Tag: Life

8 Reasons to Travel Colombia

8 Reasons to Travel Colombia.jpg

Since traveling around South America back in 2009 it has always been my dream to return to this magical continent and visit Colombia.

On our initial trip we chose to skip Colombia, feeling hesitant about the countries safely and political situation, and instead opted for the more central route of Peru, Bolivia, Brazil & Argentina.  I loved our trip and I would never wished to change it, but so many of the backpackers we met on route told us of the magic of Colombia and what incredible experiences they had there and the dream to explore Colombia was sparked in me.

This summer, nearly seven years after my first visit, we decided to finally make my Colombia dreams a reality.  We finished up work at the end of July, left our laptops at home and headed off on a three and a half week adventure that was one of the best experiences of my life.

It is an absolutely breathtaking place, full of colour, life, soul and some of the kindest people I have ever met.  Its a place of great contrasts, of poverty and wealth, creativity and corruption.  And it’s a place of awe-inspiring natural diversity with mountain ranges, amazon forest, cultural cities and Caribbeans beaches.  It is one of the best places I have traveled to, so I wanted to share 8 reasons to inspire you to travel to Colombia too…

img_6719

Unbelievable Bogota.

A city of contrasts, where anything really can happen, Bogota is exciting, lively, hectic and artsy.  Soak up culture in La Candelaria, see the cities creative side on a Graffiti tour, sample the incredible restaurants and bars or explore the markets and connect with the locals.  Bogota is a whirlwind that has so much to offer!

Beautiful Untouched Beaches.

Offering chilled Caribbean charm or rugged wilderness on the Pacific coast, Colombia’s beaches are a stunning mix of white sand, clear waters, coral reefs and aquatic wildlife.

img_6629

Some Incredible Coffee.

Colombia’s coffee is produced in the central ‘Zona Cafeteria’.  It’s lush, green landscape makes for some beautiful views and you can even have a relaxing stay in a Coffee Finca.  You can also find incredible coffee all over the country.  Try getting a freshly brewed cup from a street seller and drink it in a plaza watching the world go by.

It’s Home to the Kindest People.

Colombia’s are so friendly and kind.  They treat you like a family member and welcome you to their country with open arms.

IMG_6706.jpg

Inspirational Street Art.

Bogota’s legalization of graffiti in 2011 marked a creative boom for the city.  Sky scrapers, urban buildings and public walls are now the canvas space for street artists to express themselves and share their political viewpoints.  Everywhere you look, the city is an incredible mix of colors, patterns and murals.

Cultural Cartagena.

A World Heritage UNESCO Site, Cartagena is a colonial gem with cobbled streets, colourful houses, pretty plazas and a rich cultural offering of museums, churches and galleries.

img_6700

Diversity of Adventures.

Whatever type of adventure you like Colombia offers it all.  From sleeping in river-side lodges on Amazon excursions, climbing mountains in the Andes, trekking to the ancient Lost City or exploring one of the many National Parks, Colombia’s excitement and adventure comes in many forms.

Music & Dancing on Every Street Corner.

No matter where we were in Colombia there was always music booming from speaker systems and locals dancing together and having fun.  The energy for life is contagious and it’s one of the reasons why I love South America.

Have you ever traveled in Colombia? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below…

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

 

 

 

 

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

The Positives & Negatives to Building your Fashion Career Abroad

I recently took part in an interview for my former university magazine about what it is like building my fashion career while living abroad.  The reason I took part in the interview was because moving to Italy (and the extensive travelling I did before university) are some of the most important experiences I have had and have helped to shape me as a person.  I hoped that by speaking about my positive experience it would encourage anyone considering studying or working abroad to pursue their dream, because it really can lead you to wonderful places.  In the interview I spoke a lot about how studying abroad and afterwards moving abroad to pursue a career in fashion has changed my life and led to so many positive developments, both professionally and personally.

With this in mind I have decided to include on here a list of the positives and negatives of living and working abroad to give more advise to anyone who is thinking about making the jump.  In regards to the ‘negatives’ section, I have included this because I think it is important to give a balanced description of what to expect when moving abroad.  Generally my experience here has been incredible, but it isn’t always sunshine and fun, and so I think it is important to be real.  I hope you find it helpful, and if you want anymore advise about building your fashion career abroad, please get in touch in the comment below!

Fashion Career Abroad.jpg

(photo taken from pinterest.com)

Positives

  • You can travel the world while building for your future.  Living abroad allows me to experience life in a different culture, learn languages, try new food, see new places and meet amazing people.  But unlike when I was backpacking in South America, I am also working everyday which means I am gaining invaluable experience as a Fashion Stylist, building my professional network and increasing my Styling portfolio.  These are things that will help me in my future even if I decide to move back home.
  • It can take you in any direction. When I moved back to Milan after university I knew I wanted to work in Fashion but I was torn between two area to specialise in.  I arranged a meeting with an international Stylist to ask advise about breaking into the industry in Milan, one thing led to another, and I now work in Styling .  It was something I was always considering, but following this career path was the best decision I could have made.  I now spend everyday doing a job I feel extremely passionate about and love every minuet of.  It was moving to Milan that allowed me to follow this, so you never know what opportunities might present themselves for you.
  • Provides inspiration and develops creativity. Working in a different culture exposes me to different working styles and ways to be creative.  It has also introduced me to many fashion brands, Italian style, photographers, artists, architecture, exhibitions and culture.  All these things combine to provide me with new kinds of inspiration which develop my ideas and direction as a Stylist.
  • When you have to travel for work, you also discover beautiful new places.  On a few occasions I have been lucky enough to travel to locations for photo shoots. In the last year I have been to Venice, Cortina and rural Liguria for shoots and so, as well as doing my job, I have also been able to explore more of Italy.
  • In your free time you get to be a tourist.  When I am not working I use my free time to explore Milan, visit the sights and museums, try new food and study Italian.  Its like being a tourist but its also my home.

Negatives

  • The language barrier can sometimes be tough.   I arrived in Italy speaking only a little bit of Italian, so when I first started working it could be REALLY hard.  Not only do I work flat out but also in a language that isn’t my own, which can be confusing/exhausting.  I still have a long way to go with my Italian, but as I have improved, work has gotten easier.  You just need to be prepared to work harder than those who are native speakers.
  • Be prepared to work twice as hard to establish yourself.  Being foreign sometimes does make it hard for me to establish myself.  I don’t have all my contacts I made at university, I am speaking in a different language and I am new to the culture.  For me, thats fine because i love to be challenged and I love seeing the positive results of my hard work, but be prepared to work twice as hard at everything than you would if you were at home.
  • You leave your friends and family at home and it can be hard to meet new people.  Especially in Milan, a city where everyone is trying to make it, it can be hard to meet people and make friends.  Lucky for me I have made some amazing and welcoming friends here and make the effort to see my friends and family at home as much as I can.  But at the start it could be hard.  You just have to get yourself out there, join clubs & groups and speak to people even if it seems a bit scary at first!

But really, if you are thinking about moving abroad to work, whether in fashion or another industry, just go for it! For me the positives have always outweighed the negatives and working as a Fashion Stylist and living in Milan is one of the best experiences I have had.

Like what you read… Don’t forget to follow me on Blog Lovin!