Dyson knows that travel can be a bit hair raising!
Travel can be a little hair raising at times! Balancing the dueling worlds of home life and travel life can get messy on occasion and I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this.
My pre-departure thought process goes something like this. If a serial killer gets me while I'm traveling - a totally likely scenario, right? - then the next logical step is that members of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Team will come to my home to investigate. I don't want the Criminal Minds team to conclude that the serial killer was targeting slovenly women who are unable to organize their sock drawer.
Therefore, before I leave, everything MUST. BE. SPOTLESS.
Hostel Old Plovdiv has earned its reputation as Bulgaria's best hostel.
I fell in love with Hostel Old Plovdiv long before I ever went to Bulgaria. A glowing review from a friend piqued my curiosity and I couldn't read enough about this restored historic property with beautiful murals (some over 100 years old!) restored four-poster antique beds for the guests, and a common room that looks like an aristocrat's library. There was no contest - I could tell this was the place for me!
But once I arrived, I struggled with what I should write. It's so unique, it almost falls into the category of "you have to see it to believe it". But then I realized that what I loved best were the little touches, the things that any other hostel could do but rarely does. Phenomenal hostels are all one of a kind properties but they also all have a few things in common - things like this:
On a budget in Bulgaria? You'll love Sofia!
I didn't know what to expect in Bulgaria - and neither did my budget. I knew Eastern Europe was a relatively inexpensive destination, but cheap prices don't always indicate great value. I was also worried that, while some things would be inexpensive, other things would be grossly inflated.
But shortly after my arrival in Sofia, all my worries were put to rest. This was a city filled with great deals and fantastic travel value! In fact, I think Sofia offers some of the best value of any destination I've visited. You can live large for very little and your money goes much further here than in most other European cities. Here's why I love it so much.
Barbados is high on my foodie radar...
Barbados first really hit my radar at the beginning of the year, when I did a post about thebest places to travel in 2015. Barbados got a glowing review! But funnily enough it was another warm weather destination that convinced me I had to ramp up my travel plans. Our March visit to Hawaii reminded me of how much I love to connect with the ocean, with the gardens, and - of course! - the food in tropical locations.
Our winter escape to Hawaii was so wonderful that I was immediately planning our next trip and I couldn't imagine a better spot than Barbados. Everything I've ever read about the country, the climate, the culture, and the cuisine has me convinced I've got to go and even to check some flights to Barbados.
Since it never hurts to start planning a trip in advance, I thought it wise (purely in the name of research, you understand) to start compiling a list of the best food the country has to offer.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of Istanbul's Sultanahmet, there is an oasis of art.
Istanbul's Sultanhamet neighbourhood is no stranger to old buildings. It's home to the Hagia Sophia, which dates back to 537 AD, and Topkapi Palace, built in 1459. By comparison, Caferağa Medresesi is the new kid on the block. Built in 1559, it's a mere 456 years young!
But in its relatively short life, it's had many incarnations. The word medresseh refers to an educational institution and, since 1989, Caferağa Medresesi has been a centre of learning for traditional Turkish handicrafts, such as ceramics, mosaics, calligraphy - and ebru painting, which we were fortunate enough to try.