Category Archives: travel

Couch Surfing

Happy Travel Tuesday! My name is Marcella and I blog over at WhatAWonderfulWorld. I’m a

Londoner who loves to blog about travel and photography. Today I’m sharing my

feelings on CouchSurfing while travelling.

Rewind to summer 2009.

One evening I got a text from a friend, which read something like this…

‘I’m walking to the bus station to meet a girl who is coming to stay at our flat for

the night.  We’ve never met before’


‘It’s called Couchsurfing.  Look it up.’

These words opened up many doors over the next few years!  When receiving the text I

was in the process of planning my 5 month trip to South America.   I clicked onto the Couchsurfing website and spent many hours

searching through the website looking at profiles.  I also created my profile; with just my

For those of you who don’t know; CouchSurfing is a website where you advertise your

couch/bed/mattress/floor for travellers to sleep on for a few nights.  You send requests to

hosts and afterwards leave reviews for your hosts.  The idea being that you get to see the

‘real’ country/ city by staying with locals and getting to know the culture.


Anyway, fast forward a few months.  I met up with an old school friend, who loves

travelling as much as I do, and we got onto the topic of CouchSurfing.  I said I’d heard of

it and had looked at the website.  He raved about it and said that he had surfed around

many countries.  Now I’d had two raving reviews to use Couchurfing.  So that evening I

went home and completed my profile – added information about me and pictures.  I then

began searching for couches in Rio.

My first stop on my 5 month trip was Rio during carnival.  I knew that carnival was

going to be a VERY busy time for Couchsurfers so I sent off around 4 requests to hosts.

The next day I received a message back from a host saying they’d be happy to host me.

At the same time I was looking on the group for Rio and saw a post from Kelly asking if

anyone was interested in travelling around after carnival.  I hit reply. As if by fate Kelly

had also messaged the same CS host I was staying with.  We chatted on Skype and

planned a few places to go after carnival.

In February 2010 Kelly and I met at Rio airport and headed to our CS hosts place.  She

was hosting another 6 CSers at the same time; I told you carnival was busy!  A few days

later she said we could stay with her friend, another CSer from Rio, as she was heading to

her mum’s house.  Our next CS host was hosting 8 CSers in total from all over the world.

He had keys cut for all of us.  During carnival he took us to all the local parties and street

parties.  Ones that we would have never know about without CS.


After carnival was finished we travelled to two other

places in Brazil; Florianópolis and Porto Alegre, where we were hosted by

amazing hosts.  Brazil was the start of my love for Couchsurfing and seeing the ‘real’

country with locals.  I was addicted!

During the rest of my travels I met many CSers who showed me local places, shared food

with me, gave me advice etc.  I then also surfed two couches in Paris later that year.

When I then moved to Chile at the end of 2010 it was my time to finally pay back for all

that my CS hosts had done for me; it was my turn to host.  I was so excited!  I kept this

up while living in England.  In total I have surfed ten couches and I have hosted nine

groups of people too.  Life got quite busy and so weekends became full up and hosting

slowed down but i’m itching for CS again!DSCF1186 DSCF1519 DSCF1529 DSCF1711 DSCF4180

Have you ever Couchsurfed? What do you think about it?  If you’re in doubt, I couldn’t

recommend it enough!

Happy Surfing!


Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Happy Travel Tuesday! My name is Marcella and I blog over at WhatAWonderfulWorld. I’m a Londoner who loves to blog about travel and photography. Today I’m sharing a travel adventure, that didn’t quite go to plan… but had a beautiful ending!

Be careful going to Mendoza this weekend. You might get stuck in the mountains if it snows!” But I thought we’d be fine!

While living in Santiago, Clem and I went to Mendoza in Argentina for the weekend. It’s a seven hour bus ride away with a scenic view from the windows of the bus but we didn’t realise quite how scenic our return journey would be! We left on the Friday and spent the weekend there. When arriving to the bus station in Mendoza on the Sunday morning we were told that the border crossing had closed because it had snowed in the mountains. The border crossing is in the mountains and so when it snows it gets closed. We called our bosses and explained that we were stuck but should be back tomorrow.

For the following two mornings we went to the bus station early in the morning to hear that it was still closed. It was also a public holiday and so pretty much everything was closed. We spent many hours hopping between different cafes and wondering around. On the Wednesday it was re-opened and we were on our way along with everyone else who has been stuck for days. So instead of a 7 hour trip… it took 12 hours to get back.

But… every cloud has a silver lining and we were rewarded with these beautiful views of the mountains covered in soft, white snow. On our way up… DSC_0341DSC_0345 DSC_0356 More and more snow filled the view as we got higher and higher. DSC_0362 DSC_0369 DSC_0378 DSC_0394 We were really happy to see this sign. DSC_0398 DSC_0406 DSC_0417 Just try not to get altitude sickness and forget how to speak Spanish at the border crossing, like I did!

Have you had a ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ moment?

Marcella xx




Festivals & Celebrations

Lewes Bonfire Night by BonnieRosePhoto on Etsy, £60.00

Festivals and Celebrations 
“Have you ever been to an amazing festival or celebration while travelling? Do you have any special festivals or events from your home country or where you live now? Have you celebrated something special while travelling?” – Travel Tuesday co-host Marcella 

“Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…”
The USA has their firework displays for their Independence Day from England in 1776 and the UK burns effigies of Guy Fawkes, a man who failed the Gunpowder plot of 1605. After celebrating Bonfire Night a few years back in Lewes, I honestly favour the UK holiday. If you are ever going to be in England for Bonfire night I highly recommend heading to Lewes for it is the biggest celebrated Fifth November Event in the world. In fact there are six different bonfire society’s all celebrating the Fifth in various parts of the town. Each has their own processions, traditions, costumes, fire sites and fireworks.
My History with Bonfire Night
When we lived in England, when I was a young girl, I loved going to Bonfire night.  Even when we moved away from England my dad will still take me to celebrate it.  I have fond memories of when we lived in Italy and getting together with the RAF families to set fire to the Guy and watch the bonfire burn.  When we moved to England in 2011, this was one of anticipated ‘firsts’ that I wanted to experience with my husband and sons. There was a bonfire society near where my kids went to school that year and the school was involved in the procession. This meant we got to hold up banners and march all around the town of Lindfield, waving to the crowds of people watching.  I even got to hold a flaming torch which was probably the most exciting part of that night for me.  As we were part of the procession we got a prime location to watch the bonfire and fireworks from later that evening as well.  It was our first Bonfire Night together as a family in England and a very memorable one indeed.

I wrote about Bonfire Night in Batheaston, England, you can read it too. 


what are some memorable festivals you have attended around the world?

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Happy Travel Tuesday!  My name is Marcella and I blog over at WhatAWonderfulWorld.  I’m a

Londoner who loves to blog about travel and photography.  Today I’m sharing a nature

filled adventure that I went on as part of my five months travelling in South America.  I

hope you enjoy it :)


Ah, waterfalls. Such a beautiful part of nature. So mesmerising to watch and so

refreshing to stand under.  Today, I am going to share my adventures to Angel Falls in

Venezuela. Angel Falls is the world’s highest interrupted waterfall. You can find it in the

Canaima National Park in Venezuela. It’s a three day trip as it’s so remote but the beauty

that surrounds the waterfall is never to be forgotten so it’s something special. You have to

go on an organised trip to get to it.  Getting there is a journey in itself, so let’s go…

First step. Take this teeny, tiny plane for one hour. I spent the whole hour with gritted

teeth, clutching my stomach as you feel every slight little bump. There were five of us

plus the pilot on the plane. Looking back at these photos now I can see how pretty the

views were but I’m surprised I even managed to take photos as I just remember feeling

petrified the whole time!  DSCF4360 DSCF4364 DSCF4367 DSCF4369 DSCF4372 DSCF4373Once you’ve arrived and got over the

fear of the plane (i’m a bit of a scaredy cat for things like that.  It probably wasn’t that

bad!) you can take a walk to the beach that is just by where you’ll stay that night.  It’s

really pretty!  Warm water, waterfalls, palm trees… Look… You take the boat so that you

can walk under a waterfall.  It was SO loud but in a ‘nature is amazing’ kind of way.  DSCF4399 DSCF4390 DSCF4387 DSCF4383That night you sleep in little huts and

the next morning it’s time to head off on a boat through the beautifully, stunning national

href=””>DSCF4409 DSCF4418 DSCF4420 DSCF4426 DSCF4427And… finally, you arrive!  Well,

almost.  You see the waterfall from afar and then take a little walk to reach the bottom of

it.  It’s amazing when the boat draws closer to the waterfall as you see it from a great

distance away and you think ‘wow… that’s the highest waterfall in the world!’DSCF4439DSCF4440DSCF4449And the view from our hammocks

that night, the world’s highest waterfall. Pretty special.


Scotland with Caity

One of the last big trips we took during our study abroad semester was up to Scotland.
We had just came back from three weeks of backpacking through Europe,
so to say the least – we were EXHAUSTED.
We literally landed in London on Friday morning and were set to trek up to Scotland on Saturday morning,
so at the time, the trip did not sound so appealing.
Which is so shameful to say because Scotland was one of the greatest trips we took.
The most beautiful scenes I may ever see in my life.
If I could recommend a place to go, it would be here.
We made a short visit in Edinburgh,
and then made our way up to Loch Ness where we heard all about the mythical creature
who our guide had apparently seen with his own eyes over ten times.
I will say though,
he had enough facts and support
to make me want to believe that this thing was real.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to see ‘Nessie,’
but I’m pretty sure the next time I’m up there it’ll happen..
We made our way up to the Isle of Skye into the Highlands.
Every stop we made was another incredible view –
I honestly can’t even explain how gorgeous it was, and my photos absolutely do not do it justice either.


We ended the trip at Loch Sligachan.
There is an old belief that if you stick your face in the water for seven seconds,
you will be blessed with eternal youth.
So naturally, in 40 degree weather with our peacoats and scarves
we were all set to submerge our faces in this ice bath.
No, I never question my life choices – why would you ask that?
And yes I do, in fact, still look like that.
I know what you’re thinking – ‘OBVIOUSLY Caity .. it’s only been three years..’
But no. That’s not why.
It’s because I stuck my face in a freezing lake in the middle of Scotland, actually.

Cinque Terre with Caity

If you’ve ever studied abroad in the U.K.,

you’ll know that their education is very light.

You go to class for about 10 weeks, and are finished by the end of March.Well, study abroad runs until the end of May, so what do you expect we do until then?

Travel – did I need to tell you that?

We did a ‘mini backpack adventures’ for about 3 weeks in April,

and one of our mid-way stoops was Cinque Terre, Italy.

The only way I can really describe this place is an exact replica

of the photoshop paradise postcards you see in the grocery story.

Cinque Terre is composed of 5 small villages on the west coat of Italy.
Each village is able to be reached by a train,
but there are also hiking trails across the cliffs.
It is a couple hours of hiking, and I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s not easy.
That might be because it’s about 6 miles or so, or because we did not come prepared and were hiking in flats. Either one.
But the beauty of what you’re seeing truly overcompensates any pains you are feeling.
I knew it was going to be pretty, but I didn’t realize how ridiculously stunning it would actually be.
The paths are filled with love locks, photos and statues, and some of the most amazing views you will ever see.
We stopped in Vernazza for some pizza and wine because well, Italy.

And yes – it is better than anywhere else.

And of course gelato.

But we stopped in every city for gelato.

When you’re in Italy, five gelattos is normal.

Trust me.

I wouldn’t recommend this city enough.

Spend the morning hiking the trails and the afternoon laying by the ocean.
With a gelato, of course.

European Adventures

Today is a Themed Day for Travel Tuesday!  I also have Caity, one of our lovely #TravelTuesday co-hosts guest posting on the blog! As always we have our link up below so you can join your blog post and hop around! Remember to share the love in the comments and make so friends a long the way.  Without further adieu here is Caity!




Hi readers! I’m Caity, blogging over at Where The Heart Is

and currently co-hosting Travel Tuesday with these lovely ladies.I’m currently figuring out life in London, but I blog about that enough on my own page.

I’ll be popping in over here every now and then this month featuring some of my favorite places
I was fortunate enough to visit during my study abroad semester.
That semester changed my life – can you tell? I moved to London!
There are so many great memories, so why not reminisce a bit?
A little nostalgia never hurt no one…

———————————————————————–One of the first European adventures I took was during our ‘independent study’ week,

which is actually just a second Spring Break. I know – London schooling is awesome.
We literally booked the trip a week before, which started the trend of travel spontaneity
and made study abroad that much more thrilling.
We decided on Prague for three days, then Paris for three days.
I hadn’t known anything about Prague, but had been recommended to visit more than anywhere else.
So why not?
We found a hostel that had the deal “girls staying 2 nights get an extra night for free.”
Naturally you would think this may put us off of this place a bit,
but all we saw was YOU CAN STAY HERE FOR FREE and said “sure! what’s the worst that can happen?”
Well I’ll tell you – it was having the owner ask you for drinks every night you were there.
It turned out to be one of my favorite trips.
Prague is such a beautiful place, I discovered my love for thick hot chocolate, and we experienced a great nightlife with one of the best bar crawls I’ve ever been on where I also had my first taste of absinthe.
Unfortunately, there were no green fairies.

After this trip, we had one day at home in London to do as little as we could,
and then we were off to Paris the next day!
We opted for a Eurostar hotel+train deal as it was surprisingly cheaper than a hostel and a train ticket.
It was great – walking out of our hotel was into an amazing little market with a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
We mastered the ‘walk 235235 miles in one day and see everything’
and managed to do a little round trip from our hotel to the Eiffel Tower, down Champs-Elysees to the Lourve and Notre Dame.
Paris wasn’t my favorite place for other reasons, but I was so glad to have been able to make a visit
and see the gorgeous city!

It’s strange to finally see things that you’ve seen in photographs for so long.
You kind of have to stare at them for a while and have that whole ‘this is really happening’ moment.
I still have those quite a bit, actually..
Happy traveling!
A great look at what Caity shares on her blog. See what she shared for the Themed Travel Tuesday post on her blog today:  Where The Heart Is