Monday, 14 January 2019

Travel Diary: Primavera Sound 2018 in Barcelona


These are a series of posts covering my 5 weeks in Europe, and each country I see in bite sizes. Or as my best friend likes to say, “speed touristing.” I visited most places for 4 days, with the exception of Germany and some day trips. This is my way of taking you guys on my adventures through Europe, giving you guys my thoughts on each place and any tips I’ve picked up!

Primavera Sound 2018 in Barcelona



I can’t really say I visited Barcelona because I barely saw any of it. Instead, I went to Barcelona to attend the Primavera Sound Music Festival. I extended my Europe trip just to attend this because the line up was insane, or to be specific, A$AP Rocky was headlining and that was all the persuasion I needed. 

Barcelona was the only place I visited where I didn’t have a friend to visit, and was the first time since Stockholm where I had only my company to enjoy. It made the whole experience a lot more interesting. I was use to eating by myself but going to a festival alone was a first. 

I got to Barcelona a day before attending Primavera Sound just to settle in and sightsee a little. By sightsee I mean seeing what Barcelona’s night life is like. There are a ton of clubs along the beach to hit up, most very well-known. I opted for Opium, which is located right next to Shoko and Pacha (yes, the same club as the one in Ibiza), both popular clubs as well. You can get free entry as well - I just googled which club to go to and it came up with websites to receive free entry! I’ve been clubbing alone before so to me that wasn’t anything new. Barcelona is a city that really never sleeps, it was easy to go to and from the place and feel quite safe being alone.

Heading to the music festival I knew exactly which artists I wanted to see and what time to get there. Preparation 101 guys. The place also has a great range of food selection and various drink stands. It is cash only though, but there are ATMs available to withdraw. Parc del Forum is huge!! There are stages everywhere and there were times I, and other people, would have to sprint to stages not to miss artists we wanted to see. 

The artists I came to see were: 

Day One - Kelela, Vince Staples and CHRVCHES

Day Two - The Internet and Tyler, the Creator

Day Three - Lorde, Arctic Monkeys, A$AP Rocky and Skepta

Hands down day three was the best! I ended up being “adopted” by an English group, who were there to see Arctic Monkeys, and then found a group from Ireland whilst at the A$AP Rocky stage. We saw Skepta together and didn’t leave the place until 6AM. All artists I saw were amazing, had great stage presence and were great at hyping the crowd.

I saw other artists here and there, whilst running around trying to find stages and artists, but don’t quite remember. I do remember seeing Bjork for a bit and never thought I’d be seeing such an artist live, so I enjoyed that! The festival had a great line up, with artists I listen to now and didn’t even know was playing! Primavera Sound has released 2019’s line up so check it out! It runs over a number of days from 6PM to 6AM. 

The last two days there I tried to see as much of the area I was in, mostly Placa del Catalunya. I had a friend from Canada who was also in Barcelona so we ended spending most of the 2nd last day together, eating and playing board games in a cafe. A great way to end a crazy few days!

Accomodation

This is a fancy hostel, with a huge lounge area, modern rooms and a rooftop pool! Do expect it to be on the pricier end of hostels.

Places I Ate At

All I did was brunch in Barcelona, which was really strange.


Flax and Kale and Teresa Carles are from the same company, focused on promoting healthy and organic meals. Teresa Carles is vegetarian/vegan only! Caravelle had a line every time I tried to visit but I finally got a spot. 

I did try La Taperia de el Nacional, which is a tapas place that I loved; the concept was that the waiters would run around yelling out what tapas plate they had and we would have to raise our hands if we wanted it. 

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Sunday, 6 January 2019

Travel Diary: Eating My Way Through Berlin



These are a series of posts covering my 5 weeks in Europe, and each country I see in bite sizes. Or as my best friend likes to say, “speed touristing.” I visited most places for 4 days, with the exception of Germany and some day trips. This is my way of taking you guys on my adventures through Europe, giving you guys my thoughts on each place and any tips I’ve picked up!

Eating My Way Through Berlin


Berlin fast became one of my other favourite cities, besides Amsterdam. I loved it so much that my original plan to visit Munich and Salzburg got scrapped and I stayed in Berlin for longer. I wouldn’t say I got up to a whole heap for the time I spent there though. I wasn’t jetting around the city visiting every tourist attraction and making sure I was taking in all of its culture. By this point I’m pretty sure I just wanted to take some time out after flying three times during the week and being in three different countries. If I was going to be honest, Berlin became more of a food adventure for me, which I’m not complaining about. Since leaving London, I hadn’t found a country that offered a selection of foods from different cultures that I could say was enjoyable. Thank god for my friend Lan and her love for food as well. I’m sure we got told by the waiters/waitresses who served us at two different places that the amount of food we ordered was more than what they would recommend for two people. I ate so much during my time in Berlin, it was incredible. 

Where To Eat



Green Tea Cafe Mamecha 
I LOVE green tea (emphasis on love) and this cafe is dedicated to it
Ishin
Lan visits this place often so she knew exactly what to order for us. We had a selection of sushi rolls, grilled skewers, miso based steamed fish and dumplings. 

Rausch 
Think Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in real life but just a tad smaller in scale. There was so much to choose from, I was at a loss, but loved everything I tried! We had a mini mango tart, strawberries and ice cream and a dark chocolate slice with raspberries, which was my favourite of the three. 

Lon Men’s Noodle House
At this point in my trip I was really craving good Asian food, and this place delivered authentic beef noodle soup and dumplings. Quick tip: it’s cash only!

Peter Pane Burger Bar & Grill
Great selection of burgers, including vegetarian. 

Schwiliko 
To be quite honest, I don’t know what we ordered, only because we got the owner to surprise us. It was such a random place to eat at but we wanted to try something different and we liked most of what we were served. 

Where To Visit


Besides the historical monuments and infamous clubs/bars, Berlin has a few other things to offer. 

Badeschiff Berlin
Badeschiff is a beach bar, with a swimming pool built off the Spree. It’s open during the Spring and Summer only and offers you the option to sunbathe in the sand or take a dip to cool off. I would consider it a man-made beach concept. During the Summer they host beach parties and events there, which I missed out, but still really liked the vibe of the place. Just make sure to head in early or be ready to wait in a long queue as the place does get busy quite easily. You also have to pay for admission alongside locker and key hire.

Mauerpark 
Europe is FULL of parks, you can walk anywhere and find yourself in one. What’s cool about Mauerpark is the activities that happen on Sunday. A flea market opens during the day with some really unique items to discover and food to try. The biggest crowd drawer though would be the amphitheater where the audience are invited to come up onto stage and belt their lungs out to any song on the karaoke machine. It’s amazing to watch how brave these people are but also how incredibly talented some of them are as well. People sing-a-long and it’s just a great experience overall. You also get smaller groups scattered around the park with their own speakers and music blasting, which invites others to join them and dance in the open. 

I did have an unfortunate night where I cannot account for a few hours of my night but hey just another story to bring home right (hahah ...)!

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Sunday, 30 December 2018

It's The End of the Year, But Seriously, What The Bleepin Heck Was 2018?

Hi y’all. It’s been a gosh darn minute and for some reason I now have a Southern twang. 

I’m going to be honest and say that 2018 was absolute trash. I don’t think I’ve had a year where I just needed it to end and be wiped from my memory. Permanently. I tossed up whether it was even necessary to write some kind of 2018 wrap up but ultimately, I wanted to step into the New Year with a brighter and more positive outlook on life. There were things I was grateful for in 2018 (the entire year wasn’t terrible) and rather than focusing on all the bad I want to recognise the good to remind myself that being thankful is necessary in life. 

I am grateful for the privilege to travel


In May this year I jetted off to Europe alone and had a blast. Honestly, it was the highlight of my year! I was blogging about it until I disappeared, but I promise I’m going to finish it off in the new year. Read the first post here

To me, travelling is a privilege. I recognise that I am in a very fortunate situation to be able to afford to and have the ability to visit so many different places in the world. Travelling has rapidly become one of my passions, being able to see the beauty in various countries and experiencing their cultures. However, I quickly became aware of how lucky I am, in that my parents never had this luxury when they were young and even now there are people in poorer countries that struggle to even survive let alone see the wonders of the world. 

I am grateful for the people in my life


I’m the type of person that places a lot of importance in relationships with friends and family. My overambitious ass tries to stay in contact with every single individual that I’ve come across and has somehow made an impact in my life. Which was why it was incredible that during my travels to Europe I got to catch up with the friends I made during my exchange trip in South Korea, 2015. Three years on and it was so nice just to reminisce, have a laugh and make new memories. Along my adventures through Europe I also made some new friendships, which I find is always the best part in travelling solo. In 2018 I also learnt to surround myself with people who make my life better, will lift me up and support me and be honest. The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ is insanely accurate when you apply it to the relationships in your life. You could have 500 different people you call friends but not one of them is honest or loyal to you, or you could have a handful of friends who know you better than you do. It’s your life, you get to choose. 

I am grateful for the basic necessities I have


Don’t mistake this as me trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel for things I’m grateful for this year. I know there wasn’t much, but truly, being able to enjoy great tasting food, have access to technology such as the laptop I’m using right now and internet connection and overall cleanliness and health is something we should all be grateful for. Every day of our lives. It’s easy to take it all for granted. I mean we were born into it, we never had to witness the struggles and hard work that granted us all this. But I am thankful that I have a roof over my head, a car to travel to and from, and clothes - even though I do find myself constantly complaining about not having anything to wear. It’s worth reminding yourself to be thankful for having a comfortable and enjoyable life. 

I think when I do ever look back on 2018, the rollercoaster ride that it was, is still a ride that is probably what I needed. It gave me a jolt. I do feel as though I was just coasting along and although yes, I did have goals and plans, I have never implemented anything and followed through. Throwing me into the deep end has now geared me up to drive towards my aspirations. I am so incredibly happy, or maybe it’s relieved, to say goodbye to 2018. It’s done, it’s over. Onwards and upwards, they say.

How Was 2018 For You?


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Sunday, 22 July 2018

Travel Diary: Speeding Through Scandinavia


These are a series of posts covering my 5 weeks in Europe, and each country I see in bite sizes. Or as my best friend likes to say, “speed touristing.” I visited most places for 4 days, with the exception of Germany and some day trips. This is my way of taking you guys on my adventures through Europe, giving you guys my thoughts on each place and any tips I’ve picked up!

Speeding Through Scandinavia


Stockholm and Copenhagen were small enough to walk through and take a look in one day each! It was rushed but I also felt like I saw what I needed to see - although not do everything I wanted to do. Both cities are beautiful in warm, sunny weather, as the cities have rivers flowing through them. You only have to sit back on the steps at the riverside or smaller parks and just sunbathe to have a great time. 

Stockholm


Accomodation:
I stayed at this cosy and super cute Airbnb in Sodermalm. It's a short train ride away from the city centre, and home to various bars and clubs - perfect for the night life.

Places I Visited:
Gamla Stan
Stockholm's Old Town

I opted to check this out only because of the history behind this ship and how they managed to rescue it from the depths of the sea in it's entirety to be put on show.

Food:
Brunch
Vasterlanggatan 9, Stockholm - located in Gamla Stan
Nytorget 6, 116 40, Stockholm 
This place was a short walk away from my Airbnb and I highly recommend it! I had "The Vanja"and it was such a unique dish to try out.

Dinner
Nytorgsgatan 30, Sodermalm
You haven't gone to Sweden if you don't eat meatballs!

Copenhagen



Places I Visited:
Tourist Sites

Located in the Christianshavn area, Free Town is a small anarchist district within Copenhagen, relatively well-known for its open cannabis trade. It has its own rules and regulations, independent of the government, although still in communications with the State. It is such a creative space, filled with so  many buildings of different designs, stalls and communal spaces. An absolutely gorgeous place. 

Food:
Brunch
Moller - Kaffe & Kokken
Norrebrogade 160 2200, Copenhagen
The concept here is that you get a variety of categories on the menu with smaller dishes so you can pick and choose to make the perfect brunch meal! Loved it!

Refshalevej 167A, 1432 Copenhagen K
Is this super cool outdoor food market, where there are different zones with containers of a variety of cuisines. Best yet is the brewery, Mikkeller, located just near the riverside. Great beer and great views!


Transport Tips

Stockholm 
From the Airport
There are loads of options, but the cheapest is the bus. However, it is also the longest option and you could possibly be stuck in traffic if your flight times are around peak hour so keep that in mind. Otherwise the metro/underground is also a relatively affordable option. 
Around the City
As I was staying outside of the city centre a little I had to rely on trains, which were easy to navigate and not expensive either. I was lucky to have an underground station right next to my Airbnb as well!

Copenhagen
From the Airport
Travelling to and from the airport is so easy in Copenhagen because of how small the city is. There is only one train stop, and the S-train can take you to the main station where there are a number of buses to take around the city as well. 
Around the City
You definitely don't need public transport to make your way around Copenhagen. Everything is easily accessible by walking, and biking is the predominant mode of transport. 

Currency
Both countries use their own currency though so keep that in mind! 
Swedish Krona (SEK) or Danish Krona (DKK) 
The conversion rate is currently
1SEK = 0.15AUD
1DKK = 0.20AUD
They're not cheap countries - just a warning

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Sunday, 8 July 2018

Most Exciting Releases For The Last Half of 2018

We're now in the last half of 2018, which is insane, but also super exciting as we've already had some great releases in the first half and now we're making way for some more!

Wow I have a new video up? Is it too late to say new year new me? I list the top 5 books I'm anticipating the most for the rest of this year!




Other Releases In The Year






The Looking Glass - Janet McNally
August 14th
YA Contemporary
Julia Blake, Sylvia’s older sister, disappears leaving Sylvia to continue her legacy at the prestigious National Ballet Theatre Academy. But when Julia sends Sylvia a copy of their favourite childhood fairy tale book, renamed as Girls in Trouble by Julia, Sylvia begins to almost magically see Julia everywhere she looks. Sylvia decides to embark on a road trip with her best friends brother to find Julia.





The Towering sky (The Thousandth Floor #3) - Katharine McGee
August 28th
YA Sci-Fi
The third instalment to McGee's series that's been referred to as having futuristic Gossip Girl, set in a dystopian world within a thousand story tower in the middle of New York City.






Sadie - Courtney Summers
September 4th
YA Mystery
Sadie’s sister, Mattie is found dead. Determined, Sadie follows clues in an effort to discover how Mattie died, with the police being no help. Her investigation leads to a podcast being started by West McCray, tracking Sadie’s journey as she hopefully finds answers.






Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) - Kendare Blake
September 4th
YA Fantasy 
Third instalment to Three Dark Crowns series, following three sisters and their battle for the throne, each with different powers.








The Dark Descent of Elizabeth - Kirsten White
September 25th
YA Retelling
Retelling of Frankenstein through Elizabeth’s perspective, with a chilling twist to it - what if Elizabeth was never happy living with Victor and what if he posed as a danger to her? I am a huge fan of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley so am super intrigued to see what it was like.



What If It's Us - Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
October 9th
YA LGBTQ+
I told myself I'd read more diverse books, and I stumbled upon this one revolving around Ben and Arthur and their not so easy romance.








Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) - Sarah J. Maas
October 23rd
YA Fantasy 
I can't believe we've already reached the 7th instalment to Throne of Glass, and to be quite honest I'm still excited about this series and revisiting the world and its characters.






How She Died, How I Lived - Mary Crockett
November 13th
YA Contemporary
The story follows a girl, who is one of five girls Kyle texted. Only Jamie, a girl too nice to ignore him, responded and it got her killed. A year after the incident, the girl is angry and wants answers. She wants to know why Jamie died and she didn’t. Except she’s beginning to be drawn to Jamie’s boyfriend, Charlie, which makes it even harder to deal with.






The Reckoning of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #2) - Michelle Hodkin
November 13th
YA Paranormal
I'm still obsessed with the Mara Dyer series and anything to do with Noah Shaw so this was a must add to the list.






What Are You Excited For In The Last Half of 2018?


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