I’ve mentioned that trip over and over again since it happened in December 2017. It has been a truly unique experience and I’d take any opportunity to relive it. I thought it’s only fair to write a blog post and tell you exactly what happened when me and Phoebe went on a our first trip to Italy together. I also think it’s nice to have it on my blog as a reminder of the magical time we had. It’s one of my favourite stories, so I really appreciate anyone who takes time out of their day to give this a read.


Most of you are probably wondering how can a 3 day trip to Italy be so exciting. You barely have time to see anything. Well, I managed to see three beautiful cities in three days and it was incredible. But most importantly, I had a travel companion who made the journey a lot more fascinating than it would’ve been if I did it with anyone else in the world.

I met Phoebs on Instagram and she messaged me one day to say she’s coming to London and ask for recommendations. I had never spoken to her before but as soon as she messaged, I got back to her saying I’ll take her around to my favourite places when she comes here. We instantly clicked. It was like a love at first ‘type’ and what happened in the days to follow was probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done.

She suggested we should go to Italy together and I had only been there once before. I loved it the first time, so I thought why the hell not! When you’re planning a trip with a complete stranger, there are so many ways things could go wrong but I trusted my instincts. I probably wouldn’t recommend it if someone asks me. But I believe everything happens for a reason. I took that risk and met a friend for life, so I have absolutely no regrets. I would actually regret it more if I said no at the time.

As soon as I met Phoebe the night before our flight, I forgot that she’s a stranger. We both felt like we’ve known each other our entire lives. I’ve never laughed so much with someone I barely know and it was at that moment I realised what soulmate really meant. Looking back now, I remember little details like eating pastries on a train from Venice to Florence,while enjoying the views, or witnessing a beautiful sunrise on a crisp December morning in Venice, running around to find the best spots for a picture before they get crowded with other tourists.

I don’t want to be boring and give you details about every single thing we did. I’m just going to say that having less than 24 hours in a destination challenges you to find and do the things you really want to do. I’m not a huge museum person, I don’t like being indoors and the weather was pretty good even though it was December. So we blended in with the locals, walked around, ate gelato, pizza, pasta, all sorts of sweets, we drank aperols and great wine.

Experiencing the atmosphere in a place, breathing in the air, stopping to look at the sunset, watching how people behave, where they go. That to me is far more valuable than rushing to check all the museums and tick boxes on a list, so I can say to people that I have indeed been inside the Doge’s Palace and loved the ceiling.

Apart from eating and walking around every possible bridge in Venice, we managed to shoot twice and got some amazing images that I’m sharing here with you. We shot once in the afternoon when we arrived and again super early the next morning. Waking up early was key for two reasons. First, there is something truly magical about the beautiful morning light in Venice. And second, seeing Venice without the crowds of tourists is so worth waking up for. I feel like that’s the only time you can truly see the beauty of this place. 

Florence was a totally different experience to Venice. Still super touristy but the relaxed vibe of Tuscany completely transformed the second day of our trip. We had a beautiful balcony with views over Florence. Breakfast in the morning was served at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel. I still remember the crisp fresh air on that rooftop terrace. I had a fragrance called Florence that I wore for the first time when we were there. Every time I wear it now, it reminds me of that morning. We also discovered that Tuscany has some of the best wines in Italy, after spending four hours in a restaurant. The owner had a huge collection. It was very intriguing to find out where he sourced some of the bottles from. 

On the third day, we made our way to Rome. I didn’t get a chance to see much of it as I had to fly back the next morning. I was already feeling extremely tired, so the city definitely deserves a second chance. There’s a lot of walking to be done in Rome. It’s much bigger compared to Venice and Florence. But isn’t walking the best way to discover a new place and feel its vibe? There’s so much to see in Rome. Walking is the best way to experience the buzzing atmosphere of this place.

It’s also very likely that you’ll stop along the way to take photos, because every corner is beautiful. My favourite part of my day in Rome was the meal we had on the last evening. We met with some friends of friends and had dinner in a CAVE. The company was great, food was delicious and again the experience was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. 

There could not have been a better time to put together this blog post than just before heading to Spain for my second trip with Phoebe. Writing about this has made me emotional but excited at the same time. Travelling with someone so open-minded like Phoebe, completely changed the way I think about trips. Taking a risk and packing so many different activities in a short period of time, isn’t necessarily relaxing but it made me appreciate the dynamic of the situation.

I learned a lot about myself as I observed how I respond to challenges. Both me and Phoebe became very organised. On the other hand, we realised that for our second trip, we want to dedicate a bit more time to exploring each place. Sharing the experience with someone like her has made it so special. I’m really looking forward to teaming up with her again for our next adventure.

What was the most memorable trip you went on and who did you go with? I’d love to find out.If you want a chance to have your own memorable holiday experience, I’ve got great news for you!  TravelSupermarket are running a competition on their Instagram page where 3 people can win a holiday voucher worth up to £500 and experience somewhere like this! All you have to do is:

– Follow the @travelsupermarket Instagram account

– On the competition image tell them the destination where you discovered what type of traveller you are

Prizes:

1st prize: £500 holiday voucher

2nd prize: £300 holiday voucher

3rd prize: £200 holiday voucher 

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Before heading off to Granada, all I knew about the place was that temperatures could rise up to 40 degrees in the summer. Little did I know about how much 40 degrees actually is! Granada is situated in southern Spain’s Andalusia region and the climate is very hot and dry. By that I mean my hair was completely dry five minutes after coming out of the shower, no hair dryer involved. To ensure I was minimising my chances of a heat exhaustion , I had to keep in mind a few basics.

STAYING HYDRATED

When travelling to a hot country, my number one priority is to avoid dehydrating and stressing my body. Travelling on its own can have a huge impact on dehydration. Add some heat to the mix and you have a reason enough to consider giving your body maximum hydration. First and foremost, drink your water. I know it sounds obvious but if you wait until you’re thirsty, that means you are already dehydrated. Eating fruits and veggies that contain a high percentage of water is also a big plus. There’s a reason watermelon is called that way you know!

WEARING A LIGHTWEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTED CLOTHING

Linen is a highly absorbent natural fibre. It gives the benefit of keeping you cool in hot weather due to lower thread counts compared to fabrics such as cotton. Linen garments have another great advantage – they remove perspiration from the skin. Linen’s capability of absorbing moisture is a great reason to wear it in the heat. It means you don’t need to worry if your back looks sweaty and feel uncomfortable about it.

ALWAYS APPLYING SPF BEFORE GOING OUT

I’ll tell you a little story. For the past three years I have been unable to go in the sun without wearing 50 SPF. My skin has never been sensitive but I got so badly sunburned. After exposing myself to direct sunlight only having applied tanning oil, my skin got allergic to the sunlight. Every time I tried to sunbathe with an SPF lower than 50, the skin on my arms was getting red and itchy. I hope that’s a reason enough for you to consider bringing that tube of sunscreen with you when you’re escaping to paradise. Wearing SPF on your face and neck will help block UVB rays and prevent from burning, hyperpigmentation, and the damage than can cause skin cancer.

TAKING FREQUENT BREAKS IN THE SHADE TO LET YOUR BODY COOL DOWN

Giving your body a chance to cool down and avoiding sunlight in the afternoon hours can help you survive in the hottest of days. If that’s not possible and a dip in the swimming pool is not an option either, there is another way to cool yourself down. Dabbing water to the body areas where heat tends to gather, and to pressure points will help cool your whole system. I normally press a bottle of ice cold water to the inside of my elbows and it works almost instantly.

What other tips should I add to my list?

Michelle x

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I’ve always said that the best way to discover new places is to get lost. I’m always curious as to where small roads and tiny streets between buildings may lead.

This time it was in Tenerife we got lost, but don’t worry, it was all intentional. We didn’t know what we were about to discover but we were all pleasantly surprised when we got there. I find the same things happen with life as well. We don’t usually know where our next big step is going to take us but if we’re brave enough to wander into the unkown, the result is always exceptional.

We found ourselves on the bright side. A street with houses coloured in vibrant shades and tones and flowers hanging down the balconies. There it was, some serious competition to the streets of Notting Hill in London, just brighter and even more picturesque. The next street down the road was just as beautiful. My favourite discovery was a bright green garage door that you can see in the photo below.

Let me know in the comments what was the best thing you discovered last time you got lost?

Michelle x

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Apart from being the month of love, February is also my birthday month. So we kickstarted it with a short holiday in Tenerife where we stayed with friends for a few days. We’ve also planned another trip (a road trip!!!) to Amsterdam. So as much as I was excited to swap cold rainy London for the beautiful Canary Islands, I’m somehow more enthusiastic about our next Amsterdam adventure.

Tenerife was fantastic and we managed to do quite a few exciting things, including a trip to the Volcano and a few local villages, where we ate at a traditional Guachinche. We also spent a couple of days at the beach and visited the capital city of Santa Cruz.

We have visited Fuerteventura before, which is also part of Canary Islands and it’s famous for its white sandy beaches but Tenerife is a lot more vibrant and dynamic, and was definitely a love at first sight, because of the beautiful nature and the energy it radiates. And with the blue skies and great weather all year round, it’s hard to take a bad photo here!

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