Big Move!

After 10 years in London I am still in love with this city but the weather is far from ideal! For years we have been thinking about the best place to live in the World. A place with good weather, good people, good food and the sea nearby.

Even though I haven’t mentioned this to anyone yet our plans to move are well under way. If all goes as planned we will be enjoying the Sri Lankan tropical weather and their delicious food by the end of the year.

Soon I will let you know what we will be doing there and where we will be living.

It will be great to enjoy the seaside and travel around a bit before settling down in our new place. I am looking forward to exploring our new home.

If you have any tips about life in Sri Lanka please let me know.

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Lanzarote

March last year we stayed in Lanzarote for about 10 days. It was our first time in the Canary Islands, but not the last. As usual we didn’t stay in just one place the whole time. By doing this and renting a car we get to explore the place we are visiting a lot better.

In this post I am sharing with you some tips on what to do and what are the best beaches in the island. Also giving you an insight on where we stayed and how much we spent on this holiday. Enjoy!

About our accommodation…

The first two nights we stayed not far from the airport at a not very amazing apartment in a quiet area not far from the sea.

For our next apartment we chose a small one in Orzola (North of the island). We rented this place through Airbnb. It was in a very quiet residential area. Apart from not having hot water for the showers we enjoyed our time there. We stayed here to explore the northern beaches and to visit La Graciosa island.

The cherry on top was the last apartment/loft in a beautiful place surrounded by mountains and the sea with our own rooftop. We enjoyed a few canary sunsets while sipping wine on the rooftop. It was the best. This place was in the South of Lanzarote.

Things to do…

Even though Lanzarote is not a  big island there are plenty of things to do! If you have the time just buy the combined ticket to see a few different attractions as this is cheaper then buying individual tickets.

One of my favorites was the Cactus Garden. Definitely worth a visit. I would recommend you do not visit in the middle of the day as there is no shade.

Cueva de los Verdes is another great attraction.  The guided tour was quite fun and it was interesting to learn more about the history of the cave.

Another cool place to go and check out is the Jameos del Agua which is great for cool pictures (if you’re lucky to have no tourists in the frame).

Mirador del Rio is great at sunset. It can get a little cold up there so take a jacket.

Los Hervideros is a must see in the island and at no extra cost.

Timanfaya National Park is great to look at volcanoes (to be honest so is the rest of the island). Please note that you can expect a long queue  there if you don’t arrive early. I would have been OK missing out on this one so if you are short of time you might want to do something else instead.

Beaches…

Even though I don’t think Lanzarote is exactly a beach destination there are some good ones in the island.

Our favorite, Papagayo beach. Not the best road access but totally worth it, you have to pay a small fee to access the road to the beach or you can get a boat there from Playa Blanca.

Las Conchas in the island of La Graciosa is amazingly beautiful but not easy access as you need to get a boat to the island and from there ride a bike or get a 4×4 ride to the beach. I would not recommend walking there. Not ideal for swimming as the sea can be a bit rough.

Caletón Blanco is the cutest with the white sand and black rocks and has very easy access as it is just by the road in the northern side of the island.

Windy Famara great for water sports but not really ideal for a chilled day at the beach.

Charco de los Clicos is not really one for a beach day but you must visit this unique place.

Places to eat…

We did eat at home most of the time as we stayed in apartments but we still tried a couple of restaurants. Below are the restaurants not to miss.

La Bohemia for amazing meat, cool decor and your own set of “flavoured” salt choices to add a special twist to your meal.

Tabla Arrecife for great burgers, different beers, yummy desserts and friendly service.

Cost…

This holiday was one of the cheapest we have done at £1500 including flights, accommodation, rental car, food and a few other things. Considering we have done and seen most things available in Lanzarote and had the freedom to do it in our own time this was pretty good.

I would definitely recommend Lanzarote if you want to enjoy unique landscapes, warm weather, good food and a chilled vibe.

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Viral on YouTube?

Back in September 2016 I was terrified with my upcoming tonsillectomy but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a good few days in Crete. It was my last holiday before I went to sleep on general anesthetic for the first time and I am super glad it was not my last one!

When I was recovering I got quite bored of watching Netflix so I dedicated a lot of my time to editing all the footage we had from our time in Crete and put together a decent holiday video (I think).

This is my most viewed video on YouTube! Hope you enjoy it too if you haven’t watched it yet.

I know it seems like I don’t have a lot of content on my YouTube channel but this is because I decided to keep most of my videos exclusive to the blog. Which means you can only see them if you have the link. Also I haven’t really had the will to make videos recently. Video editing is super time-consuming and it is not often that I am doing things that lead to good content.

Crete is an amazing place and I would definitely recommend you visit if you can! Unfortunately flights to Greece are not that affordable these days. I wanted to go explore some new Greek islands this year but don’t really fancy spending a fortune in flights.

I have written a few posts on the blog about our time in Crete if you would like to know more about the island:
Planning the trip
Heraklion
Chania
Kissamos and Balos
Elafonisi and Kedrodasos
The end!

Can’t wait for Summer to be here so I can go explore some new places in decent warm weather!

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10 Weeks out of 52

This year I decided to keep working on my photography. To ensure I don’t neglect it I have challenged myself to make at least one picture a week. I am following a specific challenge so I have a new theme every week. No excuses!

WEEK 1 – Look Ahead

New year. New beginnings. New you. Look ahead. Interpret as you wish. 

It was more looking up than looking ahead but the plane going into the clouds on a sunny day felt right for the new beginnings theme.

WEEK 2 – Color Harmony

Get out your color wheel. Do opposites attract? Can there be harmony with opposite colors? Does the Hulk wear purple pants? Mix warm and cool colors.

This one isolated the cold and warm colors so well that I had to pick it for this week. I love how well the red goes with the turquoise window glass.

WEEK 3 – Full Manual

While the camera often determines shutter speed and aperture for the photographer, it doesn’t know your creative intent. This week, challenge your self to assume creative control over the camera by using full manual mode. Select a subject where varying the aperture and / or shutter speed helps enhance the composition and visual qualities of the image.

Selfie taken using the manual mode on my camera, edited in Lightroom with a gradient map applied in Photoshop.

WEEK 4 – Quiet Moment

Peace. Serenity. Tranquility. Convey a quiet moment.

This one is quite personal. At the time it represented a quiet moment spent at home.

Week 5 – Photographer’s Choice

Capture an image on your terms; who, what, where, when, why, how … it’s all up to you. Caveat: You must tell us your intent.

I find this shot so pleasing and such a good representation of London.

Week 6 – Alternating Rhythm

Alternate patterns of light to bring depth and rhythm to the photograph.

This one fits the theme like a glove.

Week 7 – Fill the Frame

Fill the frame with your subject, no background. You will need to get up close and personal, or use a good zoom lens.

Traffic light filling in the frame.

Week 8 – Zoom Burst

By changing the focal length during long exposure you can add movement to your frame, producing leading lines within your frame.

The first time I tried this effect and even though I am not very keen on the results it was fun to try something new.

Week 9 – Forsaken

Abandoned and Forgotten were favorites in the past. Let’s revisit the idea the idea this year with forsaken.

A close-up shot of the roof seemed fitting for this week’s theme.

Week 10 – Selective Color

I know, I know. Yuck. Selective color can be cringeworthy, however, when done right, it brings compelling focus to the subject.

It is not every day that you see a blue sky in London!

Super glad I have not missed a week of the challenge yet and I am enjoying trying new things when it comes to photography.

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About Religion

Being born in Portugal means that in some way you are likely to be exposed to religion throughout your life.

I was no different. My grandparents were quite religious so as a child I believed in God too. I would pray to have good weather on my birthday!

As I started getting older more questions popped up. I wasn’t happy blindly believing in something that didn’t make much sense. My mum always allowed me the space to make my own mind up about religion. I thought that was great. I wasn’t even baptized as my mum didn’t think she should make that decision for me or my brother.

Not getting the reasoning behind religion and believing in God I just lost interest in the subject and carried out my life just considering the “real” things around me.

Even though I respect people believing in some sort of God I find it a little annoying when they try to get me to believe in it too.

It’s the weekend I don’t want strangers ringing my bell to tell me about God! Only Domino’s and Deliveroo should be ringing that bell.

At work I don’t want to be invited to church (unless you’re getting married). Or at least I don’t want it to be followed by a roll of questions about me not believing in church or God. Questions that made it seem like you believe something is not quite right with me. And no, I don’t want to think about it. It almost made me ask back some of the same questions, ask why you believe. Is it a family thing? But I had work to do and didn’t think it was the place for a long discussion about religion. So I let the conversation end by saying thank you for the invitation.

At a later time when discussing the religion subject with someone else she tells me that she feels it separates people so she chose not to be religious. Giving me the example of not being able to marry someone from a different religion.

I found this so interesting because it would have not been an issue in Portugal where there is not a great variety of religions. You are not likely to find someone to marry of a different religion so it is not a very common “problem”.

Growing up in a city like London that makes a lot more sense and rejecting religion due to it being a segregation factor is quite inspiring.

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On a Schedule

I have committed to posting twice a week on the blog. You can count with new posts on Wednesdays and Sundays at 6pm. This is mostly to keep myself accountable and to avoid simply not writing whenever I am feeling lazy.

Surprisingly I have kept it going and have not failed one single post yet.

Might seem like an easy feat but when you have a full-time job, a boyfriend, photography as a hobby, Netflix and love to travel free time is not always abundant. Some posts take me an hour or two to draft but others take more than a day!

Finding the time to get visually rich posts or ones that require some level of research out there is not always possible.

When I am traveling I don’t always want to carry my laptop as it adds extra weight to my hand luggage. On my last break I left it at home and opted to write a couple extra blog posts before going away instead of writing them in Portugal. If I am getting a car at the destination I prefer to take the laptop as it is handy to edit the pictures I am taking and also to write about what I am up to while away. I find that it helps keeping the content fresh.

Saying all this I thoroughly enjoy the process of writing on the blog. Sometimes I even find myself thinking about writing more often.

With all the social media platforms and their ever-changing rules it’s great to have my own platform where I am the one making the rules.

I have been trying to figure out if changing up the schedule would help with the creative process in any way. Could always go back to not having a set schedule but I like the fact that you know when to pop in here for a new post.

Not going to lie, post topics don’t always come easy. Even though I have a list of possible topics I only write about something when I’m feeling it.

Let me know your thoughts. Does having a schedule even matter to you as a reader?

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Traveling Alone

Traveling alone is so rare that I still find it hard at times.

This time I decided to go visit my mum as soon as possible to spend some quality time with her. As flights get more expensive every day booking this visit was time sensitive. I didn’t want to spend a fortune for just a long weekend at home. As I said before everything was booked within a couple of hours so I managed to get a good deal for a last-minute getaway.

When I was doing that I didn’t really think it through. The truth is I do struggle being away from my boyfriend. If I have an activity packed holiday I manage just fine as my mind is busy. But this time I was mostly chilling at home as the constant rain did not allow for a lot more than that. That made it a little more difficult and I did miss him more than usual.

The day I got to Lisbon started at 3am! Flight was delayed and after 4 hours inside the plane I was already starting to feel tired. Still managed to run some errands with my brother and do the shopping for Saturday dinner. Lunch was at a local restaurant we love and we stuffed our faces like little pigs. At home we chilled until it was dinner time. We had fondue. I had a good time but was half dead for the most of it and really wanted to get some sleep.

Sunday morning there was a break in the skies and it didn’t rain until lunch time so we got to visit MAAT (a relatively new museum by the river). It’s stunning outside but there’s not a lot to see or do inside. Good thing we visited on a free entrance day. After a short shopping spree we had lunch at the “local” shopping center and headed home to chill afterwards. We ate so much for lunch that dinner was just chicken soup.

Monday morning was chilled at home while it rained outside. My mum cooked one of my favourite dishes for lunch and with my belly full I headed out with a friend. Luckily it didn’t rain anymore that day! We hit some of the touristy spots by the coast, had a drink at a cool bar, took a few pictures and had dinner by the river. The conversation was flowing all day and I had a really good time.

Tuesday was spent with my mum. We left the house in the morning to run some errands, had breakfast in Belém, walked along the river with the dog and had a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. I might have had a bit too much sangria and we had a lovely time together. Before heading to the airport I mostly chilled at home.

On the flight back I watched a movie on my phone (thanks Netflix for having downloadable options) and it was great having an empty seat next to me. Luckily on arrival I didn’t have to rely on public transport as my friends are the best and I got picked up from the airport.

Looking forward to going away again but next time with my boyfriend!

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