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All these are on my travel wish list except Dubai – since I live here. A girl can always hope for great things 😉

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Sprawling Cities That You Need To Visit

Sao Paulo, Brazil, Skyline, Travel
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The mind-boggling skyline of São Paulo stretches further than the eye can see.

As a traveller, you’re always looking for new experiences. You might be used to hopping from destination to destination, so you want to find a place to explore that’s a little more substantial. Well, rather than navigating your way through the winding maze of some beautiful jungle, maybe you should navigate your way through a manmade jungle instead. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the world’s biggest and most exciting cities. You won’t run out of things to see and do in these destinations.

São Paulo, Brazil

As the picture above clearly shows, the city of São Paulo is ginormous. And packed into this sprawling city is a lot of culture and fantastic pieces of architecture. If you’re completely blown away by the picture of this spectacular skyline then you should book accommodation at the Marriott Executive Apartments in São Paulo so that you’re able to stay in a luxurious hotel that provides brilliant views of the city.

Additionally, you want to be within walking distance of the fantastic restaurants and other sights in the area. You should visit the São Paulo Museum of Art, first of all. Not only is it a stunning building in its own right, but there are lots of wonderful galleries to admire within this huge building. You should also check out the Monument to the Bandeiras; it’s not only a fantastic sculpture but a celebration of the explorers known as bandeiras who settled in the heart of Brazil centuries ago.

Los Angeles, U.S.

When it comes to sprawling cities, L.A. is one of the best destinations to put on your bucket list. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in America for a good reason. For starters, you should explore Hollywood. Whilst it’s a very different place behind the scenes, that’s part of what makes it so fascinating. And if you head up the Hollywood Hills on a mini-expedition then you’ll be able to admire the entirety of L.A.’s beautiful skyline from a great height.

You should head to the Griffith Observatory whilst you’re up there. It’s a beautiful building that provides a beautiful view of the city (there’s also a fantastic telescope that gives you a view of the stars). Still, this is only the tip of what Los Angeles has to offer. Head to Grand Central Market downtown for some of the best food in the city. Not only are there fantastic dining spots in this sprawling market but there’s often wonderful live music too. The point is that Los Angeles is huge, and there’s a lot to explore in its depths.

Singapore

When it comes to huge cities, Singapore probably wins the challenge out of the destinations on this list. It’s so huge that it’s more than a city, in fact; it’s an island country. But we’re including it on the list anyway, as it is a city of sorts (it’s just an overwhelmingly large city). This multicultural haven is a paradise for any keen traveller.

You should try out the Peranakan cuisine whilst you’re in the city; it’s a delicious combination of Chinese and Malay dishes. The gorgeous Gardens by the Bay are well worth seeing too. This fantastic manmade structure takes you on an elevated walk through some of the stunning waterfront gardens that Singapore has to offer. It’s the very definition of garden artistry.

 

From One Louvre To The Other Louvre…

I remember the curving, infernal queue of visitors waiting to go into the Louvre museum in Paris and still regret my impatience to date. The plan to go back the following day never quite panned out and that was how I missed the opportunity to feed my eyes with all the priceless art pieces kept there.

With the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, I wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to visit this museum and the latest addition to places to visit in the UAE. I can assure you, it was well worth the 2 and half hours of leisurely drive from Dubai.

There was equally a curving queue – but not like the unending queue in Paris. We waited patiently to purchase our tickets before we could roam freely to feed our soul through our eyes. As usual, I took loads of photos – that I’m yet to curate.

The awe-inspiring structure had 23 galleries of treasures spanning different eras in history. Each gallery would take about 30 to 45 minutes depending on how long you wish to stare at Alexander The Greats torso 😉

The hours flew past so fast and by the time we were ready to leave, it was closing time. I daresay if they had left me in there until the following day – with food and duvet hopefully – I wouldn’t have complained.

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Quick Tips For Museum Visits

  1. Take a guided tour – if you can afford one. The guide explains the artworks, its backgrounds and significance. It can be quite informative and enlightening.
  2. Follow the numbers. Follow the unique numbers of each gallery. This way you know where you have been and eliminate the chances of roaming around in circles.
  3. Wear something warm or carry a cloak just in case. Museums can get pretty cold inside because they are set at relatively cooler temperatures to protect the artefacts and after spending several hours in a cold one, it gets quite chilly.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes. Wearing comfortable footwear ensures that you enjoy the experience without hobbling and howling.
  5. Turn Off Your Flash! For sure taking photos for your Instagram and all the social networks you are on is great – otherwise, how will anyone know you went there – but do remember that these great works of art that have lived for thousands of years for you to admire, need to be preserved for other generations.
  6. Be mindful of others and keep your voice level low. For some people, visiting the museum is almost a spiritual and calming thing. They don’t want their experience to be marred by the uncouth rowdy behaviour of others.
  7. Prepare to be hungry and thirsty. All that walking around with oohing and aahing certainly increases your appetite. Pack something that you can eat in the café or grab a quick bite in the mmuseums’café.
  8. Take your time and soak it all in.

Random Echoes of My Neighbourhood

Many weeks have gone by and I’ve not shared a post on Echoes of my neighbourhood. I miss doing so and blame it on the infernal heat in this place.

I have barely taken decent photos in the past weeks due to efforts to avoid heat stroke, melting into a puddle and baking in the sun.

I am one of those waiting for Autumns’ gate to open so I can dash out and play in nature. These past weeks have been from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car, to air-conditioned locations and it’s getting a bit old for me.

So, I’m just going to stick some random shots taken here and there.

School Apparel, Bags, Children, Academics

 

We are getting ready to go back to school next week.

Father and Son, Smiling, Happy

 

At the aquarium. I love this photo. Their smile made me smile 🙂

School of fish, aquarium, sea life

I wonder if the school of fish is going back to school as well? Ha, ha! I couldn’t resist that pun.

 

Happy Dance, Hershey's

I guess when you eat the Hershey’s you feel sweet enough to dance the happy dance.

 

Fashion, Summer sales, clothing

Summer clearance sales at every nook and cranny to make way for Winter wear.

 

 

Use Travel To Inspire Your Inner Writer

Travel is the perfect way to experience new cultures and will have an impact on all of your senses; making it the perfect way to inspire the writer in you. Traveling can also provide new environments to enjoy what you’re currently reading; so maybe it’s time to book some flights and get out there to experience new parts of the world. The following are some ideas for those with wanderlust and will help eager writers to understand how travel can improve your work.


Travel, Airplane, flight, flying, adventure, sky

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Where To Go

When traveling overseas; think about the destination and how it differs from your current situation. Experiencing anywhere new is a positive thing; however, a contrasting culture and environment to what you’re used to will have a more significant impact on your senses and thoughts, than a similar destination to where you live. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to be adventurous with your travel choices and pick somewhere that you’ve never imagined before.

You might currently reside in the suburbs, or a busy part of a town or city, and these places can be great sources of inspiration for writers; however, they can also busy your mind and cloud it a little making it a challenge for fresh thoughts to come through. Therefore, you might want to consider a natural environment, with breathtaking views to clear your mind and allow a new train of thought to inspire your next (or current) piece. Writer’s block can often be cured by a change of scene and access to new sights, smells, and sounds. You don’t have to get on a plane to get out there and experience the great outdoors either; the US has some awe-inspiring national parks, you can take a look here: http://travel.usnews.com/rankings/best-national-parks-in-the-usa/ for some inspiration on where to head.

Consider traveling north or south of your climate; you could be craving a warm glow on your skin, or perhaps you need some cool, crisp air to refresh you and give you the ideas you need. California and its many coastal areas can provide a space that’s as busy or as peaceful as you need; consider hiring a car there and driving along a coastal route, as you never know who or what you may see along the way. Heading up towards Canada could provide you will the impressive Niagara Falls; the perfect setting for your next thriller, mystery, or romance novel. Or perhaps a lodge in a mountainous region and some forest trees is the kind of peace and quiet you need to get you best ideas.

If you do decide to travel overseas; there are a wealth of places around the world that will enlighten and inspire your next writing project. Asia is a vibrant continent; jam-packed with different cultures, history, terrains, and characters. Think about exploring the overwhelmingly busy areas of India, before contrasting the expedition with a trek in its environments of natural beauty. Southeast areas of Asia with provide you with historical temples, alongside modern architecture and the latest in technology. Do your research, and you’ll be able to find some deals on accommodation and travel expenses; be cautious when it comes to finding cash quickly for travel, and plan your finances accordingly, so you’ll have peace of mind throughout your trip. Ensure that you have enough contingency in your account back home; you never know, you mind end up staying longer than expected if the writing process is a success.

 

Wanderlust, Hiking, Rock climbing, Exercising, Nature, Adventure

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What To Do

Once you’ve landed in your inspirational new destination; it’s time to explore with your notebook, pen, and camera. Try and get off the beaten track; find places to sit and soak in your surroundings and note down what you feel, hear, and see. Think about your genre of writing and how a story, or factual piece, would flow in your current environment and begin to fill out characters and plots.

Talking to the local residents is the perfect chance to get a rounded insight into life there; ask questions about the history and their way of life. Record everything you learn and always be ready to write something down or capture something that you find exciting, or unusual. If you’re captivated by a story or situation; the chances are that someone else would be too, so ensure you take all the information you gather back home with you.

Enjoy any local cuisine and eat where the locals would; you’ll get a better sense of the place if you steer clear of every tourist hotspot and you’ll only enhance your experience. Most of all; travel with your eyes and mind open, don’t put too much pressure or focus on what you produce regarding your writing, and the ideas will start to flow when you least expect it.

Camera, Blank, Black, Glasses, Notepad, Photos, Film, Map

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The Dying One’s – Echoes of My Neighbourhood

It simply has to be the searing heat, ‘cos I’ve seen far too many dead birds this past couple of weeks. The poor things.

When I look at them, they always seem to have their feathers ruffled out of place and their beaks open in an attempt to get more air – my thoughts.

However, I preferred not to take depressing photos of the dead birds but sharing bits and pieces of my week. No one can convince me that the Earth is not gradually over heating.

Pamela took us to Jax beach and I must say that I’m a tad envious of those enjoying a good-natured weather at their end right now.

Lady Tee shared some delicious slices of her world with us.

So, how’s your end holding up?

 

Hibernating in the malls – Echoes of my neighbourhood

Our Summer days over here are not filled with barbecues and frolicking at the pool side. It’s steaming hot, that staying outside for longer than is required is asking for heat stroke. If the idea of leaving your side of ribs on the sidewalk to sizzle and grill appeals to you, then by all means indulge and yes it’s possible, I’ve eaten sand-baked lamb and the gentle roast is flavourful.

So, these days with children on vacation and going cabin crazy, most malls are flooded with folks and families seeking momentary respite while we wait with bated breath for the cooler months of Autumn and Winter for our days by the poolside and other wonderful indulgences. For now, we turn into night bats and recreate as the weather permits.