Experiences We’d Like to Try

In today’s post we’re going to talk about some of the experiences we’d love to try out. They range from food and drink ones, high thrills, sporting and cultural events, and what the natural world has to offer. Here’s a list of just some of the things we’d love to experience:

Food and drink:

Go on a wine tasting tour

Go on a food tour 

Go to a proper sushi bar in Japan

Visit a top cocktail bar

High thrills:

Sky diving

Bungee jumping

Snorkelling

Kayaking

Sporting and Theatre Events:

Go to an Ireland rugby match at the Aviva Stadium

Go to a Liverpool match at Anfield

Attend a Broadway show – especially Hamilton and Les Miserable

Go to Disneyland/Disney World

Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Visit the Natural History Museum

Natural World:

Go on a real safari

See the Northern Lights

Diving with sharks

Travel the West Highland Way

Walk the Camino de Santiago

What are the experiences you would love to try out? Let us know if there are experiences you think we should try out. We’re always looking for ways to enjoy life more!

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL – Pick a Word

Hello everyone, today we are participating in Pick a Word Paula’s Thursday Special. We discovered this after reading Mari’s contribution here, which talks about an amazing looking festival at Forlimpopuli in Italy. Check them out their blogs are worth a read!

The words that Paula has gave us to attach photos to are as follows:

ESTIVAL (cause it is still summer)

CUISINE (cause we all have to eat)

RIFT (cause it lends itself to a number of possible interpretations)

INSTRUCTIVE (cause we are being given tons of instructions lately)

and

SPAN (cause I am reaching out to you again, trying to bridge time and obstacles)

The Killers
757Food in Belfast
The waterfall walk at Glenariff
Instructions at Coppi Belfast
A rainbow spanning the sky

We decided to go with Northern Ireland for this one, first we have The Killers at Belsonic festival.

Next we have a meal at Bootleggers Belfast.

Then the river cutting a rift through the Glens of Antrim.

Instructions for our first post-lockdown meal.

Finally a rainbow spanning the sky at Ballygally Castle where we had our wedding reception.

Can’t wait to see what the next Thursday special will entail!

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain

Hotels Versus Airbnb

Often when you go away on holiday, one of the most important questions is where you’re going to stay. For us, we want somewhere that’s central, not too pricey, and comfortable and clean. We feel like it’s important to check out all your options before you visit somewhere, and find the option that’s best for you for whichever trip you’re going on. So, we always think it’s a good idea to check out both hotels and Airbnbs. There are many reasons to choose either one, and today we’d like to talk about them. This isn’t a post pitting one against the other – both accommodations have their pros and cons. We’ve stayed in some beautiful hotels and Airbnbs, and we’ve staying in some rather dire hotels and Airbnbs.  It’s just about finding what’s right for you, and bear in mind that can change from trip to trip.

First up, hotels. For most of us they’re the more familiar of the two, and many people would automatically gravitate towards them. The idea of a hotel is well established in our minds, when you book one you generally know what you’re getting. They’re generally easier to find when you arrive in a new location, especially if you get a taxi and don’t speak the language. They’re perfect for those of us who love to book an early flight so we can kick off exploring a new destination right away, because even if you’re room isn’t ready, there’s normally a storage room to drop your bag off in. Hotels are also great as there tends to always be someone there if you have an issue, or need something for your room. They also tend to feel more secure, although this isn’t saying that they are. We also think they’re great as they often have a bar and restaurant on sight. This makes them perfect if you can’t be bothered venturing out, or if you want somewhere to go back to for a nightcap before bed.

Hotels are great, and can be perfect, especially for a shorter stay. However, they’re not without their negative points. Often they are part of a chain, and can begin to feel generic and duplicated in style. While we know this isn’t a massive issue, it is something we think it worth pointing out. Also, depending on the style of hotel, they can attract loud and disruptive crowds of people, such as stag or hen parties. This means they’re not great if you like to get an early night, or wake up early. They’re also not ideal if you can’t afford to eat out for all three meals, as they don’t allow for self-catering. It’s always handy having small kitchen facilities to whip up something for breakfast and lunch, even if it’s just a small fridge and some cutlery and crockery for cereal and sandwiches.

Next up is the relatively new Airbnb. We had never stayed in one until we went on our honeymoon to Italy, and then we stayed in three back to back. Because it was our first time, and our honeymoon, we were a little bit apprehensive. However we’ve found them to be a pleasant experience for the most part. Unlike hotels, they’re great for those of us that love a self-catering element to their holidays. This is great for two reasons – it allows you to save some money on eating out, and it can lead to a home from home feeling, which is perfect if you’re planning on staying for a few days. Speaking of a homely feeling, Airbnbs often tend to feel more personalised. They can be bare and basic, but they can also be beautiful, unique, and reflect the style of the person renting it out, which we find to be pretty cool. The personalised feeling also extends to a local knowledge that tends to mean you find out about places off the beaten track.  

Our Airbnb in Florence

This was our favourite Airbnb we stayed in, it was based near the centre of Florence and the host Chiara was amazing. It can be booked here – please note this is an affiliate link and we will earn a small amount of money if you book through it.

They aren’t without their disadvantages though. We found them to be problematic on three fronts. Firstly, they can be difficult to find, especially if they’re in a less touristy areas. Because they’re just an apartment or house, there’s no signage outside to indicate you’re at the right building. Which is fine if you have a way of contacting the owner for directions. But we’ve been in situations when we’re wandering around with our bags, unable to find an apartment or get an answer from the person renting out the Airbnb. And that leads us to the third negative point – what to do with your bags. Many Airbnbs won’t be ready for check-in until the afternoon, which means if you have an early flight you’ll be stuck pulling suitcases around, and having to keep an eye on them. There’s obviously the option to book a later flight, but this doesn’t suit some people.

So, hotel or Airbnb? Honestly, there’s no one answer. We think the best thing to do is plan what kind of trip you want to go on, and then choose the option best suited for your needs at that time. Like anything, it’s just about weighing up the pros and cons, and then going with what feels right. Either way, you’re still going to be on holiday!

Until then, stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

Brianna and Iain