Mumbai was one of those secret ‘don’t tell mum until you’re back’ kind of trips, only because I’d just got back from Nepal a couple weeks prior and mum had gone through the routine ‘okay you’re back now chill out for a bit and save some money’ spiel so you get my drift yea?!

India’s always been on my list but I swore to never go alone or in a group of girls what with it being blasted in the media at one point about female travellers being attacked etc etc etc. and if I went it would be to see the Taj first, but things don’t always work out they way you’d like them to do they lol one visa rejection later plus multiple counts of stressing, we were off to Mumbai for 3 days!

I introduce to you Ms. Amani and Ms. Julie, two lovelies with whom I work with, and bloody 3 days in Mumbai being Julie’s mad idea lol but its them random ones that make you glad you went for it isn’t it!


We nearly missed our connecting flight in Dubai (I’ve never had to run for a flight til this point, thanks guys!) but landed in the morning which gave us ample time to go out and about. I don’t tend to have expectations about places when I travel, just the expectation within myself to make the most of everything and not regret any experience lol BUT Mumbai wasn’t the glitz and glamour Bollywood makes it out to be, from what I experienced anyways, which to be fair was only 3 days so maybe my opinion doesn’t count lol but I would go back for sure and stay no more than 5days tops just because that’s a fair bit of time to get through the city.

If I was to go again I’d prefer to use the trains and local transport to make my way around but traveling solo is always different to when you’re with travel buddies, each having its pros and cons and being a good time in their own way lol but this time around we found a lovely taxi driver who stuck it out with us during the day and took rickshaws about during the evening.

Places we visited:

-Gateway of India *built during the 20th century to commemorate King George and Queen Mary when they visited in 1911 [thanks google!] It’s right by the famous Taj hotel as well!

-Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station *the influence of the British is super prevalent in terms of architecture at the station itself and its surrounding area which makes you feel as though you’re not in India at all! double decker buses as well lol and a clock tower which I can’t help but guess is meant to mimic Big Ben?!

-Haji Ali Dargah *This is a beautiful white masjid literally in the middle of the water so it looks like an island itself. You’ve got to walk across a bridge on the water to get to it but its only accessible when the tide is low. We planned to stop and read juma there (I really really really wanted to!) but the tide was high that day so legit no-one was able to get to it and those already at the masjid were basically stranded!

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-Mahalakshmi Temple *eep jasmine flower garlands and lotus blossoms make me happy x

-Mount Mary Church *Roman Catholic Basilica which was neat to see!

-Dhobi Ghat *this is essentially the largest outdoor laundromat I’ve ever seen! (which is also what it is! lawl)

-Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum *Gandhi’s headquarters for a bit and where he lived for a bit I believe!

-Juhu Beach *super dirty beach but when in Rome…! we went in the evening which was an experience itself! Loads of families out and street food being sold alongside toys and trinkets, henna being done (which we did!), and just a super cool vibe which I loved!

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Shopping: *not a fan of malls/shopping centres when abroad so markets, souqs, bazaars, whatever you want to call them are right down me alley!

-Crawford Market

-Chor Bazaar

-Colaba Causeway

-Linking Road

Food:

Food wise, I have to say Nepal still takes the cake for best samosas! I was really gunning for Indian samosas being the one lol but again 3 days maybe didn’t allow for the best judgement to be made! Butter chicken and naan bread was essentially my staple for the 3 days *eyeroll* but it’s my fave! Masala chai from street vendors and potato dosas were also consumed and gained points lol I admit one thinks twice when consuming street food in certain places due to hygiene and cleanliness etc. but meh. everyone else seems to survive just fine no?! I wouldn’t recommend mangoes that have been sitting in the heat though..I didn’t listen (sorry Amani) and thought my insides had survived the worst so what’s a bit of fruit…nahhhhh! never again lol

Incase you haven’t gathered from the photos thus far, it’s kinda sorta impossible to not catch people in your photos because there are literally people everywhere lol but it’s all part of the experience! I’d definitely go back again, maybe take mum as an apology lol but it was beautiful just being immersed in a completely different culture and peoples  with all the noise and smells and madness that came with it!

No matter where in the world life takes you or you travel to, it’s always the people you end up meeting or travel with who can kinda sorta make or break a part of your experience! Alhamdulillah for good company and having endless jokes and laughter and just going with the flow! Ended up in Dubai for half a day on the way back which was more than enough time for dinner, a fountain show, and a bit of a shop so yay! Not too shabby for 3 days if I do say so meself! xoxo

I had other plans for this Zara dress, something along the lines of massive turban, rolled up sleeves and trainers, maybe some denim?! but then the lovely Manal (@chinutay) sent me a few scarves from her collection (@chinutayco) (which are oh so beautiful by the way!) and I got super excited to put something together as an excuse to wear one *insert shy monkeyface emoji*

This is actually the first time I’ve ever been gifted or sent scarves by a brand/company, and maybe rightfully so because I’m quite particular with what goes on my head in terms of material, length etc. haha but eep, these are perfect! They’ve got the right amount of stretch and more than enough material to work with! Manal’s packaging is also super cute and personalized with a handwritten message and sprayed with her signature scent which smells divine mashallah x Haven’t experimented using them as turbans yet but uber excited to do so! I’ve got ‘Jaipur’ on me head which had me reminiscing about a recent trip to India which led to me going through photos, prompting a sit down of a potential Mumbai post coming at you real soon inshallah! xoxo

P.S – THE DRESS HAS POCKETS GUYS!


Mama took the cake for the number of opinions she had on this look [“what bone did you break?” “you look like a mummy” “I don’t like your shoes” “why are you wearing a bandage” etc etc etc!] but I kinda sorta loved it! I’ve been wanting to sport an overlay piece on top of a button down for a while but felt super weird and meh whenever I tried them on, not to mention uncomfortable and too layer-ish lol but woke up one morning and said meh. Just do it #nike #notsponsored . Tried an alternate turban look for this one, and totally felt uncomfortable and a tad weird at first [because of the overlay not the turban lol] but promise I embraced it! Thought I’d share and inspire even one of y’all to not give a rats bum and try something that might be outside of your comfort zone because life’s too short to not try new things isn’t it?!

 

Shirt: H&M

Overlay: Zara

Skirt: Zara

Flats: Zara

Earrings: H&M

Bag: Chloe

The lovelies at Azha and I had a bit of a giveaway going for Eid for one lucky duck to win their entire Tahseen bangle collection. I received some beautiful necklaces from them a while back when they first started (the camel one is my fave!) so didn’t doubt the quality and beauty of these pieces at all! and dang son! What a neat concept and vision to bring to life! Each bangle represents the sound waves of the 3 Quls, the last three suras in the Quran, acting as a reminder of faith and protection from God. The Gold depicts sura Al-Ikhlas, Silver Al-Nass, and Rose Gold Al-Falaq. They’re made of stainless steel plated with 18k gold, and come in one size [adjustable]. I think they’d make such a thoughtful gift for loved ones in your life, for a graduation or any occasion really because remembrance of God’s presence is a constant init?!

Be sure to check them out online here and follow them on instagram for updates and future giveaways!

How beautiful is this marbled liliaiya piece?! I’ve been in love with their designs for ages and have kinda sorta rinsed a piece from a previous collection, so was super excited when this came through the post! It’s one of those pieces which exude a unique chicness and can be dressed both up or down; I’m thinking skinny denim, red trousers, even a foil print skirt?! Definitely check them out here and find them on instagram (@liliaiyastudio)  Thank you lovelies! xoxo