Manchester To Mecca

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged and I will catch up on a few from this year that Ive missed but this one was so different and I couldn’t wait to share my experience!

This October I completed “Umrah” which is a Muslim pilgrimage to the holy Kabba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is a spiritual journey for pilgrims to essentially purify their minds and souls. That was definitely enough to convince me, I couldn’t wait to experience what millions of people all over the world had recommended so highly!

So it was four of us that  were travelling together; my mum, my uncle, his wife and myself. We always have such a laugh together in the UK and spend a lot of time together so I knew instantly they’d be great to travel with. Because there are no direct flights from Manchester to Jeddah, we had to fly with Oman Airways and seeing as none of us had been to Oman before, it was a great excuse to spend a few days there and explore 🙂 

When we landed in Oman (note: you need to apply for a visa beforehand) it was already 36 degrees at 9am! I wasn’t complaining though, anything beats Autumn/winter in England in my opinion. As soon as we checked into our hotel, I was straight by the pool despite not having slept for 28 hours. It was a must, I’d missed the sunshine way too much and I needed a tan! After the oldies (they’re going to kill me for calling them that) had their nap, we headed over to the old souk which was located right by the sea. The souk (Arab marketplace) consisted of many stalls selling  traditional items from dates to rugs. I was actually surprised at how many different tourists there were, I really didn’t think Muscat was a popular tourist destination! Oman was laid back in the sense that you could wear western clothes but still had to be conservative obviously with it being a Muslim country.

The next day we had a day trip planned; the first stop was at the grand mosque which is one of the only mosques in Oman to allow non muslim visitors so again there were many tourists around in big groups. The tour guide that we had was so informative and absolutely hilarious which was a bonus as he made the trip so much fun! The mosque itself was absolutely breath taking, especially the mens prayer room where the chandelier measures a staggering 14 meters and weighs 8,5 tons. It holds 600,000 shining bright Swarovski crystals, 24 carat gold plating and took more than four years to complete!

Whenever you enter a prayer hall, it is mandatory to take off your shoes. Unfortunately when I came out, someone had taken mine and we still had the rest of the day to go. I couldn’t understand why someone would take them, they weren’t even anything special! So carrying on the tour barefoot and confused for a full hour after, I was observing every single person who walked past to see if they were wearing/carrying my shoes. At the end of the tour around the mosque, we were taken into a room and given traditional Arabic coffee and dates. Everyone was so friendly and hospitable. After our break when I stepped outside, my shoes were there! Turns out the tour guide sneakily hid them up his sleeve the whole time!! A massive relief to say the least, I thought I’d have to go back  to the hotel and miss the rest of the day.

We then travelled to Jabel al akhdar which is a mountainous area around 2 hours from Muscat. After the mosque, I had brought a change of clothes (pure dedication for pictures) however the dress was too big for me and I didn’t have a belt! We ended up stopping at a souk and I had to make do with a bullet strap seeing as the shopkeepers had absolutely no clue what a high waisted belt was.


Anyway when we finally reached Jabal al akhdar, the views were insane. I’d say it was a good 15 degrees cooler than sea level but it made a nice change and the air was so refreshing. We ended up going for an hours hike before watching the sunset. I’m pretty sure the locals were a little confused as to why I was wearing a bullet strap around my waist but oh well, improvisation is key sometimes! Later that evening back in Muscat, we had dinner at a rooftop restaurant called Shathi Al Qurum which was in the corniche area of the city. The next day we pretty much chilled at the hotel preparing for our journey to Mecca the day after.

Before entering Mecca, you must assume “Ihram” which is basically a state of purification. This meant we all had to wash everything with products that did not contain any perfumed chemicals and our clothes had to be completely fresh. No make up is allowed but you can if you’re just going round the Kaaba for prayers without doing Umrah.  You’re not even allowed to break your nails, you have to be in a calm state and absolutely no swearing is allowed.


As soon as we landed in Jeddah at about 9pm, we made our way over to Mecca to perform the pilgrimage. I had to sit the first one out unfortunately but the others went ahead whilst I stayed in the hotel with room service and tried to catch up with Power which was actually banned over there 😦 At least they had Gossip Girl so I settled for that! 

The next day we went to sites of religious significance around Mecca. It was even more special because another aunt and uncle joined us from Riyadh! One of the sacred sites we visited was Mount Hira (Jabal Hira), which lies about two miles from the Ka’bah. Near the top is a small cave, a little less than 4 meters in length and a little more than one and a half meters in width. It was here that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) received the first revelations of the Holy Quran during the month of Ramadhan in 610 CE. The mountain is also known as Jabal Noor (the Mountain of Light). We also drove along the route that pilgrims do during Hajj. It shocked me to learn that over 2 million pilgrims come to Mecca during Hajj, I couldn’t believe Mecca, which really isn’t that big could accommodate that many people!

That night we went to the Masjid al haram which was a 2 minute walk from our hotel. It was stunningly beautiful and I learned that it is actually the most expensive building in the world having cost £75 billion ($100 billion) to build. I wasn’t able to pray at this time so I decided to grab a coffee. What I didn’t realise was all of the shops close during prayer time and I almost got locked in the cafe and had to duck under the shutter! However when I finally got out it was honestly so incredible watching thousands of people praying so in sync. 

FINALLY the next day I was able to do my first Umrah and I was SO excited. To perform Umrah, we had to leave Mecca and go to the Mosque of Aisha where we had to assume Ihram Again. You have to leave Mecca every time you wish to do Umrah again. On our way to performing Umrah, there’s a prayer that you must repeat over and over on your journey.


We made to the Masjid Al Harm just in time for Fair (sunrise prayer) which was extra special for me as it is my favourite time of day. They say that the first time you see the Kaaba, it is so moving and surreal  and the first wish you make comes true. I was actually pretty nervous if I’m honest.

After prayers my mum told me to keep my head down whilst she directed me through the crowd so that I could be in a good position the first time I saw it. She put me on a step and told me to look up. I was in awe. I can’t even explain it. I was literally drawn to it. I actually nearly forgot to make my wish but luckily I didn’t. It was then time for us to walk around the Kaaba 7 times. I managed to place both hands on it and place my head on the side. It smelt of rose water, it was one of the best moments of my life. Whilst walking around the Kaaba, I can honestly say every single person that popped into my head, I made a wish for, whether I knew them extremely well or had only met them once! That was so important to me and I really hope all of my well wishes and prayers come true for everyone.

After you circulate 7 times you have to pray between where Prophet Ibrahim stood and the Kaaba- which was very squished but I didn’t mind. After that you have to drink a belly full of “Zam Zam” water which comes from a sacred well is that miraculously generated source of water from God thousands of years ago. You then have to walk 7 times between 2 mountains. Finally to complete the pilgrimage, you have to cut a bit of your hair so if you ever go- be prepared with scissors. It is mandatory for a man to shave his hair the first time round. And that was Umrah completed!

I loved it so much that I wanted to do it again so we did the whole thing again the next night. This time I did it on behalf of my dad and this time I really wanted to touch the black stone which is nearly impossible to get to. But yes after being the only girl to squeeze through the crowd and nearly being suffocated to death, I managed to touch it! Mecca wasn’t what I thought it was going to be- I actually thought it would be a lot stricter! Everyone was so calm and laid back. We stayed at the Conrad which I highly recommend; it is in a great location and the breakfast is incredible (obviously food is a big factor for me).


We then went on to Madinah and then finished off in Jeddah. Jeddah I’d say is the most chilled city of the three, we were actually allowed to walk around without a headscarf. We had dinner at Angelicas by the sea after watching our last magical sunset. 

Overall, I had the most incredible spiritual experience and it was honestly everything I expected it to be. I am so glad I had the privilege of doing it with such incredible company. It’s definitely a trip to remember and I’d return in a heartbeat. 


All my love, Kaya xxx

My Italian Summer

I can’t believe it, it’s September already! I have to say I’ve been back less than a week and the Manchester rain sure does have a way of reminding you that Summer is over 😦 Yet again, I have had the most amazing time with some amazing people and I cant wait to write all about it!


The day after my birthday (August 26th just so you know for next year ;)) my partners in crime- mum, dad and I kicked off our Italian (and a bit of Swiss) adventure by firstly flying out to Milan. I had only ever been once before and I have to say- I didn’t know weather could make such a difference! When I went back in December it was cold and I was so shocked at how few people there were. It’s just such a good job I was with amazing company! However this time it was more of what I expected and it’s definitely a summer place! From our hotel we decided to walk into the centre which really wasn’t far. My parents and I love walking- especially in good weather.

If you’ve never been to Milan just be prepared- for when you get into the main square you’ll be confronted by the magnificent Duomo Di Milano. The building is truly breathtaking. Construction began in 1386 and the cathedral was completed in 1805 meaning it took 419 years to build! We went to the famous Terreza Aperol where Instagrammers go for the notorious Aperol picture (I didn’t have any unfortunately- I can’t stand the taste :/) We then went shopping in the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II home to luxury brands and beautiful restaurants.

Although I love visiting Milan- there isn’t a whole lot to do so I would recommend pairing the city with another in order to make your trip more worthwhile.

Tirano to St Moritz

My parents have always spoken about this one train journey through the Alps that was unforgettable and I couldn’t wait to experience it! From Milan we drove to a small village called Tirano and checked into a local hotel. By the time we had settled it was pretty dark and late so we went to a local restaurant and had an early nigh in preparation for the next day. In the morning when we set off walking, the sun was shining and the air was so crisp and fresh- not like what I’m used to living in Manchester and Dubai!

The train was called the Bernina Express and we had large panoramic windows in our cabin. The line was built in 1910 and passes the highest summit of the Eastern Alps (4,093 m). The train itself was actually so long that when it turned a corner, you could see the back of the train while we were at the front! The views were just stunning. No words or pictures can describe it. The thing that shocked me the most is that the train went so high that you could actually see snow on the mountains! The train made a quick descent to the town of St Moritz, Switzerland famously known for skiing. After a satisfying lunch at the Carlton Hotel we made a move back on the train, crossed the border back into Italy as we wanted to travel to our next destination in daylight. It was definitely the shortest time I’ve ever stayed in a country but it surely was beautiful! I’d definitely make a plan to go skiing there one Winter. As if we hadn’t travelled enough for one day, once we got back to Tirano we made our way over to Como.

Lake Como

Lake Como is everything you see in pictures. It is a beautiful place in the Summer (again I would not recommend going in the winter- it was miserable!) The lake itself is surrounded by small towns and because it is a dog tooth shape, its sometimes easier and shorter to take your car on the ferry across the lake rather than drive around the coast. We went to a town called Bellagio famously known for having George Clooney’s Italian villa and no- sadly I didn’t bump into him! We took one of the cute choo choo road trains around the town which was very quaint and quite residential. After lunch by the water we made our way back to the hotel ready for the wedding ahead.

The Wedding

The whole reason of coming to Italy was for my parents to attend the wedding of Adam and Charlotte Kamani. I actually didn’t know I was going too till the day before and had to make do with whatever clothes I had in my suitcase! The wedding was just perfect from beginning to end and was carried out so tastefully and elegantly. The first two days were hosted at the beautiful Villa Erba in Como and the last event was hosted in another stunning villa close to the centre. I had such a lovely time catching up with old friends from back home and meeting some amazing new people. I was later informed by people back home that the Daily Mail had taken my photo from Instagram and put it on their article You can find photos on Instagram #KamaniEverAfter. It was such an amazing wedding and I truly wish the groom and stunning bride a lifetime of health and happiness.


So straight after the wedding, the Italian tour continued as we headed to Verona. Looking back I don’t know how we had the energy- no wonder I’ve been exhausted ever since I’ve been back! If you’re a fan of literature you’ll know that Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare was set here in Verona. We visited the famous Juliet balcony and saw stickers of love and promise from visitors stuck around the turned that led to it. I was shocked when I saw what resembled a mini Collusseum where I found that out famous opera singers perform here from all over the world. It was a lovely city full of historical and well maintained buildings.


Venice. I have to say this was my favourite city of all. Well in the morning as we were going down for breakfast I fell down the stairs :/ I was in so much pain it was unreal (this happens every holiday I swear) I still wanted to explore though! After a bit of rest set off for our adventurous walk to St Mark’s Square. There are so many alleys and dead ends where the path will would just stop and lead straight to water! It was quite fun reading directions from the wall on random buildings in the small streets but after an intense hour we were definitely tired. St Mark’s square is stunning and is home to another magnificent Cathedral. St Mark’s Basilica is even older than the Duomo in Milan and was firstly constructed in 828! I remember looking at it thinking how bizarre it was to be stood to a building so old.

I had been warned about the smell of the canals in the summer but honestly, it wasn’t that bad it just smelt like a normal harbour in the summer so don’t be put off as I was initially. As I said the place is like a maze so make sure you’ve got Google Maps fully installed and sufficient battery!

Just a note to finish with Venice- the shopping there is great 😉


Next stop- Florence. Florence in a lot of ways was like Verona- a small city with historical buildings. Once we checked into the hotel we climbed the hill to the highest point and got an amazing perspective of the city. There were hundreds of spectators gathered up there just in time for the sun set. Once the sun had gone down we made our way to yet another famous cathedral. I know I’ve mentioned others from different cities however for me, this one was by far my favourite. I just loved the whole architecture of it and its grand gothic design. in the evening mum and I went for a lovely dinner just outside the cathedral. It was an amazing evening. A bit of advice though- although nothing was taken from me, just be extremely vigilant with your possessions as there are a lot of pick pocketers surrounding touristy areas.


So we all know Kanye’s Famous lyrics “Flying out to Pisa, just to get some pizza”…well that’s exactly what we did! I’ve not given food a mention yet which is surprising (as I ate my body weight in carbs) but the authentic Italian dishes are AMAZING! Everything is so fresh. Anyway so when we got there it was absolutely pouring with rain- so grim! My dad had been getting an ice cream (or two) a day and it was even too cold for him to do so. I was fascinated by the leaning tower and the whole history behind it. However my dad as a property developer did point out that the the angle of the top didn’t quite match the base. Hmm? We still managed to get our pictures despite the rain, you can just see the umbrella thrown onto the grass so we wouldn’t get it in! My actual favourite comb had to get in the picture though, I’m actually joined to it! You can find the comb and other amazing hair products at

The Italian Riviera

After a crazy tour of the country, we decided to spend our last few days at a resort in a small on the Italian riviera. It was full of older Italians enjoying the final days of summer. There was barely any British people but I liked that. There were many boutique hotels and local restaurants- absolutely NO fast food places at all. No wonder they were all slim!

One morning I woke up at 6am for a run and it was so interesting to see the market stalls being set up for the day. I had left my earphones at home by mistake which I was later glad about as I got to witness the communication and banter between the stalls. They’re so passionate and shout about absolutely everything- I loved that. One couple tried to include me in a conversation and when they saw that I couldn’t speak a word of Italian, they gave me an apple! It was so nice to relax by the sea and I definitely made the most of it knowing that I would be welcomed back by the miserable English weather.

There are many personal parts and memories of this holiday that made it so special. If you know me well, you’ll know how close I am to my parents- it’s like going away with two best friends. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life that have my back no matter what.

Overall, feel free to comment, drop me an email or DM me on Instagram (rukayax) if you have any questions about the places I visited 🙂 I hope you enjoyed my Italian adventure!

With love always,

Kaya xxx


When In Rome…

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I’ve posted about a billion pictures of my recent trip to Rome with my best friend. I can honestly say there’s never been a time we’ve been together and something hilarious hasn’t happened.

So it all started at the airport. 5am. Neither of us had been able to sleep and literally an hour before the 3am alarm went off did we finally catch some Z’s. Typical! So as you can imagine we’re literally sleepwalking through the airport dragging our luggage along- when at last we reach the priority lounge and have chill time before the flight.


As I was happily helping myself to a croissant, one of the ladies at reception came up to me with some weird blue, yellow and white gross scarf thing. She asked if I would wear it as a sarong as my shorts were not knee length (! And sorry didn’t realise we were in Saudi!!) I politely declined and said when I sit down I would put my jacket on my lap. Of course I couldn’t sit still. the whole time! My friend had an idea that I wrap my jacket around my waist every time I got up and I swear I’ve never had such a hideous outfit in my life!! It ended up looking like some weird skirt thing and I bet people thought I was wearing it on purpose :((

Of course though we found it absolutely hilarious, took pictures and cried about it for about an hour till we got on the plane. You’ve got to laugh at yourself sometimes- especially in that attire!

The plane was gross. I hate Ryan Air- it reminds me of one of those Despicable Me little minion things in transport form. Anywayyy so we landed in Rome where it was BOILING. Little did we know the week we were there, there was a massive heatwave. It was so bad that the city was silent in the afternoon as it was so hot and people couldn’t bear to be out. We finally reached the hotel, checked in and I headed out to get room snacks whilst my friend chilled in the room. After stocking up on kinder, crisps and nesquik bars I got back to the hotel my friend was frantic with the receptionist. When she saw me she ran up to me and told me that when she got into the bed there were hugeeee ants all over the place all crawling around. DISGUSTING. The hotel were moved us to another room. By this time neither of us wanted to stay in and rest so we decided to head out to Sephora (initial priorities in European countries ;)). It was at the train station so we decided to grab a restaurant around there. As many know, I am obsesseddd with chilli food so when they had chilli flakes on the table, I was definitely pleased and poured a load on my chicken.

Big. Mistake. These were the most lethal chillies I have ever consumed. I can’t remember a time when I had my mouth burning that badly! Obviously again although I was in so much pain to the point of tears, yet we still found the situation absolutely hilarious and decided to take videos for snap chat. Let’s just say..we were both extremely careful with those crazy chillies for the rest of the holiday.

Day 1: The Vatican. So we had made our way over to the hop on hop off bus where we had an 11am booking for The Vatican. Little did we know there was SO much traffic- I guess because people run their earlier as it’s cooler and then hide away mid day. So I rang the Vatican office, informed them we were going to be about 15 mins late but the woman was having none of it. After the phonecall my friend was on her phone (extremely silent) which NEVER happens and after about 5 minutes she handed me her phone and asked what I thought. It was the voucher…but it said 12:00 instead of 11:00?! Turns out she had been sneakily editing it on Instagram and the funny thing is when we got there- it actually worked!

The Vatican Museum was stunning. It was so beautiful you wouldn’t know where to look because there was so much to see! After wondering around, mingling with the crowds we ended up at the Sisteen Chapel where the whole ceiling was painted my Michael Angelo. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when my friend got caught taking a sneaky photo and the guard was there trying to argue with her to delete it (least she had Snapchat backup!!) After that we went into the city, had gelato and made our way back to the hotel ready for the evening.

On our way to the Spanish Steps, we studied the map we figured it would be quicker to walk 40 minutes up and down hills than get on that ridiculous snail of a bus. So off we trotted in our heels making our way to a well deserved dinner. We reached just at sunset which was a lovely time to soak in the atmosphere! We had dinner at Hotel De Russie followed by Shisha at Mandaloun where my friend worked on changing our 11:00 appointment for The Colosseum to 12:00. again 🙂

Day 2: The Colosseum. So after my friend managed to changed the time yesterday, we figured why not try our chances again? No matter how early we left, we’d still be waiting in traffic. They did however question us here as they scanned the voucher and the times didn’t match up. It was all good though- we just pretended we didn’t know why this was! Another hot day. Inside The Colosseum was boilingg!! There was literally no breeze. After enough time viewing the rocks (it was just a load of rocks tbh) we made a swift exit and cooled down at Aroma where we had a light lunch. The view was stunning and had a great view of the Colosseum. We saw that there was another terrace restaurant just opposite the Colosseum and booked that for dinner before heading back to the hotel to rest and change.

The dinner was delicious as expected and the view was something else! Another sunset with an amazing view

After that, we made our way to Piazza Navona and sat there for a drink. There was a woman- extremely drunk acting  sat at the front of the restaurant with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other being very noisy to passer byers and waving her arms in the air. After about 10 minutes the table next to us became available and she stumbled over and took a seat next to me. I don’t actually remember how it all happened but she started a conversation with us and all of a sudden she was part of our table. This lady was one of the loudest I have ever come across. She was from LA and had a very strange mixed accent claiming it was because she had lived all over the world. The lady kept calling the waiters over as if they were her best friends saying that we should all go the disco together! My friend and I kept awkwardly looking at each other wondering how we were going to get out of this situation!! At one point she gave one of the waiters her number and then said in French- “Don’t give this to ISIS!” Like.. where does that even come from?!! As crazy as she was (and even though she kept hugging me, squeezing my face and trying to set me up with her son) she was actually such a genuinely nice person and definitely added to our eventful holiday.

Day 3: Okay so we had no bookings today so no need to fiddle with vouchers. We made our way to the Trevi Fountain which was sooooo busy! Honestly I swear- it was like a swarm of bees around a drop of honey. We got our photos (of course) , went for lunch and made our way to The Terrace at The Sofitel Hotel. It had had a spectacular view but it was just toooo hot to sit outside for long period of time which was such a shame! We then made our way back to the hotel the final time because it was our last dinner 😦

I’ve been very unwell recently and whilst I was getting ready, collapsed in the room. I’m so so glad I had my best friend there, she was so good in the situation! But nothing was going to spoil our last night. We still went out for our final meal, had a lovely shisha and laughed about the little personal things that had made our holiday so special.

I can truly say I had a phenomenal time with my best friend in Rome, although eventful- it made it so much more memorable as we just laughed off unfortunate situations which is the best way to be in life!

Lots of love,

Kaya  xxx

My Time In Türkiye

I just wanted to start this post off by saying a MASSIVE thank you to those who read and enjoyed my last blog. I was so apprehensive to write one but all your amazing messages and feedback have meant the world and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! promised, heres another one about my recent trip to Turkey.

Turkey is a place that I can honestly say second to England is home to me. My parents and I counted up that we’ve been at least 20 times either together or with other friends. Once again, off we went on our little adventure back to our fave place! I think its the same for everyone when you get to the airport- everyone splits off to either shop or eat (I vote eat!) And I don’t think a plane journey is quite complete without Sour Cream & Onion Pringles. I have to say I was veryyy content with my plane snacks (which lasted about 5 minutes unfortunately when sitting with mum and dad!)

One thing I love landing in a hot country is how the heat just hits you all of a sudden as soon as you get off the plane. No matter what time of the day/night it is, it’s there. By the time we landed it was about 1am and then we had to wait for our hire car as my dad loves to drive abroad. However I must say driving in Turkey is a very different experience indeed. Their driving habits there are CRAAAZY but the maddest thing of all is that- basically, at night they literally switch the traffic lights off to just flashing amber. No joke. Which means everyone literally goes at the same time. Definitely not the safest rule but I really did find it funny.

The hotel was gorgeous. I feel so happy and content by the sea which is where I spent most of my time. The hotel was an all inclusive which meant lotsss of eating. Honestly, I swear I wasn’t even hungry half the time I just ate because it was so nice! After loving it so much in Azerbaijan, mum and I went for a girly spa day at the hotel for a hamaam and just really isn’t the same in England!

A few days into the holiday we decided to stay at our place in Akbük. Being there brought back so many memories for me. I’ve spent so many summers over the years with so many different amazing people there. The thing I love about Akbük is that there aren’t many tourists- it’s where Turkish people from major cities have their holiday homes. There’s a marina with gorgeous yachts and restaurants where we had dinner the nights we stayed there. About 20 minutes away is the historic Lake Bafa Nature Park surrounded by local restaurants selling traditional Turkish food such as Gözleme in small huts. We visited the lake one evening and justttt about made it on time to see one of the most stunning, magical sun sets.

Next stop was Bodrum. My mum finally learned how to use Apple music which meant that alllll the way I had to listen to 70’s and 80’s Boogie tunes through the Turkish countryside (HELP!). At least the scenery was breathtaking though. It’s amazing how simple and traditional the rural areas are in the mountains of Turkey in comparison to the big modern cities. After what seemed to be the longest hour, we finally checked in at The Rixos Premium Bodrum. The whole lobby area was decorated in a very Da Vinci, Italian renaissance theme with a modern twist. It was stunning. There were so many things to do at the hotel and with the hotel being another 5* all inclusive, the choice of restaurants was too impossible! We opted for the main restaurant for lunch and decided to chill at the beach bar.

If you know me well, you’ll know that my legs often resemble a little boy who plays out on the streets- I don’t even know how the bruises are there half the time, I’m so used to bumping into things it’s just become normal to have them! However- this time was different. I decided I wanted a picture sat on a high banister..fair enough. I then decided I wanted to sit on the lower rail, thought I’d be quick and thread my leg through and ended up. Bang. on. the. floor. You know when you’re in so much pain you actually start laughing! I actually couldn’t sit for days.. it was terrible!

Two things I’ve learned:

  1. I am not Catwoman
  2. Don’t do it “for the gram”!

But for me, nothing was going to ruin that day. I was having so much fun with my two favourite people, the pain could wait. After another glorious sun set we opted for the buffet dinner. The choice of food was endless. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much! Literally every dish I saw, I wanted to put on my plate. My dad decided to go to the room after dinner which meant girl time with my mum! We decided to hit the party at the promenade. It was such a chilled vibe there, everyone was so talkative and friendly and just out to have a good time. Later on they put on a spectacular display of fireworks at The Bodrum. It was a truly memorable day for me.

Ah breakfast, my favourite meal. If you’re wondering what’s on my plate it’s a cheese omlette, with spicy turkish mash, fried potatoes, chips and then a little bit of salad (pretending to be healthy ;)) followed by time in a private cabana and a swim in the warm sea. No more bruises this day- thankfully.

Our next and final destination was Izmir- an industrial city by the Aegean Sea. We stayed at The Hilton which is one of the tallest buildings there and the views were just spectacular! The bazaar there was so old fashioned and timeless. If you ignored any phones or technology you could be in any period of time, not a lot has changed there over the centuries. There was nothing really there for us to shop round for, we just took in the atmosphere and enjoyed traditional Turkish food. I’m a massive fan of the bulgur rice there, I just can’t seem to get it the same when I try making it over here!

We went to a town called Çeşme for the day where we visited the castle and had lunch at the beautiful Yacht Club. We then went to a beach in Alacanti where there were so many wind surfers and paragliders it was so colourful and spectacular! On the beach there was this really cool hipster beach bar where we sat and had chips. Yes I know it was after lunch but it would have been rude not to! Like Akbuk, it was full of Turkish people and we loved being the only tourists!

Overall, yet again I had an amazing time on holiday. It’s the most amazing feeling going away with your parents as though you’re travelling as three best friends. The amount of laughs and adventures we had together made this trip one to truly remember.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as the last!

Lots of love,







My wonderful trip to Russia, Azerbaijan and Istanbul

So recently I was fortunate enough to make a trip to some unusual destinations which a lot of people have been asking me about… sooo I decided to finally use this site properly and write a blog all about it!

St Petersburg

First stop St Petersburg. Before going to Russia, I really didn’t know what to expect! I had heard that the people were hostile and the food wasn’t very good. They couldn’t have been more wrong! The food was so cheap and there was a huge variety of restaurants- my mum even managed to find an Indian (typical!!) As for the people, they were lovely. Quite quiet but there’s nothing wrong with that! A bit of advice though- a lot of Russians don’t speak English which I was quite shocked about so it would be beneficial just to learn a few phrases and key words to get you by.


So as a typical tourist we jumped on the hop on hop off bus and made our way around town. Our first stop was the stunning Winter Palace which was the official residence to monarchs up until 1917 and is now the Hermitage Museum

(Still laughing at that pigeon who was confident enough to fly in to my picture!!) Sly guy


Just when I thought I had seen one beautiful building, I was absolutely amazed at the sight of the Church Of Spilled Blood. Honestly, words cannot do this magnificent piece of art of a building any justice.

Even the whole atmosphere around it was so chilled like there were food stalls, live music and just people generally having a good time. I loved it!

The Cute Train Trip


We thought it would be fun to jump on the super speedy train to Moscow. Well when I say super speedy it still took 4 hours.  It made it all better when they gave me chocolate which I have to say was the best chocolate EVER!! Like I’d get on that train again just for the chocolate. No joke.

Anyway so unlike your standard English train this one had cabins which was amazing for 4 girls to completely chill out in. Definitely felt sorry for the cabins next to us/around/even the back! We were so loud!!!

So after about ten thousand calories consumed and a million selfies later the girrrrls arrive in Moscow


Okayy so next stop the Kremlin for dinner with Putin! Only joking however we did check into one of the most stunning hotels I have ever stayed in. It’s one of the Seven Sisters which are seven buildings that were built by Stalin in order to show the wealth of Russia. It was so amazing to stay in a place with such history. It also has the longest chandelier in the world (first picture) which obvsiouslyyy I had to touch being the absolute child that I am! I underestimated how hard it was to jump high and take a picture at the same time was but anyway- had to be done. Good job no one was around!!

We actually did visit the Kremlin which was next to the stunning St Basil’s Cathedral. We went for lunch at the Bolsoi but unfortunately didn’t catch the ballet (this time ;)) Novikov was amazing for dinner also so I’d highly recommend that. Over all I’d say that I loved every single place that I visited in Russia- such a beautiful historical place!


So when I told people that I was off to Azerbaijan, I got so many confused remarks. A lot of people had never even heard of the place at all! In all honesty I really didn’t know what to expect myself but I can truly say I was pleasantly surprised. The place was beautiful! So modern and clean. The buildings were so detailed and ornate, the architecture was stunning. Not bad for a place that was previously under the soviet union.

We stayed at the Hilton which had an amazing Sky Bar which was  also revolving so you got to see the whole of Baku lit up at night. So handy having it a lift ride away- made it so convenient for me as I’m always leaving things in my room! The old town was quaint and we went for a traditional hammam and massage there before resting up for dinner at the Four Seasons (where I had about a million pictures as seen on my Instagram!) The people were also lovely- very friendly and couldn’t do enough. Baku means windy city and yes at times I did think I was literally going to be blown away!

I actually have so much love for this city and would definitely make a trip back there.


And finally to finish the holiday off we fly to my favourite city in the world- Istanbul! The culture is just amazing. Mosques are breathtaking. People are lovely. And then the food is amazinggg! As shown above my favourite dish is the chicken with bulgur rice which I literally once ate every night two weeks straight last year!

I’m so gutted it was only a short stay here but it gives me a good excuse to come back very soon 😀

The End


So that’s about it, I think I’ve covered everything! It was honestly one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on and I highly recommend each place. I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post as much as I did writing it!

Lots of love,


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Nikki Beach Miami

So after a longgggg 9 hour flight I’m back from sunny Miami. After being in 36 degrees of sunshine, its safe to say I’ve got a tan (thank goodness!).

I have to say the beach club I enjoyed the most was Nikki Beach. It was quite small compared to the Dubai one but there was a massive party atmosphere and great music. As there is no pool we decided to get beds by the sea..not that we went into it as it was freezing! We also managed to have our shisha fix there- can you believe shisha is so hard to find in Miami?!!

Brunches In Dubai

In the UK, we think breakfast + lunch= brunch..right? Well it’s veryyy different in Dubai- some brunches are in the evening!

I have to say, my favourite brunch is Candypants at The Habtoor Grand Hotel, Dubai Marina on a Friday. The brunch starts at 12pm and serves food and unlimited drinks (absolute killer in the heat) till 4. If you’re willing to go on, the after party is at XL next door. It’s pretty cute- they have fun props etc around to mess about with and take random photos.

Things I liked about it- I liked how it was both inside and outside so if you were hot outside you could go and cool down inside (also very different to UK!), service was great and there was a wide selection of food. Young crowd consisting of mostly Brits- expats and people on holiday. I would highly recommend it and it was always so much fun coming in big groups.

Bit of advice though- book in advance!



My First Blog Post

Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Rukaya and I have just moved back from Dubai to the UK.

I’m obsessed with travelling but I’ve never really had time to blog so I’m super excited to share incredible things that I have seen and things to do at the amazing places that I have been / will be travelling to!