My second solo trip: Disappointed in Paris

17.4.18
Maya and Eiffel Tower

Paris, France. Hailed as one of the most amazing cities in the world and somewhere you absolutely have to visit during your lifetime.

Having gone to Disneyland over a decade ago without venturing into the city, I felt I should check it out, so I chose it as the destination for my second solo trip. A decision which I kinda regret.

Locks on a bridge
Confession: Paris isn’t that great.

I’ll try to not be super negative about the city because most of it is beautiful and I can understand why people flock to it, but I think it's overrated and highly romanticised.

Notre dame

Ferris wheel on a river

Saint Chapelle
Sainte Chapelle, the highlight of my trip

I stayed in Alfortville, which is 20 mins outside the hustle and bustle of the capital.
I chose to stay here A) because I'm a light sleeper and B) I vowed not to do anything touristy.
But that didn't last long as I wasn't sure on what else to do tbh, so I went to a few of the sights (Eiffel, Notre Dame, Champs-Élysées) and had some tasty crepés.

I have a thing about dirt and I’m rarely without something antibacterial. Again, I don’t mean to generalise the whole city, but 80% of where I visited was in dire need of a good Febreeze, ESPECIALLY the subways which all possessed the fragrance of public toilets (sorry, but it's true.)
I was quite shocked and it was one of the main reasons why I didn’t enjoy my time there.

Pigeon newlyweds at Notre Dame

Snowy streets

I love a diverse city, so that’s always a win and the people I came across were very polite.
It was cold, rained almost daily and snowed on my last two days, which might have slightly contributed to me not enjoying it as much, but I doubt I would’ve loved the city if it was 30°C. People have said to me that Paris is best explored with people, but I went to Lisbon alone and had an amazing time, sooo 🤷🏾‍♀️

Maya on a bridge

Paris is really pretty at night and I took some decent photos, but overall, I left feeling very underwhelmed and have no plans to return anytime soon.

Have you been to Paris? Do you think I'm being totes rude or nah?
Maya and Eiffel Tower

Paris, France. Hailed as one of the most amazing cities in the world and somewhere you absolutely have to visit during your lifetime.

Having gone to Disneyland over a decade ago without venturing into the city, I felt I should check it out, so I chose it as the destination for my second solo trip. A decision which I kinda regret.

Locks on a bridge
Confession: Paris isn’t that great.

I’ll try to not be super negative about the city because most of it is beautiful and I can understand why people flock to it, but I think it's overrated and highly romanticised.

Notre dame

Ferris wheel on a river

Saint Chapelle
Sainte Chapelle, the highlight of my trip

I stayed in Alfortville, which is 20 mins outside the hustle and bustle of the capital.
I chose to stay here A) because I'm a light sleeper and B) I vowed not to do anything touristy.
But that didn't last long as I wasn't sure on what else to do tbh, so I went to a few of the sights (Eiffel, Notre Dame, Champs-Élysées) and had some tasty crepés.

I have a thing about dirt and I’m rarely without something antibacterial. Again, I don’t mean to generalise the whole city, but 80% of where I visited was in dire need of a good Febreeze, ESPECIALLY the subways which all possessed the fragrance of public toilets (sorry, but it's true.)
I was quite shocked and it was one of the main reasons why I didn’t enjoy my time there.

Pigeon newlyweds at Notre Dame

Snowy streets

I love a diverse city, so that’s always a win and the people I came across were very polite.
It was cold, rained almost daily and snowed on my last two days, which might have slightly contributed to me not enjoying it as much, but I doubt I would’ve loved the city if it was 30°C. People have said to me that Paris is best explored with people, but I went to Lisbon alone and had an amazing time, sooo 🤷🏾‍♀️

Maya on a bridge

Paris is really pretty at night and I took some decent photos, but overall, I left feeling very underwhelmed and have no plans to return anytime soon.

Have you been to Paris? Do you think I'm being totes rude or nah?
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Last week, I took a trip to Blooms London for "Building and Thriving for career and business success," a panel discussion by For Working Ladies, a digital platform featuring career, entrepreneurship and general life advice for working women. 
The four women on the panel - Naomi Mdudu, Emma Alexander, Dior Bediako and Lu Li - are all entrepreneurs and each shared their journey, the challenges they faced and their tips on having your own business.

Whilst I don't really plan to own my own business one day, listening to successful women (not just in terms of career, but life in general) always inspires me to think about my own path and where I want to be.
They each dropped some killer career and life advice/quotes which I had to share; spice up your life below.

P I E - PERFORMANCE. IMAGE. EXPOSURE.

HOW I SPEND MY TIME IS HOW I SPEND MY LIFE.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A RELIABLE WAY TO BRING IN BUSINESS, THEN YOU DON’T HAVE A BUSINESS.


THE WAY YOU SPEND YOUR TIME SHOWS WHAT YOU VALUE.

EVERYTHING IS A TRANSACTION.

WHAT IS YOUR ‘WHY’? OWN YOUR SUBJECT.

NO IS A FULL SENTENCE. THERE’S NO NEED FOR AN EXPLANATION.

BE EXCELLENT.

...always.

Quotes on building and thriving.

1.4.18
Last week, I took a trip to Blooms London for " Building and Thriving for career and business success ," a panel discussion b...

This isn't my first 'so it's been a while' post and probably won't be the last.

Even though I've been quite busy with my job, I don't think lack of time is the only reason why I haven't been blogging. Like I've said many times before, I do enjoy it but it'll never be a top priority for me and sometimes, I just don't know what to write about and can't find the motivation.

I want to read more books, write more poetry, start learning a new language; I want to achieve as much as I can in my spare time and move closer towards my goals.

I've recently returned from Paris on my not-so inspiring second solo trip (post soon) and I've got a few more posts in the pipeline, but your best bet is to catch me on Instagram and Twitter where I'm more active.

Still refocusing.

26.3.18
This isn't my first ' so it's been a while ' post and probably won't be the last. Even though I've been qui...
Though I get to celebrate the birthdays of several family members, January isn't one of my favourite months. It's long, it's cold and the excitement of a new year doesn't last that long. Having said that, I've had a pretty good January...

WHAT I READ


Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba

I made it my mission to read more this year and this one has been on my list for a while. I've almost finished it and it's been an enjoyable read. It's the perfect book for creative working women in need of a bit of inspiration, advice and tips on building a successful career. Some of it may seem like stuff you already know, but reading it from another perspective (especially from one as highly knowledgeable as Otegha) helps drill it into your mind.


WHAT I LISTENED TO



Birds And The BEE9 - Sampa The Great

Appropriate title because her music is great. Bye River has been on daily repeat throughout January, as has this whole mixtape. I love her fusion of genres paired with the poetic lyrics and her flow. She's definitely one to watch. Rhymes To The East is another recommendation.

I've also started listening to Otegha Uwagba's podcast, In Good Company, which - like her book - is full of practical advice for working women and I've really been enjoying it so far.

WHAT I SAW


I finally made it to Basquiat: Boom For Real at the Barbican and I was quite disappointed. It was inspiring to see such a wide variety of his work, but the vibrancy and the energy in Basquiat's work weren't reflected in the space; it felt sterile, lethargic and could've been any random exhibition.
I went on a private view for under 25-year-olds, so I expected it to be buzzing, but people were whispering and tip-toeing around...it just wasn't what it should've been in my opinion. But it was amazing to learn more about him as an artist and his influence on art, music, fashion and New York in general.


WHAT I DID

I booked my second solo trip, woo!
As soon as I touched down from my first solo trip, I was already planning my next one. It's great to travel with other people and I do enjoy it, but having the complete freedom of doing what you want, when you want without having to plan for/with other people just can't be beaten.
Planning to travel with other people can be a long process and things keep changing and never get confirmed and #aintnobodygottimeforthat (bringing it back in 2018)
If you want to go somewhere, just go. Solo travel is life.

How was your January? Do you have any podcast recommendations?

January.

4.2.18
Though I get to celebrate the birthdays of several family members, January isn't one of my favourite months. It's long, it's col...
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia in all its beauty...

DISCLAIMER: I had this post ready a few months ago, but felt it would be inappropriate to upload it considering the recent attacks and the unrest. Barcelona is a beautiful city and though we live in scary times, we can't let hate stop us from exploring new cultures, countries and people.

These three La's frequently popped up when I was planning the itinerary for my trip to the Catalan city last April. Yes, it's great to go off the beaten track but there's some things that can't be missed...

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

I'll be honest, I wasn't too bothered about including LSF in my itinerary as I'm not that into churches/cathedrals (so I thought), but a trip without visiting the most popular attraction might be a waste, so I changed my mind and WHAT a great decision that was.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, construction began in 1882 and is still going on to this day. These photos do zero justice; Google it or better yet, visit yourself because it is a masterpiece; one of the most spectacular buildings I've ever seen. Tip: buy your ticket online beforehand to avoid long queue times.

La Sagrada Familia
Local crafters

La Ramblas

La Ramblas stalls

Your typical tourist market. Overpriced souvenirs, an abundance of postcards and your not-so typical genital-shaped plants that you can grow at home.
I was staying quite close to La Ramblas and having passed it quite regularly, I don't think it was ever quiet during the day. It might not be an absolute must, but it's well-known so at least you can say you've been (though shop elsewhere as it's pricey than most places!)

La Boqueria




Fruit stall

The inside market was INSANELY packed. We lasted about 5 minutes before realising we weren't going to move very far, but definitely got a good feel for it and saw some great displays. Chocolate flip-flops, anyone?

Have you been to Barcelona and if so, what else would you say is a must-see?

The Three La's of Barcelona

22.1.18
La Sagrada Familia in all its beauty... DISCLAIMER: I had this post ready a few months ago, but felt it would be inappropriate to up...
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?

Cabo da Roca: the edge of Europe

9.1.18
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 ...
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...