Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Travel Update from Italy: What a Year It's Been

Travel Update from Italy:
What a Year It's Been
From Gaillac, France to San Casciano, Italy via the Côte d’Azur

A brief post to let you know that Mufidah and I arrived in Italy a week ago today. And we've each written new travel essays on our respective websites.

The two blog posts are beautifully complementary, as I covered the whole sweep of the past year including our travels to San Casciano in Tuscany, while Mufidah focused her piece on the two-day drive which carried us from South West France, along the Côte d’Azur, to the France/Italian border to where we are now.

Both essays are full of our photographs of this past week. And I've included a photo gallery, as well, of the pet folk we've cared for during our 2013 house-sitting gigs.

My essay is entitled, What a Year It's Been, while Mufidah called hers, From Gaillac, France to San Casciano, Italy via the Côte d’Azur.

We hope you enjoy reading them as well as looking through the photographs. You can click on any of the clustered photographs within each blog post to open the photo gallery. From there you'll be able to view the full-sized image for each photograph, and scroll from left to right, or vice versa, to see the rest of the photo gallery.

We'd love to hear from you in the comments below each post if you'd like to write. Or feel free to send us an email if you prefer. We'd very much like to hear the latest from you, what important events transpired in your life in 2013, and what your inspirations and intentions might be for the year ahead.

In closing, we both wish you a most splendiferous 2014!

With love and warm regards,

Sean & Mufidah

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Burgos² — A Book of Our Acclaimed Instagram Photographs of Burgos, Spain

Images from Burgos² © 2013 Mufidah Kassalias & Sean M. Madden
Images from Burgos² © 2013 Mufidah Kassalias & Sean M. Madden

Absolutely brilliant!! It’s a fantastic book, congratulations!
A very complete view on the city, its people and landscapes.”
— Héctor Jiménez, Diario de Burgos

In early December, Mufidah and I launched Burgos², our book of Instagram photographs of Burgos, Spain. The 144-page hardcover book contains 367 of our 1,400+ Instagram photos of Burgos, both city and province, and is available on Blurb, where you can preview the entire book (see Burgos2.com for direct links to the book page in the UK, U.S. and Spain stores).

These are the photographs which, in the words of Diario de Burgos journalist Héctor Jiménez, made us “famous on Burgos social networks more than a year ago,” and which inspired Jiménez to feature us in two separate articles — published exactly a year apart, on 25 November 2012 and 2013 — in the city and province's main daily newspaper.

You can read excerpts from these two articles, and other reviews of Burgos², here.

Burgos2.com is also home to the #Burgos2 Gallery. On 1 December, we invited Instagramers in Burgos to take part in a month-long photo challenge to tag their December photos with #Burgos2. Each day we look at all newly tagged photos and choose one to add to the virtual gallery. The photo challenge will end on the last day of December, closing the gallery with 31 images.

Burgos² (or Burgos squared) simultaneously reflects the square format of the images, the book itself, a compact 7" x 7", and the fact that it stands as a lasting, physical memento of Mufidah's and my combined creative output throughout our seven-plus months living in the city that captured our hearts. Blurb has done an excellent job of printing and binding the book, so it's a joy to hold and peruse. The binding, paper and dust cover are all topnotch, and the colors beautifully true.

Take a look at Burgos2.com and follow the links to Blurb to preview all 144 pages of the book. Suggestion: click on the fullscreen button in the lower-right corner of the Blurb preview window for a better viewing experience.

And, in celebration of Epiphany, or El Día de los Reyes, you can save €5 (approx. $6 or £4) off the regular price if you order a copy of Burgos² by 6 January 2014.

Sean M. Madden is a writer-educator, photographer and slow traveler. A digital nomad, he's also co-founder of Creative Thunder, helping creative individuals and businesses to fire up their online presence and prowess. To get a free copy of the inspiring Creative Thunder Manifesto, click here.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

"I must have an inbuilt block—some ingrained, deep-seated conditioning—that holds good things away from me"

(photo: jonycunha via Creative Commons license)

Editor's Note: Below is part of an email exchange I've shared over the past 24 hours with a dear friend who is also a Mindful Living Guide student-client. The exchange was inspired by two pieces I recently posted to SeanMMadden.com: one, two.

Eva has given me permission to share this with the Mindful Living Guide community. And although she told me it would be fine to use her real name, I've changed it to protect her privacy. As she's far from being alone with her concerns — it's likely we've all experienced them ourselves over the course of our lives — I thought others might benefit from our email discussion as well.