When Dan and I were booking our most recent stay in London, we wanted to experience the city differently. We’ve both been to London countless times, and while it’s a city that it is difficult to grow bored of, I still wanted to see it in a new way. A big part of that comes down to accommodation and location. That’s when I started looking for an eco hotel in London — a phenomenon I’ve experienced in Amsterdam and seen across the USA, so I was curious how London would compare. From my searches, it was obvious that the best eco hotel in London was Qbic in East London. It’s the only hotel that has completely branded itself around its efforts at sustainability. Which honestly came as a surprise to me in a city as innovative as London, but maybe nobody wants to compete with Qbic? We stayed at Qbic for three days, and this is what we thought!
Dan and I went to Lagos this summer and had an wonderful week of chilling in the sun, reading and drinking cocktails, and more adventurous activities like coastal hikes and surfing! Of course I was also on a mission to find the best gluten free Lagos Portugal food to share with all of you. Luckily, Lagos did not disappoint!
It was three years ago on a particularly drizzly English day when Bura Surfhouse popped up on my Facebook ads. With a bit of curiosity and a yearning for (even internet-sourced) sunshine, I clicked over to the Bura Surfhouse website. A hostel on the algarve coast of Portugal, featuring yoga classes, a pool and bar, barbecues, pancakes every morning, a short walk from five stunning beaches, daily surf/hiking/paddle board/kayak outings, and (the kicker) weekly trips to walk the local humane society puppies?! Well, it’s not really a surprise that I spent the following three years with Bura Surfhouse at the back of my mind every time I planned a trip!
I’ve had a few USA friends travel to London lately and ask me for tips on this city I love so dearly. I have been to London countless times since the first time I moved to England five years ago. I think that is the true sign of getting to know a place… it becomes more a city you love than a city you can count your travels to. Which is why I would love to be your London tour guide too, and share all my London tips and secrets!
When I read that the April travel link up topic was “places you can’t get out of your head,” well I knew there was one special place I had to write about! The United Kingdom, of course. I lived in southwest England for 3.5 years, and my heart does a little twinge at that past tense. I was so sad to leave the UK when my visa expired, but like I mentioned when I left the country nearly four months ago, I know my story with the UK isn’t over yet.
Hi friends – a short and sweet one for y’all today, in (belated) honor of Valentine’s Day and my never ending love of Slovenia (oh…and the guy who drove me through the whole country). In August, Dan and I spent 11 days driving through Slovenia and it was one of my favorite trips of all time. Honestly, every time a Slovenian athlete comes on the TV in the Olympics now I’m like “I LOVE SLOVENIA!!!!”
If sleeping in a space pod in Iceland isn’t on your bucket list, well, now it is! The luxury Galaxy Pod Hostel in Reykjavik is not only the best hostel for a stopover in Iceland, but it’s also the introvert’s answer to hostels. During my emotional transcontinental move from England to the USA, I planned in a quick 2-night stopover in Iceland – partly because I’d been wanting to visit Iceland for years, and partly because I was in denial of my nomadic lifestyle ending. I spent ages looking for the perfect hostel for my layover: I love quirky, boutique hostels, that are super clean with a central location and low on cost… don’t ask for much do I?! Well, when I found Galaxy Pod Hostel in Reykjavik I was sold. Not only did it have great reviews, and was undeniably the cheapest option in Rekyavik, but I would get to sleep in a space pod. A SPACE POD.
I felt a click the moment the wheels lifted off the tarmac. As in: it’s too late, there’s no turning back now. The frost on the airplane window is telling me this is no longer your home. I watch London’s close packed grey roofs fade into squares of white, cordoned by dark green hedges. All of England seemingly covered in crisp snowflakes, never more beautiful than in this exact moment, gazing down from my window seat. Beautiful because it’s no longer mine. It is like the country I love so dearly is sending me a white flag of surrender, offering up a final goodbye. Or maybe the snow is a celebration (of me leaving? or of my years here?).
I came to Hungary hungry (pardon the pun, friends) and I was in for a treat exploring the gluten free Budapest scene! Dan and I spent four days in Budapest in August (a one night layover between Belgium and Austria, and then a proper weekend a few days later). It wasn’t nearly long enough to fully explore the gluten free Budapest scene, or experience
every single thermal bath all the things we wanted to see. I usually shy away from writing up gluten free city guides if I don’t feel like I truly know a city. However, I’m going to give gluten free Budapest a shot because Dan’s good friend and her mom (who are both celiac) visited Budapest a few weeks before us, and I got to pick their brains as well!
If you’ve been following my instagram, you’ll see that life lately has been cozy, pink, and full of gluten free bagels: I have Ecomama Hotel Amsterdam to thank for that! With my spike in traveling recently, and also some reflections after working in the refugee camps, I’ve decided to honestly invest in making more ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible decisions with my money when I travel. (You’ll even see that I’ve added a new category in my blog menu: Ethical Travel). Whereas I previously looked for a low price/high design ratio in travel accommodation, I’m now adding sustainability into the mix.