I seriously don’t know where to start and now that I’ve started,  I’m not quite sure if I’ll ever stop writing about how amazing Japan is.

Unlike the majority of the people I know, Japan wasn’t on my list of top 5 places to visit. Please do not judge me, let me continue. So when I told my brother that I’d be travelling to Japan with Tim, his response was hilarious, he said “WHAT? You don’t deserve to go there. You do not even appreciate the culture.” I thought to myself ‘I did watch few Japanese anime and movies and also love their cuisine but yes he is right. I’m not a Japanese fanatic like most of the people but I must discover.’ Little did I know that I would leave my heart in Japan.


Anyway I know what I listed wasn’t sufficient enough for a person like me to travel to Japan. I did list Japan on my bucket list and particularly having a picture under a cherry blossom tree. SO TICK THAT. Anyway I’m not here to tell you about what is on my bucket list or anything lousy like that but I’m here to tell you how Japan had an impact on me and by far, it is the best place I ever visited.


On 24th March 2017 was the day we landed in Narita Airport, I’ve travelled as a Palestinian refugee holding a hand written passport that’s printed in French and Arabic. The guy at the immigration counter was amazed and couldn’t speak English. I stood there for almost an hour explaining to the immigration officer that I’m a Palestinian Refugee and my travel document was issued in Lebanon but I reside in Dubai and yes, I’m half Filipino. That made matters much more complicated. Finally, they scanned my visa and apologised for wasting my time. I said there was no need to apologise and I thanked them for trying so hard. I instantly thought to myself ‘OH MY GOD.!!!IMMIGRATION APOLOGISING’ that really doesn’t happen and I bowed and continued walking.

Tim and I got to the train station and were trying to navigate our way, I kept looking around with an astonished face because all the signs are written only in Japanese. Gosh, I’ve never felt so helpless abroad. After walking around, Tim managed to find the ticketing counter and the lady behind the desk had the most heart-warming smile and assisted us with our journey. And at that moment, I knew I’d love Japan.

Our travel to Japan consisted of staying at reliable hostels, eating at local restaurants, learning & embracing the culture, meeting new people and enjoying the nature. All of those things that I’ve listed affected me physically and emotionally but mainly mentally.

There were days Tim and I would just sit on a bench and just observe the people walk by. I cannot describe enough on how amazingly Japanese people are respectful.  That word ‘respectful’ is also underrated. I’ve never encountered such graciousness and such mannerism and without even realising it, I unconsciously  began to act and speak gently. Although the majority do not speak English, they will do their level best to help out. I still remember the pharmacist who held my hand because I was crying from the pain and she assisted us till we found the right medicine. She got a booklet with pictures and I just had to nod yes or no so she could give the right prescription. Other locals made an effort to help us find our way when we got lost. Those little act of kindness to a stranger proves that humanity still exists in this harsh world.

I was really ill when we arrived to Tokyo

I will post about the itinerary and places we’ve visited on a separate blog post. Tim and I visited 2 major cities; Kyoto and Tokyo. They are completely opposite and not comparable what soever, each city is unique in its own way. I personally enjoyed my stay in Kyoto and loved every single thing about it.

I see myself living there, waking up early in the morning, riding my bike and eating Japanese food and enjoying the moment. I love the simplicity of their lifestyle especially in Kyoto. Speaking of Japanese food, everything over there is healthy or offered in healthy portions. Japanese people are health freaks and all the drinks especially in the vending machine are without sugar. Being Fat is illegal. Everyone maintains their weight and are in good shape.



I’m sure you are still wondering how Japan affected me; well besides eating healthy and walking everywhere. I enjoyed the nature and fell in love with the Bamboo Forrest. Breathing fresh air everyday helped my lungs. Japan’s nature makes you feel calmness and serenity. The past doesn’t matter to them and they live the present for a productive future and to keep their legacy for the next generation.

Arigato Japan for letting me get to know you.

Till we meet again

3 Days in Georgia the Country

Tim, Mimi and I planned to celebrate Noor’s 30th birthday in Georgia the country. Since we all have a UAE residence visa, we are granted visa free entry. Noor travelled 2 days before us with her friend Jenneka. As for us, we spent 56 hours in Georgia.

Day 1:

We landed in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia at 5AM and headed straight to the hotel. We left our luggages and decided to explore parts of the city before meeting Noor and Jenneka at the hotel.

Our first stop was Median Square to have Khachapuri for breakfast at a famous restaurant located infront of the ‘I Love Tbilisi’ sign. We went to a restaurant called Samikitno/Machakhela; the food was very delicious and affordable.



The Famous Khachapuri


We continued exploring the area and took pictures by the bridge of peace, went crazy at Rike Park and walked back to the hotel.


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Alex our half Georgian half Egyptian tour guide picked us up from the hotel and took us to 5 touristic locations.

Jvari Mountain: A sixth century Georgian Orthodox monastery, located in eastern Geogia.



Mtskheta: One of the oldest cities in Georgia. It’s a city that was founded in the 5th Century BC. We visited a church and the local market and bought lots of Churchkhelas which are Georgian’s famous sweets. (VERY DELICIOUS)


The Delicious Churchkhelas


Gori: Is a city in eastern Georgia. The city was occupied by the Russian troops during the 2008 Russian-Georgian war. It is also known as the birthplace of the Soviet leader J.Stalin

Stalin Museum: The name says it all.

Uplistsikhe Cave Complex: Although it was raining a lot and quite windy, we managed to hike it. Uplistsikhe translates to ‘The Lord’s Fortress’. It contains structure from the Early Iron Age and Late Middle Ages. The structure was from Anatolia, Iran, Pagan and Christian architecture.

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As our tour ended, we headed back to Tbilisi and wandered around Sioni Cathedral Church, 3 Sioni St, Erekele II Square, Aerial Cable Car and had dinner at a vegan restaurant called Kafe Leila.

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Day 2:

Alex couldn’t meet us on that day so he sent his cousin ‘George’ to continue our tour around Georgia.

On that day we visited 4 famous locations.

Ananuri: A Castle which was ruled from the 13th century. Tim and I took pictures wearing the traditional outfits.

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Pasanauri: is a very small town surrounded by Causaus Mountains. We all were quiet in the car and admiring the nature while Jason Mraz and smooth 90’s songs were playing in the background.


Gudauri: A famous ski resort. We stopped to admire the view and take pictures. Honestly speaking I’ve never seen such nature. Georgia is really beautiful.

Kazbegi: a small town located in North East of Georgia and very close to the boarders of Russia.

Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument:  is a monument build in 1983 to celebrate the friendship between Georgia and the Soviet Russia.

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As we headed back to our hotel in Tbilisi, we agreed to separate for 2 hours and meet up later at the hotel to celebrate Noor’s birthday. Mimi, Tim and I continued to discover local markets and coffee shops.

At around 9PM, Alex picked us up from our hotel and took us to Shardeni Street. Known to have best clubs, pubs and shisha. Since it’s Noor’s birthday, we all had dinner and smoked Shisha till 1AM.

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Celebrating Noor’s 30th

Day 3: TBILISI and back to Dubai

As we waited in line for the cable car, the sky greeted us with ice cold rain. We then visited Kartlis Deda and Narikala Fortress. Sadly, we didn’t manage to explore much as we needed to get back to catch our flight.


Ahhh! We all loved Georgia. The food, the nature and it’s history.

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Tbilisi, Georgia (2017)

Visited: May 2017

*I’ve got lots of photos of Georgia which I will be posting on Pinterest.




Bellion Travels – 48 Hours in Armenia

So not a lot of people know we’ve been to Armenia so whoever didn’t know and is reading this post, SURPRISE!!! Tim and I visited Armenia.



It was long before it became a touristic destination. We booked our trip 3 days before our flight not knowing what to do or where to visit. All we knew was that Yerevan is the capital. So I quickly skimmed through places to visit in Armenia and wrote down Garni, Genocide Memorial and Yerevan Square.

We knew we were going there for the weekend so on day one, we explored the city of Yerevan by foot and discovered amazing local stores and restaurant which was located underground because of the cold weather.



After enjoying a delicious lunch, we took a taxi to the Genocide Memorial. Keep in my mind, our taxi driver didn’t know a word of English and he called his son to translate. We get there and pay our respects and head back to our taxi.


He then made hand gesture asking ‘Where?’, I looked at the list and said ‘Garni’. We ventured to the place forgetting what Garni offers and its location. As we headed outside the city and up to the mountain, Tim and I looked at each other in confusion. We asked again in a one-word question ‘Garni?’ and he just nodded. As it started getting darker and also started to snow; Tim got worried and I got excited because I’ve never seen snow before. We then got to Garni and were completely astonished by a Roman ruin on top of the mountain.


We then headed back to Yerevan and went to the Russian Cinema. Of course all the movies were in Russian and the subtitles were in Armenian so we just had different coffees at several coffee shops in the area.

Armenia is one place Tim and I will always remember because unplanned trips are the best and most memorable.


Celebrating Tim’s 29th Birthday in UAE

Tim’s 29th birthday was yesterday, 23rd Sept. and although I look younger than him, I’m only 2 months and 16 days younger. So, I’ll be turning 29 soon and since it will be our last 20’s, we agreed to make the most out of it before we could say we are 30.

Yes, we know age is nothing but a number. It’s just our last year as 20’s but I feel we will be more energetic and ready for more adventures in our 30’s.

Unfortunately, this year we were not able to celebrate his birthday abroad. So, I planned two birthday trips in the UAE in the occasion of Tim’s 29th AND here is what we did.

Trip #1: Sir Bani Yas Island

We visited Sir Bani Yas and stayed at Al Sahel Villas. A luxurious 5-star hotel located on a natural Island in Abu Dhabi. The hotel is managed by Anatara. The island is 250km from Dubai. You can either book a flight to the island or road trip it like we did and took a ferry to the island. There are 3 different types of accommodation.

  1. Dream Islands Resorts & Spa
  2. Al Sahel Villas
  3. Al Yam Villas

The island offers a lot of activities, from spa, kayaking, mountain biking, wildlife safari, falconry, archery and natural walk. Tim and I went tried the wild life safari which costs AED 200 per person. At night, we had a fine dining experience at the hotel and enjoyed African grilled dishes. The staff are so friendly and helpful. The hotel service was probably the best service we’ve experienced.

Hotel Rating : 5 STARS

Budget : $$$$$

Hotel Service : 10/10

Visited : September 2017

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Trip #2: The World Island

We booked a ticket to Lebanon for the 13:00 slot. Not the country but the island located in the World Island LOL. We arrived at Jumeirah Fishing Harbour at 11:30 and had breakfast at omniyat. At around 12:45, we walked to the deck to get on a speed boat and headed straight to the island.

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with cold drinks and were given towels. They later walked us to our beach bed. AHHH, the view was surreal and it felt like we were on holiday. Tim and I ordered the platter for two which included 2 sliders, 4 lamb chops, coleslaw, French fries and chicken skewers.

At around 18:00, we headed back to the city and civilisation which SUCKED lol.

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Dinner at Ting Irie

On his actual birthday, we had dinner at Ting Irie. A Carribean/ Jamaican restaurant in Downtown Dubai. Everything we ordered was delicious. The staff are super friendly and the music was so good that I even asked for the name of the album which I got and downloaded hehe.

Tim and I ordered Plantain Chips, Cocobread Buns, Jerky Hummos and Johnny’s Cakes. For the main course, we had Dat Lamb THO and Ackee & Saltfish.

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So CHEERS to 29 and to Health, Wealth and Happiness.

Last Exit – Mad Max Theme

Now that Tim drives everyday to Abu Dhabi, he noticed that Meraas (UAE Real Estate Developer) were building a new Last Exit on the boarders of Dubai-Abu Dhabi but you know what’s cool about it..IT’S A MAD MAX THEME BABY!!!! They named it Last Exit Mad X.




As soon as they announced the opening, we went there as early as we could to check the place out. The ambience is much cooler than the other Last Exits but because it’s new, the place isn’t as busy as the others. They’ve got several Food Trucks with awesome international cuisines and we picked ‘The Stuffed Burger’.



Bellion Travels Rating:-

Food: Good

Atmosphere: Very Good

Menu Variety: Very Good

Value for Price Paid: Good

Visited: August 2017

*this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own

Fresh Juices at Rose Leaf Cafe and Garden Shopping

Rose Leaf is a lovely coffee shop introduced by my dear friend Christina. Tim and I visited Dubai Garden Centre to look for indoor plants for our living room. We stopped at Rose Leaf Coffee Shop for Fresh Juice, the coffee shop is located in the Garden Centre itself. The vibe is so welcoming and cozy and makes you feel like you are away from the city and the desert.

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Bellion Travel Rating:

Food & Drinks: Good

Atmosphere: Good

Menu Variety: Very Good (All Healthy)

Value for Price Paid: Good

Visited: July 2017

*this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Water Adventure and Dolphins at Atlantis

We celebrated my 28th birthday at Atlantis Palm Jumeirah. My birthday being in December wasn’t the great time for a water park but indeed the best time (low season) for the Swim with the Dolphin activity.



I absolutely had an amazing time and learned a lot about Dolphins and the staff made the Dolphins dance and they all sang Happy Birthday. Since we purchased the Dolphin Adventure & Royal Swim, we get a pass to Aqua Venture Water Park. Like I said it was a bad time for a water park because of the cold weather especially on that day; never less we had an awesome time together.



Activity Prices:

Water Park: AED 260/Person & AED 310/Person including Lost Chamber Aquarium

Dolphin Encounter: AED 750/ Person (Includes Water Park)

Dolphin Adventure: AED 1,025/ Person (Includes Water Park)

Dolphin Royal Swim: AED 1,160/Person (Includes Water Park)

Visited: December 2016

NOTE: Pictures will have to be paid separately

*this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.



Breaking Bad – Walter’s Coffee Roastery

If you are a Breaking Bad fan, then I recommend you try out the coffee shop. It is located on the lower ground floor of Dubai Mall. Tim and I were accompanied by our best friend Mimi and her sister Safa. Who are fans of the show but don’t judge me, I’m still on season 2.



They prepared the coffee in the coolest way. The Walters Lab is where all the coffee experiments happen. Nah, it’s just a show to attract the customers but honestly it pretty cool.



Bellion Travel Rating:

Drinks: Good

Atmosphere: Good

Menu Variety: Good

Value for Price Paid: Fair

Visited: June 2017

Location: Dubai Mall

*this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Breakfast at Jones the Grocer

Jones the Grocer – Dubai

One morning, Tim and I decided to use our Entertainer and look at the breakfast options they offer. We looked up restaurants that weren’t far away from our place and agreed to eat at Jones the Grocer. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and has a mini mart, bakery and sells variety of cheese. The menu offers mainly western food but has range of dishes to try.

A restaurant ambiance is pleasant, it has floor to ceiling windows which allows natural light to brighten the space and the interiors are quite minimal. I like its interiors and everything they offer. Yes, it is a bit pricey for what they serve but every now and then I like to buy cheese from their store.



Bellion Travel Rating:

Food: Good

Atmosphere: Good

Menu Variety: Good

Value for Price Paid: Good

Visited: July 2017

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai, Al Safa 2, Dubai

*this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.



Thai Dinner at Royal Orchid

Asian Food and Shisha combined at Royal Orchid. There are several branches around Dubai but Tim and I visited the one in Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard since it’s closer to my office. It’s a lovely Thai restaurant that serves variety of dishes from dry food, fried and curry.




The restaurant is divided into two parts, the none smoking and smoking which includes the terrace. Tim ordered the Chili Garlic Chicken and I ordered Minced Chicken with Chili and Basil (Kai Phad Krapao).


Bellion Travel Rating:

Food: Good

Atmosphere: Good

Menu Variety: Very Good

Value for Price Paid: Good

Visited: July 2017

*this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.