2018 – The Year I Change My Life

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Hello. Anyone still there?

So, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, or put any time into Stories From, but things are going to be changing around here soon and I can’t wait to show you what I’m working on.  I decided 2018 was the year I was going to change my life.

Don’t tell people your dreams, SHOW them – James Altucher


So I’m going to show you my dreams. The plan is to relaunch on the 24th September – which happens to be my 30th Birthday!!! I hope you’ll be there, things are going to be crazy between now and then… but that’s the plan I’m working towards.

I’m telling you this now because it makes me accountable.  I’m telling you this now because you can make 2018 the year you change your life too. There is still time. There is no magic formula. You just have to decide and act. Small changes every day.  Small movements every day. I read this great blog post from James Altucher recently about 1% changes and how 1% can make a huge difference. I’m working on my 1%. 

Let’s get to work.

I’ve had a few requests for guest posts,  I won’t be posting/accepting anymore until the launch of the new site, but let’s connect on Twitter or follow me on Instagram, I want to hear your stories and I want to write some more together.

Travel safe, travel far, keep home in your heart and remember, the best stories start with a backpack…

48 Hours in Dubai – Guest Post

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I am pleased to welcome Neha Singh as the next guest blogger on my site. Neha is a full-time travel blogger with itchy feet and passion to see the world, she is an avid reader and with a passion for Dubai.

Dubai is a city on the bucket list of almost every traveler. It has some of the world’s biggest and the most amazing attractions that you just can’t afford to miss, no matter how short your trip is. Such is the charm of Dubai that many tourists make sure that their layovers are in Dubai. 48 hours in Dubai is definitely not enough but is still better than not seeing the city of world records. Here’s a guide to enjoy the best of Dubai and capture the city’s essence, while on an quick tour.

Day1: Experience the best man made wonders of Dubai

  • Start your day with breakfast at the Jumeirah beach (one of the best free beaches of Dubai). It has the splendid backdrop of the mighty Burj Al Arab- the world’s most luxurious 7-star hotel built in a sail shape on a manmade island. Soak in the beauty of white sandy shores and calm waters offering a perfect start to the busy day ahead.
  • Take the efficient Dubai metro and reach Burj Khalifa- the tallest free standing man made structure in the world. Not only the building but everything around it is a treat to eyes. This mighty structure has special observation decks at its 125 th and 148 th floor with a view that’s surreal. So make sure you don’t missthis once in a lifetime opportunity. Book the tickets online ahead of your arrival at: https://tickets.atthetop.ae/atthetop/Step0_BookingInfo.aspx

The Burj Khalifa

  • While you’re still dizzy with the hangover of the exceptional experience at the observation deck, it’s time to enter the Dubai mall located next to the Burj Khalifa. One of the biggest malls in the world, the grandeur of Dubai mall will leave you stunned. It’s a world inside. But what captures the attention instantly on the ground floor is the Dubai Aquarium. It is the world’s largest suspended acrylic aquarium with over 33000 aquatic animals included rays and sharks. While it is obvious that you can’t visit the entire mall in a day that has over 1200 shops, don’t forget to visit Candylicious- the world’s biggest candy store and grab quick lunch from any of the 120 cafes and restaurants.
  • In the evening don’t forget to see the world’s biggest themed fountain- the Dubai fountain. Spread across 275 meters long and almost equivalent to the length of 2 football fields, it jets water up to a height of 150 meters, equivalent to a height of a 45 storey building. The light beam that shines upward from the fountain can be seen from 20 miles away. It is decorated with over 6600 WET lights and 25 color projectors. The stunning view is absolutely free and its starts in the evening 6pm till 11pm at intervals. There is no extra cost involved to see the fountain.

Day 2: Experience the traditions, culture and history

  •  Today is the day of exploring the Dubai beyond the skyscrapers. Post breakfast head to the Dubai creek and take an ‘Abra’ (traditional water taxis used since the ancient times) to reach the other side- the old Dubai. The Abra ride itself makes you feel a part of the history with its cost still unbelievably cheap (as low as 1 Dirham).

Traditional abra in Dubai Creek

  • This side of Dubai is full of hustle- bustle and vibrancy. The world famous souqs(markets) of Dubai awaits you with eager sellers offering irresistible stuff at great prices, ready for further bargain. The glittering gold souq is a one of its kind market in the world and boasts of around 10 tons of gold every day. As soon as you’re out of the gold souq, you’ll be guided by the exotic aroma of spices towards the Spice Souq. A collection of the best spices from the world, they are simply irresistible.
  • Take a break for lunch at any of the not- so- fancy eateries by the roadside but still offering the best of the local flavors of the city. While you can get almost every famous cuisine of the world in Dubai like Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese, Japanese, Chinese, European and more, don’t forget to try the Emirati cuisine. Khabees, Camel meat and falafel balls are specially recommended.
  • The last but the most enchanting experience of the day should definitely be the famous Desert Safari Dubai. One of the best desert safaris in the world, the Dubai desert safari experience includes dune bashing in a 4×4, quad biking, sunset photography, camel riding in the desert, and entertainment at the desert camps. Enjoy an array of sumptuous dishes for dinner and soak in the dessert experience like a royal.

Desert Safari Dubai

About the Author: Neha Signh is a postgraduate in Mass Communications, who loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing came to her naturally. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering. She loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily.

48 Hours in Shanghai – Guest Post

I am very please to welcome Jess from Tripelio as my first ever guest blogger…

I’d like to thank Laura for sharing this article on her website. She offers some fantastic stories about life and travel, and I was particularly intrigued by her Travel Bucket List. Check it out when you get a chance!

Shanghai is the largest city in mainland China, and 48 hours is not nearly enough time for you to cover this lively place. Once you scratch the surface, you’ll quickly find yourself planning your next trip to this enchanting port city.

However, sometimes when traveling we are limited on time. Whether it’s due to a short business trip or a long layover, if you only have 48 hours in Shanghai there are a few things you simply must do. Here are the top places and sites to visit during your short journey through Shanghai.

Jess - Tripelio

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum houses one of China’s best collections of artifacts, boasting over 120,000 pieces, including Chinese calligraphy, coins, jade works, and more. It has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. What’s better, you can visit the museum for free! Just be sure to pace yourself so you don’t end up spending your whole 48 hours there.

Jess - Tripelio

Jade Buddha Temple

There are quite a few temples in Shanghai, and these are popular sights for visitors to see. The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the most incredible temples in Shanghai. There you will discover two large white jade Buddha statues that were brought from Burma in the late 19th century. This temple is not only beautiful, but are a representation of the ancient history and culture that can be found on every corner of Shanghai.

Jess - Tripelio

The Bund

Following the Opium Wars, Shanghai was split into foreign-ruled sections, creating a city like no other. If you wander the neighborhood known as The Bund, you will find classic British architecture; the old French concession, on the other hand is very 1920s Parisian. In fact, Shanghai has one of the best collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. Wander around the different neighborhoods to see the differences in architecture, history and culture.

Try using navigation apps such as Explore Shanghai and Google Maps to help you easily explore all the unique architecture Shanghai has to offer. However, do remember that China censors websites and apps. It is a smart idea to download a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your smartphone or personal laptop when traveling in Shanghai. A VPN will allow you to access any site, regardless of any censorship issues.

Jess - Tripelio

Yu Garden Teahouses

Tea has always been an important trade item in Shanghai, and you should make sure that at some point in your time there you experience traditional Chinese tea. Head to the Yu Garden where tea shop owners will often offer you a sample of some tea in the hopes that you’ll purchase some. It can be a great way to try some different teas and learn more about the intricate tea culture of China.

Though 48 hours in Shanghai is not nearly enough time, with a little bit of planning, there is still plenty you can do. Shanghai’s mixture of the ancient and new make it a city truly like no other. Whether you decide to explore the ancient temples or modern day architecture, you will surely want to come back for more.   

About the Author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler and enjoys writing about her adventures. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further. Traveling is her drug, and she’s addicted. (Please, no intervention!)