St. Petersburg, Russia. 4


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.














Always be kind.


How to Take Perfect Travel Photos.


There’s only so much you can physically leave with from your travels. And I think that’s why photography was invented! 🙂

You see, pictures are not only personal memories that will last a lifetime, but also make amazing stories that you will be able to share with friends and family for a pretty long time…like your grandchildren will also sit down to listen to them one day.

And that’s why you need to make sure that you capture as much as you possibly can in each frame. Below are a few simple guidelines that should help you do just that:

1. Where?

Outdoors definitely. Hotel rooms and bathroom selfies don’t make for interesting stories at all. Scout for locations that make the best, authentic and beautiful backdrops. Someone should be able to tell where you are from what you’ve captured.

2. What?

Now, this refers to the atmosphere and subjects/objects that you’ll be capturing. Try to include as much as you can in your frame so as to compliment the main subject.

3. When?

I personally love pictures taken in the middle of the day because that’s when natural light is at it’s best. Sunrises and sunsets are also good for those who love playing around with the concept of light and shadows. I don’t like the in-betweens though.

4. Who?

For those travelling solo, as I do most of the time, you’ll need to ask someone to take a picture of you. That’s after you’ve spotted the location, background and all that jazz so that you can quickly let them know how you want the picture to appear.

5. Click!

Now watch me whip! Now watch me nae nae! 🙂 I couldn’t help myself… 😮 Have fun at it and don’t forget to take in and enjoy every moment!

Always be kind.


St. Petersburg, Russia. 3


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! 🙂
























Always be kind.


St. Petersburg, Russia. 2


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! 🙂














Always be kind.


Travel Essentials.


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.


St. Petersburg, Russia. 1


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. 🙂


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



The Kazan Cathedral.


DSC01150 20150627_194746

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.



Matryoshka dolls, most popular Russian souvenirs.



St. Petersburg has some pretty cool metro stations.




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


Always be kind.


Solo Travel: Pros & Cons.


I’ve been on the road travelling solo for a couple of days now and it’s safe to say that this is quickly becoming my favourite way to see new places.

Let’s get straight to the pros then, shall we?

1. Total freedom.

No compromise. I really love the fact that I can change my mind/itinerary as many times in a day as I want and not have to worry about inconveniencing a travel partner.

2. More interaction with locals and others with similar interests.

Hence cultural exchange. It comes automatically. You become more approachable to others and since you’re alone, you sorta have to initiate conversations as well to ask for directions, recommendations etc.

3. You make more friends.

Most of the people you’ll come into contact with are definitely sailing in the same boat as you are and similar interests are a great base to friendships.

4. An opportunity to spoil yourself.

Who doesn’t love travel? Invest in yourself every once in a while. Go someplace nice and treat yourself to whatever you want. The kind of fulfilment you’ll get is worth so much more than what you could ever get from somebody else.

5. Personal growth.

When you’re on the road, alone, you automatically find yourself reflecting on life. The kind of paths you want to take. What impact you want to make to society. What your purpose is in life. This is a journey of self discovery and at the end of each trip you’ll have learnt so much about what makes you happy and what exactly you should be pursuing and dedicating your time to.

Now, onto the cons:

1. The blues.

There are going to be days (minutes rather) when you’ll wish that you were home at the comfort of more familiar streets and people. But that soon goes away as you begin to realise that those are the same reasons you decided to leave and look for adventure in the first place.

2. Pervs take advantage.

I hate this part.

3. You pay more.

For accommodation, activities and pretty much everything else. You see, when you have a travel partner there’s the “split-costs” option that allows both of you to get more for less.  Also, people in the service industry love groups. They see groups and see more profit. They see a solo traveller and see, well, not so much. And no one gives discounts to “not so much”. 😦

4. Exhaustion.

I love to walk. Especially when I’m alone. And I love seeing as many places in a day as I can. So when you put these two together, you have yourself a girl who struggles to get out of bed on by every fourth day in a new location! Like literally. On these days I’m almost always just having my meals in bed and watching movies. 🙂

5. I can’t think of any more cons.

I guess it’s just that good! 🙂

Always be kind.


Solo Travel: Who Takes Your Photos?


If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question…

I do enjoy strolling and discovering new places by myself. And even though I don’t have a sent-from-above dedicated photographer wrapped around my finger or anything, I still manage to get a couple of candid images of the place and myself in the frame as well.

After sharing my pictures on social media (just Instagram really 🙂 ), a couple of people have been impressed and ask:

 “So who takes your photos?”

My answers…

1. Friends.

Whether I’ve just met you, or known you for years, if we’re out together and I spy a photo op, chances are you’ll be playing photographer that day.

2. Strangers.

You’ll be surprised by how nice people actually are if only you talked to them. No one will ever turn you down if you ask them to take a picture of you. Some will even strike up a conversation with you. And then there are those who’ll ask you out…

3. By myself.

Thanks to the inventors of the self-timer! 🙂 Out of all the 3 ways in which I take my pictures, this has got to be the one with the most satisfying results since I get to dictate the angles, composition and pretty much everything else that goes into it. And since I’m patient enough, I’ll end up taking multiple photos until I’m satisfied with the results. If I want to be in the picture, I just find a nice surface nearby, place my camera on it, set the self-timer, run into the frame and CLICK! I shattered my screen once doing this. Apparently the breeze was stronger than I’d anticipated that day and it swept my phone down a concrete stairway. I remember thinking, “Thank God the lens is fine!” Ha! 🙂

Always be kind.


Solo Travel: My 5 Biggest Concerns.


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.