Anyone who knows me from school days knows that music was, is and always will be my life!! From going to as many live concerts as possible (Check out my review section) to religiously checking I had my trusty cassette player with me.
Growing up in London as black teenager, I was often judged for listening to pop music such as NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Britney to name a few yet my room was plastered with HipHop and Dancehall legends. I was the embodiment of Eclectic and didn’t give a damn.
Developing into a woman I encountered and survived many a bad relationship and Britney was always one of the strongest glues that put me back together. There is seriously nothing like listening to ‘Stronger’ with a chilled glass on Hennessey and coke in both hands.
I even worked ridiculous overtime so me and 3 friends (Shout out to Jennifer, Krystal and Christy) could go and see her live, a frickin dream come true a thousand times over.
So when I heard Britney was doing the BMA’s 2016 I honestly wanted to sit down and take a minute to calm myself and remember the road is tough but I will make it.
We all remember Britney in 2007, hell I even referenced it when I was in my last semester of university trying to make word counts and find the right bibliography style. This young woman has come so far I feel like we were by her side the whole way.
This picture is somewhat freeing if not completely intriguing as we see a beauty of the modern world literally shave off the reigns of the media and celebrity norms.
If any woman, anywhere in the world can’t relate this this need to liberate and be one’s self then my dear, the wave will soon reach. I’m not condoning or praising Britney’s spontaneous balding sesh but as many people have yet to understand celebrities are people and sometimes they crash and burn just like us, but they too can shine again.
So this is for you Britney, thank you for showing us your crazy and getting back to the star you always were….
Sometimes I get lost, blinded through social media, lied to by money and greed, burnt by other people’s opinions n tripped up by society’s expectations. Well I declare that I, Aic3la, just want to be happy so if you’re not trying to encourage and support as i do to realness please leave the table….
So one of my first trips was down to the beautiful city of Cali!!
I decided to go on a city break to Cali in October as I had some days off work and wanted to dedicate time to the ‘Salsa’ capital of Colombia and maaaaan they weren’t lying!!
From it’s Afro Colombian roots on the pacific coast to it’s controversial medical tourism industry the city definitely has a lot of ‘salsa’, in all sense of the word. The Colombian department of Valle de Cauca has a diverse landscape and various cultural realms to uncover so if you can, explore explore explore!
With my travel homie Mr L, I arrived in Cali mid afternoon and we got a very reliable and quite safe bus from the airport to the Central bus station where taxis would be more reasonable.
After a beautiful trip through some of Valle de Cauca’s countryside singing along to some classic salsa *cue Edgar Joel – Hasta El Sol De Hoy*, we arrived at the terminal, got a taxi to our hostel.
A 4 days break at ‘El Viajero Hostel’ was just what the doctor ordered. Following the advice of my travel bud we didn’t book in advance as sometimes the charge a booking fee and to my relief they had space so we were escorted to our bunks and made ourselves at home. (P.S. I always book in advance, I had a mad moment and let him take control…… not for the faint hearted, better to be safe than sleeping in a park!)
Will now speed up the review and give you my highlights of this beautiful city:
- SALSAAAAAAAAAA!! – I fell in love with Salsa during my year abroad in Havana, Cuba so this was right up my street. El Viajero hostel supported this love and exceeded my expectations. Free Salsa classes everyday (kinda sweaty room but you know Latino steam and all that hahaha) and nightly outings to various Salsa spots around the city. GO GO GO!!
- La Menga – An area in North Cali, full of mainstream clubs where people end up stumbling to after the salsa slows down and the can spin no more. I went there twice for a reggaeton and dance refresh, it should be around 8 mill COP in a taxi at night from El Viajero.
- Cali Walking Tours – A small business set up by a young woman who had spent some time in London and wanted to take the concept back to Cali for tourists. A very nice 2 hour tour (By the way i’m not a great tourist and I managed it. For the freeness it was informative and interesting). At the time it there were 3 people voluntarily doing the tour at different times but I expect as the company grows so will the amount of tours and guides. Ask in your hotels for more information but think they meet on Tuesday and Thursday outside La Iglesia de La Merced if that helps…… (See slideshow for pics of the tour). Tip well and support the cause!!
- Down-town Cali – I didn’t get my camera as I am no damn papaya but it was pretty much the same as any other down-town area. A lot of shops and markets selling everything and more. An experience to say the least but some hidden lunch/almuerzo gems are to be discovered there too.
- El Viajero Hostel – Reasonably priced considering they have a private pool and bar. Some sites say they have hot showers, now these ‘hot’ showers are solar powered so best believe you better be in your towel, shower puff in hand when that water heats up cz I tell ya a cold shower in a cool climate is no fun!! Otherwise good fun with breakfast included!
- Climate – Cali is a generally hot city but beware of the random cold spells that can pass by. I went in early October and it was only hot in the day. Come night time if you weren’t a bit drunk, you were layered up in most of your clothes to get some sleep.
I know there is so much more to see in Valle de Cauca and this is only a snippet of it’s beauty. I have made a promise to myself to see more the places I go to and not just be a sexy sloth!!
Here are the momentos of my time in Cali, Colombia 😀
p.s. Shout out to my homies Monika and David!! Can’t believe we all didn’t take photos together!!
Iglesia de La Merced
Inside the church
Gold Museum of Calima
Cute gold sculptures
Explains the gold mini figures
Powerful indigenous leader from the Valle De Cauca region
Back-story for following photo
Inside the theatre
Theatre’s hand painted ceiling
La Ermita Iglesia
Moi y La Ermita Iglesia
Just chillin with some good Lit
That Hammock Life!!
Another Cat Statue
Me and my tour guide
La Majita = Yuuuuuuuuumm
A main course of all sorts of lovely Arab cuisine
Soooooo after months of waiting and waiting I attended my pre departure orientation with anticipation to find out that I have been placed on the Caribbean coast in Barranquilla!!!
Years on perving on Colombia, I must admit that my heart has always leaned towards this culturally expressive region of the country. Between Cartagena and Santa Marta, The Gabriel Garcia Marquez museum, close the the San Andreas islands and of course HOME OF CARNAVAL it couldn’t be more of a dream come true ❤
I will be arriving in the Bogota, 2nd August for orientation then on the 6th of August it’s a quick zoom up to my new destination! As yet I haven’t sorted out permanent accommodation but will be staying with my tutor until I settle in and etc.
I was almost in tears when I found out where I was going. 3 years ago when I made the decision to go to Mexico instead I could have never imagine I would get a 2nd chance at the same dream ❤
Moral of the story: NEVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAMS!
P.S. Any advice or recommendations on life in the ‘Quilla’?? I haven’t even looked at my suitcases yet as the love is yet to grow for the dragging battles ahead but I can imagine it will be a 2 case job plus hand luggage. (Quite an improvement considering I took 4 CASES to Cuba and 2 BIG CASES to Mexico….. ) Bit of a flashpacker i know hahaha
Would be good to hear from peeps! Gracias in advance.
Excitement is OVER!! Barranquilla, Let’s do this!!! was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la
In memory of the late great Dr Maya Angelou…… a literary tribute and a constant reminder of my constant plight to stay out of the ‘birdcage’ ❤
(The quote in the picture is taken from a speech on Freedom in 1973 by Dr Maya Angelou)
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
In Memory of Dr Maya Angelou was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la
I love that Google has rebelled against Russia controversial ‘Homosexual’ saga by using the rainbow themed Winter Olympics banner on the homepage to support the event starting today in Sochi, Russia. It’s accompanied by this phrase from the Olympic charter:
“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
Freedom of speech and life!! Kudos Google!!
Decided to dust off this blog and give my followers an update on me n my goings on.
So it has been 10 weeks since my fibroid surgery and i can say it has been an emotional journey to say the least.
Post surgery i was in a very fragile place, being my first operation i couldn’t anticipate the pain and discomfort i was feeling and felt like i use the pain to remind myself that i just had major surgery. I’m a very impulsive person so the frustration grew as time went on!
By the almighty power of God above the surgery was a success and i am healing well. Even though i consider myself a lazy person it was hard being forced not to do anything and rest!! This was one of the most inspiring experiences in my life and i have the utmost respect for people who are going through medical battles.
You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is all you can be…..
As i got stronger i managed to get out to a few concerts and start getting back to the woman i am and it was so worth it. If possible, i can say i loved life even more now i know what people have to live with everyday.
I’m going to Spain for a few weeks to teach and get some vitamin D on my skin so will update you on my progress as ma tan sinks in!
I dedicate this video for anyone who is still being held back by something in life and i pray that your change comes and graces you. That you to will find ‘The brand new kind of you.