Exploring Island Life in Boa Vista, Cape Verde

Our trip to Cape Verde was a year ago now so I thought it was about time I finally wrote about it seeing as it’s one of the places I get asked about most often.  A lot of people have either never heard of this small collection of islands dotted just off the coast of West Africa or they don’t know much about the destination.  In all honesty I didn’t know much about the islands either and was under the impression that it was just a relaxing holiday destination with large all inclusive resort hotels and not much else to do.

Me being me, I obviously looked into what there is to do on the island because there’s only so long I can sit on the beach or around the pool before getting bored and I always like to get out and explore somewhere new.  Boa Vista literally translates as “good view” in Portuguese so it only seemed fitting that we venture outside the resort in search of these good views.

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Travel with baby

A New Year of Adventures

2018 was a bit of a mix for me. On the one hand it was a really tough year learning how to be a single mama, raising an extremely demanding (but also incredibly cute) toddler mostly alone, and being the most exhausted I have ever been in my entire life.  I also learnt that mums can in fact function on only a few hours’ sleep every night and that coffee is a very loyal friend.

But despite the low moments it was also an amazing year full of travel explorations and exciting adventures. We travelled 8 times during 2018 visiting Cape Verde, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Ibiza, Sardinia, a road trip in Kent, and the Edinburgh Christmas markets.  That’s 4 new countries for me and 6 new countries for Evie – making Evie’s total number of countries visited 13 before she’s even 2 years old.

But it’s not the country count that matters, it’s what we actually did and the memories we created that made the year so special. There are so many highlights but here are a few of my main ones:

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Shepherd’s hut Kent UK

A Return Visit to Our Favourite Staycation Spot

It’s not often that I return to somewhere I’ve visited previously, but Clavertye Shepherd’s Huts is a place that I just couldn’t get out of my head from our girly getaway last October. So as autumn started creeping up on us again this year, I couldn’t resist planning a trip back.

This visit would be slightly different to last year though when Evie was just a tiny seven month old baby who didn’t do much more than sleep, giggle, try new foods and sit nice and still for all the photos mummy wanted to take. Whereas this year my extremely active little toddler is now walking, talking and has a huge personality that never stops.

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Day trips from Munich

4 Fairytale Day Trips from Munich

Apart from being a wonderful city in itself, one of the things I liked most about Munich is that there are so many other incredible locations close by that make easy day trips if you want to get out of the city and explore the region a bit more.

Bavaria is a beautiful part of Germany – so beautiful it makes me wonder why it took me so long to visit! The south eastern part of the country is full of traditional pretty little towns, picturesque mountain landscapes, lush green countryside and magical castles. Every place we visited just made me fall in love with this part of the country more and more so here are some of the best day trips from Munich that will have you feeling like you stepped straight into the pages of a fairytale.

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Pilatus lucerne Switzerland

A Winter Wonderland Adventure to the Top of Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

I’m not going to lie, our trip up to Mount Pilatus, one of Lucerne’s most popular and highest mountain peaks, did not go quite as we had hoped. We only had two days in Lucerne and being able to see the very top of the snow-capped mountain from our hotel room at Hotel Continental Park had made us super excited, but of course we had to pick the day with the worst weather (cloudy, rainy, couldn’t see further than a few metres in front of you, etc.) which did not bode well for an adventure to the top of a mountain.

I’m fully aware that people do go up snowy mountains in the depths of winter to ski but we are not skiers and I don’t ever intend to be one thank you very much. I’m more likely to roll head first down the side of a mountain than I am to successfully ski down one so we did the wise thing and stuck to the mountain for the non-skiers.

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Cruise with a baby

Cruising With a Baby

I’ve always been a bit unsure about cruises. Having been on a few over the years, from luxury Caribbean cruises to mini cruises around the Mediterranean, I absolutely love that you get to explore so many different places in the space of just a few days. Sitting on a different glorious white sandy beach every day? Yes please!

But on the other hand having only a day, or half a day really by the time you’ve got on and off the boat, isn’t really long enough to properly explore somewhere in depth. When I travel I like to do things off the beaten track, meet the locals and get lost trying to find the best eatery, but you just can’t do that on a cruise.

For a taster of a few different cities or beaches it is perfect though so we decided to give it a go with Evie. Our week’s cruise visited several places in Southern Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal and Morocco and I never would have guessed how seriously brilliant a cruise is with a baby. So here are just a few reasons why we loved cruising with Evie so much and, if you’re a bit unsure yourself, why I think a cruise with a baby is the most perfect holiday.

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Family travel goals

Travel Wish Lists and a New Year of Adventures

A new year calls for a new travel wish list because what is the start of year but a chance to daydream and think up some awesome travel goals!

Looking back on my wish list from last year I was so happy to see that, apart from one place, we actually visited everywhere I had hoped to in 2017 – plus more! Becoming a mother made it a wonderful rollercoaster of a year (a rollercoaster that included an awful lot of coffee) but we still managed to have some amazing adventures and Evie became the perfect little explorer.

We visited 6 different countries across two continents; went on planes, trains, boats and road trips; sunk our toes in the sand and dipped them in the sea; swung in hammocks and played in the snow; climbed mountains and visited one of the biggest mosques in the world; wandered through small local villages and explored big twinkling cities. I’m not sure 2018 can top last year but we’re going to give it one hell of a try!

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Shepherd's Hut Kent

A Girly Getaway to Clavertye Shepherd’s Huts

It’s no secret that I love a road trip and when we’re not travelling abroad I like to make the most of exploring a bit closer to home. Even though I passed my driving test well over ten years ago I have only just got my very own car last month and this was just the excuse I needed to plan a mini adventure with just me and my girl.
Clavertye Shepherd’s Huts was the perfect place. Set on a huge farm in the countryside near Canterbury just over an hour from home, meant that it wasn’t too far for me to travel alone with a (possibly screaming) 6 month young baby. Luckily for me Evie slept away soundly in the back of the car for the entire journey so when we arrived at the farm nice and relaxed and I spotted our tiny little hut far away in the distance at the top of the valley, I knew this was going to be a wonderful getaway.

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Travelling with a baby

My New Favourite Little Travel Companion

I try really hard not to be one of those mums who posts way too many baby spam photos on Facebook and whose every other sentence is about their kid. I’m also trying really hard not to turn my previously non-baby related travel blog into a family travel blog – I have written one post since she was born that isn’t about her! But I seem to be failing all on counts because, let’s face it, when you have a baby they become your life. (And also I just cannot stop posting pics because she’s just too damn cute.)

Apart from the wonderful feeling of becoming a mama to my gorgeous girl, one of the things I’ve loved most about parenthood so far is that I’ve been able to combine my biggest passions in life…travel and Evie. So many people told us our travels would be over when we announced that I was pregnant and I told them hell to the no. And I am so glad we carried on booking trips and going away as much as we did pre-baby.

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Where to stay in the Big Sur

A Big Sur Escape at The Blue Dolphin Inn, Cambria

Although our American trip was almost a year ago now, we had such a brilliant time that I still have so much to write about even so long after.  I still haven’t written about all the amazing sights on our road trip through the Big Sur, I’ve not told you about everything there is to see in Vegas even if you don’t like gambling, and I’ve still not shared the details of our funky campervan adventures, so I thought it was about time the blog got back onto the USA.

One of my favourite parts of the adventure was our road trip along the stunning Big Sur coastline so I thought I’d start off by sharing one of the best places to stay along this part of the Pacific Coast Highway.

We had spent the previous night in Carmel-by-the-Sea, one of the prettiest little towns in California.  There is so much to see and do through the Big Sur, from national parks and magical waterfalls to famous bridges and sandy beaches, plus more viewpoints along the coastline than I can mention in one blog post, each with a more gorgeous view than the last.  We knew it was going to be a long day and wanted to take it slow so we would have time to fit everything in, so we decided to spend the next night in Cambria, a little beachfront town at the southern end of the Big Sur.  The Blue Dolphin Inn was right on the seafront broadwalk, just steps away from the sand of Moonstone Beach, and I loved the idea of going to sleep and waking up to the sound of the waves.

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