A Saturday not too long ago with my best friends in a small blue car, zipping through the English countryside.Read More
I've picked up this camera and find it so hard to put it down
yet these seasons of creating come and go
as rapidly as the need to reinvent,
start over again.
Cycle in, around and out
I haven't cycled in a long time so getting on a bike in a foreign city felt so exhilarating, especially since we were only allowed to cycle on the roads and not the walkway; Big vehicles like trucks and vans on the road were an uncommon sight so that put us at ease. We sought help at a local bike shop who told us that there were a few routes you can take depending on what you wanted to do/see: Cycle east along the riverside until you reach Porto's beaches or crossing the Ponte Luiz bridge and cycling along Av. de Diogo Leitte in the same direction till you reach here (also, pictured below)
Stop at: Taberna do Sao Pedro for post-cycle seafood lunch
What I'd kill for some good seafood in Europe that isn't going to break the bank. We were told to eat at this seafood restaurant that served really good (and fresh!) seafood for a decent price and so we decided to make a pit stop on our way back. Be prepared to wait for about an hour, though I promise you — It'll be worth it.
Don't miss walking across the Ponte Luiz Bridge
Take a train out of Porto to Braga — for 6 euros a person, we set out of Porto to Braga. The architecture was breathtaking and it is one of the oldest cities in Portugal. One of the landmarks we didn't get to see due to time constraints was the renowned Bom Jesus Do Monte, which is a pilgrimage site for many after it was built in 1722 (I know, ancient right?) and what makes it such a must-see place in Braga is its 116 meter high baroque stairway — see it for yourself here
On a whim, we booked three tickets to a quiet town in the South of Portugal during Easter break to "get away from it all"
We booked a cosy studio apartment on Airbnb in the heart of Porto at Rua De Estavao, and that set us off close to nothing for five nights. Airbnb's in Porto is significantly cheaper than other European countries i've visited, but mostly because it is a small town in itself. After a grueling (if y'all witnessed it go down on my IG stories, then y'all know) journey from home — Liverpool St. Stn — Stansted airport, we made it in sunny oporto! The weather was brilliant (22 degrees!) and it just felt like a breath of fresh air to get out of the city.
To be honest, i'm a little terrified of travelling around Europe so before we decided on Porto I asked around to see if it was safe for three girls to be travelling around Portugal. Everyone who replied my facebook post said that it was very safe and people around were friendly so that made me ease up a bit. But really, there's something about Porto that just seems so lighthearted and joyous.
We played the next few days by ear and it turns out that sometimes not planning may just be the best plan of it all. We went cycling along the riverside through a sleepy fishing village, sat on top of rocks at the farthest point out in Porto and watched the waves crash onto the shore, unexpectedly found one of the best Italian restaurants on our last night (still craving for that pesto btw) and still appreciated the girly nights cringe-watching The Bachelor. Porto was not what I had expected it to be at all, nope. I expected to be bombarded with loads of things to do with too little time, expensive food and shopping. But everything unpacked itself nicely throughout this trip, whether it was craving Italian and finding the best Pesto pasta in the world or weaving through a motorbike convention with our bicycles in a foreign town.
National dish of Porto is a Francesinha but somehow it didnt sit right with what i was craving for during the trip so we didn't have any. Finding a restaurant to have a meal in Porto is tricky (to me) because you never know what to expect. However, I found that the best way was to google search the cuisine you feel like eating or even Tripadvisor. TA saved our lives so many times during this trip because we were constantly spoilt for choice with the insane amount of restaurants that were around but we wanted the BEST!
Puro 4050 — Good pasta, nice alfresco dining experience and the price tag was decent for the quality of food we got
A Despensa — Best pesto pasta ever (you can literally taste how fresh both the pasta and the pesto were), Pricey but worth it! Our total bill came up to 50 euros for 3 people at the end of the night but we walked home feeling SO satisfied
Hope to explore more parts of Portugal (Lison!) soon but for now, it's back to London.
Waist Belt Pouch from Rebecca Minkoff via Shopbop, Dress from Finders Keepers Via FSHNBKR, Jacket from Pomelo Fashion, Boots from Mango via Zalora
The gloomy winter days have finally subsided, with the sun setting later than it normally should and the streets littered with these delicate petals all around. Everyone seems happier to be alive these days, lesser grouchy faces walking around and a little baby on the train actually held my hand for the whole of my journey on the Tube. It's the little things. Or maybe that kiddo just wanted to reach for my phone.
The glorious sun was out last week, pouring and shining over every square inch of earth it could reach. The whole of London was out on picnic blankets with glasses of bubbly in hand. I take these moments for granted sometimes, and I never fully appreciate how beautiful the earth really is. I never used to be a morning person but these days i find it so easy to wake up when the sun creeps through my blinds to kiss me awake. I hope this routine sticks with me, since my little break from school is almost over. This semester we're finally working on a brief i'm actually excited to get started on — creating our own publication!
And speaking of magazines, my latest venture into the digital art scene is live on Swee Zine! Nicole and I are very excited to grow this little seedling of ours, in hopes of developing the arts scene back home in Singapore. Get in touch if you'd like to contribute! X
In celebration of the glorious changing of seasons, treat yourself to a shopping spree on Shopbop with their Spring Sale, with discounts off many renowned labels.
(Maybe it's time to get another pair of Supergas, my white pair is starting to fall apart again!)
Sale ends at 11:59PM Pacific Time (Los Angeles), Friday 4/14.
Check out Shopbop for the full details of the excluded brands
Simply cart out with "Event17" to get 20% off US$200 and US$25 off US$500 off full priced AND sale items*
It is officially Easter Break here which means two things: A month long break away from school & submissions and lots of time for me to #hustle. I wish it meant that I could hop on a plane home, like everyone else, but I figured if I held out a little while longer... it'd be more worth flying home for a month in the Summer. Thinking about that, I recall talking to friends about when I'd come home next and boy am I eating my words so hard right now when I said I wouldn't miss home so I won't be home until Christmas break. This was before flying, of course. Only an overly ambitious emotional wreck like me would overestimate my mental capacity to be away from the comfort of home and family for so long.
I shot these images one (rare) beautiful sunny afternoon after class with my Marta near Shepherds Bush. Maybe it was just me, jinxing the day by proclaiming of its goodness, but it was the same day I got my sunglasses snatched. For everyone who did not see my rant on my stories — I got it back! But not until i chased those twerps (read: twelve year old boys) around the park. I will admit that I was indeed quite upset about the incident, but not because i almost lost a pair of sunglasses. My best friends from home bought me that pair for my last birthday celebration together and it held a special sentimental value to it. And as cheesy as it sounds, it was one of my only connections to those friendships back home. I felt so small in such a huge city and even after screaming my lungs out for help no one bothered to even bat an eyelash.
As much as London has made me more independent than I already am, I find that it has made me a lonelier person. Perhaps it's just my nostalgic self constantly revisiting old memories wishing I could relive them, but there's something about being here that makes you feel alone. (It must be the gloomy weather, I'm sure) I do miss being able to call out friends for drinks on a whim, and knowing exactly where to go and how long it'll take to get there. As you move abroad, you start to feel like friends have move ahead in their lives without you. Perhaps in some instances... it's true, but most of the time it's in your head. Life goes on and it stops for no one so your best option is to flow along with it and those who matter will stay in your life, regardless. I find that it's always very reassuring when my friends from home make the time and effort to call/text/comment and they don't know it but it means the world to me. Sometimes, life will surprise you and offer you new friendships that will make you glad you moved abroad. I have those moments all the time.
Distance is a bitch but friendships (and relationships) are stronger than that. Even long-distance relationships. Oh, don't get me started on that. My long-distance relationship has seen it rear its ugly head far too many times but at the end of the day it boils down to how much two people want to be together. And for Nic and myself, we definitely do. So if you're ever considering doing long distance the question is: is this relationship worth it? If it is, then don't ever look back.
But then I learnt that being alone isn't such a bad thing after all. In fact, most of my time spent alone is doing things that make me happy. Whether it's cooking to — or attempting to— recreate my favourite food from home or buying bouquets of flowers to cheer up my space. It's the little things, really. Through all these moments of solitude have I finally, after twenty-three years of existence, come to terms with a lot of my demons, my fears and my flaws. I wouldn't say that i'm over it but I know i'm getting there.
On a final note, I've been receiving lots of Insta DMs with questions on living/studying/being in London so I thought it would be nice to compile a list of them to write a post about it. So, if you have a question on what it's like to live/study in London, comment below or drop me an email at email@example.com