Sometimes I have to pinch myself and remember just how lucky I am to have not only a job I love, but also get paid to travel the world at the same time. When I got my roster last month and got sent a swap for Nairobi, there was little doubt in my mind about accepting it.
Africa is a continent that I’ve explored so little of, and it’s been a dream of mine for a long time now to be able to go on a safari. I was really hoping that there would a be a few more crew on the flight who were also up for it, as I was a little apprehensive about potentially exploring Nairobi alone.
Luckily for me, I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see some animals!
After a nice flight that was just under 5 hours, we arrived in the capital of Kenya. A few of us arranged with the concierge what time our safari driver would pick us up in the morning, and headed up to the bar for a drink before calling it a night.
The next morning we were up at sunrise. The drive to Nairobi National Park was a short one, as it’s only located around 7km from the city centre. The park itself covers an area of 117km2, which is actually relatively small in comparison to most of Africa’s national parks.
I’m not a London girl, but I don’t complain (much) when I get a flight to Heathrow as it usually means a trip home to see my parents. This time around however, they were on holiday, so I decided to make the most of the spring weather and head into London town.
Myself and one of the other girls from the flight, Kamila, jumped on the tube and since she used to live in London, I let her do the navigating!
We got out at Bayswater, which is just one stop along the tube line from Notting Hill Gate, and had a lovely stroll through the streets, enjoying the beautiful sunny weather and fresh air.
After our fantastic day out to Sintra, it was time to explore a little more of Lisbon. When doing research about Portugal before our holiday, I’d read so much about the famous egg tarts, and there was one place in particular that kept popping up – Pastéis de Belém.
The delicious custardy tarts were originally created by 18th century monks at the Jerónimos Monstery (which we also visited), as at the time large quantities of egg-whites were used for starching the clothes in the monastery. This led to a lot of leftover egg yolks, which were then made into cakes and pastries. The monks started to sell the “pastéis de nata” to secure a small income, and when the monastery was later closed, the recipe was sold to the nearby sugar refinery, whose owners opened the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in 1837.
So it was decided – a trip to Belém was in order. Luckily the Pastéis de Belém shop is not the only attraction there, we also set out to visit the incredible Jerónimos Monastery, as well as the Torre de Belém.
After a quick ride on the tram, we (along with seemingly every other tourist in Lisbon) arrived in Belém. Our first stop was to visit the monastery, which with all of the incredible turrets and architecture, is very easy to spot.
So before I put up my last post with the final pictures of my holiday to Portugal, I thought I’d share my June roster with you.
It’s my “top bid”, which means I’m highest in the seniority rotation and should get at least a couple of things that I ask for. I’m pretty happy with my roster for next month, as I have no turnarounds and some nice flights, including two trips to a new destination that I haven’t visited before.
I’ll be heading to:
- PER (Perth, Australia)
- BLQ (Bologna, Italy – a new one for me!)
- MRU (Mauritus)
As you can see I got a couple of repeat destinations, but I’m very happy with that! Bologna is a relatively new destination for Emirates, I think we only started flying there a few months ago, and it should be beautiful and warm by mid-June.
Obviously I’ve been to Mauritus before (it’s also where my boyfriend is from and where we spent Christmas this year, which you may have seen if you’re following me on Instagram), but a trip or two to a tropical island can never hurt, right?!
Perhaps I’ll see if I can swap one of the BLQ or MRU flights for a different destination just to mix things up a bit, but either way I’m excited to visit them.
For my leave we’ll be heading home to the UK for around a week, for my mum’s birthday party & family get-together. Hopefully by the end of June the weather in England will have turned into summer and sunshine, fingers crossed!
UPDATE: Since publishing this, I got sent a swap for NBO – Nairobi, Kenya! Since it’s a destination I’ve never visited before, I happily swapped my Perth flight, which means that next week I’ll be heading off to Nairobi for the first time!
P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter for more day-to-day updates of where I am in the world!
One morning, after fuelling ourselves with a delicious buffet breakfast including fresh fruits, meats, cheeses and of course the infamous egg tarts, we made our way to Rossio Train Station in order to catch the train to Sintra.
Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just over half an hour by train from Lisbon centre. We arrived to a beautiful cloudy but sunny day, and armed with a coffee, set out to do some exploring.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, the town is full of beautiful parks, castles and palaces.