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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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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I Don't Know Who To Travel With!

I Don't Know Who To Travel With!

Choosing the right travel companion is a key part of (almost) guaranteeing a smooth sailing holiday. Although frequently overlooked, I cannot emphasise the importance of selecting a travel partner carefully, and to not simply plan travels with anyone available at the time. As a young child, I only ever travelled with my parents, immediate or extended family. At that age, this is great. As a young adult and into my early 20s, I became more selective with which 'friends' I wanted to travel with. There's a famous saying that states that: 'You don't know the true colours of a person until you live with them, travel with them, or have dealings with them.' I can't vouch for this more. Although I have not personally had any issues when travelling with friends, I do notice the importance of having similar interests and lifestyle when on a holiday with someone. Something as basic as where to eat could cause an issue if one person wants to go somewhere a...
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How To Pack Light For Mini-Getaways

How To Pack Light For Mini-Getaways

As soon as I confirm a holiday, the first thing that comes to mind is: 'what am I going to wear?' I ponder over the question until the night before I travel, then panic at 1am trying to lay out half-decent outfits. Having become quite the travel connoisseur over the past few years, I thought it would be nice to share my tips with you all, to help you pack quick, pack right and pack light! 1. NO IFS NO BUTS NO MAYBES Banish that voice in the back of your mind telling you that you MIGHT want to wear this, and that you COULD take three outfits for one day and choose later. NO! NO! Just take one outfit per day, appropriate for the environment, weather and activities that you will be engaging with. Otherwise, you will end up with double the amount of clothes, half that you won't wear. Take one outfit, and you'll just HAVE to do with that one. 2....
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I am in York

I am in York

All throughout the Easter break, I stayed in University to complete some work in a quiet environment. Because of this, I instead took a long weekend off at the end of the holidays. I travelled to York and the Lake District for a relaxing few days in the North of the UK. I have never been to York before and was pleasantly surprised by this old but beautiful city. York City has been walled since the Romans were around and a lot of this wall still exists to this day. There are distinct gates (as below) where it is clear where the walls were. It is also possible to walk along the wall around the city. The biggest attraction by far is to see York Minister. This iconic gothic-style Cathedral is one of the biggest of its kind in North Europe. It is possible to enter with a fee, however, as we didn't have much time in the day and a list...
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I Am Overlooking London from University!

I Am Overlooking London from University!

I have been extremely busy as of late, with many exciting opportunities and events that have taken place. I wanted to share this location that I stumbled upon during my studies at King's College London. There is a lecture theatre on the 30th floor whereby some of my final year lectures were held. The view from this floor is absolutely outstanding, facing the Shard and central London. Lucky for me, it was a bright sunny day, and I was able to take some stunning pictures using my iPhone. It is a bit limiting as to how many different photos you can take due to the thick glass and also the lack of any other directionality. Never-the-less, I managed to capture the beautiful curve of the River Thames, spiralling past Tower Bridge, and following down to the financial district. Unfortunately, this view isn't available for the general public. As I recently studied at King's, I was able to access the building. A similar...
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I am in Geneva, Switzerland – Part One

I am in Geneva, Switzerland – Part One

Geneva is one of those places that are spectacularly beautiful, preserving its culture, language and style within a relatively small city - known as the 'smallest of big cities'. Geneva is one of the French speaking regions of Switzerland, and the second-largest United Nations Office of the UN. I recently visited Geneva for four days with my brother and cousin. This is my second time visiting Geneva, the last time being September 2013. I will be breaking up this trip into two parts, as I managed to squeeze a lot in such a short space of time. We were staying with some family in the lovely are of Carouge. On the first day, we took a little walk around the area and caught the bus into the city centre. The street cars are electrically powered and environmentally friendly - maybe something we could do with to reduce pollution in London (?) They do look extremely elegant and classy also! We visited Manor, a...
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I am at the University of Cambridge

I am at the University of Cambridge

I was invited to the University of Cambridge to teach as part of a scheme for tutors. The last time I visited Cambridge was in 2013 for a conference and ever since, I have been looking forward to my next visit. I grabbed this opportunity by the horns, and after finishing the day at about 3pm, I walked around Cambridge to visit most of the Colleges. Luckily, it was a very sunny (but chilly) day, allowing me to briskly walk around the city without always ducking for shelter from the UK downpours of rain. A one-way train ticket cost around £4 (with a railcard) from London Liverpool Street. I was based in Newnham's College for the day - an absolutely fabulous and mesmerising College for women only. It was the first College built allowing women to go to university at Cambridge, and so it prides itself in this equality of the sexes. Some Colleges are open to the public at given times...
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NYC in 4 days – Part 2

NYC in 4 days – Part 2

I'd definitely say that the 'Tripomatic' app was extremely helpful in giving me suggestions of places that I hadn't thought about. It can be accessed offline, giving both the location of the place, the cost and opening times. I'd highly recommend using this app to log upcoming trips and planning itineraries. I'm going to continue sharing the details of my trip to NYC. Check out my previous Part 1 and 8 free things to do in NYC. 1/ The Halal Guys This is by far the BEST street food I had in NYC - i'll go as far as to say it was the BEST food I had in NYC overall. NYC is saturated with street trucks selling all sorts of food on the go. There are not many halal restaurants in NYC, however I'm now going to stay that Halal Guys is the best halal restaurant/ street food in NYC. They have about three things on their menu, of which they specialise in...
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NYC in 4 days – Part 1

NYC in 4 days – Part 1

I visited New York in October but I'm JUST getting round to publishing this post as the PhD study life just took over! I had such an amazing time in the concrete jungle of NYC and it was extremely eye-opening and an enjoyable trip - would definitely recommend to anyone! Check out my previous blog post for more details on location and opening times. Here's what I got up to during a couple of days... 1/ Brooklyn Botanic Garden 2/ NY Water Taxi A MUST-DO! This fairly inexpensive (all-day access) taxi was quite exciting and one of my NYC highlights. I especially enjoyed the skyline views of Manhattan in the unexpected October sunshine. The taxi stops at each monumental icon allowing us to take pictures from all angles. It really was a perfect experience (weather-permitting of course)! 3/ Central Park 4/ NY Public Library For all those, like me, interested in building architecture and books (and the like), NY Public Library was another highlight of my trip. The...
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