Travel With Me: Lisbon

Olá!

I am currently suffering with the worst holiday blues after returning from a city break to Lisbon with Jack. I had been excited for this trip from the minute I booked it and it didn’t disappoint and we have already decided that we need to go back to explore all the little gems that we missed because Lisbon is full of them!

This was both our first time in Portugal so we didn’t really know what to expect but I definitely think it is up there with one of my favourite countries I have been too; from the little tiled streets to the grand plazas overlooking the river; it was all perfect!

Day 1:

We had a morning flight so we go to the airport with plenty of time to get some breakfast and we were also in a prime spot to see President Trump fly in on Air Force 1 which was pretty cool; even if it was Trump. We arrived to our hotel and it was perfect, very cosy and had a great view of the mountains but we didn’t even stop to unpack because we wanted to get out and explore straight away. We walked around Praca do Comercio, soaked in the views of 25 de Abril Bridge and grabbed a lovely dinner in the Beer Museum before getting an early night to prepare for our first full day.

 

Day 2:

None of the days had clear agendas but we knew we wanted to go to the aquarium so we decided to do this first so we made sure we done it. From Praca do Comercio, we got the 728 bus straight to the aquarium which was only about 20 minutes away and spent the next few hours looking at all the fishes and the cutest fluffy sea otters. As we headed back it started to rain so we did what the whole of Lisbon decided to do and went to see the famous Time Out Market. The market was amazing, you could get any kind of food you want but you might have a hard time finding a seat. We opted for a pastel de nata from Manteigaria which we heard about from our favourite food show ‘Somebody Feed Phil’. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing they were, definitely the best I had while we were there. Once the sun came out again, we wondered up to Castelo de S. Jorge and took in some of the best views I have ever seen!

 

Day 3:

You can’t go to Lisbon without going to see the Belem Tower so this is what we did on day 3. Again, we got the bus from the main square and travelled about 25 minutes in the other direction from the aquarium, I feel like I am a pro at the Lisbon public transport! We went straight to the Tower and it was stunning, there was even a man playing Disney songs on his violin which just made it so much more special. We then took a stroll through to Belem Town and soaked up the sun in the gardens before heading back towards the hotel. Of course we found a bar so we sat outside in the sun enjoying the sun. We went for dinner and the strolled down the cobbled streets with an ice cream and macaroons and it was perfect.

 

Day 4:

Our last full day was very bitter sweet; we headed over the river to climb to the top of Cristo Rei which gave the most amazing view of Lisbon and made me feel like I was in San Fransisco which is number 1 on my bucket list so I was a happy bunny. We then headed back down and popped to Ponto Final Restaurant for a drink before heading back to the ferry. Of course as it was our last day it rained so we used this to do a bit of shopping before heading back to the hotel to chill before going out for our last dinner.

 

Day 5:

The saddest day as we were heading home. We had a afternoon flight so checked out and headed straight to the airport. I would have given anything to get off the plane and stay in Lisbon as it has become one of my favourite cities as now has a special place in my heart.

-Hannah X

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The Travel Tag

I’m going away to Germany on Tuesday and have been in holiday mode since we booked it back in April, so what better post to get up than a good old fashioned tag.

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1. What’s the best place you’ve ever been to?

I have a few but the one place that sticks out the most is definitely New York, I could happily move there. That place has my heart.

2. Do you prefer going abroad or a staycation?

Both! I love going abroad and visiting new countries but there are still so many places in the UK that I would like to visit.

3. What are your fashion holiday essentials?

Depends on the trip, if it’s a city break then shoes are my number one essential, you need to be comfortable. But if it’s a beach holiday then probably swimming costumes, I am always in the pool.

4. Who’s your favourite person to go travelling with?

This will be my first holiday with my boyfriend so I’m sure he will become my favourite travel partner or my friends, as it would be a trip full of so much laughter and great memories.

5. What’s your favourite holiday memory?

One of my favourite trip memories is sitting in Central Park in NY with the sun shining through on ‘Strawberry Fields’ listening to a man play songs from The Beatles on his guitar and all these strangers gathering around to sing along. Such a beautiful sight.

6. If you could only go on holiday to one place for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

Probably Florida as I could live in Disneyworld forever!

7. Is there anywhere you’d avoid going?

Definitely not, I want to travel everywhere and anywhere.

8. Where was your first holiday?

My first holiday (I think) was to Walt Disney World in Florida.

9. Do you prefer relaxing or doing things on holiday?

A good mixture, I love days by the pool or at the beach but I definitely think if you’re spending money to visit a country, then you need to go out and explore it.

10. What are your beach bag essentials?

Suncream, headphones, a book, sunglasses and a big bottle of water.

11. Where are you travelling to next?

Germany and then Tenerife in September, how exciting!

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Where’s your next trip to?

-Hanah X

Procrastinating with Monarch Airlines

After a busy day at work, the first thing I do when I get home is get my pyjamas on and open my laptop to binge watch Netflix for hours, while scrolling endlessly through social media. (I’ve actually got Netflix on in the back ground on while I’m writing this)

It’s so easy to waste time and procrastinate instead of seizing each minute and living life fully. To celebrate their new campaign ‘Flights Quicker Than‘; Monarch Arlines have challenged me to spend less time sitting in front of a screen and spend that time doing something I’ve always wanted to do but ‘never have time for’. For a week, I made a conscious effort to do the things I’ve always wanted.

Pamper Nights

I normally make Sundays my pamper night, where I have a Lush bath and do a face mask and just relax myself before the week starts but last week I think I had about 3 pamper nights, which is definitely something I’m going to do more often. Little things like that really make you feel better and out you in a much better mindset.

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Getting Lost in a Book

I don’t read, and it’s something that I always say I want to get in to. I love the idea of spending a few hours getting lost in a story and letting your imagination run wild. I recently purchased an illustrated version of my favourite story; Peter Pan and I finally started reading it. It was so nice to switch off in the evenings and let my mind wander.

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Taking Photographs

I have a Photography Degree but the amount of time that I spend taking pictures has seriously decreased. I flicked through my favourite photography book to get some inspo and one night after work, I went around with my polaroid camera to take some photographs. I love how happy it makes me and its something I need to spend more time doing.

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After working out how many hours a day I actually waste binge watching ‘How to Get Away with Murder’; Monarch calculated where I could have gone on holiday and it’s pretty amazing.

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I’m not reconsidering how I spend my time because I realise, I waste so much. I’m also now desperate to fly somewhere. If you want to see where you could fly to with all the time you procrastinate, you can here.

-Hannah X

Lessons I’ve Learned from Travelling

One of my News Years resolutions is to travel more (on a side note, I finally have a holiday booked with my best friends! yay!) so when the lovely people GoEuro got in touch and asked if I wanted to take part in their #travellessons competition I couldn’t get on board quick enough.

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I like to think I’ve done an okay job at travelling, although there are tonnes of places I am dying to go to, so here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt;

  1. Make An Itinerary

This might sound like a boring thing to do but it actually isn’t. If I know I am going somewhere, especially if it’s somewhere I know I’m not going to be going back to for a while; I like to plan what I am going to do. I feel like this way I can make sure that I see and do everything I want to and don’t come home feeling like I didn’t see everything.

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2.  Don’t Believe Reviews

I love nothing more that scrolling through trip advisor and other people’s blog posts to get reviews on hotel, restaurants and tourist spots but I’ve found that you have to take everything with a pinch of salt. I recently went to a hotel in Paris and read some pretty dire reviews but when I went there I couldn’t have loved it more. The atmosphere was great as was the location and staff. Always make your own reviews; remember not everyone has the same taste as you.

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3. Talk To Local People

While trip advisor and Lonely Planet pocket guides are great, there is nothing better than talking to local people to find out what’s on offer whether that be a day trip or a restaurant. I found this when I was in New York last year; while standing outside the New York Palace hotel pretending I was Serena van der Woodsen, a man came up to me and my mum and gave us so many recommendations that were not your normal touristy things to do.

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4. Never Say Never

Always get stuck in! Don’t turn your nose up at anything because you may live to regret it. Try the different food, go on the trips, talk to people, get the most out of your holiday!

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5. Take Photographs

Memories eventually fade so what better way to capture every moment than with a photograph. Photos are such a great keepsake to look back on and remember all the fun things you done while travelling

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What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt from travelling?

-Hannah X

2017 Goals

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The classic saying goes; new year, new me; and usually I internally cringe when I hear this particular phrase being said, however, I can’t help but think about what I want to achieve from 2017. Normally people always set themselves massive goals, but this year, instead of setting myself an unrealistic resolution, like going to the gym, (which I’m only going to abandon by mid May) I have decided to set myself mini, more attainable goals that I know I will succeed at.

  1. Early Mornings

I’m usually the worst for waking up early when I don’t have anything going on and when I do eventually get out of my bed, I always feel like I have wasted a part of the day. I’m determined to get up early and make the most out of my days, especially on days off or when I don’t start work until later. Although, that being said, the cold, dark mornings are making this quite difficult already.

2. Career Change

Sticking on the theme of work, (bore, I know) I want 2017 to be the year that I finally say goodbye to retail. I actually love where I work and all of the people I work with but I want a Monday- Friday routine and my weekends back, so I can finally have that ‘Friday feeling’.

3. Travel

Bit of a cliche one here, but I’m determined to make 2017 the year of holidays, exploring and mini adventures. I want to go abroad to new places and also explore some of the hidden gems England has to offer. Considering I spent New Years in Scotland, I’d say this one if off to a good start.

4. Blogging

It happens to the best of us but towards the end of 2016 I really lost my blogging mojo, but I have a feeling 2017 is going to be my blogs year and I am planning on getting frequent posts up every week.

5. Be Happy

I have decided that 2017 is the year that I step out of my comfort zone more and care less about what others think. This time next year I want to look back and know that I did everything I possibly wanted to do and more and that I was happy. I have so many great people in my life so I’m pretty sure this is going to be an easy one!

What are your goals for 2017?

-Hannah X

 

Wanderlust Tag

It’s that time of year when a lot of people travel abroad for a week or two in the sun and that has got me thinking a lot about traveling and where I want to go to next. I’ve seen quite a few tag posts working their way around the blogosphere so of course I had to do one too.

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Your most treasured passport stamp?

I actually only have two stamps on my passport and they are both from New York and I love them. NYC is my favourite place in the world so I love looking at those two stamps.


Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?
I don’t; my brain and numbers is the worst combination! 


Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or automobiles?
I know a lot of people don’t,  but I absolutely love flying; especially if it’s a long haul flight where you can just sit and get lost in the countless films and tv shows they have. Also, there is nothing better than looking out the window and being above the clouds.


Top three travel items?
Camera, Sunglasses, Friends 😉


Hostel or hotel?
Hotel. I wish I could say hostel, but a nice hotel would win every time!


Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
A bit of both. If I’ve gone to a place I enjoyed then of course I’d go back, but theres nothing better than visiting new places and seeing other parts of the world.

Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or do you wing it?
Again, a bit of both. I always read up on hotels and stuff and whats around where I’m staying but its no fun if you know everything before you go; it’s nice to be surprised.


Favourite travel website?
I love a bit of trip advisor but apart from that I don’t really go on travel websites; I prefer going on Youtube and watching people’s blogs from trips.


Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name city and why.
London. It’s covered in history and impressive architecture and it has so much to offer. I love it going and exploring areas I haven’t been to yet.


You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?
America; probably the West coast to San Francisco and LA; with a trip to Disneyland too!


– Hannah X

 

New York City 2016

At the end of March, to celebrate my cousin’s birthday; me, my mum and 2 of my aunts and 2 of my cousins travelled across the Atlantic to my favourite place in the world, New York City! Since going with my school back in 2011, I have been ridiculously desperate to go back, so it is safe to say I was pretty excited. After a long day travelling, I was excited to see what the next 4 days had in store for us!

Day 1 – 31st March

We got to our hotel, The Roosevelt, at about 7pm the night before so technically this was our second day in the city but the first full day. We all woke up super early at about 6am (thanks jet lag) but to be honest, I didn’t mind because it meant we would be getting the most of our day. Now, seeing as I am a massive Gossip Girl fan, and planned on spending the whole trip waltzing down the upper east side pretending I was Serena van der Woodsen, I had to go to the New York Palace hotel, which my mum kindly walked with me too on the first morning. It was just as amazing as I thought it was going to be and I definitely felt like I was part of Manhattan’s Elite. We continued our day, with a downtown open bus tour, which would take us all the way down Broadway toward the 9/11 memorial and Battery Park. This was great because not only were we getting around the City, but the tour guide was pointing out and giving us information about some of the most famous landmarks. We made it to the 9/11 memorial which was more moving than I thought it was going to be; seeing where the towers stood made it all so real, it wasn’t a documentary on TV or a picture online, we were there, where it all happened. It was quite an emotional experience. We continued walking towards Battery Park where we got a Ferry to the Statue of Liberty. I forgot how magnificent and beautiful Lady Liberty is and it was so amazing to come out of the hustle and bustle and appreciate that incredible skyline. After walking back through Canal Street, Little Italy and China Town to get to Times Square, we had some dinner and then boarded another tour bus. This tour was a nighttime tour which went over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn and stopped off down by the Hudson River so we could see the whole city lit up. This was such a highlight for me because not only had I never been to Brooklyn before, but I have never seen such a beautiful view in my whole life and I think that is what made me completely fall in love with the big apple.

 

 

Day 2 – 1st April

Again, another early start but we had even more planned for our second full day. We got our final bus tour which took us all over uptown Manhattan, through Harlem, and back down the Upper East Side to Central Park. It was such a beautiful day so we took the opportunity to walk through the park to see Strawberry Fields. After a little while of people watching and soaking up the sun, we headed to the Rockefeller Centre to get tickets to go to the top. I’ve been up the Empire State but given the choice, I’d pick The Top of the Rock anyway. The views are just as breath taking at the top of both but you get to see the whole Empire State from the Rockefeller Centre, so that wins bonus points. We knew we all wanted to see a show, so we made our way back to Times Square to see what deals they had on tickets. Luckily, we were able to get 6 tickets to Matilda, which wasn’t originally on my list of ‘must see shows’ but, I am so happy we saw it. It was absolutely incredible and I’ve been obsessed with the soundtrack ever since. Definitely go see it if you ever get the chance where you are.

 

 

Day 3 – 2nd April

Today was shopping day! We decided to all split off into families so me and mum headed straight to Macy’s. I knew I wanted to get a Designer bag but wasn’t sure what one/brand; so after spotting a gorgeous Michael Kors one, mum actually suggested to go to Century 21 to see if they had any there and if not, we would go back to Macy’s to get that one. We decided to get the Subway which was super easy to navigate and in no time we are in Century 21! After a little hunting around, I found a stunning Grey, leather Michael Kors bag, which I knew I had to own, so of course I decided it was mine. I actually think I walked around with in in my hands because I was so scared someone was going to go in the basket and pick it out haha. We stayed in C21 was a few hours and picked up so many bargains before getting the Subway back to Times Square so we could walk to 5th Avenue and continue our shopping. From the minute I knew we were going to NY, I knew I wanted a Tiffany bracelet and after searing the website and finding the one I wanted, I bit the bullet and went in to get it, I mean if you’re going to get a Tiffany bracelet, it has to be from actual Tiffany’s New York, right? I’m so in love with it, sometimes I open the box just to have a peak. We all met back at the lobby and headed out for our last dinner together. We all got so many recommendations to go to Ellen’s Stardust Diner so we kept this for the last night so it would be extra special. I loved Ellen’s, the food was great and I loved singing along to all the musical songs the waiters were singing. It was unlike anything I had experience before but I loved it!

Day 4 – 3rd April

Sadly we were going home later today 😦 but we wanted to get the most out of our last few hours. With a cab coming to pick us up at 4, we did some last minute shopping on 5th Ave. and had a big lunch at an Irish pub. I was so sad to be going home so I made sure that in the cab to the airport I took in the last sights of the beautiful city.

I can’t begin to tell you how said I am to be back in England, still 2 weeks later. New York definitely has my heart and I am sure I will be back in no time!

-Hannah X

Top Places to Visit

I’m off to New York in about 9 days and it has got me thinking about all the other places I want to travel to throughout 2016. There are so many places that I’ve never been too but I’m dying to visit and like wise, there are so many countries I’m desperate to go back too

Paris, France – I love Paris, it’s one of my favourite cities. Everything is so beautiful, picturesque and full of culture, you can’t help but love it (and its so close to Disneyland)

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Santorini, Greece – This place speaks for itself really; it is stunning! I’d love to explore all the little cobbled streets and pretend I’m Part of the Mama Mia film

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Rome, Italy – For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go to Rome, purely so I can reenact the Lizzie McGuire movie. Well, and see the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain.

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Vancouver, Canada – I’d love to go here during the Winter when there is lots of snow; I can’t just image Canada to be really pretty and great for taking landscape photogrpahs

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Where would you like to travel to? Rental car have a quiz on their website which allows you to guess the area simply by looking at a picture! Have a go, it’s super fun (and one of my photographs made the quiz, its the Windsor one ;))

http://www.rentalcars.com/en/worldwide-where/

-Hannah X

 

Hand Luggage Essentials

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Travelling, apart from photography, is my favourite thing to do. I don’t like being in the same spot for too long and I love exploring new places. Tomorrow, I am off to Spain to stay with my best friends/second family that moved out there about 12 years ago (even writing that has got me so excited) so I thought I would share my hand luggage essentials.

1. Digital Camera

I love using my iPhone for taking pictures and sharing them straight away via social media but for me, no trip is complete without a camera of some sort and having a little compact one is perfect for capturing all the memories without weighing down your bag.

2. Emoji Disposable Camera

I love using disposable cameras because the images always look old fashioned and vintage and this camera does that and more! I picked this up in the urban outfitters sale for £4, I know crazy! It has emojis already scratched into the negatives so when you get it developed the emojis are part of the picture. pretty cool right?

3. Passport

Arguably the most important thing, I won’t get very far without it haha. Continue reading “Hand Luggage Essentials”