A not so Summery Holiday #Norway

Most people prepare for the incoming Winter with a good minimum of 2 week holiday in some summery destination, soaking up the sunshine and feeling the rays tickle their skin. Not this year. This year was all about the mountains, the hiking and the rain.

For the last five years Norway has been at the top of my bucket list of destinations. I met some phenomenal people from there and had been eager to visit them soon. Luckily, one of my closest friends was getting married there and my partner and I decided to make a holiday of it. We packed our best adventure outfits and our fancy clothes too and off we went.

Norway is a stunning country, with the water paving the picturesque scenery shaped by the fjords and the mountain ranges dropping drastically to the deep blue seas. It is a photo opportunity waiting to be taken every 2 metres you walk. I think we took hundreds of photos of the same mountain, of the same view, getting better each time. Some of the food is amazing, the cakes made me extremely happy, the people were kind and the culture was just incredible. I have to say, it is probably THE MOST expensive place I have ever visited, so either save a lot of money or be prepared to have some really weird meals at a 7/11.

I got to visit the cities of Bergen and Stavanger, both coastal but very different and I cannot wait to share all my experiences with you. Overall, as a far as a summer holiday goes, I loved it! It was adventurous, fun and really different to my usual summer destination so I truly enjoyed it. It was not the first time I have had a cold vacation in the summer and it will certainly not be the last.

So pack your bags and save for months… you have to visit Norway!

Krakow, my new love

After my first African adventure ended early this year, I have been spending a lot of time getting to know Europe. My second European trip took me to Krakow, Poland where I had an amazing time. First of all I visited the beautiful city with my mother on a strictly no boys allowed holiday, as we left behind our men we were able to soak up the polish treasure that is Krakow.

This is the first city I have been to where I didn’t see a shred of rubbish on the pavements, it seemed almost clinically clean at first, however it is warm and welcoming. With a smile at every corner, people invite you into their premises for traditional food without bombarding you with information. All drivers stop to let you cross, and even the trams stop! The buildings are colourful and bright welcoming facades urge you to enter their doors and discover more.

There is so much that can be said of this beautiful city and so much we will explore together. Its location and history are complicated and devastatingly sad, but in no person do you see a hint of anger. Most of our tour guides spoke of the history with, yes, a hint of sadness but there is no bitterness and no thirst for revenge or a desire to right their wrongs. It is taken as a recent and awful history that needs to be remembered and respected so as to not be repeated. This beautiful population takes it as an unfortunate past but don’t look at anyone with any malice. Stunning and inspiring, they have really changed my perspective and I respected the polish before, but now, after visiting places like Schindler’s factory and Auschwitz, they hold a special place in my heart where they have tugged its strings and filled me with humility and a great appreciation for life.

Krakow, my new love, before we break down my trip into segments and places, I have to devout some time into simply admiring your beauty and how much you moved me. More so than Berlin, Krakow sang to me a song of sorrow and regret, but also of survival and peace. I cannot tell you guys how much I hope you take some time to visit this diamond city, and discover its treasures and secrets. One of my top contenders and current favourites, it will take a really special city to knock the admiration I hold towards Krakow.

So before we get into the trip here are some photos to wet your palate, the posts on Krakow start now!

Happy reading, writing and travelling.

Visiting London as a seasoned Londoner

I lived in London for 3 years and spent a lot of time wandering around trying to discover every corner of a city that spreads so widely and has such an eclectic society it seems like an entire world of its own. It is a lot bigger than it seems, and so much smaller at the same time. The things that intimidate new comers most about London, become the best aspects, the things that make one huge city feel small and homely.

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In my last days as a London resident it lost much of its allure for me, in that it was somewhere that I knew so well and recognised so easily that like a work commuter, I began walking it idly not paying attention to the wonderful things it offers. It felt sometimes as if the icing in the cake had melted, the cherry on top had been devoured by grey concrete buildings, a working mind that does not stop to look and everyone’s rush and hurry to get from one place to the next in a never stopping city that refuses to shut its eyes and sit still and tranquil for a day. London had simply become my tarmac playground in which I was bored of playing in. So I moved on. With a heavy heart and sight accustomed to the darkness of London I left.

Leaving London was in many ways a blessing and a curse. The land of opportunity was now not as accessible for me which created a lot of difficulties to involve myself in things that I love like arts and culture, live music, theatre. I was unable to constantly wear my spectator shoes and witness worldwide spectacles take place at my doorstep. Leaving London made me, only for a while but long enough to sadden me, dull, still and quiet. I do not thrive in quiet surroundings, I find them uninspiring and disconnected from influences that can only strengthen your art. However, not all is negative.

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I had lost a lot of perspective in London, a city that revolves and evolves entirely around its own axis and takes with it everything and everyone inside, it is very easy to live for yourself and only for your egocentric needs and desires in a city as such. Where things move so fast and everything blends in, we all thrive to make sure we move just as fast but without getting lost or forgotten in the crowds. We all want to be so different that we end up looking exactly the same. This sad reality of a city in which all dreams and aspirations all seem limitless was making me feel like I was limited. I feel leaving London came at the right time for me, as now surrounded by completely different things, my creative sphere has expanded and I have engulfed so many new things. I was in a very confusing place, where London wasn’t where I wanted to be but going home was not appealing to me either. Now I am grateful for both and for the proximity I have to the fast moving capital and the quiet, growing county of Hertfordshire, and even more extremely so the completely stagnant Suffolk, where my thoughts are able to gather and slowly unscramble themselves as the stillness soothes my mind.

Now, as someone who is constantly moving from one busy setting to a calmer one in a 20 minute train journey, I feel that I have been re-born creatively. I feel that although I wanted to leave I quickly missed it because I was not sure how an unmoving town would inspire me, but in so many ways this has been the biggest influence. Knowing and living in the stark difference between three areas constantly, I now visit London with eyes of a knowing tourist. A seasoned Londoner discovering things and opening my eyes to movement that I would shy away from because I was stuck in a cycle of commute, forgetting to observe the small snippets of colour that the grey city has to offer. I travel from silence to movement to a buzz of life with such desire to take it all in. I adapt myself to each of these settings, and I feel that now I own London more than I did when I was living there. The beauty of having experienced living in the capital, is that now, now that I am not always there, I truly delve fully into the days that I have there, getting myself lost to find something new. Visiting London knowing that I will never get truly lost but always find a bit of myself is the most inspiring thing of all.

I leave you now with some photos over the years of my time as a humble resident of the capital.

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