A Week in the beautiful Gran Canarias

We spent a total of 5 nights and 6 days in the Gran Canarias.

Day 1:

We arrived in the afternoon at around 2PM. Susan, Tim’s stepmom and Frank, Tim’s Dad picked us up from the airport and we headed to their home located in Mogan. When we arrived, we were welcomed by Frank’s cousins and Tim’s sister and her husband. It was a week of family get together to celebrate Frank’s 70th Birthday. Our first night, we all had dinner at a restaurant by the beach called Amadores. Tim and I shared a Paella Negra and just had a wonderful time chit chatting with everyone.

 

Day 2:

Susan booked an activity for everyone. Tim drove the buggy and we all adventured to the volcanic mountains of the Gran Canaria and tried a cactus fruit. The guide warned us all to be careful from the spikes on the fruit and not to get our hands dirty when eating the fruit,. Tim did a terrible job, he got spikes all over his mouth and his hands were pink and I the clumsy person managed to eat it perfectly. Later that night, Susan ordered 2 types of Paellas. She ordered a mixed paella and a seafood paella from a restaurant down the road to their home. It was extremely delicious.

 

Day 3: Easter Day

Tim and I went to the beach with Lucy and Steve. The water was quite cold so I avoided swimming the whole holiday. It was April and I consider it to be a cold weather LOL.

Later that day, Susan arranged a lovely lunch BBQ for everyone. Tim and I made lazy cake for dessert. At night, we all watched a movie in the entertainment room.

 

Day 4: Frank’s Birthday

Susan arranged a cruise to celebrate his birthday. It was located at Pasito Blanco Harbour. I, the half Middle Eastern girl who lived her whole life in the desert suffered a heatstroke for the first time EVER. I kept throwing up constantly and felt dizzy the whole cruise. I wasn’t sea sick because I got on a lot of cruises in UAE but the heat in Gran Canarias was a lot to bare and not just that I did not wear a hat. I felt horrible. Ever since I’ve learned my lesson to always wear a hat on a sunny day.

Susan, an amazing organiser, planned a tapas night. Everything you could imagine was served that night. We had shrimps, cheese and many other delicious food.

Day 5:

Frank’s cousin travelled in the afternoon, Lucy, Steve, Tim and I went to Puerto Rico Beach to buy some souvenirs. We later went for a walk and checked out a few stores in the town and headed back to Frank and Susan’s place.

 

Day 6:

Steve and Lucy travelled back to the UK. Susan and Frank dropped us to Mogan Beach for more shopping and to check out the beaches and local areas. Susan later picked us up and we went grocery shopping and purchased the cactus sauce and canary sauces. Later that night, we had dinner at a seafood restaurant overlooking the sea.

 

Day 7:

We left the house at 3AM to catch our flight to Tenerife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 2018 Recap

Gosh! A lot of things happened this month, I don’t know where to start. So, I finally handed my resignation and my last working day is Tuesday 9th Oct. 2018. After working 5 years with the same company it was time to say goodbye. I want to blog about it separately with many other pending blog posts. Now, I have time to do things for myself, I can have a ME TIME. I will have time to blog, edit photos, paint, sketch, read books, organise the mess, file important personal documents because everything around me is completely disorganised ever since we moved to Abu Dhabi.

September was a very good month, we celebrated my brother’s 24th birthday at Wokyo then had cake and coffee at Bystro Dubai. We also travelled to Nepal to celebrate Tim’s 30th birthday and my surprise gift was paragliding. So here is a quick recap of what happened in September 2018.

Destinations we’ve visited

UAE

  • Al Ain
  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Sharjah

Nepal

  • Pokhara
  • Kathmandu

Highlights of the month

  • My car battery died in Abu Dhabi so I stayed at Mimi’s place in Dubai for a week to be able to commute to work easily.
  • I officially RESIGNED from my job. As of 10th Oct. 2018, I will be unemployed YIKES!
  • Tim and I went to Dubai’s Park and Resort/ River Land/ Lego Land and Motion Gate.
  • Celebrated Mohammad’s 24th Birthday at Wokyo and Bystro.
  • Travelled to Nepal for Tim’s 30th Birthday and went paragliding.
  • Celebrated Tim’s birthday with my family at a seafood restaurant in Sharjah called Sammach.

What I watched?

Series:

  • Dark Tourist
  • Explained
  • Queer Eye

Movies:

  • Equalizer 2
  • Life of the Party
  • Game Night
  • Incendies
  • The Motorcycle Diaries

What I read this month?

  • The Travels of Ibn Battuta by Tim Mackintosh Smith
  • The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

What have I blogged about in September?

 

I’ve got lots of plans in the month of October, we will be arranging the outdoor garden, having farewell meals, organising the house, attending few events and more blogging hehe.

 

 

August 2018 Recap

August was such a busy month. I did not even blog and had no time to edit photos or anything like that. I took a break from blogging and focused more on work but also lots of things happened in August. I decided to enrol in an institute to study during my free time but my classes will start mid Oct. Tim and I visited Abu Dhabi and travelled during the Eid Holiday with my best friend Mimi to Bangkok. So here is a recap of what happened in the month of August.

Destinations we’ve visited

  • Al Ain
  • Thailand

Highlights of the month

  • Visited Al Ain and stayed at Telal Resort
  • Travelled to Thailand during the Eid Break
  • Had Lasik Surgery

What have we watched?

Series:

  • Dark Tourist
  • A series of Unfortunate Events
  • Disenchantment

Movies:

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

What I read?

The Travels of Ibn Battuta (still reading)

What have I blogged about in August?

NOTHING LOL

So here is what happened during the month of August. Lasik Surgery went well, THANK GOD. We travelled to Bangkok and DAMN that place is amazing for shopping. I bought a lot of clothes and I fell in love with a store called Sugar and Cream that sells vintage outfits. ME GUSTA. We also stayed at Telal Resort for the weekend which is in the middle of the desert. We personally love it, it was voted as one of the best luxury resorts in the CONTINENT. So, we’ve got plans for September and hopefully I will get back to blogging ASAP since I have Spain and Thailand to blog about.

June 2018 Recap

June was a busy month compared to May. We’ve done a lot and visited places in the UAE. Eid (Muslim Celebration) was in June so we got a day off and enjoyed the holiday.

Destinations we’ve visited

Tim and I started hanging out more in Abu Dhabi. Since we are new in this city, there are a lot of places to explore. We stayed in Sharjah for a night to celebrate Eid with my family. We stayed in Ajman for the weekend at a luxurious 5-star hotel called ‘Ajman Saray’ and of course, we met up with friends in Dubai.

Highlights of the month

  • Iftar at Meydan Hotel WOOOW!!!
  • Stayed in Sharjah for a night to celebrate Eid
  • Stayed in Ajman for the weekend

What have we watched?

Series:

  • 13 Reasons Why (Season 2) – DONE
  • Breaking Bad – Season 3
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine- Season

Movies:

  • Jurassic World
  • Incredibles 2 – OMG! LOVED IT

What have I blogged about in June?

So here are some of the highlights for the month of June. Lately, Tim and I are gardening, sorting some things in the Philippines and “trying” to relax more, which is not happening. So hopefully, we won’t have to drive a lot more to Dubai and Sharjah in the month of July and just spend more time in Abu Dhabi. I’m sick of the drive since I commute everyday from Abu Dhabi to Dubai because of work. Yes, I did resign but it was verbally and not officially. I’ll keep you updated once I do.

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Dubai in Three (3) Days

If you are visiting Dubai for 3 days, here are the places we recommend you to visit.

Day 1:

  • Visit Old Dubai and Ride the Abra (Located at the Al Fahidi Metro Station)
  • Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain.  All those attraction are located in Dubai Mall which is currently the largest mall in the world. (Dubai Mall Metro Station)

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Day 2:

  • Desert Safari, Camel Ride and Dinner at a Bedouin Tent. You can book through any Tour Agency in Dubai and even Hotels can book it for you. We recommend you contact the Tour agency directly, they’ll offer a better rate.
  • Spend the late night in Dubai Marina. There are so many restaurants, bars and cafes to try.

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Day 3:

  • Emirates Mall for Skiing OR Water Park activity either at ATLANTIS or WILD WADI
  • Dinner at Madinat Jumeirah

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There are other places to visit and tons of activities to do. You can also look at visiting IMG World which is the biggest indoor Theme Park and trust me it is worth visiting, there’s the Miracle Garden in Dubai Land and Dubai Parks and Resorts which include Lego Land, Motion Gate and Bollywood.

Hope you will visit Dubai soon 🙂

How To Maintain Your Relationship When Travelling?

So my previous post ‘I choose travelling with my partner than by myself BUT there’s a catch…’, yall know that I prefer to travel with my husband rather than being alone.

I’ve mentioned why travelling with my partner is better but no matter how much we love each other or have similarities there will always be minor disagreements.

If you are currently in a relationship, Tim and I recommend that you guys should travel together. You will be surprised how much you’ll learn a lot about one another. Travelling can either make your relationship stronger or make you grow apart.

Here are our tips on how to maintain your relationship when travelling:

  1. Agree on a Budget: before booking any trip, you both have to discuss your budget and how much you want to spend. So we write down an itinerary of where we want to go and places we want to visit and then look at forms of transportation and compare rates.
  2. Plan an Itinerary: I’ve to admit, our itinerary changes when we arrive to our destination however we have a plan. So before finalising the itinerary, we both write down the locations we want to visit of the country we are going to. So after listing the places, we then discuss and make it work so we both get to do the things we want together.
  3. Be Ready to Compromise: Like I said our itinerary doesn’t always work according to plan. It changes on circumstances and you need to be ready for that. (Compromising has to be from both)
  4. Communicate & Be Honest: If there’s something you do not like and do not want to do. Tell your partner rather than giving attitude and ruining the day. We’ve seen it in other couples and we agreed to discuss things if it doesn’t make us feel comfortable. For example, I really did not want to go for the Japanese Bath (Sentō) but after discussing it for 5 days LOL. Tim managed to convince me.
  5. Plan a Date Night or a Surprise: I know sounds corny but it works. There are times where Tim and I have no plans so we look up romantic places to visit and go on a date together. For example in Morocco, I booked a table in advance and planned a proper meal with entertainment for Tim’s birthday. It keeps the sparks *wink wink*

So when travelling with your partner, remember to compromise, to plan, to communicate and to be romantic; and the outcome of your trip will truly be worthwhile.

I choose travelling with my partner than by myself BUT there’s a catch…

Hi Everyone

This blog is to talk about couple travelling. I previously wrote a blog about Female Solo Traveller, recommending all women to travel solo at least once in the lifetime. Now that I’m married, this blog is about why I prefer travelling with my partner rather than myself however do carry on because it’s not the right travel for everyone.

As mentioned previously, I was a solo traveller till I met my husband abroad. So people asked me ‘So Nissreen, do you prefer travelling alone or with my husband’

That’s a really good question, here’s the thing; when I met my husband in Singapore, we got along from the moment we said hello.  We realised we had a lot in common and have some similar interest. After going our separate ways, we agreed meeting every month at a new destination.

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Now travelling shows you a lot about a person and yourself. You will go through a lot of obstacles such as transportation, navigation, languages, local market rip offs and other challenging situations. Tim and I passed it all and before being a couple, we were friends and really good friends. It felt like we knew each other before. So I’d say I prefer travelling with my partner than being alone.

My opinion on this would be neutral and here is why. When I was single, I never wanted to travel with anyone because I knew we wouldn’t get a long. I have friends who I trusted and wanted to travel with but unfortunately circumstances didn’t allow us to travel together. My close friends are the ones that I can face all challenges with. Travelling with them is the best and you wouldn’t want to be alone. You get along because you have the same core values but share some similar interest and that’s how it’s like being with your significant other.

I know for a fact that I would have hated travelling if I’ve done it with particular people. I’d leave and prefer to be alone. There is nothing wrong with them, it’s just that we are completely different.

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I support travelling alone 100% however if you find that special bond with someone then it’s lovely to share moments with them and create memories. So if you are in a miserable relationship, I do not recommend you travelling with your partner but travel by yourself to enjoy and appreciate things. To make yourself happy and content. Appreciate the moments and live life.

When Tim and I were still dating, he travelled for 10 days to Japan by himself. He contacted me every minute by sending me pictures, calling me and updating me about his trip and what he ate and what he tried. When we met the next month, he said he would never ever travel alone and just wants to travel with me. And ever since he only travels alone if it is work related.

So do not travel with someone who doesn’t make you feel fulfilled; whether it is a friend or a partner. So travel alone to do what you love but if you ever find that person who completes you and shares the happy and sad moments with you then travelling as a couple would be the best travel experience EVER.

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A Short Break from Travelling

Hi Everyone,

After 2 weeks of not posting on the blog, here I am writing with not even a slight interest in doing so.

2 weekends ago Tim and I joined Mimi and Noor for a weekend stay in Georgia the country, it was a needed holiday and we celebrated Noor’s 30TH Birthday. We visited 9 beautiful places which of course I will write about separately.  Last weekend Tim and I went to a place called XSpace with our friends Reuven and Christina. Where you get locked in a room and had to solve riddles to be able to get out.

This year, Tim and I have travelled to Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau and Georgia. I’ve added those places on my trip advisor travel map and I got ‘completed 8% of the world’. Next week, I’ll be travelling  to Lebanon to renew my travel document. After that trip Tim and I will be taking a short break from travelling abroad due to unpredictable circumstances.

Writing this really hurts but thankfully I was able to see 8% of this planet and the 92% can wait for some time. I’m blessed and grateful to be able to travel to as many places as I did. So I’m not saying that I will stop travelling but will be taking a short break till things work out.

I’ll be continuing to blog about living in UAE and the remaining pending destinations that I did not include in the blog. So sadly, here I am announcing a break from travel for some time till things pick up again.  I’m very thankful for the opportunity that I had to see those places and share those memories with the man I love. I’m not pessimistic about this break, you’ll never know how things in life can turn around. We don’t know what tomorrow brings.

Keep loving life no matter what obstacles you face and everything will go fine 🙂

Cheers

xx

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Appam Corner – Dubai Investment Park

One of the best and affordable Indian restaurants in Dubai Investment Park. We gave it a try when we read free unlimited Appams and visited quite few times ever since. Appams are type of bread displayed in the picture below.

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Tim had the meat thali while I had the veggie thali. Thali is a meal where different types of curries are served on a leaf.  When I say it’s affordable, I do mean it; the meals range from £2 – £6. If ever you feel like having Indian food, do give it a try. Thali’s are always the best but only served for lunch so if you go there for dinner I recommend the Tandoori Combo.

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The restaurant is good for people who love meat and vegans.

Female Solo Traveller

At a recent party we attended, Tim and I were introduced as the travelling couple. So obviously people ask the standard questions “where have you been?”, “Did you meet abroad”, “Where is your next destination?”.

So one of the female guests at the party asked me, “have you ever travelled alone?”. My response was “of course, I was once a female solo traveller before I met my husband.” With that answer, many questions followed … so let me illustrate how the conversation continued.

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To every girl who dreams to travel alone, please continue reading and to every guy, please support solo female travellers. One of my favourite female travel bloggers is Adventurous Kate, I regularly read her blogs and follow her on social media and I think she is the biggest example of ‘Female Solo Travellers’. Another female traveller, who I find extremely inspiring is Sonia Gil and check out her YouTube videos under the name of  SoniaTravels. I adore her because she loves adventures, travelling and mainly learning a new language which is my primary interest in life.

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Here are the Q&A’s that are frequently asked and my answers follow.

  1. What is cool about travelling solo?

Travelling solo is the best way for self-enrichment. It’s the ultimate experience for oneself.  Best thing about it is that you get to do whatever you want whenever you want. You can wake up whenever and you can eat whatever and discover new places wherever. No one will interfere in your schedule. Solo travelling gives you the feeling of independence and freedom. It helps develop your personality and makes you stronger to face the world.

  1. Is it safe to travel alone?

Before travelling to any country, you must extensively research the place. The countries I’ve travelled to were safe and I did not face any problem. However, because of researching, I knew which places not to visit alone. Oh yeah! my first destination was India and I stayed 3 days with friends and continued on my own. I avoided further areas to travel alone as it was too risky especially that I was 20 years old at that time. So please RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH and trust me travelling alone isn’t as scary as you think.

  1. Where to stay when travelling alone?

I recommend Hostels and yes, you can find safe and clean ones. Check out www.hostelworld.com and always read reviews and search locations before booking your stay. Hostels are the best way to make friends and meet other travellers. I met my husband at a hostel. (Check out How We Met)

Also a safe and beneficial accommodation would be staying with local families. That way you can embrace and learn their culture.

  1. What is the biggest obstacle when travelling alone?

Taking the perfect picture of myself. I don’t want my album to be filled with selfies and when I do ask someone to take my photo, it always looks terrible.

  1. What’s your advice?

Besides research about the country. I’d also add follow your instinct and YEAH girl that gut feeling you get is always freakin’ right. Never ever act foolish and don’t trust strangers immediately. If you don’t feel safe then just stay in your accommodation and don’t go out after a certain time.

So far 2 of my close friends took my advice and travelled alone and they said they’ve never experienced such a convenient travel.

Many other questions follow like “Do you like to travel alone or with your partner?”.

Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen will be discussed in the next post.

soooo……will be continued….

*Hey if you took my advice travelling alone do message me and share your experiences and whoever did, please share your stories in the comments below. lets motivate others WOOP WOOP 🙂 🙂

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