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Vancouver’s best independent shops and where to find them

Since we moved into our flat we've been on a mission to decorate it with nice, homey bits and pieces. Our places in London were a mis-match of things from both our family homes and cheap Ikea bits. This time around we tried to avoid Ikea (although we found and splurged on this chair that always gets compliments) in favour of more local, unique pieces. Most of our furniture was bargain Craigslist finds plus a ...

Best views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Our first impressions of San Francisco weren't the best but that all changed on our second day when we finally saw the Golden Gate Bridge. No matter how many times you've seen photos of the bridge, and despite the fact it's not actually golden, the many views of the Golden Gate Bridge are spectacular! Here are some places in San Francisco to get the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge from up close and ...

Cycling into the sea at Iona Beach

You don't have to go far from Vancouver to find quiet beaches and secluded spots. Heck, you don't even have to leave downtown (just go exploring Stanley Park and you can find a trail that with no-one else on it!). There are numerous beaches, woods, mountains and more to see in Vancouver and the surrounding area and one of these is Iona Beach. And, thanks to its proximity to the airport it's also super accessible. ...

The best budget Airbnbs & hotels in Portland

Portland is one of the world's cool cities. I didn't know anything about Portland before we went apart from it was where the 'hipsters' lived and I only knew that based on numerous articles I read. To be honest I don't think it was that hipster which is a good thing (I still associate hipster with London's Shoreditch and for that reason I'm not a fan of super hipster places). Portland had cool coffee shops ...

Learning to look after my skin

I spend a lot of time outside and that isn't about to change anytime soon. Im also fair skinned. Spending lots of time outside and having fair skin aren't two things that go particularly well together. There's certain things you have to take into account a bit more. I also tend to get pretty dry skin; especially in winter or when I'm hitting the slopes on skis. Over the past month of so I've been ...

The best things to do Portland, Oregon

Portland was one of my favourite cities on our three month USA road trip. It's got that proper west coast vibe that I love. It's chilled out, you can see mountains even when you're in the middle of the city, and you get a sense that many of the city's inhabitants probably spend their weekends hiking, kayaking or skiing. There's a lot of outdoors things to do in Portland, which, obviously, is right up my ...

18 of the best things to do in Seattle, WA

There's just something about the Pacific Northwest (that's the PNW!). As soon as we headed north out of San Francisco and reached the northern Californian coast, everything felt different. The whole place was more relaxed, more leafy (and yes, a little wetter). If Portland was one of my favourite cities of our whole three month USA road trip, then Seattle was definitely up there too. I asked for some recommendations on things to do in ...

The best language learning books that’ll help you speak a new language FAST!

Are you someone who tries to learn the language of a country you're visiting? Personally I think it's important to know at least the basics. Learning "Hello", "Goodbye" and "Thank You" is easy to do and makes a big difference. But, if you want to take your language learning further then why not invest in some great language learning books? I still strongly believe that the best way to learn a new language is to ...

Your ultimate guide to the Regata Storica in Venice, Italy

In 2013 I was invited on a trip to Venice with my university rowing club of which I was a part. We were to take part in the 2nd International University Regata. The fastest boats would then go on to race in the Regata Storica event which takes place annually along Venice's Grand Canal. Whilst our boats weren't one of the winners, we still go to join a procession down Venice's Grand Canal. Rowing down ...

A guide to Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Tucson in Arizona is home to America’s largest cacti: the giant saguaro. This type of cacti has become a universal symbol of western America and one American National Park has even been named after it. They’re only found in a small part of the USA (the area around Tucson) and are protected within Saguaro National Park. Saguaro National Park is probably one of the less well known National Parks of America, but given its proximity ...