Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Solo City breaks in Paris: Photo Diary

Picture of Hotel Carina Tour Eiffel

Picture of Hotel Carina Tour Eiffel

They say 'Time waits for no one' & that sure is true. I learnt a long time ago that waiting on people to do things with, sometimes means you'll miss out on a lot of experiences. I think as people we have to learn to enjoy our own company before we can fully embrace the presence of others around us.

In my last post here, I talked about "Getting out the way of yourself" and doing things outside your comfort zone. So what better way to kick start the year than travelling to Paris...alone! A lot of people questioned me on this but where is the rulebook that I have to explore the world with someone by my side at all times. I did this for the experience of something different & to be honest just because one of my goals was to travel somewhere alone. I haven't travelled outside the UK in a very long time , so it was a big deal for me & as I said 'Time waits for no one'. So I took the jump & went for it. I chose to stay at Hotel Carina Tour Eiffel in the Beaugrenelle/Charles Michel area. The hotel was only 3 stars but a lovely place nonetheless with welcoming, friendly staff, a comfy bed & a bathroom with the most amazing lighting! Situated on a quiet side road, a short walk from the Eiffel Tower, it really made my stay very comforting.

Picture of Eiffel Tower View, Paris
Picture of Eiffel Tower View, Paris

My first day was spent visiting the Eiffel Tower, typical touristy stuff. Thankfully this was only down the road from me so I was able to walk and explore a little on my journey. It was so cold! London was actually mild compared to how cold it was in Paris that day. Nonetheless I braved waiting ages to go up the Eiffel Tower (all 3 floors) and it was worth every minute. The views of Paris from the top were incredible & I could see every other monument. By the time I got up there it was very dark but being the city of lights, I could see the whole city lit up including the wheel at Place de la Concorde & Arc de Triomphe. Such a great view of a beautiful city. 

Picture of Arc de Triomphe, Paris

It was so weird to be a tourist for once. To every international person who has struggled with English here, I feel your pain now. My French was so poor that the only words I could mutter correctly were "Bonjour" and "Merci". I do wish I would have learnt more before going. Seeing the monuments that I hear people talk about so much; Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower etc.. really gave me a sense of fulfilment, to see things you've only seen in pictures in reality is exciting but it made me want to explore the world more. The world is such an incredible thing, how can I possibly go through life without seeing what it has to offer.

The boots I had chosen to wear on my second day, turned out to not be for walking so I decided to reside my shopping trip on Champ Elysees in Vapianos for a much loved pizza, which had the most amazing plant wall that I had to snap before I left. Honestly the small greenhouse in Vapianos Oxford Circus is minor compared to that.

I spent the last couple of days around the Concorde area. A walking tour showed me more landmark places such as The Love Lock Bridge, The Louvre, Notre Dame etc.. it also brought me to Rue de Rivoli where I was able to visit Colette, a store I had heard a lot about. That place is so cool, if I ever decided to move to Paris, that is where I would want to work for sure! I love how chic the French make everything look, even right down to their Stone Island boutique, that looked like it would have a nice feature at fashion week.

Picture of Place de la Concorde ParisPicture of Palais Garnier, Paris
Picture of Rue de Rivoli, Paris

As strange as it was for me to be in another country & city on my own, Paris is so intriguing and calm that I did not feel out of place or bored. The people are very kind & it's so easy to get around especially by walking or the Metro, I highly recommend anyone to go there for a solo trip if you are considering one. I hope this year brings me many more great experiences outside my comfort zone, I really want to invest in experiences this year. I took this trip not only to have some me time but to get back into taking photos & I'm pretty sure my motivation is back.

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow"

Saturday, 28 January 2017

New Year. Same Vision.



I plan to go into this new year with a positive mindset & focus on my visions & goals. With a new blog name, Tia Aaliyah, and a more lifestyle with a hint of fashion based approach I hope that I will slide back into it.

I want to share some of the things I will be & have been doing that I believe are the keys to making the year a successful one.


1. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
Seeing is believing. If you write them down, it becomes more of a to do list that you can tick off over time. Write down everything you want to achieve for the year. It could be as small as finishing a project to travelling somewhere you've always wanted to go. If the same goal comes to your mind, write it down again.

2. ENVISION IT
Vision boards. Think pinterest but on paper. What are your long term goals? Gather all your end goal visions into images and make them into a vision board. One huge one or separate ones for different areas e.g. health/fitness, career, travel etc. Place it somewhere you will see it everyday, you are more likely to stay motivated if you can see what you are working towards.

3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD ENERGY
It is not always about cutting people off. Meet new people. Spend more time with those who uplift you & encourage you to achieve your goals. Watch people who inspire you. Listen to their journeys. Steve Harvey has become such a great mentor for me lately, in terms of success this man has come far from nothing and I highly recommend watching his motivational videos or reading one of his books.

4. SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!
I'm going to do a separate post on how I save money. Last year I saved nearly £3k and believe me it really makes a difference when you save effectively. It enabled me to do things like treat myself here & there but also I am able to plan ahead knowing I am capable of saving enough & still not having to miss out on anything along the way.

5. GET OUT OF THE WAY OF YOURSELF.
I learnt this one from watching Steve Harvey's talk show & it's honestly one of the biggest habits of my own. It's the same as stepping out of your comfort zone. We hold ourselves back from so many things we are capable of because of fear & doubt. Steve says "If you do not jump, you will never soar....If you don't jump, you will never know" So this year I will do just that!