goals in the next little while, and my ‘creative list’ seems to keep growing. I can’t show it to you …yet.

But the only ‘dancing’ I want to do is dancing out of my own way and see some greater things happen in the life I’ve been given. I need to keep looking up and make sure I’m not in my own way 😉

For today, be blessed. Look up. Give up excuses. And dance your way to greater things.

~Lani