Tag: explore

South America’s 8 Must Visit Places…

My love of travel began back in the year 2000, and in the past seven years since then I have traveled to countless places, had numerous adventures and made many memories.  Over time the details of these trips can begin to blur and the emotion and excitement originally felt can fade into a distant memory. However my experiences in South America are made up of rare moments that I will hold in my heart forever.

It is a continent of magic, enchantment, inspiration & love and somewhere which evokes a great sence of wanderlust within me.  Though I have traveled there extensively it is a place I always long to return to and on trips back I have always had the feeling of my soul somehow coming home.  For me, that’s the bewitching allure of travel, and the thing that always drives me to keep exploring new corners of the world.

So here is my list of South America’s 8 must visit places… May they be as awe-inspiring for you as they were for me!

south-americas-must-visit-places

1 – Cycle the ‘Road of Death’ in Bolivia.

‘The Road of Death’ is a twisting 80km mountainside trail, considered the world’s most dangerous road. Get a major adrenaline rush as you dodge trucks and local filled buses while admiring the incredible views of the sweeping mountains.

2 – Visit the Amazon Forest.

Bolivia’s ‘Las Pampas’ is one of the lesser visited areas of the amazon where you can get up close and observe capybara, monkeys and caimens in their natural habitat.  Plus hike through the forest, fish for piranha and swim with pink dolphins.

IMG_6782.jpg

3 – Samba Dance Around Colourful Brazil.

A visit to Brazil any time between Christmas and mid-February guarantees you a party as they prepare for, or celebrate, the famous Carnival. From Rio de Janiero’s Bloco Parties & Sambadrome, to all-night beach parties in Bahia, or the soulful drum beats of street parties in Salvador.

4 – Dance the Tango in Buenos Aires.

Explore Buenos Aires, the city of colour, vibrancy and romance offering incredible food & wine, beautiful architecture, fascinating culture and of course tango dancing.

51224675a0b7092f9105c43a97fd18ec8c347f1c317bda90b9eabd3332686f3199482c50

5 – Experience the Power of the Iguazu Falls.

A cascade of hundreds of waterfalls emerging from the jungle in a powerful mass over the Brazilian & Argentinian boarders.  Explore the falls by boat ride or walk up to ‘The Devils Throat’ and see views from the top of the biggest fall.

6- Get Lost in Bolivia’s Salt Desert.

Uyuni’s salt desert was once a great lake that dried into giant mysterious salt flats.  Stretching as far as the eye can see the white of the salt reflects light in an amazing way, making it appear like you are walking through the clouds.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 16.45.18.png

7 – Hike to the Ancient Aztec City of Machu Picchu.

Walk along Peru’s ancient Inca Trail which winds through mountains peaks, cloud topped forests and old Aztec ruins to finish at the ancient city of Machu Picchu.   

8 – Explore Hidden Islands on Lake Titicaca.

For an off the beaten track experience take an over-night trip to the hidden islands on Lake Titicaca.  Hike across the island by day and stay in family run guest houses by night to see beautiful views of natures and experience local life.

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

What to do When you have Itchy Feet…

If you read my blog regularly (thank you!) then you will know how much I love traveling and how I am always dreaming about new places I want to visit and discover.  Apart from fashion, traveling is my favorite thing to do with my time and I have invested so much time and energy into taking big trips and seeing the world.  That’s because traveling inspires me, the discovery and new experiences it brings helps me to grow and change the way I see the world and it makes me feel happy and excited about life.  I honestly feel so lucky for all the incredible places I have visited so far and I can’t wait for all the future trips I plan on taking.

Right now we are starting to research for our summer trip and we are thinking Colombia in South America!  So I have been reading a lot of travel guides and searching travel blogs for tips about top places to visit in Colombia.  All this makes me super excited because Colombia sounds amazing!  And it also brings back beautiful memories of my gap year traveling around South America! But it is also giving me pretty itchy feet and making me yearn for my South American travels right now.

I am lucky because it will only be about ten weeks until we take our summer trip but I know there have been times when there have been no trips on the horizon and my life has been consumed by day to day things and working.  And in times like this its easy to feel like travel is far away and out of sync with your lifestyle.  So today I wanted to share with you my five easy ideas to do when you have itchy feet and how to bring adventure into your life when you can’t travel anywhere.

What to Do When You Have Itchy Feet.jpg

Research.

Even if you don’t have any trips coming up in the immediate future always keep yourself open to the idea of traveling by doing research.  Read travel magazines and blogs, save and rip out articles of places you want to visit, make a Pinterest Board of travel ideas or make a travel book of places you dream of visiting.  Keeping you travel dreams in mind increase the chances of you actually making them a reality and gives you things to feel excited for in the future.

Inspire Yourself.

Search for new sources of inspiration by watching travel documentary’s, reading magazines like National Geographic, visiting photography and anthropology exhibitions, reading travel books and journals and watching adventure films.  Following the adventures of others will open you mind and bring you inspiration for exciting things you can to do in the future.

Embrace Your Local Scene.

Find out what exciting things your local scene has to offer and make an effort to visit them in your free time.  If you are really busy dedicate one day a month to having fun and take off for an adventure in your city or local area.  Visit museum or exhibitions, soak up the culture in another near-by town, go hiking or cycling and explore the countryside or check out local festivals and events.  You may be surprised how much your area has to offer and it will give you appreciation of the amazing place you live in.  To find out about whats going on check Trip Advisors of your town, blog posts, facebook events and local magazines and newspapers.

Push Yourself to Try New Things.

Create adventure in your day to day life by pushing yourself to try new things and create new experiences.  Eat out at new restaurants, take some fun classes, try new sports, experiment with cooking exotic foods, visit parts of your city you haven’t seen before.  Including new things in your life keeps you feeling inspired and energized, helps you learn and grow and can even open doors to new opportunities and introduce you to new people.

Get Creative.

Remember and feel gratitude for all the amazing trips you have always taking by finding creative ways to honor them.  Create scrap books or your trips or make a photo wall in your home showing all your favorite trips and experiences.  Honoring your past travels in this way will help to keep them alive and fill your life with positivity and achievement.

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

Positive Vibes – Dream Big

Ever since I was young I have always thought it was important to dream big.  That’s why I took a year out and went traveling around South America with my best friends.  That’s why I did a study exchange to Milan.  That’s why I started my career as a Fashion Stylist.  And its something I always try to share and encourage through this blog.

We only live once so I think it’s really important to make sure our lives are as beautiful and exceptional as possible.  And a great way to do that is to dream big, visualize our ideas and work hard to achieve them!   Even the biggest of dreams is possible to achieve if you believe in yourself, have a plan and keep focused.

When I turned twenty I wrote a list of dreams I wanted to achieve before I turned thirty.  Some of those (like living abroad, starting my own business & traveling Sri Lanka I have done) but I have still got quite a few things I need to tick off.  So for today’s posts I thought I would share with you nine dreams I want to achieve.  I hope it gives you some inspiration and I invite you to share your dreams in the comments below…

IMG_6733.jpg

(traveling in colombia)

1 – Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Ever since one of my friends did this in her gap year I have been fantasizing about climbing to the summit of this incredible mountain in Africa.  It is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and from the top you can see beautiful views over Tanzania.

2 – Travel around Columbia.

Even though I have visited a lot of South American countries I have never had the chance to go to Columbia yet.  Everything I hear about this place sounds amazing and I dream about spending a summer backpacking here.

3 – Become a Master at Cooking.

This is something I am always working on.  I love trying new foods and I think a great way to learn about a culture is through the food.  Whenever I travel I like to study the food and learn how to cook something special.

4 – Go to Coachella & Glastonbury.

Ok I know this is technically two dreams.  But as a huge lover of both fashion & music I have always wanted to live the bohemian dream at these two festivals.

5 – Work in New York.

New York is one of the most inspirational cities for fashion and in the future I would love to work regularly over there styling Editorials and Photo Shoots.

6 – Visit India.

The colours, the food, the people and the culture.  Everything about India fascinates me and I have always dreamed about making a big trip around this country.

7 – Work with a Women’s Support Charity.

As a girl who is building her own business I believe it is so important girls & women are empowered and have the support they need to achieve their dreams and make a positive impact on the world and I would love to work closely with a charity who advocates this.

8 – Write a Book.

As a Blogger and a passionate writer, having my own book published and being able to inspire others would be incredible.

9 – Shoot an Editorial for Vogue.

As a Fashion Stylist who works with lots of international magazines working with Vogue is the ultimate dream!

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

Unique Places to Visit in Northern Italy

I have been living in Italy now for three years, and every year I spend here I discover new and exciting thing about this magical and enchanting country.

I started off my experience here much like everyone else and my travel list was to be expected – Rome, Venice, Florence, Vatican City.  These places were undeniably amazing, but sharing the experience of seeing the Sistine Chapel shared with 50 other tourists or waiting over an hour in line to see Venice cathedral makes the experience a little less special.  The longer I have lived in Italy the more I have discovered the real gems of this country are the places less known of, that you have to search to find, or that involve a degree of adventure.  It’s in these moments that you see the real Italy.  The Italy with a big heart and amazing food that welcomes you in like a long lost family member.

If you want to experience a little of that (and why wouldn’t you?!) then here are my favorite unique places to travel in Northern Italy.  Maybe you can try and squeeze some in on your next visit to Milan, Venice or Florence…

Unique Places to Visit in Northern Italy

Parma.

The region of Parma is known for its incredible food – specifically it’s hams, cheeses and olive oil.  The best time to visit is in November when the Fall food festivals are in full swing and you can combine a morning of city site seeing with a local foodie festival.  We combined our visit with ‘November Pork’ a festival which celebrates food from local farms including cheeses, home-made pastas, wine and of course ham, salami and pork.

IMG_1654

IMG_1663

Lake Como.

Located only an hour from Milan on the train, Lake Como is a perfect place to escape from the city and pass a day relaxing by the water.  Take a boat ride on the lake to visit the old villa’s and mansion’s of old Italian aristocracy or get lost walking around one of the little villages dotted along the lake’s edge.

Verona

Arguably one of the more touristy locations, Verona is definitely still worth a visit.  Take a local bike or walking tour around the city and take in the mix of ancient roman architecture and renaissance art dotted around the city center.  Visit the Amphitheater and Juliette’s (of Romeo & Juliette) balcony and then finish your day at a open air restaurant in one of the cites beautiful plazas.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 17.45.50

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 17.46.04

Lake Garda.

Located between Verona & Venice, Lake Garda is a beautiful, tranquil spot with little villages lining to shore of the lake.  Two places worth visiting are Peschiera del Garda and Sirmione where you can spend a day walking around their quiet streets, taking boat rides on the lake and eating seafood in sunny plazas.

Alba.

Another place to visit during the Fall, Alba comes alive through the month of November for the International Truffle Festival.  Plan your visit so you can spend a day exploring the exhibition, tasting the truffles and visiting local deli’s and wine stores.  Then finish up by visiting vineyards and farm based restaurants in the surrounding countryside to experience truffle eating at its best.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 17.51.26.png

Torino.

As mentioned in my previous blog post, Torino is an elegant and characteristic city 120km north of Milan.  The city has a more local feel but still offers lots of museums, churches, restaurants and sunny plazas so you can get your culture fix.  Strolling around the city and exploring its piazza’s and cobbled streets is a fun way to spend a day out of Milan.

Are you planning a trip to Northern Italy? Let me know where you are thinking about going in the comments below…

Like what you read… Don’t forget to give me a follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

 

Sri Lanka Road Trip – Exploring Sri Lanka in One Week

After a relaxing two weeks at the beach we decided to spend our last week in Sri Lanka on a road trip. I am so happy we did this because there was so many interesting things to see and do.  And we really had the best time.

In case you are planning a road trip around Sri Lanka or just want some inspiration of nice places to visit I have shared our itinerary with you below.

Day 1 – Ella

AM – Drive from Arugam Bay to Ella passing through tea plantations and rice paddies.  Stop on the way at the Rawana Falls for a swim in the rock pools.

PM – Go trekking in the hills surrounding Ella.  Choose treks to Ella Rock, Ella Gap or like us, trek through the tea plantations to see Tamil families picking tea at sunset. Sleep at Ella Eco Lodge to have your own wooden cabin in the forest.

Day 2 – Nuwara Eliya

AM – Wake up early and catch the train from Ella to Nuwara Eliya.  The old trains pass though tea plantations and tiny, hill top villages with incredible views of the valleys below.

PM – Go exploring in Nuwara Eliya.  Explore the english colonial village, eat fresh strawberries, go for afternoon tea, relax by the lake and take a walk though the rose gardens in Victoria Park.

IMG_0091

early morning train

IMG_0189

sunrise at horton plains

Day 3 – Horton Plains & Kandy

AM – Wake up at sunrise and go trekking through Horton Plains.  Get to the park early and reach the Worlds End Viewpoint before 9am to see panaramic views of Sri Lanka’s countryside.  Have a picnic of fruits and coconut pancakes for breakfast on the cliff edge.

PM – Drive to Kandy, stopping along the way at a tea plantation to do a tea tasting.  We arrived in Kandy during the Perahera Festival so found seats in the streets and watched the two hour procession of elephants, fire dancers and drummers all wearing beautiful traditions costumes!

Day 4 – Kandy

AM – Visit the ancient Temple of the Scared Tooth Relic to see beautiful buddhist shrines and temples. Visit during the Perahera Festival to see pilgrims worshipping and visit the festival elephants relaxing in the gardens before their performance.

PM – Take a walk around the Botanical Gardens to see exotic plants and wildlife.  We saw snakes, birds and hundreds of bats sleeping in the trees.  In the evening we watched the festival again.  This time following the procession back to the Tooth Temple to walk with the free elephants around the gardens.

IMG_0288

elephants at the perahera festival

IMG_0317

monkies at the temple

Day 5 – Sigiriya

AM – Drive from Kandy to Sigiriya making a stop off at a Batik craft-factory to see local women making beautiful handmade batik clothes – great for some shopping!

PM – Visit the amazing Dambulla Cave Temples and explore the five painted caves filled with ancient buddha statues.   Then arrive at the Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the late afternoon.  Climb the huge rock-face and watch the sunsetting from the incredible view of the surrounding mountains.

Day 6 – Polonnaruwa & Minneriya Park

AM – Rent bikes and cycle around Polonnaruwa Ancient City.  Ruins date back to 2000 years but statues and shrines are incredibly intact and the atmosphere is beautiful.

PM – Take a jeep safari around Minneriya National Park and see huge families of elephants gathering around the lake.  We saw over 50 grazing together and two new born baby elephants!

IMG_0342

sigiriya rock fortress

IMG_0368

polonnaruwa ancient ruins

And there you have it, our road trip itenary around Sri Lanka.  Thinking of visiting Sri Lanka, let me know your plans in the comments below…

For more about our Sri Lanka adventures read my Arugam Bay Beach Town Guide

My First Impressions of Sri Lanka…

image

We have been in Sri Lanka now for five days and are currently staying in the beach town Arugam Bay on the islands East Coast.  We will be here for another nine days and then we begin our one week road trip around the inside of the island.  As I love to travel, I have already visited several Asian countries, but I have to say Sri Lanka is unique to anywhere else I have been before.  The culture has very strong Indian influences and I am absolutely loving learning about and experiencing a culture that is new to me.

My first impression is that the people here are so kind and friendly. Everyone seems genuinely happy to help and wants to make sure we have a great time in their home.  People want to explain the culture and history and show us special places of interest like secret beach spots or the best places to see wildlife (today we were shown twelve wild elephants grazing on open farmland!).

Also the food is also incredible. We have tried colourful and exotic curries, coconuts fresh from the trees, fried doughy bread filled with vegetables or bananas (called rotti’s) brought from roadside venders and healthy fresh fruits smoothies. Everything has been so full of flavor and very spicy! We are loving this new food experience.

I love how much life there is to absorb here. I feel like walking through the streets is a trip for the senses. There is sweet incense burning outside shops creating beautiful perfumed scents. There is always music playing loudly from inside shops or people on the beach dancing and singing with drums and bells. And I am so inspired by the colourful Sari’s the women wear here. I am in love with the bright mix of patterns and silky materials, beads and embroidery.

And finally the abundance of wildlife that seems to be here. In five days we have already seen elephants, monkeys, buffalo, peacocks, parrots, giant dragonflies and butterflies to name just a few!

So far Sri Lanka is winning my heart and I cannot wait to see what the next eighteen days has in store. I cannot wait to share with you our next discoveries soon

Staying Chic on a 15 Hour Flight…

When flying to Sri Lanka we were in transit for 15 hours! That is a mix of flight time and waiting in airports because there was unfortunately no direct flights from Milan. We were in a similar situation last year with our flight to Costa Rica and when we finally arrived at our destination, it took me several days and a lot of strange sleeping patterns to feel normal again. So this year I decided to be prepared and make an emergency beauty plan to bring with me on the plane to feel more healthy when we arrive.

In case you have some long-haul flights scheduled this summer too I have shared it with you here – I hope it can help.

Continue reading “Staying Chic on a 15 Hour Flight…”