Following my dreams (just need to find out what they are) Chapter 2: Cyprus

Tuesday, 27th of August,

Wow. I do NOT know where to start from. If you could only see what is happening inside my head.

OK let’s start from right now.

I’ve been in Cyprus for two days and I spent the first one at the beach, at a gorgeous little bay in Protaras, Sirena Bay (with a cute, bohemian restaurant at the top of a hill overlooking the sea) which felt like manna from heaven, like rain after a hot, humid day, like a hot cup of tea and chocolate digestives on a freezing cold, winter afternoon.

As you know, I spent August in Cambridge doing my CELTA course. One of the most challenging, intense, stressful but also rewarding, extraordinary experiences of my life so far.

I haven’t slept more than a few hours a night for a month, I cried many a times, my anxiety completely paralysed me more than once, I didn’t get to see Cambridge much, visit Grantchester or the Wren library or go punting (I’m definitely returning in Cambridge just to do all this) but it was all worth it, not only for getting the qualification and marked as ‘above standard’ (Who? Me! I never taught in my life!) but mostly for the friends I made from all over the world. My classmates, my students, my flatmates. I’ll write about it very soon to share my experience with others who are considering doing the CELTA. For now, I’m still trying to recover from it. I still dream of lesson plans, teaching, my classmates, my tutors.

On my last day in the UK, I visited my brother Andi and had an awesome day in London. It didn’t feel real what was happening. I have actually left Southampton for good, I finished my course and I’m on my way to Cyprus, with no fixed plan. What the hell.

I’m in Cyprus since Sunday and I feel completely lost. Should I try and get an English language teaching job and get experience right away, since I absolutely loved teaching, but leave in a month, or should I do what I originally planned, and have a few months of holiday, write, make videos, read books, try different things and then go? Should I go in Vietnam first or Costa Rica? Asia or Latin America? Or Europe?

No bloody idea. For now, I’ll leave all of this behind and enjoy a couple of weeks of holiday, a few days in Protaras and then Rhodes (vlogs coming very soon), get back into my yoga, give my mind time to rest and reset and then who knows.

To all my friends, in Southampton, Cambridge, Russia, Bangladesh, Spain, Italy and wherever else you might be, I miss you dearly already.

I sometimes wish making a decision was easy, so many options but then again how boring life would be if I didn’t have any.



Summer in Cyprus – Protaras

I’m on the plane, staring at the views of this weirdly wonderful world from above, listening to a beautiful I’ll be your mirror cover.

I’ll be your mirror
Reflect what you are, in case you don’t know
I’ll be the wind, the rain and the sunset
The light on your door to show that you’re home

I’m on my way to Southampton after 10 amazing days back home in Cyprus.

I wasn’t meant to go to Cyprus this summer. I went in May, for the little sister’s musical and I wanted to have a holiday somewhere else. Maybe a Greek island? Would my sisters be able to join me?

It’s not always a holiday when I visit home. And this time I desperately needed a proper relaxing break after all the stress I’ve put myself under the last few months.

I had a plan, a vague plan but it didn’t work out. They never do. So I thought I’ll go home instead for ten days, spend half of it somewhere near a swimming pool, a beach, some of the time continue exploring my little island’s beauties one by one and the rest of the time see friends and family. Will this plan work out?

Wednesday 29th of August

I finally fly home today. I’ve been looking forward to it since I booked my ticket a month ago. I can’t wait to get to the AirBnb the little sis and I chose for our mini family holidays, a modern complex with a huge swimming pool in a quiet residential area (and only a five minute drive from the nearest beach) at probably my favourite area, with the most gorgeous, unspoilt beaches on the island.

I got up early, had a cup of tea, packed the last few things, I double and triple- checked everything, an annoying habit that makes its appearance when my anxiety hits the fan and lingers for a while afterwards, and left for the airport early, in case there is any delay on the train or the bus. I may be late for most things, but not when it comes to flying, you probably know that by now.

I arrive at Heathrow well early, have a delicious halloumi and falafel wrap at Pret and sat on a bench people watching and praying for the second episode of Bodyguard to download in time so I can watch it on the plane.

It was an uneventful, smooth flight. First time I used Cobalt, a new Cypriot airline replacing my beloved Cyprus Airways and first impressions were great. Excellent service, comfortable, reclining seats and it felt great to hear some Cypriot before I even get to my little island, though I forgot how loud we are.

Sun, sea and happy parents

I spent, as planned, the first half of my holiday at Protaras, probably my favourite summer destination in Cyprus. Gorgeous, crystal clear blue water, unspoilt little bays and not as touristy and noisy as the neighbouring Ayia Napa or the centre of Protaras or commercialised as Paphos.

On our way there, I noticed a sign on the motorway, whilst I was driving, God I missed driving, of Cyherbia, a new botanical park at a nearby village. I should definitely check that out...

The AirBnb we booked was perfect. Modern, above ordinary clean, comfortable, large enough for five and it had everything we needed AND the host left a bottle of red on arrival. Ah the little touches that make a great host. You can have a peak here.

The swimming pool was just lovely. Large, clean, not too busy. We spent a large part of our day swimming, laughing, relaxing there. We had the most wonderful four days.

The first one, when all five of us, papa, mama and my best friends, my sisters were all together was my favourite. Rosie, the inflatable flamingo little sis and I picked the day before was a big hit!

Precious, rare moments, I’ll always cherish.


During our stay we went to two, Blue-Flag, organised beaches.

First, Trinity Beach. A little blue and white chapel on top of the cliff overseeing a gorgeous picturesque bay.

We spent very little time there as we went just to watch the sunset but I experienced one of those extremely rare moments when my mind completely calms down, the effect of the sea you see, the sound, the views, not thinking of anything else (that almost never happens) but looking around in awe, struggling to believe the beauty my eyes are witnessing, and for that 10 minutes I felt the absolute happiness.


(The little, rock-less, sandy bay, is on the far left, in case you look it up and my snaps confuse you).

We spent our last afternoon in Protaras at Kapparis beach, a stunning bay, perfect for a swim, and of historic or perhaps sentimental importance, or both. The nearest sea to the occupied part. If I were to swim around, I’d be in Varosia (Βαρωσια), the infamous Famagusta Ghost Town, one of the Top Europe Tourist Destinations before the 1974 invasion, which the Turks still keep sealed off since 1974.

I loved everything about it. The Beach Bar at the top that instantly reminded me of a friend who would have loved it, the crystal clear, perfect temperature water.


On one of our evenings in Protaras we walked down the main restaurant and souvenir area and after a delicious dinner (there will be a separate post on food of course) we needed a bit more walking to digest all the food so we walked by the sea.  The warm breeze, the sound of the waves, the beautiful lights, how not to love summer?

Protaras at night

If you ever decide to spend summer in Cyprus, even if you choose to stay somewhere else, I won’t blame you, it’s a tough one, there are so many great places, it’s almost impossible to make a choice, but it’s worth spending a day in Protaras. You won’t regret it.

How blessed am I to be born and raised in such a beautiful island?

PS. On our way back to Nicosia, I could not not make a stop at Cyherbia. I couldn’t stop thinking about it since I looked it up, it looked magical, and I’m glad I went, I had the BEST afternoon, I’d never expected what happened, coming up next!)


First day of holiday- deliciosa cena a la Regata

2:30pm. I’m sitting on my bed listening to Oldies songs, daydreaming. Don’t Stop Believing just came on, reminding me of all the laughs we had learning to sing it at the Staff Choir with Dan years ago, it goes on and on and on and on…

Tomorrow this time I’ll be arriving in Bordeaux. The excitement will probably keep me awake most of the night but all worth it and my week off work wouldn’t have kicked off better.

Day one started with a lazy morning, delicious dinner at La Regata, and drinks with great company.

I was meeting a friend for dinner and I really fancied Spanish Tapas. My Spanish friend Santi as a fellow Mediterranean food lover recommended La Regata down at Town Quay, ‘If you want authentic Spanish food, that’s the place to go’.

I’m now in love with this place. Colourful, traditional and warm decor, the friendliest, most attentive service probably in Southampton, the waiters came over to check on us a couple of times as well as the manager, the lady at the reception even remembered my name (it’s all about the personal touch) and the food was delicious!

I struggle with choice, so deciding which tapas to have was not an easy task. But my food partner for the night and one of the lovely waitresses made it very easy.

We went for six tapas: Queso de Cabra (Grilled goats cheese on toast, topped with caramelized onions and balsamic dressing), Pollo al Chorizo (Chicken cooked with chorizo in a light tomato sauce),  Cerdo Crujiente ( Slices of  grilled crackling pork belly, served with a spiced apple sauce),  Arroz Espanola  (Saffron rice with meat and seafood), Gambas Regata (King prawns cooked with chorizo in garlic oil) and Albondigas (Beef meatballs in a tomato sauce).

And I tried their Sangria (my beer lover friend had a classic San Miguel, I think, don’t take my word for it).
Spanish tapas


All the tapas, not surprisingly were delicious. Flavoursome with just plenty of herbs and spices, as it should be, freshly prepared and very filling. And my sangria was just perfect.

We struggled to finish them, but that’s maybe because we both chatted too much.

I can’t believe I’d never been to La Regata before until yesterday. I genuinely can’t wait to visit again and try more of their scrumptious dishes. Needless to say, I’d definitely recommend it. Local, independent, authentic Spanish restaurant, friendly service and great atmosphere.

Now time to pack for my French mini adventure!



Italy- sisters on tour part 2- Rome

On Friday around noon we left beautiful Florence (part 1) and we took the long three and a half hour train to Rome. It was warm and sunny and got a little bit hot on the train. And there was this guy sitting opposite us. He was on the phone for most of the journey and when he was not, he sang or he put music on his phone out loud.

We were exhausted and especially towards the end we wanted to tell him to shut up but we were all too polite!

We arrived in Rome around 3:30pm, knackered, hot, hungry and in desperate need of the loo. The hotel we were to stay was five minutes away from the Roma Termini train station but we just couldn’t find it as there was no sign. After about 20 minutes of wandering and asking around to no avail, we finally bumped into the owner who let us in.

We stayed at Cialdini Rome, which was much better than the one we stayed in Florence, cleaner and newer and it included breakfast (fresh coffee, croissants and orange juice delivered to our room every day) and other than the toilet flush that got stuck a couple of times (but I figured out how to fix it after a day or two!) it was lovely. Friendly owners, daily cleaning and breakfast.

The area around the station is not the best, is quite poor and we were told they were a lot of pickpockets so we had to be very careful with our bags. The streets around that square smelled of wee, I have no idea why.  We joked we knew we were getting close to the hotel when we could smell the wee. But after a 10 minute walk you are transported into a completely different Rome. Bright, luxurious, beautiful.

Would I’ve known Rome better I’d probably stay more central, closer to the center and some of the landmarks, which is a much nicer area but I’m happy with our accommodation considering how much we paid.

After we checked in and got our map from the landowner’s husband, who was the chattiest and funniest Italian we met, it was time for lunch. We sat at the first place we saw, and it was the worst food we had in Rome (details on the food blog coming after the Rome blogs). We then headed towards some of the main attractions.

Our map
Our worn out map

We passed by the Santa Maria Maggiore church and the Quirinale palace, heading towards the infamous Fontana di Trevi. Hover over photos for captions.

After wandering in the charming cobble streets, you turn a corner, and there it was! Fontana di Trevi. What a beautiful gem in the middle of the city.

After throwing our coins into the fountain, and sister number two being told off by the guard there who whistles every time someone sits on the edge of the fountain, we made our way to the Pantheon.

What an incredible building, what an amazing piece of history, standing there in front of our eyes.

After a delicious dinner at a small restaurant in a picturesque cobble street near Pantheon, we headed back to the hotel, admiring the views. On our way back we went into a beautiful church and passed by the Italian Madame Tussauds (museo delle cere), which other than Einstein, the rest of the statues on the entrance didn’t look anything like the famous people they were supposed to resemble (and I was told off for touching Einstein’s face!). And that was the end of our first (half) day in Rome.

The following morning we headed to the Colosseum, which was actually very close to the hotel. Again, I’ve done no research and nobody told me that I had to pre-book tickets or get them from near the Colosseum if we didn’t want to wait for hours in the queue. So we opted for one of the guided tours offered by tens, hundreds even of guides outside who pick up what language you speak just by overhearing you talking.

That happened in Florence as well, but it happened much more in Rome. I was impressed they could do that, considering the Cypriot dialect, although Greek, is quite different to the official Greek language. But I guess they get used to it, with the millions of tourists they visit their city every year.

The Colosseum was breathtaking! We absolutely loved it. Our guide, Aldo was great and we learned a lot about the history of it, but he talked. A LOT. We were supposed to have a break after the Colosseum and re-join the group to enter the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. But we were tired and starving by that time. We went for lunch in a cute nearby cafe instead and we then decided to head towards the river to enjoy the views from there.

On our way we  passed by the Arco di Constantino, Arco di Tito and Circo Massimo. After about half an hour we reached the river and we wandered around Tiberina.

After a quick break for ice-cream and a short rest stop at the hotel we got to try pizza by the meter (the food blog will be amazing, I promise!), we passed by the Opera and sat at the steps of Piazza della Repubblica to watch the sunset. And that was the end of our second day in Rome.

I hope you enjoyed our journey this far. Days three to five coming tomorrow or Monday and they are pretty awesome, if I say so myself!


A different kind of Monday

Happy Monday!

I started this blog last night but I was really tired I couldn’t finish it. So posting it first thing in the morning for a change.

Today is a different kind of Monday. I’m not dreading it. Much. It’s still Monday….

But tomorrow night I’m heading to the airport. And on Wednesday, early morning I’ll reunite with my best friends, my soulmates, my sisters!

We will spend two days in Florence and four days in Rome. First time in Italy, for all of us. I can’t even describe how excited I am!

To explore a new country, a country I wanted to visit for so long, but the circumstances didn’t allow it, and to do that with my sisters, first time we’ll all be on holiday at a country other than home (Cyprus) or… home (UK) is overwhelmingly amazing.

I spent Saturday doing chores, with a break for coffee and catch the last rays of sunshine with my bestie and to get new books to read from Oxfam as I finished Perfume (review coming soon!).

Yesterday I completely lost concentration, I started worrying whether my sisters will make it to Rome, what if I miss my flight and a wave of other irrational thoughts made their way in and I felt lost. I didn’t know what thing to do first on my long to-do list. But after my Yoga practice (which co-incidentally was about mental focus and concentration, what are the chances!) I focused on the session’s mantra- I got this!- and got on with almost everything I needed to do. Only a couple last minute things to do today after work and I’m all set!

I recently started meditating and practising mindfulness when I can’t sleep, which happens often and it definitely made a difference! I’ll write about it when I get the chance.

I’ve once read that more than often people crave a holiday and plan everything to the dot and then are disappointed when the time comes as their expectations don’t match reality. Which makes sense.

But I love doing the opposite. Exploring and see where it leads rather than meticulous planning is my favourite thing to do and it never failed. That’s what Shebz and I did in Berlin last year and we had the best of times.

And I’m sure Italy won’t let me down!

I know it’s only a short break, (which includes FriendsFest in London after Italy!) and it won’t change my life, or maybe it will, you never know, but it’s exactly what I need right now.

It will be incredible if I meet an Italian hunk and we go sailing in the Mediterranean afterwards rather than come back, as I’ve been joking for the last week, but it’s highly unlikely that will happen. A girl can only dream though!

I still have high hopes for September!

I’ll miss blogging but my next one will be a special one! A travel post (which will of course include local cuisine) on bella Italia.

I will be posting snaps on my Insta if you want to follow my Italian ventures.

Until then…



We ‘ll go up, up, up…

A lot has happened since I came home and it’s only been 3 days! I won’t share all of it, because I’d like to keep some aspects of my personal life personal (but if we are friends on Facebook or Snapchat, I hope you are enjoying my updates!)

I recently shared the best picture I think I’ve ever taken so far.


And I felt truly happy at that moment. Flying above the clouds, getting out of the routine, staring at the sun. Travelling towards the sun, what can top that, right?

And then I looked at the people next to me. A couple in their 60s, having wine and gin, laughing, talking about all sorts, holding hands…

At that very moment I thought, yes I am happy, being on a plane, going somewhere sunny. But it would made me even happier if I’d share that moment with someone special, like that lovely couple next to me, who looked like they ‘ve been with each other for years and years.

They now live in Cyprus permanently. I could imagine them having breakfast together in the sun in their pretty garden full of flowers, having a coffee and reading the newspaper, enjoying the silence and talking about random things and having a laugh every now and then.

I don’t need anyone else to be happy, you can be single and have all the fun in the world and after two breakups in 4 months, I think I had enough for now.

And I am not one of those people who thinks getting married and having kids is the ultimate goal in life, because for me it isn’t. 

But in the future, if I am lucky enough, I’d love to meet someone who makes me feel special and I make him feel special.

Someone who would be up for my crazy ideas and I’d be up for his. Who will love me for who I am and sticks with me even when life gets difficult and I’do the same for him.

Someone who I would share a special connection with and we will communicate with each other by just looking in each other’s eyes.

Go on trips and explore the world together, have fun and enjoy life together.

Sharing your life with someone special is beautiful and I haven’t had the chance to experience this special kind of love.

I won’t even mention my relationships in my early 20s, but my most recent ones  didn’t work out or ended too soon which made me wonder if I will ever find my Mr Sugar (thank you Cheryl Strayed for your awesome book, I highly recommend it!).


If you found your Mr or Mrs Sugar, that special one, give them a special hug and a kiss today.

For now I am enjoying life with friends and family, living in the moment. Who knows what the future will bring?  Life is full of surprises!! And remember, never say never!

Love you all! X

PS. Special thank you to that one person who checks my blog every day 🙂