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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WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR TRAVEL STYLE

I’ve been travelling since the age of 1. My first trip was to the Philippines; however, my mum and I had a stopover in Brunei which makes it the first country I’ve ever visited. As a child, my travel was limited and it was only between Lebanon and Philippines. Since being born and raised in Dubai, my parents did not want me to forget my roots.

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My first diverse route was to Syria where I visited historical places. Syria was only a 2 hour drive from where we stayed in Lebanon. Then in 2010 I’ve travelled to a new destination outside my comfort zone and that’s where I caught the travel bug. That destination was India, later I couldn’t stop travelling; I visited Oman, Brunei again, Spain, Germany and Malaysia. So from family travels, I diverted to visiting new destinations outside my culture to witness the other countries touristic attractions.

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Years later in 2014, I booked a last minute ticket to Singapore and ended up meeting my husband. Our trip included fun activities such as visiting Singapore Zoo and Universal Studios. In my blog ‘How We Met’ (https://belliontravels.com/2016/06/17/singapore/) , I’ve mentioned that we met every month in a new country to sustain our long distance relationship. Since they were short trips, we became travellers who squeezed a lot of touristic attractions and fun activities in a short period of time.

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Once we got married, our travel habit has changed. Since we both have full time jobs and have limited annual leave, we decided to visit as many places as we can and the trip ends up to be rapido rapido rapido……

After taking 2 weeks off of work, we managed to visit Japan, Philippines, Macau and Hong Kong. I was beyond content and especially that Japan affected me a lot. I thought I took really awesome pictures for the blog and social media accounts until 5 of my friends who visited Japan a week after me took similar pictures and that’s when I realised that Tim and I need to change our travel style.

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When I was having lunch with Tim and my brother ‘Mohammad’, I was telling them that something was missing in my travels. I want something different and unique. At this stage, I’ve decided to travel to new places and learn as much as I can until I find the right style. Where myself and others can benefit from.

So for now and hopefully not for long, we will be the kind of travellers who cram as much knowledge as we can but someday we will find what I’m searching for.

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Our 14 days Travel Itinerary

Tim and I took 14 days off of work; actually to be precis, we took 10 working days off to finalise personal errands in the Philippines and then continue our holiday to other destinations.

So our itinerary of 14 days covered, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau. I guess being a full-time employee to a huge organisation restricts our travels because of the limited days off.

In UAE, we are entitled for 22 working days off but being an expatriate, our holidays include visiting families abroad which means travelling to the same destination quite often. We don’t mind it at all because we really do miss them. So our current travel mission is to cover as much places as we can in a short period of time.

Here is how our itinerary looked like (not detailed)

Day 1: Landed late night in Philippines

Day 2: Makati, Philippines

Day 3:

  • Bonifacio Global City, Philippines
  • Rockwell
  • Travelled to Japan

Day 4: Landed in Narita Airport and took a bullet train to Kyoto

Day 5: Kyoto

Day 6: Nara & Kyoto

Day 7: Kyoto and took a bullet train to Tokyo

Day 8: Tokyo

Day 9:

  • Tokyo
  • Travelled to Philippines

Day 10:

  • Landed in Philippines and spent 5 hours at a nearby hotel
  • Travelled to Hong Kong
  • Explored Kowloon Island

Day 11: Macau & Hong Kong Island

Day 12: Lantau Island – travelled to Philippines

Day 13: Eastwood, Green Hills, Pasig, Marikina and Antipolo.

Day 14: We woke up an hour before check out and had breakfast in Pasig and headed straight to the airport.

Day 15: BACK TO THE OFFICE

PHEW!!! Typing the itinerary was as tiring as the trip but worth it. LOL. I really want to dedicate time to write about it because we’ve learned a lot and observed a lot and I’m dying to share everything with you.

Unlike most of my other posts, I want to put a lot more effort into writing about our experiences and stories, particularly Japan. I’ve visited 20+ countries and Tim has been to 30+ countries and by far our favourite country is Japan and I can’t think of any other place that can beat it. It was Tim’s third visit and that says a lot and I can’t wait to go back.

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Follow BellionTravels on Social Media

Tim and I are back from our holiday. We’ve managed to squeeze Philippines (Makati, Pasig and Bonifacio), Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara), Hong Kong (Kowloon, HK and Lantau Island) and Macau in just 2 weeks.

I’ve got lots to blog about especially Japan. It was my first and Tim’s third visit to the most awesome country in the world.

I FELL IN LOVE WITH JAPAN. 

Today, I visited a coffee shop near our apartment called ‘Drip House’. It’s located in Dubai Investment Park and every Saturday they organise a meet up event about various things. The topic I attended was about Social Media and Blogging which I benefited from, ALOT.

Before brainstorming and writing about our trip, you may check out our other Social Media platforms to follow. Where I update my stories on Instagram and share other bloggers/ vloggers content on my facebook page.

Can’t wait to share our travel stories with you…

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Catch you later

Xx

 

Spread the LOVE

Spread the LOVE

One of my favourite travel stories is Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and here are my favourite quotes from the book.

  1. “Maktub” (It is written) she said. “If I am really part of your dream, you will come back one day” – Alchemist
  2. “So, I Love You because the entire universe conspired to help me find you” – Paulo Coelho

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AND here is how to say ‘I Love You’ in my languages

Arabic:

To a Male  = Bahebak ♥♥

To a Female = Bahebik ♥♥

Tagalog :

Mahal Kita ♥♥

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Travel the world with someone you LOVE

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…and fill your life with adventures

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…create memories together

Happy Valentines Day and Everyday

 

BellionTravels Update

Today’s Blog isn’t about Travel. Here’s the thing, I’ve been so caught up lately with lots of things:

  1. I had family and friends visiting from abroad.
  2. Took 5 days of sick leave due to a painful neck surgery to remove a lump.
  3. Because of the sick leave, I had lots of pending work to finish.
  4. I’m currently working with a lovable graphic designer named Sarah. She will be designing the blog’s logo and help me brand it.
  5. I’m also taking up online classes to be knowledgeable of the today’s Tech and Social Media world. And so far I have a degree in WordPress Web Build, Creative Travel Writing and Business Blogging. In addition, I attended a workshop about Blogging, the event was held by Emirates Literature Foundation in Dubai World Trade Centre. Currently I’m studying Travel Photography and Social Media.
  6. I’m considering Vlogging so I’m also working with my awesome youngest brother Omar to assist me with video editing.

I enjoy  blogging, it’s a fun activity to do but it also can be stressful. There are days where I have panic attacks because of time management. Work takes 10 hours of my day and that excludes the 1 hour commute each way. Plus, I need personal time for my hobbies so all of that led me to prepare a temporary schedule.

So my lovely readers, I’ll be posting blogs on Thursdays and Saturdays and the remaining days I’ll either be studying, working on the blog design & content and joining activities.

I guess things will work out efficiently.

Catch up with yall soon

xx

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Happy New Year : Our 2016 Highlights

Happy New Year : Our 2016 Highlights

By a blink of an eye here we are end of 2016 and ready to start our new adventure. 2016 was a year where we lost legends, especially my grandfather and Tim’s grandmother and it wasn’t a pleasant year for lots. 2016 was filled with negativity around the world however lets look at the positive side of things, sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can.

Not much of travel happened for us in 2016 but Tim did some work travels. His been to Saudi Arabia, Texas, Bahrain, Oman, India and Kuwait. However on my side, things kinda got rough this year. With my dad’s preparation for retirement, reaching target at work and many things that I do not want to remember. Anyway I’d love to leave 2016 behind and start a new adventure and the thing that I’m looking forward to the most is the new season of Game of Thrones.

For 2017, Tim and I have planned quite few things so hopefully as we say InshAllah (Gods will) it will work out. So before starting our new journey. I’d like to blog and recap the great stuff that happened this year.

Below are the highlights of our year.

January: Tim and I spent a weekend in Al Aqah, Fujairah at one of the resorts called Rotana.

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February: We both pretended to be tourist in Downtown Dubai and wore matching outfits. We also attended ‘Eat the World’ which is a food truck event. It was expensive for what they were offering.

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March: Tim and I visited the Miracle Garden. Just so you know it’s only open from November till April. We also attended the Sikka Art Event where my friend Jessica Avedikian performed. Follow her on youtube 🙂

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April:  We travelled to the Philippines to visit the Familia Grande . Check out my Philippines blog

https://belliontravels.com/category/travel-blog/philippines/ 

May: Tim took my father and I to visit Musandam, Oman. We highly recommend it, it’s the best way to enjoy dry nature.

Oman – Swimming in Musandam

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June: Tim and I had a proper decent high tea at the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi on the 74th floor. That trip continued at the Emirates Palace Hotel. June was also the Holy Month of Ramadan and we visited lots of restaurants to enjoy Iftar which is the meal you have after breaking your fast. Also the highlight of this month is that I decided to start a blog on wordpress.

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July: Tim learned Salsa at Sevilles, a Spanish restaurant in a place called Wafi. it was also the month my colleague and good friend Beth asked me to be her son’s godmother. The little cutie’s name is Bjorn and July was his christening at the St. Mary’s Church which of course we attended. I also passed the beginners ski class with my brother Mohammad in Ski Dubai. Although Tim was with us, he’s already an intermediate so he joined another group.

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August: We attended an indoor food truck which was located in a warehouse and it was for a temporary set up. The funny part, we knew about it through a friends brother who lives in Palestine. We attended my colleague and friend’s wedding and it was a mix of Iraqi Palestinian Lebanese traditions. Another highlight we also stayed at the Rove Hotel with my father and brother ‘Omar’. AND we also stayed at Tilal Liwa for our anniversary.

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September: We travelled to New York & UK. We watched Impossible at the Dubai Opera and  Tim got back into Scuba.

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October: We went Kayaking early morning in Sharjah. Also participated in a Treasure Hunt in an area called Bastakiya. We also attended SICFF event which my brother Mohammad works for. We also won best couple costume at a Halloween Party.

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November: We went to IMG World and attended Les Miserable at Dubai Opera.

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December: We attended the rugby Dubai 7’s on UAE’s national day and Tim took me to the Dolphin Bay at Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah. Celebrated Christmas with family in Fujairah.

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Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book.
Write a good one.

Happy New Year, 2017.

May your year be filled with blessings

 

I’m a certified WordPress Blog Builder =)

Tim and I got back from our US and UK trip and got super busy catching up with work and friends. I’m trying to manage my time with house work, work work, social life and mainly blogging.

I work in Real Estate and with the current market status, it is very challenging to reach targets and I had to put all my energy into it. It made me feel guilty since I haven’t blogged for quite some time. I’ve got lots to share with you about my previous trips and the one I  recently had however I was finishing my online course for WordPress Website and Blog Builder and WUHU I’M DONE. Yes! I am taking blogging seriously.

During my lunch break or short breaks at work, I’d sit down and brainstorm my next blogs.  I have a Game of Thrones note book  I where write my stories and my future ideas for this blog. So far I’ve drafted 14 stories and will need to select and edit some pictures.

I also got busy with creating social media accounts, so far I signed up for Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Obviously all are called BellionTravels (PLEASE FOLLOW) I’m trying to manage my time to follow up with all especially replying and reading other bloggers.

So here I am, making sure you guys know I haven’t disappeared or died. I’m very much ALIVE and ready to blog…

For the Love of Languages

Travellers, who I know or met either speak more than one language or are learning a new language. I’m born to a very multicultural family. Let me try to explain my background, I’m born and raised in United Arab Emirates, my grandfather is Palestinian and my grandmother is an American of Austrian and Hungarian heritage which makes my dad a fruit salad and in addition he is born in Lebanon. My mum on the other hand is a Filipina with Spanish ancestry (aren’t we all)*.

*Referring to the Filipinos ( my Kabayans)

So where do I consider home? Honestly! I have no clue…. I just belong to this world. After meeting my British husband, we planned to create our own culture; a culture that suits both of our principles.

A valuable asset for being a multi-racial person is to be able to speak more than one language and be able to understand and relate to a culture even if you do not agree with it. I speak English and Arabic fluently but little Spanish and Tagalog however I do understand. I JUST NEED TO PRACTICE.

To learn a language is simple actually, it is never too late to say ‘Ohhh I’m too old to learn’ or ‘Ohhh I do not have the time’. OH PLEASE…..EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES….Yes, children learn quicker, nevertheless consider it to be a brain exercise. To learn a language you should have a purpose or passion for it. For example, Tim is learning Arabic to be able to converse with my family and also because it is a great advantage to be able to speak to Arab clients in the Middle East.

So my fellow bloggers and readers, here are my 10 ways to learn a new language 🙂

  1. Pick a language you are interested in (a perfect example would be, my husband picked Arabic because he lives in the Middle East or pick French because it sounds romantic OR Mandarin because it’s challenging)
  2. Keep a phrase book in your pocket or bag and read it on the bus, train or while sitting and having coffee.
  3. Listen to songs with clear words  (For Example, If you are learning Spanish, don’t listen to Pit-bull)
  4. Find a Speak Dating/ Language Exchange club. I joined one before where you exchange languages with fluent speakers. For example if your mother tongue is English and you are learning French. You sit with a person who speaks French but wants to learn English.
  5. Once you feel you’ve reached an intermediate level of conversing then travel to a country that speaks that language and practice.
  6. Watch movies with NO SUBTITLES
  7. Think in that language (Translate things in your head)
  8. Buy children books in the language you’ve selected and and by time, you’ll advance to reading novels.
  9. If driving, listen to an audio CD and always repeat after it OUT LOUD.
  10. Dedicate a day or two to sit and focus on language study books.(Dedicate 2 hours)

The key to speaking a language is Practice, Practice and Practice.

I know some people who are not considerate that I’m learning a new language, there are times where I stutter and stop to think what the right word is and they either continue my sentence or mock me. I’m still learning to overcome such behaviours so when a native speaker does that to you, don’t ever let them put you down. Believe in yourself

Good Luck! حظا طيبا! Buena suerte! Suwerte

 

Hello Bloggers!!!

Hi Guys!

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged. Well it’s due to my colleague going on leave so I’ve been busy with double work and by the time I get back home, I’m exhausted. I’ve also been busy during weekends doing house chorus. Yup!!! FUN FUN FUN….

Anyway I’ve done a lot of thinking lately and thought I might take this blog seriously and actually dedicate time for it so I signed up for 2 courses; first course is about Travel Creative Writing and the other one is, how to use WordPress like a pro. So lets see how that goes. 🙂 I’m EXCITED!!!!

Tim also advised that I should dedicate 2 days a week to post a blog but I was a bit hesitant since the last time we traveled together was in April 2016 when we visited my family in the Philippines, he then mentioned places and activities we’ve done in UAE which needs to be shared with the world. So here I am sitting at Starbucks brain storming my ideas and topics while drinking a white mocha frappe.

Here goes….

Wish me luck 🙂

Have a lovely day xx