SPAIN TRAVEL VLOGS

Buenos dias!

How is everyone doing? I have been having so much fun with my fiancé here in Spain! From going to see castles, to partying it up at the fiestas in the villages around us, going on road trips to hand out our wedding invitations and also seeing some amazing views, with human nature at it’s finest 🙂

I have been vlogging on the weekends so that you can join in the fun and see the amazing sceneries through our eyes. I know many of you have been dying to hear Jairo speak English so I have been trying my hardest and at times I catch little snippets of him trying and it is the cutest thing! His cute Spanish accent is to die for 😀

Currently on my channel I have two Spain Travel Vlogs. I have worked really hard on both of them and it would mean the world to me if you could head on over to my channel and leave a comment on my latest videos letting me know if you enjoyed my video; constructive criticism is more welcome also!

Here are my new vlogs:

Subscribe to my channel if you enjoy this footage and to keep updated with my uploads! Also, please share the love by sharing my videos with your family and friends as they may enjoy it also ❤

Enjoy! x

Talia xo

 

 

 

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How To Organize Yourself For An Overseas Trip

I cannot believe how fast time flies! It is Tuesday again and that means it is time for a new post 😀

Hey guys! I hope you are all well and are having a great start to the week. I’ve been sitting in my little office coming up with ideas of what to write about and I keep finding myself thinking about my travels; I honestly cannot get it out of my head! I’m obsessed. As some of you may know, I absolutely love travelling, seeing the world. It is such an amazing feeling! Even though I have not been to many countries in the scheme of things, I feel like I have traveled a fair bit and I do feel like I have quite a bit of experience when it comes to traveling. In two months I’ll be heading back over to Spain and although this time I will not be travelling for a holiday but something extremely exciting either way I thought I would write up a list of travel essentials that you must look into a few weeks before or even a few months before you leave. Some of these were given to me and others I decided for myself as I felt they could save me some time and stress while I am getting prepared for my holiday.

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          This will most probably be the most obvious to you and you’re probably thinking “no shit.” but honestly you will be surprised as to how many people think of their passports at the very last minute and then stress big time, and on top of the stress having to pay for urgency. Checking that your passports are in date is extremely important. You want to check this out at least 3 months prior to your travel date so that you have enough time to renew it if need be and avoid the nail biting wait to see if it arrives on time. Also, I did not know about this when I first traveled on my own, but ensure that your passport has 6 months validity beyond the date you plan to leave the visited country. This is also very important as some countries may refuse you entry if you are not holding a passport with an extra 6 months on it!

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Check and double-check your travel documents! I cannot stress this enough. No matter if you go through a travel agent to book your holiday or if you take everything in your own hands and book it online, mistakes DO happen! This has happened to me and it was very stressful. This is why I am telling you to not only check once because everything seems fine at the time of booking. I had received my documents two weeks before I was leaving for my trip and there was an error with the hotel transport taking me to the wrong airport I was meant to be leaving from in Paris! If you are an anxious person like myself then you can imagine how nervous I became when this happened only weeks before my travel date. In saying this, please know that things can be fixed. All you have to do is speak to your travel agency and with their help things can be put in place to sort things out. As well as checking dates, times and hotels, always make sure that your personal information is correct.

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          These cards are like a debit card and are essential for traveling to different countries. You load it up before you leave with the currencies that you need for each country that you are going to visit. Generally, these cards hold up to 5 different currencies but to make sure please check with the company from which you purchased your travel money card. Always take a look at the currency exchange rates before you load up your card as this could save you some money. If you find that the exchange rates are really good on a particular day, make sure you change as much money as you think you will need and a bit more to be safe on that day. But also don’t wait too long and keep thinking “I’ll wait until the rates go down a bit more…” because chances are they’ll only increase and then you will be kicking yourself that you did not take advantage of that particular day. Trust me… I have done this many times 😦

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I would not only rely on your travel money card or your credit card (I would definitely take both of these cards with you by the way). I advise that you take some cash on you just in case. Things do go wrong, for example the eftpos machine is not working or will not accept your card, which is highly unlikely but it CAN happen. So 100% take cash with you in the currency that corresponds to the country you are traveling to.

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          From only being able to take 20kg for your check-in bag to 30kg, every airline has different luggage allowances. I recommend searching up the airline you are flying with or even giving them a call to be sure that you have the correct information. I wouldn’t just take someone’s word for it because they may have traveled with a different airline.

   PACKING LIST
          This point is self-explanatory but just thought I would pop it in anyway as I know many people, like myself in previous years, do not write ourselves packing lists. I wrote myself a packing list the last time I traveled and let me tell you, it saves so much time! A packing list makes it so much easier for you while you are getting things together to put into your suitcases because you can tick things off your list as you pack them away. Also, check the weather forecast of the places you will be visiting a couple of weeks before! This way you will have a better idea of what you should be including in you packing list and what can be left at home. By doing this, it helps you with taking up kilos that you could have used for things that you actually need instead of things that you could go without.

research-locations          Now it is time to surf the net! Research the location of your hotels and of the places you are dying to visit. By searching the easiest ways of getting from A to B prior to your travels could save you time AND money while you’re there. If you know exactly where you want to go and exactly what you need to do in order to get to your desired destination, then researching this will make life so much easier and your holiday much more enjoyable and stress free. I always make a list of places to see and things to do before I go and then research away 🙂

transport

Airport and hotel transfers may cost a little more from home however it saves you the stress of having to organize your own transportation while you are in a different country and also the potential nerve-racking language barrier. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have everything completely sorted from home where I 100% understand everything that is said to me and I know the dates, times and locations the tranfers will be picking me up.

Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN with it! Organizing everything for your trip is all a part of the exciting travel experience!

Any tips that you would like to share? Leave them in the comments below 🙂

Talia xo

“The world is a book,
and those who do not
travel read only a page”
– Saint Augustine

My 2016!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I cannot believe 2016 is over! Just like that. BOOM and another year is gone! Wow, where do I even begin…

Actually, I know exactly where to start!!!! If you cannot tell by the amount of exclamation marks my excitement well let me tell you how excited I am. Yesterday, the 2nd of January 2017, I reached 1,000 subscribers on my Youtube channel!! 😀 Now, I know I have not posted a video in one whole year on my channel as I have been extremely busy and have not had the equipment with me in order to be able to film good quality content, it is still a big milestone that I have reached and it has been a personal goal of mine for quite a while. So when I received the email this morning I was stoked! Ok, now that I have done my happy dance and shared my excitement with you let’s move on to how 2016 treated me.

At the beginning of 2016 I was a little nervous to be honest. I was hoping that things would be a little easier than 2015 because 2015 was a tough one for me. However, in saying that I was nervous I was also extremely excited because towards the end of 2015 I had planned a big trip/change in my life that I will go into a bit more detail soon. One of my goals for 2016 was to spend more quality time with friends and family before my big change. I feel like I had accomplished that goal as I planned many outings with friends and spent a lot of time with my family members, especially my parents and sister which was really nice. I really feel like I have started to really take advantage of the little time we do have free from work to spend good quality time together.

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On the 14th of June 2016 I took a big step and jumped on a plane alone to Europe! I spent four nights in London and then was off on my second Contiki Tour which toured around Europe with my best friend that met us on our first stop, Amsterdam. The tour lasted about three weeks and let me just say it was a wild three weeks! I had so much fun! We went to eleven different places around Europe. We visited:

  • London
  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
  • Prague
  • Munich
  • Austria
  • Venice
  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Switzerland
  • Paris

I met and partied hard with some great people on this trip. All the places we went to were beautiful in their own way. I was also amazed by some of the cultures we were surrounded by. I absolutely love travelling and seeing and learning interesting facts about the different places around the world, it literally opens not just your eyes, but your mind too and helps you grow as an individual. Here are some photos of my time on Contiki:

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I had a plan for myself. My plan was that after Contiki I was going to live and work in Spain for one year. So when I completed my Europe trip in Paris I went straight to Spain and was living with my grandparents. I have dual citizenship, meaning I am an Australian and Spanish citizen. In the first month living in Spain I got all my Spanish documents sorted and then got myself a job at an English academy as an English teacher which was an experience and one of my dream jobs since I was in High School. After a month I also met someone amazing. I was really enjoying my time in Spain but apart from family members I didn’t have any friends and the only friend that I did make lived in Madrid and was only down for a few weeks in the Summer. Madrid is about 4.5 hours away from where I live in Spain so it was hard to get together with her. So I found not having friends hard and then when I hit the 6 months mark of living overseas I started to become really homesick and I actually was suffering from really bad migraines and anxiety. My boyfriend took me to the hospital and the neurologist told me I had to stay in the hospital for a week because my migraines were really bad and I had lost strength in the right side of my body and also my anxiety was not good at all. While I was in the hospital my dad surprised me and told me that in a weeks time my mum and sister were coming to Spain to be with me for a bit to see if they could help me feel better which was such a beautiful surprise since I was extremely homesick also.

Flash forward five weeks after my mum and sister arrived in Spain and my boyfriend and I decided to come to Australia with them for a few months to be with my family. I am so grateful to be back here. We spent Christmas and New Year at home and I am very happy. I did not think being away from home was going to be so hard, but it definitely became difficult for me. I now remember speaking to a friend of mine before I left to Europe and she was telling me how when she went to the U.S.A. a couple of years back that she had the same idea as me, to live and work there for a year. However, she told me that when she reached 6 months she became homesick and came back home. I guess I was in the same position as her. At first I felt really sad that I couldn’t go through with my plan, but health comes first and I would rather be home and get better then head back over, than to be there unhealthy and unhappy for another 6 months just to say that I lived overseas for one whole year.

Overall, 2016 was a GREAT year for me (without thinking too much about the negative couple of months leading up to the New Year). I ticked off a few things off my bucket list, like travelling around Europe (although there are still many countries left to see), teach English in Spain, and live in Spain.

I hope 2016 was good to you all and here’s to a fantastic 2017!

Talia xo

“And in the end,
it’s not the years in
your life that count.

It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Contiki in España!

Hola!

I hope everyone has been having a fantastic week =D Let me know how your week is going in the comments and if you are doing anything exciting!

A little over a month ago I landed back in Australia from an amazing trip to Spain. I was in Spain for 1 month, and in that month I went on a 14 day contiki tour called ‘SPANISH SPREE’! This tour took us around the most well known places in Spain – Madrid, Barcelona, Ibiza etc.
If you are contemplating on going on a contiki tour, DO IT! It is an amazing experience, and you really do learn a lot about yourself. I went to Spain on my own, and it was my first time going anywhere on my own. I was nervous at first because I was flying to the other side of the world by my self, but once I stepped foot onto the plane all my nerves disappeared and excitement hit me full force!

I flew with Emirates, and flying with this company was great! I have been on other airlines like Qantas and Singapore airlines. But as much as I liked flying with Singapore, my favourite has to be Emirates. The employees are extremely helpful, and the food is better than the others and there is A LOT of it as well 😀 #Ilovemyfood!

All my dads side of the family live in Spain, so when I got there my uncle and auntie picked me up along with my little cousin. It was great seeing them all because it had been 7 years since I had seen them. I spent the first day and night in Madrid with them and the Contiki started the next day in Madrid.

When I checked into the hotel where I was staying for a couple of nights with the Contiki group, I started to become nervous and anxious because it started to sink in again that I was going to be amongst 50 people that I never met in my life! But as soon as we had our first meeting with the group and the tour manager, all those feelings settled down and I was so happy and excited. I was lucky to have two beautiful roommates who I became really good friends with. There were a couple of girls that I had spoken to on the Contiki forum before the tour and they were from the area that I live and one of the girls attends the same uni as I do.. MASSIVE COINCIDENCE! 😛

The tour started in Madrid where we spent two nights. Whilst in Madrid we visited the ‘Royal Palace’and the ‘Valley of the Fallen’.Royal Palace in Madrid

The Valley of the Fallen in Madrid

Next up was Bilbao!

We stopped in Segovia for a few hours on our way to Bilbao. Segovia is a very small town and contains a lot of history. Here we saw the Aqueduct of Segovia and the Cathedral. As we approached Bilbao, the busiest city of the Basque country, it was very different to Madrid. Madrid was dry and extremely hot, whereas Bilbao was very green and wet. Bilbao is famous for their cider, so for dinner we went to a restaurant and poured ourselves cider from these massive barrels in the wall. It was good fun 😛

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From Bilbao we headed to Pamplona. On our way to Pamplona we had a day stop in San Sebastian. Unfortunately, it was very overcast the day we were in San Sebastian, so we decided to walk around the stores and take pictures of the beach. Instead of swimming and laying at the beach, some of us decided to enjoy the facilities of a spa called ‘La Perla’ – meaning ‘The Pearl’ in English. So apart from the shitty weather we had a really great time 🙂 After a long bus ride, we arrived in Pamplona, the home of the Running of the Bulls. We didn’t get to see the bull run which was a bummer, it happened a couple of days after we were there. But we did get to walk along the street of where the run happens, pretty cool. I didn’t think so, but there is a lot of partying in Pamplona! Lot’s of fun 🙂

From Pamplona we headed to the beautiful city – Barcelona! But first we stopped for a few hours in Zaragoza which is a little town with a famous catholic church. Inside the church is absolutely amazing, you must visit. As for Barcelona I have one word for it.. BUSY! This city is soooo busy but absolutely amazing. So much beautiful architecture by the famous Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudí. We visited ‘La Sagrada Familia’, the 1992 Olympic Games Complex, and in our free time, a few of us visited Gaudí’s ‘Park Güell’ which is a park famous for the mosaic architecture, including a HUGE mosaic serpent and Gaudí’s home (which is also made of mosaic)! During the day some of us toured the city of Barcelona on bikes. For one of the dinners in Barcelona, we were able to choose to go to a Flamenco dinner which consisted of a three course meal and a show of traditional Flamenco dancers.

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Ok guys, brace yourselves. After Barcelona we jumped onto a plane and flew too……….IBIZA!! THE PARTY ISLAND!! 😀 😀
We stayed in Ibiza for two nights. There is not much to say but party 😛 The island itself is not that great because it is very let down but the beaches, clubs, and pool parties are fantastic. The first day the group chilled by the pool and that night most of us went to watch Avicii at Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel. This was a pool party and went off!! The next night some of us headed to Pacha nightclub and danced the night away 😀

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Onto Granada in the South.

Granada is amazing 🙂 It has a lot of North African heritage. It was extremely hot in the south. In Granada one of my roommates and I decided to spend the day shopping in ‘Corte Ingles’, which is a big shopping mall, and here we stocked up on makeup – M.A.C, Dior, Bobby Brown, etc! In the evening the contiki group got on the bus to get a tour of the Alhambra which is the home of the sultans, such a magnificent place. For dinner our tour guide took some of us to an Arab restaurant, where me and another girl from the tour belly danced with the belly dancer from the restaurant, it was really fun! The food in this restaurant was fantastic, filled with many different Arab flavours! After dinner we all went to a “shitty club” as our tour guide called it haha before we hit a really cool club. In the “shitty club” I actually saw one of my uni classmates, such a coincidence, I didn’t even know that she was going to Spain!

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On our way to Sevilla we went to Gibraltar, that is owned by the British. We had a guided tour of the Gribratar Rock and we went into some caves and got up close to some monkeys that came all the way from Morocco! We were warned that these monkeys were professional pick-pocketers, so we had to keep our windows on the bus closed and our belongings real close to us. From the edge of Gibraltar we had an amazing view in which we could see the African continent!

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When we arrived in Sevilla, we had a tour of the Alcazar that is still used by the royal family, we also got to walk around the Plaza d’España, the world’s 3rd largest cathedral and we had a guided tour of a bullring. We spent a night in Sevilla and then headed to Cordoba, where we had the experience of seeing the Mosque of the Caliphs and we also went to the Arab baths were we had the opportunity to use the relaxing facilities of these amazing baths. It was so nice and quiet, and included was a 15 minute relaxing massage; just what you need after a whole 2 weeks of waking up really early, walking around many different cities, and pulling you luggage along up and down stairs. PHEW, talk about a cray cray workout!

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So after spending the night in Cordoba, we hit the road again all the way to the capital – MADRID! But first we stopped in Toledo where we are able to watch people making swords and also watch them make gold plated jewellery. In Madrid, we had a lovely last dinner all together in the Plaza Mayor. After dinner and taking our last photos, we headed to one of the famous nightclubs in Madrid called ‘Capital’ and we danced the night away!

After the Contiki my grandparents came to pick me up and took me back to where they live which is in ‘La Provincia de Leon’ which is about 4 hours away from Madrid. I stayed with family over there for two weeks and had a lovely time 🙂

Overall, I had an amazing time overseas and I suggest that everyone go on the Spanish Spree Contiki tour. Spain is such a beautiful country filled with so much history! I hope you guys enjoyed reading my blog and it has helped you decide on where to go for your next holiday. And if you are contemplating on going away on your own, just do it! #noregrets 😀

Don’t forget to check out my recent makeup tutorial and IMATS Tag videos on my Youtube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/BellaFloresa

Love you guys xo