Here we are again! Another year in review. It feels like 2016 has come and gone too fast. We are in that weird and scary part of the year where it feels as if iconic figures are dropping off like flies as fate cherry picks those that won't make it into the new year. Celebrity deaths of 2016; from the shocking death of Carrie Fisher from a heart attack, then her mother Debbie Reynolds the day after. Also, the death of Wham legend George Michael, then the likes of David Bowie, Ricky Harris, Prince, Gene Wilder. It’s always sad when you lose people that you have grown up listening to and watching from a young age. It’s also a lesson that we must all live the lives we were intended to live, not living according to anyone else’s forced dreams or expectations of us. Live a life that is fearless, where we take charge of our own happiness. Both in our professional and personal lives. "So many people make that mistake and allow others fears and insecurities to change the trajectory of their lives." If you need inspiration for pursuing your dreams and living a life without fear check out an interview with Natasha Rock on her move to live and teach in Saudi Arabia.
29 December 2016
19 December 2016
We haven't really had a white Christmas in the UK in a long time, but when I think of the impending Christmas I can't help but conjure up these fantasies of a white Christmas matched with cosiness at home, PJs, hot chocolate mugs, decorated trees watching cheesy Christmas movies with family while the snowflakes slide down the downs downstairs.
Definitely no snow in London this Christmas, perhaps that's a good thing as we have never really been prepared for snow in the city, albeit the whole country. My sister on the other hand is visiting Michigan in the USA with my 1-year-old nephew. She has been sending daily videos of her son. My current favourite is watching the look of my nephew's face as he experienced snow for the first time. The look on his face as he was trying to figure whether we broke the sky, because he couldn't make sense of the powdery stuff on the ground as well as the flakes falling from above and onto his little hands. Christmas is celebrated differently around the world. For a long time, I experienced Christmas in a warm climate, in Zambia so the very idea of white Christmas was out of this world madness. Now that I am living in London I have come to associate it with cold weather with flakes of snow thrown in every other year.
15 December 2016
Hosier Lane | Street Art
Firstly I am sorry that my posts are drubs lately, this working and commuting the long distance for work is not allowing my blog to state update. Plus the fact that I have had trips in Dusseldorf, Venice, through in some training for work and an engagement and you end up with the blog at the bottom of the priority list. I did, however, manage to squeeze some time in to show you Hosier Lane. Hosier Lane is a cute little lane in Melbourne filled with colourful street art. Melbourne or Australia, in general, might be known for its obsession with quality coffee but it looks like street art is up there with coffee, shopping and gastronomy when it comes to thing that get Australians pulses rising.
27 November 2016
Swimming in Seljavallalaug Geothermal Pool:
The Land of Fire and Ice and has many hidden gems that it's so hard to pick a favourite. All I know is while planning the trip to Iceland, I knew that there was no way I wanted to leave without swimming in Seljavallaugh pool that is nestled in the mountains. Seljavallalaug was built in 1923 and may just be Iceland's oldest pool. It was used to teach swimming to many Icelanders, but now so many pools have sprung up in and around the country, but Seljavallaug remains popular and is mainly frequented by tourists. Those that can actually find it. Having read that a few people failed to find it, I was a little anxious about not being able to find it and leaving Iceland without swimming it. Finding Seljavallaug was actually not that hard. It really was a matter of preparation and research as to what to look out for.
When we arrived for our swim it was just after 10pm, in the summer the days are long so it doesn't get dark until about 1am. We had been out exploring and wanted to end out the day of exploring with a visit to the pool. Clouds were low, it was raining lightly but the temperature in Seljavallalaug pool was such a treat for the wet and mildly cold day. As cold droplets fell from the sky you would dip your entire body in the pool and suddenly you were nice and toasty from the warmth of the pool filled with water from the hot spring nearby.
15 November 2016
Iceland may draw millions of visitors with is geyser blowing off steam or its waterfalls hidden behind mysterious looking rock faces, glaciers with breaking ices that litter black sand beaches like diamonds on velvet. The land as been creative in coming up with out of this world sights to gaze at. While the land has been busy, so have its people. Hidden in the back streets of Reykjavik. You don't have to hunt too far from the main town center to see how the city comes alive with colour, even if the weather might not want to play along. See below some of the beautiful pieces we stumbled on while exploring the city aimlessly with no map or destination in mind.
Iceland may be known for its waterfalls, geysers and glaciers and a past full of natural disasters but one item most people tend to miss out on their Iceland adventures or itinerary is the colourful street scene. Below, I am taking you on a little walking tour of the some of Reykjavik's beautiful street art.
The cafe the draws you in with colour.
9 November 2016
There were so many things that I wanted to see in Iceland that is actually had to pin point what my favourite part was after we had been skidded around the ring road. What I can say though, was that seeing Iceland's Diamond beach was up there on the list of MUST SEEs! Jorkualson Glacier Lagoon is just a sight. I don't know about you but its not everyday you get to see such sights. You eyes and your brain do a constant double takes as if to ask if they are experiencing what the eyes and brain as seeing and all the emotions that are entangled with whats before them.
6 November 2016
Part Three in my exploring London series is by way of a little night photography on London's Tower Bridge. I usually say to myself that I will go shooting on this bridge but each weekend I come up with an excuse not to go. I guess because over the summer period the sun sets slight later and I just haven't been bothered to wait until 8 or 9pm for it to set (says the person that went shooting sunsets at midnight in Iceland). I take a lot of things for granted living so central in London. As they are a stone's through away I always put them off in favour of something far away.
So this evening I dragged my boyfriend out with my and plugged it as a little walk because hey "we haven't been doing our usual walks lately". Never mind, that it was a walk that was going to include packing photography equipment as well, which he was also going to help me carry. He is an unpaid photography assistant, he just doesn't know it yet. Like I have said in the previous post in the series, these will act as a way to showcase a little bit of London as an when I go out on photo walks, whether solo, with other Instagrammers and when I drag my boyfriend out to assist. Below are a few shots from a night photography session on Tower Bridge.
2 November 2016
You can have a short layover in Iceland, a five-day, 7-day, or even 10-day adventure on this island, the one place you will have make time for is a visit to the Blue Lagoon. There are geysers, crazy-beautiful waterfalls, magical lava fields, glaciers and mountain scenery all waiting to be seen and what a sight for sore eyes! Out of all the adventures this island has to offer, soaking up in the Blue Lagoon is up there on many an Iceland visitor's bucket list. I am a lover of all things Spa. For every long haul trip, I go on, I usually book an appointment at Ajala Spa. One of my favourites in London as they aren't far to get to and I have easy access to two in the city. For short weekend trips, I usually opt for a little pampering by way of Mani/Pedi with the massage chair of course. For the trip to Iceland, I skipped 'before trip spa' because I was preparing my mind, body and spirit for all that the Blue Lagoon was going to offer and I wasn't disappointed! There are places that are usually hyped up and when you get there, it is a pure and utter disappointment. That was not the case with the Blue Lagoon. It was everything I hoped it was going to be. I had spent about a week exploring Iceland by campervan(more on that in posts to follow), so I was very much looking forward to the spa day at the Blue Lagoon at the end of our trip. I was relaxed and floating on air by the time I left, so the spa did exactly what it said on the tin. So you want to visit the Blue Lagoon when you are in Iceland? Then read on...
29 October 2016
1. Prices of Flights Are Cheaper In Low Season
I have found prices to be super cheap or reasonably inexpensive soon after the school holidays. So around November when University students have had their freshers week is usually a great time to fly. Also around mid-January but not too far into February because they pick up again people being flooded with valentines ideas. Mid-January, I guess because people are still traveling back from the Xmas holidays so I guess airline bookings dip after the first and second week of January hence why they reduce the prices to entice bookings.
25 October 2016
The second installment of the posts on road tripping through Australia's Great Ocean Road. Australia's most famous road tour routes. I recently shared the first installment a few weeks ago which included a video with views of the 12 Apostles from a Helicopter. The pictures in this post are from ground level while driving through the famous B100 road and wheezing past cute seaside towns, postcard picture kangaroos in open fields, tree hugging koala bears and those beautiful beaches that we are used to seeing on Home and Away. The beaches are plenty! Many you will have all to yourselves this beautiful stretch of the road gives you. Great Ocean Road is one of those Road trips that you have to do in a lifetime. The history behind the road is also beautiful in itself in that is serves as a permanent memorial to those who died while fighting in World War 1. It was built by returned servicemen who upon return, many had no jobs and lacked the skills to get back into work. It was through campaigning and lobbying by Alderman Howard Hitchcock to bring about the idea to get the servicemen involved in this audacious task of building this road and bring about an end in the isolation of many of the little towns in this part of the country. It's quite sad that he never actually got to see the end of it. However, it is said that they drove his casket road the whole stretch of the B100 Great Ocean Road.
22 October 2016
Warsaw, the capital and largest city in Poland. If you have not been, its one to put on your radar for future travels. Following the aftermath of the war, Poland has modernised its capital, moving from Stalinist Utilitarian era that dominated much of the capital. Although you still have reminders in the beautiful Palace and Culture that stands as the focal point of the city.
20 October 2016
Up there among some of my favourite stays from last year. I was in Malaysia late last year and twice thrice this year. I am smittened with the city and yearn to see more of this beautiful country. Known for its beaches and rain forests, sadly none of which were on the itinerary for the last few trips. You have seen me post about my visit to the Batu Caves, a run down on what to see and do in Kuala Lumpur as well as the views from Petronas Towers, and a culinary tour of KL's China Town. With all the city gems available to explore in Kuala Lumpur one needs to consider a comfort spot to lay your head. It doesn't get any better than Mandarin Oriental in the heart of the capital. Perfectly located, sits right next to Petronas Towers, KLCC shopping mall and many cool and trendy bars and restaurants within reach. It was definitely worth the splurge! Plus, we managed to snub a room with a view of the twin towers.
18 October 2016
I am a sucker for a good view where are home, peeking at London views from the Shard or away. There the higher the better too. When one visits Kula Lumpur a stop to admire the Petronas twin towers is always somewhere on the list. Lets' face it, you would have to try really hard not to see these beauties when you visit the country.
15 October 2016
It would be an understatement to say that Australians love their coffee. With that in mind, dont expect to see Starbucks on every corner either. They take their coffee seriously, which has morphed into an obsession with quality coffee. It may come as no surprise to anyone had has read my rants about Starbucks and their none-paying tax butts, in addition to not paying taxes, I wouldn't put quality and coffee together when it comes to Starbucks, which also so they open 84 stores only to close 61 of them in the 8 years since opening. They could not rise to the challenge when compared to the cafes that pour out high-quality shots that Australians are accustomed to. The coffee culture in Australia is a lot more mature than I and a lot of people expect when visiting this far away land.
13 October 2016
Thailand is one of those countries that can have your drooling just by mentioning it. There is plenty to do, but sometimes nothing to do, while lounging on the beach like a castaway character is also an option that will very much be a one you might want to include as the scenery calls for it, demands it, so you can do is sit still and have those shiny little marbles take it all it and gaze in wonder at just how amazingly beautiful the land is. Hey, don't be too surprised if your minds start questioning how the world can be so bad with all the crap your news feeds are inundated with, we have such flawless beautiful right before your very own eyes. Okay, I guess it's clear that I fell in love with Phuket and Thailand in General. So, if you have a spare flight ticket...I have no doubt I will be heading back to Thailand someday in the meantime I have take places on the Island that you need to check out when visiting Phuket. If your idea paradise is hoping from one palm-fringed island to the next then Thailand is the place for you! More precisely Phuket is one island you want to head to pronto! There is plenty to do so I will give you a run down of a few things you might want to consider adding to your itinerary.
11 October 2016
Sometimes we get so busy trying to get away from it all, that we never consider to venture off to what is near by as a refuge from all the woes adult life brings. Living in the UK, train journeys always seem so expensive when compared to enticing travel deals to neighbouring European destinations that are dangled in front of you like candy, by the likes of RyanAir. Hello Copenhagen! Or even Warsaw. These are just some of the destinations you can visit for about £10 one-way. Compare that to a one-way train ticket at £30 in the UK. Yeah, my guest would be that you would be going for the European destination but don't let these deals stop you from visiting amazing and scene destinations hidden in the realms of the English country side. One such destination is Dorset. Steeped in historical charm that will have you lost in day-dreams one minute and the next captivated by tales of how the coves, caves and sandy beaches provided opportunities for Hawkhursto gangs of the 18th century to smuggle goods ashore.
7 October 2016
6 October 2016
Located south of Melbourne on the realms of Port Phillip Bay, is where you will find one of Melbourne's Iconic beaches. The 6 kilometres of coastline are not the only draws to Brighton Beach, the attraction to the shorelines may have something to do with the 82 bathing boxes that line the foreshore of Brighton Beach. These were built over a hundred years ago in response to ideas of Victorian moral values and seaside bathing. Each now comes adorned with distinctive decorations which have now turned Brighton Beach into an immediately recognisable spot. These bathing boxes are located on a popular spot of the coastline of Dendy Street. On a good day this coastline is filled with picnickers, windsurfers and water skiers.
3 October 2016
The Great Ocean Road winds and bends for 243 kilometers along the Southern Ocean, from Geelong to Portland. While driving this beautiful and scenic coastal stretch, you bear witness to Victoria's dramatic coastline, iconic surf breaks, waterfalls, cute fury animals like the kola bears, kangaroos in additional to the most famous sights of them all; The 12 Apostles!
29 September 2016
28 September 2016
I have been keen to visit Melbourne for some time now, partly because I was going to be getting a local tour of the city. Local in that I was going to have my very own personal guide to the city. Not in the ‘driving miss Daisy’ type of experience but I was going to have my friend chauffeur me (there was a tram or bus threw in the mix too) me about to all the cool little hang outs that tourists don’t usually venture out to. I love a touristy spot, but adore even more to see hidden gems in cities I visit. This is the same thing I try to inspire people to do when they visit London. Don't just stick to popular places in central London. Visit Angle, Brixton, East London, Kingston, heck add Peckham in there too. You want to see where the locals hang out, don’t you? So get in there!
23 September 2016
I was going to wait until November to do a series on my trip to Iceland but each time I look at the pictures I get so excited and lose all patience with my planned schedule of posts so I thought I would get it out of my system and share the magical world Iceland's Eldraun Lava Field.
Eldhraun Lava Field
21 September 2016
It's not everyday you wake up and have the beach all to yourselves, unless you are in, maybe Phuket. This little Thai island is just paradise! I wish I could have stayed forever. I guess in a way I now understand why people stay on and live in Thailand. You could certainly live there and not miss any "Western comforts". You want shopping, Bangkok is filled with shopping malls and from designer boutiques to purse-friendly stores. When it comes to the weather, less just say the London summers are blown right out of the water!
19 September 2016
Wherever I travel to, I always try to experience the place like a local as much as I possibly can. I want to see where the locals hang out, they shop and chill out. This usually means you can avoid the majority of the tourist traps and find the real gems in the city. With that in mind, I thought I would share some tips by way of 4 tips for experiencing Andalucia like a local. Andalucia is one of those beautiful places in Spain with endless possibilities. Beautiful towns such as Cordoba, Ardales, Ronda and a few more whose names I can't recall.
16 September 2016
Usually I complain about not visiting Paris as much as I should considering its only an hour and a half on the EuroStar. This year I have managed to rack up quite a few trips to the popular capital. One memorible trip from the visits was a weekend visit and staying on Champs Elysées, just before I left for Australia. Nothing bits an apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower, but even better is having a hotel room with not only a view of the Eiffel Tower but a view Arc de Triomphe from outside two of your private balconies.
15 September 2016
Every other weekend myself and a few instagrammers take to the streets of London for a little bit of shooting so this post will act as a series to give you a visual inspiration of what you can see and do in London via these photo sessions.
Below you can see Trafalgar Square, Number 10 Downing Street, London Eye Big Ben and Westminster. Make sure you follow me on Instagram to make sure you see these as and when we have the London walks. I usually prefer to shoot just before sunset and after sun set when I am in London, the city just feels and appears so much calmer. When I am away I tend to go more for sunrise shoots.
13 September 2016
Two days ago I shared a the first post on our visit to the Jurassic Coast with a stop at Durdle Door in Dorset. Having planned on spending a weekend in Dorset the next day we moved from Durdle to Lulworth Cove. Lulworth Cove is a shingle beach with amazing views out on the Purbeck Isles. Perfect for a swim. As the English Summer was in full swing over the weekend, it was time to get out there and be active. From Lulworth Cove you can hire Kayaks, they also have tours on kayaks, we opted for Rib Ride on the bay. Even better start to the day was having a chilled out breakfast in the Boat Shed Cafe that comes with views of the cove.
11 September 2016
8 September 2016
England and the UK in general has some pretty amazing places, so if you are one of those that visits the UK and only go as far as London then you are missing out! I have posted about trips to East Sussex, Thorpeness, Snowdonia, Gloucester, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Bath, Bristol and Llandudno, just a short list of places to inspire your explorations of Great Britain. About 2 weeks ago, we ventured off to the Jurassic Coast, mainly because I wanted to visit Durdle Door. Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast. It sits on privately owned land but accessible to the public. The Jurassic Coast is a now a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of Southern England. It stretches out for nearly a 100 miles. So plenty of trails for hiking! It's about 3 hrs drive from London but easily accessible by train as well.
Jurassic Coast is one of UK's popular destinations in Britain for many Britons, but not many tourists venture out to this part of England. Whether you are after fossils, hiking, cycling or just to take in the views on the coast there is plenty to and take in the area. Below are a few activities to start you off.
7 September 2016
I posted my top 10 things to do in Sydney which included a stop at the Royal Botanical Gardens. This is one spot that is a must, and no you don't have to be a lover of plants to visit. It starts off from the bottom steps of Sydney Opera House and circles Farm Cove. The gardens also feature Australia's first and oldest bridge, which is a cute little bridge crossing a stream in the gardens. You also have amazing plants that are about as old as dinosaurs. Walking along the shape of the cove you will have amazing views looking into Sydney CBD and its skyscrapers. A walk through the gardens leads you to a vantage point offering stunning views of Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from Mrs Macquaries Chair.
6 September 2016
It simply doesn't get any better than this!!! Considering my birthday falls right at the end of the year when I am a little more reflective which means I opt for more relaxed celebrations. For my birthday, December last year I opted for a month long celebration which saw my boyfriend and I travel from Budapest to Beijing and then to Cambodia's Siem Reap to Bangkok, before landing in Phuket. For my actual birthday, the day before, the birthday and the day after I just wanted peace and quiet, no tours, no crazy activities, just pure indulgence! What the lady wishes for, so she must have and I did get, by way of a private paradise at Renaissance Phuket.
4 September 2016
Sydney Opera House! A building that really needs no introductions, huh? But, for those not in the know, Sydney Opera House is a performing arts center in Australia's Sydney on Bennelong Point of Sydney Harbour. Situated close to the business district and the famous Harbour Bridge. Inspired by bird wings, the shape and form of clouds, shells and palm trees, say its Danish architect Jorn Utzon. The roof is made out of fungus ceramic tiles and concrete.
Looking at these pictures you would not believe that the city had rained for 3 days in a roll! Yep, that total messed up all the plans I had to shoot the sunset over the bridge or my planned rides to Manly. I suppose I can't complain too much as I still managed to venture out and explore the city parks, the famous Bondi Beach, and its sea water pools along the coast and beautiful harbours or the famous Kings Cross a notorious red light and entertainment district of Sydney.
Back into Farm Cove, you can admire the view of Sydney's Opera House from many unique viewing points that include Mrs Macquaries Chair, from the Botanical Garden which I will be sharing more pictures on shortly after this post.
Booking a tour in Sydney's Opera House
2 September 2016
Sydney is one of those cities that has been on my list now for a long time and I had put it off for so long until my friend announced that she was moving back to London. Suddenly the pressure was on to visit Australia before she left but the thing is, she was based in Melbourne. No problem at all, solo travel is nothing new to me so I embarked on travelling to Sydney on my own before flying out to Melbourne and check out her city a couple of weeks before she moved to London. If solo travel is something that scares then hopefully my recent post with tips for first-time solo travellers will help ease the anxiety of getting out there on your own.
Sydney is one city that you can happily explore by yourself but if you have company to experience it with then even better! Below are my top 10 places to see, visit and maybe do, while visiting Australia's famous city. Enjoy! Don't forget to share the post.
30 August 2016
It's no surprise that I am a big fan of Marriott hotels. Having stayed at many of their hotels. From USA to Germany, from Thailand to England, and From Hong Kong to Poland. I use them a lot when I travel for work but now also look at their properties when traveling for leisure as well. When my boyfriend was going to work in India for two months, I new it was only going to be one place I was going to be looking at. His office was Gurgoan, which is just on the boarder with New Delhi. Perfect for my exploring of New Delhi's tourist sights and perfect for his morning commuting to the office.
Marriott Hotels are some of the most comfortable hotels I have ever stayed in. Service is impeccable whatever the time of day and the locations of the hotels are usually in the best spots in the city. Clean, comfortable and affordable luxury! Why wouldn't I want to stay there? This is one is part of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotels. In addition to a spacious room and comfortable bed, food is is great and even better breakfast selection to set up for the day. The hotel also has a rooftop pool, perfect for watching the sunset while lounging by the pool - the makings of a great stay. My stay was super short but my boyfriend stayed on for 2 months with no problems.
The hotel is also on hand to help with arranging tours to many other places around India. They were also on hand to help book and arrange for a car and driver from New Delhi to Agra so that we could visit The Taj Mahal before I left to come back to London.
25 August 2016
Nearly two years ago I visited Israel and while I was there I visited the beautiful Bahai temple in Haifa. It was beautiful, colouriful and spread across a great area of land in Haifa. Then when I visited India last year I knew that a visit to another Bahai temple while I was in New Delhi was in order. One hot morning when my boyfriend left the hotel to go to work, with the help of the Marriott Hotel, I booked a car to take my out on a tour. With the crazy traffic in New Delhi I managed to tick off only half of my list for the day before I wanted to get out of the heat and go cool off at the hotel. One place I was not going to leave without seeing for the day was the Lotus Temple - A Bahai House of Worship.
23 August 2016
My mind had conjured up so many things when I first spotted the name of the hotel and at $40 a night I thought to myself it can't really be that bad, can it? To my relief it was bad at all. In addition to the name I chose it because it was a short distance from the airport as we were flying from Bangkok in the late afternoon. We were going to be doing the Phang Nga Bay tour which takes of from the piers near in the Northern part of Phuket. Hence why were wanted to base ourselves this side of the island. I shared pictures from our tour in Phang Nga Bay.
20 August 2016
Lately, when I travel I prefer a little bit of "home from home comfort" so I tend to opt for apartments when traveling for leisure these days. Sure you might want everything taken care of by the hotel and that's great when I am staying in hotels while on a work project. For my trip to Australia this March, I wanted to be right in the city but still feel comfortable in the space I was staying and much less foot traffic compared to a hotel. I definitely found in Meriton Apartments. They have some of the tallest residential properties in Sydney. They have many apartment buildings in Sydney and some with penthouse. I chose to stay at Meriton Serviced Apartments in Pitt Street. Right in the heart of Sydney's CBD. Westfield Shopping Centre is just a street or 2 streets away. It is perfectly located in that you also have the world famous Queen Victoria Building with designer boutique stores, cafes and restaurants just a few steps away. Just as well, as being close to many a restaurant meant I had enough time to evoke the Naomi Campbell alter ego before venturing off to dinner with travel friends I met in the city.
17 August 2016
Where in the world can you land a chopper on a helipad, only to have that same helipad turn into a bar after dark? Only in Kuala Lumpur! The Heli Lounge Bar is quite literally a breath of fresh air. One of 5 helipads in the city but what makes this one special is that you can stand on it and sip cocktails as the sun sets into the horizon.
Before you get too excited and rush to the stairs leading to the heli-pad on the 36th floor, you will have to buy a drink in the bar before being shown up to the roof. The Heli Lounge Bar sits on the on 34th floor and comes complete with an aeronautical theme to the decor. You have panels from Boeing 737 and 747 turned into sitting booth and DJ console. The Heli Pad is 2 flights of stairs, also note that other than the light barriers around the helipad, you are basically on the roof of a building with no safety net. There is security on deck to ensure no one gets too close to the edge.
14 August 2016
Ahh Notting Hill, an Instagrammers little gem! Notting Hill is famous for many things, from the yearly carnival the brings multi-cultural societies into one big colourful weekend-long street part, to the beautiful Portobello Market and lest we forget Notting Hill romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant! Notting Hill is one place in London that every tourist weigh their coins has to pay a visit to when they come to London.
How can resist that pastel and candy coloured houses all lined up waiting to be snapchatted? It's the perfect place to wonder around on a Sunday as the streets are perfect to get lost in, in between instagramming and latte sipping sessions. Portobello Market is not only famous for its antiques but you will find it all here, from beautiful jewellery to old photography memorabilia, closes, food stalls and many a souvenir. You next visit to London should definitely include a stop to Notting Hill. If the word haven't convinced you yet, hopefully the pictures below should do the trick!
Getting To Portobello Road
Your Nearest underground station is Notting Hill. From there you have clear signage on which exits to use. Its perfectly easy to find as you will always have people heading in that direction.
12 August 2016
Being a travel blogger, I guess I don't need convince you of the fact that I travel a lot. Working as a consultant also means I travel for much of my projects. Currently making the weekly rounds between London and Harry Potter's playground in beautiful Oxford. I hope my recent weekend trips to Paris, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Edinburgh, the English countryside and many other European cities have served inspiration for you to pack your bags and head for little break. With the right bag one can quickly hop on out of the city for a little weekend R&R with minimal packing effort. Those weekend trips are all about maximising the time you have for play on your get away, and doing so means reducing the time you have to check in at airports or dragging around big bags. You want to be able to pack a carry-on and go from work to play in about as little time as it takes Lewis Hamilton to get from 0-60! That means having a bag perfect for a carry-on-only weekend getaways. Who doesn't need an escape from the weekday grind? The Catalina weekender by Lo and Son is perfect for skipping the check-in desk and heading straight to departures. This little baby comes in a few shades but being a lover of all shades of blue, I went for Indigo, but there are a few more colours in the range if blue doesn't get your wanderlust flowing. Reasons to love this weekender?
3 August 2016
'Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage'Talk is cheap so stop telling yourself you are going to do it and just do it(as Nike used to say). But, where do you even start? Before we even get very far in to this, you need to decide on where to go! Contrary to what a lot of people believe, solo doesn’t just mean travel outside the country. It can also be inland travel. I spent a lot of my late teens exploring parts of the UK on my own and even took my nieces too from time to time. Exploring Wales, Scotland, and parts of England on my own before I ventured off to other parts of the world on my own! Yes, exploring your own country counts as solo, so why are so many guys and girls so afraid to explore without a companion?Travel planning for trips with friends and family can be tough with trying to figure out when and where to go, factoring what you are going to do and where you staying, fitting in people's budgets and what they like to see and do. See, just talking about it is tiring enough. Even worse, when you do all that planning and people cancel! I love travelling with compadres, but love my solo trips just as much. The freedom to go where I want, when I want and how long, stay where I want. This is all a breath of fresh air. We do so much for others through the year, whether you are at work or home, so solo trips are another way to re-group and do you, for you! Like the quote above says, it’s not about money but courage. So for those that haven’t embarked on a solo trip yet I thought I would help you out a little. Having travelled as far as Australia's Sydney, Hong Kong, parts or Europe and UK on my own I may just have picked up a thing or two to get you started! So here are tips to get you going on the first solo trip.
3 July 2016
It has been a while since I have done a guide on London, the very city I live in, for goodness sake! I suppose I take it for granted that I live here, so I tend to write a lot about other cities I go to as an escape from London. So, my long overdue of a local's guide to London. Even better that no transportation is required with this guide. A lot of it only requires money for a cup of coffee when you get thirsty but there are lots of stops along the way to taste amazing food. All calories that you will burn off on this walk anyway. Below is a map that you can also click on with previews of what you will see and do along this guide. Also, look out for a guide to shopping in London as well as all the best markets you need to check out when you visit London as well as where to stay when you visit London. I will be covering all budgets for that so make sure you are following on Bloglovin so your don't miss them when they publish. Without further ado, lets get to it!
Start The Day With A Hearty Breakfast In Covent Garden.
1 July 2016
Whenever I plan a short getaway, to get the most out of a quick visit to a city I try and plan where I stay carefully. This way you can kind of plan what to see and do and just how easy it is to get to from where you are staying. Also, as it's a getaway break from normal day living I also want it easy and rather effortless. I had a few options on where to stay in Warsaw, in the end, we decided on Marriott Hotel. It's has a great location in the heart of Warsaw. You are literally a few meters from Warsaw's biggest mall; Zlote Tarasy. It's also across the road from the Palace of Culture which offers amazing views of Warsaw. The shot below of the Marriott Hotel building from taken from the Palace of Culture building.
29 June 2016
I have been dreaming about visiting Russia for a long time now, and part of that dream includes seeing Russia's famous onion dome churches. As Russia is not on the cards until next year, with our exciting visit to Poland's Warsaw last month, I had the Russian Orthodox Church St Mary Magdalene on my must-see sights while visiting the capital. St Mary Magdalene is truly a gem. Constructed between 1867 and 1869, it was originally built for the large population of Russians that were living in surrounding areas of Warsaw and those moving to Poland from Russia.
The five-domed building has golden interior with beautiful and intricate detail on the inside and is surprisingly small on the inside. What makes it special is that it was the first stand alone Orthodox church to be constructed in Warsaw. Before that, there were only private chapels around the city. Built on a carefully chosen land that saw incoming and departing passengers from the railway station across the road connecting Warsaw to the central Russian lands. When Poland gained independence in 1918, the new government started a program against Orthodoxy in Poland that would see most Orthodox chapels and churches destroyed. In a bid to make the country fully Roman Catholic, all but two of the Orthodox churches were spared, one being the Mary Magdalene Church. In 1921 it then became the Metropolitan Cathedral.
26 June 2016
Poland like many countries in its region of Europe has many beautiful and colourful cities and towns waiting to be explored. When we visited Warsaw at the end of May, I was expecting it to be cold like the weather we were running away from in London, but it was beautifully sunny and warm. The perfect start to a getaway weekend we were looking for. The city is friendly and easy to get around, which makes it easier to jump right into exploring almost as soon as you arrive. The city was also preparing to host the NATO summit 2016 in July, where all the big wigs from around the world will be coming. From Obama, Cameron to Merkel and Hollande, all will be coming to talk politics and all sorts right in the heart of Warsaw. Certainly, glad were getting in before they were because otherwise there would be no hotel, let along a tent to sleep in. We had a couple days of blissful walking around the old and new town of warsaw; from hunting out its unique viewpoints to checking local eats and shopping spots. What better way to entice you to consider this cute city than to not only show you but give you a weekend guide to visiting Warsaw. Even better, I also made a video below taking you along for a little sightseeing in Warsaw.
Grab a Bite in Warsaw's Colourful Old Town
22 June 2016
I am going to take you for a ride around Bangkok. Hold on to your Tuk Tuk seat. I took these pictures on our last day in Bangkok as we were taking off to visit Phuket that evening. My, what a last day it was! Having been to Cambodia and parts of Bangkok, we had a few incidents where people would ask for a tip for even giving you directions. Listen, Mr Local Man, Bee may be travelling like she doesn't care(see what I did there), but make no mistake she works for every penny used for these trips and does not pluck money from the rich foreign tree that you thing she has in her backyard. I say that because on this day my faith in reconnecting with locals had been restored after many a mishap.
18 June 2016
Thailand is gifted when it comes to picturesque scenery, which makes it an awesome destination for memorable adventures. One such place one must visit when in Thailand is Phuket. More specifically Ao Phang Nga National Park. It's one of Phuket's best places for sea kayaking. You can explore islands, caves, lagoons and take in beautiful and unique landscapes that will create indelible memories for you and friends. With plenty of wildlife from lizards, rare hornbills, kingfishers. What's even more wonderful about this is that its suitable for all ages. So bring your kids, friends and gran for an adventure of a lifetime as I tell you about 9 experiences you need to have in Phang Nga Bay.
1. Stop By Wat Suwan Khuha - Temple Cave
Before heading to catch boats and see the islands. The first stop is checking out the Temple Cave. Located in a limestone cave, housing a beautiful 15-meter reclining Buddha image. The caves are decorated with Thai-style tiles, you will also find a small grotto there.
15 June 2016
Just the very thought of India warms me up a little. When we visited it was so hot, and thinking about traipsing around in the sunny city provides solace considering my current weather situation in London right now. New Delhi is one of those places that is filled with temples, tombs, and historical places. This, considering its history with Mughal Empire in addition to British involvement in the country. There is plenty to see and do in Delhi and one would spend a lifetime exploring the city's mixes. A reach mix of origins, whether that’s in its people that have come from all over India to make a name for themselves or the Persian influence in the architecture and style of buildings that have stood the test of time, to the history of the Mughals and their fight to stay relevant. Prepare for the traffic in the city when you visit, which means that exploring may be a lot slower than you think. There are taxis, rickshaws, and trains in the city, although I found it easier to have the hotel book the taxi for me as I wanted to make sure I was using register taxis while exploring. When you visit New Delhi do not miss out on the following places:
12 June 2016
How many people around the world dream about visiting London's Big Ben, shopping on Oxford Street, walking on Tower Bridge and riding along our London Underground system?! Millions if not billions of people have London, and the UK as whole on their travel wish list. How many of those people actually know about UK's homestays that help you learn and improve your English? Whether visiting as business traveller, student or even solo traveller The Language List's English homestays have got you covered!!! Before you even ask, no, this is not a sponsored post. I just love sharing new ways to improve your travel experiences.
9 June 2016
Each time I think back on our exploration of Thailand while on a month long birthday celebration trip I burst into laughter. As someone who plans most of the trips that my boyfriend and I go on, I thought for my birthday month of December I would let my hair down a little bit and not plan quite to a 'T'. So a few things that I had on my list as things that I didn't want to miss out on before leaving Bangkok had been added to the itinerary but not really booked. This was so that we could go with the flow as much as possible.
I had seen pictures of Erwan Waterfalls before I visited Thailand and knew that they were a good drive out of the city, so you either have get up and drive at stupid o'clock to avoid the traffic in Bangkok. To allow for getting out there with enough time to explore before heading back, if you are not staying overnight. I had done enough research to know roughly how long it takes to get there and seen enough pictures to know if I was heading in the wrong direction. Quite good with my barings like that. The joys of an overplanner.
7 June 2016
And here I thought I had seen all the gold I could possibly see when I visited Dubai, where by the way, they have ATMs with gold bullion. Well, visiting Bangkok had a whole host of surprises for us. More specifically the Grand Palace of Bangkok. Built in 1792 during the reign of King Rama I, to be the royal residence of the Thai King. It comprises several buildings including the Royal Chapel of the Emerald Buddha as well as offices and living areas. For about 150 years, Bangkok's Grand Palace was not only the home of the King and his court but the administrative seat of the government in its entirety. Thai Royalty stopped residing full-time by the 20th century but the Grand Palace still remains an important building, used for ceremonial purposes mainly and very much the seat of power at the heart of Thailand.
As a must see when visiting Bangkok, prepare for the crowds and add to that the heat and you have one sweaty visit. To avoid that though either visit early in the day of after 2pm when the heat is not as intense and the crowds, although still there, are perhaps not as crazy. Before you even enter the premises, you can see some of the gold leaf buildings peeking from the high walls. The internal buildings are a mix of styles combining European architecture, traditional Thai roof tiles and spires, as well as a neo-renaissance style. The attention to detail is just amazing! I can just imagine how long the it took the workers to build, carve and sculpt. From the tiles, to the statues that are clad in colourful outfits if not plastered in gold leaf. As beautiful as it is it makes you think about how we as humans place so much importance on material things. It is quite thought-provoking and definitely worth a visit when you visit Bangkok.