Last month I had the privilege of writing a piece for Villa 88 Magazine (@villa88magazine) on some of my greatest travels and potential winter destinations I’d recommend and never got around to sharing! A 6 page spread which had me geeking out and in awe of how good it looked haha

A little about Villa 88, “conceived by leading businesswoman Asma Al Fahim, Villa 88 answers the demands of Emirati ladies for the highest quality inside information on the finest luxury fashion, jewellery, beauty and spa, home and travel in the Middle East and beyond. One of the region’s most exclusive lifestyle magazine, beautifully produced and hand-delivered to an elite target group, consisting of the Emirates’ most discerning and prominent women.” 

Super proud and honoured and can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy so mama can see and feel proud too lolol you know how this story goes x magazine images below followed by the actual piece so you can have a read!

Enjoy! xx

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Vienna, Austria

Vienna during the holidays is just as magical and enchanting as it feels during the rest of the year. Truly a quintessential European feel to the city with beautiful architecture and culture around every corner, Vienna for me was slightly more elegant in nature than any other European city I’ve traveled to. It’s also very accessible on foot or by metro which makes life a little bit easier. Visiting the museum and National Library even just to see the gorgeous interiors is worth the visit; the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Art History Museum) is home to the most beautiful café I have ever come across. St. Stephens Cathedral is open to the public and in the middle of the town square so you can’t miss it. Schonbrunn Palace was once the imperial summer residence and requires at least half a day to tour the beautiful grounds and envision what life for Empress Elizabeth must have looked like once upon a time. Don’t miss out on the stunning Karlskirche Church both during the day and evening for a mesmerising reflection which will leave you in awe!

Kigali, Rwanda

When most people think of Rwanda, the genocide of 1994 is what immediately comes to mind; questions of safety and how developed the infrastructure might be cloud your judgement and you end up dismissing it as a potential destination. Don’t be one of those people! Rwanda has been named the safest country in Africa and known for its breathtaking scenery. Often called ‘land of a thousand hills’, it stays true to its name. To best experience this for yourself, why not walk across the largest canopy walk in all of East Africa, 200 meters long and165 feet high over the lush greenery of Nyungwe Forest National Park; if you’re lucky you might even get a glimpse of the beautiful wildlife soaring between the trees. Scared of heights but love animals?! Gorilla trekking at Volcano National Park is most definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can visit these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. Home to approximately 17 different groups of mountain gorillas, conservation efforts of the park are truly to be commended in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the gorillas. With tea being the largest export of Rwanda, a visit to Gisakura tea estate is a must. Learn about the history and process behind our nations favorite drink and help pick out the perfect leaf! Remember, 3-leaves is key!

Karachi, Pakistan

As my trip to Karachi was a short one, I wanted to experience as much of the country and culture as possible! From beautiful clothing, to trying fresh samosas on the side of the road, to riding camels on Clifton Beach, I have to say we did well! The food in Karachi was amazing but there’s definitely a risk of you getting ill if you eat from some of the roadside stalls – this is obviously something recurrent regardless of where you travel, but you have been forewarned! I got a bit of a stomach bug from eating anything and everything, but would do it all over again because it was THAT good! I recommend trying the Haleem (lamb and lentil stew), samosas, jalebi, paratha, tea; try it all and I promise you won’t regret it! For more of a sit down meal, Kolachi is the place to go; traditional Pakistani cuisine in an open air restaurant right by the beach is a perfect way to end any night.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal was my very first solo-travel destination and a forever favorite. Perfect for backpackers, a group of friends wanting to do some trekking, or anyone interested in going off-the-beaten path. After being hit by an earthquake in 2015, many historical monuments and temples were destroyed and much of the city continues to be under reconstruction, however there is still so much to discover and experience from this country so rich in culture! Start off in Kathmandu, the capital city, for a taste of the hustle bustle on crowded streets amongst street vendors, cows, tourists, and the never ending honking of cars. Visit Patan Durbar Square where you’ll find the freshest (and best) samosas and fried cabbage fritters wrapped in newspaper. Swayambhu Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa are an uphill climb, but the view from up top is completely worth it. Views of the Himalayas and Everest can be seen from Nagarkot, and be sure to catch sunrise from the roof of Peaceful Cottage Hotel for the best view! No trip to Nepal would be complete without a 7hour bus ride through the winding hills, (on a dual-carriageway which should really only be a single road) to Pokhara which is usually the starting point for Everest base camp. Pokhara is much quieter and calmer than Kathmandu and is a great place to perhaps wind down near the end of your trip. Take a canoe ride on Lake Pewa, or paraglide over the Annapurna Valley, the choice is yours!

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is ‘Seoul’ cool! The city had all my favorite things at once, street food, fashion, vintage clothing shops, endless Korean skincare, and cute socks, what more could you ask for?! The metro is extremely convenient and the ticket machines easily translate to English which is great! Culturally, the city boasts a little bit of something for everyone. Whether you want to stroll through the traditional houses of Bukchon Hanok Village, rent a Hanbok (Korean Traditional Dress) and step back in time at Gyeoungbokgung Palace marvelling at the intricate architecture and sternness of the palace guards, or stop by a food truck at Common Grounds as you watch a break-dancing show, there is always something new to experience. My absolute favorite is the Myeongdong district, best known for its shopping, nightlife, and food. Neon lights and shopfronts shine brightly bringing the street to life, the smell of various street delicacies wafting through the air. Octopus anyone?!