I know what image pops into your head when I say Santorini; it’s these views.
Santorini really is exactly as you imagine it. Sparkling blue water, pastel coloured buildings perched one on top of another, steep cliffs with donkeys walking up their winding staircases and domed churches contrasted against the bright sky.
As one of the most popular Greek islands though, expect high prices during the peak season and bustling groups of tourists crowding the small roads and walkways.
We kept up our tradition alive and hired a quad bike to make our own way around the island, first riding from Fira where we were staying to the small town of Oia. Home to those blue domed churches and beautiful sunset views, Oia is one of the most popular places to visit in Santorini. As we wandered around we saw multiple brides being photographed for a bridal shoot and tourists hustling to get the pictures of that iconic view.
There is also a coastal path you can walk from Fira to Oia, which we did half of on our second day. The second half of the walk is along the road we had already driven, so we just did the first half taking us right along the coast with breathtaking views all around us.
We also quad-biked to the black and red beaches, trying to make the most of our transport and see as much of the island as we could.
Once again though, one of the highlights was the delicious Greek food, in particular Lamb in a Nest from Volcano Blue. With views of the sunset over the caldera, we enjoyed this delicious specialty of slow cooked lamb cooked in a bag with vegetables and feta on our last night in Greece.
Where we stayed: San Giorgio Villas, Fira It was great value for money with big, clean and modern rooms, and a central location right in the middle of Fira.
So that’s what I’m going to do, start documenting it all, just like I always wanted to.
I live in London. I guess that’s the crux of it all. Leaving the little bubble of Adelaide and my comfortable existence among family and close friends was one giant leap of faith, naivety and guts. There isn’t a day that I don’t think of my family and best friends; what they are doing or how much I miss them. But I am also so thankful for the life that I have built for myself here, completely from scratch and with only myself to rely on. There have certainly been tough times where I’ve questioned what I’m doing and considered buying that plane ticket home. The winter blues are getting me down, the hustle and bustle of the city is too overbearing, or I am just having that all to common existential crisis about what on earth I am doing with my life.
But then I also think of how grateful I am for this vibrant city, the network of beautiful, wonderful friends I have here, and the experiences that I would not get anywhere else. I see Big Ben out of the train window on my way to work, I enjoy delicious food at different restaurants and cafes, I take street dance classes on Tuesday nights in Southwark, I go for walks in a park filled with deer, I can visit work renowned museums and galleries, and more than anything, I have travelled to places I had always dreamed of. Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, France, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.
Two years. That’s how long my visa will allow me to stay. I’m already 8 and a half months in, and the list of what I want to do and where I want to go just keeps growing. Plans are in the works for more trips, including a special one back home for a few weeks, and my London bucket list gets two more additions for every one thing ticked off.
For now though, I’ll be catching this blog up on everything that’s been happening. Throwback posts on each of the places I’ve been, both internationally and here in the UK and London, plus some little updates here and there of just life in general. I hope you enjoy coming along with me.
We spent one day strolling through Mykonos town exploring Little Venice and the shops that spill onto the lanes. We wandered along the beach, ate gelati, ate gyros, and then wandered around some more. It was a hard day, very strenuous.
I’m not lying when I say that I left Athens after barely two days feeling smarter, and more appreciative and understanding of history. Some fun facts:
I’m going to mention food again, and I would just advise that you prepare for me to mention it in every single post because we basically did a food tour of the Mediterranean. Athens was our first taste of delicious Greek food which we indulged in with marathon dinners. Moussaka, simple Greek salads, dolmades, loukamades, olives, and the holy grail of all Greek foods…tzatziki. They don’t disappoint with the serving sizes of this wondrous dip, dishing it up on a large plate for you to enjoy with bread as an “entrée”. I would just eat it for my main meal.
I’m going to be honest and say that I didn’t find there to be much else to the city of Athens, it is their capital after all. The ruins are incredible, and the city’s eventful history seeps out of every site that you see, and this is why you visit Athens. If it’s picturesque, quaint, traditional buildings and beautiful landscapes you are after, you go to the islands. That’s where we went next.
It’s not something that I have to do, it’s not something that I need to do, it is purely just desire. A desire to see the world, to experience different cities and cultures and to wander where my feet take me.
Deciding to leave the bubble of comfort that I was living in would seem ridiculous and unnecessary to some. I had a wonderful family and great friends, a job that kept me solvent and I lived in a nice house surrounded by all the necessary comforts for day-to-day living.
But as I write this from an airport lounge about to depart on a way ticket to Europe, I am breaking out of that comfort bubble for the first time ever. Yes I have travelled before, but I have always gone back home. Today, I am going to create my own home and leave what I have behind. Saying goodbye to my family and friends was tremendously hard, but it’s nice to know that I’ll be seeing them soon as they visit me and I visit them, and also using the great thing that makes communication these days so easy, the good ole internet.
It is scary, exciting, exhilarating, terrifying and nerve-wracking all at once. But despite this, I feel that I am going to gain so much in return. Independence, maturity and a greater appreciation for the world, just to name a few.
So follow me as I embark on this new adventure, I keep this little blog updated as I go along.
If you have the time and the means, the surrounding areas and towns around Queenstown are worth a visit, if not just for the views. I know, I know, all I have gone on about in these Queenstown posts is the scenery…but I tell you, it’s just so beautiful. Who doesn’t love a bit of pretty nature hey?
We hired a car and made our way to our first stop of Arrowtown, a charming old miner’s town only 20 minutes out of Queenstown. It still has a street of miner’s cottages and old store fronts, and provides the perfect place for a stroll, some coffee and morning tea, and maybe even a wander through the museum.
We then wound our way up Crown Range Road over and through the mountains to the lakeside town of Wanaka. Sitting on the edge of Lake Wanaka, the town is a popular resort town for the nearby ski fields. It’s also really pretty…
To complete our loop, we made a stop to checkout Lake Hawea before heading back through vineyards and fields of sheep to Queenstown. It wouldn’t be New Zealand without some sheep.
This is the third and final instalment of my Queenstown posts. I hope they have shown you some of the delights that the New Zealand city has to offer and maybe inspired a visit. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
I think the only phrase I could use to describe Milford Sound is ‘stunning natural beauty’. It’s a place that rains two out every three days, is surrounded by cliffs, mountains and rainforests, and is one of the most popular places to visit in New Zealand.
If you like waterfalls, mountains, trees, penguins, seals and just all round spectacular landscapes, then I would suggest the day trip to Milford from Queenstown is a must do. It’s not an easily accessible place unless you have some major coin to spring for a plane or helicopter ride, but tour companies offering day bus trips are bountiful. The tour will include your bus trip to and from Queenstown to Milford Sound as well as a cruise (some might even throw in lunch), but be prepared to be up at the crack of dawn and spend most of your day on the bus.
We were lucky enough to visit on a clear sunny day, but even in the fog and rain I think this place would still be beautiful. Have a look and see for yourself.
What’s in my carry on? All the bits and bobs that I’ll need in the coming week, because I’m going to New Zealand! Be prepared for some future posts about my adventures in Queenstown, which will hopefully include lots of beautiful scenery, relaxing, good food, and jumping out of aeroplanes (just kidding on that last one, that’s definitely not happening).
I have a new love. I didn’t expect it to come along, but when I saw it hanging there, I couldn’t resist. I didn’t know I needed it, but now I have it, I couldn’t be without. Yes, I am talking about a bag. Read More
Simple and quick with subtle pops of pink and glowing skin (with a bit of powder thrown in there to stop the glow turning to oily).
Spray on some Marc Jacobs Oh Lola (think floral, sweet but not sickly, and fresh) and you’re spring look is set. Read More
You either love them or you hate them, but the lure of the Birkenstock cannot be denied as they make their way onto comfortable feet all over. The 90’s comeback is in full swing and while some are cursing that the German sandals are “in” again, I’m revelling in the thought that I once again I can somewhat acceptably wear the Birk .
Hidden in the lane ways or peeking out from the side of a building, Adelaide’s street art scene is in full flight. Here are some snaps which show what’s on offer. To say there’s more would be an understatement.
As much as I love switching it up now and then by trying out a new lipstick, experimenting with jewellery, or splurging on a new bag or wallet, I always come back to some well-loved essentials that get me through the day.
Be prepared for some gushing, I’m not kidding. It’s quite often that you find a product that you love. But it’s not as often that you find a product that will forever replace all those like it that you have used before. I have found my favourite lip balm and I’m never going back!
I don’t know what it is about going for a walk that is amazing, but they just make me feel so good no matter what mood I’ve been in that day. Actually, no that’s a lie…I know exactly what it is.
I must have been living under a rock because apparently Adelaide has a LUSH store…how did I not know this! I remember shopping in the UK when I was travelling and going inside LUSH and just drooling at the wonderful bath bombs and massage bars (among other things). So when a friend told me there was one in the city, I hightailed it there and bought myself some goodies.
It’s time for a quick look at what I’ve been loving this past week, wrapped up into one little post.
You know how every now and again you get one of those moments where you think, ‘oh my gosh I need to take a picture of this!’ It may be because something funny/amazing/pretty/extraordinary happened, but whatever it is, it just needs to be captured.
It’s known as ‘Mad March’ in Adelaide, and it’s slowly coming to an end as our major festivals shut their gates. I can’t say it enough…if you’re going to visit our fair city, mid Feb-mid March is the time to do it. The Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival, Clipsal 500 (cars drive around in circles or something), WOMADelaide music festival, and Adelaide Writer’s Week all feature, as well as much more.
It has been one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a while but it was well worth it for all the fun that it contained and I thought I would share a couple of the highlights. A little fun fact is that my dad, mum, brother and I all have our birthday’s within two weeks of each other and we are right in the midst of it at the moment.