Category: Lifestyle

The Grand Final, going home

Hello everybody,

I am currently writing this from my phone while I am still on Waiheke Island in New Zealand. Tomorrow I will be flying to the United Kingdom, London. This marks the end of my world trip and man,  oh man it went fast. I hoped to update you more often but WiFi and no laptop for most of the time made it hard. I would like to go through few of the most asked questions I get and just my overall feeling at the moment and of this trip. Sorry for any spelling mistakes this is just a quick and easy witten blogpost from my phone.

Kitesurfing in Dakhla

For those of you who don’t know me just a quick explanation. When I was 25 in November 2016 me and my boyfriend Mike went on a world working-holiday trip. We started of in Zanzibar, Tanzania where we worked as managers for a kiteschool. After four months we went to Morocco to work in the desert as kitesurf instructors for four months again. After we finished our work in the desert we travelled through Morocco for a month and hit Tarifa in Spain for a week to kitesurf. After that we went home. Mike decided to stay home at the end of August & I continued travelling again in September to Australia with my cousin for a month. Me and my cousin went to Bali where she had to go after a few days, back to work. I stayed in Bali for a month and Mike came to visit me for two weeks. After Bali it was time for me to go to New Zealand for six weeks. The first four weeks I worked as a nanny and groom in Rotorua on the northern Island of New Zealand. The last two weeks I travelled around the northern island. Now it is time for the last part of the trip and that is London for a week to get used to the cold and get into the christmas sphere.

One of the questions I get asked the most is what has been your favorite place? I must say this is a hard one but I think Morocco.. It is just like going back in time and the whole country is so magical. BUT New Zealand is by far the most beautiful country I ever visited. No words can describe the beauty of this country. They are both magical!

Did I ever regret going away for so long? Not one second of it. Of course there were times that it was very hard, because of work or the circumstances we were living in but overall this year has brought me more good than bad.

How much money do you need to go away for a year? It depends, I was working quite a lot as well but mostly for accommodation and food so i could not save much. It was’t about making much money for me anyway. I wanted to experience things, I wanted to see how I cope with stuff in different environments, how the people are at the other side of the world ensofort. I went away with 5000 euro. I come back with absolutely nothing. That was also my goal, otherwise I would have stayed for longer. I must say I am a GLAMPACKER who likes going out for dinner and the more expensive hostels. So if you are really on a budget and don’t mind eating noodles or couchsurfing you can stay away for much longer. I also refuse to have a backpack, I have a perfectly fine 4×4 suitcase. If you know me don’t start laughing, I also brought my glitterdresses. You have to stay true to your inner self!

Have you met a lot of people on your trip? Yes I have, if they are friends for life? Probably not but I wasnt searching for them. I was searching for stories, learning about people and what motivates them in life. I wanted to learn how to get along with everybody and to never judge someone. A day in a hostel is the same as your first schoolday. You meet new people all the time and you are making friends, (mostly shortterm) all the time! That’s the awesome thing about travelling. If you know someone for a day you just hang out with them as if you know them for many years already.

Travelling has made me realize you dont need much in life. Some clothes, sun cream and a little make up and a glitterdress and not to forget my beloved kites are enough to make a trip awesome. Good company makes it complete. As long as I am travelling somewhere close by the sea I am at my happiest self.

What did I miss the most? No doubt, my friends and family. And cooking, I almost didn’t cook for a whole year! Can you imagine? Still I ate very healthy though. I even lost weight instead of gaining which is the normal average while travelling. But my work was always very heavy and it made me fit!

Am I done with travelling? The answer is no. I still havent seen most of Asia and Norther  or Southern America so that is the next step! Oh and Eastern Europe to keep it a little bit more closer to home. When the next time will be? No idea. But the hunger is still here.

Has the last year changed me? That is for you to see, i don’t think it has. But other people can probably judge that better. I am more relaxed, and more comfortable with myself as I spent a lot of time on my own as well. The only thing that has changed is that I don’t want to migrate anymore. I always wanted to live somewhere else but probably the Netherlands will be the place I end up. There is no place like home 😘 See you soon  everyone, thank you for the endless support & calls and visits!

 

Xoxo Irina

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26 questions for my 26th Birthday!

Hi everyone & welcome back on my blog!

I saw this TAG going around and I thought why not do the same for my birthday, the 2nd of August I will become 26 years old.

*this is me freaking out for a second* *26!!* *Can I stay 22 for ever?* *NO* *life goes on*
All questions are related to how my 25th was and what is yet to come.

1.What was your favorite trip?
This must be our stay at the Warere beach hotel in Nungwi Zanzibar. Mike and I were so ready for a mini holiday during our stay in Zanzibar after all the working we did. This hotel was a dream and it felt like a mini honeymoon. We walked along the beach, we drunk to many Amarula with ice and had a long but good road trip through Zanzibar as well coming there.

2. What was your favorite book?
I did not read that many books this year, but since we now live in the desert in Morocco I started reading again to have something to do in my spare time. My favorite books and author from the last year were from JoJo Moyes, I absolutely love her writing. My favorite book which I have read already two times from her is the last letter from your lover. I highly recommend to read this book if you are a sucker for love letters like I am. I you don’t like to read I have a good alternative and I don’t mean listen to an audiobook, I mean listen to podcasts. I am recently loving podcasts a lot and I can’t wait until I have my own home again with good WiFi & a pair of wireless headphones to stroll around listening to podcasts. Currently loving the -At Home With- range from Lily Pebbles and Anna Newton.

3. Your best fashion buy?
I have a thing for dungarees. When I was younger I was always wearing them even though other people may found it weird. Dungarees are probably the most man repellent clothes a girl or women can wear. But who cares, wear what you want to wear! My favorite pair of dungarees I bought this year are from H&M and they have short legs. I wear them all the time and because it is denim pair it fits with almost everything

4. Best decision work wise?
Work wise a lot has changed the last year. I stopped working at Nationale Nederlanden the 1th of November 2016. I Stopped working at my second job at the Zuiderstrand Theatre the 1th of December. At the beginning of our trip in December Mike and I managed a Kitesurfcentre in Zanzibar for four months & now Mike and I take care of the KiteWorldWide camp in Dakhla Morocco and we are kitesurf instructors. Probably the best decision work wise this year was to make sure that we do not work more than we need to. In Zanzibar we had to work such long days and 6 days a week that we decided to, if we are on a world trip we should not work more hours than we did at home. That said we quit the job after four months and went for a more relax job in Morocco!

5. Best interior buy?
This year we did not have our own house. But for travelling we bought some home bits and bops. The best thing we bought was a string of fairy lights! It made our rooms where we stayed in in Zanzibar & Morocco both very romantic at night. It was only 2 euro at IKEA!

6. Best dish you ate?
Pastille in Morocco. It is kind of a pie filled with chicken *but can be fish or something else* with nuts and powder sugar and cinnamon on top! Best dish ever!

7. The best advise you got?
I did not get a lot of advice this year. We did meet a lot of people but only for a very short time, we did not discuss much advise stories with them. But the best advice I gave myself and I give to you guys is: ’’Do not waste your twenties thinking about careers, money & you have to do this and that’’. Go out there and explore. Life is short and you can only grab some opportunities once. I met so many people who said they wanted to travel but they said they can’t because of work for example. Then you are just living somebody else’s life but not your own. It was very sad for me to see that so many people are stuck in what society calls life. Of course everybody has different dreams and mine was travelling the world. But do not waste your time on stuff or jobs you don’t like, you are too young!

8. Nicest photo?

9. The best moment of last year?
Wow, there are so many, I will list a few down below.
Saying goodbye to my colleagues at my old job and knowing that I had a great time there.
My farewell party with all my friends & when they sang a song for me
The feeling of freedom the first two weeks on Zanzibar with our friends Frank & Janneke
Starting our trip and going to Zanzibar on its own.
Enjoying Zanzibar with my parents & my friends!
Dancing with our feet in the sand in Jambo Beach bar in Zanzibar
Coming home in March & seeing all our friends
Same story in May when I saw my friend Rudy which I had not seen in a year.
Visiting the wedding of friends
Kitesurfing in Dakhla with Mike & the guests
Seeing our Danish Friends again in Morocco
Booking my world ticket
The feeling when we got the house we wanted which will be finished in 2018
And most of all being with Mike everyday & meeting tons of other lovely people!

10. Most listened to album?
Harry Styles – Harry Styles & Hozier – Hozier, apparently I liked albums named after the artist.. Oh and of course Ed Sheeran – Divide & Adele – 25 (favorite album of Adele so far and she was 25 as well!)

11. Best series you watched?
Reign & Game of Thrones

12. Favorite instagram account?
Ohh dear, I follow a lot of people. Not only on my own Instagram account @irinavannamen but also on our couple account @sun.sea.spirit!
I follow a lot of influencers & travel people & kitesurfpeople.
I will pick a favorite in each of the following categories.
Fashion   – @asos
Actor       – @vindiesel I love his captions, he is so sweet!
Singer     – I do not follow many singers…
Book/Poem @rupikaur_ or @atticuspoetry
Influencer – @vivianhoorn @yara_michels @theannaedit
Travel – @natgeotravel @saltinourhair @theblondeabroad and many many more.
Decor/ home – @festamsterdam @sofacompanynl @westelmuk @urbanoutfitters

13. What did not happen, failure in your 25th?
I did not became a millionaire, no joking I do not know an answer to that now.

14. If you could change anything from the last year?
I would have done the same thing over and over again. Just because I learned so much about myself and my skills and which skills I don’t have. Oh and I have learned that all people are different & my friends and family are the best people in the world. Not that I did not already know, but if you meet hundreds of other people it just shows extra that sometimes you are lucky you have met the greatest people already.

15. Best movie?
Me before you & Bridget Jones Baby

16. Favorite beauty product?
Clinique chubby sticks, bronzer & highlight

17. Favorite scent?
Zanzibar blend, * a mix made by locals & smelled delicious * & Black Opium from YSL

18. Crazy habit?
I have many! Some of you may know I have Misophonia. Crazy habits coming with Misophonia are running away in trains from people who make certain noises or repetitive movements like shaking legs & tipping on the table, not only in trains though. If you want to learn more about it visit this website.

19. Most painful physically?
When I had dengue fever in Zanzibar. It is also called the bone-breaker disease. It lasted a few days and I thought I was ran over by a truck. I could literally not lift a spoon.

20. Favorite color?
All shades of Pink & Blue

21. Most proud?
I cannot point a finger to everyone, because many of the people I know have had to go through some big life changes this year. Most proud I am of my Aunt, she overcame breast cancer this year. Not that she could do anything about that, but the way she stood tall & strong through the whole process. I love her!

22. Best laugh?
Probably with our friends Anders & Laura in Zanzibar, we were just laughing a lot!

23. Most expensive purchase?
My 10 meter 2017 North Dice Kite (900 Euro) & my world ticket (1850 Euro). But both give me all the joy in the world so it is all worth it

24. The best family moment?
As I was not home that much last year I do not have many moments with my family. But my farewell party was very nice moment with them!
My parents also came and visited me and Mike in Zanzibar, it was very special for me to share this experience with them.
When we where home we went bowling with my parents, my brother and sister in law and me and Mike this was also just a normal but very nice moment.
Cherish the little moments! Seeing my family again after a few months is always the best! I already know that the best family moment when I come home will be meeting my new niece Fenna, can not wait to meet the little girl.

25. The best drink of the last year?
Definitely AMARULA! I have drunken way to many bottles on Zanzibar. Amarula with ice & sharing it with friends is the best!
This was definitely one of my pinch me moments when Robin & Hannah and me were having a nice dinner with Amarula on Zanzibar.

26. Something I am looking forward to in my 26th year..
Seeing my friends & family again the end of August, the weddings of a couple of our friends, my travels with my cousin & mike and travelling on my own through New-Zealand and last but not least decorating our new house and settling down next summer in the Netherlands!

Love you all, & see you soon!

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A little ramble..

Hello everyone,

Its been a while since I gave you an update about our travels. Mike and I are currently working for KiteWorldWide in Dakhla, in Morocco as kitesurf instructors/ guides. Dakhla lies in the midst of the Western Sahara which is particularly a kind of ‘no-mans-land’. We started working here since the end of March. We will stay here until the 31th of July and then we will travel through Morocco for a while and end up in Tarifa for holidays. The most asked question Mike and I get is if we do not get bored of living in the desert. The answer is no, the desert is beautiful more then I could ever imagine. The wind is blowing almost every day so if we get the change we will be on the water ourselves or teaching the whole day! Also the group we get in the camp is changing every week, meeting new people and talking to people is a thing we really like. These things keep our work interesting and diverse. In May we were home for one week for two weddings of our friends. Because we are home every 2/3 months we are not homesick as well. Of course we miss our friends & family but a few months pass by so fast every time!

The 31th of July Mike and I will start on our journey through Morocco, we will fly from Dakhla to Agadir. We will stay 8 nights in the Lunar Surfhouse where we will celebrate my 26th birthday (CRAZY EXCITED!). My 25th was so amazing, I had the chance to fulfill one of my dreams which I was dreaming of since I was 13! I cannot wait what my 26th year will bring me! After our surf/yoga experience at the Lunar Surfhouse we will arrive in Marrakech for a ‘thousand-and-one-night‘ experience. After our trip in Marrakech we have a few days for which we did not plan anything. Mike and I would love to ride a camel in the desert and hike the Atlas Mountains around Marrakech, so we probably will end up doing that! Then it is time for us to leave Morocco/Africa for a while. We decided that our next adventure will be out of Africa, it is time to explore other continents and cultures. We will travel via Tanger with the ferry to Tarifa and kite there for one week, and finally eat something else then tajine. Say yes to a lot of tapas and our favorite drink: SANGRIA. We will celebrate Mikes’ birthday there. So long for keeping up with our tradition to celebrate our birthdays on holiday :).

The 22th of August we will be in the Netherlands again, one of my good friends is marrying then. These are things you do not want to miss out on. Even not when travelling the world. Because it is summer as well in the Netherlands we decided to stay in the Netherlands for a few weeks to enjoy the love&happiness of our family & friends. We will travel from the end of September on again. The good thing is we have not planned any of it yet. Looking forward to where our future travel plans will take us. For now we are really enjoying our time in Dakhla teaching, talking with a lot of people & enjoying our time together. It is truly great to spent so much time together. Maybe it looks scary to you to work and live together with your partner, (we do it now for 6 months) and it is a really good experience. Anyone who can keep up with me for so long is a keeper.

If you are in to kitesurfing I would highly recommend going to Dakhla once in your life. It is a great lagoon to learn, but also a great spot to progress if you can kite already. The whole atmosphere is perfect, everyone comes to Dakhla to kite, there is not much to take your attention of kiting. Not to forget the spot has 11 months of wind a year.. The best period is from mid-May until the end of October. January is the off-season, for the rest of the months you have to be lucky the wind is there half of the time, which is still more than at other spots. In short Dakhla is great.

Kitesurfing in Dakhla

We will enjoy our lost 50 nights in Dakhla & our travels in Morocco & Tarifa. We will keep you updated about our travels and for our plans in the future.

If you have any questions about our travels put them in the comments down below.
We are so grateful for this trip and spending so much time in and on the water, it is one of the best experiences we ever had and we get to enjoy it together. <3

With love,

us.

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Karibu! Life on Zanzibar

Hello everyone,

Welcome, or as we say in Swahili : Karibu to Zanzibar.
As you know from my former blogpost Mike and I went to Zanzibar on the 25th of November 2016. This feels and is, a long time ago already.
Ever since we have been here I wanted to write a blogpost. Little did I know that you will find gold easier then you will find good WiFi.
So many times have past by that I was walking on the beach and was thinking, this or that I have to tell the people at home trough my blog. But as ideas and stories in your head may come up, they will go as well. Now it is low season I have found the chance to come and tell you all about our life for the past 4 months. Take a drink and a snack and enjoy our story.

As you may not know Zanzibar is a small Island, and its actual name is Unguja and it is located in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the two islands of Tanzania, Pemba is the Island close to Zanzibar but less touristic. Zanzibars’ name comes originally from the Persians’ Zang-bar which means: black coast. Zanzibar has a history of slavery, in 1873 the slavery ended on Zanzibar under force of the British Navy. On the mainland of Tanzania the slavery ended after the first World War.

When we arrived on Zanzibar it was quit a shock for me, I had seen more of Africa than Mike (South Africa, Cape Verde, Tunisia & Egypt) but Zanzibar was more like you imagine Africa then all the others countries I’ve been combined. That said, Mike had never been tot Africa and he was really calm. We drove from the airport at around 10 o’clock in the evening together with our friends Frank & Janneke to a guesthouse named Bellevue. Frank & Janneke joined us the first two weeks on our adventure which was amazing. After two nights in the beautiful guesthouse of the owner of the Kitecenter,  it was time to go to the ‘Orange house’. The Orange house is the house Mike & I and most of the instructors live in for the season. It is directly in the center of Paje. Let me say it was quit an experience, imagine one of your worst experienced student houses you have ever been in, and then that is it. But as it is the same with everything, it just needs time to get used to it. Now it even feels like home! First thing we did was get all the old furniture out because we were sure we did not want to sit on it. We put on some white bed sheets on our bed and it looked like a hotel room. Big shout out to our friends who helped cleaning the house on their holiday. Although in three months we’ve cooked maybe 5 times in the ‘kitchen’ (the rest of the time we went out for dinner) I am going to miss the house. It learned us to be happy with everything you have in the Netherlands. It was very nice to live together with people, the more the merrier I always say.

So this was where our adventure began, then it was time to explore the village and the beach (and our workplace) of Paje. The village is how you expect Africa to be. Houses of stone, with no or little furniture and little or no electricity or running water. People mostly live their lives outside of the house on the street, cooking, washing, socializing and working. As the main religion of Zanzibar is Muslim you will see the women’s dressed up in long dresses and head scarfs, sometimes you will see the man wearing a hat as well. The first thing you will notice is that there are children playing everywhere. From sunrise (6am) until sunset (between 6 and 7 pm) the village will be lively and children are playing outside. When it is dark outside the people live there lives inside their houses, notice that there are no street lanterns on Zanzibar. Dark is dark, do not forget to look up because you will see the most beautiful sky you have ever seen. The stars are so bright, it happened many times that I was falling face forward because I spent my time walking with my head up looking to the sky.

In Zanzibar you will not even walk with your head up to gaze at the stars at night, you will look up because of the many, I state many palm trees there are. You will look up to them to watch out if you don’t get a coconut on the top of your head. Falling coconuts are more dangerous than sharks you know.. We experienced a few coconuts and palm leaves falling down, you don’t want them on top of your head. On another note you really don’t have to be ”scared” of the people on Zanzibar, they are super friendly, always saying; ”Jambo”’or ”Karibu” which means hello and welcome. In our eyes the people are very poor, but they do not see themselves that way. Most of the times there is enough food to provide for the family and water out of a put or tank close by. The difference with us is that they do not care so much about how they look, and how their house looks like. You will find little furniture in their houses, just because they live their lives outside and they do not care so much as we do. People watch television in a local cafe so they do not have to have one at home. What is important in the lives of the Zanzibaris’ is dancing, like all African people they have an amazing feeling for rhythm.

Back to the reason why we were in Zanzibar. We managed a kitesurfschool called Kitecentre Zanzibar from December until half of March. In the peak season (christmas and springbreak holidays) we where with a group of 13 instructors. For me managing a kiteschool was a whole new experience, Mike has been managing a kiteschool before in the Netherlands. It was a really good experience and I gained a lot of knowledge about how to run your own business. I also know that at this moment in my life it is not the responsibility I want to have. This is also the reason why we decided to not stay for another season (June until October) which was originally the plan. I decided that if I had a gap year I should not be working more than I did back at home. That is why we decided to go back as kitesurf instructors and make our money that way while travelling in between. Currently we are working in Morocco for KiteWorldWide.

We had a great time living on Zanzibar and learned lots of different things about life. We found it amazing that our friends Frank, Janneke, Hanneke, Robin and my parents came by to visit us on this beautiful Island. I will write up a next blogpost about the 10 best places to go and to do in Zanzibar. Keep an eye out for that!
Zanzibar is a beautiful Island which I can recommend to everyone!

With love,

Irina

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WHAT?! Yes we are moving abroad!

Hello everyone,

Today I have a totally different story for you because we are moving? WHAT?! Yes, we have lived in Scheveningen, (the Hague) for the last three years together and now we are off on a big adventure. I always wanted to travel the world, but I knew that it was important to finish my studies first. After I finished University in 2015 I had no money to go on my dream trip around the world. I decided to work for a year or longer (it turned out to be a year and one month) and when we had the money to go we would. And so we did.

You know the feeling of continious unrest deep inside of you? That you want to go out and explore the world? I had that feeling every damn day. It is not that I am not satisfied with the place and people surrounding me right now, but the unknown keeps calling me. For sure I am going to miss my family & friends!

In the beginning of this year we saw a vacancy to work in a guesthouse in Zanzibar. I told Mike and he said that we should react to it. Half an hour later we had send an email. Soon we got a reaction back that the owner liked our story but that we were not the right fit to run their guesthouse. On the other hand he told us that he had another vacancy that was just the right fit for us. The vacancy we then applied for was for managing a kitesurfschool in Zanzibar. And so it went, a few months later we were hired and our job starts the 1th of December 2016 in Zanzibar.

Our plan at first was a whole lot different then it is now. Origally we planned to go to the UK, then the USA, Hawaii and New Zealand. Unfortunately this trip is really expensive and we do not have the money to pay for this trip. Instead of that we chose to work on our trip and saw the amazing opportunity to work, travel and combine this with our passion which is kitesurfing.

I want to give you a few tips when you are planning to go away for a long period. In this case we are going to Africa. Africa is a whole lot different then Europe so you know you have to make some adjustments. The owner of the kitesurfschool provided a house for us. In the house there is only a bed and some kitchen stuff. That means, that we need to bring bedding, pillows, and all that sort of homestuff. Book some extra weight or an extra suitcase. We booked two suitcases for 25 kilogram.

Pack light, bring the important stuff like medicins (depending on your destination), and an adaptor which you can use in the specific country you are going to. Make sure you bring an emergency kit, take a scissors and some towels and desinfection ). It is more important to bring medical and handy stuff such as a small piece of rope and nails to hang your musquito net for example, instead of a bunch of clothes. Important is anti mosquito reppellent especially because we travel in a zone where you can get various diseases trough a mosquito bite. Make sure your passport is valid six months after you plan to come back. Make sure you get the vaccinations which are required. For more information check the website of your ministry of foreign affairs or contact your doctor.

Make sure you save enough money not only for the trip but also for before the trip. Mike and I needed vaccinations which already costs E1000 in the Netherlands. Some of it got covered by the insurance but most of it not because we needed 8 vaccinations per person. You also need another few honderds of euro’s for medicins, suncare, visa’s and for example some new clothes (wetsuits)  and footwear you need for your destination.

It is always fun too study the place your are going to before hand and learn some of the basic words of the language too! We are learning Swahili now to understand the locals and speak in their mother tongue. In Zanzibar almost all the people speak English too so that makes life very easy.

We arrived the 25th of November at Zanzibar (Unguja) Island and we will stay untill the 17th of March.
We will keep you up to date with all our adventures and how our daily life in Zanzibar (Paje) looks like.

With love, Irina

 

 

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Lissabon, through the eyes of a local

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another travel story on this blogspot. This time it wasn’t me that was travelling this beautiful planet earth.  Prepare yourself for all the great food hotspots, (who doesn’t like food??) in Lisbon! My friend Daphne lived in Portugal for 5 months and she wrote this amazing piece of work about all the must-visiting places in Lisbon.

”She said :After 5 months living close to Lisbon I am eager to share you my fav spots in this fantastic capital!”

Bambu
Let’s begin with this cosy place on the Avenida da Liberdade. This is a street with high-end fashion stores, it is a 10 minute walk from the city centre. At first sight, Bambu looks like an ordinary kiosk but in fact it has an awesome city vibe. Friendly staff, good music and even better tasty vegetarian-, Asian and Thai food.  Even locals will make a stop on the terrace of Bambu to enjoy the Thai curry soup, homemade ginger lemonade, vegetarian salad (picture), or an afternoon cocktail.  Already hungry? This are the opening times: Every day from 10:00-02:00, Address: Avenida da Liberdade 13. Good to know: Free Wifi

bambu

Fabrica Lisboa
You are searching for a heavenly brunch? This is the place! Besides the best cheesecake in town they also have different croissants, sandwiches and salades. And not to forget fresh juices and a good espresso. Great way to start your day! These are the opening times: Monday closed, Tue-Fri 08:00-20:00 in the weekends from 9 am till 7 pm. Address: Rua dua Madalena 121.

fabrica

Gelados Santini
I think I can say I am a hardcore ice cream lover and in Lisbon I was searching for good ice cream and guess what?! I found the best! Santini is located in the Time Out Market as well in the city centre. Everyone wants a scoop of Santini, take note because the waiting line is very long. But I didn’t wait longer than half hour and it was totally worth it! My favorite flavors are raspberry, greek joghurt and mango. These are the opening times: Everyday from 11 am till noon. Address: Rua do Carmo 9 (city centre) and Avenida 24 de Julho 49 (Time Out Market).

gelados santini

LX Factory
If you like the Foodhallen in Amsterdam or the Fenix Food Factory in Rotterdam you will love the LX Factory in Lisbon. As the name can tell LX was an old textile factory outside the city. It is well transformed into a wonderful mishmash of art, food and shops. Take the elevator to the roof terrace to have a great cityview (picture), get a fresh haircut at the hairdresser or take a look in the bookstore. These are the opening times: Everyday from 11 am till noon. Address: Rua do Carmo 9 (city centre) and Avenida 24 de Julho 49 (Time Out Market).

lx factory 2

Good to know: There is more to do in the weekends for example the first weekend of May there is a beer festival (Pátio da Cerveja) at the factory, must-see (and drink)!

Esplanada da mata
This hotspot is still a bit unknown so expect to see only locals here. If you need to escape from the crowdy vibe in the city centre just go the park; José Gomes Ferreira, also called Mata de Alvalade. In this park, near the airport, you can find the small bar Esplanada da mata. They have German beer, tasty sandwiches and real organic juices.  And if this didn’t make you enthusiastic enough, they also have great live music in summer. On their Facebook page you can see who is playing when. Opening times: Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00 and in the weekend from 10 am till 10 pm. Address: Avenida Almirante Gago Coutinho, Parque José Gomes Ferreira.

esplanada de mata

Good to know: The bar doesn’t open when it rains

Lost In
Another hidden secret in the city is the Lost in. This hotspot is in Bairro Alto (‘’the Upper hood’’), a district in Lisbon with the best atmosphere, at least in my opinion. From the outside you will think it is a clothing store but if you walk through the shop all the way to the terrace you will be amazed! The umbrella’s and couches in all the bright colors give the small venue the extra touch and you just want to take a powernap in the shadow. But don’t forget to order the delicious homemade lemonade and dito spinach salade, you will not be disappointed.

lost in 3

The place is always really crowdy with mostly locals so go early if you want to have a spot with a great city view! Opening times: Mondays from 4 pm till noon and the rest of the week it opens already at 12:30. Address: Rua Dom Pedro V 58. Good to know: Lost in also has a less fancier restaurant without terrace places on number 56. 


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lost in

Park
When your in the area of Bairro Alto you must go to the best roof terrace in Lisbon called Park. It can be a bit difficult to find because it is on the top of a garage. Just go in the elevator at the beginning of the garage and go to the top floor. Take the stairs to enter the terrace of Park. The view is breathtaking and also the atmosphere is so relax you just want to sit there all day. And why not? The place is also amazing in the evenings, just sit back and relax, drink a few Park cocktails and enjoy the live music. On the Facebook page of Park you will find an exact summermonths schedule with different DJ’s. Opening times: Mondays from 1 pm till 2 am and closed on Sundays. Address: Calcada do Combro 58

park

Tartine
I already told you about a great brunch spot (Fabrica Lisboa) but nobody can have enough brunch spots right? With my roommate and good friend Joy we started our ‘Foodie day’ with breakfast in this place and it was so delightful I can recommend it to everyone. Joy had scrambled eggs and toast and I ordered granola with organic yoghurt. But we looked at the other full tables and everything they have looked tasteful. I can’t wait to return and have a grand brunch! Opening times: Mon-Thu 08:00-20:00 and in the weekend they open at 10 am. Address: Rua Serpa Pinto 15a.

Time Out Market/ Mercado da Ribeira
I hope I made you enthusiastic to visit Lisbon and if you do so there is absolutely one place you can’t skip. Mercado da Ribeira is one big modern indoor market with a lot of different high quality food stalls. I went there with Joy but also with my friends who came to visit and it always was a lovely experience.time out marktet 2

market

‘’What do you want to eat today?’’ is the only question to worry about in this eat walhalla. The market offers –ofcourse- a lot of typical Portuguese food but you will also find delicious Pad Thai, sushi and ice cream (Santini). The prices are maybe a bit higher than you are used too but it will be one of the best markets you will ever visit!  Opening times: Sun-Wed 10:00-00:00 and Thu-Sat 10:00-02:00. Address: Avenida 24 de Julho 49.

 

time out markte

I hope you enjoyed my blogpost. I had fun trying and finding all this great food and hidden gems in Lisbon!

With Love, and have a great day Daphne.

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A trip to Ireland

Hello everyone,

Recently I went on a 5-day trip to Ireland, everybody asked me: What are you going to do in Ireland in March, it is freezing! We were lucky with the weather, we even got a slight tan! I can highly recommend going to Ireland, no matter the weather. I will give you an overview of the do’s and don’ts in Ireland.

We flew with Ryanair from Eindhoven to Dublin for only 67 euro, so a trip to Ireland doesn’t have to be that expensive. The flight to Ireland only takes up 1 hour and 40 minutes. From the airport it is very easy to travel by bus, or as they call it ‘coach’, to Dublin city centre.

We had booked a Bed & Breakfast in Dublin via Booking.com. Easy as it is, there is plenty of choice. We were located just outside the centre, which is perfect otherwise your hotel is located where the bars are and you will have a lot of noise outside your hotel/B&B.

Things to do in Dublin and surrounding area’s

Ireland is a bigger country than the Netherlands, but the country has only 6 million citizens.
1 million people live in Dublin, the city is easy to walk around in. Don’t go on the hop-on-hop-off bus only if you’re not able to walk a lot. In around 30 minutes you can walk from one side of the city to the other.

We went to Trinity College, this is the highlight of the things you can see in Dublin. The college is very old dated from 1592 and still in use as a college for bachelor and master studies. The long room will take your breath away, so many old books and history lies there. I found it very inspirational, a must see!

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After going to Trinity College we fancied something relaxing and a beer so we went to the Guinness Storehouse. In the storehouse you can walk around 6 floors to learn everything about Guinness beer, how its made, where its made from and you learn a little bit about the history of Ireland. At the 7th floor you will enter the Gravity bar which has a 360 view over the City.

If you fancy a stroll around the park you must go to Phoenix Park close to the Guinness Storehouse, it is one of the largest parks in a city in Europe. The park is very clean and has lots of benches you can sit on.

For shopping Ireland has plenty to offer, you can go to Grafton and O’Connell street for the most regular shops like Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Or you can go to the streets on the side of the above mentioned main streets and you will find some cute little boutiques and a Chanel & Louis Vuitton store.

A day trip to Howth is a must do when you are visiting Dublin. It takes up to 20 to 30 minutes per DART (kind of a mix between a metro and train) and costs around 6 euro for a retour ticket. Howth is beautiful and well-known for its cliff walks. You can choose how long you want to walk, we choose to purple road. It said 10 km. But in the end it was around 15 kilometer, it took us 4,5 hours of climbing up-and-down a mountain but the view was worth every sour muscle in my body! I highly recommend a trip to Howth. A don’t in Howth is eating at the ‘famous’ fish & chips place, the food was rubbish and super fat. Instead of going there I recommend going to a real restaurant in the area.

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Cliff walk in Howth

Another trip that is a must if you are in Dublin for more then three days is a trip to the Wicklow Mountains. You can easily book it at the Information Centre (for tourists) in the city. It costs around 28 euro’s and you have an entire tour through the Wicklow Mountains including a 2 hour walk, visiting the Guinness lake and seeing the P.S. I love you Bridge.
For the record, P.S. I love you and many more films and series are shot in the Wicklow mountains, also my favorite series at the moment Reign! Make sure you have a good night rest before you go on this trip.

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The Wicklow Mountains

Last but not least you have to visit a pub when you are in Ireland. I grew up with listening to Irish music because my parents love it so much. The vibe in the pubs is amazing and you will start dancing when the live music starts to play, no matter if it is on a Monday afternoon or an a wild Saturday night… Some pub recommandations are; the Temple Bar, the Auld Dubliner, O’Donoghues pub, the Celt and Stags Head.

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Sloucha (cheers in Gealic!)

Where to eat

I have a few recommandations where we have been to go out for food.

For Breakfast go to Kilkenny on Nassau Street. For lunch Elephant & Castle in the Temple Bar area is delightful, order an omelet after a night out with to many pints of Guinness and you will feel human again. KC Peaches has more than one restaurant in Dublin and serve delicious & healthy food. I also recommend Chopped for on the go salads.

For the best tarte or pie you have to go to Queen of Tarts which is a pastry shop with a few seats. Try the Baileys cheesecake and you will taste a little bit of heaven in your mouth.

For dinner we sometimes skipped dinner, because we were so tired of walking around and just ate a bag of popcorn and then fall asleep. But we can highly recommend eating at Crackbird. The restaurant only serves dishes with chicken but we honestly ate the best chicken wings ever, but then in a restaurant with super awesome side dishes. For an easy and cheap quick bite you can go to  Bobo’s Burgers, good burgers and not to expensive. For other restaurant recommandations I recommend you to go on to tripadvisor because there are soooooo many (good) restuarants in Dublin. There is to much to chose from!

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and I wish you all a good day!

Thanks to Jantine for giving us tips for going to Howth and going to Queen of Tarts!

With love, Irina (& Mike)

bty


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Fall must haves

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to share with you my favorite fall smoky scents & my jacket and booties wishlist. Fall or Autumn how you want to call it is my FAVORITE season of the year. I love snuggling up at home with a blanket, cozy sweaters, cozy socks and a hot chocolate or mulled wine. My favorite nighttime scents for fall ( I also wear them during the day ) are Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium, holy mosh I have gone trough enough bottles of these.. My other favorite is Thierrye Mugler’s Alien, same story.

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For clothing I have made a wishlist for the perfect autumn/winter booties & jacket. This Roxy Jacket is so warm, I tried it on in the Hartbeach Surfshop in Scheveningen and I immediately knew this would be my go to winterjacket. It is a long jacket, it comes right above the knee and the inside feels like the coziest sheep.

roxy jas

In the winter of 2013 I found the perfect boots, I wore them so much they where totally ruined. I was searching in every store ever since bit this fall my McGregor booties are back. The inside of these boots are amazing, when there is snow you have enough grip on your shoe too. These are the high length boots which I prefer when the weather gets cold! These boots and the dark green Roxy jacket would look perfect together.

mcgregor

Another pair of boots that definitely will stay on my wishlist because of the enormous price tag are the Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee leather boots. With a small pricetag of 865,- Euro I have to skip on these beauties but that does not mean I can not share them with you!

 stuart

What is on your winter wishlist? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you are having a nice day. With love, Irina


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Bruggenloop in Rotterdam

Hoi iedereen,

Hé, is deze blog nu in het Nederlands? Voor deze keer wilde ik graag een blog in het Nederlands schrijven dit omdat het onderwerp ook leuker is voor de Nederlanders onder ons. Het is eindelijk zover, er gaat hopelijk een item van mijn bucketlist afgestreept worden deze winter. Op zondag 13 december gaan Daphne en ik 15 kilometer hardlopen tijdens de Bruggenloop in Rotterdam die onder andere over de Erasmusbrug en de van Brienenoordbrug zal gaan. Nu wil ik jullie graag meenemen op de reis naar de run toe via mijn blog! Ik loop sinds een paar maanden hard, hardlopen is iets waar ik een enorme aversie tegen heb maar het houd je fit. Hardlopen is eigenlijk een vervanger op de momenten dat ik niet kan kiten, vanwege geen tijd of geen wind. Fit blijven vind ik heel belangrijk, en hardlopen en zwemmen zijn een van de meest effectieve manieren om ook daadwerkelijk fit te blijven. De eerste paar keer hardlopen was zwaar, heftig en mentaal slopend. Ondertussen gaat het lekker, de mentale strijd wordt minder, de kilometers leuker en ik heb het ideale rondje gevonden om er even snel en lekker tussenuit te zijn. Elke week loop ik hard met mijn hardloopmaatje Liselot, we hebben hetzelfde tempo en we kletsen elke week lekker bij over alle ontwikkelingen in ons dagelijks leven.

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Hier in Scheveningen zijn er veel plekken waar je goed kunt hardlopen, de duinen en het strand zijn toch wel mijn favoriet. ‘S avonds net na het werk met een zonsondergang erbij langs de waterlijn is een ideale plek om je werk en alles achter je te laten en eens lekker te ontspannen tijdens het hardlopen. Op het strand hardlopen is wel wat zwaarder dan op een harde ondergrond hardlopen maar dit is de ideale manier om je zitvlees strak in vorm te krijgen. Het wordt hard werken de komende weken, ik loop nu elke keer (2 keer in de week) 7 kilometer per keer en we moeten naar een vlotte 15. Bikkelen dus, en voor deze speciale gelegenheid ben ik maar gelijk even gaan shoppen. Een paar nieuwe rappe trappers en een hardlooplegging rijker (de loop is in de winter dus wat warms aan de benen kan geen kwaad) ben ik qua kleding alvast helemaal klaar voor de 15 kilometer. Nu de conditie nog! Ik hou jullie op de hoogte van de ontwikkelingen & natuurlijk komt er een uitgebreide rapportage na de run op 13 december.

New Balance , Bjorn Borg

Liefs, Irina

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Quick bites (for at work)

Hello everyone,

I just started working at an office which I am really exited about. The only thing that concerned me when started working was eating healthy. I can be that very lazy person who will spend her (lunch)breaks in the canteen/cafetaria. I am a 100%  motivated to avoid that! Today I will share with you my quick bites which don’t even require a knife or a vork. These quick bites will keep you full and be able to live a healty lifestyle at work.

1. A good breakfast is key, if you start the day with something filling like oats and grains it will help you to feel awake, energized and full. Ready to start the day! I usually start the day with a bowl of oats with some low fat yoghurt. Another tip is to take time for your breakfast if you have trouble with eating in the morning because it is better to have breakfast than not to.

Oats

2. Fruits & Veggies. Take a tupperware box with you or something you can keep your fruit and vegetables in. Take fruit and vegetables with you that you love to eat, then you are more likely to actually eat them during the day. I brought some cherry tomatoes and some grapes.

Tomatoes

3. Lets go nuts. Nuts are full of vitamins and will give you energy. You only need a handful to keep yourself healthy and fit. My choice of nuts are walnuts and cashews nuts.

cashew nuts

4. Go back in the day and make yourself happy with some raisins. As a kid I used to get raisins as a snack from my grandmother because it is a healthy snack. So why not use raisins as a snack when you are older? Raisins are full of vitamins, fibers and minerals.

Raisins

5. When it is 4 o’clock I need a pick me up. Fruit, nuts and vegetables will not do at this point. That is where I need my bouillon, or cup of soup. The saltness wakes me up!

bouillon

Have a nice day everybody. With love Irina ♡

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