Around the globe in 15 mins …

Planning a holiday is always an adventurous task for me and my husband. We literally take a virtual tour of the entire world before deciding on our final destination! One day we’d be thinking of a road trip somewhere in Europe, the next day we’d be scuba diving in Maldives, the following day we’d be on safari in Africa, and eventually just end up watching a repeat episode of our favourite series (any guesses?) on the couch! So to make your decision on the next destination easier, I’m going to blog about some of the one’s we have been to so far …. Fasten your seat belts, coz we are now ready for take-off!

Italy: 
Historical tours with an Italian accent? Yes please! We planned a week long trip in which the majority of our time was spent in Rome, followed by an overnight stay in Venice and a day trip to Florence. Rome was mainly history and I loved our evenings spent at the Piazza Navona and Spanish Steps. The architecture was beautiful! Venice was love at first sight and such a romantic maze. Thank God I was with someone who has a great sense of direction otherwise I would have been a lost soul. Florence had the coffee culture vibe I absolutely love. Although the weather wasn’t on our side that day, it didn’t stop me from exploring the shopping at Ponte Vecchio. I must say the variety of colours in everything in Italy is quite amazing! Oh and don’t even get me started on the Gelato as otherwise we will never get beyond Italy today. I’ve already made plans to go back again soon as the Amalfi Coast and Capri remain on my bucket list!

Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy

Tip: Pack your most comfortable shoes as it is mostly cobbled streets in Rome. Staying true to myself, I didn’t and had to buy a new pair of flat sandals in a mad rush.

Australia:
“What’s your ‘koala-fication’?” That’s the first thing our tour guide asked us! It struck my funny bone and has stayed in my mind ever since!! So we finally braved the loooooong flight Down Under and booked a two week stay in Australia. We spent around 3 days in Sydney (it was freezing cold) and the remainder of our stay in Cairns, highly recommended for the adventurous and brave at heart. The Great Barrier Reef, Hot Air Ballooning at sunrise (someone wasn’t too happy to be up at 3am for it), and white water rafting were some of the activities we indulged in, to name but a few. However, the stars of the show were the koala bears. We weren’t allowed to pet any in Sydney (it stresses them out apparently) but luckily got to do so in Cairns. They apparently sleep for 22 hours per day .. !!!

Hot Air Balloon ride, Australia
Cairns, Australia

Tip: I was in charge of the Australia hols and in my excitement, I had planned a tour activity for every single day. Don’t make the same mistake and give yourself some mornings to have a lie in as otherwise it can get pretty hectic.

Switzerland:
Snow-deprived? Not anymore … This trip was planned while we were still living in London and I realised I had never seen snow except in the movies. In order to change that (as if my life depended on it) we booked a quick weekend trip to Switzerland. We spent the first day in Zurich which I think I mostly spent exploring chocolates but since the main purpose of the trip was to see snow, we spent less time in the city and more on Mount Titlis. The ‘gondola’ ride to the top rotated to give us 360 degree views which was breathtaking. There was even an ice cave that we went to, but the name escapes me at the mo! But let’s face it, we were really here to put our snowman building skills to the test. But forget snowmen, when I was surrounded by snow I wasted no time in picking up a snowball fight with my husband, who much to my surprise, took me up for the challenge! Haha … the pics of that trip are priceless! 🙂 From the little time I did spend in Switzerland, it was enough to realise the best way to really justify and explore the real beauty of the place was to book a proper mountain village holiday! Nature at its best indeed ….

Sun terrace, Mount Titlis
Mount Titlis, Switzerland

Tip: The Switzerland rail system is famous for running on time! So buy that coffee and croissant later coz you are about to miss your train ……..

Greece:
Opa! Time to eat and explore. This trip was more of my husband’s plan as he lived in Athens for a few years and wanted to return and show me around his favourite places. If you’re a history buff, then Athens is the place for you with its ancient, well-preserved monuments. No trip to Athens is complete without a trip to the Acropolis and rightly so! I also found the Change of Guards ceremony to be quite interesting and impressive. Particularly how the guards stand perfectly still for 60 minutes and do not get the least bit distracted by the number of tourists getting pics taken next to them (myself included!). We also booked a cruise to the 3 islands Hydra, Porous, and Igina which was quite fascinating. Particularly Hydra, where there are no cars allowed by law and people actually commute on donkeys. Can you imagine the fresh air? Amazing!

Hydra Island, Greece
Hydra Island, Greece

Tip: Make sure you have enough time to visit the amazing Santorini island during your stay in Greece. Unfortunately we didn’t, and I always regret that every time I hear about it … Oh well, perhaps I’ll enjoy it even more as a blogger now! 🙂 

United States:

New York: The city that never sleeps! Neither did I on another long flight to New York! We stayed at Times Square and that place was so buzzing and full of life it was incredible. Being a huge fan of Friends, of course we visited Central Park and decided to rent bikes. I had not biked in yeeeeeeeears but thought how hard could it be right? All I’ll say is my bike and I walked more than we cycled! (the seats used to be far better cushioned when I was a kid or maybe I was! Haha .. oww). The cruise we booked was simply breathtaking. It started at noon so we got to see the famous skyline in daylight and then made its way back just after sunset, which added to the wow factor by a gazillion. Highly recommended! 

New York, USA
New York Cruise, USA

Tip: Do not forget to take your camera! My husband decided not to take his on this trip and regretted it the minute we got there as the views were amazing. So for a change, this time we had to make a quick stop to buy a new camera for him instead of flat shoes for myself. Haha!

Chicago: After New York, Chicago seemed relatively quiet. This trip was mainly to meet and greet with a few relatives. The best place to get an awesome view of Chicago is the John Hancock Tower. They had their newest ‘Tilt’ attraction happening at the time which seemed like a must-try and easy peasy. If you know me by now, then you know what’s coming next! So picture this … we are on the 94th floor of an enclosed glass viewing platform, 1000 ft high, which then tilts forward to give spectacular panoramic views of the city! So do you still blame me for chickening out at the very last minute? My husband went ahead with it, loved it, and then couldn’t believe he had just done that. Lol! The guys were still nice enough to give me a sticker that said I had tried it (they must have known I was visiting in-laws and needed to show off). Navy Pier was a wonderful and relaxing experience and we even rode the Giant Ferris Wheel which also had nice views actually.

Chicago, USA
Chicago, USA

Tip: You have to try the Cupcake ATM machine at Sprinkles! I kid you not, just as a normal ATM machine hands out money, this one has an impressive variety of cupcakes. You even get to personalise your own cupcake just the way you want it. My excitement level was that of an 8 year old! 

Canada:
It was time for cool, cool Canada! We decided to ditch hotels this time and stayed with relatives (that time of the trip when you crave for some real home cooked food). While they enjoyed the “sunny weather” calling it pleasant, the two of us were freezing cold in our jackets. The highlight of any trip to Canada is of course the Niagara Falls. I had always heard about it and seen it on TV, but actually being there is another experience altogether. It was probably the first time in my life I was not petrified of being on water coz the views were spectacular! Although I am sure there is a lot more to explore in Toronto but we were a bit exhausted to be honest and spent the remaining trip gossiping with relatives and indulging in heavenly desserts (my kinda holiday! ;)) … There is a whole ‘missing suitcase’ story that starts from here, but I will need to save that for another post. Let’s just say, our suitcases loved Canada so much they decided to stay there just a tad longer … lol!

Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls, Canada

Tip: Book an overnight stay at the Niagara Falls instead of a day trip. I’m sure the sunrise and sunset views would be breathtaking. We just had time for a day trip, but next time I’m definitely staying longer ….

Paris:
Lunch in London and tea in Paris? Why not? It is close enough! Haha, I’m just kidding, we aren’t that adventurous! Paris was another weekend trip during our time in London. I still remember those long beautiful walks on the Champs Elysees on most evenings, up until the Arc de Triomphe. I still regret not going up the Arc de Triomphe as the views from up there must have been spectacular. But it just felt a bit too claustrophobic to do at the time so we decided against it. Standing in front of the Eiffel Tower was a dream come true and it really came to life during the light show. The show starts after sunset and is on every hour and is simply gorgeous! Best to watch it from a place where you can see the Eiffel Tower completely! Absolute wow!

DSC00922
Notre Dam, Paris.

Tip: Don’t forget to try the Nutella & Banana Crepes in Paris. Mmmm mmm mmmm!! I discovered those just by chance as I waited for my husband to satisfy his love of photography. And no, I did not share it either!

Wow, I never knew holiday talk could be so tiring! At least it has killed the urge of jetting off again any time soon. Though I still have quite a few more places left to talk about, perhaps I’ll save that for another time. Or maybe even put it up on my instagram account.

Which countries have you visited so far? Would love to hear all about it …

Until the next post, Let’s Keep it Strictly Lighthearted!

39 thoughts on “Around the globe in 15 mins …

  1. Australia, New York, Switzerland and Paris are definitely some of my favourite places as well! I’ve been to the Italian alps, but never to any of the cities.. your description makes me want to visit though! You should go to Chamonix next, they have meringues which are to die for!

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    1. Chamonix!! I have heard so much about that too. Writing this blog has actually made me realise I need to move away from the city life a bit and indulge more into nature! And those meringues too .. haha. Time to change travelling habits … thanks heaps for dropping by! 🙂

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  2. Enjoyed reading it, although have been to most of these places except Greece but it was very interesting to read the observation by someone else

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  3. After reading your blog I feel like travelling somewhere soon. Now where should I go …Switzerland, Greece or Australia ? Love the amazing tips too !

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      1. I’ve been to Italy, Paris and Canada so the other places are on my bucket list. Wonder which place is good during the winter break or spring holidays.

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  4. What an amazing list of places you’ve travelled to! I was born in New York, so at least I can scratch that one off my list. The funny part about it is it wasn’t until we had moved away and went back as tourists that we finally got around to seeing all the sights. 😝

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    1. Thank you! Always the case isn’t it of tourists exploring more than the locals 🙂 …. I would say that would be me and London. I definitely got around to doing more when I went as a tourist .. 😁 ….

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  5. OMG, where do I begin… This beautiful post had me captivated throughout, the pictures are absolutely stunning! 😱

    You lucky thing! I completely felt like I was there either you whilst reading this.. what a tour!

    I’d love to visit Greece ( darn, been planning for a while with the siblings – they’re just too lazy 😠), Switzerland (for my Bollywood moment, haha 🤗) Chicago and Australia looked like a portrait! Oh and the stunning Niagara Falls, I’m at loss for words! 😍

    So, where have I been to and which would I recommend? I’d highly recommend Morocco, it’s a visual and a sensory treat, colourful and full of rich culture and food. Tunisia was beautiful and the sand-dunes were amazing (especially the 4×4 ride!) 😁 Turkey was also another of my favourite, we went to Marmaris and the Blue Mosque was gorgeous! I will highly recommend Spain too, lots of friendly people and amazing scenery. The beaches and lovely weather also helps.. 😁

    I really want to go on a Safari, it’ll be something very different to what I’ve done before. Egypt has also been on my list for a while. Hubby wants to go to Australia so I’ll def get him to read this post, he’ll love it! Oh and if I ever win a halal lottery, then Hawaii or Maldives would be a must! 💗 xx

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    1. Thank you so much! Your responses are always the best ….

      The hilarious part is that we seem to have visited eachother’s wishlist. Spain (knew you’d recommend this .. lol) and Turkey have been on my wishlist forever. But coz my husband mostly gets time off in summer it seems to be peak tourist season in Spain and it’s no fun when you’re stuck in a crowd. When is the best time to visit?

      My dream holiday would be Maldives though. But then so would be a safari and my dream of running away from a lion in high heels. Lol, me and my sis always joke about that.

      Australia might have taken forever to get to but it was soooooo beautiful. The tour guides are awesome too. If you can get some extra time off I’d suggest try to do Aus & NZ together … I’ve heard great things about NZ too. So might as well visit both in one trip. 🙂 ….

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  6. Oh yes a joint trip to Australia and NZ sounds like a plan! I must one day👌🏼I know right, Maldives is just stunning.. I saw this beach in Maldives (in pictures) that lights up blue due to some chemical reaction, it’s like fairy lights on the sand.. so gorgeous! I had fallen in love with it since (do google it, it’s so pretty!) 💗 Haha, you know me too well. No trip is complete without visiting the land of the fiesta’s! You must visit Pamplona, running of the bulls festival. It’s really popular here in the summer. Though, as it’s a warm country, therefore you’re absolutely fine visiting during the off-peak season as the weather is still lovely and you get to avoid the hustle and bustle of tourists.. you’ll also love the architecture in Granada as it has Islamic influences, a pure visual treat! It’s just heavenly! 💗 xx

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    1. What about the horses running with Hrithik Roshan in ZNMD. That was Spain too right?? 😁 Btw, forgot to say earlier your bollywood moment in Switzerland had me rofl. Practice tying that sari then as you never know …. 😁 You definitely need to add Dubai to your bucket list too. It is so worth it.

      Thanks for the info on Spain. Will look it up. Or should we do Maldives next …. hmmmmm. Decisions, decisions!

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      1. Haha Hrithik put spain on the Bollywood map since that movie right?! 😂 I say no trip would be complete without a cheesy desi scene abroad.. think Yash Chopra movies! 🤣 Ooh yes Dubai has to be on the top of the list! I can’t wait! 🙏 You’re very welcome lovely, think Spain for a friendly happy go lucky trip and keep Maldives as the ultimate holiday! I better start saving up now.. No more shopping! 😩😟

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  7. Great post and lovely pics! Those are some of my favourite destinations. I’ve been to many many countries, travelling is my passion. Here they are:
    Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Jordan, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Cyprus, Tunisia, America, England, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, czech Republic, Serbia, Holland, Germany, monaco, Greece, Sweden, Norway, finland, Estonia, Poland and of course Lebanon and the UAE!
    My favorites are too many to naelme bit do love Italy and the Czech Republic.

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  8. Brilliant post – Awesome Photos!
    This made me want to go travel!!! You have soooo many more places to go to … get planning!!! 😘💚
    I would list out all the places Ive been but some of my favorites are Rome and Prague (PS same as Tania – there is a reason we are friends!) OH .. Switzerland … though my dream to wear a Sari and Dance on a snowy mountain to a 90s song still has not been fulfilled so that still has to happen!

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    1. Oh .. and at least I chased pigeons in Amsterdam .. I tried running into a BUNCH of them so they’d all fly up and id get that perfect picture of me!
      Ofcourse No one is there to take that picture and everyone thought I was NUTS .. but so worth it! Id do it again!

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    2. This was not even the entire list covered. I have soooo many more left to talk about but decided to save that for part 2 for another time, as otherwise it would have made a very long read. Haha, I had another reader waiting to go to Switzerland for the same reason. Look fwd to seeing you in a denim jacket over your sari then (know you too well 😁)

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      1. Hey! Same here, your blog is lovely and very entertaining posts you have there 🙂 Well, I’ve been to many places around the world and just came back from Madrid, Spain. Such a beautiful country! Hopefully, will be posting pics from my trip so stay tuned 🙂 It’s nice getting to know you and stay in touch ❤

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      2. Haha yes it was really crowded but it was actually a bit chilly since I went in May so weather wasn’t so bad. Spain is such a beautiful country and you should def 100% visit next time esp Madrid and Barcelona! Totally worth it just for the incredible architectural buildings! The only thing is you have to be extra alert with your belongings since I wasn’t so prepared and lost my belongings which really sucked but sooooo glad I had my pics at least backed up 🙂 Which places have you visited recently? Also, check out my Spain pics in the latest blog post if you get a chance 🙂

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      3. Nice! I visited Italy like 8 years ago in a Euro trip and oh my goodness, such a gorgeous country, just loved it 🙂 The beautiful sceneries and landscapes! Ooo Maldives is an excellent place to choose. Haven’t gone there yet but def gonna be on my bucket list 🙂

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