Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always wanted to go to Texas, first stop, Houston

In our shared house in Canada, I remember telling one of the Canadian girls who lived with us, about our planned trip around America, and how I always wanted to go to Texas. She didn’t understand why, saying that she thought it was scary because of all the guns; already anxious about going into the unknown, her comments unnerved me slightly, but not enough to put me off going.

Before leaving Canada, we planned to travel most of the US by Greyhound bus, and as our time in New Orleans came to an end, we headed for the coach station.

Our first impressions of travelling by means of this was not good. We had to wait like three hours for our bus to arrive due to delays, before we could set off to our next destination, Houston Texas.

The journey was around six hours long (including stops), and on arrival, we didn’t need road signs to tell us, we were in Texas. Texan flags can be seen all over, and of all the states we visited around America, Texas definitely had the most flags on show, (I reckon they’d give Canada a run for their money, those guy’s plaster their flag everywhere too).


On arrival to Houston, my nerves from before increased, when I saw something from the coach window that I’d not seen before in any other city I’ve been to.

You know those electronic billboards that have advertisements on usually for a movie, or perfume or something of the likes? Well, in Houston we were greeted by a massive electronic billboard displaying the words, “WANTED FOR MURDER”, accompanied by a photo of a man’s face.

It was like a homeless town

The coach station in Houston, had one of the worst sites of poverty I saw around America, it was like a homeless town. There were loads of people, mostly African-American, carrying quilts, sitting and laying on the street, and there were so many homeless people in one spot, it was like a little community. It was a real sad sight and a bit of a culture shock.

When we got out of the station, we headed to our Airbnb. Our hosts were this nice Mexican couple who had two really cute dogs which definitely helped take the edge off for me.

I pictured Texas in a stereotypical way, to have cowboys, guns, horse carriages, the lot

Houston wasn’t like that at all, our destination after Houston was more like how I envisioned Texas to be, but I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog post.

Houston had tall buildings all around, and Texan flags everywhere.

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I was worried about racism in Texas, and I was pleasantly surprised to find how ethnically diverse it was. I’d say Mexicans take up the majority of the population (in parts of Texas), and rightly so, considering it used to be a part of Mexico; I wouldn’t say this for Houston particularly, but definitely San Antonio.

I couldn’t wait to try some Texan BBQ

As always, I was excited to try the local cuisine and although we didn’t get the famous Texan BBQ in Houston, we did have some nice food while there. One night, we went to this lovely little Mexican restaurant, it’s always a good sign when you go out to eat, and the people eating in there are of the same origin as the food being served.

On a different day, we found somewhere inside a shopping mall that served Muffaletta’s, and considering we didn’t try it one in New Orleans, and we weren’t too far away, we figured it to be a safe bet. Now I know what your thinking, “why would you get that in Texas, when you just came from New Orleans?” And the answer is, I don’t know. It tasted so good that after trying one, I wish I had tried it in the city where it’s known as being one of their most iconic and identifiable dishes.

To be in the presence of spacecraft that’s ACTUALLY been in outer space, is amazing


It’d seem like such a wasted opportunity to not go to NASA while in Houston. It had to be done.

We heard some real Texan accents while looking around there, which was cool, but not as cool as the spacecrafts, astronaut suits, and everything else they have there.

We joined this tour where this guy took us around and told us some very interesting facts and stories that we’d have not known had he not told us. For instance, he spoke of the politics involved in the history of space exploration, between the Russians and the Americans particularly, and how the astronauts of both nationalities were actually good friends, despite the political rivalry. He told us about a photograph in existence of two Astronauts, one American and one Russian in embrace, and about a letter from one of them to the other which showed how close they were. It’s a shame they don’t have the photograph he told us about on display, but I doubt it’ll ever surface in the public eye, due to surrounding politics.

We didn’t spend a lot of time in Houston, but if you ever plan on going, I’d definitely recommend a trip to NASA for the day, no matter how long your visit.


Join me in my next blog across Texas, as I take you to San Antonio, (one of my favourite cities of the whole adventure). Coming soon!


New Orleans, Louisiana – Hands down, the coolest place I’ve been

Have you ever arrived somewhere, and had an instant good feeling before even getting out of the airport? I experienced this on arrival at Louis Armstrong International Airport.

A cab ride to our accommodation, gave us a first look at The Big Easy as we set off to India House hostel, (which by the way, is the coolest hostel I’ve ever stayed in).

It had a real hippy vibe to it, with fellow travellers on the couches next to the reception desk, watching TV, chatting and reading, accompanied by the hostel cat (who by the way, makes you feel honoured if your existence is acknowledged by him).

To get to our room, we had to walk past the kitchen, where other travellers stood cooking their meals, and then out through the garden where we were greeted by the sound of a guitar, as one guy sat playing with a few others sat around him.

Tired from the journey over from Toronto, Canada, we decided to eat at the hostel, where they cook decent priced meals for guests in the garden. It was an odd combination of a hot-dog served with some rice, but for $5 I wasn’t complaining. I’m not much of a drinker, but it came with a beer too, which is an added bonus to those who do.

Rooms were separated into what I can only describe as dormitories, although they weren’t divided by sex or anything, and we had our own room, which included a bunk bed and not much else, but we didn’t need much else, it was just a place to lay our heads.

I’m not going to give you a day-by-day rundown of what we did in chronological order, instead I’m going to try and paint a picture of my experience for you.

One of my favourite thing’s about travelling, is getting to learn about stuff you could never be taught from reading a book or watching a documentary.

Seeing as I’ve dedicated this blog post to the first destination of our US adventure, New Orleans, I’ll start by telling you one of the first thing’s I noticed while there, and that’s the admirable sense of community they have.

I first noticed it while riding on one of the infamous streetcars.

Photograph by: Mehrnaz Karimi

Whilst aboard, I watched as this random guy helped some woman with her pram, and although you may be reading this and thinking, “I’ve seen people do that before, so what?” It is a common theme all around New Orleans, they help each other. It doesn’t matter what colour you are, what gender you are, whether you’re old or young, or whether you’re total strangers, they have an incredible sense of community like I’ve not seen in any other place I’ve been.

I have my own theory behind this; I think it’s because they have been through so much, (what with all the horrendous hurricanes for a start), which I learnt all about at The Presbytère Museum. While there, I learned New Orleans is still recovering from the last hurricane that hit, (but you’d never know it, if you’re a first time visitor), they’ve done an amazing job at restoring it.

If like me, you have a love of history, you’ll appreciate New Orleans

There are a variety of museums throughout the city, providing you with the opportunity to learn about the history of the Big Easy.

Head over to The New Orleans Jazz Museum, where on display, you’ll see instruments played by musical legends. By chance, we got to enjoy a live performance of some talented musicians on our visit. If that sounds like your cup of tea, go for a walk around Louis Armstrong Park to see statues of iconic artists.

Jazz is just one of many thing’s that New Orleans is famed for, but you need not visit museums solely for a background on this.

You need not visit a museum to learn about certain other cultural aspects that New Orleans is famed for. For instance, my partner and I visited the famous St. Louis Cemetery No.1, burial place of Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. You are not allowed to just walk in and see it for yourself, you have to be accompanied by a tour guide, who walks you and other people booked onto the tour at a specific time slot, around the Cemetery. This tour is not free, and although people used to be able to walk in without charge, they rightly put a stop to this, due to the vandalism of the Headstone belonging to the Voodoo Queen. At least, they thought it was her Headstone anyway; our tour guide told us that people were under the false impression that Marie Laveau was buried under a Headstone that wasn’t actually hers. As a result of this, the vandalism in question, is as a result of multiple carvings of ‘X’ on the Headstone as it was believed (and perhaps still is), that you could go to her place of burial, and make a wish/request, marking her Headstone with this symbol. Those who had their wish/request answered were to return and circle their ‘X.’

In front of the Headstone, you’ll find hairbands offered as gifts to the Voodoo Queen, as in her lifetime, Marie Laveau was a hairdresser.
Despite their being two Headstones with numerous ‘X’ symbols carved onto them, as well as hairbands scattered in front of both, one of the Headstones has her name engraved on it.

In this same Cemetery, Nicholas Cage had a pyramid shaped tombstone built for himself, in preparation for his day of death; our tour guide informed us that his plot is worth thousands. He also bought a haunted house in New Orleans, and we were told that his actions coincided with the downhill of his acting career.

My favourite thing about New Orleans, has to be the music

I fell in love with Jazz there. We went to a couple of live sets at different venues, which were amazing, one in particular was at Preservation Hall. Me and my partner were sat on cushions on the floor, right at the front, as all of the seats behind us were taken. They let you in at specific time slots, where you get to enjoy the experience with a small audience, adding a personal touch to the experience. You aren’t allowed to take photographs in there, or film them during a performance, which again I liked. I always say to myself, “It’s better to enjoy something through your eyes, than through the lens of a camera.”
These guy’s were incredible. In-between playing, they’d occasionally quietened down for the singer, who had a real cool voice that went nicely with the clicking of his fingers.

Photograph of the stage where they performed at Preservation Hall, taken by Mehrnaz Karimi

You don’t have to go to a live set to enjoy the music; you’re never too far away from a group of talented musicians performing on the streets. Enjoy the video I recorded, below.

From Po’boy’s, to Gumbo and Jambalaya, the local cuisine is delicious

Aside from the music, another thing New Orleans is famed for, is it’s food.
We went to this restaurant called ‘Mothers,’ for some Po’boy’s and Grits. After watching ‘My Cousin Vinny’ as a child, I wanted to try Grits, and I have to say, I wasn’t too keen. Other than the flavour of the cheese slice on top, there wasn’t much taste to it at all. I highly recommend a visit there though, if not for the Grits, then the Po’boy’s for sure. Don’t want to take my word for it? All you have to do is look at the restaurant’s walls, which are plastered with photographs of famous people who’ve paid it a visit.

Photograph of Mother’s, taken by Mehrnaz Karimi
Po’boy, taken by Mehrnaz Karimi
Grits, taken by Mehrnaz Karimi

One thing I didn’t get to try, which I was absolutely gutted about, was the famous Willie Mae’s fried chicken, dubbed ‘World’s best fried chicken’. Anyone who know’s me knows how much I love me some fried chicken, so you can only imagine how disappointed I was when we found out they were closed for refurbishment! We walked off the beaten track to go there too, locals were playing games on tables, just going about their day. We got a few stares, and I don’t know if that’s because I was the only white one around those parts, or because they could just tell we weren’t locals, but considering how ethnically diverse New Orleans is, I’d say it was the latter.

If you have a sweet tooth, head to ‘Cafe Du Monde,’ for some Beighnets. We got to enjoy these, while listening to a street band parked right outside.

Photograph of me enjoying some Beighnets at Cafe Du Monde

When you go anywhere, always remember to look around at the natural beauty of a place

Take New Orleans for instance, they’ve got some of the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen, and you don’t have to go off the beaten track to see them either. They’re all around, arching over roads, casting shadows on the pavements in-parts. Many of these surround the buildings and houses, famed for their stunning architecture, which honestly look like something out of a fairy-tale. In the image below, you can see both.

Photograph by: Mehrnaz Karimi

Another beautiful site you can see in New Orleans is the Mississippi River. It’s nice to take a little time out to for some scenic peace.

Photograph by: Mehrnaz Karimi

You can see artwork all around in the more central part, as artists have their paintings on display in shops and on stalls.

Speaking of stalls, the French Market is a must-visit, for near enough anything, we got some cool artwork from this guy’s stall, and of course, the classic fridge magnet from another.

One of the biggest eye-openers of my travels throughout the different states and cities in the US, was the amount of poverty we saw. New Orleans was my first look at this, and it was shocking. Going through the underpass in the streetcar were rows of tents on either side, providing the ignorant mind the option of looking only forward and behind, to avoid the hard-hitting sights that bare truth to their left and right. Protected by a shelter of concrete, the tents neighboured each other like houses in a street.

Seeing poverty to this degree throughout the States, changed my outlook on America, and on other things too. You’ll find it mentioned in my other blog posts, mapping my travels throughout the USA.

Join me on my journey, as I take you to Houston, Texas in my next blog, coming soon.

3 Months at a Canadian ski resort

Dreamboat aye?

When I got that acceptance letter from the Canadian government approving my work visa, I was ecstatic and felt fortunate at the opportunity, as I’m aware that some people try year-after-year and get nowhere.

Me and my partner both secured jobs as Chef’s at the Blue Mountain ski resort, where you get a free ski pass as an employee, as well as a fortnightly paycheck, not too shabby.

Our adventure started in Iceland, (which you can read all about in my series of blog posts that take you through our three day’s there), before landing us in Toronto, which you can also read all about in my ‘5 days in Toronto’ blog article.

I’d never ski’d or snowboarded before, but skiing was on my bucket list, so the decision to go to Canada wasn’t a random one.

Having lived in the South of England all my life, my experience of snow was minimal. The coldest temperature I’d experienced was at the start of our trip, in Iceland. It was something like -10 one of the days, and we thought we were cold then, but it was nothing in comparison to the Canadian winter.

We met with other travellers at a mutual place in Toronto, and hopped on an arranged coach, which took us a few hour’s away, to what would be our home for the next few month’s.

After a picturesque journey, we eventually arrived at a snowless ski resort, where we were taken to our accommodation (a shared house about 15 minuets away on foot) from the slopes.

I was pleasantly surprised at our room. It had an en-suite bathroom with a Jacuzzi, two sinks, a couch, and a private balcony (which when it snowed, we eventually built a snowman on).
The whole house was nice to be fair, and for a few days it was quiet, as we were one of the first people to arrive.

It wasn’t long before we had a full house of 8 including ourselves, and could no longer see the ground, under a blanket of snow.

Photograph of our shared house, taken by Mehrnaz Karimi

The best bits

One of the best things about the experience, was all the friends we made out there with people from all over the world (mostly Australians), and we quickly befriended a couple who taught us how to ski and snowboard.

I tried my legs at both, but I took to skiing over snowboarding, (even though anyone who boards will tell you it’s cooler).

It took a while before I was off the small slopes, but I eventually got there, knees bent in the pizza position, nervously down the bigger slopes. My knee still hurts occasionally from that awkward technique.

Photograph taken of me skiing

My partner took to snowboarding like a natural, but my attempts at it were far from natural. I fell over a lot, but I challenged myself to be able to go down the first big slope, suitably named “Big Baby,” which is the one you graduate to after the beginner slope, and I can proudly say I achieved my goal. I’m not going to lie and pretend I boarded down it with ease, I fell on my ass a lot, but I reached the bottom and that’s all that matters!

I’ve been in all kinds of different snow.

Before travelling, snow was all the same to me, but after being in it day-after-day, you realise that that’s just not the case, especially when your on the slopes.

Photograph by: Mehrnaz Karimi

I’ve ski’d on amazing fluffy snow after it had just dumped it down (a term I picked up from an Aussie), and I’ve ski’d on icy snow, which I wouldn’t advise.

Work at the resort wasn’t too bad, I’d start my day on the breakfast shift and usually end it on the salad counter, managing to avoid serving on the grill, to the envy of the other cook’s, for the entire time I worked there. Even though it got busy at times on the salad station, albeit not to the extent it got on the grill, at least I didn’t have to deal with hungry Canadians in the heat, although with all that snow, you’d think I’d want to be in front of a hot grill!

Much to my own surprise, my body became slowly accustomed to the freezing cold, but it took a couple of harsh lessons to get there.

On one of our first nights out to a party in the village arranged for employees, I layered up on the top half, but stupidly didn’t do the same on the lower half, with the protection of a single pair of tights. Boy was I sorry.

Have you ever heard the expression “cold to the bones,” believe me, it’s a real thing. The walk there wasn’t so bad, it was the walk back that got me. My legs started to feel worryingly numb and fearing the worst, I thought I might have gotten frostbite. My bones had never felt cold before, and it took a few days for my legs to feel normal again, but thankfully it wasn’t frostbite.

I can assure you, I wrapped up after that. I used to walk to work at like 6am, with more than one pair of trousers on, two scarves over my face, and for skiing? I wore three or four pairs of trousers.

If someone had told me prior to my travels, that I was going to experience windchill’s of -30, I’d have not believed it, surely it’s not humanly possible, I would have thought. Well, I’d have been wrong.

I went to work everyday -30 windchill or not. In England, they tell you to stay at home at the slightest sight of white falling from the sky, but in Canada they’re built for it. They were still driving on the roads and everything. I got told that the only time they don’t go to work as a result of the weather, is when it get’s to -40, but I’m not sure if I believe that.

Canadians in the snow, are like Brits in the rain; it’s nothing to them, but
don’t get me wrong, I love the snow, in fact since returning to the UK, I occasionally miss it.

I’d recommend a ski resort to anyone looking to do some paid travelling.

We managed to save quite a bit of money from working at the resort, it near enough carried us through the entirety of our travels around the US after.

In addition to the money you can make, I’d also recommend it for solo travellers. Now I didn’t go there alone, but most of the people I met there from other countries did, and although I can’t speak from first hand experience, I think it’s ideal for solo travellers, because most if not all of the people I’d met who’d gone out there alone had made tons of friends. Some of them even continued there travels with their new friends after the ski season had ended.

You never know what will happen, or who you’ll meet and that’s all a part of the adventure!

Saying goodbye

It was sad saying goodbye to the friends I’d made, but after three months, it was time to be on our way.

Photograph of our send off

Thanks to social media, I’ve been able to keep in touch with most of them since leaving.

Sadness aside, it was time to get out of the snow, and hop on a plane to our next destination.

We decided to travel the United States of America, and after recommendations from other travellers at the resort, we chose New Orleans, in Louisiana as our first stop.

Continue the journey with me in my next blog, where I take you to New Orleans. Coming soon.

5 days in Toronto

In this blog I’m going to talk about what we’ve experienced and some things I’ve learned from being out here in Toronto.

We visited the Eaton centre which is a gigantic shopping mall with pretty much everything you can think of. It reminded me of New York City with the types of shops they have in there. It’s a must for shopping lovers.

A little tip for you foodies, a traditional dish out here is called Poutine which tastes so good. You can get it with all kinds of toppings. A must while your in Canada. Also try Canada Dry it’s better than 7’Up or Sprite, we’re hooked.

On one of the days we went to the Distillery District where they had the Toronto Christmas Market on, which was so cosy. If you visit around Christmas time definitely come here but don’t waste your money on a drink like we did, (we got a hot chocolate with Bailey’s that cost $9 and it was a small cup).

On route there, I noticed something, in Toronto you could be walking down a nice neighbourhood, then five minutes later you could find yourself in a rough one without even turning a corner.

On another day we went to High Park which has the big maple leaf on the grass and it was beautiful. I learned that they have black squirrels in Canada (which are adorable by the way, and seem to like to pose for my camera) as well as the one’s I’m used to seeing in England. I’ve been to some beautiful parks in England but they never have warning signs up for coyotes and poison ivy so that was a first but don’t be scared off, there’s plenty of people around, just make sure you like dogs because you’ll see a lot of them there which reminds me, (poodles seem to be the dog of choice here). I definitely recommend going to High Park if your visiting Toronto as it gets you out of the city for a bit and into nature. Across the road from a section of the park is a sea front which is also lovely to take a stroll along.

We visited Nathan Phillips Square with the big Toronto sign, and it was so Christmasy this time of year with a big Christmas tree up and all of the lights. They have an ice rink in front of the sign which was packed, but we didn’t skate on it. While we were there we tried another traditional Canadian treat called Beavers Tail, (no it’s not an actual tail of a beaver) it’s a desert which again you can get with all kinds of toppings. It’s delicious and perfect on a cold winters night.

We went to the movies out here too which was different to the UK. Behind the counter they only served salted popcorn which you could pour butter over using the dispensers. They had other flavours in packets too obviously but cheese flavour was not one I was expecting to see. The auditorium as they call it was smaller than what we’re used to and you don’t have assigned seats. It was also a lot busier than back home, all the seats were virtually gone and at the end of the movie everyone clapped, now I don’t know if that’s a thing out here or it was just because the film (CoCo) was great but I thought it was cute.

We ended our last day here with Niagara Falls. Wow. It’s the most incredible waterfall I’ve seen in my life. The falling water is mesmerising. You have to go to Niagara Falls.

Overall my impression of Toronto was great, for a city the people are very polite I say that because usually in cities you’ll find people are a bit more rude than outside because everyone’s always rushing but you could get on a bus and the driver will ask how you are in Toronto but in England sometimes they don’t even acknowledge you. Canadians also seem very grateful towards common curtesy, if you hold a door open for someone they will really thank you for it!

This has just been my experience anyone reading this might have had a different story to tell. Let me know in the comments if you do, I’d love to hear about it or if you have any questions or need tips I’d also love to help!

Day 3: Iceland

We finished Iceland with a “free” walking tour of Reykjavík booked through City Walk. I say free with quotation marks just as they advertise it because you are actually supposed to give some money at the end. There is no set price for the tour you pay only what you think it’s worth and trust me it’s worth it.

We walked on a frozen lake afterwards which was really weird because part of it was water where geese and swans swam and the rest was ice where people walked and slid around. Our tour guide Tomas told us people ice skate and even play football on the frozen lake.

Something I seem to do in most countries I go to is visit the locals places of worship, so we went to a church which was as beautifully white on the inside as the snow on the outside.

I didn’t know Iceland was known for its hotdogs until I got here so we decided to see what all the fuss was about and went to Reykjavík’s most famous hotdog stand (thanks to Bill Clinton) and I can say that it really is nothing special the best bit about it for me was the crunchy onion but that’s about it.

All in all Iceland has been amazing and I definitely plan to come back here in the future.

(More photos to come)!

Day 2: Iceland

I experienced the coldest weather I’ve ever endured on my second day in Iceland. It was -8 degrees, so cold that our iPhones were malfunctioning.

We did the Golden Circle excursion which was incredible. We started at 8:30am and the sun hadn’t yet risen. It didn’t rise in fact until around 10am.

The whole journey to the sights consisted of 360 degree views of snow and mountains. It was beautifully white all around.

Our first stop was the Gullfoss waterfall, if you go there in the winter be sure to take a leaf out of our book and get a hot drink from the little shop there before you actually go near the waterfall itself as being closer to water you feel the cold more so in temperatures that low it was definitely a good idea. It’s also a good idea to buy some cookies from the local supermarket beforehand like we did and enjoy some biscuits and tea with a stunning view. Be sure to drink it fast though, it didn’t take long to get cold.

We headed to the Geysers after this, the lake-like water running through was 80-100 degrees and you could see the steam ghosting over it. One of the Geysers went off every few minuets which was amazing, and allowed for plenty of opportunities to capture a shot or video as well as the chance to more importantly enjoy it through my eyes rather than through the lens of a camera.

We finished by going to Thingvellir National Park, which has made it onto my list of one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. The water was part frozen and crystal blue, an hour was not long enough for me here.

I’d recommend doing the Golden Circle if your time here in Iceland is limited because you get to see so much in one day.

(More photos to come)!

Day 1: Iceland

We arrived in Iceland on little to no sleep due to the time of our flight which made the start of our journey a bit of a haze.

It didn’t take long to snap out of this though, when we reached Keflavik airport we were waiting for our driver near the automatic doors which opened anytime anyone went near them. This meant that the snow which was falling down was being blown at us every time the door opened by the wind that came with it.

Our journey to the hotel was an experience in itself, due to the snow the roads were a bit icy, which meant our shuttle bus swerved a little here and there but the driver was so relaxed about it, it didn’t unnerve us. After all, as he said himself they are used to these kinds of conditions.

One of my favourite things about travelling is being able to learn things you wouldn’t know unless you actually went out there and there not always things anyone else knows just because they’ve been to the same place because everyone has their very own experiences.

Here’s some things I learned on my first day in Iceland:

-Walking in the snow is like walking in water just with less resistance.

-Iceland is VERY expensive.

-You CAN budget out here if you are willing to do some walking and make your own food bought from cheap supermarkets (Bonus is the one we went to).

-If you aren’t use to the snow, what you consider layers, double it.

-Icelandic people are pleasant and polite.

-There are Subway restaurants everywhere.

We spent most of our first day relaxing and exploring our surroundings so there’s not much else I can say but tune in tomorrow for day 2!

Top 5 must-see Halloween movies

Immerse yourself this Halloween with one or all of my top 5 films!

1. Stephen King’s IT (1990)

The number one spot has to go to Stephen King’s IT (1990) TV series which was put together as a movie. It’s one of the scariest original horror films out there and if you say it ain’t scary, you’re lying to yourself. Tim Curry’s acting cannot be topped, he is the original IT, although the actor in the new movie made a good effort. There are a lot of funny scenes in the original which I like to think are deliberate due to the fact that Pennywise is after all a clown. Even with the humour however, other scenes are terrifying.
If you’re looking for a scare this Halloween you won’t be disappointed with IT. This film is so good that it’s terrible ending doesn’t even ruin it!

2. Insidious
I find that horror films these days just aren’t as scary as the old school ones but I have to take my hat off to Insidious. In my opinion, it is one of the scariest horror movies of this generation. It’s filled with jump scares throughout and not the corny sort either. What makes it so good is that even though it includes ‘possession’ which so many other horrors have, it does it in it’s own unique way that makes it incomparable to other films of its genre. With so many terrifying characters, you’ll have plenty to be afraid of.

3. Insidious 2
It’s not often that you’ll find a sequal to a film that’s as good (or as scary in this case) as the first, but Insidious 2 is just that. It’s even rarer to find a sequel that beats the first but I have heard some people say they think number 2 is scarier than the first, I personally can’t decide.
The storyline to the first film is continued in the sequel rather than being a completely separate story of it’s own which I think adds to the fright, because you just know it’s going to be terrifying. The storylines themselves in both films are captivating, and a must see this Halloween.

4. The Skeleton Key
b913f6d4faf514f8be4e3900652b82c1-kate-hudson-movie-collection-e1508599355997.jpgThe Skeleton Key is a great movie to watch over Halloween, the concept is original and the acting is excellent. It focuses on Voodoo which gives the movie that much more of an edge as it is practised to this day by many people in different countries around the world. You will probably try to figure out what’s going to happen next throughout the entire movie, but rest assured you will be surprised by its twist ending.

5. Frankenweenie
The final film on my list is one for kids (and the adults), Frankenweenie, it is one of the best animation horrors I’ve seen and it’s a great movie to watch to get you in the mood for Halloween. It is portrayed in typical Tim Burton fashion, leaving you captivated throughout. The entire movie is also in black and white which gives it an old school feel that somehow makes it that much spookier. You won’t find another animation like it!

Rome in 3 days

Last week I spent three amazing days in Rome. If I could have had a couple of extra days however, I would have, to spread out the sightseeing as covering them all in pretty much 48 hours was exhausting.

I say 48 hours because the first day we didn’t do a lot of sightseeing we mainly just walked around Rome. That’s an experience in itself. I noticed everyone seems to smoke there and your lucky to get a seat on a bus. There are also striking statues dotted around such as that of Pope John Paul II, so your eyes are always busy even just walking around the romantic city.

For a matter of two days we did an impressive amount which included the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, the Vatican, St. Peters Basilica, the Pantheon, the Garden Of Villa Borghese and my favourite the Trevi Fountain (at night). We also managed to eat some incredible pizza which has now made me not want to eat pizza in England anymore because it was just so good and some delicious gelato which had somewhat of the same effect.

I’d say that overall three days in Rome is not enough but if you don’t have a choice for whatever reason that may be, don’t fret, you’ll definitely be able to see a lot and you can use this blog post as proof and motivation. Just make sure that you wake up early, that you’re well rested and to drink plenty of water because Rome is one of the most tiring cities I’ve visited not just because of our time constraint but because of all the walking!

To see some of my photographs from Rome please click here:

Top 5 food destinations based on the countries I’ve travelled to

I want to start by saying that this piece is strictly from my own personal experience. You may have visited some of these countries and liked them more or less than me or you may be from one of them, whichever it is do not get offended.

Number one on my list is….

  1. Persian: I’m not being biased I swear. I grew up eating this food but even if I didn’t I’d still say it was the top of my list because it’s simply amazing! From saffron to pomegranate to rose water and pistachios, everything about the ingredients in these dishes is luxurious. Recommendations: My favourite is Khoresht Bademjan, but I’d also recommend Kebab Koobideh with traditional bread for first timers.
    Kebab Koobideh                                                                           Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi
  2. Greek: My experience of Greek food was exquisite. The dishes are very similar to Persian food, which is probably why it’s up there for me. Recommendations: Mixed meat Gyro because it’s simple yet delicious.
    A Gyro in Santorini, Greece.                                                      Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi
  3. Thai: Thai street food is great, so great that I occasionally found myself eating some of the rice or noodle dishes for breakfast. They whip it up so fast you’ll find yourself wondering how they got so many flavours into one dish so fast. Recommendations: Any of the curry dishes, you can’t go wrong.
    My breakfast in Thailand.                                                         Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi.
  4. French: I’m not choosing French cuisine based on traditional meals, I am basing this decision on the patisseries out there alone which says something. Wow, that’s the only way to describe the taste of some of there pastries. I can’t eat a Pain au Chocolat in England anymore now that I know what I’m missing out on. Recommendations: Chocolate and almond Croissant. Just wow.
    Pain au Chocolat in Paris.                                                           Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi
  5. American: American food makes it onto my list because everything is bigger out there! Ridiculously bigger. I had a kids meal in KFC and it was equivalent to an adults in England. Recommendations: Wendy’s, purely for the lemonade, I mean damn! That’s what I call lemonade!
    Wendy’s lemonade in New York City.                                       Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi