“In the magnificent fierce morning of Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to a new.” – D.H Lawrence
“Berlin is more a part of the world than a city. ”
—Jean Paul, Writer, 1800
Arriving in Berlin in the midst of the winter solstice I shouldn’t have been taken aback by the chill in the air, the whiteness of the sky, snow falling on my face – but it was claustrophobic, looming above my head, closing in on me. The whole week I was there, I never saw the sun. Thankfully, the magic of the Christmas Market lights meant that even in its gloomy winter state, the city sparkled.
Los Angeles (laws·an·juh·leez) – translating to ‘The Angels’ in Spanish
New York might be the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, but Los Angeles is the place where you’ll see them come to fruition. My travel buddy and I booked this trip last minute – like, two weeks before we flew out – which means we had to work extra hard to stay on a budget and still live the high life. Here’s how we did…
Marrakesh (mar· uh· kesh) – aka The Red City, The Land of the Atlas, The Maghreb
“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses.
I was so desperate to escape London this summer. The constantly cloudy suffocating weather, the rain and the giant house spiders that lurk out from under it, the commuters who don’t let you get off the train before they get on, the fact that socialising in the city costs the same as my rent – let me stop before this post goes left.
Madrid in August – some people said it was a deathwish, for August is the time of year where those who can afford to shut up shop, heading straight for the coast for some much welcomed relief from the scalding sun.
In 2015 I went to Scotland for the first time. Not a place I’d really thought of visiting before possibly due to the curse of Londoner’s ignorance, I can only put the urge down to hearing ‘Scottish Independence’ around 451 times over that past year and my subsequent fondness for Nicola Sturgeon. That aside, any country who has a unicorn as their official animal has to be pretty awesome.
Having gotten a delicious taste of Italy while travelling to Sicily, Venice and Milan together previously, my girl Dian and I decided to set aside five nights to venture to Rome and Tuscany – here’s what happened.
HELLO THERE: This turned into a long read – if you want to know something particular, please do ask via the comments section or try searching with your friend Control + F. Alternatively, I’ve bulletpointed the highlights at the end – scroll away / forgive me x
Arriving in Rome, we got the express train from Fiumicino Airport to Termini Station (duration: 30 minutes / cost: €14) and set out to find our way to the Best Western Globus Hotel which was said on their website to be ‘nearby.’ 20 minutes later I had a dead battery thus no Google Maps and subsequent anxiety, but we managed to navigate ourselves through the eerily quiet graffiti splattered streets to our base. On the subject of Google maps and the convenience of internet usage abroad, I’d recommend Three as a network provider for their ‘Feel at Home’ service alone.
We were pretty knackered on our first day so excitedly grabbed some food when we peeped a Halal sign near Termini. I got a diavola pizza whilst Dian got a lamb biryani because only a sick human being would order a curry as soon as arriving in Italy. Both were so greasy that we left with a higher chance of heart disease – stay away!
I’ve wanted to explore Egypt since I was a teenager; my room was strewn with DIY Ancient Egyptian art and much to the dismay of my parents I had a shisha set-up in my room, forced myself to be into Turkish coffee and had mastered the art of Kushari (that part is impressive, shut up).
It was one of those things that never came to fruition for one reason or another, until last month – and even then, it was scarcely planned; I’d barely had time to get to grips with the layout of the country on the map, which is something I like to do before visiting any country so I can sound intelligent and informed providing you don’t ask me too much. I mean, did you know the Sinai peninsula was once under attack by… No, I’ll do that later.
I flew to Cairo on December 22 after confirming it the day before and packing on the day.