The Travelling Foodie
This post was originally posted on my old blog on May the 8th, 2018. 
This is an updated version. 

“Seattle is such a cool city”,that’s what I kept telling myself as I was wondering the streets and neighbourhoods of this beautiful city for the second time.

The first time I visited Seattle was back in March 2016 for the Women Who Code Connect conference. At the time of the writing of the original version of this post, I was also there for a conference, Microsoft Build ,with a few extra days to explore the city.

I knew that many of the 6000 Build attendees were either first time visitors and/or only there for a short time. So I thought I’d write down few suggestions on what people might want to do and see in Seattle.

It is been few years since I visited Seattle. I’m sure a lot of things have changed but I hope these suggestions would be helpful.


I like to think of myself as a traveller not a tourist but as a first time visitor, we all tend to follow the tourist path. That’s what I exactly did during my first visit to Seattle.

In no particular order, if you are visiting Seattle for the first time you may want to check:


I don’t know about you but I love a good old farmers market especially one with plenty of food options to choose from. My favourite restaurant in the Pike Place Market is the Athenian because seafood.

Pike place market
Pike Place market


Am I right in saying this is THE icon of Seattle? There are really some cool facts about the Space Needle and you get to have an amazing view of Seattle and Mount Rainier.

Space needle - Seattle
Space Needle
Seattle's view from the top of the Space Needle
Seattle’s view from the top of the Space Needle


I didn’t really know what to expect when I visited Chihuly Garden but I loved it. I highly recommend that you visit this exhibition.


Back in 2016 when I visited, this was called EMP museum-music+ sci-fi + pop culture. Needless to say anymore.

Guitars installation in the museum of pop culture
I couldn’t even get the entire Guitars installation on the frame


Alright, I’d usually highly advise against drinking Starbucks coffee especially that there are too many great coffee shops in Seattle but I’m going to make this one little exception. I did not go to the Reserve Roastry myself but I went to the Starbucks store located outside Pike Place Market also known as Original Starbucks because it’s the first Starbucks store established in 1971.

the first Starbucks store
The original Starbucks store
A barista at the original Starbucks store
Micka, the friendly barista


There are so many beautiful neighbourhoods in Seattle to explore like a local, away from the hassle of downtown.

Before leaving Pike Place Market, you may want to check :


People do miss this brick wall because it’s in an alley under Pike Place Market and it’s actually as the name suggests : a wall of gum! Cool? Grim? that’s up to you.

The gum wall in Seattle
All the gum lol


Thank God for the local friends who suggest cool things to do and thank you Glenn for suggesting I visit Fremont.

Fremont is funky. The first thing you see when arriving there is a sign saying “Welcome to Fremont, center of the universe”. How cool is that! It’s a laid-back neighbourhood with a funky vibe along Lake Union, you get to walk along the lake, visit all the vintage and records shops and see some cool art.

The lovely views of Fremont


Gay clubs, hip bars, indie stores and awesome coffee shops, that’s some of the things to expect in Capitol Hill. It’s a wonderful place for a brunch and a wonder, which what I exactly did there. I can highly recomment the Oddfellows cafe .

Oh if you happen to be in the area, make sure to check out Elliott Bay bookstore.

I love the vibe of Capitol Hill

Hopefully this would give you some ideas on what to do in Seattle. Make sure you enjoy the good coffee while in town and have fun!

Last year was hard and exhausting for everyone. That’s why when I was able to visit South Korea in December, I didn’t want to stress myself with too much planning.

I knew which cities I wanted to visit but I didn’t plan how long I’d be staying or even where I’d stay.

It was one of the very few spontaneous trips I’ve ever been on.

Originally, I planned to head up north again after my time in Jeju and Busan. However an increase in Covid cases, meant more restrictions in Seoul. As a result, I was looking into an alternative destination.

Few travel blogs mentioned Gyeongju, the old capital of the Silla kingdom. Silla along with Baekje and Goguryeo, formed the Three Kingdoms of Korea.  
I have to confess I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to Korean history but I’m curious. A UNESCO World Heritage site like Gyeongju seemed perfect to complement the hikes, food markets and walks I’ve experienced in South Korea.

I chose to stay in the south of the city centre where most of the historical sites are. It is slightly detached from the centre and looks very different. I felt like travelling back in time. The area was a hanok village in a way. It was quiet and serene, a real glimpse into ancient art and history.

I don’t think I have the words to express how I felt in Gyeongju. Instead, I’m sharing with you what to do and what to see via my lens, the lens of my phone to be more accurate.


Unlike most Korean cities, Gyeongju is not famous for a specific dish. I arrived at lunch time and was starving. The hanok owners where I was staying recommended a restaurant that serves traditional dishes.
I wasn’t too keen on trying cold noodles in Korean mainly because of the Winter season, until I accidentally tried them in Gyeongju. the dish was surprisingly good.
What was really surprising is the large number of restaurants offering western food especially pizza. I had a pizza for dinner one evening and it was absolutely delicious.

Historical sites

The sites in Gyeongju belong to the Silla period, they go all the way back to the 7th century. A lot of them are fields now which a sign explaining what they used to be. I had to admit I was a little frustrated when I found this one. I was following the map on the phone and it took me forever to find the site (field) but from the other side of the sign (left up corner of the picture). I was just confused and just when I gave up and made my way back to the hanok, I spotted the sign. Oh well!
Unfortunately, this is the closest I got to the National Museum of Gyeongju . Actually not true, I went all the way to the door to discover the museum was not open to visitors due to the pandemic.
Woljeong Bridge (월정교) is a wooden bridge that was built in the 19th year of King Gyeongdeok during the Silla Period. This is not the original bridge though, rather a restoration based on findings during excavations and on other existing similar bridges from the Silla Period.
I’ve never been to Kyoto before. In fact, I’ve not been to Japan yet. But apparently Gyeongju and specifically Woljeong bridge are often compared to Kyoto.
Gyochon village is a hanok village in Gyeongju centred around the Choi Clan. It showcases Korean traditions and buildings.
Daereungwon Tomb Complex is probably the most famous site in Gyeongju along the Bulguksa temple. The tombs look like hills, they are small hills. After seeing few, I was done. But the cool thing about the park, other than its historical value obviously, is the one tomb open to visitors.
The tomb was impressive. It was massive. It has the gold accessories buried with the ruler.

Bulguksa Temple

Bulkugsa Temple is an hour away on the bus from the centre. Like most temples, it is nested in the mountains.
Just like almost everyone around the globe, Koreans were not leaving the country, instead they were travelling locally. A lot of them were visiting the temple some as curious tourists, some others for religious reasons.
Bulguksa temple is part of the templestay program. The templestay is a cultural experience program for a better understanding of Korean traditional culture and Korean Buddhism. This short templestay including chanting, meditation, conversation over tea, Buddhist meals will give you a new perspective on your life. Unfortunately, my templestay up in the North of South Korea was cancelled due to the pandemic.
I developed a weird habit of capturing natural disaster warning signs!
Not too far from Bulguksa temple, There is the Seokguram grotto. The grotto is a hermitage and part of the Bulguksa temple complex. It is classified as national treasure.
From Bulguksa temple, people can drive, take a bus or alternatively there’s a hiking path to the grotto. It was about an hour hike, mostly easy but it kept getting steeper as I got closer to the mountain top.
The view from the grotto.

Hanok stay

The beautiful hanok where I stayed.
My hosts were a sweet old couple. When I arrived, their daughter who speaks perfect English was there. She helped me settling in in my room and recommended what to do and where to eat.
Despite the lack of common spoken language, the hanok owners and I managed to exchange few conversations and a lot of smiles. They even gifted me a set of Gyeongju postcards before I leave.
These traditional containers are still very much used for fermentation especially for Kimchi.

Beautiful walks

The historical sites of Gyeongju are within a walkable distance.
The river was partly frozen, it turned into an ice rink. Some kids, even adults, were stepping and playing on it.
The Gyerim forest is a small woodland near Gyeongju landmarks. It has some beautiful trails.
From Woljeong bridge, I went through the Gyerim forest towards the national museum. From there, I followed the main road back to the hanok village.

Take it slow & soak up the vibes of Gyeongju

This is probably the highlight of my visit to Gyeongju, partly because I didn’t expect this part of the city to be boosting with cafes, restaurants and so much life.

My day would start by checking out some of the landmarks then I’d walk aimlessly just to admire the buildings, street art and to watch young couples queuing for food or tarot readings as you do.

This town got me at cake and coffee. I didn’t expect this small historical part of Gyeongju to be full of cafes. When I stumbled upon Hwang Nam cafe after lunch looking for a magic potion of caffeine, I thought that would the only cafe in the area. Litte did I know.
Beautiful cafe overlooking the tombs
Definitely not the average Starbucks. I love the building, still hate Starbucks.
Too many beautiful buildings
I love little beautiful details like this.
Baseball is very popular in South Korea.
The first time I saw the tarot machines, I didn’t know what they were. They are all over the city mostly for young couples.
I did get my reading (is that even the right expression?) but in a different city.
Ice-cream in a cold December?
I was on a mission to try every single cafe.
Good things happen to those who are curious. That purple potato latte was delicious.
Coffee, cake, book and a stunning view.
Street art.
Yet another beautiful guesthouse.
This street art sums up Gyeongju very well.
Did I mention I love coffee? :p
More coffee!!
The city was very busy because of Christmas. Or maybe it just felt busy. A year of lockdowns made me get very excited at the sight of other humans (wearing masks & 2 meters away from me) in South Korea.
More Grafitti!
This wasn’t the first time I had 2 cakes at once in South Korea. What can I say? They make good cakes.
Christmas vibes.
I love of the elegance and simplicity of design of this cafe’s logo.
I have no idea what’s the dog laughing at!
Art with a message. Water for Our Future.

If you’ve scrolled so far, thank you. I hope you enjoyed this photo essay. A lot of us can only virtually travel at the moment by looking at travel videos, photos and blogs. I hope these photos would cheer you up.

It is not surprise that Gyeongju is called the museum without walls. Just like a museum, there’s so much to learn in this city. It is like taking a trip back in time to relive in the Silla period. And just like a museum, you need to slow down, take your time and pay attention to the details.

This post was originally posted on my old blog on December the 8th, 2017. 
This is an updated version. 

It is funny how travel helps us see beyond our biases but also we worry about our biases as we travel.

Bias is a disproportionate weight in favour of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair.

By this definition, all humans are biased.

So when I was travelling to Colombia, along with my suitcase, I also took a bag full of biases. Watching the last season of Narcos in the airport didn’t particularly help.

I was worried that Colombia was not a safe destination, neither did my parents or any of my friends. Every research I did online kept fuelling my worries. The horror stories no matter how infrequent or minor, showed up first on my search engine.

Two Decades ago, Colombia badly suffered from all sorts of things. It is now known as the Colombian Conflict.

Despite the conflict being years ago, it’s all people seem to know or remember about Colombia. It doesn’t matter when the bad news happens, people seem to always freeze in time, in those bad moments.

As with every other trip, I thoroughly researched everything about Colombia, from what I should see to what I should eat. I was already worried about the events that took place decades ago. With my research, I’m worried about Taxis.

I learned hailing a taxi from the street could end up badly in Colombia. It is not that common, but it is common enough to have a name. The Millionaire Ride.

As a result, I was so nervous when I arrived that I waited in one of the airport’s restaurants from 5AM until about 7AM to find the courage to get a taxi to my hotel.

So what happened after I finally stepped outside the airport and took a taxi? I HAD AN AMAZING TIME IN COLOMBIA.

My trip to Colombia was one of my best trips ever. The people were so friendly and helpful, and the country was simply beautiful. I can’t highlight enough how much I loved my time there. I have fond memories of Colombia, I can’t wait to go back.

Colombia was my introduction to South America. I could’ve not picked a better intro.

In no order of preference, here’s why I fell in Love with Colombia.


I’m a coffee snob. There, I said it. I love a good cup of coffee or two, maybe three…

Colombia is one of the biggest coffee producers in the world, I believe it’s the third biggest . Producing coffee and roasting it are two different things. Luckily for me, Colombia knows how to roast coffee.

Colombia was my coffee heaven.

I even Visited a coffee farm, an experience I will never forget.

Luna LLena is also home for some interesting animals and plants!

If you are visiting Colombia and would like to go on a coffee farm tour, pretty much all travel agencies offer those tours. I went with Toucan Cafe in Medellin and we visited Luna farm in Fredonia where the lovely family who owns the farm spoilt us to some yummy organic food and coffee and showed us the full process of making coffee from picking the cherries to roasting them.

It was such a fun day!

I have my own coffee tree in Fredonia

After picking some coffee cherries to earn our lunch, we planted baby coffee trees. I wonder how’s my tree doing?


They say South America is home to the best Graffiti in the world. They are probably right.

In Colombia, you don’t have to look for urban art, it’s everywhere.

Graffiti in Bogota

Comuna 13

Another awesome experience I had when in Medellin was the Graffiti walking tour in Comuna 13.

Comuna 13 used to be the most notorious dangerous neighbourhood in Colombia. In recent years, it has seen amazing transformations through art. I was able to stroll its streets, enjoy the art with my camera hanging in my neck without worrying about my safety. This was proof how far this area has come along.


I feel truly blessed to be able to travel , to walk for miles and to hike. I do love my vitamin green and I got plenty of it in Colombia. Whether you are in the city or completely in the countryside, the scenery is simply breathtaking.

During my time in Colombia, I visited Bogota, Medellin and the area surrounding Medellin.

The beautiful Monserrate mountain dominates Bogota’s city centre which adds to the charm of the city. While Medellin is in a valley surrounded by mountains.

The real treat was Guatape with its Piedra del Peñol and man-made Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir

Piedra del Peñol is a rock looking like something thrown from the space , standing tall in the middle of the countryside.

There are about 700 steps on the rock to climb. From the top one can see the postcard-like view of the reservoir and mountains.

When we arrived in front of the rock, my friend chose to wait for me there instead of joining me. Despite being scared of heights, I thought I could at least try. I climbed 400 steps and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Also the view was totally worth it.


After all the horror stories I read online, all I saw in Colombia was kindness. People were so friendly and welcoming.

I’m always amazed at our ability as humans to communicate even when we don’t speak the same language.

A taxi driver had a good laugh when I was trying hard to speak Spanish and said “Englaterrrrra”.

My memories from Colombia always bring a smile to my face. Last year I planned a bigger trip to South America including Colombia but then a pandemic happened.

When it is safe to visit Colombia again, I will definitely go back to explore other parts of the country, to drink more coffee, to eat more delicious food and to dance more salsa. Of course I salsa-danced when in Colombia.

Over the past 8 years or so, I travel during Christmas time through the new year, usually to faraway destinations.

December 2017, I went to Sri Lanka. It was my first time in the country and my first time in Southeast Asia. I did the more or less classic itinerary, starting from Colombo to Sigiriya, then down to Kandy, Hill Country, Yala national park and ending my trip in beautiful Galle.

In Sigiriya, I hiked the Sigiriya rock, I saw temples in Kandy, elephants in Yala and enjoyed the sea at Galle.

One thing was consistent throughout the trip: Tuk-tuks. They were everyone. According to this article published on the UN environment website in 2019, There are around one million tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka loved (maybe?) and used by locals and visitors alike.

Here’s a little confession: I’ve never been in a tuk-tuk, not in Sri Lanka, not anywhere else. I was travelling Sri Lanka by car. But this didn’t stop me from noticing the tuk-tuks.

I was on foot outside my guesthouse the first time I noticed the funny slogan on the back of the tuk-tuk. I took a photo to share on Instagram. Then I saw another and another…Before I knew it, I was playing a game of spot the tuk-tuks. That’s how I ended up with this selection of photos I’m sharing with you.

The adidas tuk-tuk
The pirate tuk-tuk
A tuk-tuk outside of a green grocers shop in Kandy

The Ferrari tuk-tuks

Like all of my travel photos, these bring good memories back and make me smile. Now that I’m older and with some more trips under my belt, I would’ve done things differently in Sri Lanka. I would’ve ride tuk-tuks and embraced more of the country’s chaos.

Writing about travel while under lockdown is making me beyond grateful. I'm grateful I explored the world when it was possible. I'm glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone and let my curiosity lead the way. Life is unpredictable. Who would've predicted that we would spend months at home unable to leave our own houses. Stay safe everyone! Here's to a better times when we can travel and ride tuk-tuks again. 

Founded by the Arabs around 670, Kairouan became a dominant trading hub and centre of Islamic scholarship in the 9th century, when Aghlabid emirs ruled Kairouan and built many of its monuments. 

The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is regarded by many Muslims as the fourth holiest site in Islam.

The Great Mosque of Kairouan

We walked within the walls of the Medina (old town)  exploring its beautiful small allies and many mosques.

On top of its monuments, Kairouan is also known for its fantastic food. If you’re ever visiting, make sure to taste the following:



Kafteji is something of a Tunisian poor man’s food: various vegetables are fried separately and then with an oozy fried egg, chopped up together with a large knife. It’s made with potatoes, pepper and tomatoes. One eats it with bread or as a sandwich.

It’s now one of the country’s most popular and delicious street foods. It originated in Kairouan.

All food stalls on the side of the roads offer kafteji sandwiches. We tried one shop that was highly praised.



كفتاجي خيري -Kafteji Khayri is a must-visit in Kairouan. It offers the best kaftejis cooked in a traditional oven. Price wise, a plate of Kafteji costs less than one pound Sterling!

They are very generous with quantities. The price includes a side of fries and traditional bread.

Kafteji Khayri is not touristy in any way, and it’s where the locals eat. We highly recommend it if you’re looking for a cheap, delicious plate of food surrounded by the locals.


Makroudh is a North-African sweet pastry filled with dates and nuts or almond paste, that has a diamond shape – the name derives from this characteristic shape. The dough is made with a combination of semolina and flour, which gives the pastry a very specific texture and flavour. It is said that it originates from Kairouan, thus, in every corner of the Madina, you’ll see a Makroudh shop. Every seller will brag how their Makroudh is the best Makroudh in Kairouan. But We think they are all equally good.

The people of Kairouan are proud of their Makroudh. They will make sure that you buy enough of it to take home to taste with family and friends. It’s true, Makroudh is yummy with a cuppa.

Kairouan is one of Tunisia’s best-kept secrets. It kept its authenticity and style. It’s bursting with history, culture and delicious food.

You should definitely consider visiting Kairouan next time you are in Tunisia.

There are countless reasons to visit Ubud. It’s Bali’s cultural heart and is home to amazing art studios, antique, crafts, jewellery and paintings.

Ubud has been attracting more and more visitors. it has build up a reputation for itself not only with its beautiful unique shops but also with its impressive and healthy selection of cafes.

Here’s our guide to awesome cafes in Ubud.

Casa Luna

Situated the opposite side of the road from Ubud Palace and Saraswati temple, Casa Luna is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a bite after exploring the temples.

Casa Luna has been serving Balinese and modern cuisines for more than 25 years now. It’s a must-visit for food lovers.

It takes real skill to put so much flavour in a simple sandwich. We had a sandwich packed of flavour at Casa Luna and that’s why it has made it to our ultimate food guide.

Caramel Patisserie & Cafe

Caramel cafe satisfied our desserts and cakes cravings. They have a selection of mouthwatering cakes and macaroons.

Tucked on the corner of the main street, Caramel is the perfect spot to chill. They have a lovely terrace overlooking Ubud.

Tukies Cafe

Tukies cafe also known as the coconut shop is all about coconut, in case that’s not obvious. This small cafe offers so many treats.
You can grab a whole fresh coconut or one of their juices.

Our recommendation? The coconut ice-cream. Yum!

Atman Nourish Kafe

Atman Kafe is overlooking a rice paddy. If you are looking for a relaxed and beautiful atmosphere, that’s the place to be.

They offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Clear Cafe

Clear cafe specialised in clear healthy food, thus the name.They offer a range of organic, raw and/or vegan dishes. They combine healthy with delicious.

We highly recommend any of their salad bowls.

Anomali cafe

Anomali Coffee is the place to be if you are looking for a good cuppa. They also offer Barista classes and manual brewing workshops.

Seniman Coffee Studio

Seniman coffee is our favourite coffee in Ubud. They use the best coffee beans in Indonesia and they roast them in-house.

Seniman has expanded lately due to their popularity and good quality. They now offer a variety of workshops on how to learn to master a brew from home brewing to Latte art.

There’s also the Seniman shop where you can buy coffee, soap made out of the coffee wastes and other items.

We highly recommend a visit to Seniman Studio whenever you are in Ubud.

Refresh Cafe

 Refresh cafe is localted near Blanco museum, they have a lovely garden and an amazing selection of food.

Worth a mention

Alchemy, Bali Buda and Earth Cafe, we’ve heard good things about these cafes but we didn’t get to visit them.

Hopefully, we visit them next time we are in Ubud.


Oh Bali! Beautiful, charming Bali!

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. The Balinese culture is mainly Hindu.


Anyone who’s been to the island of Gods would tell you how special it’s and how much they enjoyed their time there.
The Travelling Foodie is no exception. We’ve had such an amazing time in Bali if not short.We will most definitely go back to explore more of this piece of heaven.

There are so many things to do and enjoy in Bali from hiking volcanic mountains to  surfing, you name it.
The good news for foodies like us is that there are food-related activities to enjoy in Bali as well.

We mainly explored Ubud and the surrounding areas.

Ubud is probably Bali’s cultural heart and is home to amazing art studios, antique, crafts, jewllery and paintings.

Ubud is also a popular tourist destination. Eat, Pray, Love caused a massive rise in the numbers of people attracted to Ubud.

It can be crowded sometimes. We visited during December which is considered high season but also rainy season. Just before Christmas, it wasn’t busy at all and when it rained, it did mostly in the evenings. The occasional rain did not stop us from enjoying our time.

There are a lot of unique experiences in Bali to enjoy and this is what we think are the culinary adventures that you shouldn’t miss:

An early morning stroll in the local food market

This is not to confuse with Ubud Art Market which is very popular with tourists.

For an authentic Balinese market experience, head to the local market early morning around 7 or 8 AM.

By 9 AM, all shopping would be done and vendors would start shutting off their stalls.


Most cooking classes in Ubud offer a trip to the market to get to know the ingredients before using them.

If you are planning on taking a cooking class, make sure it includes a trip to the local market.


Other than the usual vegetables, fruits and meats, the market was full of beautiful flowers as the locals were preparing for Galungan. The flowers are used to make offerings.

Galungan is a Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma. It marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth.

It’s a very important celebration for Balinese people. We were so lucky to be in Ubud around that time of year to be able to witness this celebration.

A cooking class

While strolling Ubud streets, especially central Ubud, you will notice lots of signs for cooking classes.

A cooking class is a great way to understand the flavours and how the local ingredients are used in the Balinese cuisine.

The food scene in Ubud is surprisingly varied, it’s such a vegetarian-friendly destination, thus we found ourselves opting for a vegetarian cooking class.


Our amazing cooking experience included a visit to the local market then a walk around the farm to learn about the fruits and vegs organically grown there (there’s even fish!) followed by hours of cooking by poolside.

Our chef was fantastic explaining every step and answering all of our questions. We ended up with a feast of Balinese vegetarian food : a tofu satay, young papaya soup, sayur urap accompanied by rice and sambals.

For dessert, we made Kolak Pisang which is Indonesian banana compote with coconut milk.


The cooking class was a highlight of our trip to Bali, it was so much fun not to mention all the delicious food we made and eventually ate.

If you would like us help you book your cooking class in Ubud, just drop us a line 🙂