Amanda in India

Guest post by Amanda Cupido

Sometimes the best plan is not to have one.

After Roop invited me to her brother’s wedding, I spent weeks preparing for my trip to India. Not only because I have an A-type personality, but because the process is intense. There were visa applications, money exchanges and tours to be booked. I was set to be in the country for two weeks.

The first week would be spent with Roop at a Punjabi wedding. The second week would have me in Delhi where I planned to meet up with a tour group and visit a slew of monuments including the Taj Mahal. Indian weddingBut little did I know, very few things would go according to plan. Continue reading

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Foxcroft & Ginger

We all have that one place in our neighbourhood that we walk past all the time and think to ourselves, “I should check it out one day.”

For me, it is was Foxcroft & Ginger. So when my flatmates mentioned that they were heading over there for Saturday brunch, I jumped on the bandwagon.

Foxcroft & GingerIt’s industrial decor, low-hanging lamps and free-flowing daylight make it a desirable spot for freelancers and loungers in the area. But all that is secondary to the stellar brunch menu.

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2014’s favourite travel instagrams

Bloggin’ ain’t easy. Especially if you have a full-time job, an active social life, aaalll of London to explore, and only 24 hours in the day.

That’s where Instagram saves the day. It’s quick to snap a photo and share it with your followers, no matter where in the world you are. (Did I mention it’s my favourite app?)

Last year, I recapped my favourite instagram travel posts on the blog and it was a hit with you guys. Here are my favourites from 2014:

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Summer in London

Nothing beats a good Canadian summer. And my first English summer hammered the point home. The only way I made it through this summer without going back home was thanks to the constant influx of familiar faces that came to visit me in London. A visit from my parents followed by girlfriends coming to see me from Canada, Australia and parts of Europe made this summer in London quite a memorable one. And of course, London being so awesome helped a little bit. St. Paul's London viewAfter showing all the guests around my favourite bits of London, I have become a semi-pro tour guide. That got me thinking, why not share my favourite spots with everyone? Continue reading

Sunny Sundays at Hyde Park

London has had a glorious spring this year. I know that’s not what my friends in Canada want to hear, and to be quite honest, I wish the weather was a bit crappier so that I wouldn’t feel tempted to go outside all the time. I am writing my masters dissertation these days (and hence, blogging less) and the sunshine pouring through my window is not helping the pace of my project.

I was quite proud of myself for waking up early today and having a two-hour speed writing session that I decided to indulge in some sun-bathing at Hyde Park with my friends. Cheesy crackers, grapes and good company is all I needed to make this gorgeous spring day even more perfect.

Hyde Park Hyde Park Hyde Park
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Potterheads

I am a total Potterhead. For the uninitiated, that means – and I am quoting the trusted Urban Dictionary here – I am an “amazingly cool person obsessed with Harry Potter.”

After all, I am a part of the generation that grew up with Harry, Ron, Hermione and the gang. I was allowed to skip school for two days every time a new book came out. And I limited myself to reading one chapter a day of the Deathly Hallows because after that, it would be all over. This whole one-chapter-a-day resistance only worked for three chapters and then ensued the familiar n0-food-no-sleep reading marathon.

All Potterheads are familiar with that mellow feeling of emptiness as they read the words, “All was well”. It also meant, all was over.

Harry Potter
But, thankfully there were the movies to keep us excited for a few more years. We lined up for midnight screenings and then went back to see the films after the crowds had dwindled down. And then once again after the second Deathly Hallows film, it meant that all was over.

Again, thankfully it wasn’t. There is the fantastic Warner Brother Studio Tour near London that keeps the sets and spirit of Harry Potter alive.  Continue reading

A billion reasons to visit India

Guest post by Catherine Doherty

Catherine in Jaipur

“Delhi anti-corruption chief minister quits” read a BBC World headline as I logged on one morning during my ten day stay in India. Themes of corruption, classism and shocking human rights violations have long dominated the image of India in Western media, and never more so in recent years following the 2012 Delhi gang rape which stunned the world and the latest Indian Supreme Court decision to reinstate a 153-year-old law criminalising homosexuality.

Accordingly, it may seem an odd vacation destination of choice for a 25-year-old girl from London. Continue reading

Snowy, slippery, slushy Shimla

When I was growing up in India, the Himalayas were my favourite holiday spot. One can say that my love for travel emerged out of my trekking trips to Manali, family holidays to Shimla and relaxing retreats in Nainital.

So, when my friend Cat came to India, I wanted to relive my tween memories by taking her to at least one of the “hill stations” in the Himalayas. Mostly because of proximity to Punjab, we chose Shimla, the Queen of Hills.

What I didn’t take into consideration during the trip-planning was that in the middle of February, Shimla was going to be freezing. And oh boy, it was!

Shimla Mall Road
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Vote for me!

My dear readers,

I am excited to announce that I have been nominated for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards in the Best Travel and Expat blog category. Hurrah! I am always humbled every time I get a like, comment or a new follower, so this is a massive compliment. If you enjoy reading my blog, then please vote for me here.

Voting ends February 22, 2014.

xxR

PS: I went to the Taj Mahal yesterday

Agra Roop