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wanderlust

Travel

Ibiza

juin 17, 2017
Ibiza

Looking for a cool destination to spend your spring holidays or Indian summer? Ibiza or Eivissa is a great place to go during these periods and it is at just a couple of hours from the biggest European capitals. I came to Ibiza for the first time in April and had a real crush with this island from the minute 1 I left the plane! Yes it may seem over-enthusiastic but I just loved the vibes there and when discovering this place I felt in love with its wild countryside, its white ibizan style houses surrounded by cactus, the sandy beaches or calas with its crystal water, the chillout chiringuitos on the beach, the charming old city of Eivissa, the hippie market, Formentera island… Ibiza has a lot more to offer in addition to its crazy parties! If you have never been to Ibiza and want to discover the island, here is a list of 15 cool places and things to do in Ibiza:

Cala salada

Ibiza old town

Harbour of Ibiza

Bicycle in Formentera

Tropical water in Formentera

Hippie Market – Las Dalias

Hippie market

5 activities or places to visit in Ibiza:

  • Beach life: You will be so impressed by the magical beaches and calas that are on this island and their transparent water. You can find some secret calas and feel you are at the end of the world, or enjoy a drink and dance in a chiringuito on the beach. Oh and do not forget to watch a sunset on the beach which is a spectacle there that is applauded!
  • Dalt vila: get lost in the bucolic little streets of the old Ibiza! The panoramic view from the castle that is at the top of the hill is really breathtaking. You will contemplate a canvas of white old roofs surrounding the port in Ibiza Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; mixed with the blue sea and the green wild cliffs full of pines as a background.
  • Formentera: this peaceful island is a treasure. It has tropical beaches, salt works and beautiful landscapes that you will love to discover by scooter or bicycle if you are sporty!
  • Hippie market: there is a community of hippies that still live in Ibiza and you can see their art at the Dalias market. This hippie market is really cool to have a walk, have a lunch or drink and shop some jewels, clothes, decoration and other stuff.
  • Night life: Ibiza is the most famous place in the world for its crazy nights and parties. In fact you can feel the parties vibes anytime, day and night. On the beach you have plenty of bars where you can listen to really good music and dance, also in the car you can keep on partying because the music at the radio is excellent, and even our hotel was putting some cool music all day and a part of the night by the swimming-pool!

Playa las salinas

Cala d’Hort

Es Vedra

Cala Comte

Cala salada

Playa de ses illetes

5 beautiful calas or beach to enjoy in Ibiza:

  • Las Salinas: to get there you have to cross by walk a pine forest and you will discover a wild beach surrounded by dunes. Ok I said wild but you will not escape the chiruguitos with DJ mixing chill out music. The party is everywhere!
  • Cala d’hort: I advise you to park a bit before the cala and you will enjoy a fantastic view from the cliff overtaking the bay and see the fascinating island of Es Vedra. This pyramidal island is very special because it is considered as one of the most magnetic place in the world. What does it mean? Well this pyramidal island is the source of inspiration of many myth, legends and paranormal stories. Some say that this magnetic rock would attract aliens, upset compass, cause disorientation and even make disappear object and persons! Ahhaha. More seriously I really loved to have a picnic there and feel I am at the end of the world. And by night it is an incredible place to watch the stars!
  • Cala comte: this cala is just incredible for its transparent water! A must see.
  • Cala salada: a wild little cala that you will find after walking 5min. Very charming.
  • Playa de ses illetes: this is the beach you cannot miss if you go to Formentera!! It looks like a tropical beach that never ends.

Harbour of Ibiza

Sa Platgeta

Chiringuito Sunset Ashram

5 places to eat or take a drink in Ibiza:

  • Sa Vida: you will find this small and cute restaurant on the port of Ibiza town. It is a place for the gourmets that know where to eat well in Ibiza! If you want to taste their high quality tapas I highly advise you to book or you won’t be able to eat there! Address: Carrer del Bisbe Carrasco, 14, 07800 Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain
  • Bai Bai: it is another tapas place in Ibiza city where the people living there use to go. The best about this place is that the food is really delicious for a reasonable price. Address: Plaça sa Riba, 9, 07800 Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain
  • Sa Platgeta: is a tipical chiringuito hidden on the coast of Formentera. You should try their fried pulpo and their paellas! Address: Spagna, Camino de Can Simonet I, 3062, 07871, Spain
  • Chiringuito Sunset Ashram: this bar-restaurant is at Cala Comte and is fabulous for its panoramic view overtaking the coast. An advice: really do not go to Café del Mar, it has nothing special except its high price and rather go to the sunset ashram! Address: Carr. de Cala Conta, s/n, 07829 Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Islas Baleares, Spain
  • Blue Marlin: a very cool bar-disco to party on the beach! Address: Cala Jondal, s/n, 07800 Ibiza, Islas Baleares, Spain

 

I hope you will love your holidays in Ibiza! Bisous, Melissa ♡

Travel

10 things that expatriates feel when living abroad

mai 21, 2016

Do you dream to say F*** to your boss and quit everything to start a new adventure abroad? Well you know that the difference between dreams and reality is ACTION, right? First of all, you will need to be really brave to fight against the scare to leave your comfort zone and trust me this is hard because you always know what you loose, but you don’t know what you will get. It has been very tough for me to leave my country to follow my dream of starting a new chapter of my life abroad. Sometimes I have doubts about my future but anyway I really do not regret my decision because I am learning so much from this experience. If you finally take the decision to move abroad, you are going to live a very rich journey that will change who you are forever. As I was an expat child who was raised in a multicultural family, I have developed a strong curiosity to discover the world, meet new people and my lifestyle is driven by passion. The expat life will immerse you into a new culture; you will try new things, gain new skills, and get to know you better. In fact, you will experiment a rainbow of emotions and experiences; learning, improvising, dealing with the unexpected. So get prepared for this amazing new life and discover 10 things that expatriates feel when living abroad:

1.Lost

You feel especially lost when you live in a country where you do not speak the language and there is no way to communicate with people. When I lived in China, the simplest task like taking a taxi or ordering a meal at the restaurant was a huge challenge. And let’s not forget the paperwork that you have to manage when you arrive which can be a total distress moment ahah! But that’s part of the expat life and you will soon be amazed by your problem solving abilities! Your survival instinct will always guide you to find a solution.

2. Cultural shock

Each country has a different culture and is unique. You will experiment some cultural shocks that will surprise you; make you laugh or sometimes make you really mad. These cultural shocks are anyway good for you because you will learn a lot from them. They will open your mind and make you realise that the notion of normality doesn’t mean anything. You discover there are other ways of doing things, and after a while, you will surprise yourself embracing a new habit or belief. When I arrived in Spain, I was so surprised to see people putting olive oil instead of butter on their toast for the breakfast! I finally think it is not that disgusting (with a bit of jamon iberico) and even healthier. Your lifestyle is changing and this is cool, it means you are adapting.

3. Thrill

Starting a new life abroad is a thrilling project! Each day will surprise you since you are discovering a new culture, lifestyle, people and maybe a new language. You left your reassuring routine, many things are so different from your country and it is really exiting. Personally I am quite addicted to this feeling and this is precisely the reason why I particularly loved my expat life in Shanghai. Because the Chinese culture is an antipode to the occidental culture!

4. Disconnection

After living abroad for a while, you will have discussed with different people, adopted different habits, your opinions may have changed and you see your country and your past life with fresh new eyes and from an external point of view. You will start to follow closely the actuality in your new country and miss some news about your native country; your preoccupations are being different from your friends and family and feel sometimes too disconnected from their lives and your country. Sometimes I do not speak my mother tongue during one week or more and cannot even find my words when I speak with my relative from my home country. You will note that you do not speak your mother tongue in the same way and start to integrate some words used in the other language you practice. All this means that you are very well integrated in your new country.

5. Loneliness

♫ My loneliness is killing me ♪ !!!! Seriously, unlike when you study abroad, making new friends when you are an expat is not that easy and takes time. When you arrive to a new place, nobody is waiting for you and everybody has already its group of friends. So your integration will only depend on you! You have to make the first step if you want to meet people. One of my tips to meet people was to go to an institute to learn the language; it was a very good way to get to know other expatriates that are living the same situation. Then I got involved in expat blogs and forums such as expat.com, I finally met some of these people in the real life and they became one of my best friends! Although you meet a lot of new persons, they will not become immediately your friends and you will feel often alone and it is normal. You have to be patient.

Sometime, one of these new friends you made, that became like your “family” will go back home and you will feel really alone. In addition, keeping in touch with your friends or boy/girlfriend from your home country takes a lot of effort. You will feel that a gap is setting up between you and your friends due to the distance, the time difference but above all because you are not having the same life and sharing moments together anymore. And the most difficult is that they will not always understand or be always interested in your adventures because they are also busy building their own lives. Be humble, ask and listen about their life. Take the initiative to keep the contact through whataspp, messenger, facetime or skype.

6. Deception

Living abroad will not always be a happy journey. In fact, you may be very disappointed by your new job that is not that interesting, be heartbroken by your boy/girlfriend that you left at home and you will loose the contact with some friends because long distance relationships aren’t easy. You will notice that some friends are not contacting you anymore or don’t answer to your 1000 words emails because they are very busy and because it is such a pain to answer to a long email. Forgive them and anyway remember that you never loose a real friend. And after all, you are lazy and busy too and will certainly forget about their birthdays because you are quite disconnected.

7. Freedom

♫ So freeeee to do what you want to do ♪!! (I am a karaoke fan) When you will have organized your new life abroad, found a new home sweet home, met cool friends, work in something you wanted, you will have a great freedom feeling, being self-confident and proud of what you achieved. After having given up every thing in your country, your comfort, your security and made it work thousands of miles away from home… you feel like you’re capable of anything and it is true!

8. Guilty

Expatriates have no choice but to miss some big events happening in the life of their relatives. I have missed so many birthday parties, a bachelorette party, a baby shower, a wedding and felt terribly guilty not being able to come. I am afraid to disappoint for attending to my dad’s 60th birthday or going on a family trip instead a bachelorette party or wedding. However when you live abroad, it is impossible to attend to all the events for money and time reasons so you will have to prioritize and choose. The choice will be difficult and don’t look back after making your decision if you do not want to suffer too much.

9. Homesickness

This really depends on people, while serial expat got used to it, some persons can feel homesickness from the first day or after a while. One of the things that the expatriates use to miss is the relatives (especially at Christmas) and the food! As a French, I could kill ( not literally of course) for a plate of very smelly and creamy cheeses with a good wine from Bordeaux! There are so many little things you never thought you would miss and you would give anything to teleport home just for this whim (going to the cine to see a movie in VO from your country….). Sharing that feeling with an expat friend is very comforting and creates obviously a strong complicity because this person will understand you.

10. Different

In fact moving abroad has changed you, so it is normal if you feel different. You will realize this when you go back home and everything looks the same. Flying back home always gave me the strange feeling of regressing and this why I have always been attracted by an international lifestyle. And your best friends will be foreigners or big travellers.

Living abroad is the opportunity to be alone with yourself and you are the only responsible of your happiness and integration. Don’t expect that going far away is the solution to solve your biggest problems. But it will open your mind, enlarge your horizon, you will discover new passions, perhaps learn a new language and make your feel more confident.

However I have lived in 4 countries, I feel confused when I have to answer to the existential question: where are you from? “Well its complicated you know, born in Bordeaux, but I lived in Toulouse, Indonesia, then Ireland, Paris, China and now I’m in Spain!” So what do you think about this mess? Bisous, Melissa ♡

 

 

 

Travel

5 reasons to discover Senegal

avril 17, 2016
discover Senegal

When leaving Senegal, we were already thinking to buy new tickets to see all the treasures of this country that we did not have the time to discover! Senegal is not a « trendy » destination compared to Australia, Mexico or Thailand and it seems that many people feel scared to travel in Africa due to Ebola, terrorist threats and I don’t know what other reasons… However Senegal is a great place to visit for travelers with wanderlust genes. If you too guys, were born to travel, always searching for something new and different to see, you should be interested in visiting Senegal! To all the open-minded travelers hungry to explore the world, I am sharing with you pictures of my favorite places and moments in Senegal and telling you 5 good reasons why you should discover Senegal.

Saint-louis senegalsenegalbush senegalpirogue senegalsavannah senegalthumb_DSC_0215_1024fruits senegallangue de barbarie senegalwax senegalsenegal birdstieboudienne senegalbaobab senegalpeul senegallangue de barbarie senegaldiscover Senegalsenegal duneparrot senegalsaline senegal

Here are 5 good reasons why you should discover Senegal:

Culture

Senegal has not only a unique culture, but also unforgettable sites that give a real change of scenery. You will also be chocked by its strong history marked by slavery, commemorated on the Gorée Island that has been the center of the slave trade in Africa. You will be inevitably seduced by its picturesque markets, its music, dances and fascinated by the marabout culture… all these reasons are making this destination a perfect introduction to Africa.

Colorful

One of the things I love about Senegal is that it is a very colorful country. From the beautiful dresses in wax of the women to the paintings on the pirogues or on the legendary « car rapides », you will be impressed by the mosaic of colors and the patterns that illuminate the landscapes. Art is everywhere!

Peaceful

This is an important point: contrary to what people believe; it is safe country and I really appreciated the teranga spirit (welcoming spirit), coolness and sense of humor of the Senegalese. In fact, Senegal remains a stable democracy and is a good example of peaceful inter-religious and ethnic coexistence.

Wild

From the lush delta of Casamance to the Sahel savannah, the country is still wild and adventurers will really enjoy all the outdoor activities that Senegal can propose. The coastline attracts those that enjoy sunbathing and surfers will have a good time on its waves. Personally I loved being in the bush because of its magic atmosphere and the landscapes with its majestic baobab trees are breathtaking. Quad biking in the desert and rolling down the dunes is also so much fun! Natural parks such as Djoudj are amazing, rich in all kinds of birds and others wild animals; and let’s not forget the pink lake that is a wonder of nature.

Food

Trust me, you should definitely taste the Senegalese cuisine, which is one of the best and most varied of West Africa. The traditional recipes offer a multitude of flavors such as the thieboudienne of fish that is the national dish, the succulent chicken yassa (the recipe is available here), mafé of beef, bissap juice (hibiscus juice) and even the peanuts are the best I have ever eaten in all my life!

Bisous, Melissa ♡