Tag Archives: travel diaries

Travel diaries -Discovering Africa – Sierra Leone finally thoughts …

Like all holidays I wish my time at SL would not come to an end. I feel there is still so much to see and do.

I had so many first experiences on this trip and at times I was totally out of my comfort zone. Firstly … I like to plan holidays to perfection. This trip was not planned and I had no idea what I was going to face. My host wouldn’t even tell me what the light situation was like πŸ˜’. However, all this has helped in making this a memorable holiday. 

I really loved/ love how warm and embracing the people of Sierra Leone were towards me. As this is the first African country I have been to outside of my home ( Nigeria), SL and its people will always have a special place in my heart.*sob sob*

I can’t wait to see what the rest of Africa has to offer.  It’s going to be a long road and it may take yearssss but am motivated to continue discovering Africa.

This is my last look from Sierra Leone. Hope you have enjoyed this series of travel diaries as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  Feel free to ask me any questions regarding my travels.  

This is why I love layering… I transformed a basic shorts and cami look to a very trendy evening wear by layering a tulle dress over it .

Cami- Primark

Demin Shorts – Dorothy Perkins 

Tulle dress – Asos 

Shoes – Steve Madden

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens. I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❀

 

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Travel diaries -Discovering Africa – Sierra Leone lookbook -Radisson Blu

I might have lost count of the days as life has been happening day and night. It’s becoming difficult to account for each day as it occurs. Anyway… I had the opportunity to go to the Radisson Blu Hotel. This is supposed to be one of the ‘best’ hotels in Freetown. . 

I had heard lots about the Radisson Blu Hotel,especially from the locals so I couldn’t wait to check it out.

This was first location where our car had been properly checked by security. I have felt reasonably safe in SL through out my stay but I felt extra safe with this added security check. 

 I learnt that this hotel was previously called Mammy Yoko but it was damaged /destroyed in the war .

I really liked it here.  Aside for the great ambiance as you enter the hotel,  there is a wonderful sea breeze coming from all over. It really just envelopes you. This is one of the many things I love about Sierra Leone. Despite the HOT temperature’s, there is always a lovely cool breeze.

These tall trees provide shade from the sun and beyond the tennis court is the beach.  You literally can access Lumely Beach from the hotel. 
We sat by the pool side and had some lunch.  I have to say I was not totally impressed with the service provided. The waiter took so long I thought I was going to pass out. 

The choice of what to have was easy.  I think I have had fish everyday since I arrived in Sierra Leone. This is partly because my mother warned me not to eat any meat following the Ebola crisis. But more so because I wanted to make up for all the fish I don’t eat in London. With the sea so close … there’s always a good section of fresh fish available. Today I  opted for the Snapper. 

This came with 2 sides . Strangly the sauce for the fish was cheeky regarded as a side πŸ˜’πŸ˜’.   For the price I felt a little cheated. Although the food was tasty and well cooked; however, it was nothing to write home about.  We were definitely paying for the location rather than the food. 

In all honestly, the location was pretty amazing. I could see a Tennis court, a Golf course and lots of grounds around the hotel. This hotel is by far the best I have seen in Freetown and am so glad I got to experience it.
For this outing I wore a floral dress.  You cant go wrong with florals on holiday.  However if I am ever unsure I opt for large floral prints in the day and smaller prints for the evenings.

This dress from Marks and Spencer has a very simple cut but the print speaks volumes.

I teamed it with my blue mules an a small blue purse for the kill. Am finding that these mules go with pretty much everythings.  They are perfect for holidays when you don’t want to carry so many things.  

Floral print dress – Marks and Spencers 

Cross over mules – Dorothy Perkins

Handbag – DKNY

Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❀

Travel diaries -Discovering Africa Sierra Leone lookbook -Day 6

I am worried that I will return from this holiday and need another holiday to recover from the holiday. 

It’s been non stop with activities morning and night.  I spent some time by the beach and spotted a Gelato joint called Gigibonita with free WIFI.  My plan was to spend the afternoon there.  Catch up on emails, connect with my friends and family, browse a little; just the usual online stuff. I am strangely missing ‘me time’ and this would have been just that. This plan went right out the window when I met a tall, dark and handsome man. 

Tall guys certainly have an ora about them, especially when they are nicely built. He joined me at my table and we spent a few minutes explaining pleasantries. 

I learnt that Deen  (a pseudonym) used to live in London and relocated to Freetown some years back .  We continued our conversation over lunch at Roys Restaurant.  Slightly taken about by his boldness my only consolation was that he knew my host. Freetown fairly small and everybody knows everybody.  

I did my usual wedding ring finger check. There was no ring…. no ring tan line either. Hummm….. warraheck, so are you married, I asked? 

I appreciated Deen’s honestly- 

Got 3 kids πŸ˜’

Separated πŸ˜•

Still stays in the same home as your ex each time you are in the UK 😩.

Am done. I had retracted so fast that I was down the other side of the road. He was all the things I didn’t want for myself. This fleeting romance ended at lunch. 

This gorgeous frilled hem dress is from Zara. 

White mules – Primark 

Handbag – Zara
Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❀

Travel Diaries Discovering- Sierra Leone

Greetings from Sierra Leone. I have always wanted to explore Africa and I have started in SL. 

I had so much anxieties about going to an African Country other than Nigerian.  Only God knows why I chose Sierra Leone but am here now. 

Can I just say that I have met some of the nicest people here. Everyone has been so helpful and just NICE.

Sadly, there are direct flights here. So I made a stop at Amsterdam on a KLM flight.  

I loved that the airport had LIGHT and was air-conditions. … yes we count the little things too.  To top things off all my luggage arrived.

My biggest shock came when I learnt that we need to use a speedboat to cross to the mainland. Scared is an understatement.

I didn’t come out here to die! 

What would my mother say. At this point I couldn’t go back so I braved it. I could hardly see where I was going. Clenching my friends hand and prayers in my heart, one step at a time I made it over the long shakey bridge and onto the speed boat.   There was AC … I live for AC in Africa and entertainment.

We were offered refreshments which helped to make the 45 mind ride go quick. This was verthe bumpy ride. Not for those who suffer from sea sickness.

I was so impressed by the way they carried all our luggage from the airport to the mainland.  Nothings went missing.

I really can’t help but compare Sierra Leone with Nigeria.  A part of me things that they are better organised here. I had to remind myself that this is barely day one.  I will keep you guys posted on how I get alone.

The internet is not great. I will do my best to write and post as much as I can.  

Follow me on Instagram for regular updates

 @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X

✌&❀

Travel Diaries – Slogan Β Tee

Ever had difficulty expressing yourself? slogan Tee’s are a great way to get it off your chest… literally. 

I love the dramatic effects of slogan Tee’s. .. so eye catching and you can you get your message out in a snapshot.

Whether shop bought or customised have fun with your slogan Tee’s.  Enjoy the words ….they are your accessories.

Till the next post. see you soon. 

In the mean time, why not connect with me on Instagram @Ijaykheavens 

✌& ❀

Travel diaries – City bike tour

Yes guys…. City bike tour.  I love becoming a total tourist when on holiday.  Learning the city or the country and of- course taking a ton of pictures.

This time, we did things differently.  I have always wanted to trade my car for bicycles.  So i dived at the opportunity of a city tour.  It was so great having the wind and.. rain ..(dont ask) beat on my face.

I literally cycled back to my youth.

The bike and a tour guide cost approximately Β£20.  I would recommend renting E- Bikes to avoid over working your leg when cycling up hill.

What I loved most was the ability to quickly hop off my bike, take some pictures and off to the next location.  No weather

Despite getting rained on, I was so pleased that I managed to keep up with the 3 hours city tour.

Your probably wondering what to wear.  I figured that it I was going to be seen riding a bike, I wanted to look by best.  I had on dda  full face of makeup, hair curled and the cutest autumn leaves print wrap dress.

Comfortable shoes is a must!

I would also recommend packing a jacket or some outer wear  so no matter the weather you can have a good cycle.

Thanks for stopping by.  I had such a great time with the city bike tour.  I would love to hear your experiences of a bike tour in the comments box below.  Next  I would like to try a segway tour.

Connect with me @ijaykheavens on instagram. 
✌&💝

Travel diaries – Protecting your Jewellery on holiday.


Hey lovelies, I thought I would share this  blog post following my own experiences when traveling with jewellery.

Jewellery definitely adds something special to holiday outfits. However, I was quick to learn that if you do not take care … you could end up in a hot tangle.

1. Store your jewellery in a small bag or pouch when travelling. This somewhat minimises tangling.

2. If your idea of a good holiday involves laying on the beach soaking up the sun. You may want to consider taking off all  jewellery in the sun as they can get pretty heated.  This will also reduce the chances of any unsightly tan lines.

3. Avoid exposing your jewelleries to sun lotion, chemical and salt water.  This can speed up the oxidation process. No body lies tarnished jewellery.

4.  Finally, should you decide to travel with your priced gems, be sure to use the safety deposit box , if this is available in your hotel room.

Thanks for reading to the end.  Please feel free to leave any further suggestions on ways to protect jewellery when on holiday in the comments box below.

Connect with me @ ijaykheavens

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Travel diaries -Blue Bardot dress

It’s so frustrating when dresses that are supposed to be knee length come up so short that you dare not wear it without tights or leggings. 

This is even more annoying when the dress is labelled as ‘Tall’…. why wasn’t some additional length added? 

I spotted this dress and was drawn to the cut-out detail and embroidery. The  bardot style was a added bonus and total trending.  

I didn’t feel exposed by this length and accessorized with gold accessories. 

I absolutely love the scolloped edges on this dress.. so pretty. 

Let me know about dresses experiences. 

TALL Cutout Bardot Dress- Topsham

Black sandals- Hobbs

Sunglasses – Matthew Williamson

Gold chain bag – Micheal Kors


Stay connected with me @ijaykheavens 

✌ &❀

Travel diaries -Wide leg trousers.

I have always been a fan of wide leg / Palazzo trousers. I tend to travel with at least one pair on each of my holidays.  

This cut of trousers are very flattering for us hippy, voluptuous, curvy, plus size women. Don’t ask me why but it’s something to do with the proportions and the visual illusion created with the trouser leg going straight down from the waist to the hem. 

Anyway, I really wanted to share my secret find. Buying good fitting clothing is no easy feat. When Friends and family members tell me that a shop has long length trousers, I usually do not listen. Whats long for an average height woman, may not cut it for a tall sister. 

I vaguely remember someone saying that Zara trousers are long in length.  They were on sale and had my size so I added three pairs of trousers to my basket and checked out. 

Pleasantly suprised with the fit and length would b an understatement. One pair was actyally sweeping the floor. A luxury tall ladies rarely have.

So if your ever shopping for wide leg or palazzo trousers, I would say give Zara a try. 

Do let me know what your experiences are with Zara trousers. 
Thanks for stopping by and see you soon. 
✌&❀

@ijaykheavens …..let’s be friends 
Kimono – Zara

White vest – Zara

Red wide leg trousers -Zara

Flat pointed Ghille shoes – Zara.

#Zaraeverything 

How to get a hotel upgrade!

If you have been following my blog you will know that I recently got back from a very lovely holiday.  I really did my best to take everyone with me on this trip by uploading lots of pictures and keeping you all updated on my movements.  Sharing is caring and you can thank me later.πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

If you missed this you can still catch up by looking through my travel diaries category.

So, we all know that I love a bargain ( better yet, some freeness).I am always on the look out for ways to get the most out of my money.  We had booked to stay at what I thought was an already beautiful hotel.  According to booking.com a 5* hotel. On arrival it was great but we randomly got offered an upgrade to a newer, more luxury resort hotel which belonged to the same hotel chain.

Interestingly, we had considered this luxury resort hotel while booking but did not want to pay the priceπŸ™ˆ.  With the offer of a free shuttle to the new hotel, we accepted !

On arrival to out new hotel, I was gobsmacked at the views and still could not believe the free upgrade.  We were offer champers on arrival at the reception… the life.  I do not want to go off track so a Full reviews of this luxury hotel is to follow. Please stay tuned.

After a few nights of trying to understand why the free upgrade, IT HIT ME.  I literally had a secret escapes moment.  ” Even the most luxurious hotels out there don’t like having empty rooms…”  I noticed that the hotel was probably not as full as it could have been.

We booked the holiday for the first week in June.  This is probably not the busiest time of the year for hotels.  It’s not quite summer holidays and schools are still in session.

So I  guess that is how to  get a hotel upgrade.

  1. Book your stay at off peak times when it is not busy.  You stand a better chance in getting a room upgrade if the hotel is not busy and the rooms are vacant anyway.
  2. If you do not ask, you may not get.  In this instance we did not need to ask and it was simply offered because we had great smiles( lol).  But the Asking principle has worked wonders for me in the past.  Especially with airlines.
  3. This is most likely to work with hotels with chains. The idea is that they upgrade you to a hotel within their chain with better rooms, a better location or just more luxury… yes we like luxury .  Alternatively, you can also try this with room upgrades.
  4. Finally, having a great time on holiday is best upgrade anyone can ask for.  Make sure you enjoy your vacations.  Whether you get a hotel upgrade or not.

The idea of luxury hotel not wanting to have empty rooms is one which Secret excape uses to get you and I luxury hotels for a cheaper price. Therefore this was not a fluke or luck. IT WORKS.

Disclaimer -results with the above can’t be guaranteed as each hotel has its own policies.   These are only my suggestions 

    Ps- Do not forget to come back and let me know how you get on.  Or if you have any other tricks up your sleeves on how to get hotel upgrades please share.

    ( Comments below)

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