If you’ve been following my posts for a while or even taken a browse of my blog, you’ll notice that there is a destination that appears here more than the rest: Faro, Portugal. Mum and I travelled to Portugal for the first time in 2014, we fell in love with the Southern coast and have visited the same place in the Algarve every year since then. In all the different places we’ve stayed in Faro, nothing has beat this hotel.
Epic Sana Algarve is a 5-star Resort luxury beachfront Hotel in Albufeira, with private access to Falesia beach. It’s surrounded by acres and acres of pine trees. The hotel has 5 outdoor pools (not that I was counting, I had one pretty much to myself!) and a spa and wellness centre. It is built to be the ultimate relaxing spa break.
So what made this place such a wonderful experience for me?
Well let’s start with the location. It’s literally on the front of Falesia beach, you can wake up on a morning (or afternoon if you’re like me ????) and get down the private stairs to the golden sands. Yes.
Then the greenery. There are so many pine trees around the hotel that you subconsciously start breathing deeper,more properly and with pleasure. This is great for morning or evening walks and also makes for plenty of outdoor workout space if you want to take your exercise outdoors. If you do prefer to stay indoors, there is so much space in this hotel and it has all been designed to help you reach your ultimate relaxation from the calm colour selection to the decor.
3. World class facilities
Another aspect I enjoyed during my stay was the Spa and Wellness centre. I’m not usually into working out while I’m on holiday – even packing a pair of trainers takes real effort. But I’m glad I did on this trip because there is SO MUCH to do! Every morning an activity sheet is posted through your door with activities for the day. Daily group exercises are open to everyone and range from walking to zumba and yoga.
So if you’re looking for a relaxing Europe beach break away from all the hustle of city life then this is the ideal spot. You will lose yourself in the beautiful nature and tranquillity of the place. For me it was a 9/10 and the ultimate relaxating getaway. It put such a great smile on my mum’s face and we both left feeling much more at peace.
Find out more by visiting their website Algarve Epic Sana and get planning your wellness getaway!
Thanks for reading guys, have a great week and leave a thumbs up below if you’d like more of these reviews. Love and light x MC
Make sure you’re following me on social media for real time travel updates:
Top: ZARA | Skirt: Handmade by SUWA designs | Heels: Quiz| Clutch: Mango | Photography: Hinywi
“I hope you find what you’re looking for.” – The Traveller.
This post is continued from the first post [here].
My first weekend in Lusaka was fabulous! I put on my playsuit and dancing shoes, and headed off for the night with my childhood best friend B. We went to a spot in the capital called Sky Bar (it took me two more visits to realise the reason its named this is because it has a massive outdoor balcony area with the perfect sky view. It’s worth a visit for the view alone.)
The place was vibrant and filled with music and people. It was arranged in a bar setting with a large dance-floor space in the centre. Tables were scattered around the edges and the big guys sat around these and smoked cigarettes while the ladies adjusted their heels on the seats. Popular music filled the room lending its energy and rhythm to the crowd in the bar, and my eye was drawn to a group of young friends in the corner engaging in what appeared to be a dance competition. I watched them for a short while, their energy was contagious and their dance moves captivating. The rhythm flowed through their bodies to their feet as they mixed traditional dance with modern moves. I was excited watching them and could feel my body catching onto the rhythm too. My hips began to sway side to side and my waist rotated to the music. I took it all in and gave myself to the moment. Every time I looked around, a sense of immense happiness overcame me. Here I didn’t have to explain or search or wonder. I saw myself reflected back in every face on the dance-floor and my body in every beat of the rhythm. I smiled at the beauty of life. I was home.
B made arrangements for after-party chills. She took me to a chill spot at one of the city’s 24 hour malls where a small group of people had gathered. We introduced ourselves and began settling into the group conversation. As I sampled the different conversations happening around us I caught onto a young man sat opposite me talking about racism. He was a tall, white, Australian guy talking about how he witnessed South African farmers being racist towards black people on his trip there. I was immediately interested. This white guy a stranger, had something to say about his observations on racism in Africa. What were they? Who was he? I turned to listen to him finish his story.
I found out the traveller was born in a small town in Australia and had left at quite a young age to discover the world. He talked of his adventures to Pakistan and India. He told us about the countries he had visited in Africa – Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and others. He said he didn’t need much to travel, he carried a backpack with all his belongings and worked odd jobs whenever he could to support his livelihood.
I was fascinated by the freedom. Imagine, to pack one’s bags and set off for foreign land with no fear at what was left behind nor hesitation at what lay ahead. What a dream! I asked The Traveller his opinion on the different countries he had visited and whether he was ever afraid during his voyages. He said that he had learn’t one thing across his travels, that no country was as bad as they said it would be and every country had as many ups as the perceived downs. I asked if he missed his home. Although I could begin to grasp some understanding of physical freedom, I was struggling to understand emotional freedom – the idea of not being attached to anything or anyone enough to live without them. Surely that was difficult?
The Traveller took a moment before responding, then he said that he knew his mother missed him, with guilt in his eyes. He added that he would be visiting her later in the year, but he could not stay. The people in his small home town could not grasp the idea of life let alone joy in ant of the places he had been to. Their minds did not see beyond their own comfortable, safe white walls and this is something The Traveller could not cope with.
I couldn’t help but notice the privilege he had to enable him to live and travel around the world in the manner in which he did. I said to him: “As a black woman, I cannot imagine travelling to half the countries you have mentioned, hitching rides to my next stop and stopping locals for odd jobs to fund my meals.” I mean it’s a struggle just walking home in England from the bus stop after a certain time of night, I still have the rape alarm mum gave me at 15. He agreed that it would be difficult for me as a woman AND as a black person to travel in the style with which he did without an increased fear of safety. So we went on to discuss white privilege.
I don’t believe in coincidence, I never have. I believe this trip had been ordained and planned out for me from y breakdown before arrival, to my meeting with The Traveller on my first weekend. I grew up in a small town in Yorkshire, England and have been surrounded with racism in one way or another since I can remember. I’m highly sensitive to my environment, so it does still affect me, and sometimes it builds up to this heap of helplessness that entraps me and my blackness to a silent acceptance. But let me make it clear that I do not NEED a white person to reaffirm my view, experience, or a societal condition I know to exist. BUT nonetheless, it did something for the wall i had built inside to hear this young white man acknowledge the existence of white privilege and further go on to add that he had personally witnessed it in Africa.
The traveller described a trip to South Africa where he had worked on a white farmer’s field and the farmer would openly express his hate of black people. He described the internal conflict he experienced, disagreeing with the farmer but having to stay for his keep. I let him continue, looking back on this conversation, perhaps it was as much therapy for him as it was for me? Anyway he opened up about his love life to me, he said that most of his friends had labelled him as ‘the guy who likes black girls’. He said they didn’t understand that race was not the preference but humanity was. When they talked about his ex-girlfriend who was black he would tell them:
“I don’t like her because she is black, I like her because she is beautiful.”
At this point, most people around us had left for home. It was the early hours of Sunday morning and we had been talking for hours. I broke the intense focus and realised almost everyone I knew was gone. So I stood up to leave as well and The Traveller walked me to my transport. We had both got more than we could have asked for with our meeting. If the universe saw it fit to bring us together once again then we would accept it. We didn’t exchange any details not even our full names. As we walked away from one another he stopped and said to me :
“I hope you find what you are looking for.”
To which I responded:
After all, we were both just nomads looking for home.
Coat: Mango | Top: Topshop | Trousers: Mango | Boots : Mango | Scarf: Mum’s
It’s me. Haha bet you’re like ‘who?’ Me! Your favourite Zambian UK blogger 😀
It’s been so long that I wouldn’t be surprised if you had forgotten me. It’s been over 10 weeks since I last blogged. April 15 I posted my favourite smoothie recipe and then I left. The smoothie didnt kill me in case you were wondering! I just left. Metaphorically took a break from my usual life routine and physically packed my bags and left the country
(As you can see pictured above. I want to keep the blog flowing so it’s important for me to include this part of life too. Sorry for backdated photos, but I have so much summer content ready to go up after this!)
So, where did I go?
I went home. I set off on a journey at the end of April. Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure what I was searching for on the journey but I was desperate to find something. So off I went ready but not sure what for. And it was epic. Zambia was like being on a rollercoaster on the highest cloud in the sky. I ate (maybe too much), I cried, I loved, was forced to forgive, forced to seek, forced to be strong and vulnerable at the same time and forced to accept myself, fully.
I think as an immigrant, I’ve always been wandering around searching – mentally or spiritually for something in the back of my mind, for rest, for home. But where is home really? Aren’t we all looking for somewhere we belong? The latter could not ring truer for me. I did not realise how much I needed to be back in Zambia, immersed in the culture and surrounded by my people until I was in their midst.
I’m not so sure when I got so confused, it must have sank in somewhere between my mid-week breakdown at work before the weekend we flew out and halfway through our flight to the motherland. My read for the flight was Maya Angelou’s Mom & Me & Mom, a book I’d wanted to read for so long but had not been mentally ready to do so. I had this sneaky suspicion that I wouldn’t be able to hold myself together through the book and you must always trust your instinct because BOY WAS I RIGHT! I mean I knew the book would affect me but I did not realise how much until I was bawling my eyes out on the Boeing aircraft all the way to Nairobi. I literally cried for over 4 hours, the passenger next to me went from being worried to being scared, and didn’t know what to do (I’m so sorry Sir) but I couldn’t stop. I guess it was two things:
1- The beginning of healing for me, from the emptiness that winter’s depression left
2- The manifestation of all my fears wrapped into one when Maya in her book, takes us through the death of her mother and having to cope with that.
I’ve found that Ms Angelou’s books are therapy to my soul, her words are put together in such a way that they pierce the most buried layers of my soul to find me hiding underneath then hold my hand walk me to the surface. It’s therapy for me.
My first weekend in Zambia’s capital Lusaka set the tone of my trip perfectly. In fact I think that for the next post I write in the series, I will began with a line from that day – ‘I hope you find what you are looking for.’
- Part two to come next week
- Follow my instagram page for all my Zambian adventures @Metiyachique
Living life. How many of us can honestly say we are living life? I mean really being a part of this ‘living’ experience. I’m going to be honest, a large portion of my life has been spent ‘surviving’. It’s just dawning on me how much ‘coping’ I do verses LIVING life.
So much is going in this world, I mean just this week we had terrorist attacks right in the middle of London. Innocent people going about their day had their lives taken away from them, no warning, no nothing. What is life?
How come some of us get the chance to wake up everyday and get to sleep in our beds every night and don’t even notice that we are ALIVE? I’ve been thinking about it for a while, it’s tiring. When my grandma passed away this year, I realised that there is actually nothing in this life that is guaranteed. You can make plans but there is no guarantee that they will come to pass. Really all we have is today, several individual moments that come together to pass a day, a week, a month or year.
We all go through dark times, certainly for me those times make me appreciate the good times so much more. It is wonderful to wake up and not feel pointless. That it’s a new day and I’m a part of it and there are endless possibilities to what I can do. I am so grateful for better, brighter days – really noticing those little things we don’t usually have time for – birds singing in the garden, my family enjoying a meal together, my friends laughing with me. There are so many blessings we have, if only we choose to notice them.
As the weather gets brighter, I feel the dark cocoon that wrapped around me breaking apart. It releases and frees me from its trap, which made me almost forget what it means to enjoy life or to appreciate living. It was really hard guys and I’m so grateful for making it through.. So many of us will go through dark times, but I just really want to encourage you that it will be over, you will be free, you will laugh and smile and feel again. Your storm will not last forever, and somehow you will get through it.
It’s time to be a part of this living experience, let’s remember how blessed we are everyday to wake up AND be able to go to sleep. I’m so glad for your life and super excited to share this journey of living life to the fullest with you. I hope you’ll join me. x MC
Skirt: Missguided | Top: River Island | Hair: Curl Genetics
Happy Sunday darlings,
We made it! Yes we got through the first week of 2017, back to work and reality after the holidays and we survived. How was your first week of the year? For me, it has already been full of lessons, and I can already feel God pulling me towards a life of no fear and living fearlessly. Telling me that I can aim for more than just survival, like a lyric that sticks in my mind from Nicki Minaj “to live doesn’t mean you are alive”. And thats a fact.
In aiming to do more than survive this year, I have taken on a different mindset to LIVING. This includes deliberate behaviours I am practicing in the form of making better habits, from the thoughts I allow to linger in my mind to the words I let out my mouth and finally to the actions I involve myself in. These are deliberate choices, around my physical health, my mental wellbeing and my spiritual and emotional happiness.
I look forward to sharing more on some of these things in upcoming posts. And I really want to encourage you to take back control of your life this year. There is nothing stopping you living the life you want and taking steps towards it TODAY. Decide what it is you want and then go after it with all your might. I truly believe this will be a year of making dreams come true.
All my love x MC
Happy New Year my darlings! We made it through 2016 and have seen through another year. It has been a wonderful year for me, that doesn’t mean that it was easy, it was downright tough at times. But when I look at how many bad situations turned into wonderful opportunities and all the things God brought me through – I cannot help but consider it a good year.
Perception is everything. Do remember at this time that your journey is completely unique to you. Look neither left nor right, but focus instead on your own path and consider where you have come from and where you are now. It might not even be visible on the outside- in fact the most significant change is that which occurs inside a person, it cannot be measured by material things but its added in wisdom and knowledge and peace. Well done on all your growth last year, you shall prosper even further in this new year.
This blog has been like a virtual diary for me. I hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I appreciate you for partaking in my world and I’ve got so many plans for us to get even closer this year. It will be all about working from the inside out and sharing practices to help us accomplish success in health, fitness, and knowledge together. Here is to being the best you in 2017.
Happy New Year x MC