White Ibiza

Ibiza. What thoughts come to mind when you hear this name?
The first time I heard mention of Ibiza was reading it on album artwork for CD covers, back in the day of Tower Records, when CDs were sold in long, thin boxes rather than individually wrapped in cellophane. I remember seeing titles like Ibiza Nights! Or Ibiza lounge. At my young age, I had no idea what that meant. Just that it must be some crazy night club. And I think on some level it is ok to refer to Ibiza as some crazy night club. Seeing Ibiza written on so much music gave me the impression that it must the origin of all electronic dance music… or at least an incredible club somewhere to dance. I was probably sixteen.
But there is so much more to this Island.
If New York is the city that doesn’t sleep, I don’t know what to call this tiny unique Island off the coast of Barcelona in Spain. Dinner begins at 11 o’clock or even midnight, and the first clubs get under way at around one or two in the morning. It is one of the only places I have ever visited where not just a club, but all clubs, who’s tickets to get in range from $40-120, close at the time most people are getting up for work in the morning. Much of Spain is like this with the eating though and I always ask myself, what on earth are people doing between the hours of 5PM to midnight that they will intentionally choose to eat this late? At least for the first time in my life I could understand the purpose of building a siesta into the middle of the day in Spanish culture. How else could one possibly function?
Admittedly though I was surprised to find Ibiza, different than what I expected. If you haven’t been before, pause for a moment and imagine what you think it would look like in your mind. My only expectation was that I would be landing on a tropical green and lush landscape with crystal clear aquamarine blue waters, much like arriving in Hawaii or the Maldives. This however is really not the case. There is nothing tropical or lush at all about Ibiza other than that it is surrounded by the ocean on all sides and the water is in fact on occasion, warm. Appearance wise, it’s more like an extension of Barcelona or other Spanish cities. Except in so many other unique ways, it’s not.
In terms of getting around, I’ve got to say that learning foreign languages early in life, feels like one of the the best decisions I’ve made. I have been at a total loss in Holland, Austria and Germany, but in Spain or Italy, I practically feel right at home. And here they speak such a clean, beautiful Spanish. I’ve been thrilled to see that all of the slang and foul language that is rampant in California, simply doesn’t exist here. I’m sure there are words for such depraved expressions but much of this stuff here has no meaning, which means even if you say an offensive word, you’re not being offensive at all, you’re just not understood.
When I was in Italy, the Italian came back almost like riding a bicycle. Eighteen years of not speaking it, save texting and emailing for my company, and yet when I got off the plane in Rome and felt that sweet melodical rhythm in my ears, I knew I was in the right place. Similarly, this was the case in Spain but it did not come quite as easily. Over the next few months I hope to have a much stronger command over Russian!
But we’re in Ibiza now and the sun and temperature is piercing. It’s so hot that you’re inspired to do little else apart from sleeping, eating and beaching. Being in a car with no a/c feels like you’re in the mojave desert at high noon. People here therefore miss no opportunity to wear as little as possible, and somehow, dehydrate themselves and drink as much alcohol as possible.
The water in some parts does in fact have that slight azure blue tinge and these days it does feel warm as bath water. But the difference here, is that topless for men and women – and in some cases bottomless seem to be perfectly acceptable. Couple that with an almost never ending pulse of electronic music and you’ve got a recipe for an endless summer. Whether you are walking on the beach, passing by touristy stores or in beachside restaurants, the pumping of electronic never ceases.
A couple super sweet Dutch girlfriends helped me get to the island by finding a place for us for the first day. This leads of course to some acro and meeting one of their other friends who was just an unbeleivably kind and friendly guy. He was one of those guys who seems like very little ever bothers him, yet he still possessed the fiery latin personality. “Rey” seemed well connected and liked and people often deferred to him and respected him, so it felt like we fell in with the right crowd. He’s also a musician, producer and DJ. So, before we knew it, almost from the moment we met, he took us into his world and began to show us some of the best parts of Ibiza.
The day we met for instance he took us clear across the island to a huge drum circle and gathering. Hundreds of people gathered on a rocky beach as the sun began to set. This was also the place where I met one of Europe’s foremost surgeons. A small and curvy bleach blonde woman, who every time I saw her did not have a cup, or a glass but a full bottle of alcohol in her hand. Sometimes two. Sometimes more for later. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. Here is a woman who must be unfathomably precise with her hands yet, in her spare time promotes the Ibiza lifestyle like nobodies business.
Anyhow, of course it didn’t end with the drum circle. We we’re then whisked off to yet another part of the island that was said to have a high vibration and energy field. A vortex if you will. That was where the picture below was taken. We spent a good amount of time here, observing the beauty of the world, and aside from people’s phones not working, and mine beginning to consume 4x the amount of data it should have from being in this funny vortex, it was really quite remarkable to witness.
The next day, my Dutch friends and I had finally found an airbnb that seemed really clean and luxurious but little did we know, because we weren’t with our friend, that we were at Playa D’embossa. Seconds away from where ALL the nightclub activity happens and frankly neither of our first choice had we known. It worked out to be a great spot though and on the one nights, after a visit to his apartment and gifting me his double CD he produced and created, dubbed “Sex on the Beat,” our friend Rey, invited us to a club. We practically walked right in. Aaaand shortly after, we were ready to walk right out.
Now I love good music, and I enjoy loud music. But this… this volume was like nothing I had heard before. Ear piercing, almost ear splitting and no matter where you stood, it was all the same. How were people not covering their ears? It was so utterly, unbelievably loud. Even screaming into someones hear made it difficult to hear them and it was painful! We tried different rooms and still it was the same. I think we wound up in the roof area where Minority Report was being screened in a little room. I sat on the couch and watched Tom Cruise. Suffice it to say that my clubbing experience was short lived. I am glad I got to see some of the places and experience what it was like but, no need to repeat.
Now, other days were spent finding beaches with rocks to leap off of into clear blue water or hitting a daytime beach party where Rey was DJing. I’m not into the party scene but I did enjoy briefly getting swept up into his world. In acrobatics, we move and inspire people individually or perhaps in tiny groups. But being a DJ, it seems like you get to move and excite the masses. The beat drops and people just lose it.
I remember being out at around 11 at night and overhearing a bartender ask some girls where are you going? They answered that they had just been to one place and now going to this other one. He said no, no, no, what club are you going AFTER that, and after THAT? (!!!) That one sentence was indicative of the culture here at Playa D’Emboss, but I did quickly tire of music culture lifestyle (I know that’s sacrilege to some of my friends on here) in this particular area and finally, thanks to the help of my another German friend, was able to discover a cleaner part of Ibiza, the port, or the old part of town as it were.
Apparently this is where all supermodels are bred. And not just women. I have never seen so many well groomed, tall, muscular men with perfect hair, stubble, confidence and euro charm in one place in my life. They seem to mirror the tall, overly confident, boobs in your face, tan women everywhere. EVERYONE seems to be fit, in their colorful nike’s, jeans rolled and tank tops. Women too took license to dress more scantly of course.
I remember stopping at a raw restaurant called “Don’t Panic if it’s Organic” – a restaurant I simply had to check out because that was the name of one of my mix tapes back in my raver days when I was 18, created by a DJ named Simply Jeff. I think he was referring to a different type of organic plant matter though. Here again, pick the prettiest woman and most attractive guy you can imagine and these were the restaurant owners- from Norway I believe, I don’t mean to dwell on appearance, but much like seeing a fawn or a gorgeous landscape you can’t help but notice it.
Yet here in the marina, even in this more Elegant™ part of town, we were not fully away from the clutches of the music scene, but what was here, was certainly much more tame and palatable. But even here, half naked girls in heels and boots along with dancing men carrying a trolly with a booming speaker would make their way to every open air restaurant they could, music pumping, doing dance routines and promoting the club they worked for. Then the cries would come, “A donde vamos esta noche???” “Amnesia!!!” or “Space” or “Privilege!!”
Now even in this “maritime” part of town — which felt a little like being in Greece with all the little white buildings and warm island atmosphere — everywhere you turned, the music continued, just at a more reasonable version of loud. Music burst out of every restaurant, everyone was eating outside, everyone in sandals. People everywhere. And people seemed genuinely happy here. Streets so crowed you had to just slowly make your way down and take in the sights. The warm air from the water gently blowing over my skin, little shops that sold clothing that draped over you like soft gauzy linen… This was more my speed and truly every night I spent here, there was a palpable positive atmosphere. Great food, great energy and you could dance in the streets, shop, sing and get lost in this White Ibiza.
Food wise, it took time to find something really good, so when my German friend Constanze, helped me find my spot, I made my ritual to dine here time and time again, even branching out to try their other locations in other parts of the island. “Passion cafe” it was called. About 100 smoothies and exotic drinks on one side of the menu and everything from hormone free, humane meats, vegetarian, vegan and raw food on the reverse. It was an oasis amidst all of the french fries and papas bravas so commonly found on a Spanish menu. Deep fryers and and burgers were replaced with goji berries, nuts, coconut water, kombucha, fresh baked goodies and elixirs.
I ate there several times in a row until towards the end of my stay yet another AcroYogi friend pulled me out of my Passion and to yet another part of the island. The hippie side if you will. You see there are a few parts to Ibiza… the part where the locals live, the crazy party side, the marina area where both families and the young and well to do hang out, and then this almost polar opposite side compared to the clubbing where people happily and consciously live in trailers and tents, and sometimes flat out camp while connecting to the universe. It’s actually hard to imagine two such cultures can co-exist on the same small place, but it’s very nice to see and contrast is after all how we decipher what we really want and is what creates extremes in life.
So we go to another beach to meet up with some of her girlfriends and practice AcroYoga It wasn’t a nude beach per se but here even some of the men let their manhood swing freely. I might have considered stepping up to bat, but I could not for the life of me figure out how how to maintain my usual abundant length when coming out of chilly water… some however had mastered this unnatural feat and you could see on their face they were proud of it.
Nevertheless we picked a random open spot near the ocean to lay our things down and shortly after the other girls came. But before they did- and of all the people in the world to lay our towels down next to, there sat a professional circus hand balancer, who incidentally also knew my friend! Immediately hand to hand ensued and we were pleased to see we could both base and fly each other through some advanced tricks. Its nice and unusual to come across someone like this. I’ll try to find a shot of me basing him in the pretzel. Then of course more acro with the girls on a sunny day in Ibiza. They spoke to me of workshops and more upcoming Ibizan retreats they were having right on the island and it all sounded very tempting.
Later that night we attended a moment workshop lead by a well known French guy. I love when I happen to be in town when someone important is in town and I get to experience something I would otherwise never get to do while living in California. Of course we have it all in the US but there are still countless people and teachers and doctors and movers and shakers who will never make it over to the US. This was so different than clubbing- he helped us get into our bodies, free up restrictions and discover an internal freedom that stuck with me for some time.
When you travel like this and are not sure where you are sleeping next, where you will go next and how you will get there, somehow, someway – due in no small part to the good will and generosity of others, things do work themselves out. I am happy that I purposely spent so many years doing things on my own and exploring things by myself to figure out how to be comfortable like this. That trusting and that knowing, which needs constant practice, has been a valuable part of my journey. But we do need people, and I was in fact able to catch a ride by someone who happened to be going in a similar direction. He was the only one. So he took me 40 minutes out from the middle of nowhere and dropped me off again, of course, in the Marina where I lazily found my way home but not before one final dinner on the water.
Eventually though it came time to finally leave Ibiza and make my way back the alternate universe known as the rest of Europe. After all, long can you really stay in a place where Paris Hilton earns up to one MILLION dollars in an evening for one DJ set? About a week to ten days I’d say. Well, it’s always a treat to not have to go to an airport, check luggage, pay for luggage and so forth. I love trying out different means of transportation so I bough myself a ferry ticket back to Denia, a neighboring city, 3 hours away by boat in Spain where my close chiropractic friend lives with his family.
First class was something absurdly reasonable like 5 Euro extra so I sat in the quiet part of the boat while hundreds or perhaps a thousand tourists made their way back in the back. Some other hollywood classic was playing on the screens dubbed over in smooth Spain Spanish so I watched bemused for a while and then drifted off as the sun set on this island and I finally reached land.
And that my friends was a week in the life of Ibiza.
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Massive Appreciation for Amsterdam


Let’s set the stage. I’m sitting at the kitchen table overlooking two canals. Small quiet boats pass through, breaking the still waters as I type. Before I found myself in this position, and on my walk home, I discovered a specialty foods shop a stone’s throw from the apartment. It’s exactly the kind of specialty shop you want to stumble upon: A smorgasbord of black truffle potato chips, fudge made in small batches, old Amsterdam cheese, various types of prepared organic salads that are far more appetizing than those found in whole foods, brownies, vegan and vegetarian choices and so forth. Effectively, something for everyone. A large convection oven protruding from the wall stands ready to warm your bread or pastry and a moments notice and a warm inviting atmosphere drew me in the way a disney character smells a freshly baked pie from a mile away, levitates off the ground and floats inside in a dream like state. Incidentally, the waffle and crepe shops will give you the same effect.

But for now, several of these gourmet ingredients are spread across the kitchen table as church bells signal that it’s half past the hour. As I let the slow drip of honey spread across my warm gluten free bread, I top it with a slice of special cheese and consume the whole thing at once.

The canal is quiet. But only one night ago there were rain and thunder and lightening storms so loud and bright it felt like an IMAX experience, or better said, a real nature experience.

Earlier today I was on the subway it might as well be called the nicest underground I have ever laid my eyes upon. Immaculate from top to bottom, no doors separating each train so you can see straight through to the very end and possibly cleanest floors ever. It was delightful.

Simply walking through the streets of Amsterdam as an experience in itself. Like many European cities, the streets are lined with cobblestone and different textured stones and that makes just the mere act of walking a joyous moment. Different smells waft by, sometimes fresh air, sometimes pot, sometimes delicious cooking. My favorite is when a family is at home and about to eat dinner.

And Taxis. Can you imagine that if an E or S class Mercedes Benz doesn’t pick you up, any number of 100 different Tesla’s will? Fully Electric, top of the line, cutting edge Teslas as taxis!

Having lived in Venice for a year many years ago, it’s hard to not immediately notice the similarities between Venezia and Amsterdam. Fantastic architecture, the numerous uneven and winding canals and waterways, small boats, bridges, all nestled in a small compact city that is easily accessible by foot. But what is so interesting about the Dutch style of architecture here, is how narrow everything is. Because property was taxed based on it’s width, people built their homes as narrow as possible and as deep as possible and generally with high ceilings.

And, as I can vouch for in my previous house in the Hollywood Hills, having your first floor begin a couple meters above street level, gives inhabitants a nice sense of safety. And this is how most homes here are built. You come up to go in.
I am also thoroughly impressed with much of the contemporary architecture as well. So many unique and bizarre shaped buildings to take in.

The quantity of cheese to be found in Amsterdam is literally beyond compare. There are many different flavors, sizes, shapes to choose from. Naturally each shop is usually also lined with freshly baked bread with unique flavors such as chestnut, mushroom, caramelized onion… every day is Christmas in Amsterdam.

Certainly the more lascivious side to Amsterdam bears mentioning as well. Passing through the red light district is a very interesting feeling when walking by yourself as a man. Women bang doors, knock on the window, wink, flirt, tease, smile, call you from across the road, make inviting and come hither gestures. I imagine it really gives the sense of what it must be like to a woman who is constantly hit on by men. Walk down the same streets with a beautiful woman by your side and the girls hardly take notice of you. And sex shops… what can’t you find in Amsterdam? I saw a man purchase a ‘cage’ and some other devices that could only be described as painful. There’s a lot of contrast in the world.

It is also so interesting to see not just marijuana sold at every “coffee” shop openly and plainly, but an entire menu of selections accompanied by a knowledgable staff member ready to advise you on how to have the best trip possible. I overheard, “Well this one is a happy high but this one is more of a… stoned feeling… always wait for it to kick in before overdoing it.” Just walking by these places feels like you get a contact high as the smoke literally billows out, again, almost in a cartoon like fashion. It amused me to imagine what America would be like, if Starbucks offered such a menu of services.

Of course I cannot go any further without mentioning that our experience here simply would not be the same without the constant attention and above and beyond care of Jim Klinkhamer and Det. If it wasn’t for this man, I don’t think I would have experienced half of what Amsterdam has to offer, from the actual buildings he designed and remodeled, to unique museums, special facts about the city and Dutch way of life, fine dining, cooking, grilled vegetables and fine salads, fine wine, beer, the best cheeses…. Plus a phenomenal tour to the outskirts of Amsterdam which proved to be exactly what you would imagine Holland to look like: fresh air, blue skies, a cool wind, water, grassy fields, free roaming cows and sheep with a little black sheep to boot. We stopped at someone’s house who’s Lassie dog came running up to greet us, as the wind blew briskly through his fur. A house whose back yard simply backed up into the bay / ocean and I thought to myself, this must be the Dutch version of the Hamptons.

Now, I don’t like beer. In fact it’s often one of the more shocking facts about me that I have never drank one full glass of beer or one full cup of coffee or espresso in my entire life. I realize that this juxtaposed to the average human who does this upwards of three times a day is bizarre in itself but I digress. So I generally have a healthy disgust for beer. And I would NEVER consider drinking alcohol after acrobatics, but here, people go for a drink. So after Anastasia deeply enjoyed her second beer that Jim recommended because it was only made in small batches and only available to a dozen or so restaurants in all of Amsterdam, curiosity got the best of me…

And wow! Great beer! Great cheese! Great vegetables! Great wine! Great food! Great prices! The dutch really know how to do it. And I appreciate small things like the fact that the Dutch aren’t obsessed with closing their blinds and shutting out the light. They are not vampires but actually welcome the light and don’t gawk into other peoples houses. They are simply used to sharing space and having windows open. Of course, as usual, I have found people here to be friendly, amiable and generous, offering good eye contact, and good vibes.

I am particularly excited about the bathroom hardware I often see here in Amsterdam. For instance to turn on your shower, rather than bending over and turning a few dials dials. there is a shower mechanism that looks somewhat like a small thin cylinder with two easy to turn dials on either side and then the shower hose attached to this. When you gently twist one end, the water comes on, and when you twist the other, it adjusts the heat. It’s so simple, and elegant, I want one for my own place.

Our eyes have also gotten to witness something else that is very special. Much like my small family at JJ’s in LA, there are a group of 50+ and 60+ year-old acrobats, who all bass and fly each other in the most outrageous of tricks! Tricks such as handstand on head, Corbets and cascades, jumping from the head into hand-in-hand, toe pitch to high bird and so forth. In sum, tricks that would give a 20-year-old pause. I am touched, inspired, and thankful to know that I can be 60 years old and still playing safely while doing outrageously fun things.

Now, when I came to Amsterdam, I had a decent handstand. Now I have the sense that I am leaving with a much better handstand, shortly to become a great handstand for all of my bases and flyers around the world.

Unfortunately for the last several days I’ve had a pinched neck from who knows what. I had the opportunity to stop at a physiotherapist, thanks to Jim of course, who was able to see me within less than a days notice. Not only was my treatment affordable (35 Euro per visit!) but I also got to experience something called “dry needling,” which almost instantly removed the extremely sharp pain from my neck!

But if there is one thing I feel that I am taking away, That will benefit me most, it is finding proper alignment for my back, when basing hand flying acrobatic tricks. It is my sincere hope that this shift will dramatically change my ability to perform at my best.

Yes, being in Holland makes me thoroughly pleased. It’s a shame there is a 90 day limit that Americans may spend in Europe, because quite frankly I can see myself living here for quite sometime, as I could also in Vienna, italy, Barcelona and I’m sure if I saw it, Sweden. Oh and Switzerland, ESPECIALLY Switzerland.

My heart is so full of appreciation and wonder. Having lived in Europe on two separate occasions for a year each time, I thought being back here perhaps might feel a little same old, same old, but my travels to Europe have in fact been anything but that. I hope that those of you who took the time to read this will also feel inspired, and that maybe it has given you a taste of what it is like to be here. I know the traveling is not for everyone, nor is it accessible to everyone, but I feel very lucky and blessed to be able to have this experience this point in my life. Wishing you all the best wherever your road is taking you!


Tari Mannello for Elegant Acro™ and Tari Television

Rumination of a Conscious Traveller

Getting out of Europe was a necessity not a desire. But after several months there I was really starting to get the hang of things: finding my footing, using public transport, speaking foreign languages and living out of a single suitcase that, let’s face it, really isn’t getting lighter than the maximum of 23 kilos.

But airports are interesting aren’t they? I’ve got a penchant for those that have tried to turn themselves into small sustainable cities. I even hear tell that some have built in hotel rooms for you to rest by the hour! Most that I’ve seen though put my hometown LA to shame. In fact, I try to avoid the abysmal LAX at all costs.

But moving between international borders is always an interesting experience. We are all people, with the same needs, desires and responsibilities, and for the most part have a good deal of freedom. But when you’re walking through the grim security corridors of the Fiumicino International airport for example, through those sections where you are either underground, moving through dimly lit hallways with a yellowish tinge, or worse yet a experiencing a bright florescent shine that reflects upon a chalky decrepit wall, it feels as if you’re being guided to your doom, or perhaps being deported, as opposed to simply a means to a destination; and this can be a little unnerving.

During such transitions, only the minimal is provided: floor, walls, lighting. Then it’s off to one of those large on airport transit shuttles where you’re packed in so tight you feel like herded cattle, and you really get to see some glowing personalities surface. Here in these moments, context is everything. The knowing that you’ll get through it, that this is just part of your journey and and that there’s light at the end of the tunnel helps steer the thoughts in the right direction.

But as I made my way from the home of yet another generous friend who allowed me to stay on their bed / guest room / air mattress and so forth, I walked to the tram took me to to Termini Train Station in Rome, where I took a train from Termini to Fiumicino airport, and eventually found my way to Terminal five. Talk about planes, trains and automobiles.

It seems these days that’s what my life is about on travel days: racking up modes of public transportation from one place to another. It’s truly amazing that you can get around outside of Los Angeles without a car in large cities, but it certainly is time consuming. I cannot remember the last time I was on a bus before traveling like this and now it seems to be the default way to get around. Oh if only I could have an electric car waiting for me in every city.

In any case, after hearing all sorts of haunting tales of what might happen to you if you overstay your welcome in Europe or the Schengen territory (which is most of Europe), I was keen to exit as soon as possible. As an American citizen we get a maximum of three months to enjoy Europe before we must exit for another THREE. Frankly, three months is about enough time to enjoy half of one small country.

But good energy was flowing this morning right upon my departure.

I used to be in the habit of trying to arrive to airports with as little waiting time as humanly possible to get onboard and leave. Just get me to my destination. But, as I make my way through airports these days, I’ve been arriving earlier and earlier to not feel rushed. In fact, I ask myself, how can I make the experience better and more enjoyable each time I come? How can I feel lightness and ease about being here? What hidden treasures can I discover and how can I amuse myself? With the huge overhauls some of these larger international airports have seen over the years, it’s actually not a bad place to shop, people watch, dine, chat and explore. And not can you people watch. How do people sleep on floors of airports? Have they not seen what the men’s bathrooms looks like on the floor and what gets tracked out of there and onto those floors?

But I was saying some airports can be awesome.

In fact, San Francisco has even added a YOGA ROOM to their airport! There is actually signage telling you so. Baggage claim, ground transport, gates and Yoga Room! I’m so excited to experience it some day.

But coming back to my departure, by now you must know that ease and grace are two of my favorite words. As I am pushing a large 50 lb (World’s lightest) suitcase around the world alongside a smaller wheeled carry-on, I try to make these transition periods as easy as possible. And so, I amuse myself with games like, what’s the lightest push and I can use to get both suitcases to roll, or can I wheel both suitcases up or down an escalator without disrupting my stride or scraping against the sharp toothed surface of the steps.

In large train stations and in busy metros such as Rome, people’s emotions can run high. Here it is evident how many of us possess a huge sense of grandiosity and self importance. This sense of entitlement can lead to people wanting to get on before others get off and I often wonder where this attitude comes from. Aren’t we all in a hurry? Isn’t everyone going somewhere they need to be? I remember once watching a documentary about aquatic life. As it turns out schools fish, literally in the tens of thousands of them, can all swim together, all within a millimeter of each other without once touching one another. But several humans can barely make it through subway doors, to not even speak about China.

But don’t tell me about China, I know China!

But I was suggesting that luck was on my side during my transition out of Rome this morning. Most people I come across, everywhere I go seem happy, friendly, welcoming and willing to help. So when I approached my first level of security, three well groomed border patrol officers greeted me with smiles for the first passport check. Then, after check in, I notice the Global Tax Refund kiosks. I made my way across the hall where one unusually friendly man sitting in a dark and ominous room with all the lights turned off, gave me all the necessary stamps without once asking if I had the merchandise on me I had purchased – something the sign that separated the two of us said must be the case if you want a stamp.

I found myself glad to have allowed an excess of three hours to do such things, I left with a little cash, a little credit back to the credit card and off I went. Feeling great about money flowing *in* I made my way to security and x-ray.

Was there something in the air? As though I was some Italian dignitary, the Italian TSA spoke gracefully: “Sir, it appears you have a laptop in there, would you mind taking it out for us?” Then they found I had a large bottle of water and yes I know better. “Sir I am afraid you must drink it or we must dispose of it.” Remarking finally to his colleague, he said, “The Signore will take a few drops more for himself and then dispose of it.” I then imbibed what would unequivocally be more than a few drops and continued on towards the big moment, Passport control.

All guys and one woman, so of course I smiled at her and yeah, surprisingly, she smiled back and I could feel that lady luck was on my shoulder. Buon Giorno! Buon Giorno! She glanced me once over, then down at my passport, stamped it and without any fuss this ex pat was on his way back to North America.

First however, more long corridors and tunnels. Did these corridors lead back to the Vatican City? But just as things started to feel grim I see before me the succulent thigh of an incredibly well manicured woman in a miniskirt making a provocative face, dripping in diamonds and staring me right in the face. She was three times larger than me but there she sat, looking larger than life on a billboard before Damiani. My how the scenery suddenly changed. As I came up the stairs from the dark alley of doom and rounded the corner to the flight deck, I could swear I had been whisked back to the Spanish Steps. Gucci, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Damiani, Dolce & Gabbana- every high end fashion house apparently has a boutique in terminal five. What a stark contrast, Roman security to the highest form of consumerism on the planet.

I boarded the plane and found myself sitting next to a larger man. A much larger man whose size was spilling over into my seat. Hmm, how to remedy? The whole plane is full but I am quickly distracted by how plush the seats are, how far back they recline and the absolute abundance of legroom to be had. I had never heard of Air Transat but this was great. I knew it would be a comfortable flight.

I also know from experience that larger men can do something that I can not, which is cross their hands over their round puffy belly, essentially using the belly as a pillow, and sit, even sleep comfortably like this! I wish I could do such a thing. Eventually he nodded off allowing me to wedge my elbow on the armrest and share.

But to my right was a screaming child, who

And we weren’t even moving. She was fed, she had been to the bathroom, she had toys, love, ipads and more but she was having none of it.

The shrieks are so loud, so piercing that in these moments I believe the noise alone to be a full deterrent to having or ever wanting children. My thinking is that any country wishing to work on population control should just sit next to a screaming child that isn’t their own for 30 minutes and all will be solved.

This little girl – who really seemed like she could control it IF she wanted to whaled on and on, pausing only to stare meanly at glaring passengers despite very loving parents doing everything they could to make the noises stop.

But guess who has child canceling headphones on?
Me! And Trust me, it worked.
I slipped back into my comfortable chair and closed my eyes.

Fondly I reminisced on the last time I was on a flight when a French stewardess announced: Ladies and gentlemen welcome aboard EasyJet. We have one persons who suffers from nut allergy aboard so we must ask please do not eat your own nuts and we will not be allowed to serve you ours…”
Yup, that’s a quote. I wrote it down.

My thoughts wondered. It was so nice to be back in Europe for a healthy amount of time! It would be very easy to take I don’t know, 2-3 years, just spending two weeks in each of the cities that I love the most. Two weeks is a good amount of time to really settle in and feel like you can mix it up.

Interesting things popped in my head, like being in Rome and discovering that Dyson has made both a sink and hand dryer all in one one. Water and wind unite with the earth on your hands that needs to be rinsed off. It’s shaped like an airplane and when you put your hand under the body, water shoots out. When you put your hand under the wings, it takes off like a jet!

Canada provides a strong contrast to Europe much the way America does and to my surprise both countries are actually quite similar. On my first day walking around I stumbled right into TIFF, The 40th Annual Toronto International Film Festival! The streets were packed with people just wanting to be out and seen!

McDonalds of course was trying to lure people in with a free coffee booth and a DJ inside of a human size Coffee cup on top of their pop up tent bouncing to the beat. Sexy girls in dresses were handing out free bottles of “Fresh Perrier,” (is there such a thing when it’s canned?) And one company had even come up with the idea of pouring Indian sauce on a can of tuna and calling it a tasty high protein snack.

Nevertheless, I was pleased to be back in a place where stores were open till 9, open on Sunday, open during siesta hours and the like. It was also nice to be back in a place where you can return something if you don’t like it. A place where, if food isn’t prepared correctly, you could say so and exchange it.

I also love the colorful money both abroad and in Canada. Canadian money actually has transparent holograms in the bills! Every single bill I handled here felt like it was Fresh off the Press, and each bill has a silky soft tactile feel with a full thick strip of plastic in between. truly cool.

What’s more cool than that? Taking 23-28% off every single thing you buy! The dollar is so strong right now that everything that is sold, even with a whopping 13% sales tax, is heavily discounted, when you’re spending American dollars. So Lululemon for instance… with an R&D discount is like getting 45% off full retail. Hot! Since more than half my suitcase has been full of Lululemon since the beginning of this trip perhaps this is a good place to stop.

Three weeks of alone time in Canada, rejuvenating, working out, touching weights regularly for the first time in over 8 years, visiting a chiropractor and physiotherapist to break any unneeded patterns, visiting with a couple dear friends and before I knew it was time to come back to American Soil for Divine Play…

Until next time friends, thanks for ruminating with me and here’s a video from Divine Play if you just need a little adrenaline.

Tari Mannello for Tari TV and Elegant Acro.

New Family Discovers AcroYoga


“I feel it incredibly necessary to thank you for sharing your acrobatic world with us. You have made a massive impact on our world. I am completely enamored with the activities from last night and cannot wait to do it again and I felt like you should know. It’s a life changing impact.

My eleven year old daughter at first was very uncomfortable and nervous but after playing with you she talked about it ALL evening! She is hooked. I could not be more pleased and I am not easily fascinated with new activities. I am proud that I based too! Short lived but I did it! Thank you for bringing something so incredibly wonderful into our lives. Everyone should try this!” 

I received this truly incredible testimonial shortly after sharing a little AcroYoga with a couple new friends. I am so touched by the effect this practice can have on us and how quickly it happens.

We are so lucky to have something we carry with us all the time that we can share with others to uplift them. Something that (almost always) leaves them feeling better off as a result and creates lasting memories. What a pleasure to know that the basics can and always will be so powerful to someone stepping in to acrobatics with fresh eyes. ‪#‎wearelucky‬ ‪#‎weareblessed‬

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