Cabo da Roca: the edge of Europe

9.1.18
Cascais beach

November isn't one of my favourite months, mainly because it's always super cold in my city, so being on the beach in 19 degree weather was a welcome change.

This beach is located in Cascais, a cute little fishing town on Lisbon's coastline. I didn't see much of it as I was also visiting Cabo da Roca, so on my next visit, I'd like to explore it a bit more. 

Cascais beach

Having checked the weather before I left, I still managed to be an idiot and wore black jeans and a jumper whilst most people were in shorts and bikinis...but the beach is my favourite place and couldn't leave without spending at least an hour soaking up the sun. I then made my way to Cabo da Roca, which meant a sand-filled 30 minute bus ride.

cabo de roca

Cabo da Roca is the most westerly point of mainland Europe and that's probably the only reason to visit. There's not much to see and you'd probably spend an hour here at most, but it does provide Insta-worthy pics, so I suggest going when visiting Cascais or Sintra as it's accessible from both.

There's very little protection around the edges of the cliffs, so trying to walk whilst you're holding a camera and a tripod with a bit of wind takes a lot of concentration. 

cabo de roca

cabo de roca

It was one of my must-sees for my trip and I recommend anyone visiting Lisbon to add it to their itinerary, especially if you're on a budget as it's free to attend (though the bus fare is €4 each way)

Have you been to Cabo da Roca? If not, would you want to visit?
Cascais beach

November isn't one of my favourite months, mainly because it's always super cold in my city, so being on the beach in 19 degree weather was a welcome change.

This beach is located in Cascais, a cute little fishing town on Lisbon's coastline. I didn't see much of it as I was also visiting Cabo da Roca, so on my next visit, I'd like to explore it a bit more. 

Cascais beach

Having checked the weather before I left, I still managed to be an idiot and wore black jeans and a jumper whilst most people were in shorts and bikinis...but the beach is my favourite place and couldn't leave without spending at least an hour soaking up the sun. I then made my way to Cabo da Roca, which meant a sand-filled 30 minute bus ride.

cabo de roca

Cabo da Roca is the most westerly point of mainland Europe and that's probably the only reason to visit. There's not much to see and you'd probably spend an hour here at most, but it does provide Insta-worthy pics, so I suggest going when visiting Cascais or Sintra as it's accessible from both.

There's very little protection around the edges of the cliffs, so trying to walk whilst you're holding a camera and a tripod with a bit of wind takes a lot of concentration. 

cabo de roca

cabo de roca

It was one of my must-sees for my trip and I recommend anyone visiting Lisbon to add it to their itinerary, especially if you're on a budget as it's free to attend (though the bus fare is €4 each way)

Have you been to Cabo da Roca? If not, would you want to visit?
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Page one in my bullet journal is my word for 2018.

Happy New Year! (It's not too late to say that, is it?)

From turning 25 in Barcelona, starting an exciting new job and going on my first solo trip, 2017 was a pretty good year for me. Though it started off a little difficult, it was my most productive and progressive year and I made positive steps towards achieving my goals.

At the beginning of a new year, I like to reflect on the progress I've made over the past 12 months and what I still need to do over the next 12 months and beyond to get to where I want to be.
Resolutions are set and very often failed, so I like to set myself 'would-likes,' as I perform better with a goal in mind.

Out of everything I did last year, going on my first solo trip was by far the highlight. At the end of 2016, I set it as a goal but I doubted that it would actually happen. But it did and I'm super proud :)

I plan to travel more this year and I'm definitely going on at least one solo trip.

In other news: blogging consistently hasn't been my thing as I've mentioned and I completely missed my 2 year blogiversary in November! 🤦🏾‍♀️
I am hoping to be more consistent in 2018, though it'll be a pretty busy year for me, but I've got a new camera and a new motivation for blogging and hope to at least stick to my fortnightly schedule. 

I will continue this momentum throughout 2018 and I'm looking forward to it!

Progress.

5.1.18
Page one in my bullet journal is my word for 2018. Happy New Year! (It's not too late to say that, is it?) From turning 25 in Ba...

When planning my trip to Lisbon, Sintra was top of the list.
It's often referred to as the "Portuguese Disneyland" and after visiting, I can see why.

Sintra is located around 40 minutes outside of Lisbon and is easily accessible via the train. The main attractions are dotted across the steep hills of the picturesque town but thankfully, the 434 bus was designed for visitors to see all the sights.



I went during the low season and on a Monday, so it wasn't overcrowded but was still fairly busy. I arrived early afternoon, which isn't enough for all five sights, so my top choices were Castelo dos Mouros and Pena Palace, both of which I had plenty of time to explore.




The Castelo dos Mouros was one of the highlights of my trip and provided me with some of the best views. Again, great views come at a price as there's a lot of walking involved, but definitely worth it!




Pena Palace is responsible for Sintra's Disneyland comparisons and was an absolute must during my 6 days in Portugal. My camera died and isn't the greatest, but it still captured the beauty of the architecture.

Quick tips:

  • Go early in the morning and on a weekday if possible 
  • Bring extra cash for the shuttle bus to Castelo dos Mouros (or walk up another hill)
  • BRING FOOD - other than the town, there's hardly anywhere to eat around the sights 
  • Buy a combined ticket for the sights as it's cheaper
  • There's a lot of walking involved, so wear comfortable shoes
The architecture, the details, the nature - Sintra is a beautiful town and will definitely see me again.

Sintra: The Jewel of Portugal

11.12.17
When planning my trip to Lisbon, Sintra was top of the list. It's often referred to as the "Portuguese Disneyland" and aft...

It's only been a few days since my first solo trip and I've jumped right back into work, so I'm still processing it. Update below!

Upon my arrival, I was greeted with sunshine and palm trees, so I started my trip on a good note. I stayed in Alfama, one of the older and STEEPEST districts, and as beautiful as it was, my calves have never worked so much! 


Public transport is super effective and WAY cheaper than London but the Portuguese city is best explored on foot, so comfortable shoes are an absolute must  if you plan on sightseeing and especially if you plan on visiting Alfama.

I took a fairly different route to and from my Airbnb almost every time due to the maze-like streets - basically I kept getting lost - and discovered some pretty cool artwork and cute cafes by the dozen.

My favourite thing about travelling are views like this. I could do nothing else on my travels but see views like this (and eat, of course) and I’m happy. Viewpoints are dotted across the city; São Jorge Castle has some of the best.














I took virtually no photos of any food as it was so good, I dived straight in. Bacalhau was my favourite, a fish cake of sorts, and as a lover of seafood, my options were endless. Salmon, cod, prawns, sardines...endless.


Confession, though I did plan on trying a pastry from Pastéis de Belém, I didn’t because that queue wasn’t worth it for I’d probably dislike. Next time.











I find it quite difficult to condense a trip into a blog post without it being super long or dragged across several posts and found making a vlog much easier. I have more photos over on the 'gram.

Upcoming Lisbon posts on Sintra, Cascais and the best in street art, so stay tuned.
mayanotmya.com

I'm going on my first solo trip and I'm happy, I'm nervous but I'm mostly HELLA EXCITED.

At first, I was hesitant to tell anyone in case it didn't happen...which is silly because solo travel has always been something I've wanted to do and was always going to do.
During the booking process, the discovery of this quote felt perfectly timed and it instantly entered my top five:

'You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea.' 

Living in Europe provides so many opportunities for quick and affordable travel and having lived in the continent my whole life, I've hardly ventured into it. Thanks to Brexit and everything else, there's no time to waste.

Travelling solo, especially as a black woman, can be quite daunting, but it can also be quite liberating (or at least I hope so). I've always been someone who likes to do their own thing and feel I was made for solo travel.

I'll be spending 6 days in Lisbon, Portugal and though I have a list of things I want to do, I don't want to follow a strict itinerary. I just want to explore and enjoy the city (follow the 'gram for stories and photos.)

Have you travelled solo before?

I'm flying solo

13.11.17
I'm going on my first solo trip and I'm happy, I'm nervous but I'm mostly HELLA EXCITED. At first, I was hesitant t...
Motivational quotes on a desk.

Growing up, I never wanted to work a '9 to 5' as I thought of an office job as the grey cubicle, the dull repetition of menial tasks and being bored AF. I felt you couldn't be very creative" in that environment.

But yet, I find myself in my third office job. And I'm enjoying it. And that's because my job isn't boring AF. I work in digital marketing, which basically means I'm on Twitter and Instagram all day lol jk, but social media is a big chunk of it. 

As I've mentioned previously, I've found my career path and see myself working in it for the next 10, 15 years until the robots take over.

Sure, every millennial's dream job is being a digital nomad; travelling the world, taking pictures and earning money to do so.
Anyone who says they would rather work in an office Monday to Friday is LYING.
I'm sure we've all read the odd "I quit my job and now I travel the world!" blog and whilst it's not impossible, it's not that feasible.

Here's a few pros and cons of working 9 to 5 #whatawaytomakealiving:

PRO - SECURITY. 

Having a regular salary is my most important reason for working full-time, especially as I live in a city as expensive as London. "There's more important things than money," yeah yeah, we all know that, but food and rent do not come for free. 

CON - UNDER-APPRECIATION. 

You work hard to help someone else achieve their goals and it's not always recognised or appreciated as it should be. Working for yourself means putting all your time and energy into your own success AND benefitting from it.

PRO - PEOPLE. 

The people you work with impact on how much you enjoy your job, so it's great when you're working with a team of people that you get on with. I now consider some of my former colleagues friends and I'm grateful to have both met and worked with them. 

CON - ANNUAL LEAVE. 

25-30 days seems to be the average holiday employers give, so travel time is limited. You can't travel for months at a time and are often limited to 2 weeks in a row, unless you're in a higher position.

PRO - PROGRESSION. 

Not just being an intern and working your way up to a senior role, but also in terms of the experience and knowledge you gain from employment. 

CON - COMFORT. 

You can get too comfortable when having a steady job with a steady income and may reduce the amount of risks you take. That comfort can also lead to boredom and lack of caring, which isn't great as you're spending most of your time there.

CON - WORK/LIFE BALANCE

Working Mon-Fri does feel like it takes over your life sometimes and in all honesty, I don't think I'll ever have a GREAT work/life balance whilst full-timing and trying to get my all important 8 hours sleep. I guess it just something you figure out as you go along.

Working full-time isn't for everyone, especially the younger generations, but coming from someone in their mid 20's who once hated the thought of it, it's not all that bad.
Even though I listed more cons than pros.

Do I want to work in an office until I reach retirement? No.
Do I see myself doing it for the next 10 years or so? Yes.

Don't knock the 9 to 5

9.10.17
Growing up, I never wanted to work a '9 to 5' as I thought of an office job as the grey cubicle, the dull repetition of menial...
I create this transition GIF using both the original photograph and the edited illustration of myself. I created the illustration in Adobe Illustrator (obvz)

I've never been that good at art and crafts. I can't draw, I can't sew and my handwriting is slightly neater than chicken scratch, so I'm glad I've found another way to create art.

I've been using Photoshop since my school days and I'm fairly comfortable with it.
There's a lot of ridiculously expensive graphic classes available, but self-teaching (in my opinion) is the best way to learn this stuff.
I've spent many a hour watching video tutorials on Adobe TV because I'm nerdy like that and believe there's an amazing graphics designer waiting to be unleashed.

An illustration of Drake created via a photograph I took at one of his concerts.
 My first illustration from a Drake concert photo a few years back - I'm no fan girl BTW...

Using the same image trace technique, created this outfit illustration

My favourite of the Adobe products is Illustrator as I quite like turning photographs into illustrations - like the ones in this post - all without having to pick up a pencil.
I create these using the image trace function and edit a lot of the details and colours until I'm satisfied, which is never so I'm always editing!

A photograph of the London skyline

London eye illustration

This one took me quite a while to do and I'm still tweaking it as I'd like to re-add the detail of the Eye and some of the clouds, but it's a good start.

I'm no expert and still have a lot to improve on, but I'm enjoying the learning process and would like to create a varied portfolio of work. Who knows where it could lead to?

Have you created illustrations out of your photographs before? (If not, give it a try!)

From Photo to Illustration

18.9.17
I've never been that good at art and crafts. I can't draw, I can't sew and my handwriting is slightly neater than chicken scr...