Rome… I love you.

I’m so glad that you are all enjoying my recent posts on places I’ve visited around the world. I visited Rome back in 2016 as a present for my partner. I never expected to fall in love with Rome as much as I did. Rome can be a tricky place to organise your travels as it can be extremely expensive and most people don’t know where to start with hotels, flights and trips. I for one was one of them.

Research

I spent a lot of time researching different areas of Rome as certain areas can be more expensive and certain areas can be unsafe. Vatican City is quite some distance from the centre of Rome (coliseum area) so I definitely knew that I wouldn’t want to stay near Vatican City. However, I definitely knew that I would love to be within walking distance of all major sites. That narrowed down the areas in which I could stay. The next thing that I spent a lot of time researching is what time of the year should I visit and what airline should I use. April-September can consist of some of the largest numbers of crowds; one thing I really hate is large crowds. I decided to travel in March so that the weather isn’t to bad and that I get to visit most of the sites in reasonable crowds. As I decided to go out of season, most airlines didn’t fly to Rome during this time. I was quite limited in whom I could travel/book with. I ended up booking our trip and flights with British Airways (connecting via Heathrow). This worked out much cheaper than most other airlines due to the time of year and because it had a tiny connection (I flew Manchester-Heathrow-Fiumicino) my layover in Heathrow was around 40 minutes.

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Flights and accommodation

I decided to visit Rome for a week as I truly wanted to experience and emerge myself in the local culture. As previously mentioned we travelled with British Airways from Manchester airport to Heathrow (roughly 45 minute flight) we then had short layover booked and then we continued to Fiumicino,Rome. However, it did not go to plan and our Manchester flight was delayed to London so we missed our connecting flight to Rome. This was sorted out promptly as we were booked on the next available flight to Fiumicino which actually ended up arriving 30 minutes later than our original flight; so it wasn’t to bad. The flights this time of year also tend to be quiet and I can vouch for this as the flights to Rome and home were reasonably quiet. We opted to stay in a boutique style hotel rather than a main stream one. So… Hotel Morgana was our final choice. I was very skeptical upon booking this hotel as it was an extremely reasonable price with breakfast and WiFi included for 6 nights. However, it was one of the nicest and friendliest hotels that I have ever experienced. The staff were outstanding, honest and welcoming. They were super helpful with advice on restaurants, trips and anything that you need. The breakfast host was my favourite person in the hotel! (I believe his name is Vincenzo if I remember correctly. I apologise if it’s spelt incorrectly.) He was so pleasant and welcoming and I looked forward to seeing him every morning he was a part of my day and also made great cappuccinos. The hotel was being renovated and we were lucky enough to stay in one of the newly refurbished rooms. The rooms in boutique hotels are usually reasonably small and this was no exception however it was beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. It was my home away from home. It was also a reasonably quiet hotel; I didn’t hear any other guests or any street noise so it was perfect to get a decent nights sleep after a long day of sightseeing. The hotel was perfect for us! It isn’t in the best of areas (or shall I say the most expensive areas) but it was safe, clean and the locals were all friendly. Like every other city in the world you should expect beggars, pick-pockets etc. But I was never made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe in the area. The hotel was about a 10-15 minute walk to the Coliseum (maybe 20 minutes if you stroll). It was pretty central to all the sites except the Vatican; everything else we easily walked too.

Money and budget

I will be very honest… Rome is all about the food! It just so happens to be quite expensive too especially if you want to indulge. We was lucky that our hotel included a breakfast and a really good quality breakfast! We only had to worry about spending money on lunch and dinner (maybe the odd few snacks). Lunch is quite easy and can be done on a reasonable budget however dinner is the difficult part as by this time in the day you are usually hungry, tired and ready to relax after a long day of sightseeing. I would definitely recommend eating away from the major tourist areas as they do increases the prices around those areas. I’m not talking about a hike away either most of the time you can find a reasonably priced restaurant about a 10 minute walk from the main tourist attractions. You’ll be able to tell which restaurants are for the tourist because the prices are extortionate and it’s filled with tourists who have fallen into the trap. I prefer to visit the more authentic places to have an official Italian meal! You probably won’t need a lot of money for travelling (i.e. taxis etc.) as everything is within walking distance. You may need to book a transfer to and from the airport. The most important things that you budget for are trips and food. The trips you can easily save money on depending on what you want to do and what time of the year you go… but more on that later.

Trips

Here is a list of all the major sites we visited:

  • The coliseum
  • Vatican City
  • Capuchin Crypts
  • The pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain
  • The Spanish Steps
  • The Roman Forum/ Palatine Hill

The Coliseum

This is a place that you have to visit when you go to Rome. It is truly stunning and I couldn’t believe that the place still actually stands to this day! It is full of history and its even more breathtaking upon stepping inside. I paid quite a lot of money for this tour as it was the one thing that my partner had always wanted to do. So I booked a tour with an English tour guide with underground access, third floor access and information provided. We also got to visit Palentine Hill and the roman forum with this tour. However, I wouldn’t recommend paying over the odds for this tour when you can actually pay for tickets at the coliseum that start at around €10 and increase if you want a tour guide and access to different areas. I would definitely recommend visiting the underground and the third floor as you get an amazing view and a different outtake from the different areas. We were very lucky as we got amazing weather the day that we visited the coliseum and the sun truly captured the architecture well. I paid roughly £80 for our tour and it included (the above) plus skip-the-line access; but the lines in off-peak season are usually not that bad anyway. We also visited a few days later and paid €10 for the both of us but this did not include any other access or perks or information.

Vatican City

I literally could not wait to visit here! I had heard such great things about the tours and opted for one of the more expensive and longer tours. It cost me again roughly £80 but again we got skip-the-line access, a English speaking tour guide and access to a variety of different areas. I booked the tour for 2pm as Vatican. City is quite a while a way from Rome city centre. We walked from our hotel to here purely because we love to explore cities and we found that this would be the best way to see it. It approximately took 2 hours to walk but obviously a taxi or bus would be a lot shorter. Our tour lasted roughly 1 hour- 2hours and then we were left in St.Peters Basilica and free to leave when we wanted. I would advise anyone who visits Rome to also visit the Vatican. I am not a religious person and neither is my partner but it was truly amazing and educational to see how much history that this place does have. Sistine chapel is astounding and it is truly breathtaking; I could not believe how long ago it was painted. Be warned that this will probably take an entire day to explore and see everything that you may want to see; the Vatican is absolutely huge! The staff are really friendly and our tour guide was informative and answered all questions asked. He actually had a really good relationship with staff and guards at the Vatican.

Capuchin Crypts

I believe that Rome has a few different crypts but upon researching this looked to be the most popular at the time. It was reasonably cheap costing roughly €17 for us both. It has a mini museum that educates you on the history of the crypts and it was really informative. However, if you cannot handle anything death related I would not advise visiting the crypts as it can be extremely eerie and emotional. After the museum, you have the option to visit the crypts; I won’t go into to much information about this place as I believe you should really experience it for yourself and I would not want to explain anything incorrectly.

The Pantheon

I had never really heard of the Pantheon before our trip to Rome. We discovered this place existed upon sitting at a local Irish bar and the bartender advised us to visit as it is his favourite place in the entire world. He described it as “only aliens could have made this place, as it is huge and beautiful.” He basically had me drawn to it from the minute he told us it was his favourite place. It is probably my favourite place in Rome now. I remember stumbling upon the Pantheon and just being in awe of its size in comparison to the surrounding buildings. It is free to go inside. Upon walking inside, my jaw literally dropped! The bartender was right… how was this place built? I couldn’t believe that this place existed and was created by people before modern engineering, technology and tools. This truly astonished me. We spent about an hour inside of the Pantheon and then a further hour sat outside of it; we just could not believe such a place existed!

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Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps

Be prepared for large crowds at the Trevi Fountain! We visited around 2-3 times and each time was a different time in the day; every single time it was just as busy! The crowds are huge! The fountain is much bigger than I expected and it is completely out of place being surrounded by shops and restaurants! However, you must visit the fountain and make a wish! I can’t really comment on the Spanish steps as they were being refurbished when we visited, however, the view from the top is beautiful and you can see for miles across the city.

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

I enjoyed walking around the old ruins and learning about Rome and how it was built. We had a tour guide for this part too as we had access to this with the coliseum tour. However, I wouldn’t really waste your money on a tour in here. As it is much more fun and enjoyable to explore on your own. As sometimes the tour guide was taking us to places that didn’t have much history compared to other places. We visited here around sunset and it was really stunning! Many of the old ruins are closest to the exit and I’d go earlier on in the day so you have enough time to explore as much as you like and to not feel rushed.

 

Top tips:

  1. Eat locally and stay away from mainstream restaurants located around the main tourist places.
  2. Don’t take anything to valuable and don’t fall into a trap of talking to people that want to give you things; pickpocketing and robbery is apparently one of the worst crimes against tourists.
  3. Do your research before you go!
  4. Try to go in off-peak season to avoid paying a lot of money just to visit in the summer.
  5. You don’t always have to prebook tours depending on when you’re visiting.
  6. Make a plan before you go; such as places you want to see, restaurants you want to try and plan your days out specifically so you don’t miss anything out.
  7. Spend sometime getting lost and exploring the city we found some of the best restaurants and places by doing this.
  8. Have the best time!

I never expected to love Rome as much as i did. But… Rome truly has my heart. It is now one of my favourite places in the world and I cannot wait to visit again soon. I hope you enjoyed my breakdown of my Rome trip and I hope it was informative and something that you could potentially find useful in the future!

Comment if you really enjoyed this post and subscribe to my mailing list for more posts like this!

Love,

Holly xoxo

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My Trip to Barbados

I visited Barbados earlier this month. I was lucky enough to travel with my Mum whom works on the airlines. Oh the perks of an air hostess mother! We stayed at Needham Point in the Hilton. The 9 hour flight journey is definitely worth it; I would happily travel there everyday.

Barbados captured my heart instantly. I fell in love with the friendly culture and the Caribbean lifestyle. I am truly blessed for being able to visit such a beautiful island. I know my pictures have most definitely not captured the true beauty of this stunning island. I have never felt so at home on holiday. I would happily live there. I’d actually give anything to pack my family, friends and home to take it all to Barbados.

We managed to do an island tour with a local business and it was one of the most beautiful trips that I have ever been on. We visited the most beautiful sites of the island and we travelled completely around it too. My favourite stop was most definitely Bathsheba or North Point. Each place we visited was completely different and individually stunning. I fell in love with an island that I may possibly never visit again. I wish I could visit there more often but it is an expensive place to travel too. If you know someone on the island then it is a perfect way to find hidden places that many tourists may have never found.

In Needham point there is a famous ‘shack’ known as ‘Dave’s Shack’. It is so popular for fish cutters as my mum told me. I enjoyed them but make sure you get their early or you’ll be waiting in a little cue. You have to try a Dave’s sandwich if you visit Barbados! There is also another ‘Shack’ closer to the Hilton hotel; this is known as ‘Lefty’s’ and Andrew does the best bacon or egg sandwiches ever. I think I was there every morning waiting for my breakfast. We all need a bit of english comfort food.

I had a try at some water sports whilst I was there. I attempted to paddle board (emphasis on attempted) I failed miserably. I have no balance on land never mind on water! I spent the majority of this ocean trip on my bottom because I was far to scared to fall back into the water from my previous attempt at standing up. It was amazing to paddle out in the clearest water that I’ve ever witnessed! I was lucky enough to see two HUGE stingrays and a rather large turtle. I have never seen such amazing and beautiful creatures in the wild before. I was truly blessed to see them swim wildly and free. On another day I spent the afternoon kayaking with two of my friends. We managed to see yet another turtle in glorious habitat. I think we may have spent half an hour following the turtle back and forth because we was so fascinated by this amazing creature.

Apparently the rays from the sun are a lot stronger in Barbados but I didn’t take any notice and completely burnt myself on the first day. It calmed down after one or two days but good god did it hurt at first! I can only advise you to completely soak yourself in sunscreen!

I have made so many new memories that I will most definitely cherish forever. I am the type of person that falls in love with places and I will never let go of those memories. I hope to visit Barbados again soon. I will post some pictures below.

Places I recommend to visit whilst in Barbados:

  • Dave’s Shack and Lefty’s Shack
  • JuJu’s Beach Bar
  • Northpoint
  • Copacabana Beach Bar
  • Bathsheba

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A look back on my trip to Barbados

Barbados… you still have my heart! I visited Barbados back in 2015 and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. The last time I wrote about my trip, I didn’t share much information other than the standard information! Now I want to revisit my old post but give you all my advice, tips and tricks on what to do and what not do whilst in Barbados.

Flights and accommodation

Barbados can be one of the most expensive places to visit in the world however you can get some really good deals. The average price for a week in Barbados starts at £700 travelling from the UK. Just like everywhere else in the world the Caribbean islands also have off-peak seasons which are usually in their expected hurricane season. Although, Barbados rarely is affected by bad weather, this is when it is most likely to occur and it could possibly ruin your holiday as everything in Barbados is pretty much outdoors. It’s around an 7-9 hour flight depending on tail winds and weather conditions. It doesn’t feel as long as that as the flight times are usually quite early in the day so you leave and land in daylight. I rarely ever price up just flights to Barbados because 9/10 times it works out more expensive and a package deal can sometimes be your best bet. I’d avoid Sandy Lanes also if you’re looking for a cheaper option there are plenty of amazing hotels around the island. When I visited, I stayed in the Hilton at Needham’s Point. It’s a beautiful part of the island and the island is small enough to get around easily. I’d recommend that you do a lot of research before you travel.

Food and drink

I’d say that the food in Barbados is absolutely amazing. If I had to describe it in 3 words, I’d choose; fresh; authentic; soulful. A lot of the food in Barbados is caught fresh; predominately seafood. I would definitely recommend trying the street food over there. Two of my favourite food places where street food and they where both in tiny huts on the edge of the beach but both offered some of the most amazing food I have every tried. The drinks are as you would expect… absolutely amazing! Cocktails on the beach has never felt so good! It is also fairly priced as most restaurants are average priced for really good food. However, you can go and visit much more high end restaurants and as you’d expect you will pay a lot more money in them. If I remember correctly I spent approximately $200 on food and drinks.

Activities and trips

I love Barbados for what it has to offer in this department. There is so much to do… i never expected this before i visited. There is the obvious water sport activities which were one of the favourite things to do. I paddle boarded on the ocean with a turtle and a sting ray swimming along side and underneath me. I kayaked across to the shipwrecks near pebble beach and managed to see another turtle. It’s one of the most amazing feelings to see an animal so happy and free in it’s natural habitat. Apart from water sports there is plenty of history and culture in Barbados. We went on a day trip around the island, discovering places that a lot of tourists don’t get the chance to see. You can visit the very north of the island (called North Point) which is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. It consists of huge cliffs where you can see the ocean crashing against them whilst you sit in the sun. The Flower Caves are also located up North and I never got the chance to visit here however a family member has done and loved every minute of it. The Barbados Wildlife reserve is another must see on my list. It is such a unique and overlooked place (by tourists) I truly loved every second of walking around the grounds of the reserve as well as seeing all of the stunning birds, wildlife and monkeys. The monkeys tend to keep themselves to themselves whilst you walk around the grounds however you do get to catch glimpses of them and if you’re lucky like me you may even see a few baby monkeys; depending on when you visit.

If you would like to read my original post on my Barbados trip then I’ll attach that right here… My Trip to Barbados. I appreciate all feedback and I thought that the response to My Trip to New York City  was absolutely amazing! I truly love sharing my tips and honest reviews on my recent trips around the world and I will continue to do so as long as you all keep enjoying them! I love to hear your comments and to share our stories together.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Love,

Holly x

My trip to NEW YORK CITY

I’m so sorry that I have been a bit M.I.A for the past few weeks but I have been on my travels and I recently visited New York. It was my treat to my boyfriend for his Christmas present. I thought that it may be a good idea to share my thoughts and experiences on my time in the city that never sleeps.

Travel a.k.a Flights

I booked our trip back in November 2017 and I got what I thought was a fantastic deal. The hotel had mixed reviews and the bad ones were predominantly about the staff so I opted to stay anyway. I booked our holiday via British Airways as I am a member of the executive club (anybody can join this… It’s more like a loyalty card) I earn points and rewards each and everytime that I fly with or book through British Airways. I had to choose the hotel by myself as it was a surprise present to my boyfriend. I found this extremely stressful; as I wanted a good location, clean hotel, helpful staff and good amenities. I decided to go for ‘The Premier Times Square by Millennium’. It was located on 44th street and was literally a 1 minute walk to Times Square. Perfect location for new travellers! We had an early flight and arrived in New York around noon so by the time we arrived at the hotel (4pm) we still had plenty of time to explore. The location of our hotel meant that we were literally 15 minutes away from 5th Avenue and Central Park. Most things were within 30 minute walking distance. We did walk to lower Manhattan to visit the one world observatory and this did take a bit longer than expected but well worth the walk.

Food and Drinks

Food is extremely expensive in New York. I was prepared for this but it still shocked me on how extortionate some prices were. An average starter/appetisers in the UK cost roughly £6-£13; in New York this price was drastically increased to $11-$20! I understand that with the current conversion rate would bring the price to roughly the same as the UK; Don’t forget about the addition of tax and tips! It all adds up in the end. I was spending roughly $75-$100 on food before tips. It’s true… street food actually is much better than the high end/ chain restaurants. I’d recommend that you try your best to research restaurants before you go as you can find much better fairly priced restaurants in the area without all of the hassle of long wait times, staff that are just to busy to look after you and you can get really crap food. Plus you’re helping the local economy and supporting local family business’. Alcoholic drinks can be expensive; sometimes even soda and non-alcoholic drinks can be pricey too! Although most places do offer free refills however most drinks started at $4-$7 and then the alcoholic drinks started at $12-$25+. On the positive side of things New York is one of the best cities for finding unusual and amazing food/drinks. You will find some of the most amazing and unique places that have brought some of the most unusual ideas for food to life.

Trips

I think you’re probably following that New York is extremely expensive. The trips/tickets don’t differ from the high end of the budget either. Here is a condensed list of everything that we visited:

  1. Central Park
  2. Empire State
  3. Rockefeller centre
  4. American Museum of natural history
  5. Central Park Zoo
  6. One word observatory
  7. 9/11 Museum
  8. Ground zero
  9. Statue of Liberty
  10. Times Square
  11. Ellen’s Stardust Diner
  12. Tiffany & Co (Blue Box Cafe)

Now I’ll try and expand a little bit on each trip.

Central Park and Central Park Zoo

Central Park is the place that you have to visit if you go to New York. It’s such a juxtaposition. You are literally in one of the most beautiful parks and it is surrounded by skyscrapers that you can visibly see towering over the trees. Central Park is free! Of course there are plenty of activities once you’re in the park that you can pay for. However, I didn’t see the point in paying for the horse carriages (apparently they’re not well looked after and are overworked… I’d rather not contribute to the suffering of an animal). On the other hand the Central Park Zoo was one of my favourite parts of the trip. I am not to sure on wether the zoo is a active part of breeding and protecting of wild animals or if it is just a money maker but regardless of this it was one of my favourite things. I am a HUGE lover of animals and I don’t like seeing them in captivity but understand that in some cases it must happen. Once again the Zoo was completely out of place. I was standing in front on the sea lions habitat and in the background you could see the skyline and that is the first time I have ever felt like the zoo was an actual form of a zoo. Usually Zoo’s transport you to somewhere else and make you feel as though you’re in their environment; but in this zoo there is no escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. The Zoo was $24 per person (if I remember correctly) and was well worth it in my opinion. It was also one of the cheaper days out. It was well worth the money!

The Empire State Building

This is one of the most beautiful buildings that I have ever seen. It cost $37 per person to go to the 86th floor (the main viewing platform). Be warned that there are major security measures and expect delays due to security screenings. I didn’t have a problem with the security procedure as I understand there reasons and who can complain at being kept safe? The view from the top is absolutely stunning and is well worth visiting. The price is a bit expensive especially when you end up paying $74 for two people when you are more than likely only going to spending around an hour up there. I would not recommend booking in advance either as the weather conditions can really disrupt your view. Ignore anybody that tells you the lines are overly long and you wait hours because you wait a maximum of 30 minutes throughout it all as it is broken into sections (security, ticket booths, lifts). We were very lucky that we had good weather when we went up to view; nothing but clear sky’s and a beaming sun. We also visited one world observatory on the same day… more about that later.

Rockefeller centre

We never went to Top of the Rock as there are just so many buildings that you can visit. Plus if you where to do all three (The Empire State, One World Observatory and Top of the Rock) then you’re looking at spending about $225 dollars. We spent some time outside of the building and watched people ice skate. It’s quite an outstanding building but I just didn’t see the point in visiting the top of it.

American museum of Natural History

I could not wait to visit this museum as we all know and love it for the film ‘Night at the Museum’. Although the film isn’t physically filmed there it is based accurately on the museum and it is one of the largest museums that I have ever visited! I had to have a few sit downs after a while of walking around it. There is just so much to see and learn. However, you could spend hours and hours upon end in this place, I’d recommend that you tear yourself away from it once you have seen everything that you actually want to see. You can find yourself wasting time when there is so much more to see. For example, we visited Central Park zoo before visiting the museum. Don’t forget that the museum have a recommended price for tickets which I believe is $23 dollars per person for entry. However, it is only recommended and you can donate as little or as much as you like and still gain entry.

One World Observatory, 9/11 Museum and Ground Zero

We walked all the way to One World Observatory and it is a beautiful walk but it is extremely long too. We did not use a map because we literally followed the One World building all the way down as it towers above everything and it’s pretty obvious to gather locations in New York. The first thing you see when you arrive is the huge towering skyscraper of One World. If you walk around the building you will then see Ground Zero. This is one of the most emotional places that I have ever visited; you instantly feel connected to the city on another level. The fountains that they have made in ground zero are beautiful and honour all of the people that sadly lost there lives that day. If you do visit Ground zero then I would definitely recommend visiting the 9/11 museum, it will educate you and remind you of all the people that where tragically taken away from their families that day. One World Observatory costs roughly the same as The Empire State Building ($37 per person…$74 for a couple). I decided to do both buildings as you get two totally different views of the city and in my opinion is well worth it. The view from the observatory is amazing, you can see all of the bridges (Manhattan and Brooklyn) as well as getting one of the best views of the Statue of Liberty.

Times Square

If you visit Times Square then be prepared for large crowds and a rowdy atmosphere. It is extremely busy and hard to move around. There isn’t actually that much to do in Times Square. In my opinion once you’ve been there then you’ve seen it. It is a sight to see. It is very large in stature and it doesn’t ever seem to be nighttime there. If you stay local to Times Square then be prepared for the surrounding area(s) to be lit up like a Christmas tree all day; everyday. There are plenty of restaurants and shops; however Times Square is extremely expensive to eat and drink, as you’d expect.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

If you’re a lover of musical theatre then this place is a must! I love a good musical but I am not a die hard lover of them. On the other hand, my boyfriend is a hater of anything musical theatre but to be fair to him, he did give this place a go… and he liked it! This place is an experience like no other. It has upcoming broadway stars that sing as they wait on you. You literally get snippets of shows whilst you eat. Although it can again be quite expensive ($90 for a breakfast kinda’ expensive) I truly did enjoy the experience and I have never done anything like it. Nor do I believe anything else like that exists anywhere else. Be warned that there is a line (9/10 times) that wraps around the side of the diner however don’t be put off as the staff get you sat at a table as soon as they possibly can. When we joined the line, I expected to wait around 30-40 minutes but we were sat in around 10 minutes. They pull groups out of the line in order of how many need to be seated. So if there are groups of 4’s and you’re a group of 2; then a group of 2 table becomes free then you’re going to get sat before any of the other groups purely because they have a relevant table available. I like this policy.

Tiffany & Co. The Blue Box Café

This was the one thing that I wanted to do whilst in New York. I wanted to pretend that I was Holly Golightly and that I was eating breakfast at Tiffanys. The café opened last year (2017) and is one of the most sought after places to get a table at. They only accept bookings and bookings can only be made on an app called RESY. I visited New York in early February and I started trying to book a table around December so at least 2 months in advance. I believe that dates don’t become available until 30 days before but I still checked relentlessly. By the time the 30 day time frame came up, I could not get a table with time differences and so on, however, you could set a notification for when a table becomes available due to cancellation. I must have received about 14 notifications for cancelled tables and each time somebody beat me to it. Around 30 people try to book the table at the same time so it literally is whoever has the fastest connection and fingers. I gave up at this point. Then I was in the line in The Empire State Building and I got a notification and I instantly clicked and confirmed (It had a banner telling me 28 other people are also looking at this now) then I got the confirmation and I almost died. I had finally gotten a table after a month of hardcore effort everyday. When the day finally arrived to visit, I was so excited. I can’t praise the host enough! I thought that I may get a bit judged or a rude welcoming as I am a young traveller and I’m not exactly of Tiffany & Co kinda’ rich. However, he was pleasant and instantly put me at ease and set up a beautiful table in the corner. The café itself is actually really small, I’d say it has not more than 15 tables. We ordered the Afternoon Tea option. It was $49 pp. It’s not worth the price but it’s an experience that I really wanted to do. The afternoon tea is really pretty and looks phenomenal however, I wish it would taste nearly as good as it looked. It’s for people with a very specific taste (not like me and my boyfriend who are big foodies) The tea was incredible. I asked for advice on what tea I should choose and our waitress kindly advised trying the ‘White wedding’ for myself and ‘Tiffany blend’ for my boyfriend. I deeply enjoyed the tea. The food was as you’d expect: finger sandwiches, small scones and a few cakes and treats. The sandwiches and scones were vile. I’d say one of the sandwiches was edible and that was some sort of chicken sandwich. I hated the smoked salmon, cucumber and goats cheese and whatever the vegan sandwich contained. My boyfriend did like the smoked salmon but I could not stand it. The sweets and treats where the best part of it but even still they was not to the standard what I expected. However, we had an amazing afternoon and we where so well looked after. We also enjoyed seeing everyone else’s expressions whilst they tried there food… let’s just say their faces was not most pleased. I had to laugh! The total bill came to roughly ($120 with tax and tip). Well worth it if you want to experience Tiffanys.

If you have any other questions about anything that I have written or may not have written about then feel free to comment below and let me know. Hopefully, I wrote about things that are useful and that you would want to read. But feel free to ask if I haven’t answered anything specific.

Don’t forget to sign up to the email listing so you receive notifications every time I post.

Thanks,

Holly x

5 reasons on why I joined the Gym

Right… now I am not a fit, healthy or active person. I am literally the opposite of the average gym goer. However, I have opted to join a gym. Here is a list of reasons on why I eventually joined a gym.

#1: I’ve put on quite a bit of weight

 

I have always had an extremely fast metabolism and this kept me really nice and thin until I was around 17 years old. I was slightly underweight but I just couldn’t put the weight on no matter what I tried. Since, I met my boyfriend; My metabolism has slowed down dramatically and my appetite and multiplied by 1000! I haven’t even put that much weight on; The last time I checked it was roughly 3 stone that I had put on. I am finally the weight I am supposed to be, however, I have piled it on in 3 places. My bum, face and tummy. Why couldn’t it have deposited evenly around my body? I am in no way shape or form trying to body shame but my body shape just suit or look healthy with where all of my weight now is. Although I am reasonably healthy and this IS the optimum weight for my height and frame size. I just never felt 100% confident in my own body! Now it’s time for that to change.

#2: Instagram

 

I’m not going to lie to you but instagram was a factor in making my decision to join a gym. I see so many stunning fit and healthy girls with beaming smiles and just like all of you, I want to be that girl. Yes… I may not ever be even close to what they look like but at least I’m trying to better myself to feel more confident in myself; even if it makes me smile more. Another thing about Instagram is that it inspires me to try new activities, to travel the world and to eat new things. You’ll understand more about this later on.

#3: My Immune system

 

I have one of the worlds worst immune systems to ever exist. I have a susceptibility to anything contagious purely because I have a weak immune system. I’ve done a little bit of research and apparently by working out and changing your diet it can increase/boost your immune system. This is probably one of my most concerning reasons to join a gym. I am in University and I also work part time and I can’t really afford to be ill. Therefore, If I can boost my immune system then I am going to try and benefit my health in one way or another. It can also speed my metabolism up again. If my immune system gets better then I am less at risk of becoming ill whilst travelling. On a recent trip to California, I had the worst case of food poisoning, the average person can get over food poisoning in 3-5 days. It took me nearly 8 days to recover and 4 of these days where without any consumption of food. NO FOOD IN AMERICA!! Do you feel my pain?

#4: Globe trotting

 

I absolutely love to travel! I very rarely ever go on beach holidays and I think 2018 may be the year that I get to go on a beach holiday. I want to feel comfortable and confident wearing a bikini and relaxing by a pool and on the beach. I also want to be able to try EVERY possible type of food available when I travel! I love to truly experience places and there culture; including the food, people and places. Another thing that I find is that my body constantly feels drained or tired when I don’t eat well. Since I have changed my diet and began to eat better (no diets); I have literally just cut out a lot of crap out of my diet and have become more conscious of my portion sizes. Now that I’m feeling more awake and able to actually do things, I’ll be able to go out and conquer the world!

#5: I have a lot of wasted spare time

 

I don’t have a lot of spare time but I do waste a lot of the time that I do have. Before I joined the gym, I would usually have about 5hours spare time a night (if I wasn’t working) and I figured that if I went to the gym for at least an hour on those days then I will be looking and feeling a lot better in a short time. So far, I have been going the gym 5 times a week and having 2 rest days. I usually do approximately 1 hour at the gym, I don’t see the point in spending any longer most of the time because I am still a beginner although I am a lot stronger than I expected!

So far, I have been nothing but aches and pains! Which is a good sign… apparently. I’ve done an awful lot of legs, bums and tums. The main area I want to focus on is my tummy, I’d just like it a little bit more toned. But apart from that, I am NOT dieting! I do not personally see the point in depriving my body of essential things that it needs and also it’s perfectly fine to have a treat every now and again. I have also not bothered weighing myself because I roughly know how much I weigh and when you actually join a gym you put the weight back on anyway with muscle mass, which people some times confuse as putting on weight! Muscle mass is GOOD; it shows that you’re improving and your body is getting stronger.

What are your feelings on my 5 reasons on why I joined the gym?

January Exam Blues

I am at the point in January where I am surrounded by deadlines and exams. I cannot describe the amount of pressure that I and others feel that we are under. Maybe you’re a mother, father, sister, brother or a friend of somebody that is in the same situation as me.

If i’m honest you probably don’t understand how they could ever be this stressed or even question them and ask why they didnt study more?

Well exams now-a-days are not the easiest thing to do. Even with revision. I personally find that the teaching standard can be to blame. All through out my life I have studied physics, maths and chemistry; However, it is and always has been undeniably taught well. I have had the definitions, equations and syllabus drilled into me but what I have NEVER been taught is how to effectively and correctly answer an exam question. I came to this realisation quite recently in one of my exams as I sat there and recognised specific words but I could not determine how I answered the question.

As I am writing this now, I have officially finished all of my exams and I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I can finally have a minute to myself and not feel guilty! Out of my 3 exams, I can honestly say that 2 of them were fine and the other one not so much. I tried my best to revise but with work, life and other commitments it can be extremely difficult.

At last, I can relax and can catch up on my blogs posts and everything else I have missed out!

What are your opinions on exam pressure?

Have you had exams? If so, How did they go?

Holly xx

Welcome to 2018!

It’s that time of the year again, where we all raise a glass and toast to a happy and healthy new year. Most of you will have already decided what your New Years resolution will be; such as to join a gym, eat more healthy or even find a new job.

However, most of these resolutions are apparently unrealistic according to many recent “polls”. I’m a believer in do what ever possibly makes you happy. I recently read an article on horoscopes and how it can influence your goals in the upcoming year. Prior to reading the article; I had already set my 2018 resolution; To travel. Upon reading the article it soon made me realise that my horoscope also believed that 2018 is my year to travel! I am a believer of horoscopes but I am in no way devoted to reading them on a daily basis nor am I ever effected or reliant on them. However, in that moment something clicked and it made me feel as though 2018 is my year to discover a new world.

I am now 21 years of age! Finally of the legal drinking age globally…Amen! I have already explored so much of our planet yet a lot of that has been with family and not always has it been to places that I have wanted to see. Don’t get me wrong I am extremely grateful for everything that I have already seen and done and I couldn’t be anymore happier with how lucky I have been to have a family that also loves to travel. But I am now at the age where I can pick where I want to go and what I want to do. The other thing is that I have a boyfriend and now I have the world to explore with him. I am a very active traveler; I love to do adventurous things and to get lost in new places to discover the true meaning of that place. Even though my boyfriend also loves to try new things and to have fun; He is much more inclined to indulge in the history of a place.

The first place we ever visited together was Rome, Italy. I surprised him with a trip there as a 21st Birthday present. He would always put documentaries and films on about Roman History and dwell on how much he’d love to visit. We finally got the chance to go! It turned out to be one of my all time favourites trips and places. I will definitely do another post on this trip! We have also been lucky enough to visit California; my all time favourite place in the world! This is another trip worth an entire post… I’ll be sure to do that soon!

Now, here we are! It’s 2018! We already have our first trip planned and we our hoping to fit a few more throughout the year. Our next trip is to New York City! I cannot wait to visit this place. This trip again is more of my boyfriends kind of trip however I can’t wait to get lost in a city that never sleeps.

2018 is definitely my year to travel!

What are your 2018 New Years resolutions and goals?