Taking a Look at the Past for Future Travel Inspiration

travel inspiration

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When it comes to world travel, you’ve probably noticed that your friends and other acquaintances tend to be frequenting the same places, taking part in the same activities and taking the same stock-style photos at each spot they visit. Now, this isn’t all too surprising. We see something on social media and decide to go there. We use the same travel companies who prefer the same routes. But don’t you want your experience of the wider world to be unique? To stand out from the stereotypical gap-year rigmarole? Well, perhaps it’s time to start getting inspiration from the past rather than our everyday social media newsfeed.

Sourcing Inspiration

The first step towards deciding on where you want to go is to learn about the world’s greatest explorers. Back in the day, the world was full of uncharted territories. Nowadays, we have a pretty good idea of where every continent and country lies. So you may not be able to “discover” a new land. However, you can “rediscover” places that may have fallen out of fashion in the travel industry. How to find accounts of these places? Recounting the tales and travel diaries of the greats.

USA

So, we’re all well acquainted with the explorer Christopher Columbus. While his “discovery” of America can be debated (there were already native people inhabiting the lands), there’s no denying that the USA is a whole new world for any explorer who wants to get their teeth into urban travel. Think about it: the United States is home to some of the world’s largest and most renowned cities. New York is a brilliant place to start, with the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, The Empire State Building and endless art museums and cultural days out. If you fancy something a little more rural, then you can visit one of North America’s national parks. Yellowstone Park, located in Wyoming, Montana, spans almost 9000 square kilometres of land where you can hike to your heart’s content.

Australia

British explorer Captain Cook was the first European to set foot on the East Coast of Australia. So why not follow his footsteps and take a trip to the land down under. If you’re fond of exploration a little further from the shore, take a dive in azure waters. The Great Barrier Reef is, of course, top of the list. It’s not surprising: it is home to the world’s largest living coral reef and hosts all sorts of underwater wildlife. However, there are plenty of alternative and quieter dive spots, such as the Yongala wreck, Whitsunday Islands, and Ningaloo Reef. If you prefer to stay on dry land, but still want a taste of the wild, why not try an outback tour. You can go by jeep, or even helicopter to see stunning canyons, astounding mountains and dusty desert-like expanses.

These are just a couple of places that may take your fancy.

At the end of the day, the world is your oyster. So seize whatever opportunities pose themselves to you.

 

*This is a collaborative post

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San Francisco Food: What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

San Francisco Food – I loved it!

With only a couple of days to sample as many different SF eats, we did our best. The only thing I know that we definitely missed was trying a burrito as apparently the city is quite famous for them. It was on my list but it was on the day that we got sunburned and went back to the hotel early. So we’ll have to leave that for next time.

Once again I’ll remind you that my husband Topher can eat for days while I get starving and then can usually only manage a small portion (boo!).

As for this time, take a look at everything we ate:

Boudin Bakery

What’s a first time trip to San Francisco without visiting the historic Boudin Bakery. Being a seafood lover I had to get the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. I did have reservations about not being able to finish the whole thing as I saw loads of people leaving their bread bowls but I had no problem at all.

San Francisco Food - boudin bakery

It was so delicious and Topher and I really wanted to take home some chocolate bread too but decided against it due to the sheer amount of other food we needed to consume that weekend. If I ever come back to San Francisco, I’ll definitely be getting this again. Topher had beef chilli in a bread bowl and wolfed the whole thing down. I had a taste of it too and it was nom!

San Francisco Food - clam chowder & chilli

Mr Holmes Bakehouse 

First thing in the morning, we set off to line up for Mr Holmes Bakehouse as I wanted to try a cruffin. One thing to point out with San Francisco, they love queuing for stuff. If something is good, there will pretty much always be a line so keep that in mind! We arrived at about 7.45am on a Saturday morning and the place was due to open at 8. There were about 5 people in line ahead of us and more people joined behind us.

Unfortunately, cruffins don’t actually arrive on the premises until 9am. I didn’t know this until reading the signs outside as at the time of researching I’m pretty sure it didn’t say on their website. They now have a countdown clock on their website so you can figure out what time they arrive. Boo. We had another bakery to hit so I just picked a churro croissant instead.

San Francisco Food - mr holmes bakehouse

You can see them to the left of the green dipped croissants. It was amazing and I don’t even usually like croissants. Topher had a savoury danish which he said “hit the spot”. Croissant in hand, I turned around ready to get my instagram shot with the pink “I got baked in San Francisco” neon sign but it was turned off. Broken? Or the staff couldn’t be bothered to turn it on? Not sure, I felt stupid asking so we left.

I was a bit miffed but it wasn’t the end of the world and I got a tasty pastry so we headed off to our next target bakery.

San Francisco Food - mr holmes pastries

B.Patisserie

I had heard great things about B.Patisserie’s Kouign Aman (pronounced Queen Aman) pastry but nothing prepared me for the piece of heaven I tasted. I could have had a whole plate of them. Dough, butter and sugar have never tasted so good! Topher had a chocolate pastry which he really enjoyed.

San Francisco Food - b patisserie pastries

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

On the hunt for carbohydrates after our busy morning, we finally reached The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen where the smell of cheese greeted us. Topher found himself overwhelmed with all the choice but I knew what I wanted. The mac n cheese grilled cheese. Doesn’t that sound like carb heaven?

San Francisco Food - Grilled cheese interior

San Francisco Food - grilled cheese sign

San Francisco Food - grilled cheese wall

It was everything I thought it would be and more!

San Francisco Food - mac & cheese grilled cheese

Topher finally decided on the Reuben Adams which is essentially a pastrami sandwich and he loved it.

San Francisco Food - pastrami grilled cheese

We also had a side of garlic fries as we were starving. They were tasty and I really liked the dip that came with the

San Francisco Food - garlic fries

Ten Ren Tea

This wasn’t a planned stop but while we were strolling through Chinatown, we had a craving for bobo tea so we stopped here. Turns out it’s quite a famous chain. Topher got a coffee one and I got a red bean one. Delicious! Topher was really impressed that they would make it to your specifications too so he got a super strong one. They were perfect for cooling down as it got quite warm that afternoon.

san francisco food - bubble tea

Tadich Grill

In the evening we headed out for our fancy meal of the trip, Tadich Grill. It’s a seafood restaurant that was established in 1849! As you know, I’m a massive seafood fan so I couldn’t miss it. They don’t take reservations so you just have to turn up and wait.

San Francisco Food - tadich grill

We got lucky and got seated straight away despite the long queue because we were willing to sit at the bar. If you want a table, you have to wait and it looks like you may have to wait awhile.

The majority of the bar is used for diners, so we hopped onto our barstools and discussed the menu.

San Francisco Food - tadich interior

Topher had fish which I don’t remember what it was. Trout perhaps? Whatever it was, he ate it all.

San Francisco Food - fish

Topher finds my love of seafood funny as every time we go to a restaurant that serves it, I have to pick the dish that has as many different kinds of seafood in it as possible. Yes, yes, I like to eat the ocean. So of course, I picked the famous Cioppino which is a tomatoey stew sauce with clams, prawns, scallops, white fish, shrimp, crab meat and mussels. They even give you an attractive bib to protect your clothes. It was so tasty! I managed to eat the majority of it but had to forgo most of the garlic toast that accompanied it.

So if you love seafood, I definitely recommend this place.

San Francisco Food - cioppino

Humphry Slocombe

An ice cream shop that is known for it’s interesting flavours, I had to give Humphry Slocombe a try. It usually has a long line but as we arrived not too long before closing at their Ferry Building location, there were only a couple of people in front of us.

San Francisco Food - humprey slocombe

Topher of course had the Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee flavour and I tried the Harvest Graham and Honey Milk which was pretty tasty. Out of the two ice cream places we tried (the other being Bi.Rite which is further down), Topher says that this place was his favourite. I’m not sure which I prefer. Guess I’ll have to come back and try again!

San Francisco Food - humprey slocombe ice cream

Tartine

Another early start and another queue before opening time, we stood outside Tartine Bakery. I’m glad we did as when we sat down with our purchases, the line was down the street. It did move quickly though.

San Francisco Food - tartine exterior

I of course had to have their famous Morning Bun which is pastry with cinnamon, sugar and candied orange. I think this may have snuck into first place on the pastry front for me. It was incredible. Topher had a savoury scone and a chocolate hazelnut tart which he also enjoyed. He did agree that we would have to come back one day to try one of their massive pain au chocolates though. Those things were huge!

San Francisco Food - tartine pastries

Cha Cha Cha

Lunch was at the Haight District branch of Cha Cha Cha – a Caribbean, Cuban tapas place that serves awesome sangria. The interior was super quirky!

San Francisco Food - cha cha cha interior

Say hello to my only alcoholic drink of the holiday! This sangria was really nice.

San Francisco Food - cha cha cha sangria

Topher had the spicy chicken sandwich.

San Francisco Food - chicken sandwich

And I had the steak sandwich.

San Francisco Food - steak sandwich

As good as our sandwiches were, the highlight was definitely the side of plantains. Even Topher was picking away at them and he claimed to not even like plantain!

San Francisco Food - plantain

Bi-Rite Creamery

Be prepared to queue! We weren’t helped that this was a super hot day so of course everyone would be after some ice cream. I would say we queued about 20 minutes – 30 tops, I kind of lost count after awhile as I just wanted to sit down at this point.

San Francisco Food - bi rite creamery queue

So we finally reached the front and went for two scoops each (we earned it!). I got black sesame and ricanelas (snickerdoodle) and Topher got ricanelas and the ritual coffee toffee. I really loved mine. Maybe this was my favourite? I think Topher preferred Humphry’s because the coffee flavour was a lot stronger. I would recommend trying both places so you can pick your own favourite.

San Francisco Food - bi rite ice cream

Brenda’s French Soul Food

I finally got my beignets! And they were awesome. Once again we queued up before opening time and there were only a few people with us. Probably because it was a Monday morning.

San Francisco Food - brenda's exterior

San Francisco Food - brenda's interior

So we decided to share everything and went with some french toast and a beignet flight where you get to try the plain, chocolate, apple and crawfish beignets. Obviously start with the crawfish! All of them were delicious and we were surprised at how big they were. We could have probably just had those and been happy.

San Francisco Food - beignets

But of course we made the mistake of ordering the french toast as well which also turned out to be huge. It’s like a loaf of bread! They were incredibly delicious but I could only manage one slice. Topher did his best and finished the majority but even he couldn’t clean the plate. Oops! I would definitely recommend this place though. The beignets were to die for.

San Francisco Food - french toast

Ike’s

I’d heard good things about this sandwich place so for our last meal in San Francisco, we headed over.

San Francisco Food - ike's

The menu was extensive and there’s something for everyone. They even cater for halal and vegans. I was so happy to see a meatball sandwich that had only beef meatballs so I ordered the Michael Jordan which has meatballs, marinara sauce and pepper jack. It was so good but as I was still full from breakfast I could only eat half of it. I really don’t remember what Topher had but he finished the whole thing so that tells me that he liked it!

San Francisco Food - meatball sub

And that’s it for our food adventure in San Francisco. 

Check out what we got up to while we were there (apart from eating of course!)

And see part one of our Honeymoon where we visited New York

And what we ate!

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Linkorama #6

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these but I’m reviving them. For those unaware, it’s pretty much just a post full of pretty pictures and links I’ve come across while perusing the internet. I enjoy reading other people’s versions of these so hopefully you will too!

I love this Piñata Pin. The colours are so bright and happy. Very tempted to jump on the pin collecting bandwagon!

linkorama

Source

Kaylah’s cat, Professor is just too adorable and funny for his own good! His faces are hilarious. Check out his hashtag #fessermakesfaces on Instagram.

linkorama

Source

I love this quote. It’s totally true that success isn’t always down to starting early and looking like everyone else. And I have to ask, who ever is certain about everything? We all get unsure of ourselves sometimes. The key is just to start. I’m not sure where the source for this photo is as there was a dead end from Pinterest but if it’s your image please let me know and I can credit you!

linkorama

Source unknown

I’m in love with these tights! No idea where on earth I would be able to get them but I think they have reignited my funky tights passion.

linkorama

Source

And in other news:

A Day In The Life Of An Inspirational Stock Photo Woman – Buzzfeed

This really made me laugh. Why are stock photos with people in them always so weird?

Artist Leaves Dress In The Dead Sea For 2 Years And It Turns Into Glittering Salt Crystal Masterpiece – BoredPanda

Having been to the Dead Sea often since I was a child, I know all about how much salt is in there (don’t shave your legs before going in!) but this is truly amazing.

How I Use My Bullet Journal To Set [And Achieve] 90 Day Goals – Sublime Reflection

This seems like a great way to get goals accomplished. Any excuse to use my bullet journal and make a list.

The 22 Most Over-The-Top Desserts in America

These desserts are insane! Though I really regret looking at these while hungry. Never look at food articles while hungry! There’s definitely a couple of these that I plan on sampling while we’re over in the USA on our honeymoon. I can just taste the diabetes already!

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#BEDM Day 17: Travel

Since I was a baby, travel has been a huge part of my life. Having visited over 30 countries and lived in 4, it’s safe to say I’ve always had the travel bug. Though it’s been a few years since I’ve been anywhere new, I have a few places on my bucket list that I hope one day I can visit.

1. Tokyo, Japan

A few years ago I was supposed to go with my family but literally the week before we bought our tickets, the huge earthquake and tsunami happened. We decided to save it for another time and went to Portugal instead. Since I was little I have always wanted to go to Japan as I love the culture, the food and the general wackiness of it. Hopefully the year that we visit shouldn’t be too far away as I’ve convinced Topher to go. It totally helps that they have a Disney park!

2. Reykjavik, Iceland

This seems to have been a popular choice with people in the last few years with a lot of people I know both online and off paying this city a visit – including my parents. I’m not a massive fan of cold weather but I was won over by the Northern Lights, the lagoon, volcanos and the cute colourful architecture. Fingers crossed we can squeeze this one in before 2020.

3. Oslo, Norway

Another cold weather destination. Topher loves Scandinavia and besides Iceland, this is the only Scandinavian country that I haven’t visited yet. It’s not one I’m in a massive rush to get to (I’ve done zero research into it) but I can’t leave it off my bucket list.

4. New Orleans, USA

There’s a certain fascination I have with New Orleans. I think a big part of it is the architecture, the food and the rich culture of the place. It’s only been on my list for a couple of years but it’s one that I’m desperate to visit. One day!

5. Chicago, USA

I don’t know why this one is on my list as much as the others but it’s definitely one that is here to stay until it gets done. I love city breaks and Chicago looks like a great place that would have lots of things to do. Plus I really want to try a deep dish pizza.

If you want to see more places I want to travel, you should definitely check out my travel Pinterest board. It literally makes me want to pack a suitcase every time I look at it.

What’s on your travel bucket list?

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Honeymoon Plans Part 2 – San Francisco

Onto part 2 of the beginnings of our honeymoon plans. Yes it’s well over a year before we go but what can I say, I’m a planner! See Part 1 for our New York Plans. Unlike New York, we only have 2 full days to spend in San Francisco (with two half days on top) so we’ve got a lot less time on our hands. San Francisco has been a dream of mine for years and it’s the only one out of the three destinations that I have never been to before. So Topher and I get to explore it together for the first time. Excited isn’t a strong enough word.

sanfranact

Anyway, in terms of activities the main three priorities for us are The Golden Gate Bridge, then Topher wants to visit Alcatraz and I want to visit The Disney Family Museum. You may or may not have noticed my extreme disney love so a trip there is a must. Besides that, it’s going to be a lot of wandering around and eating! I want to see Chinatown and Golden Gate Park too. No plans as to where we’re staying yet. Maybe we’ll airbnb it since it’s the birth place of the site? Unless anyone has any great recommendations?

sanfranfood

Anyway, important stuff now – food! Again, we’ve got a few places in mind. Absolutely no dinner plans though – these are all breakfast, lunch and snacks. So purely based on pinterest searching I’ve found a few places including Tartine for a famous morning bun and Brenda’s French Soul food for beignets. Ever since I saw the film Chef I have been craving beignets like mad! Maybe finally I’ll get to try them? For lunch I’ve heard great things about Ike’s Place sandwiches – nothing better than an amazing sandwich, am I right? Unless we’re talking grilled cheese because then there’s nothing better than The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. Then for dessert it’s going to be the battle of the ice creams. In the blue corner is Humphry Slocombe which is known for their ingenuity when it comes to flavours. And in the red corner is the tried and tested Bi-Rite Creamery who have a snickerdoodle flavour that satisfies my need for cinnamon all day everyday. And randomly I have a sweet shop on my list called Miette that looks so instagramable I could squee. Sorry Topher!

Have you ever been to San Francisco? Any tips?

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