photo slideshow

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Africa Travel Tips You Need to Know

Africa has been at the top of my bucket list since I can even remember. These tips definitely make me want to get on a plane and fly there now! 

Africa can be a wonderful place to visit, but you need to be prepared before you arrive. You can’t head over there without doing a lot of research first - it’ll be a totally different world compared to what you’re used to. These tips will keep you safe and comfortable so you can have the best time wherever you are in Africa!

Leave Your Nice Jewellery at Home

You take risks when you visit any country, so don’t let this put you off. There have been incidents where nice jewellery has been stolen from visitors, so make sure you leave your nice jewellery at home. There’s no need to wear it here anyway. Try to get back to nature and embrace the culture - nobody else will be wearing expensive Rolexes or diamond rings, so leave it at home. You would be devastated if anything happened, so don’t risk it.


Pack Much Less

Pack much less than you think you need. Africa is a hot place and you’ll more than likely get there to realise you need half the stuff you brought. Even though Malaysia is hot all year round too, you don’t need to worry about packing for every single circumstance that could occur, so try to keep it to one small bag.

Carry a Snack With You

Carry a snack with you, such as a cereal bar or something that will give you energy. Nothing that can melt, ideally! This is a great trick for when you’re exploring and become hungry with no food nearby. Also a great tip if for whatever reason you don’t want to get any street food that day.

Buy a Cheap Phone

Maybe you lose your phones a lot or you’re worried about having it stolen. It’s simple: get a cheap phone before you leave or buy one when you get there. This way you can still stay in touch with people you’re travelling with and contact home if you need to. It won’t cost you much to replace if you lose it, and there won’t be anything sentimental on there. It’s a no brainer!

Haggle a Lot

When you’re scouring the markets and other places to buy, haggle a lot. Practicing your haggling skills is a norm being from South East Asia. Don’t feel like you have to pay full price for anything - usually paying even 50% of the full price is too much! They expect you to haggle here so make sure you do it. You can usually get stuff for very, very low prices.

Do Try the Local Food

Trying the local food is a must here. The street food is seriously cheap and you can save a fortune on your budget from eating there. Just be sure the vendors are in an area of a lot of people, as this means the food will be fresher and hygiene taken more seriously. Choose some exciting restaurants too - avoid westernised restaurants if possible. Buzz Kenya stories can reveal more about the best food and what to try!

Insect Repellent is a Must

Mosquitos over here are demons, so insect repellent is a must. You might even want to take a mosquito killing device with you, so you’re well prepared if anything tries to attack.

Drink a Lot of Water

One of the worst things that can happen on a trip like this is becoming dehydrated, so make sure you drink a lot of water.

Above all else, have a great time and don’t forget to make some local friends!

Sien jou gou,
Calista xx

(Apparently that's "see you soon" in Afrikaans! =P)

*This post was contributed by a guest blogger.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

6 Ways to Find New Places to Eat


It's no secret: I love food. The good thing is, I think everyone else does too! Even if you're very careful about what you eat, you should enjoy every mouthful you take. Although I like cooking at home, going out to eat is even better. I can have what I want, I don't have to cook it, and there's no washing up for me to do either! I love to try new places, but sometimes I can get stuck in a rut. Finding somewhere new to taste-test isn't always easy. I know you have to take a risk sometimes, but I don't want the risk of a bad meal to be high. Disappointing meals make me cry! So I have a few things I can do to find the best restaurants to try out, whether I'm travelling or at home.

Get All the Apps

There really is an app for everything, so I always make sure I have some restaurant discovery apps on my phone. They can tell me the nearest places to go from where I am, what they're like and how people rate them. They help me find a restaurant when I'm in a hurry and about to starve if I don't eat right now. It's great to have something to help when I'm out and about, and maybe when I'm travelling and don't know the city too well. It's even better if there are offers and discounts available too. I just discovered one for Malaysia,, which is going to expand into other Southeast Asian cities soon.

Watch Out for New Openings

Sometimes the best time to try a restaurant is when it's just opened up. Although it can also be the worst time, for a few reasons: It might be very busy if there's a buzz surrounding the opening, and you might have the best meal of your life, only to discover that the restaurant didn't last more than a month. But, like I said, you have to take risks sometimes. Visiting a restaurant when they're just finding their feet can give you some great experiences. If you want to hear about new restaurants, it's a good idea to sign up for newsletters for local websites. Look at food bloggers, news sites, and more to hear about Monterey restaurants and other places around the world before anyone else. It's also a great idea to set up a Google alert that sends you results for "(your city) new restaurant".


Choose at Random

I love a surprise. And the surprise of a great meal you weren't expecting is one of the best things in the world. It's amazing how you can stumble across incredible food in the most unlikely places. You can walk into a café or restaurant thinking it looks a bit ropey, and the food could change your life. Sometimes when I'm travelling and at home too I just pick somewhere at random. It might be a fancy restaurant, or it could be a street food vendor. It might be a bad choice, but usually it's an excellent one.

Do Lots of Research

Using the internet to research can help you to discover lots of incredible restaurants. It's an especially good thing to do before you go on a trip if you don't know what to expect. You can try starting with the top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor and similar websites to see what everyone loves. There are other ways to find out the best places to go too. If you're looking for somewhere prestigious, look for restaurants that have Michelin stars. Usually, I don't need something that upmarket, though!

Read Reviews

When you're researching online, reviews can be useful. But I don't listen to them all the time since they can sometimes be all over the place. Some people will always find something to complain about, so you have to know when to ignore a bad review. Sometimes it's better to look at average ratings than it is to read individual reviews. Personal opinions might not mean much, unless they're all exceptionally good or awful. They do help you avoid the terrible restaurants that will only give you food poisoning!

Ask the Locals

If you don't know where to go, whether you're at home or travelling, try asking someone. You can start with family or friends who might have experiences. One of the things I like to do is ask someone local who knows the area well. You can talk to the staff at your hotel if you're on a trip or just walk into a shop and get someone's opinion.

Looking for new restaurants to try can sometimes be a pain, but it's definitely worth it when I discover somewhere amazing. How do you find places you love? Drop me some suggestions below! =)

Living to Eat,
Calista xx

*This post was contributed by a guest blogger.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Travel Tips For A Safe Vacation

As you probably all know I love to travel; exploring the world and experiencing new things is very important to me. Whether for work or for pleasure, when it comes to trips away, safety needs to be a priority. You’ve got to be sensible and ensure you’re going to be safe at all times in this strange new place you're visiting to ensure you have an enjoyable and memorable break.
Where to next? - Bangkok 2015
So, I’ve come up with a short list of suggestions that I think you can use. These will help you to work toward having a safer vacation. Try to bear these in mind when you decide to book your trip, as well as when you’re there.
Travel With Friends
Safety in numbers is the phrase that springs to mind. Sure, if you’re a seasoned traveller you’ll have no qualms about travelling on your own. But, if you’re fairly new to the vacation experience abroad I’d advise you go with friends or family. Many of the places will be very different culturally to what you’re used to. As such, you need to make sure you are in a safe environment, and surrounded by people you know. This will help you transition much better.
Find the Essentials as Soon as You Arrive
One of the first things I do when I arrive at my destination is to scope out the essentials. And I suggest you make this a priority for your vacation as well. You need to think about things that will make you feel much safer. Scope out where the nearest police station is, and where the hospital is. These are essential things that you’ll need to know. Find out where they are in relation to your hotel. Knowing where these things are is going to give you a much better sense of safety.
Research Thoroughly Beforehand
You should never go into anything unprepared, and I look at my vacations in much the same way. That’s why I suggest you research thoroughly before you go. You need to find out about areas to avoid, places that are the safest, and become familiar with where you’re going. For instance, you can use this website to do some research about Africa if you're going there. That way you’ll be knowledgeable before you arrive. I should note that a lot of these places are going to be very culturally different than what you're used to. So you need to know about these differences for your own safety.
Always Let Someone Know Where You Are
Of course, the key to safety anywhere is common sense. And when I’m abroad I always make sure I let someone know where I am. I call a friend or family member each day to check in. If you’re worried about roaming charges, you can always use a pay phone. Or try to connect to the Wi-Fi wherever you’re staying and send a message. This is an essential security step, and one that I now do instinctively.

Okay, guys, you’ve reached the end, and hopefully I’ve given you some useful tips. I love going on vacation, and sometimes I even love to go on my own. But whatever you choose, remember that he point of a vacation is to unwind and have some fun, so you don’t want to be worrying about your safety. Follow these tips, and have the best holiday possible!

Travel safe,
Calista xx

*This post was contributed by a guest blogger

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Finally on BlogLovin!

Hey guys!

So I'm finally on Bloglovin'! I'd heard about it before of course, but only just decided to sign up and see what it is. If you're also a member of Bloglovin', do follow me on there, or if you like reading my blog, you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin for all the latest updates! =)

See you there,
Calista xx

PS: You can also find me here on -

Snapchat: @CalistaLeahLiew
17: @CalistaLeahLiew

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

What You Should Know About Travelling On Your Own

Sometimes you really need a getaway, but no one else can get away with taking time off to join you (pun intended). Or maybe you're excited about visiting a place where none of your other friends seem interested in. This can definitely be a bummer , but all is not lost! You could still make the scary decision of.. Travelling on your own. 
Get on that plane!

Wait! Travelling on your own, whether you’re just going for a holiday or an extended period of time, can be a great idea. In fact, most people who have done it will tell you that they had the time of their lives! So many people say that travelling alone is something everybody should do at least once - I promise it's not that scary after all! Imagine: doing everything you want to do with no restrictions, meeting new people, and making memories for life! Here are a few things you should know about travelling on your own if you’re still dubious about it:

You Can Get to Know Yourself a Lot Better
Travelling alone is the perfect opportunity to get to know yourself a lot better. Some say that you can’t have great relationships with anybody else if you don’t already have the best relationship with yourself. Spending time on your own in an unfamiliar place is the best way to get to know yourself and become comfortable spending time alone. You’ll then find that your relationship with other people is greatly improved!

You Should Go Somewhere With Lots of Good Reviews
As travelling or holidaying alone can be dangerous, you’re much better off going to a place with lots of good reviews. You’ll never find a place with 100% good reviews, but you will find somewhere with a majority of them. Research everything: accommodation, the kinds of restaurants you’re interested in, activities, and more. The more you know about a place before you set off, the better!

Always Research Safety Issues in the Area Before You Leave
Depending on where you go, there may be different safety issues to consider. Make sure you read up on them and then take precautions to keep yourself safe. There are all kinds of things you can do, from leaving a note in your room, to making sure you don’t drink too much. Making friends is great, but you must keep your wits about you.

Have Emergency Numbers and Plans on Hand Just In Case
You never know what might happen, so have emergency numbers and plans on hand just in case something goes wrong. Pre-empt certain situations and then think about how you’ll help yourself should they arrive. It might not be too much fun to consider, but you'll be glad you’re prepared when you arrive.
You Should Attempt the Language
Learning a few words and phrases can make your time in this place so much better. Even if you aren’t very good, don’t be afraid to give it a go. The locals will likely be impressed and you might even get special treatment.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket
You should find that travelling alone increases your confidence to no end. You’ll find endless reasons to be proud of yourself!

You’ll Probably Make Great Friends
Travelling alone is a brilliant opportunity to make great friends. Keep an open mind and you’ll have some unforgettable experiences!

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to feel excited about travelling alone. Leave any thoughts you have below, and have an amazing time on your travels!

Dreaming of the next trip,
Calista xx

*This is a contributed post.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

How to: Your Guide to Throwing an Awesome House Party

Ever been in that weird limbo of wanting to party, but at the same time you can't really be bothered to leave the house? In the words of Sam Hunt: If you're gonna be a homebody, We're gonna have a house party! 
House parties can be so much fun, and are a nice change from going out and spending way too much money. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that everybody is having a good time. Take a look:

Put Away Valuables
Grab everything you would be afraid to lose or get broken and put them away somewhere safe. Lock them away or take them to a friend’s house if you need to, just don’t leave them anywhere they can become damaged. I don’t know how rowdy this house party is going to get, so I’m just giving you some sensible advice!

Lock Doors
A house party doesn't mean you have to let your home be a free-for-all! If you want people to stay in the living room, for instance, you’re going to need to lock or barricade other doors. You don’t know what people might get up to in your bedroom when your back is turned (just saying)!

Make Signs to the Bathroom
Everybody is going to need the bathroom, so make signs up there so nobody ends up ‘accidentally’ taking a nap in your mum and dads room, or worse yet going to the toilet in the wardrobe. This is especially important if people are likely to drink so much that they're sick. Do you want to scrub puke out of your carpets? Didn't think so!

Create a Playlist
Create a playlist so you can set the atmosphere of your party. You can easily do this with Spotify, but there are a ton of other applications you can use too. Make sure it’s long enough that certain songs don’t repeat. If you’re having a themed party, make sure your playlist matches the theme!

Only Tell A Select Few
We’ve all heard the horror stories. Somebody announces their house party on social media and the whole town turns up and trashes their place. Only tell people you trust about the party. It’s always a bad idea making it a ‘more the merrier’ event, especially if you don’t know people. You could consider asking them to bring a plus one if you want some newbies there, but tell them to keep it on the low. Don’t ever let people you don’t know into your home!

Drinking games can bring any party to life!credit
Have Plenty to Drink
You might want to tell people to bring their own drinks, but if you want to be a good host, you should have something to offer them too. If you run out, you can always head to the closest liquor store, but you won’t want to leave the party for too long, so stocking up beforehand is definitely advisable. Keeping an eye on things is important, or it could all go awry!

Buy a Few Snacks
People may need snacks to soak up the alcohol, and you don’t want them to be tempted to raid your fridge or cupboards. Buy some snacks to keep them happy. You could even order pizza later on in the night.

Pre-book Taxis
One issue with parties is having people outstay their welcome. Have taxis pre-booked for the time you think you’ll want everybody to leave. This way, you don’t have to worry about kicking them out the next day either!

Have a great party, and be sensible!

Waiting for the invite,
Calista xx

*This is a contributed post.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Celebrity Gossip: How to Keep in the Loop!

Taylor Swift has had every hair colour by now, and looks good in all!
The life of a celebrity, whether we like them or not, is something we all seem to get sucked into, one way or another. From their next career move, to their private lives, curiosity seems to get the better of us, especially with so many attention-grabbing headlines that seem to pop up almost everywhere! Nowadays, quenching your thirst for celebrity gossip is simply a click away, but here are some tips to make sure you're always in the know:

Go to Events: 
An excellent way to find out what’s happening with your favourite celebrities is to attend the same events. There are many events that happen these days that celebrities will attend - they might be film premieres, gallery openings or festivals. And the good news is, you can attend these events too. As someone who works in events, I've been lucky enough to meet my fair share of stars in the past. So I’d recommend visiting any of the events that will have celebrities in attendance. This is a great way to find out more about them, and you might even be in a position to strike up a conversation with them as well! Just don't go totally fan-girl and creep them out, ok? =P

Social Media Sites:
One of the most powerful forms of interaction these days is through the use of social media. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are free and easy to use, and what’s more, you’ll find that many celebrities are active on these sites - some even have social media to thank for pushing them that much faster up the star ladder. You have the opportunity to interact with these celebrities on a more personal level, but you can also choose to just keep an eye on them, and follow stories about them. The power of social media should not be underestimated, and I can’t tell you the number of things I’ve found out about celebs from these sites. My social media is linked above if you'd like to follow me too! =)
Read Magazines and Go Online:
There are a LOT of magazines in publication these days dedicated to celebrity gossip, and there's usually a section at the supermarket/book store dedicated solely to these gossip mags. It’s a wealth of celebrity information right at your fingertips. Going online and doing "research" is as easy as typing the name of the celeb you're interested in into Google search, and tons of sites detailing the latest juicy details, as well as interesting facts such as their early life and earnings will pop up, like,, or even good old Wikipedia. These are quick and affordable ways to find out all you can about your favourite stars.
Gossip With Girlfriends:
As if you don't already have tons to gossip about with the girlies! One of the best forms of keeping in the loop is to have a regular gossip with your girlfriends. I have a couple of close friends who I like to keep in contact with on the regular. We message or talk on the phone a lot, and we’re always trading celebrity stories and titbits. This is an excellent way of keeping up with all the latest gossip. You should think about doing this, and you may find you get details you weren’t aware of before.
What's the latest on the Biebs? Google it!
Image Source
If you’re anything like me (and don’t bother trying to deny it!), there’s no doubt you’ll want to keep up with the latest celebrity gossip. I hope these tips help you out, and who knows? Maybe next time your friends will all come running to you for the latest info!

Drop me a comment to let me know if you enjoyed this guide, and if you'd like more in the future!

'Til next time,
Calista xx

*This is a contributed post.