Mexico - travel

October – December or Things I’ve Been Doing While Abandoning This Blog

1st January 2018

Happy New Year and heeellow 2018! Before I start spoiling you with new content let’s look at what I was up to in the last 3 months of 2017. Spoiler alert: actually not that much.

Been there
Mexico: Cancun – Vallolidad – Tulum – Isla Mujeres: to eat tacos and look at rocks that the Mayans left us.

Done That
I finally made it to Mexico! I had just over a week to see what the Yucatan region was all about:

  • The food guys! The food! We can all agree that visiting a new location is all about how many meals and snacks you can fit in between all the other activities and it did not disappoint. The variety in tacos, quesadillas and salsas was beyond even my high hopes – the overall winner had to be Antojitos La Chiapaneca in Tulum, mainly because of the giant salsa table with every topping imaginable.

  • Vallolidad was everything I wanted and more, from checking out to colonial buildings to cooling down in nearby cenotes (underground caverns) and evening walks in the park – even the schoolband that practices their Christmas show until 3 AM outside the hostel had its charm.
  • And then there was the magnificent Chichen Itza – you can read the high and lowlights here.
  • I still don’t know what to think of Cancun itself – one day I might share the story on how I looked death in the eyes not once, not twice, but three times while in Cancun…
  • I have read and seen so much of Tulum on blogs that I had the feeling I already kind of been there and it all sounded amazing on paper but apart from above mentioned tacos I didn’t really feel it… though the swings do get you a lot of IG likes.

I wish I could hibernate through the winter months, but as that’s not too healthy I managed to make something out of the cold and wet London days and I:

  • did the Underground Tour that I had been trying to get to tickets for forever – LOVED IT
  • drowned my tastebuds in a cheese fondue – why did I wait this long!?!?
  • kicked off the first section of the Green Walk – more like a grey walk, but that for another time
  • saw lots of movies – Thor:Ragnarok being a absolute highlight and Justice League the ultimate lowlight
  • made it to The Kitchens in Spittalfields – two thumbs up for the mezze and steamed tofu buns
  • peeked at the Geffrye Museum before they close for refurbishment – great if you love peeking inside other people’s homes
  • checked out the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret – such a little gem and I can’t wait to share more soon

Bucketlist Moments?
Seeing the amazing Chichen Itza, finally getting one of the Underground Tours AND eating Tacos and Quesadillas for a week without getting sick or bored of it. Check, check and check.

Lowlights
As if an 8 hour hour flight isn’t bad enough, mine came with a really really loud little neighbouring passenger. It would have been understandable if the kid was in pain, but the tears were just for attention, and it only zipped it after it got what it wanted.

Missing out on tickets for the Harry Potter exhibition. By the time this self proclaimed fan found about the exhibition the weekend tickets were long gone and I’m not sure I can justify taking time off work for it! Thankfully I caught a documentary on the whole thing, so hopefully that can hold me off for the moment.

What do you have planned for 2018?

travel

7 things I’m leaving behind in 2017

24th December 2017

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited about filling these pages with my new adventures and I’m just know that 2018 will be for Tea C what 2017 was for Cardi B. But before I look ahead I need to say goodbye to a few things.

This pair of sandals that served me good for 4 British Summers plus lots of trips broke beyond repair in Mexico and I had to leave them behind, fairwell you brave ‘soles’. I’ve tried Teva (#nospon), but they are either too big or too small and with the Saltwaters (#nospon) I had the feeling I was turning into some kind of duck creature.

I really need to be a bit less relaxed on confirming important details – and not just assuming things will all work out bright and breezy on the day. This relaxed attitude meant I my mouth was left hanging wide open as the train ticket person told me the price for a journey was three times what I had accounted for! I did do some prep research, but I probably got distracted by a cat GIF…

I have to stop going on trips without cleaning up my phone memory first. I don’t want to be in a situation with a killer sunset happening at Piazzale Michelangelo while I’m stuck deleting photos of a breakfast I had in 2015. Actually … can I leave my phone in 2017?

In addition to the shitty phone, there is also the untrustworthy external charger – that only works if the wind blows in a particular way at any given time and I do a small dance counter-clockwise three times on one leg. This charger with a personality needs the heave ho – it’s forced me way too many times to interact with people for directions without the use of online phone maps.

Stress before going away has eaten away at me a lot more than I like to admit, especiall with uncontrollable reoccurring thoughts and certain actions I had to do to avoid the thoughts. I have taken the first steps and I’m definitely ok and ready to leave behind a chunk of it. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to rearrange my travel guides in order of how hot it was on the day I visited.

And there is the suitcase whose wheels broke after the second time I used it, I need some kind of commitment otherwise you are going to end up in a dust corner. Plus it stressed me out as it’s one of those that may get checked in and who knows how it will reappear…Let’s hope my backpack will last me another 12 years because it’s my comfort blanket and I don’t know if I could take it if those straps gave up on me mid-trip.

When I see an amazing last minute super cheap flight to an exotic island I can’t help but why I didn’t save my annual leaving days instead of doing the 3/4 smaller trips. Just an example of stupid silly what ifs and other worries that come to mind, and as there really is no point in ‘what ifs?’ and they are not worth my time or energy so I’m letting go of those and making my second motto ‘better an oops than a what if’.

What are you leaving behind in 2017?

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Will 2018 Be The Year I Visit These Destinations?

17th December 2017

Though we all want to snuggle up with presents and cheesy Netflix Christmas fare (I’m looking at you Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas) I’ve put down the cocoa and decorations to put on my blogger hat and gather up some of the top destinations I’m planning on heading to next year.

1 | New Orleans
NOLA is all by its lonesome as the last remaining ‘must-visit‘ that I posted on this very blog many moons ago. Maybe in 2018 I will finally blow my head off with excitement as i wander around French Quarter, go on a Cemetery Tour or check out the AHS Coven House?

2 | Belarus
As a Balkan Babe (yes we get a gold membership card, secret passcode, discount rakija and everything) it’s a crying shame I haven’t hit up Belarus – one of the few East European countries left on my list. If there was such a thing the evil Baba Roja will be cursing me and witholding all cevapi for at least a year!

3 | Azores
It may be a small rock in a giant pond, but it’s actually incredibly beautiful, lots of ruins and you can actually get a direct return flight from London for less than a £100 (and not at scary early morning times). As I’m typing this I’m still wondering why I haven’t booked this – BAD TEA!

4 | Bilbao
Bilbao would be perfect for a weekend trip where I finally get to see the metallic beauty of the Guggenheim up close with the giant scary Bourgeois spider (plus loads of art of course), plus the little old town, funicular railway and stuff my face full of pinxtos. Seriously, what else does one need?

5 | Hamburg
Ok I must admit I’ve actually been to Hamburg before, but my trip consisted of dancing in a club all night and then spending 2 hours looking for the right car park, so I haven’t really been there. But I’d love to go and wander around the Warehouse District, see if punk died in St Pauli, get my hipster on at Flohschanze market and act out my godzilla dreams at Miniatur Wunderland.

6 | Cotswolds
Yes Cotswolds might sound like a nasty infection (“I’ve got a case of the cotswolds!), but this is a sprawling countryside region with brick houses in fairy tale like villages that have names likes Stow-on-the-Wold, Wotton-under-Edge, Bourton-on-the-Water – nope I’m not making up those names, but just to be sure, let’s go see if they’re real.

7 | Terschelling
Terwhat? Terschelling is one of the Dutch islands (yes, we have islands!) and I simply want to to stroll on the beach, do a mudflat hike and light the hearth in the evening while reading a super cheesy book.

8 | Albania
Yes, another place I should have visited as a Balkan Babe™, plus it’s the ideal budget friendly escape for 2018. To top it off – WOW Air now flies from London to Tirana so there is not really an excuse left. Except you know that by now I don’t have any annual leave left.

9 | Malta
Nope, this isn’t where Maltesars are grown, but in fact it’s still pretty delicious – not only sunshine and beaches, but also historically rich and with prehistoric buildings? Where do I sign up? Skyscanner? On it!

10 | Giethoorn
Everywhere in the world has been called ‘The Venice of ….”, but this little Dutch town might actually have a good claim to it. It’s bursting full of canals so much so that you can only visit it by tiny boats. I doubt their gelato and pasta are as good though, but bitterballen is a good replacement, right?

11 | Wales
There is this trip I’ve been meaning to make to Wales, but whenever I check the weather the area is blocked by a giant cloud and I can’t make this type of trip without a bit of weather security. Global warming is kicking in, so 2018 might be the year.

12 | Taiwan
Aside the amazing food and night markets and a city vs nature balance I want to visit Taiwan for the abandoned beachfront resort and a cat village. Shushh…and don’t tell anyone, but in northeastern Taiwan is Jiufen – the town that inspired the bathhouse in a certain animated Oscar-winning film.

What destinations are you hoping to cross off in 2018?

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6 Different Things To Do in London

30th November 2017

Heading to London for the 265th time and think you’ve seen and done it all? How about these lesser known activities in London?
Up At The O2
Did you know you can climb to the top of the O2 Arena? It’s apparently called Urban Mountaineering and it’s more like walking over the huge building while you’re suited and chained. So conquer your fear of heights or get your adrenaline fix and climb to awesome views of London from up there. Prices start at £30 which isn’t too painful!
Dino’s at Crystal Palace Park
And not like the ones you know. See, the dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park were designed and sculpted by a sculptor and natural history artist under the scientific direction of a biologist and paleontologist, representing the latest dino knowledge from the 1850s. This was all before Darwin’s “On the Origin Of Species” so they’re slightly inaccurate, but still very entertaining. While you are there make sure to have a cake and tea at the station cafe – they do the best millionaire’s shortcake.
Eltham Palace
In the 14th century Eltham Palace was the place to be but it fell into disrepair and ruins until it was saved by the new owners who put a definite Art Deco spin on their new digs. The couple were the ‘talk of the town’ at the time, the celebs you had know, and if you were lucky enough, be invited to one of their famed extravagant parties. And the best thing is that they’ve left the house for us to explore all the room (after you’ve paid an entrance fee of course).
 
Tube Supperclub
We’re not talking the Boots meal deal or a tuna salad from Pret. At the Tube Supperclub by the Basement Gallery you can revel in a set menu in a former tube carriage. It may well be the only time you can actually get a seat! They don’t happen often so you’ll have to book ahead. There are still some spots left for their Christmas Feast
Pub Quiz / Trivia Night
Especially now it’s cold, an escape to a pub trivia night competition is best way to keep you warm! The Ten Bells, next to Spitalfields has been hosting their Pub Quiz for years and is the great spot if you are into the fun and not too competitive quizzes. If you are up for something more creative the Mactbeth in Hoxton is the place to be, the crew love to put on an epic trivia night with themes like Beyonce, The OC and Game of Thrones. CALIFORNIAAAAAAAAAA HERE WE COME!
Junkyard Golf
Leave your polo shirt and golf cart at home as this mini golf is all about frozen margaritas and disco lights while trying to score a hole in one on a themed course (my favourite is the movie ones!). And as it’s only a tenner it won’t break your bank.

Do you have any London tips for those who’ve seen it all?

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Chichen Itza – the highlights and lowlights

26th November 2017

Euhm only one of the mysterious ruins of the Mayans and one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World. Turns out Chichen Itza is more than just the The Temple of Kukulcan, you know … the landmark pyramid that steals all the the attention.
Of course the Kukulcan temple was the highlight, but I loved that learning about the other temples and their purposes – more on that later. I was also happy to learn that although it was busy it wasn’t as noticeable as the area is spaced out, at least until you got the the smaller areas.

I want to say that you aren’t allowed to climb to the top and go in the inside of the temple anymore, but given the amount of people that visit the site I do understand it that would mean it would be all just dust pretty soon.
Hate is a big word, but the descriptions were so short they would have been more informative in emojis, but I guess they gotta get some dollars for the tour guides.
Sheltering from the rain is never the best way to pick a restaurant, but that’s nature for you! We had nachos and quesadillas at a restaurant on site, it was your typical attraction overpriced restaurant that serves edible food. But the frozen fruit popsicles sold on site did it for me, I would definitely sacrifice someone to get more!
Yes, maybe for one of the Equinox celebrations.
Hell yes! If you are in the Yucatán Peninsula hit up this archaeological site and see what else the Mayans have gifted us besides tacos.

Have you been to the Chichen Itza or is it on your must go list?