Sunday, 14 August 2016

My Favourite Foodie Snapchatters


If you're anything like me and love looking at gorgeous pictures on Instagram of Food and all the amazing places around the world to eat then stick with me! Its from this obsession that I discovered that some of the Instagram accounts I follow also use Snapchat as a way of showing me what gorgeous places they go to eat and the fun and frolics that follow this. So I decided to share with you today some of my favourite Foodie Snapchatters!

Devour Power
Snapchat Name: devourpower 

This is the first account I started following and My God I'm so glad I did, even if I do get massive food envy from watching their snaps. The account is ran by a cute couple that live in New York and everyday they visit some amazing restaurants and eateries snapping as they go. They are mostly New York based so if you are looking for some off the beaten track places to eat in New York you really must check them out. They will also share food snaps from any destinations they visit, on their recent trip to London they went to some amazing looking eateries that I'd never heard of but will certainly be checking out next time I'm in the capital.

Food with Michel 
Snapchat Name: foodwithmichel

I discovered Michel when he did a takeover of the Devour Power account and I loved his little day out in San Francisco I decided that I absolutely needed to follow him. Michel is LA based and again showcases the best that the LA food scene has to offer from Tacos to Korean BBQ he goes absolutely everywhere eating some amazing looking food, making me want to go back to LA just for the food. His fave place is a Korean BBQ spot that gives you this little table top BBQ to cook your meat on and then around the side are some little trays with Cheese and Corn that melts from the heat of the BBQ and he goes crazy for it and i must admit it does look good.

Stir and Style 
Snapchat Name: stirandstyle

I think I found this account from following her Instagram account and June is the nicest girl she so sweet on her snaps I love her. She is also LA based but does a bit of travelling and shares her foodie adventures too. June mixes food snaps with a look at her personal style (hence the name) so she also shares fashion items etc. with her followers. She does give a focus on more Asian cuisine and shows some of her home made creations to so a real balance. 

There are many more Foodie Snapchatters that I follow but these are my top three and I do look forward to seeing where they are and what they are eating each day. My food envy is from watching these snap stories is insane.

Let me know your favourite Foodie Snapchatters in the comments below?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My Travel Pros and Cons



I know I'm quite new to the world of Travel but with most things in life I don't like going into situations anything less than prepared so I decided to make a Pros and Cons list of travel so that when I'm off on my travels there are no shocks to the system!

Pros 

Freedom. Up until now I have always relied on other people to come away with me and although for the most part this hasn't been to stressful, I like the idea of solo travelling for the freedoms it will give me. If I want to go somewhere I can just book it an go (depending on annual leave approval), I don't need to think about if someone else wants to go to that destination too or if they will like what I would like to see and do. I like the idea that ill make memories unique to me and that I have wanted to make and I will experience things that I want to experience and not feel like I have to please anyone else this can be done on my terms.

Escapism. I'm not trying to run away from anything as such its more a break from the mundane for me. I have a Monday to Friday 9-5 kind of job which I do enjoy but sometimes things can become a bit samey as with most jobs and the days and weeks can feel like they roll into one another, so even just a change of scenery like trip away for a week or two or even a long weekend helps to break this up and helps me feel refreshed although I'm sure ill never feel ready to return to work, the thought doesn't seem as daunting after a break.

Learning. Travelling to any new country or culture is an opportunity to learn something new and I want to take full advantage of this experiencing it all for myself. I'm a huge history buff so I'm drawn to places that have a rich history and stories to tell. I love the idea of organised tours for this too as you usually get a knowledgeable guide who tells you everything you could possibly need to know.

Self Discovery. I've always been a little bit of a creature of habit and stayed well within my comfort zone, so I see solo travel as a way to push my boundaries and find out for myself what I like and what I don't. Its also a chance to see new places and discover new things find out who I really am, I want to prove to myself that I can do this by myself I and know ill be a better person for it.

Costs. I know you might well think this is a Con and it is a double edged sword featuring in both the Pros and Cons list. If you really do your research and planning you can find some incredible deals that make the costs of travelling low. Saving what money you can will soon add up and depending on what destinations you chose to visit you will find your money can go a long way, if you really want it there are always ways and means to make it happen.

Cons

Homesickness. I can get terribly homesick if I'm away from my family and home comforts for to long, and I've probably used this as an excuse to not get away more often,. But, with the advent of modern technology like Skype and What's App staying in contact with loved ones has never been easier, and lets face it being away from home for a little while is nothing compared to the experiences I will have and memories i will make that I can share with my family on my return.

Costs. Like i mentioned in the Pros the costs of travel have their Cons to. Depending on where it is you want to visit depends on how far your cash will stretch, you might well have saved money on flights and accommodation but you still have to factor in living costs as well and this can be the undoing of your whole trip. But with some careful planning prior to the trip you can be prepared, as long as you are aware of general costs before you go you are less likely to have any nasty surprises whilst away.

Anxiety. I have a real hang up that when I first meet new people that they wont like me and this all stems from someone making a snap judgement of me before actually getting to know me years ago now. But this has stuck with me and I always worry that ill make an awful first impression and i wont be able to make new friends, I know I shouldn't worry because I've been in plenty of new social situations since this and got along with people just fine and even made some new close friends over the years, so like i said in my Pros list putting myself out there will help me develop as a person and i hope soon this will no longer be an issue for me.

For me the Pros far out weigh the Cons and I really look forward to getting out there and seeing the world and all it has to offer!

What are your Travel Pros and Cons? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Travel Essentials



Depending on where you are travelling and what you will be doing on you're trip depends on what you would pack to take away with you, but there are some essentials that you need to take with you no matter the destination or the time of year and climate and I'm going to let you know what I like to take with me on any trip I may take.

Travel Insurance

This is the most important item you can take away with you, whether you need to actually use it or not having an insurance policy gives you piece of mind. You can get single trip or annual policies depending on how often you are likely to travel and some good deals can be found on comparison websites. You can chose the level of cover you get with even some of the basic ones offering very good cover from lost luggage to flight delays and medical cover which is most important as medical costs abroad can be very expensive should you need it. I had to use my Travel Insurance two years ago, I travelled to Toronto with British Airways and flew from my local Airport of Newcastle to Toronto via Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 my luggage made it from Newcastle to Terminal 5 but due to a baggage system malfunction at T5 my luggage never made it to Toronto. For the two weeks I was away I never received my luggage only being reunited with it on my return home. A quick read of my insurance policy meant that I could buy clothes and essentials keep the receipts and then claim back the money spent on my return. When it came to my claim there was no dispute and a cheque was promptly sent to me in the post. Now I know not all experiences with claiming on your insurance will be this pleasant,  but it's still well worth having.


Travel Pillow

This is always a necessity when it comes to travel for me, you never know when you'll need it. From catching a few z's in the departure lounge or on your flight to long car or bus journeys. Being able to get my head down comfortably is so important. You also don't know how comfortable pillows provided in hotels etc. are going to be so it's always nice to know you have your own. I got mine in Primark last year and it was relatively inexpensive but super comfy, you can also buy ones that have memory foam in them taking that comfort to an all new level.

Camera

If like me you love to take pictures where ever you go then you wont leave for a trip without a camera. I am by no means a professional photographer so I just have a Sony Bridge Camera, which doesn't require any other camera equipment which is great and the quality of the images I get with this camera suits my needs and are pretty decent. I also take some pictures using my phone so as long as I have one or the other I'm good to go.

Plug Adapters

If you want to use any electronics while abroad then you are going to need a plug adapter. You can get country specific ones or worldwide ones that you know know will cover you wherever you happen to be in the world, you can even get adapters now that have USB ports in them so you can charge and use all electronics to your hearts content.


Power Bank 

Along the lines of your plug adapters, this just allows you to charge any phones or tablets while you are out and about so you can Instagram that beautiful city scene or Snapchat your trips and not have to worry about running low on power. I picked up this one in Tesco for £25 and has 4000 mPh which should give two full charges of a phone and one for a tablet. They come in all shapes and designs so I'm sure you'll find one that suits your needs.


Pain Killers

This is an essential I take with me everywhere whether I'm travelling or not, because you never know when you'll need some pain killers for yourself for a friend etc. Just an all round useful thing to have on your person. I usually take with me Co-Codamol and Ibuprofen as one works well for muscle pain and the other for pain more in the bone and both together cover all your bases. It's also recommended to take any hay fever medication if you are a suffer and its goes without saying you should always carry with you and prescribed medication you need to take regularly.

These are items ill take with me no matter the destination or time of year. Depending on where I'm going and the time of year and weather ill take some other essentials which I plan to share with you all soon so keep an eye out for that!

What are your Travel Essentials please let me know in the comments below?

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Wish List ~ European Cities


Living in the UK gives give me a great opportunity to see Europe as most destinations are only a short flight away, and a lot of the budget airlines fly to all the wonderful picturesque cities in Europe. While I have had the opportunity to see many of the wonderful cities that Europe has to offer there are still so many places I want to see and so I thought I'd share with you all what they are!

Florence, Italy

I've always loved Italy, the history, the food, the culture its a county that I'm sure ill never tire of visiting. I've been to Rome and Venice already and Florence has been on my wish list for quite sometime. The photos I've seen give me major travel envy and I really want to see the museums, the churches and the architecture. I would love to just wonder around the city looking at all the wonderful beautiful statues, monuments and piazzas, taking a stroll along the Ponte Vecchio looking at the shops that sit on top of this bridge. Eating and drinking my way around the city taking in all this wonderful place has to offer.

Carcassonne, France

I first became aware of this medieval city from reading the book Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and from there I decided to do a little more research. From this research this place sounded right up my alley medieval history almost perfectly preserved giving you a real glimpse into what life would have been like in medieval times. I'd love to lose myself walking around the tiny twisting and turning alleys taking in the picturesque historic fortress. The Cite itself was said to have inspired Sleeping Beauty's castle and the Disney girl in me just love this! There are jousting competitions held throughout the summer, something id love to experience and getting to do this in medieval surroundings will only add to the experience.

Prague, Czech Republic

Quite a few people I know have been here and I've never heard a bad thing said. My parents went to Prague for a cultural long weekend and one of my cousins went for a Hen Party weekend, so as you can see It's a real versatile city that has a lot to offer. I love a castle, and Prague Castle being the biggest ancient castle in the world makes me very excited to see it, the castles location as well is a big draw sitting above the city I imagine to views are to die for. The Old Town is also somewhere I'd love to explore taking in the old buildings and monuments and having a look at the Astronomical Clock. Not forgetting the New Town with museums, shops and restaurants to be discovered this is also the part of town where the trendy bars and clubs can be found.

Barcelona, Spain

My first experience of Spain was the town of Benidorm, now I'm not knocking those people that love to visit this resort its great the beach is lovely and the town has really embraced the British holiday makers making it almost a home from home, but for me I want to get away to see new cultures and experience things that I wouldn't be able to back home. I like to take in some history, museums etc. so this is why Barcelona is on my list, not only does it have a gorgeous beach to catch some sun but the city is chock full of culture from the Architecture in particular the buildings of Antoni Gaudi to Las Ramblas a walkway full of street performers, bars and restaurants, almost like Covent Gardens.

Budapest, Hungary

I've been following Aaron a traveller on both Snapchat and Instagram for a couple of months now and he is currently in this gorgeous city giving me major travel envy once again. The Parliament building and the Royal Palace are two of the main attractions that I'd like to visit but the city has an abundance of museums and galleries that attract many tourists so there is plenty to keep you busy. There are various view points that offer some great views of the city which I would most definitely like too take in.

Athens, Greece

Now I've heard good and bad things about Athens and I'm having mixed feelings about whether to go or not, but then I think sometimes you just have to see places for yourself to make up your own mind, so I'm keeping it on my wish list. I've always had a fascination with ancient cultures since a young age and Athens being the centre of the Ancient Greek world it seem like a no brainer that I should go and see this historically rich city for myself. At the top of the list of things I'd like to see is the Acropolis, the ancient town of Athens and on top of the hill the Parthenon a temple built for the goddess Athena the Goddess of War and patron of Athens. There are loads of other ancient sights to experience as well as museums parks and gardens to explore. I'm also a huge fan of Greek food so any chance to tuck in to some Gyros is fine by me so I'm sure there will be plenty of cute Taverna's to discover.

Of course there are tonnes more cities that I want to visit but for now these are the main ones and ones that I would like to make my priority and I absolutely cannot wait to discover everything that these gorgeous cities have to offer.

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