“How long have you been planning to hike Kilimanjaro?” – Everyone

“oh, it was on the bucket list but I just decided a week ago” – Me

Thank you covid for moving up a bucket list item that was pretty far down on my list to the very top of 2020. With how crazy the world has been this year I really didn’t expect to be able to travel, let alone travel across the country. In August my bestie Melissa and I noticed a few countries finally were opening to the United States for travel and low and behold, Tanzania was on that list. Hiking Kilimanjaro had always been faint in the back of my mind, it was something that I thought would be cool to do but it wasn’t my first pick of bucket list items to check off. Melissa, the seed planter she is, mentioned to me that we should maybe look in to going sooner than later and I immediately shot it down. I’m not sure if it was the lack of research I had done or the fact that I was still recovering from the Inca Trail hike 2 years prior but I brushed her off and said “maybe later”. After a casual tag made by Mel on the GLT facebook page from a girl who just hiked kill sharing her wonderful experience, the seed began to grow. Two weeks later I sent her a text saying, “I’m in, lets go hike Kilimanjaro”. And just like that, the idea was born, the dates were picked, and a month later the trip was booked.

I’ll be completely honest in saying that I didn’t do a whole lot of research before I agreed to go. I sparked up a chat with the girl from GLT who had gone, got some info from her and advice and did a few google searches on what to pack. Most of my information came later on from previous hikers and onlookers who decided to share their thoughts and opinions on the trip. After my initial reach out to Popote Africa Adventures, that tour company we were recommended to, I knew that we would be in good hands and I felt so comfortable with every piece of information they were relaying back to me. Sabino was so accommodating to every random question I had as the weeks went on and very patient as we began to get a little nervous about what we had just gotten ourselves in to. From what to pack, airport pickup, hotel accommodation and more, Popote had us every step of the way and I am so grateful for this amazing company. Picking the right tour company is extremely important when choosing to hike Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail, Everest or any guided hiking experience but please do your research if you do not use one of the ones I have recommended and make sure that the porters are treated well and paid fairly.

On October 29th we took off from Chicago to Amsterdam to begin our trek to Tanzania Africa. Thankfully the flight was not very full due to covid and we were able to spread out on the first 8.5 hour flight and sleep in our own rows. This made our next long flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro Airport much more bearable. Again we were able to sit in our own rows on this flight allowing us to feel extremely rested when we finally landed after 22+ hours of travel.

We were greeted at the airport by our lovely driver who took us to our hotel Park View Inn in Moshi, a small town 1,5 hours from the airport. Our package for the hike included two nights at our hotel and transportation to and from the airport which made it extremely convenient and safe for us to travel within Tanzania. Our hike was set to begin November 1 so with a day open before to rest and explore, we booked a day excursion through Popote to take us to Arusha National park. On the morning of the 31st our amazing driver Tuma picked us up in an old school Toyota Land cruiser to take us over to Arusha National park where we went on our Safari drive. Having been to Africa before and on a week long safari, we felt like this was a great way to get a mini safari in, see some spectacular animals and still have time to relax before our big day. I highly recommend exploring other parts of Tanzania while you are there and if you can make time for it, do not miss the Serengeti! You can easily book multiple types of Safari’s through Popote ranging from Luxury, Camping, Lodging etc.

Everything you need to know about Hiking Kilimanjaro 

I will start by saying that this hike was one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life but extremely rewarding and a once in a life time experience (unless you are a crazy person and decide to hike multiple times.)


We didn’t do a whole lot of training for the hike seeing that we really only had a month to prepare but, I work out 5-6 days a week normally doing HIIT and weight lifting so I am decently fit to begin with. I recommend working on your endurance and ramp up that leg day to a few days a week. The most difficult part in the beginning is getting your breathing down with your walking in the changing altitude but after awhile you get the hang of it.

Day 1

The night before our Trek our guides came by our hotel to go over our 7 day trek plan and to make sure we had all the proper gear we needed for the week. We were given duffels to transfer all of our necessities over to for the 7 days, leaving anything else unnecessary behind at the hotel locked up. Popote made it very easy to rent gear & clothing so anything that we did not bring with us such as our heavy coat, headlamp etc they provided us. The next day we were picked up and headed off to the beginning point of where we would meet our porters and have some lunch before starting day 1 of our trek. After a hot meal and a few hours later, we geared up our day packs and started to climb the first few thousand feet in altitude. No matter what shape you are in, the most challenging part in the beginning is getting your breathing down with your steps. You feel like you’re constantly gasping for water and you’ve only gone 5 minutes up the path. Day 1 had beautiful scenery through the rainforest and if you looked and listen close enough you’d see monkeys swinging from tree to tree along the path. After 3 and a half hours or so we made it to our first camp and we were shocked at how quickly day 1 went. Upon arrival our porters were setting up our camp for the night which included two sleeping tents, our meal tent and our bathroom. Ya’ll…. let me tell you how key having your own bathroom is on a hike like this. After doing the Inca Trail and having to use the public outhouse (hole in the ground) vs having your own clean potty inside a special tent I will never ever ever go back. The public outhouses are absolutely filthy, smell and pretty unsanitary. Most of the time they are a decent walk away from where you camp also so imagine waking up in the middle of the night and having to find your way to the restroom vs walking 2 feet to your bathroom tent. Game changer for sure! Around 6 we went into our meal tent where we were given hot tea, coco, coffee and snacks to get us ready for dinner. Dinner consisted of the most delicious cucumber soup, rice & veggies. Each day they loaded us up on carbs to fuel our bodies and make sure we were in good health to continue on to the next day. Once were debriefed it was time to get a good nights rest to begin a very long second day ahead of us.


Day 2

Day 2 was one of our longer and harder days, we tackled the “elephants back” which by far was the hardest hours of our hike so far. Trekking through the end of the rainforest, the most exhausting part of this day was spent going uphill climbing “steps” that formed in the shape of a very very very long “elephant skeleton”. We reached Shira 1 camp after 6 hours, stopped for a nice break and lunch and then headed on our way for the next 6 hours trekking across a plateau of grassy moorland and heather scattered with volcanic rock formations.

Elevation: 12,631ft

Day 3

Day 3 began with an easy walk into the climatic zone of the upland desert and beautiful panoramic views of the mountain. After a few hours we began to increase in altitude to get us more acclimated by the time we reached lunch. Unfortunately day 3 took a toll on me and I ended up with an awful headache and super nauseous which made the last 3 hours of steep decent down to the base of the Great Barranco Valley miserable. Thankfully my amazing guides helped carry my day pack for me and encouraged me every step of the way that I would make it to our next camp. The altitude headache is something I never hope to experience again and unfortunately the only cure for a headache on the mountain is more water!

Elevation: 15,190ft to 13,044ft

Day 4

Day 4 was a brand new day and after a lot of water and a good nights rest I was feeling energized more than ever! Our day started by descending into the start of the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. We then exited steeply, up the Great Barranco Wall also known as the “Breakfast Wall.” This was by far my favorite part of the trek because it consisted of bouldering and rock climbing but nothing too technical. At the top of the Barranco Wall we had the most glorious views of Kilimanjaro above the clouds. We had a nice picture break and rest before heading down the rest of our hike towards the Karanga Valley.

Elevation:13,106 ft

Day 5/6

Summit Day….after a good night’s rest and breakfast, we set off on our walk to Barafu camp. The scenery had no vegetation around us and felt like we were completely walking on mars. Although the trek to Basecamp was only about 3 hours, we had to spend the rest of our day at camp resting and preparing for our summit at 11pm. We took a nap, had an early dinner and then napped again until about 10pm. It may seem like ample amount of time to rest up for the biggest part of the hike but in reality it was very hard to nap during the day and get an accurate amount of rest. After a light breakfast at 11pm energy was very  low as we began our summit to the top of Kilimanjaro. Hiking in the pitch black with only the light of moon to guide us, we took each step slowly and carefully following our guides footpath in the freezing cold. After about two hours I began to get extremely sleepy to the point where I couldn’t even stand anymore without being held up. I realized that the altitude medicine and lack of sleep started to make me extremely drowsy, forcing our guides to pair off one by one with us and slowly get us to the top of this mountain. The summit was by far the hardest thing I have ever done nut physically but mentally. Your mind is constantly giving up on your telling your body to quit with it. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself you are going to make it, there is that little voice in your head trying to remind you how tired you are. I can honestly say without our guides we would not have made it to the top of Stella Point. When the sun began to rise and we only had a bit to go, I got this sudden burst of energy and knew that I had to keep going, I had to make it to the top and to the sign. It was 6:30 am and we finally did it, we reached Stella point and there was no going back! Only 45 minute more and the sign was ours and we could say that we successfully summited Kilimanjaro. I took off with my guide first, determined to get there through the glacier maze no matter how exhausted I was and how many times I tripped over my own feet. The feeling of finally making it, all the work you put in, the tears the sweat.. emotions were so high I bawled my eyes out for a few minutes thanking my guide and thanking god for getting me there. A friend of mine who did the trek the week prior to me left a note for me to find when I reached the sign and now that was all I could think of. I had to find that note! After a few minutes of looking around my guide and I found the place where she had hit it and a rush of joy and relief set over me. I couldn’t believe that I did it, I summited Kilimanjaro.

BUT WAIT… it’s not over yet. Somehow through out the entire time we were trekking I never processed the fact that once we reached the top, we still had to go down. All of the exhaustion set in once I realized I had to go back down the exact way I came up. Thankfully it was only 2 hours down to basecamp (not 6) since you don’t have to hike as slowly downhill. My guide and I practically ran down the mountain all the way to basecamp allowing me to rest up with a three hour nap. From basecamp we hiked two more hours to our final camp of the trip where we relaxed, ate dinner and basked in the glory of finishing our summit.

Elevation; 19,341ft

Day 7

We woke up at 8 am to finally head out of the park and back to the reality of life after a very long 7 days. 5 hours of hiking out of the park felt like a million more since the pain had finally set in to our tired little bodies. Although the walk itself was easy, my body still felt like it was crumbling beneath me every step I made. We completed the trek with receiving our plaques at the finish congratulating us on the feat we just accomplished. Our amazing team took us for Banana Beer (local beer home made you must try it) and we cheered and celebrated the unbelievable week we just had. It was sad to realize that the trip was over, we had to go back to reality, check our cell phones and leave this amazing country that evening.


Cappadocia Turkey is known for the beautiful Hot Air Balloons that take over the sky making it feel you just stepped in to a fairy tale land. We stayed at Hidden Cave Hotel located in the heart of Goreme, this traditional hotel is built into the side of a cave with a spectacular terrace that overlooks the entire city. Goreme is a very small town where you can walk to primarily anything that you want to see and explore. We did a few separate tours this trip in order to pack everything in to only a few days.

Fat Boys Cafe & Restaurant – We ate here every single day because we were so obsessed with the food! Be sure to order the Pottery Kebab & Baklava, they won’t disappoint!

ATV Tour of Love Valley & Red Rose Valley – Highly recommend taking an ATV tour! You get to explore off the beaten path through two of the most beautiful valley’s in Cappadocia.

Hot Air Balloon – Butterfly Balloons was the company we used to book our hot air balloon ride and I could not say enough wonderful things about them. They picked us up from our hotel, took us to the check in spot where we were served breakfast and given guidelines on the excursion. From there, they drove us out to the location where we set off at sunrise in our hot air balloon ride. Nothing will ever compare to the beauty of seeing hundreds of balloons in the air around you with the beautiful pink and blue sky shining through. Upon landing, we were greeted with a champagne toast and fruit then taken back to our hotels.

Personal Tour Guide– We were so so fortunate to be connected to a person tour guide who lives in Cappadocia. Zeynep created a special day tour for us catered to everything we wanted to see and drove us around to each site. She was unbelievable so if you find yourself in Cappadocia let me know and I would be happy to connect you.

Here is an example of our day itinerary x

The best view of Capadocia with evil eye tree

 * Kaymaklı Underground City

 * Uçhisar Pigeon Valley

 * Uçhisar Castle

 * Love Valley

 * Avanos ( The center of handcrafts like Pottery and Carpet )

 * Paşabağ ( The tallest fairy chimneys of Cappadocia)

 * Imagination Valley

 * Ortahisar Castle

 * Local vine tasting


Dubai was just as spectacular as we ever could of imagined. Here are some need to knows & things to do for you!

Where to stay

We stayed on the palm at the Five Palm Jumeriah hotel and it was absolutely fabulous. We were able to snag a great deal on and secure one of the only Villas on the property that is available for hotel guests. This 3 bedroom villa was equip with its own pool, kitchen, upstairs patio and 4 bathrooms.

The palm islands in Dubai has three artificial islands with many hotels and activities to choose from. Just a short drive from downtown Dubai, the Palm Islands have a completely different feel than the rest of the city. From Hookah, to beach parties, to clubs, the Palm Islands consist of a great night life and relaxing getaway.

With an abundance of hotels to choose from, you can’t really go wrong with were to stay but here are some of my suggestions


Nikki Beach Resort


Four Seasons

Fairmont on the Palm

W Dubai

Things to do

Burj Khalifa – obvious must to go to the top! The lines take forever to get down if you go during busy season so be prepared to wait.

Eat dinner at Abd El Wahab overlooking the Dubai Fountain! It is a delicious Lebanese restaurant where you can’t go wrong with family style and they serve alcohol!

Day trip to Abu Dhabi – We booked our day trip through Viator, a tour company I mention quote often in my posts because they are extremely reliable and always great!

Dubai Brunch – Don’t expect your typical “Sunday funday” in Dubai! They do their famous brunches on Fridays & Saturdays and you wont want to miss some of the best brunches around! We spent our Friday brunch at Zero Gravity Beach Club, known for its huge buffet, beach parties and famous DJs who come to play! The cover charge will provide you access to unlimited alcohol, food and partying all day long.

Dubai Mall / Aquarium – The Dubai mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the world. You can easily get lost in this mall with the abundance of shops and luxury stores. The Aquarium is also a fun excursion you can quickly do while there, known for its underwater tunnel filled with sharks. Make sure to buy tickets ahead of time!

Desert Safari Trip – We booked our overnight in the desert through Platinum Heritage Desert Safari and I can not say enough great things about them. We were picked up in 1950’s vintage Land Rovers and taken through the heart of the Dubai Desert on a full day and night adventure. We watched the sunset over the amazing sand dunes after being entertained by a Falcon show! Arriving at the camp grounds we were welcomed with Arabic coffee, camel rides, henna tattoos and a four course meal.

Cultural Etiquette

Alcohol – Tourists are permitted to drink in licensed restaurants, hotels and bars attached to licensed hotels. It is unacceptable and punishable to drink in public places—even beaches. Dubai is incredibly strict about public drunkenness!

Attire – In public places it is best to dress more modest than you would in America. Although there is no “dress code” it is safe to be respectful of the culture – so don’t rock your short shorts to the mall! Everyone at the clubs and on Five Palm dress typical to our culture as if you were going to night club.


We spent two nights in Morocco on our way home from Egypt as a mini buffer back to the US and really enjoyed the short time we had there. Our wonderful hotel Riad Elisa was everything you dreamed of a Moroccan hotel to be. With vibrant colors and mint tea upon arrival, this cute 14 room hotel is walking distance to the Jemaa el-Fnaa (market) and many other Souks.

How to navigate the souks in Marrakesh

It is extremely easy to get lost in the Marrakesh souks, take it from out experience that it is quite scary and confusing to wander and lose your way back. There are items overflowing on endless streets so if you don’t pay attention, you will find yourself like a tiny mouse in a maze trying to find your way out. In the souks you can find an array of items like Moroccan rugs, shoes, spices, ceramics, and so much more! Bartering is an essential part of shopping at the souks so don’t be afraid to name your price and haggle a bit. There are a lot of the same items around each corner so if you don’t get the price you like, the on to the next!

Jemaa el-Fnaa- Large market with street food and retail items in the city center. Here you will find lots of traditional entertainment and the hustle and bustle atmostphere.

Souk Medina – My favorite souk and right out the doors of our hotel.

Where to Eat

We only had two nights for dinner but both restaurants we went to were highly recommended and fabulous!

Nomad– healthy plates with a twist & be sure to ask to sit on the rooftop. Alcohol is not served here because it is in the Medina but you can find alcohol at hotels and restaurants outside of the walls.

Comptoir Darna – traditional Moroccan cuisine with belly dancing shows! Compoir Darna is a do not miss so be sure to make your reservation early!

** Be sure to ask your hotel or any restaurants to call you a taxi or a tuktuk when getting around. Do not take one off the street!


YSL Museum & Majorelle Garden – Get there as soon as it opens and snag your tickets before the line gets long!

Try to find a spice shop, ask your driver to take you to one and show you around some local areas of town!

South Africa

Cape Town South Africa is by far one of my most favorite places that I have ever visited. You’ll find yourself sitting between beautiful table mountains and the ocean sea contemplating why it  ever took you so long to get there and experience this beauty. I am guessing the 26 hour plane ride might be a bit of a hurdle for a lot of you but TRUST ME once you are there, you won’t ever want to leave.

Upon arriving in to Cape Town you might notice the Shanty Town (Khayelitsha) which has a population of over 1.8 million people and is one of the largest townships in South Africa. I feel like it is important to always take note of the culture and have an understanding of each country I’m visiting. A Vast majority of Cape Town Residents live in Shanty Towns and these places are an important part of Cape Town’s history, and they’re a huge part of what makes Cape Town what it is today. If you haven’t learned about or researched Apartheid, I recommend doing so before you visit South Africa.

Things To Do 

There are so many areas in Cape Town for you to explore – from wineries, to beaches to hiking you can find it all!

Boulders Beach, also known as penguin beach is where you can find all the precious little guys hanging out on the sand. I know that this is everyones first question when heading to Cape Town so let me give you some need to know info. Once arriving you can walk around the side walk where you will find amazing little vendors selling trinkets galore. Obviously this is a touristy destination so these trinkets will be prices much higher but don’t ever be afraid to bargain!

Boulders beach is just outside Simon’s Town, on the way to Cape Point. It’s about an hour’s drive by car from the CBD (central business district) Uber is extremely cheap in CT, don’t be afraid to Uber everywhere!

There’s a conservation fee of around R65 per person, so bring some cash!

You can not feed the penguins or get close to them, be respectful of their space! They are still wild animals after all!

Click here for more info on Boulders Beach 

V&A Waterfront – Seriously you’ll be so shocked by how different each of the areas are in Cape Town. V&A Waterfront is the oldest working harbour in South Africa and a huge destination spot. On the Waterfront you can find over 80 restaurants from casual to fine dining, visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), Over 500 retail stores, a skate park, basketball courts and more!

I absolutely love the V&A Food Market where you can find a ton of local vendors! I’ve linked it here so you can see for yourself what is in store!

Table Mountain & Lion Mountain 

You can’t miss Table mountain as you look out and see the clouds blanket over the mountain resembling a table cloth – hence table mountain. You will want to take the cable car up the mountain and back due to the fact that the clouds can get really deceiving on top of the mountain. The cable car runs every 10-15 minutes giving you incredible views of the city as you make your way to the 3,500ft summit. The ride is only a short 5 minutes but you can stay up there and take some photos or grab a drink at the cafe to enjoy the view. ** You can hike table mountain but I recommend doing a guided hike

Lions Head is a particular easy hike that offers stunning vistas of Table Mountain, Camp’s Bay and the City Bowl. It is 669 meters above sea level and the hike up Lions Head takes approximately 90 minutes. STORY TIME- so we were hiking LH and once you get to a certain point there two routes you can go, one is the easy route and one you have to boulder your way to the top. Well, we mistakenly took the hard route which led us to rope climbing and bouldering our way to the top of the mountain. Don’t get me wrong, it ended up being well worth it… but there is definitely a route that allows you to walk all the way up and I recommend taking the one.


There is an abundance of wineries in Cape Town you really can not go wrong with your choice. From magnificent gardens to art exhibits and farm to table restaurants they all have their own unique charm.

We visited Babylonstoren, Stellenbosh & Boschendal and did wine tastings at each for under $5 USD. I can’t promise you that price now, but regardless wine tasting is wine tasting friends!

Check out this article on Condé Naste Traveler for some more suggestions on wineries.

Camps Bay

You’ll find a bunch of bars and restaurants lining the beach down in Camps Bay. Highly recommend a Sunday at Cafe Caprice where this little place turns in to a club with bottle service and a local DJ!


The best seafood and sushi I’ve had in a long time! There is no seafood menu, only what has been caught fresh each evening and preparation style. The sushi train is by far the most fun experience, pick as much sushi as you want and get charged by the color plate! Each plate designates a certain price point but believe me, with how fresh it is you won’t even care!

B&L Cape Town

Burger & Lobster is a small little joint that has become very popular via Instagram. We enjoyed a specialty cocktail and a lobster roll for an easy dinner one night but we did have to wait for a bit to get seated!


Booking a trip to Finland may not be at the top of everyones list, but I highly suggest that you make the trip! We primarily wanted to go so that we could try to catch the northern lights. We did a ton of research on when the best time would be, where to go and what place to stay at. You  can catch the Northern Lights in a few countries closest to the Arctic Circle such as Iceland, Norway, Finland, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Sweden. The best time to catch them varies depending on the country but primarily you can gage your trip between August/September through April. I recommend doing research on the country you choose and pin point exactly what time of the year it is most visible in that country.

Spoiler alert** with all of the research we did, we still didn’t end up seeing the Northern Lights. It really is a gamble, and I want you to know that before you book your trip solely with the intention of going for ONLY the lights. Even if it is the “best time” to see them, weather conditions affect them, how active they are affects if they come out, and you still have a 50/50 chance of seeing them no matter how hard you try to predict.

Although we didn’t get to see the lights, we had an amazing trip! We got really lucky, as we were actually planning this trip for 2021 we stumbled across the widely known Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort on with open availablity for an extremely low cost to what the resort would usually run for. Kakslauttanen is known for their glass Igloo rooms making the resort very instagram famous (duh). With the shocking low rates, we decided to forgo 2021 and book the trip right then and there for 1 month later!

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Because we are indecisive we decided the we wanted to check out two different rooms the this resort had to offer; the Glass Igloo and the Kelo Glass Igloo. We booked the large glass igloo (sleeps 4) because it also had a shower as well as a toilet while the smaller glass igloo only has a bathroom and a shared shower. The Kelo glass igloo is half chalet and half igloo which sleeps 6 people and is basically a very large cabin with the igloo attached on the end. There are many activities you can do on the resort but I definitely recommend pre booking them so that you are guaranteed your spot. In the winter you can choose from snow mobile safaris, husky safaris, reindeer safaris, cross country skiing, ice fishing and aurora hunting. The activities will run you around 150+ per activity but totally worth it!

One thing I wish I knew before heading to the resort was that they provide snow suits, shoes, gloves, hats etc for you on the activities. With that being said, you’ll still want to pack a warm jacket and boots BUT you do not need to bring your own snowsuit! This will save you a ton of room while packing all of your winter gear. To get from your igloo’s to the main dining hall, or really anywhere around the resort you will be walking, so dress warm and be prepared. Another thing that we found conflicting while researching the resort was that you have to wheel your suitcases to your igloos over snow recommending that one brings a backpack instead. Let me tell you- although a backpack was convenient, they do have sleds for your luggage so if you bring a small carry on suitcase you will be just fine!

Don’t forget to also pack lots of snacks! Although Breakfast & Dinner were included in our stay, we found ourselves often hungry (due to the time change) post dinner and past 9 pm… nothing is open!

Below is a copy of my packing list and what I recommend for a 3 night stay in Finland!

  • Fleece lined leggings
  • Wicking socks
  • Snow Boots
  • Warm water proof pants for walking around
  • Gloves
  • Ear Muffs/ Beanie
  • Thermal
  • Sweaters
  • lounge clothes
  • Winter coat
  • Pjs
  • Converter
  • Hand / toe warmers
  • Tripod/ Camera Gear

Zimbabwe & Zambia

Alright, first things first! Let’s talk about the whole visa situation because it can be kind of confusing.

When visiting Zambia & Zimbabwe you are going to want to purchase the Kaza visa which will allow you to cross the boarder to Zimbabwe multiple times (dual entry visa). You will want to explore many of the actives in both countries it will be a complete hassle if you don’t have the right visa. We were visiting in low season (November) so it was quick for us to jump out of the car and go through boarder patrol. I have heard that lines could be somewhat up to a 3 hour wait if you are there during high tourist season.

Word of advice– the Kaza visa has consistently been becoming difficult to find, as of now you can not get it on the Zambia side, you have to get it on the Zimbabwe side. They ran out of Kaza visas and only got them right before we arrived so I STRONGLY ADVISE you keep doing your research before your trip. When you arrive at the airport through customs (Zambia), they will ask you if you already have your visa or if you are getting one. Don’t worry, you can purchase your Zambia Visa at the desk right then and there for about $50. This visa will allow you entry in to Zambia. Once you have your Zambia visa, you can purchase your Kaza visa at the boarder once you cross in Zimbabwe.
Want more information on Visas? Contact me here

From Cape Town we booked our flights in to Livingstone airport Zambia with a stop in Johannesburg. Flying into LIV was the easiest and cheaper option but you can also fly in to Zimbabwe if it fits your flight schedule better.

Victoria Falls River Lodge– I am fully obsessed with this place and could not of asked for a better experience. VFRL is located on a wild game reserve on the Zimbabwe side and it was by far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. They take care of everything for you so if you want to be worry free, I suggest checking them out. Here are a few of the reasons why I recommend spending a little bit more money on your Safari.

1. Airport pick up/ drop off & boarder crossing- VFRL had everything handled for us from the airport to changing cars at the boarder, we didn’t have to stress or worry about crossing on our own.

2. The accommodations- Located in the Zambezi National Park on the Zambezi river, you’ll pull up to the lodge by boat passing by many hippos on your way. The lodge is outstandingly beautiful and because the lodge is located in a National Park, the animals are roaming free in their own habitat right around you. VFRL is an all inclusive package so you don’t have to worry about your meals or drinks through out your stay. Each breakfast, lunch and dinner they will provide a different menu with that days options. Coming from someone with crazy food allergies, they were extremely accommodating when it comes to food allergies or any dislikes. They also work with your schedule and what actives you want to do, so meals are set at different times per your day but you can also sit down to eat whenever you would like. The staff will also call and book all the activities for you outside of the lodge, and even provide transportation. Oh and did I mention that you get 2 Safari options a day? You can chose to do the river cruise safari or a game drive in the morning and at night.

3. Lodging- The upscale tents will definitely make you feel like you’re glamping! These rooms are truly beautifully done and there is even air conditioning. Although you can hear animals outside, you are perfectly safe inside these tents. You can also call the front desk to pick you up and take you to the main lodge if you aren’t comfortable walking for any reason.

4. Staying on the reserve- At VFRL you get the benefit of living with the wild animals every single day. Rather than staying at a hotel and having to drive to your safari, every single walk or drive in and out of the lodge is your very own Safari. One morning, we woke up to baboons crossing our tent and another to an Elephant herd heading down to the water to bathe. It was by far the coolest experience to be emerged in the wild with this wonderful creatures, an experience you won’t get elsewhere.

Most actives are costly because Zambia and Zimbabwe are on the American dollar so if they seem costly, it’s completely worth it and not a scam. These countries survive on tourism so tip your guides and have fun!

Victoria Falls– one of the natural 7 wonders of the world. You can’t visit without without here exploring the falls. You have two options when visiting the falls from the Zambia side and Zimbabwe side. During low season, we were able to see the beautiful water falls which are all located on the Zimbabwe side so I recommend heading in from there if it is low season. The Zambia side is home to the famous “Devils Pool” which books up weeks in advance so make sure to plan accordingly if this is something you plan on doing. Whichever side you visit from, you will be in awe of the natural beauty.

Zip line the Falls– head to Lookout Cafe for lunch over looking the gorge where you can choose from zip lining the falls or the flying fox swing! Add it to your bucket list and be sure to get the video!

Microlight Flight– THIS IS A MUST DO. No matter what you do, you will regret not taking the microlight flight on your trip. Located on the Zambia side, this 15 minute flight will give you a birds eye view of the falls where you’ll be able to even spot some animals! If you want to splurge a little bit, go for the 30 minute flight because once you get up there, you won’t want to come down!

Lion Encounter– Lion Encounter is an active conservation program that re-introduces off spring of  captive bred lions in to the wild.  Not only are they cute as hell, but it is the most amazing experience to be able to walk side by side with these wild lions in their environment.


Singapore is a very expensive country to visit unless you’re crazy rich (get it) but extremely clean and beautiful.
On average a meal is going to cost you $50 a person
Grab/ Taxis can range anywhere from $11-$20
Singapore also has a few crazy rules which can wind you up in jail so be sure to not litter, or spit on the ground!
Here are my suggestions on How to hit some hot spots in Singapore and how to save a bit of money while doing so!
1. Some local coffee shops have a great breakfast deal for a breakfast sandwich and coffee, this will only cost you around $8 snd a pretty good steal. Grab one of these and head over to The Gardens at Marina Bay Sands. The Gardens outside are actually free to walk around and roam in but I do recommend getting tickets to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forrest. The Flower Dome has new installations frequently which are pretty cool and instagtam worthy. You can practically spend an entire day wandering around here so fuel up and get to exploring. While you’re over at the Marina Bay Sands take s trip up to the rooftop bar and grab a cocktail with a view! There’s a cool club at night but just like Vegas, it’s going to cost you a cover to get in. From the Sands, take a walk around the bay, wander, get lost, explore.
2. During the evening I suggest catching a ride to Newton Food Centre where you’ll find amazing outdoor food market vendors with food stalls ranging from Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Seafood and even Vegan. We walked around and ordered from a few of the stalls so that we could share and taste test different cuisines. Once you order from a food stall, they’ll ask you where you are sitting and you won’t end up paying until they bring you your food. Grab a beer and a seat while you wait for tastebuds to take a ride.
3. Taxi, Grab app, or take local transit and head to Little India. There are some amazing graffiti streets that you can get lost in with shopping and restaurants. With an abundance of food options, we ended up stopping upon Gurkha Palace due to the air conditioning and also because the menu looked amazing. I absolutely loved our meal here and it was probably the best Indian food I’ve ever had. From Little India pop over to China Town and explore the streets and the Buddah Tooth Relic Temple. You’ll find a bunch of markets where you can pick up some souvenirs and loacal goodies.
4. If you want to save money, you can take public transportation to Sentosa Island early in the morning. Sentosa Island is a resort island right off the coast where you can relax on the beach, or hit their amusement park! I recommend going early before the crowds wake up and checking out the Insta famous floating bridge (Palawin Beach). DO NOT MISS the coconut ice cream at Co+Nut+ink on Sentosa, it is to die for.
There are plenty of things to do in Singapore but with only a few days these were definitely my highlights. Let me know what your favorite things to do in Singapore are!

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum is by far one of my favorite spots in Mexico with the jungle vibes and access to wonderful beaches. My 30th birthday trip was definitely out of the ordinary traveling with 18 girls and having to accommodate everyone but Tulum made it easy for large groups and thankfully I had a really amazing friend to help me coordinate the trip who specializes in Luxury travel.

Getting Around

In oder to get to Tulum your best option is to fly in to Cancun and then take a car service from Cancun to Tulum which will take you anywhere from 1/5-2 hours. I suggest pre-booking your transportation even if there are only two of you so that you don’t get ripped off by Taxis at the airport. The trip should cost $100-$180 to get you down to Tulum.

Once in Tulum, you don’t need to worry about getting around the town because everything is within walking or biking distance. Of course there are taxi cabs that run through out the town but I highly recommend renting a bike from your hotel to explore!
Hotels and Things To do

There are a ton of options in Tulum for you to stay at all depending upon what atmosphere you are looking for, the price, location etc.

Cabanas Tulum– Great for groups

BE Tulum – More intimate for couples

Nomade – More intimate for couples

Azulik – Most expensive hotel if you can afford to stay here! Here you’ll see the instagram famous tree houses

Casa Malca- Luxury hotel, art boutique – Pablo Escobar’s former home. This you’ll see all over instagram as well with the couch and white drapes that are actually wedding dresses.

Papaya Playa Project– Great nightlife, good for groups- Don’t miss out on one of their parties!

La Zebra– Cute boutique hotel with Salsa dancing on Sundays

“Ice cream bar! Ice cream bar!” – Bolas De Postre – If you’re out roaming around on a weekend you won’t miss the sounds of people chanting “ice cream bar” Ice cream bar”. This is a great late night spot where the bartenders will jump up on the bar and pour drinks down your throat without warning so get prepared! The atmosphere is wild and they serve drinks until 1am. Although they are a Vegan Ice Cream Shop, they’re definitely best known for their wild parties at night!

Recommended Restaurants

Rosa Negra– My most favorite restaurant in all of Tulum! They took such special care of me for my birthday, no joke the entire restaurant had sparklers and they even brought me a cake. This place is great for groups and the food is pretty delicious too! Oh and did I forget to mention that they give you a free glass of champagne when you take a stroll over to the bathroom?

Cenzontle – Quiet, quant, jungle vibes! Great for groups as well but small amount of tables. You feellike you are eating in the jungle with all the greenery that builds the “walls” of this restaurant. Outside and open air like most restaurants in Tulum, the food here is off the charts!

Charly’s Vegan Tacos– This spot was definitely on my list before heading to Tulum. I saw it posted everywhere on Instagram so I just had to see what all the fuss was about. Tulum is a very health conscious place so it’s definitely nice to try some Mexican food that wasn’t too heavy while spending the day at the beach!

BE Tulum – Great lunch by the beach. Grab some food and then grab a cabana on the beach to chill out and relax. ( You do not need to be a member of the hotel in order to eat lunch here )

Ziggy’s / Frescos– Since we stayed at Cabanas Tulum Hotel we had immediate access to Ziggy’s beach bar which served up some delicious Mexican for breakfast lunch and dinner! How could you not enjoy the ocean view, food and of course the infamous swings. Frescos is super healthy with Avocado toast, coconut flour pancakes, ahi tuna tacos and more on their small but perfect healthy menu.

Don’t miss your chance to swim in any of the beautiful Cenotes in Tulum. The cenote meaning to the Mayan people was so sacred that they believed that cenotes were the crossroads to the underworld. It is also believed that some Gods resided in these underwater caves. Cenotes were highly significant as they were one of the only sources of water, plus they were also used for sacrifices to please the Gods and bring good fortune. The Cenotes are still sacred to the Mayan people today, meaning most cenotes are closed off from public use.

Some of the Cenotes that I recommend are:

Cenote Dos Ojos

Cenote Calavera

Car Wash Cenote

Cenote Zacil-Ha

Cenote Caracol

Cenote Sac Actun