San Francisco: the second time around

As I started the in-depth planning process for my latest trip to San Francisco, I found that my searches were vastly different to how I had done them on my first trip out years ago.  Instead of searching for the top tourist spots, top things to do, best clubs/bars, etc – my search took a different turn.

I’d seen the Golden Gate bridge, smelled Fisherman’s Wharf and experienced the lovely Ferry Building.  It was an exciting vacation the first time around, but going back a second time made me stop.  I had gotten through the first layer of a multi-dimensional city, and I wanted more.  I started looking at districts Continue reading

Tioman Island – not much has changed since the days of South Pacific

A recent browse for idealic beaches just a stone’s throw from Singapore led me straight to an island off the coast of Malaysia called Tioman.  As a seasoned traveller, I had preconceived ideas about what this long weekend away might look like.  Being Easter weekend, I imagined hoards of tourists crowding on boats, full hotels and equally full beaches, and waiting in long lines for the local “place to eat”.  While the boats heading over to Tioman were quite crowded and chaotic, once I landed on the island I felt Continue reading

Basel: The best European weekend away

What comes to mind when imagining the perfect, quintessentially European weekend away? I tend to image cobblestoned streets, long walks, age old cathedrals, galleries, museums and history galore.  But take a trip in any of the top European cities – think Paris, Prague, Madrid, or Rome – and you’ll find the long, quiet walks and sidewalk coffee drinking can turn into something else all together.  Whether it’s pushing through crowds at the Vatican, navigating the public transport in Madrid, or waiting 2 hours to see the Mona Lisa, you could end up needing a weekend to recover from your weekend!

So what’s the alternative?

My latest weekend away took me to Continue reading

Rome in a weekend

Rome. What can be said. Rome is a feeling. A state of mind. A state of being. It seems hardly appropriate to call in a mere city. On that note, I will try my best to detail one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time, without littering the sentiment with cliches and/or saying the word awesome too many times.

Here goes.

I’ll start with my first surreal moment. A quiet walk through the city at 2am after a night out in Trastevere. After seeing the Vatican the next day, along with thousands upon thousands of tourists, I was glad I had seen it the night before, all by myself. Nobody to interrupt the moment of awe; alone with the Vatican. It was amazing. I’d suggest doing the tourist-y thing and going on a tour inside. But I’d also suggest stopping by at 2am in the morning – you’re on vacation anyway, so you can sleep when you’re back home.

rome, italy, vatican, photography


Second moment of awe began with Continue reading

Amsterdam: The second time around

While, like most people, visiting the same destination twice seems like a bit of a waste of time, with the exponential amounts of places to visit in the world, I had the chance to visit Amsterdam for a second time and took it.

I can now safely say that visiting a city twice can be an amazing experience.  So often, especially Londoners on weekend trips to Europe, we can go to a city for 2 or 3 days, see the main tourist attractions and come home feeling like we’ve “done” a city.  Have you done Paris? Well, yes, I sat and drank coffee at a cafe on the Seine, I visited the Louvre, I walked the Champs Elysee and saw the Eiffel Tower.  Done.  Well, not quite…

While it’s easy to check these cities off like points on a to-do list, it’s worth it every once in a while to go back to a city, having done all the touristy things and give it another look.  Go to the outer rims of the city, see how the locals live, don’t step foot in a museum and just relax.

That’s what I did on my latest trip to Amsterdam.  Having seen the Continue reading

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster blog award!

Liebster Award


A day out in London sponsored by Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Big Bus Tour and Planet Hollywood gathered together a great number of travel bloggers in the London area, some of which I had a chance to chat and network with.

Closer to the end of the night, me, The Dancing Traveller – “exploring the world one leap at a time” met Emily, The Cosy Traveller “exploring the world one cup of tea at a time” – it was fate!

Even better, Emily from The Cosy Traveller has just nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award.

This is an award given to fellow bloggers to show appreciation for new blogs that they’ve enjoyed reading and think deserve a mention.

So nice to be nominated, and even better to answer some great questions about my travels, so thank you Emily!


11 random facts about me

  • I spent a summer working for a white water rafting company, with free trips down the river whenever I liked!
  • I’m left handed
  • I’ve never broken a bone
  • I spent a year living in China as a professional ballet dancer and teacher
  • I love every single type of cheese there is.  End of story.
  • I served a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in the mountains of North Carolina
  • I’m addicted to Starbucks
  • I’m about to hit 30 countries travelled to right in time for my 30th birthday!
  • My mom works as a vineyard wedding planner and I’ve grown up (from 21!) loving wine and vineyards
  • Huge fan of bluegrass music, with my favourite band being Avett Brothers.  I loved them before anyone else did!
  • I love to paint

Continue reading

Berlin or Munich? Why not both

I’ve seen tons of blog posts online arguing that either Munich or Berlin is the superior city, one far more tourist worthy than the other. My opinion? You need to see both. Now, I know, a lot of travellers don’t have unlimited time to go everywhere they want on a trip, but both of these cities are equally amazing in their own rights and deserve your time.  And I’ll tell you why…


History, history, history.  It is all here.  From the Berlin Wall to Checkpoint Charlie to the Reichstag to the Brandenburg Gate…history is around every corner.

Some key places to visit:

Start your wanderings at the Reichstaga historical building constructed to house the Imperial Diet of the German empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Diet until 1933.  Head straight up to the large glass dome at the top, which provides amazing 360-degree views of the surrounding Berlin cityscape.

Reichstag, Berlin, Germany, dome

The Holocaust Memorial is right around the corner and definitely deserves a look.  Designed by architect Peter Eisenman, and engineer Buro Happold, it consists of a 19,000 msite covered with 2,711 concrete slabs, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.  I could give a million structural details, but really you just need to go and see it and be in it.

Next, head towards Continue reading