St. Petersburg, Russia. 4

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Remember that time I took a trip to St. Petersburg? Well, there’s one more day that I haven’t shared with you yet. The last day.

I decided to save the best for last and visit the Peterhof Palace just before I left. Peterhof is an immensely luxurious royal estate that lies on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Founded by Peter the Great, the entire place is filled with beautiful fountains, statues, palaces and gardens.

I got there in the evening because it’s always scorching hot at midday during summer. No one told me though, that the fountains only work up to 5pm. So with only 10 minutes left, I hurriedly paid for my ticket (I think it cost about 5 USD), walked through security and found my way to the grand fountains. Oh, it was magnificent! Even with the few minutes that I had left, I still managed to admire the amazing show from a very strategic place.

After 5, I strolled down to the Baltic Sea, which starts at the foot of the Lower Gardens. It was all so serene. They say you could spot Finland on the other side. I did see a landmass, but I’m not quite sure if that was indeed Finland.

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Always be kind.

Dee.

St. Petersburg, Russia. 3

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I’m not quite sure how I feel about museums. Unless they’re the outdoor kind. Then in that case I love them. Indoor museums?? Not so much.

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is really hyped so since it was literally 300m from where I was staying, I just couldn’t ignore it.

I got there at around 11 a.m, bought my ticket for slightly more than 10 USD and headed in. I met another girl, from California, who was also travelling solo. She was trying to find someone who spoke English to help her get a ticket.

She was such lively company. We ended up touring the museum together and later on explored the city into the night.

My favourite part about The Hermitage would have to be the intricate interior design. Loved the architecture. And the sculptures.

The museum itself is really huge and even though we were inside for almost four hours, we only covered one floor. The first one. It’s the one with the most interesting art! 🙂

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Always be kind.

Dee.

St. Petersburg, Russia. 2

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Day 2 in Petersburg. Enjoyed every single minute of it. I’d booked a boat cruise for 2pm the previous day thinking that I’d make it but boy was I wrong. I got caught up exploring the city with a new friend that by the time we were heading down to the pier, it was almost 6pm! 😮

The lovely ladies at the booking office rescheduled my ticket to 6pm (I thought they were gonna make me pay for another one) and my new friend also got a ticket.

Lesson learnt: Don’t plan out activities in advance when on holiday. Be random and live in the moment. It’s much more fun that way.

Upside: I got company for the cruise! 🙂

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Always be kind.

Dee.

Travel Essentials.

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If you know me well enough then you know how much I love being on the go. Like literally. Flights, train rides, bus rides, you name it. So long as I’m covering miles, I’m happy! 🙂

In today’s post I thought I should share with you a couple of things that are always with me as I travel:

1. Purse.

I’ve had this pretty beige one for more than two years now. What I love most about it is that it has all these little slots inside that make it easy for me to store a number of things like paper money, coins, cards, passport photos, sim cards and any other necessary bits and bobs.

2. Headphones.

Another item that I’ve had for more than two years now. I got this set of headphones as a gift from my sister and I’ve been using them all the time. Pick good quality ones if you don’t want to deal with really bad headaches later.

3. Watch.

I can’t stress enough how much you need this on you. You can’t rely on your phone much, especially if you’re going to be crossing time zones because you’ll get stranded if it doesn’t automatically update.

4. Comfy clothes.

When traveling you need clothes that feel as comfortable as your PJs but also presentable. I always go for a t-shirt, jumper, tracksuit bottoms and a pair of strappy sandals. I also, always, carry a warm pair of socks with me that I change into once my trip starts.

5. Neck pillow.

And a pair of ear plugs, a sleep mask and basic toiletry to freshen up if the journey is going to be a long one.

Always be kind.

Dee.

St. Petersburg, Russia. 1

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First day in St. Petersburg was amazingly relaxing. I checked into Cuba Hostel at 7 in the morning. Despite its central location, the place was average and so was the staff in terms of hospitality. After freshening up, I went out for breakfast at a cafe nearby then I took a walk around the neighbourhood.

I spotted a number of popular tourist locations in Petersburg within a short span of time. Perks of living at the city center. 🙂

It’s hard not to fall in love with the vibes in this city. The architecture, the people, the atmosphere. Everything! ❤

I also met some pretty friendly people right from the first day. My favourite was this cute guy who jumped into my frame and held up a peace sign ready for a picture as I was trying to get a shot of some building. He had a really gorgeous smile. 🙂

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That’s St. Issac’s Cathedral at the background.

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The Kazan Cathedral.

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The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.

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Matryoshka dolls, most popular Russian souvenirs.

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St. Petersburg has some pretty cool metro stations.

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I’m a sucker for yummy, pretty looking smoothies. 🙂

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Always be kind.

Dee.

Solo Travel: My 5 Biggest Concerns.

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Now that I have finished my exams and have 3 full months of summer ahead of me, I’ve been writing lists. Lists of things I want to do, places I want to go, lots and lots of lists of stuff I’d love to accomplish before starting my 5th year of med school come September.

More than half of the things on my “lists” are or have something to do with travelling to places…alone. Why alone? Well, thing is, I’ve always enjoyed my independence since starting university (especially it being abroad), and so I tend to prefer doing things that I want to do, and at my own pace.

If there’s one thing that would mess up a good trip is being tied down to someone else’s schedule, or them to yours. It just kills the fun in travel.

Ok, now about this post. As I’ve mentioned, summer’s here and travel is the theme! 🙂 Haha, does that even make sense? Anywhos, I’m gonna be taking my first solo trip in a couple of weeks and as much as I’m excited about it, I’m super freaked out as well.

My head’s been filled with all these crazy scenarios that have made me postpone the trip over and over again. These are what I’m talking about:

1. What if I find myself in harm’s way?

Having watched a million crime documentaries, trust me to be afraid of even the slightest gust of wind. I still wonder why I haven’t bought myself some pepper spray already. But then my heart’s like, “Come on. You’ll be fine.”

2. What if I get lonely?

As someone who thrives in solitude, I can’t understand how this question keeps popping up in my mind. Perhaps, I’m just afraid of having to adjust to a new environment alone. I don’t know. We’ll see.

3. Medical emergencies?

Accidents happen all the time. And if I’ve been able to stay safe at home, I should be fine anywhere else. I hope.

4. What if I get lost?

I’m fine with getting lost in the morning. I see that as an opportunity for some adventure and exploration. Problem is getting lost in the evening, with no taxi numbers to call, and no public transport around to hop onto. Now, that scares me.

5. What if it isn’t as good as I expected?

Yeah, this too. Though I highly believe it might depend on my mood that day. I just hope it won’t be a case of, “Oh, ok. So that’s the beach. I guess we’re done here.” That would be such a waste of energy and resources. If only I was assured of rushing adrenaline the whole time.

As much as my head’s trying it’s best to alert me of possible threats, my whole heart just wants to be set free, and wander away. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. 🙂

Always follow your heart. You learn from the experiences in your life, whether good or bad. If you don’t take the leap of faith, you will never learn. And you will never grow.

Always be kind.

Dee.