ONE PASSIONATE TRAVELLER

A Blog Not Only About Places, But About People

 

Travel art

I love spending a playful day at the beach with my two children, will always choose a breakfast-all-day restaurant over anything (pancakes and Eggs Benedict for dinner!) and I’ll never say no to a good dancing night out !
ABOUT ME

Hi to everyone.
My name is Raluca!

 I live by the blue waters of the Arabian Gulf in Dubai, UAE. I have always believed that our creative outlet needs to be something you’re passionate about.

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INSPIRATION

All about travel

Fear not that this is going to be “just another travel blog” – as I often venture off the beaten path with my reflections and the places I see

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DESTINATIONS, HITLIST

Our Thrilling South African Safari Adventure

Planning a Safari-and-Capetown trip just a couple of days before Christmas might seem like a mission-crazy impossible to many. And after a couple of failed attempts (you could almost hear tour operators snickering at my madness- they don’t seem to like the last minute concept!) and getting the fully booked! Sold out! Ha, in your dreams! on every booking engine…I nearly gave up myself. But momma didn’t raise a quitter…so I tried the ultimate approach…via Instagram ! You’d think all that mind-numbing scrolling on the ‘Gram is in vain. But Instagram’s higher powers were perfectly aligned that day and this is how I came across @EverseenSA : the ultimate Safari designers. Charlie & Serena were click-on responsive and ready to…

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DESTINATIONS, EAT, DRINK & TRAVEL

Koh Rong- Your Cool, No-Sugarcoating Guide to Cambodia’s Fun Island

We were supposed to chill. Crash on the sun beds like a couple of beached jellyfish, gone all soft and limbless after the two-week tour de force through mainland Cambodia. Temples, ancient and modern, villages, jungle treks, lakes, the capital’s museums, and more temples…it felt like we’ve done it all. Three nights on this paradise-postcard island had kept us going like The Promised Land, the ultimate reward for our intense journey. No more alarm call early mornings to catch a speedy breakfast and start the tour with our guides like marching students on a school trip. My legs looked like one of the first explorers’ poorly drawn maps: bumps and bruises, scratches and insect bites everywhere. Those poor pins with…

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DESTINATIONS, EAT, DRINK & TRAVEL

Panarea, Queen-Chic of the Aeolian Islands: a perfect window view over the Vulcano of Stromboli

Just like that, literally out of the blue (and the apricot blush color of the sunset) a tall spray of incandescent magma shot into the sky: Stromboli, the most active volcano in Europe, was putting on a show again. We were sitting on the beautiful terrace of Panarea’s most famous hotel, the Raya Panarea, having a state-of-art aperitivo with plump arancini alla Norma (eggplant and tomato sauce rice balls, lightly-fried and crispy) and fat green olives with a glass of chilled Etna Bianco, my favorite Sicilian white wine that hails from the island’s other famous vulcano vineyards.  From Panarea’s small but picture-perfect port you get a wonderful view of the island of Stromboli just across: you can also reach it in just 30-40 minutes…

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DESTINATIONS, EAT, DRINK & TRAVEL

Uluwatu Siren Song

When I dream of Bali there’s only one place I think of: the plunging cliffs and glittering shores of Uluwatu. Driving there after the days spent in Seminyak and Ubud we could feel a distinct change of vibe: entering the cradle of the local surf culture, an almost mystical energy of the wave-worshippers. The dusty roads, the lush gardens of the villas and homestays perched on the limestone cliffs, the incessant sound of waves at reef breaking point. Everything inviting you to disconnect from your old habits and embrace the new element of life force. I was about to discover the real Bali, beyond the crowds and the commercial thrills of busy Kuta. Our stay: Morabito Art Cliff Villas The…

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EAT, DRINK & TRAVEL

Best Ramadan Experiences in Dubai and Iftar/Suhoor Etiquette

It’s my eighth Ramadan in Dubai this year and with time have seen the atmosphere gradually change- from a more conservative, reclusive veil that was slowly descending over the city to a more relaxed and permissive vibe. Yes there are more tourists visiting Dubai in Ramadan each year because they too felt that it’s a great time for booking discounted fares in hotels- although those will automatically jump back up, and higher, in Eid Al Fitr time. It’s peaceful out here, less crowded, sales and offers everywhere- from clothes to cars, furniture and appliances, there is a lot of soul-rewarding charity work to be done, Ramadan fridges near mosques and labor camps to fill for those in need, fundraisers to…

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DESTINATIONS, EAT, DRINK & TRAVEL, HITLIST

10 Fun Experiences While Visiting Morocco

I started my Moroccan trip in the vibrant city of Marrakesh, moving towards South over the span of a 9 days journey. More than enough time to gather beautiful memories around the most meaningful experiences…written here with the hope of inspiring your own journey! The heart of Marrakesh: watch the sunset over the famous Jmaa El Fna from one of the rooftop cafes around the square: It’s a welcome respite from the overwhelming crowd beneath- taking a break from the snake charmers, the thug-grinned monkeys, the henna ladies- basically the hard-hustling sellers everywhere. Have yet another glass of fragrant mint tea and watch the evening settle with the call to prayer reverberating from mosque to mosque in a time-lapse atmosphere….

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ABOUT ME, CONNECT, DESTINATIONS, EAT, DRINK & TRAVEL

How To Travel with Discounted Fares and Huge Savings!

. www.umustsee.net   You might wonder how I manage to travel so often (on a monthly basis!), hop on flights and stay in beautiful hotels around the world. Well, in the beginning I did like everyone else- use web aggregator sites such as booking.com, Agoda, Skyscanner, hotelscombined etc- spend my money, do price alerts on flights, try to save here and there. Then by a wonderful touch of luck I got introduced to IBuumerang and unlocked a world of affordable traveling and massive discounts on hotel stays- as the website puts it nicely- stay at five stars hotels and resorts for the price of three stars!  From that moment everything changed- I could finally travel for less, make better choices…

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DESTINATIONS

Taxis and Clubs in South Korea: the struggle is real !

Last night in Seoul brought forth an unusual experience: having checked out already the nightlife pulse in Itaewon and Hongdae, the hippest neighborhoods, we decided to give fallen star Gangnam a chance (after the stardom-propelled moment of Psy’s Gangnam Style, Seoul coolest cats started shifting elsewhere). Bad call apparently. We queued up in front of Face Club, and smiled pleasantly at the fellow party seekers. But all our enthusiasm drowned when the bouncers dryly cast us aside: “No foreigners. Korea only.” What ! Bro, we here for the music. Surely we don’t look like a troublesome lot. Come on, no hard feelings, just let us inside. “NO. FOREIGNERS. ALLOWED.” Shaking our heads in disbelief we shuffled our feet feeling entirely…

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EAT, DRINK & TRAVEL, HITLIST

Best Breakfast (All Day) Cafes in Dubai

Dime-sized fact about me: I’m not a morning person, but I’m totally down for breakfast! Well more like late breakfast. Better yet, brunch, if only it wouldn’t be just a fancy weekend affair. So by the time I wake up, stretch my limbs and have a Bulletproof Coffee (double shot of espresso enriched with some health store powdered herbs!) most traditional cafes have moved on from their breakfast menu and onto lunch. (Boo)

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CONNECT

Positive Notes For Your Travelling Succes

Nothing in life is perfect, so you might as well keep that in mind while traveling. No matter how much money you’ve spent, how carefully you’ve planned your trip there will always be some degree of unpredictability ready to change the course of your traveling experience. So keep an open mind while on the road. Don’t expect things to always align perfectly along the way- embrace the taste of ‘offroad’ adventure when your plans start looping around with an unexpected twist. Delays? Maybe an opportunity to look around and strike a conversation with a fellow traveler, make new friends, lend a listening ear to a random stranger who had something to share, which later on will resonate with a chord…

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