Dhevatara Beach Hotel Seychelles

I’ve been on a hiatus. Not on purpose. It’s the usual excuses. Catching up with life, getting used to work, coming back from honeymoon and the like. Perhaps the latter isn’t a usual excuse but it’s a real one for me.

It’s now been a month since my husband and I returned from our honeymoon to the Seychelles. A two week luxury extravaganza staying at a boutique hotel located on Praslin, one of the unique islands home to a UNESCO site and a variety of rare species (coco de mer and the black parrot). These stories are for another post however. What I want to chronicle is our luxury hotel, Dhevatara Beach Hotel.

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This boutique hotel is perfect for the couple who doesn’t want to bask in the joy of children as it doesn’t allow kids under 12 on site. They can stop into the restaurant upon the discretion of the management but this is really an adults only spot. It is pricey but if you’re heading to the Seychelles, it’s likely not going to be a cheap vacation.

It also is small so privacy is practically guaranteed. There are roughly eight or 10 other rooms on the property that overlook a tranquil swimming pool. There’s also private beach access and every room has a balcony for guests to lounge the day away from the comfort of their own space. All in all, magic. Especially for a honeymooning couple looking to escape to a romantic location for fun chill vibes.

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Breakfast is also included in your stay. Head out into the dining room between 7 – 11am to find a menu of food that is ready made for you after you order. The menu never changes but the options are HUGE. Eggs any style, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fruit platter, meat platters, cheese platters, cereal, pancakes, crepes, yogurt, muesli, bread baskets with local jams. Everything is there. There’s also bottomless drinks including Nespresso coffee, THE teas, juices, champagne and other treats. This should make your mouth water, I know I’m flashing back to the scrambled eggs.

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I’m sure that prior paragraph makes me sound like a foodie, and maybe I am, but the breakfast needed a paragraph.

They also did lunch and dinner at the restaurant (which is one of the highest rated restaurants on the island) but we never ate lunch there (we ate ALL the breakfast). We did have dinner there and that too was A1. Yummy octopus curries, creole cuisines and tasty fish dishes. If you’re in Praslin, go to this restaurant for a calm yet romantic date night.

The room. We stayed in the sea view suite (and paid the sea view bucks). In the room was a giant and comfy King sized bed. A giant soaking tub with L’Occitaine products (lotion, shampoo, bath bomb, soaps, etc) was in the bathroom alongside a rainfall shower and his and hers sinks. We had turndown (and turn up) service daily. Room service was available at no extra cost (aside from the cost of the meal). A balcony that overlooked the pool and the beach.

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The last bit to talk about is the service. The hotel has an on-site spa as well as a number of helpful staff that give you advice about where to go for the best snorkeling, how to get around the island, things to do and help you book exclusive excursions. We had an amazing spa day and a trip to some smaller islands with the help of Francis. Oh Francis (inside husband joke). They also offered airport drop-off and pick up which was super helpful for us (we travelled for 12 hours so having a car really helped in the last stretch).

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That’s my review for now but if you have any questions about the hotel or what to expect there, let me know. Happy to answer. Last photos are for fun!

6 Low Key Things To Do In Lisbon

Spoiler alert, I went to Lisbon Portugal and had an amazing time!

This was one of those trips where I didn’t plan much aside from where we were going to stay and how I was going to get from point A to point B. Other than that, I arrived in Lisbon with a clear state of mind and had absolutely no expectations as to what I should see and do. I usually have a mental list or notes on my phone of food I want to eat, monuments I should see and experiences to try but it just didn’t happen here. For this trip I thought what was best was to plan nothing and embrace everything. And being honest, my mind was distracted with work up until that point.

To embrace all that comes your way in Lisbon and to give you a head start on doing nothing but still having a great time, I’m sharing six things I highly recommend that will leave a sweet spot in your heart for Lisbon. Pocket friendly and cultural, do these things to see what Lisbon has to offer (and it works just as well if you’re short on time in the city)!

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Breakfast at the Brunch Cafe

My husband arrived in Lisbon late on a Saturday night. Deciding to just cosy up at our airbnb for the night, we made a decision to taste some of the food that Lisbon had to offer the very next morning. Enter the Brunch Cafe.

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I’ve never had breakfast or brunch that took up the entire table. I felt like a glutton but was also very pleased.

Now if you’re going to this cafe on a Sunday, please do make reservations because everyone and there mom will be there and you’re likely to find a line. This happened to me so we made reservations for the next morning (Monday) and rolled up to find the place was not as booming (no lines). Any who, once you get in you enter a small but cute space with over 10 different brunch items on the menu. Choose from pancakes or classic bacon and eggs – it’s all there!

A great way to start your morning tour of Lisbon, we paid 12 euros per person for two drinks (hot and cold) plus all you see at the table in the photo! The vibe is also super relaxed. No one is rushing you out the door and the staff are very friendly and patient.

Look at all the Street Art

Nothing screams chilled that free art. Especially street art. If you like browsing the streets of Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY or Shoreditch in London, UK, Lisbon is your place to see a new style.

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If you love color, you’ll love Lisbon!

A great activity to do after eating a large breakfast, literally every corner in Lisbon has something interesting to look at. Make sure you bring your walking shoes because you will be climbing up the city hills and admiring all that is before you because there is a lot. For instance if one corner you might find art that you feel belongs in a museum and on another you’ll find something that reminds you of a beautiful comic book that speaks to your being (or whatever art critic you may be harboring). Various colors, drawing style, patterns and more are all over the city. What I love about this activity is that it’s free and you can stumble across many other parts of the city without using a map. Just follow what delights your eyes and I’m sure a cool cafe or trendy shop will lure you in.

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Bifana and Vhino Verde Break

After you’ve had a chance to view some cool art (and take photos of it for Instagram of course), what you should do next is head to the Bifanaria Lisboa because you will have renewed your appetite.

I’m not a Bifana expert but I will say that although it looks like a tourist trap, this place is pretty nice. The upstairs seating is well decorated and the price of the Bifana (a pork sandwich that can include cheese or chips) is not too bad. It isn’t hugely filling but it is a nice snack that will definitely top you up after you’ve burnt some energy looking at all that art.

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The atmosphere is very relaxed and the food is tasty. I had a Bifana with chips and a glass of some Portugese wine (vhino verde) which was really yum. Take a chance to chill out with some bubbly wine and just people watch from the window upstairs. I really liked this place as it was an unexpected cosy spot. You could catch your breath, plan your next move, or just sit there editing your photos to make people jealous of your vacation.

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Walk the Tram 28 Route

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I found out about the famous tram 28 while in Lisbon and was tempted to go on a ride. But then I looked it up online. It’s the opposite of chill. It’s so touristy in fact that you have to wait two hours online to buy a ticket and once you get on, you end up packed inside a local cuisine favorite (a sardine).

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People love it because it takes you past all the bits of Lisbon city center that you hear about in the guide books but honestly, walking along the route is better. You see more and you get more space and autonomy. Also, if you are desperate for a tram ride, there are other ones that you can get on and they wont be as packed. I’m all for not being stuck in a commuter ride situation where you’re smelling someone’s armpit (not on vacation anyway).

Ride the Metro

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At this point (if you’re doing this all step by step), you’re feet will be hurting so I recommend you give them a break by heading to the metro. I feel like riding the public transport is a great way to get an idea of the kinds of people that inhabit a city. You see who they are, how they interact, how clean the metro is (or maybe not), how it’s designed, etc. For a very curious person, this a great thing to do. It’s also pretty cheap so that can’t do you any wrong.

The metro in Lisbon is also very cool. Aside from the culture, you can see that the art extends from the city walls to the underground. Some cars have graffiti on them, others have colorful chairs and some stations have really unique facades.

Jump off at the Botanical Gardens

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Not pricey and very peaceful, the botanical gardens is a nice place to visit. I went on a Monday and the vibe was very chill. Stroll through the gardens and look at all the flowers and trees around you. Sit down at one of the many benches and do a sketch, listen to music or even journal. My husband and I did this (he sketched and I journaled). It was a great way to take in everything while also letting out some emotions all while on vacation.

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The gardens are also a wonderful backdrop to take photos. I certainly had my husband take quite a few of me because I’m always hungry for content ideas even if I don’t have a particular idea nailed down. It’s fun to just figure things out on the fly.

So there you have it! Those are my ideas to enjoy Lisbon while on a budget and without too much fuss. The people that know me know I like to enjoy and indulge but I also dislike the extra commotion that can sometimes occur when you travel. If you’re like me then these tips will certainly make your time in Lisbon even better.

Have you been to any of these places? Have you been to Lisbon? What’s the most chill or most low key thing you’ve done there but still had a lot of fun doing?  Let me know!

 

Coffee With A View in Silves, Portugal

I’ve never once claimed to be a coffee connoisseur. In fact, those who know me, know I only tolerate coffee that’s flavored or topped with whipped cream. I can’t even handle a cup that tastes like there is too much caffeine in it for fear that my head will explode. Now that I’ve shared these points with you up front, I can get into my post about coffee in Silves.

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Bird song, colorful buildings, cheerfully pink blossoms, the sound of water rushing and the breeze floating through the air paint a gorgeous picture in Silves.

Stroll past the museum and you’ll find the cutest courtyard before your eyes. Pastel pinks mixed with rustic tan, chirping birds, deliciously scented pink flowers. It all awaits. Follow the staircase down into it and to your right, you’ll find Cafe DaRosa.

The aesthetic is very cool and charming. Actually, I found it to be quite French with the blues and whites. Everything was beautiful. A bit hungry and always thirsty (I’ve found Portugal a place that never quenches my thirst), we grabbed a seat on the outside of the cafe as most places in Silves (and Portugal) appear to be a seat yourself sort of atmosphere. I then took it upon myself to run inside for the detail of it all.

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This blue and white tile work is very much part of the Portugal aesthetic. I went to a tile museum where I saw handcrafted bits like these, using blue and white for the color palette and the work was quite beautiful. For some reason however, I did feel like the tile work and the chairs seemed very French but maybe that’s just because I’m in a European place.

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The chairs were too cute. 10 points for ambience no?

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And these little bottles of liquor had a very Alice in Wonderland feel. I’m not sure what purpose they served aside from looking cute but I’m sure they’re probably used to make coffee drinks a bit more potent.

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Lots of biscotti type cookies in jars. If you like biscotti (I’m not the hugest fan), then this is your spot.

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But the main attraction to me was the pastry counter. Would they have the coveted pastel de nata that I so deeply desired? Of course they did as we’re in Portugal. They also had a variety of other tarts that tempted me but I resisted. By the way, how many pastel de natas are too much for one sitting? Three? Eight?

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We ordered and I opted for a pastel de nata with a mocha coffee and my husband went for the espresso (he’s lactose intolerant which can limit things) and a bean tart.  Both items were tasty but being honest, the best pastel I’ve had so far was in Lisbon from a bakery outside of the botanical gardens. This one was a solid but comes in last place out of the three places I’ve tried a pastel de nata. My husband did love his bean tart though. Also, my mocha was like any other mocha. Nothing to write home about but it was good.

So what do I think of Cafe DaRosa? Its atmosphere is amazing. Tres chic and tres cool. The food, it’s decent. Nothing amazing but it’s good and the price wasn’t too bad (6 euros in total).  So if you find yourself in Silves, definitely stop by for the atmosphere and a little treat but if you’re looking for mind blowing food, you could try another spot.

4 Highlights in Berlin, Germany

On January 1 2019, my husband and I made our way to Berlin.

I was desperate to kick off the new year with a trip abroad because I felt it would set a trend for the rest of the year. Germany made the most sense for our destination as it’d be a relatively cheap and short trip from London. Because I had spent so much of 2018 without my passport and making plans for 2019, I figured heading to Berlin would be perfect. A city full of culture and history, we could have a nice city break in the winter and enjoy the local fare.

Here are some of my highlights.

The Treats In Berlin

 

 

Germany is not known for their food. At least not to my knowledge. When I think of amazing world class cuisine, and maybe I’m bias, I don’t think of German food.  If I do think of German food, I think of sausages and boiled something or other. Not my idea of a great meal. BUT, I did very much enjoy my bratwurst sausage. I felt like I had to have a German sausage because I was in Berlin. To my surprise, it wasn’t too bad. It was essentially a giant semi bland sausage on a roll but it was ok. The pretzel I had was also ok. I think I’m slightly spoiled by soft, warm buttery pretzels in the American chain Auntie Anne but it wasn’t too bad.

My favorite bit however was the Gluhwein. If you find yourself in Germany, get a cup. It’s essentially mulled wine but sweeter. When I had my first sip, it tasted of cinnamon, citrus, warm wine and other beautifully sweet things. For people with a sweet tooth, beware of this inconspicuous treat. I easily could have drank 4 -5 cups of this but I would regret it in the morning as there is plenty of alcohol in this drink.

The Transportation

 

 

 

While in Berlin we ended up riding the tram, U-bahn and S-bahn. It’s super efficient and a relatively cheap way of getting around the city. The design is also a bit funky but seems perfectly right for the city of Berlin. It’s definitely experience you should do to get a taste of local life. The only thing you need to remember is to stamp your tickets before getting on the train because if you don’t and a train cop finds you, you could be paying a fine.

The Sights

 

 

 

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Berlin is known for the art. It’s also known for being very hipster. Think of everyone you know who wears Warby Parker glasses, converse, skinny jeans and old grandpa sweaters. I feel that’s the vibe you expect and what you really get when you visit the city. While I was in Berlin I went to the East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. Each bit had a story to tell about the city of Berlin and each bit were beautiful to look at. I’m glad I got to see and highly recommend that you stop by these sights, if even for 5 minutes, for the experience.

The Palace Charlottenburg

 

 

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We paid money to enter the palace Charlottenburg but I’d say it’s worth the price tag as there is a lot to see. There are three sites at the Palace to visit including a mini museum house and a walk around the garden. It was pretty cold when we went so visiting the palace was a good choice. Plenty of shelter from the outside winds and lots of history to explore. You can’t touch anything but you pretty much walk through all of the rooms of the house with a free audio guide that gives you the lowdown on how the palace came to be. I enjoyed my time here and think it’s worth a little trip. Plus, just across from the palace is a chill cafe that has some tasty pastries and drinks.

So those are my Berlin highlights. There’s definitely more to Berlin that what I noted but think that anyone who is headed to the city for a quick trip would certainly feel they had a good time if they indulged in my top finds of the city.

Let me know if you’ve been to Berlin and what you found to be worth trying or visiting!

How Much Money Should You Spend Abroad?

When you think of travel, your first thought is that it’s probably expensive right? You’ve resigned yourself to staying home or perhaps going on a weekend trip to the beach rather than spend a week abroad. But if you give into intimidation through stories or images on social media that only show expensive travel (or don’t show you how you can get those same travel experiences on a budget), you’ll never know what’s out there! I’m here to tell you that you can have an amazing vacation, holiday or short trip abroad with limited funds. Will it be like some chic getaway to the Swiss Alps with 5 star meals? Probably not but you will have fun! I’m going to tell you about a few money decisions I made on trips out of the country to give you a better sense of how you can spend your money abroad and have a great time!

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Paris

My first experience managing my money abroad was in Paris. I had decided to study abroad and had to rely on myself (and what money was in my bank account) to get around the city, eat, explore and have fun.

How much money did I have? I believe my school gave me about $5,000 dollars to last me for the 6 months I’d be abroad. That was and is quite a sum but I had never been accustomed to having that much money in my account so I was living like I had $600 to my name. What did I do? Well with my accommodation taken care of, I had to think of the most effective use of spending my money. This meant a monthly transportation card was some thing I needed to purchase. I believe it cost just under $100 which was great because the card would be used at least two times a day (as I had classes to attend) and that meant I would be getting my monies worth. If you don’t have daily travel like that, walking around Paris is an amazing trip.

For food, things were pretty cheap. I was still a relative picky eater at that point so  I made my life easy. I would buy cheap baguettes for under 4 euro, or a baguette and some butter for under 3 euro or some sort of pastry like a croissant or pain au chocolate with a drink of chocolat chaud for under 3 euro. Thank you young person metabolism! I was fully filled most days as the quality of bread and ability to easily snack on cheap but quality pastries made. If you were on a vacation, you could still easily eat for cheap in Paris for cheap and love every minute of it. There are cheap cafes and modest restaurants with prix fixe menus that will work with your budget! As a student or young person passing through Paris, you definitely don’t need much. I’d say you can easily spend less than 30 euros a day and feel satisfied. Take advantage of local markets and tabacs for cheaper food!

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Greece

In Greece, I lived less like a local trying to stretch my budget and more like a person on vacation. What I need to get an idea of spending wise was accommodation, food, excursions and travel. We stayed in a basic but nice looking hotel/hostel that cost a total of about 50 euros for 4 nights. Not too shabby. The place had a pool and relatively nice view. Was I living like I was staying in The Ritz resort? No! But it was pretty, clean, efficient and close to the town of Santorini. My friends and I would walk into town daily and figure out fun things we’d like to do. We booked a trip to ride horses, ride a donkey (I now regret this) and to go to a winery. In total, These three excursions cost under 100 euros. Not bad!

Transportation – not much was spent. Santorini is a small island and our hotel was pretty well located so we just walked everywhere we needed to go and took a very rare cab here or there for those times when it was absolutely necessary. You can avoid cabs if you try and still live the luxury life.

As for food, again I was a young person on a budget so we only really paid for a dinner and ate snacks or quick to-go foods for lunch or breakfast. This means, I’d eat a pastry for breakfast (like a giant Greek sugar donut) for about a euro and then have a gelato for under 2 euro for lunch with a grecque frite or little sandwich for under 3/4 euros. Dinners never really reached more than 20 euros so in total, all that was spent on food was about 90 euros. We ate well and tasted so many different types of food and treats. Things I avoided are obvious touristy restaurants. If prices sound too high for a sandwich or ice cream, chances are they are really high. As long as you’re not ravenous, take the time to walk around a bit and away from tourist central to find some great places to eat at a reasonable price.

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London

This is one of my favorite cities but it is super expensive. You can however spend wisely and have a great time. Transportation is expensive but if you are in central London, definitely walk! You can walk most places and explore more of the city that way. If you need to give your feet a break, you can hop on a bus which only cost 1.50 or you can opt to buy a weekly card if you know which zones you’ll be traveling to and how often you want to travel. But I stress, take advantage of walking, your pockets will be thankful and don’t really bother with cars because the transport is really good and pretty reliable.

For food, the markets are where it’s at. You can get some really good quality food to prepare or just heat up from M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s etc that are common markets you’ll find in the city. If you want to head out, you can grab food at a nice restaurant in Shoreditch, Camden or Brixton and not completely break the bank. You can also pick up pastries that are great snacks here or go to a fast food joint if you need (the taste is better than in America, haha). I’d say a week in London would run you about 140 pounds or less, pending the foodie in you. I’ve had weeks in London where I spent less than 80 pounds a week though but it does require more cooking and less eating out.

So how do you spend money abroad to have fun? It really depends. I’ve highlighted ways where your money can stretch and how I was able to still enjoy myself but the honest truth is, when traveling without an extensive budget, you need to be able to make some compromises with yourself. Know what you want out of your trip, what are your limitations and what you absolutely would be willing to try to make your travels unique. Anything is possible and any budget can be flexible!

 

Why You Should Relocate Abroad

Recently, I wrote a guest travel post for the ever fun and fabulous Shut Up and Go travel duo of Damon and Jo. I explained why I had to leave NYC in search of culture and a feeling of newness abroad in London. It was more than I dreamed of but also, not what I dreamed at all. Things happened and things didn’t happen; as is life no matter where you travel. But I feel it’s my duty to shed some light on people who love to travel this new idea – have you ever thought about relocating abroad?

If no, ask yourself why you’d pass on relocating or refuse to consider this option. To me, being an expat, even temporarily, is one of the best things you can do. It opens so many doors for you and gives you an experience like no other. To coax a few of you on the fence when it comes to expat life, I’ve identified four reasons why you should seriously adjust your life and relocate!

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Restart Button

No one gets a truly blank slate in life (unless you have amnesia) but moving abroad to a new country can get you close enough. When you move to a new country, literally no one knows who you are or your story. To them, you’re a funky foreigner that could live up to the hype of your homeland’s stereotype or show them a brand new perspective. Also, everything is foreign to you as well. You can figure out where you want to live, what you want to do to earn money and who you want to hang out with. It can be like it’s the first time you’ve ever had to make this decision. I know new beginnings can be scary for most but I say lean in to the restart and see what cool person emerges (or how you might reaffirm who you are).

New Cultures

When you are in a new city as an expat, you’ll run into people from all over the world. But instead of hearing a foreign language on a tour or while eating dinner out at a banging restaurant, you’ll actually have time to interact with and get to know other cultures. As a girl who spent most of her life in the bubble that is NYC (it too is it’s own kind of bubble), nothing made my eyes truly open until I studied abroad in Paris for a semester. Learning a new language, figuring out how people lived day to day, trying to understand the layout of the city – these were all challenges but I can say with certainty that it changed me for the better.

More Exploration

The downside of travel in the form of vacation or holiday is that you may not have enough time to truly get to know a location. As an expat, you can take your time learning the intricacies of various neighborhoods; discovering which places are your go-to for excellent dining, what spots are great for coffee or finding a wine bar that is pocket friendly! Just imagine how many more Instagramable locations, museums you can visit and cool hangouts you can find when you don’t have to be in a rush. Slow travel can be just as exhilarating as a quick holiday.

Private Time

Being alone in a new city can be frightening but nothing allows you to know yourself better. This sense that you are own your own and you have to work to make friends, setup your place and create a life gives you a new type of power. I’m not gonna lie though, some people don’t thrive on this. Some people panic and sink or shrink into a person they don’t know but if you keep your heart positive and believe that everything will turn out for the better, the things you find about yourself are invaluable. For instance, while abroad in Paris, I learned that I enjoy walking cities by myself. At first, I was doing it because I didn’t know what else to do but then, I started to enjoy my walks around the arrondissements.  I could navigate myself anywhere I wished to go and could speak to people in decent French to get what I wanted. Who know when I would have learned I had the power to do that had I not become a temporary expat in Paris!

It’s true that solo expat life isn’t for everyone but I think it can be! And if not, bring a partner, sibling, friend with you! Doing it as a duo can be just as eye opening and life affirming. Remember, you don’t have to be an expat forever – you can always go back home. But take the chance, get out there and learn a new way to live, you’ll be better than you are right now.

Let me know if you’ve ever been an expat or have considered it. Why or why not?

Hiking From Portugos To Pitres

This post is a long time coming but I blame life for getting in the way. This Spring, I went on an amazing two week vacation (or holiday if you’re British) to the Andalusia region of Spain. While there, my now husband and I stayed in three locations Cadiz, Tarifa and Yator. Beautiful places with each offering their own vibe, one of the most challenging but beautiful day trip we did on our adventure was hike from Portugos to Pitres.

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Stream just outside Portugos

While in the Andalusia region, we wanted to explore the smaller cities nearby and experience nature. We settled on driving down to Portugos to start a walk that would cross through about three or four villages. It didn’t sound too arduous so I was up for the challenge. I also had the promise of jamon serrano and a dinner out in one of the villages to motivate me as I wanted to earn my meal, haha.

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Walking out of Portugos, we guided ourselves with a book of walks we had in our airbnb. It had detailed instructions to generally help us stick to the path and get to where we wanted to be without getting lost or finding ourselves hanging off a cliff by accident. About 20 minutes into the walk however, we started to get off path and went along this hilltop that had amazing views (pictured above) but honestly scared me. An old mill had once been in the spot we were trying to go to in order to look at the ruins and get a better view but the hill was super steep. I was nervous because all I had on were little Nike running shoes, not slope gear.

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Husband exploring the ruins.

I must say that once we made it to the top, it was pretty and the surface was flat enough to roam about but the journey there and back down was heart racing.

We eventually found ourselves back on the path, before we took the detour to the mill, and began walk down a large spiraling cliffside that tourists can also use as a guided horse exploration trail. At the bottom of that trail, we began to enter a new town and were greeted by the scent of farm animals. We’ve now been walking (or hiking) for about an hour and a half.

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The sun begins to get even hotter so we make it our mission to find a place to sit down for a bit and eat our packed lunch we brought with us. What did we bring? An olive oil, tomato, cheese and jamon sandwich that we made at our Airbnb. It was so tasty and definitely great fuel after walking so long. We sat on the edge of a hill top that overlooked green fields and a few wildflowers. It was a nice place to take break and just bask in the beauty around us that was relatively tourist free (as we typically go on walks that last more than 2 hours, I find it’s good way to see a place that won’t be overrun with a bunch of tourists because it’s my idea tourists don’t like hikes that long). I complain about my feet and how I’m thirsty than I thought but it really is an amazing journey.

Around every corner so far we’ve found ruins or old building pointed out to us by our walking guide. Each bit is fascinating and the tranquility of it all, it’s so refreshing to someone who has only known city life.

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Three hours of walking and lots of greenery later, we find ourselves in Ferreirola. We’re about three fourths done with our walk but we still have at least an hour and a half more of walking before we complete our loop. I’m tired and beginning to lose a bit of the nature spirit so we wander through the town of Ferreirola. It’s our time to find some shade and take it easy when it comes to climbing up slippery paths and steep hills.

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The town is very village like. It’s soooo tiny. I mean, you’d probably walk the whole village in under 20 minutes at a leisurely stroll. We decided to do just that, taking in the architecture, the atmosphere and making a stop at the ever popular fuente to refill our bottles with fresh water from the earth. I make my husband (then boyfriend) take photos of me but I’m not pleased with many of them, haha.

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Fuente Lavadero De Ferreirola

After our “break,” I tell my husband we need to kick it into high gear. I’m tired of walking and want to complete this as soon as possible. We push on and head out of Ferreirola to Pitres. But one last photo before we go because I can’t help myself.

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The sun starts to feel hotter than ever but we push until we get to Pitres however, we find that we have to climb this larger than life steep hill for what feels like an hour in order to make it through the center of town and do the last leg which is a leisurely walk on the streets back to Portugos.

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As we embark on this climb I think “Why did I agree to do this?” I’m fed up and sweaty and want to complete this thing but I stop to take a look at where I am realize what it is that I’m doing. Not most people get to go hiking, let alone do it in Southern Spain. I took a deep breath and pushed forward, knowing that I would feel accomplished after completing a journey as long as this.

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Five hours later, we completed the walk! We made it back to our starting city and were overjoyed. It was such a wonderful walk despite it being longer than anticipated (I thought three hours at most). I wouldn’t change anything about that day for the world (well, maybe my outfit) but it was a lot of fun. Besides, I was treated to jamon serrano after our journey and that was a great way to unwind!

Have you been hiking in Andalusia? What do you think of doing something like this for five hours? Were we crazy? Let me know!

4 Things To Do In Brixton

If you’ve seen my video on Brixton, you know this trendy neighborhood is a must visit in London. So now that you’re planning your trip down South, I’ve got some recommendations for you to truly take advantage of this area. You need to get on the tube, a bus or Uber now and see it ASAP!

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Brixton Village

Have a craving for gourmet burgers? Sourdough pizza from Franco Manca? Or dying for baked goody? Brixton Village is the place to go for a multitude of cuisine that will satisfy any picky eater. The village is lined with small eateries that offer tasty dishes at a decent price. The best thing about the village though? It’s the lovely atmosphere! You’ll run into a lot of different people trying to sell you something but it never feels too pushy. It’s a pretty pleasant spot to indulge your inner foodie!

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Brixton Market

In dire need of fresh fruit, seafood or haircare products? Brixton Market has everything you think you might need and at an affordable price. Nestled right between the tube station and a row of shops, Brixton is your place to discover items you never knew you could find in London. A neighborhood rich with Jamaican and African influence, it’s easy to notice with the abundance of Jamaican spice shops and traditional clothing be sold in the market. Browse and try not to spend all of your money at the stalls!

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The Ritzy

If you turn left outside of Brixton tube station and walk for a bit, you’ll find a grand picture-house called The Ritzy. They show independent films and it’s also a great spot to grab drinks, brunch or dinner. The outside of the building is impressive and charming. The style screams old school, making it feel very hipster. Tickets are a tad pricey (but not as much as the Curzon) but it’s a nice place to catch a trendy film that might not make it to the mainstream cinemas.

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Brockwell Park

Grab a bag full of candy at Brixton Village and walk down to Brockwell Park! It’s one of my favorite locations in Brixton as the park is one of a kind. The neighborhood is super trendy as I mentioned but tucked away is a large park that has multiple running paths, a basketball court, a pool, tennis courts, a pond, playgrounds and more. You can go for a stroll, workout, have a picnic lunch or whatever else you fancy. When the sun is out, it’s ideal for sunbathing or just taking a nice book outside to read. I love the park and it’s only a 10 minute or less walk from the tube stop!

So you can see that Brixton is oozing fun things. I didn’t even mention the other fun bits like Pop Brixton, Wine bars, a musuem and a concert venue. No matter what the weather is, you can have fun in this neighborhood! Would you go to Brixton? Let me know in the comments!

Good Eats: Cuba NYC Lunch Review

Summer is on the way out and Fall is in. This means big tops and jackets to conceal food babies that are destined to grow this season! One way I recommend feeding your food baby while in NYC is heading to this amazing Cuban spot in the west village called Cuba NYC. I recently had a wedding lunch at the location and went back there with my hubby for a second helping because it was freaking delicious!

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On our second trip to Cuba NYC, it just so happened to be brunch and we discovered that they served bottomless drinks. We thought about indulging but my hubby had a flight to catch and we were really only there for the food and perhaps one drink. With that in mind, we ordered a drink each (a mojito and a white sangria) and moved onto the starter.

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A seafood ceviche was calling us. When it arrived, it came in what appeared to be a bottomless goblet and was filled with shrimp, calamari and scallops in a tasty tangy sauce. It also had fresh plain plantain chips on the side for dipping! To tell you that this would turn any anti-ceviche person into a lover would be an understatement. The sauce had a tang to it but it was overpowering. The seafood was crisp and cool. Every bit of this dish tasted so fresh. I could barely stop myself from going ham after all, this was only our starter. The main dish would soon be on the way and from our prior experience, the plate is hefty!

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Next came the main dish. We both opted for pork but it was prepared in two different ways. I had the shredded pork (pictured in the front) with yuca and black rice. Everything was succulent, hot and just bursting with spices (especially garlic). The yuca was lovely and complimented the pork so well. I definitely need to learn how to make this myself but I’m telling you, it was the absolute best!

My husband ordered pork cubes with roasted potatoes and black rice. He gave me a bite of his and I also think it was pretty fantastic. It was a different taste to the shredded pork as I believe my dish was more fatty. His was a bit leaner and had a sweeter sauce drizzled on the meat. It was a delicious taste and pretty hearty. I honestly don’t think you could have gone wrong with either dish but my shredded pork was the bomb!

As for ambiance, the place looks very unassuming from the outside but it’s worth popping in. It’s small but well kept and the servers are pretty nice and attentive. It also has some fun Cuban decor in the space and plays Spanish music in the background. It’s not too loud but you can definitely groove while eating. The price? It isn’t too bad considering west village eateries. I think we paid around $80 with tax and tip (two drinks, a starter, two entrees and a coffee). Considering the portions and the overall flavors, it’s definitely a nice little mini splurge.

Would you pay that much for it? Have you ever been? Let me know! I’m sure I’ll head back there for a third time. 🙂