How to make the most out of your holiday

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Holiday season is upon us!

All you have to do is take a glance at instagram and whoop there it is… photos galore of beyond-beautiful backdrops, perfect beach bods and ultimate baecation goals.

Whether you’ve sorted an extravagant caribbean getaway or a chic short city break in Europe, there’s a few things that I always consider before finalising my holiday plans that I think can help anyone when wanting to find the best destination as well as planning to make the most out of your holiday.

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1.Research any events happening.
I’m the type of person who is always on the hunt for something new to do in London. And to be honest, this is no different to when I’m going abroad. My top tip to making the most our your holiday is to find events happening in the place you plan to visit around the time you’re going. A music festival, a beach party, a food market – if there’s something you’re interested in, more times than not, places in your chosen destination will have events for you to attend. This is also a great opportunity to get out and explore too… who knows you may even make a few new friends on the way.

2.Discover cool places to eat.
Much like the way I research events, I am religiously on the hunt for new eateries. I pretty much plan my day around food, from what time I think I’ll be hungry to what I’m going to scoff down next, even as I’m finishing the meal in front of me.

I’m lucky enough not to be allergic to anything *touch wood* which gives me the freedom to enjoy exploring new flavours and foods, so, one of my favourite pastimes is to look up restaurants (non chains) to see where I can eat next. Pinterest and Instagram (trust me, utilise these platforms) are my favourite tools for this as you get to see great photos from real life people (Tripadvisor doesn’t hurt either!).

This goes hand-in-hand with my first point too. If you’ve found an event to attend, finding a nice spot to brunch it up, or have a romantic evening meal at, nicely finishes off a day out, so keep you eyes out for double-tap worthy food.

3.Don’t Rely on Reviews.
One valuable piece of advice I’d pass on is to not solely rely on reviews. Now, I’m not saying to dismiss reviews completely, but, weigh out your options. Consider price, star ratings and ‘traveller photos’ and carefully read what you’ll get for your money. Whether for a restaurant or hotel, always remember you may like things that some people may not, so relax and look forward to making up your own mind and making your own memories.

After all every experience is a lesson learned.

4.Make a Loose Itinerary.
I love to be organised and everything, but after one holiday to Barcelona, where I had a solid plan for every day of our trip, I think it’s worth remembering, a holiday, is for exploring a new culture and way of life, BUT, it’s also a gateway to utter relaxation (in my world anyway). So, with that being said, I would make a loose plan of pre-booked trips and activities and keep in mind excursions that you’d like to go on, so you have the option to book it while you’re there. The last thing you want to do waste money.

5.Enjoy every day as it comes.
Last but not least, enjoy your time away. Many a time, we put all our energy into planning, that when we get there we’ve already lived out our holiday online. Take the day as it comes and try to enjoy every minute of it.

Do you have any tips, to ensure you make the most out of your holiday, I’d love to know?

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My Caribbean Adventure: 2 Weeks in Jamaica

Jamaica seems like a very distant memory right now, and all I keep thinking about is how much I was enjoying life 😒💚❤️️💛.

My two week adventure in Kingston was definitely one to remember. Split into two parts, I was able to see the real Jamaica and experience its unforgettable people and culture, as well the perfectly-packaged tourist ready version of the island.

Week 1

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Soaking up the sun, and drinking WATA!

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As mentioned in my previous blog, this was my first trip to Jamaica. Kingston is where my grandma grew up, where my dad visited when he was younger, so I was more than excited to experience what they had always talked about.

‘Uppa country’ as locals like to say, is where I called home for the first seven days. (Funnily enough when I got back to the UK I learned that my grandma actually grew up on the same road as where I was staying. Coincedence much?!) Beautiful views, windy country roads, fresh food, is all what consumed my time.

No internet, no TV, just living simply. To some this may sound like hell, but in all honesty it was a relief. Detoxifying even. This is what going away is all about (for me anyway) and it was lovely not to have any distractions and to simply chat, listen, learn and enjoy life.

The week now seems like a blur, I guess the saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ is true. The cool late nights playing dominoes or dancing merged into the days where I sat in the sun drinking bag juice. I felt like this is what life is meant to be like 100% of the time – no time keeping, just taking the time to have fun and be.

Week 2

After enjoying a week with family, it was time to move to our airbnb.

Now, can I just take a moment to praise how convenient and affordable airbnb is in Jamaica. We found some beautiful gems to rent, but, settled for an apartment opposite the Bob Marley museum. Super convenient, modern and it even had a pool which we never actually used, but it was nice to have the option, especially as we were hours away from any natural beach.

Being in Jamaica was a gave me nothing short of a whirlwind of emotions, but ultimately it taught me to be confident… unapologetically, inside and out. It’s a mantra that many of us talk about and try to omit, but honestly speaking I didn’t feel conscious about myself, about my weight, about my race and it was lovely to just live life. Maybe this was down I to me being in my natural habitat, being comfortable in my surroundings, and in my skin, it was a feeling that I surely will never forget.

 

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Frenchman cove
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Frenchman Cove
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Frenchman Cove
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Frenchman Cove

We most definitely caught the beach bug and headed even further to Ocho Rios – Turtle Tower beach the day after too.

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Turtle Tower Beach
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Watching Dolphins
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Turtle Tower Beach
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What does this look like to you? #PumPum Rock
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Views from Portland

 

 

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Hope you enjoyed… I know I did!

Are you off anywhere special in the coming months?

Why Kingston, Jamaica Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination

Hey all,

I’ve been back in the UK for just over a week and I am wanderlusting HARD!

From the title of this blog, you’ve probably guessed where I’ve just come back from.

Yes… I’ve been living carefree, soaking up all the vitamin D the caribbean has to offer, sipping on Red Stripe Lemon, and exploring the bustling capital city of Jamaica, Kingston.

The Caribbean is somewhere that I’ve always gravitated towards when looking for my next holiday destination. It’s hot, it’s instagrammable, and there’s so much culture to explore.

Having travelled to Barbados on multiple occasions, I thought it was about time I explored my Jamaican heritage. And seeing as both mine and my boyfriends families are from Kingston, it was only right that this would be our home for 2 weeks.

My heart fell for Kingston instantly. The vibrancy of the city set against the mountain views were absolutely superb, so, if you’re planning a trip to the caribbean or more specifically Jamaica, it’s only right I put Kingston on your radar.

1. The Food

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Locals use wood oven like these to cook jerk chicken and pork
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Pictured: Lobster, Bammi, Plantain, Fried Dumplings

Jamaicans know how to throw down… anywhere! Whether you’re strolling through Kingston passing local food businesses with home made wood ovens, or sat down in a nice restaurant you’re always seconds aways from tasty, fresh food. There’s something for everyone. If you’re after something traditional like ackee & saltfish, lobster and bammi, callaloo and breadfruit or even something more western, like a burger, Kingston has got an array of eateries. Plus, Vegan options are standard!

2. The People

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Locals you’ll find in Kingston

No Problem is Jamaica’s national slogan, and it’s perfectly fitting. The people are loud, confident, outgoing, funny, charismatic and will help you out with no problem. Oh, and somehow, everyone seems to be able to sing.

3. The Culture

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Beautiful paintings inside the Bob Marley museum grounds

With Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley and Usain Bolt national heroes, there is plenty to be explored when it comes to the history and culture of Jamaica.

A Jamaican folktale I came across was that the first Jamaican Bobsledding team actually got the idea to compete as bobsledders in the Olympics after racing around on carts used to transport food in downtown Kingston fresh food market. True or not, it’s quite interesting.

4. The Music (…and the parties!)

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Amazing artist: IndieMeName

As I said before, everyone on the island seems to have a record label worthy voice. Is it any wonder, Jamaica was home to the musical legend that was Bob Marley. The island thrives off of good music and good vibes. From the parties, to concerts, it’s evident that Jamaicans have music flowing through their veins.

At one point during our stay we were at a street party that started at about 5pm and ended at 7am the next morning. Music blasted all night with No Problem. can you imagine the ruckus from neighbours if that happened in the UK?!

5. The Views

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Compared to Barbados, Jamaica is a very mountainous island, so much so, that anywhere  you find yourself in Kingston, there’ll be a beautiful backdrop of a mountains and palm trees to admire. I mean do you need anything else?

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I have so many unforgettable memories from Jamaica that there are so many more beautiful reasons on why you should visit Kingston. Keep your eyes peeled on my next post all about the places you should visit (beaches included)!

Have you/ would you ever visit Kingston?