Only 24 Hours in Amsterdam?

Only 24 Hours in Amsterdam?

Travelling to Amsterdam was spontaneous. I mean spontaneous in the most spontaneous way possible. My good friend had recently quit her job she felt displeased in, with an position in a company she desired (kudos to her)! As a treat to herself, she booked a week in Amsterdam, staying at the Banks Mansion Hotel. As we were chatting a few days before she flew out, she asked if I wanted to come for a few days. Naturally I laughed it off. 72 hours later, I found myself at City Airport, waiting for my flight to Amsterdam. I booked a flight for one night, staying in Amsterdam for less than 24 hours. I figured, hey why not - you only live once *trying to justify my actions*. Before I met my friend, I visited the Aya Sofya mosque in Amsterdam to freshen up and also to check it out as photos online showed it to be incredible beautiful, located on the bank...
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My Dream Destinations 2018

My Dream Destinations 2018

Hello and HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018! I can not believe how quickly 2017 flew, I feel like it was just yesterday that I started this page, but in fact I starting blogging in 2015. Last year I published a list of my Dream Destinations of 2017. They were Greece, Australia, Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Thailand and Oman. I was fortunate enough to do a lot of travelling in 2017. 2017 took me to Greece (Santorini), Italy (Milan, Venice, Florence and Bologna), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Malta, France (Paris) and to a few cities in England. Again this year, I am compiling a list of my dream destinations of 2018 and hope that I can travel to them all this year! Ethiopia I shouldn't really be allowed to add Ethiopia on this list as I recently visited in the summer of 2016. Never the less, Ethiopia has repeatedly topped bucket-list holiday guides and has been voted the go-to place for travel last year. I usually go...
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Packing Cubes: Gimmick Or Game Changer

Packing Cubes: Gimmick Or Game Changer

My good friend, Kyomi, introduced my to Packing Cubes through her amazing blog 'Wading Wade'. Her 'meet the traveller' series allow the reader to delve into the life of a traveller, and gain practical skills and tips. Kyomi interviewed me back in November - read here! Packing Cubes What are they? Packing cubes are zippered fabric containers, usually in a rectangular shape, for organising your items and making them easier to find in your luggage. They come in a range of sizes and are often sold as sets. How do they work? Using packing organisers has many advantages: Pack more efficiently – Each cube can be dedicated to a set of clothing, and it's much easier to pack when you know what goes in each cube. Packing with cubes can help reduce disorganisation and sporadic additions of clothes. Find things easily – Packing cubes can work like a drawer system. When away, you can take out the relevant cube rather than rummaging around at the bottom of...
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I Am In Bologna, Italy

I Am In Bologna, Italy

Bologna had quickly become one of my favourite cities that I have visited! The narrow porticos, and beautiful architecture have stunned me and left me with such a sweet taste, for which I most definitely would love to return. We explored Bologna on our last day of the 4 day North Italy stay. I wish I had more time here (I am starting to see a common theme of wishing I had more time). I have compiled a list of FREE things to do in Bologna in a couple of hours. Bologna is a perfect in between; not too touristy but pretty enough to leave one mesmerised. La Piccola Venezia Bologna has a number of secret canals that I came across whilst browsing for things to do in Bologna. This canal, La Piccola Venezia is a little gem in the centre of Bologna. It's not anything spectacular, compared to the canals of Venice but it is a heart-warming sight to see in the morning during a stroll. It's...
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I Am In Newcastle & Durham

I Am In Newcastle & Durham

A few weeks ago, I decided to travel to the North of the UK with a lab colleague from London. We have both made a concerted effort to travel more within the UK on weekends and Bank Holidays. This time, we decided to go to Newcastle as we had heard lots of good things about it and the weather that weekend seemed decent enough! We travelled by the National Express coach service, and this only cost £17 return, in comparison to £100+ by train! The only downside was the time it took to travel there - 7 hours. I managed to take some work with me and downloaded some programmes from the iPlayer app to keep me occupied for some of the journey. We left London Victoria at 7am and arrived in Newcastle at 2.30pm. As soon as we arrived, we began exploring the city, beginning with the Science Centre and surrounding areas. It was clear that all the students had arrived in the...
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I Am In Germany – Stuttgart & Heidelberg

I Am In Germany – Stuttgart & Heidelberg

For the last trip abroad in 2016, I found myself heading to Germany! I've just made it sound like I randomly hopped onto a plane and voila, Germany. Actually, it was quite the contrary, I had been planning this trip for at least 6 months, as it was a work related trip to attend an annual conference closely related to the work I currently do in the lab. This biology conference was all about the small protein that I study, involved in a plethora of processes, including movement, cell division and other cell shape changes. As I have entered the final year of my PhD studies, this conference was a great way to gather all the work I had recently completed and present it to others in the field. Conferences are great ways to discover the latest research, form international collaborations, and receive feedback from others. Malti (a friend and fellow PhD student in my lab) and I flew from London Heathrow to Stuttgart...
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I Am In Harar, Ethiopia – Part One

I Am In Harar, Ethiopia – Part One

Harar, Ethiopia : the land where my parents were born and raised. It is a historic town in Ethiopia and considered the fourth holiest city in Islam, after Makkah, Medina and Jerusalem. The first time I visited Ethiopia I was 7 years old, and since then I've returned three times. Most of my uncles, aunties and cousins live in Harar including my maternal grandmother, and so visiting Ethiopia is always a fun-filled time with lots of love, culture and tradition. The last time I visited was 2012, and so I had been craving to return either this year or the next. It just so happened that my cousin announced her wedding date as planned for the end of July and I jumped to the opportunity to book a flight and find myself in the middle of a Harari wedding dance floor! Don't forget to check out my blog post detailing the ins and outs of a Harari Wedding (you'll be surprised...
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A Traditional Harari Wedding

A Traditional Harari Wedding

At the end of last month, I experienced my first ever Harari Wedding. Harar is a small walled city in Ethiopia. It is considered the fourth holiest city in Islam, after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. It is also a city protected by the UNESCO World Heritage due to its preserved historic culture, and deep Islamic roots. Just before I returned home, I sat down with my cousin and we went through all the cultural steps involved when two people wish to get married. Culture plays such a heavy role in every day life in Harar, especially when it comes to wedding proceedings. 1. Nikkah In Islam, marriage is a contract where the bride and groom consent to the marraige. This is done at any point before the wedding. Once the Nikkah is completed, the bride and groom and now Islamically married, and anything that follows from this point is cultural and NOT  of a religious nature. 2. Sirri The elder women of the community make a...
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Liebster Award Nomination!

Liebster Award Nomination!

I was recently nominated for the Liebster blogger award by Modest M3 (aka Widaad). I'm super excited about this nomination, and grateful to Widaad for the nomination. Widaad and I have been following each other on social media for years now, and I've always been inspired by her photography, amazing fashion sense and beautiful personality. She is from Toronto, and although we haven't met in person, (we ALMOST did haha), I have been to Toronto many times to visit family and I'm sure I will return there soon and meet her. Widaad is a fairly new blogger, and blogs about everything from modest fashion, food, faith, DIY and documenting her travels. There's a bit of everything for everyone. Check her out here!!  https://modestm3.wordpress.com/ Here are the answers to the questions asked by Widaad. 1/ When did you decide to start your blog and why? I started my blog in July 2015 - I've just hit my one year anniversary! I was travelling to Montreal as part...
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Hotel Review: Riad Mazar, Fes Morocco

Hotel Review: Riad Mazar, Fes Morocco

One afternoon after a long day of work, my friend, Hanna, suggested to 'go somewhere' as a celebration for Eid-ul-Fitr; marking the end of the holy month of fasting, Ramadan. By 'go somewhere', I would never have predicted the next words that came out of her mouth. She said, 'How about Morocco?' Next thing you know, we booked our flights with Ryanair, and began the hunt for a place to stay for the short trip. We decided on travelling to Fes, instead of the more popular Marrakech. When travelling, I love soaking up culture and experiencing something different from my everyday life in London. Looking online, it seemed that Fes had retained its culture and history, making it an attractive option for us! Once we had booked our flights, we had to search for a hotel. Initially, we were looking for AirBnB places as usually these places are more authentic and cheaper. By chance, we looked on Expedia and found that 4*...
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