Perceptions of Promise

Art, books, and travel

A Day Trip to Brussels from Paris

Brussels Flower Carpet

Brussels Flower Carpet

One day may be too short for a visit in Brussels. But it should be enough to see some of the city’s most famous attractions. So if you are in the City of Light and have one day to spare for a trip to another country, a day trip from Paris to Belgium is a must. Apart from the short travel time, train travel between the two countries is also fast, convenient, and easy. As you reach Brussels, you can make the most of the day enjoying some of the city’s popular sights. And here are just a few of them.

La Grand-Place
Brussels’ historic main square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination in the city. The Grand-Place is known for its awe-inspiring architecture with attractions that include the Breadhouse, the Town Hall, and the surrounding guildhalls among others. This central square is also known for its flower markets special features or events like the Flower Carpet among others.

Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudule (Cathédrale Saint-Michel or Sint-Michiels Kathedraal)
The Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudule is a Gothic cathedral and an important church in the country that dates back to the 10th century. The architecture, interior, and magnificent stained glass windows are among the cathedral’s must-see sights.

Manneken-Pis
The bronze sculpture of a peeing little boy is an unusual but famous landmark in Brussels. The naked statue is said to embody the rebellious spirit of the city.

The beer and/or chocolate scene
Belgium is known for its top quality beers and chocolates. And when you are in the country’s capital city, it only makes sense to sample some of its finest culinary offerings. Enjoy a delicious brew from one of the cafes and restaurants or go on a beer tour. Delirium Café is one of Brussel’s go-to places for its extensive selection of over 2000 beers. Or you can explore the city’s chocolate shops and museums while tasting some of the best ones you can find along the way.

Purchasing A Good Book

good book

Good books are often just lying around the bookshop, waiting for someone to pick them up and take them home.

The only problem is, most people don’t really know what makes a good book that good.

You see, a good book is more than just having a good title on the front cover. You also see, a good book is more than just having a good synopsis on the back cover.

Here are some ways to let you know that you’re purchasing a good book:

Its Quantity

As they say, it starts with the bestsellers. One notable characteristic of a good book is its quantity. No matter how many best titles ever there are – if there’s no one else buying it – chances are, what you’re looking to purchasevis not really a good book.

But of course, it still depends on a book and their corresponding genres that accurately matches the preferences of today’s generation – just like how both the media and the readers warmly accepted J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series, and Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.

Its Condition

A good book, admittedly, is also one that is presented in good condition. You’re paying for it right, so why not check if what you’re paying for is also right? It should be sealed in plastic. It should also come without any creases or dents. There should be no stains on its covers. There should also be no other marks on its pages. Even more so, a good book is one that will smell like a fresh lump of good soil on the ground – earthy and just plain bookly.

Do you know any other ways to let one know that he’s purchasing a good book? Let us know in the comments section below!

Becoming Good at Storytelling

telling stories

Storytelling has been around since the ancient times. Its purpose is not just to entertain. It is also used in communicating and learning. There are several old stories written in words or depicted in images and works of art that continue to connect to people over the span of centuries. It’s because people are usually drawn to compelling stories. While everyone has a story to tell, not many are gifted with the skill of effective storytelling. If you are among those who want to become a better storyteller, it is never too late to develop the skill.

1. Know your audience. Whether it’s for public speaking, a business presentation, or simple conversations with friends, a great story can capture and enthrall your audience. It can also help you send a message across. But not everyone reacts to stories in the same way. Becoming a better storyteller entails knowing and understanding your audience. This can help you choose the best story to tell that would be relevant to the people listening to you.

2. Choose a compelling story. While you need to pick a story that your audience would like, it’s also important that you choose one that you’d enjoy telling. How you feel about the story usually shows on the way you tell it. To be a better storyteller, you have to be fully drawn and engaged to the story if you want to connect with your listeners.

3. Take time to practice. Learning how to be a better storyteller involves preparation and practice. It sometimes takes time to learn how to tell stories effectively. Don’t skip the process o learning. Know your story at heart. Practice telling your stories to family and friends who can give you constructive feedbacks that you can use to improve your storytelling techniques.

4. Project confidence. People can hear confidence in your voice and see it by the way you carry yourself. Use your voice to capture and hold your listeners attention. Speak clearly and use your voice to convey the emotions that the story evokes.

5. Keep words simple. Using simple words to tell your story is one of the best ways to become a better storyteller. Remember that your goal is to connect and not alienate listeners with complex words. Practice keeping your stories simple and engaging.

6. Make eye contact. One of the many ways to connect with your listeners is through eye contact. Use it to establish a connection while telling your story. Making eye contact with someone you’re talking to or sharing a story makes the storytelling more personal.

10 of the Most Dramatic and Stunning Destinations in the World

Jinshaling Great Wall

There is no dearth of breathtaking destinations in the world – places that will leave you in awe with their surreal beauty. It will probably take a lifetime or more to see every single stunning place on earth. If you are thinking of traveling to some of the most beautiful places you can reach, here are ten dreamy and awe-inspiring places to add to your bucket list.

Arashiyama (Kyoto, Japan)
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Why go: One of the most popular destinations in Kyoto. It is home to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove that is a sight to behold. The district is also teeming with shrines and temples. Other must-see attractions include the Adashino-Nembutsu-ji Temple, Gio-ji Temple, Jojako-ji Temple, Kameyama-koen Park, Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa, Nison-in Temple, Okochi-Sanso Villa, Rakushisha Poet’s Hut, and the Tenryu-ji Temple and its gardens.

Ashikaga Flower Park (Ashikaga, Japan)
Ashikaga Flower Park
Why go: This flower-themed park is a top-rated tourist attraction for quite a good reason. It was even dubbed as CNN’s Dream Destinations for 2014. Ashikaga Flower Park is home to the 150-year old Great Wisteria and thousands of beautiful flowers that include pale red wisteria, white wisteria, and kibana wisteria. The Rainbow Garden likewise promises to be an excellent addition with its over 2,000 bushes of roses, clematis, and rhododendron.

Bagan (Myanmar)
Bagan
Why go: The vast 26-square-mile plain in Bagan is home to one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. Ancient temples, many of them are well-preserved or restored, and ruins rise in the midst of breathtaking landscape and verdant forests. Visiting the place and watching the skyline as the sun rises or set is like being transported into the pages of fairy tales with its striking and surreal beauty.

Cappadocia (Turkey)
Cappadocia
Why go: Cappadocia has other-worldly qualities that make it seem like the region has been plucked straight out of fairy tales. The fairy chimneys, ancient cities with their rock-hewn structures like churches, and the mesmerizing landscape are just some of the top reasons to see and explore this place. Top destinations include the cities of Aksaray, Kayseri, Nevsehir, and Nigde.

Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)
Cliffs of Moher
Why go: The Cliffs of Moher is a world-renowned natural attraction and one of the most visited places in Ireland. Its dramatic beauty lends inspirations for artists and people who know how to appreciate the magical vista. It is a great spot to simply soak in the stunning scenery, watch the thousands of birds that live in the area, and listen to the sounds of the crashing waves.

Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona, USA)
Grand Canyon National Park
Why go: The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s natural wonders. Seeing the place in person is an experience that not even the best photographs can capture. Millions of people visit this stunning national park every year. Top attractions you do not want to miss include Bright Angel Hiking Trail, Desert View Drive, Desert View Watchtower, Geological Museum, Hermit Road, Hopi Point, Kolb Gallery, Lookout Studio, Maricopa Point, Mather Point Overlook, Pima Point, Rim Trail, The Abyss, Tusayan Museum and Ruin, and the resident wildlife.

Great Wall of China (Beijing, China)
Jinshaling Great Wall
Why go: The longest wall that stretches to more than 12,000 miles that date back to thousands of years is one of the awe-inspiring sights in the world. It can even be seen from space. Fortresses, walls, and watchtowers are just some of the reasons to visit this famous attraction. Explore some of the less visited sections of the wall to marvel not just at the Wall itself but also at the breathtaking scenery surrounding it.

Lavender fields (Provence, France)
Lavender fields
Why go: The last week of June up to the first week of August is the best time to visit the lavender fields in Provence. Soak in the sights and scents of vast fields of lavender in the midst of picturesque scenery. Other points of interest include the Lavender Museum, Notre-Dame de Sénanque Abbey, and lavender-themed cuisines.

Machu Picchu (Peru)
Machu Picchu
Why go: The ancient ruins, culture, and stunning natural scenery are just some of the top reasons to make that trip to Machu Picchu. Savor the food at Hearts Cafe in Ollantaytambo which is one of the pit stops on your trek to the world-famous attraction. Other top things to do include seeing llamas up close and exploring the market and the street food at Cusco.

Petra, Jordan
Petra Jordan
Why go: The ancient city of Petra is a stunning sight that was part of a trading route. It may not be as easy to reach or accessible as some the top wonders of the world. But the trip is more than worth it. Many of the buildings carved into rocks and cliffs are fairly well-preserved.