Sunday 11 March 2018


The euphoria of planning, packing your bag, going to the airport (or train station), being on the place itself and coming back ready to start over again is one of the things I'm most grateful for. I'm not what you can call a jet setter, however, I travel here and there. And I want to share with you some tips that I've learned from my to-ing and fro-ing for about ten years now.

The Essentials
Secure the basics. That's your 3W's and 1H. When (go schedule those leaves), Where (uhm, obvs), Who (another obvs!) and How (plane or train?, visa-free or not?). It's helpful if you have an idea in mind. For example, I'm obsessed about Denmark for the last two years and so it's just fair to pay the home of the happiest people a visit. You can also ask yourself: what kind of traveller are you? I'm such a lazy laidback traveller. I mean, if your game is to cover the whole city in just two days, we can't be on the same trip, apologies. I travel to relax, escape even, and forget about the daily grind. Don't get me wrong, I'm an early riser even on my holiday days but I intentionally remove any form of stress in my itinerary, as much as I can. Having said that, I keep a list of the places I really, really want to visit. 

🇫🇷Paris, France. It is called the city of love for a reason. The place is picturesque, 360 degrees. My top picks are: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées. I love it so much that almost every year, I visit this place. Case in point: as of this writing, I'll be preparing our itinerary for our Paris 2018 trip next week. This should be my birthday trip but on a later time. I suggest you try their macarons, I'm not a macaron person but it's part of the experience. If you want to buy luxury items like Louis Vuitton or Longchamp, I've heard it's less expensive here. Try ratatouille (a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish), French burger and chips and their pastries. You can't go wrong with Paris. Related Paris blog post: HERE.

The Specifics
Now that you've had the big fishes finalised it's time to dwell on specifics. Currency exchanges are obviously less expensive outside the touristy spot. Plan your outfit of the day and by that, I mean check the weather forecast! The last thing you want is you strutting in boots when the rest are just wearing flip flops. For long haul flights, check your baggage allowance. If you do not have a check-in luggage, make sure your liquids are within limits. Going back to OOTD's, I normally go to Pinterest and browse suggestions from there.

🇭🇺Budapest, Hungary. Do you know that Budapest is composed of Buda and Pest? This is one of the most beautiful countries I've visited. Their food, ahh, divine! You can definitely feel the eastern European vibe wherever you turn to. I am impressed by their architecture and food. Note: It can be very hot during summer and very cold during winter, make sure you plan ahead. One of the Hungarians I met said, oh yes we do have proper seasons! ☺️Related Budapest blog post: HERE.

Travel Hacks
I usually use Kayak to search for flights, or Airbnb for accommodations and Google and Trip Advisor to shortlist all places that I want to visit. Most flights have an app so save the trees and go digital this time (just make sure you have enough battery when you check in!). When you're at the destination, make sure to bring your own bottle of water (it can get expensive depending on the place). Also changes (coins) are handy as some toilets are paid ones. I also suggest to make your trip in a logical order (transport wise) so that you'll save time than going to and fro as commuting can be a time sucker. If I have a choice, I prefer public transport because I want to experience the local life in the truest sense of the word. I can barely count in one hand the time when we used Uber (well, one was when we got lost in the middle of the night at Rome!)

🇧🇪Brussels, Belgium. You may think that my brain is 90% food (sometimes I'm starting to believe that's the case) but food in Brussels can be your sole reason why you should go here! From the mainstream ones like waffles and Belgian chocolates to the not so usual ones like mussels and chips combination. If there's such a thing as food heaven, I think the chefs are Belgian. Seriously, the sights in Belgium are quiet and sophisticated. Very conducive if you want to rest and forget about the world. Related Belgium blog post: HERE.

Do what locals do
Whatever that means to you. I usually imagine myself as someone going to the office and back as if I'm living in that country. Public transportation, grocery store, breakfast even. Then I picture myself if I want to settle there, hypothetically. At the moment, London still has won my heart but who knows what the future holds? Another tip is to watch vlogs on YouTube. It's a sure fire way to build up the excitement and get some more insights on what the place has to offer.

🇮🇹Rome, Italy. It is the exact opposite of Belgium, if you ask me. Rome screams aloud. From their quote: When in Rome, do what the Romans do, to their architectures (it exudes a vibe of grandiose and opulence). It's a very walk-friendly city plus it is exceptionally sunny even during autumn compared to its European neighbours. Related Rome blog post: HERE.

Find your why
As with any other things in life, do not lose sight of the WHY. Talking by experience, it is so easy to get lost editing your instagram feed whilst you are in the present. I think that's sad. What I usually do is to take some pictures then set a timer. Until the alarm goes off, I will train myself to be in the now. I talk to Gab, read some history about the place or whatever info is printed on the wall or just take it all in.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Edinburgh, Scotland. My first trip in Scotland was in Glasgow to visit my aunt and two adorable cousins! I love the country, I really do. I want to come back soon! The water is tastier (am I weird? I don't know it tastes cleaner I promise!) plus the highlight of my trip was we went up to Arthur's Seat. It was such a feat for me! It feels like I conquered Mount Kilimanjaro! This place is interesting because one minute you can be right in the bang of the city centre and another one you're in pure, lush greenery. Did I mention they have this mouth watering curry sauce that goes so well with their chips? Related Edinburgh blog post: HERE.

It's been quite a while since I've published a lengthy post like this. It took me about two hours to complete the entire post, from picture selection, content writing, formatting and editing. Well, time flies by when you're doing what you love most. Plus, this whole thing makes me look forward going to Paris soon! I hope you will enjoy your travel wherever your journey and destinations are! Life is short, have fun whenever you can... wherever you wish... with the people you love. -CMK


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