Travel

'Not all those who wander are lost'

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My Love Affair With Turkey

13th November 2016

Travelling is essential for my soul; the need to visit new places and try new things is my therapy to life. I believe experiences shape your character and life is far too short to stay in one place.

I live to feel the rays of the sun on my back whilst snoozing to the seductive whispers of the Sea, thus the need for a quick get away. I rarely plan these trips and living up to my chaotic lifestyle Turkey was booked less than 24hours before I was due to depart.

A couple of hours later and 29 degrees hotter I had landed. As soon as I had left the airport and was on my transfer to my hotel the natural beauty of Turkey struck me; the view of the tranquil beaches with the dramatic mountain backdrop was the initiation of my love affair.

The beach was on my door step and the Malibu and Cokes were flowing; The Resort and Spa did not disappoint; not only did I indulge in an hour long aromatherapy massage and tested out a Turkish clay face mask. I was able to let go of all the stressors of ‘life’ itself and enjoy the silence of the present moment.

I let go of my mental ‘chatter’ and immersed myself in the stillness of peace; hence it was the perfect spot to unwind.

Until next time xx

A Vegan Christmas in Malta

Better late than never?

Sorry for the late post. Definitely need to keep an eye on my time management!

A vegan Christmas in Malta, I mean who would have thought it?

It is extremely seldom for anyone in Malta to have been raised into a vegan family; hence my concern of being starved for the 3 days that I was there.

We arrived in Malta in the early hours of Christmas morning and we headed straight to our villa to sleep. After getting a couple of hours of rest we got dressed up and headed straight to the beach; I know right, Christmas day on the beach!  

After soaking up some morning sun, we began our journey to our family friend’s house in Mosta.

In true Maltese tradition the food did not let us down. With its rustic character, and flavours influenced by North Africa the feast was a perfect representation of a central Mediterranean cuisine. 

The meal consisted of five courses which were all accompanied by a glass of local wine and Kinnie (Malta’s own non-alcoholic drink made from bitter oranges and 18 aromatic herbs).

Course one: A dish of olives, Maltese crackers, bigilla (broad bean pate) and hummus served with Maltese bread and olive oil.

Course two: Golden minestra (thick vegetable soup) served with Maltese bread and oil.

Course three: Maltese ravioli

Course four: Roast Maltese potatoes, Jollof rice, steamed vegetables, sweet potato falafel.  

Course five: Fresh fruit

I was so overwhelmed with the effort that was put into my meal as I was surrounded by meat eaters; but they made the effort to prepare fresh food that was vegan friendly; whilst still keeping the traditional flavours.

Throughout my short break I also came across Sottozero the Gelato Factory in Bugibba. Sottozero is an ice cream parlour that offers vegan, dairy free, gluten free, nut free and lactose free ice cream. A year vegan this was by far the best ‘ice cream’ I have ever tasted. I tried the chocolate rice option and it didn’t disappoint.

Overall my vegan Christmas in Malta exceeded my expectations and I would definitely recommend this trip to anybody vegan, or even those looking to explore new flavours.

           

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February Sun 

My goal this year is to travel to at least five countries; I kick started this plan three weeks ago.

Unfortunately I was only able to travel during half-term; which meant everything had tripled in price. Living up to my spontaneous side I booked the holiday a week before I flew out and was able to find flights that were £200 cheaper if I departed from Birmingham as opposed to London Gatwick.

As usual I didn’t think this through and booked the cheaper flights; I will NEVER travel so far from London again.

The journey to Birmingham was horrendous; the coach journey was torture; freezing cold and filthy, in fact it was so bad that I actually arrived in Birmingham with a cold!

Luckily my travelling partner is easy on the eye, so the five hour wait at the airport for the plane wasn’t all bad.

Nine hours later and about 20 degrees warmer we arrived in Kemet; on arrival we were welcomed and fast tracked through customs; where our adventures began.

The half an hour drive to our hotel was magical. Statues of ancient Egyptian rulers were out of this world and I felt a strong spiritual presence, almost like my soul belonged to this magical land.

The hotel exceeded our expectations and we were truly blown away by the hotel I had chosen (Feeling quite smug as I got the seal of approval from the Mr regarding my selection).

Considering we had chosen half term week, we were amazed by how quiet the hotel was (not that we were complaining)! The grounds were mesmerising, and truly picture perfect.

As this was a quick getaway (5 nights) we didn’t plan too many excursions as we both work hectic jobs so it was nice to just chill by the pool and go with the flow.

The last couple of years I have become more spiritually led in terms of what I put my energy in and whom I surround myself with, as I feel that life is too short to be anything but happy.

Therefore I force myself to take part in activities and surround myself with likeminded people who water my soul with positivity; anything that doesn’t help support the growth of my mind, body and soul will not take up too much of my time. Thus for me meditation and yoga are practices I am actively trying to engage with on a weekly basis.

Practicing yoga with the rays of the sun on my back has to be one of my fondest memories and I came away with a clearer mind.

I later participated in some authentic belly dancing (click here for a sneak peak).

I was mortified, I slipped away from the Mr whilst he was playing volleyball to have a bit of fun with some of the women I had met on the trip and then he ended up finding me and recording the whole thing!

On our last full day I planned a ‘magical safari’ the only aspect of magic on this excursion was riding the quad into the sunset, there was something quite surreal about this experience and it gave me a moment to be still and to give thanks for being a visitor in this special place.

Before I got on Quad I was petrified even though it was my idea but I am so happy that I felt the fear and did it anyway. The adrenaline rush was unreal; riding the quad in the Egyptian dessert has to be one of my favourite memories.

Being a vegan in Egypt like most places in the world was pretty alien; however I was never left feeling hungry. Luckily for me I love ‘mezzes’ and this is part of the traditional Egyptian diet.

Above is a picture of a breakfast I had and it is comprised of ‘foul’ (mashed fava beans) and falafel which was really tasty and vegan friendly.   

This holiday has definitely inspired me to book another and I cannot wait to visit Egypt again in the near future as I really want to visit the Black Sea.