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united arab emirates

Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
A trip around the world has always been on my bucket list. I still can’t believe that Jeff and I finally did it. We’ve just returned home to our sunny island home of Phuket, Thailand and finally have a moment to look back on our amazing journey around the world.
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Before we started this trip, I knew that we wouldn’t have the space in our luggage for souvenirs as we were going to nearly 30 different countries. Even though we have been told we packed light, I can assure you that our bags were anything but light. This inspired me to think a little outside the box for souvenir ideas.
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My favorite part about traveling is looking back on my photos long after the trip. It is a great way to put you right back to where you were and bring back memories you had long forgotten about. I wanted to do something fun and different with my photos. So I thought, “Why not bring a chalkboard?” I decided to have a photo taken of myself  holding a chalkboard with the name of the country I was in. I wanted a way to visually see each country while having a reminder of myself in that place during that time. Even if I may have been up all night, had not showered in days or was only in a country for a few hours, I wanted to remember all of it.
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Now, 28 images later, I have a fun collection of pictures that for me, sums up our 159 day, 32,281 mile trip around the world!
Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
CANADA:
Even though Canada isn’t too far from my home county, it was still really exciting to go visit! Two days in Vancouver and I was in love! Canada is a great country and Vancouver is a beautiful city!
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Chalkboard around the world
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ENGLAND:
Since we only had two rainy days in London, and as it was my first time to England I knew I wanted the cliché photo with a red phone booth!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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BELGIUM:
Brussels was a beautiful city and I was surprised at how modern of a city it was. We had one of our favorite meals of the entire trip in Brussels, an absolutely amazing beef stew. This photo was taken at the bus station before we boarded to Amsterdam.
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Chalkboard around the world
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ISRAEL:
With so much history in Israel, I had a hard time deciding where would be best to take a photo here. While we were driving with a guide through the desert we went to this cliff where you could see a beautiful monastery in the hillside. I thought that this would be a great reflection of this historical importance of Israel.

 

Chalkboard around the world
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IRELAND:
Green! I knew I wanted this photo to be green, but I struck it rich when we just happened to get some sunshine since it was gloomy and raining during most of our stay. Ireland may have been our first stop, but it was also one of our favorites. Read our “Complete Guide to Ireland” for our best recommendations!
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Chalkboard around the world

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MOROCCO:
Oh Morocco! We were here for just a few hours while stopping during a cruise we took early in the year. I had always imaged Morocco as a colorful place, however Casablanca was not what I imaged. This is at the Hassan II Mosque which is the 7th largest mosque in the world.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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AUSTRIA:
Innsbruck, Austria is a beautiful little ski town nestled in the mountains. We were lucky enough to stay with some wonderful friends here for 2 weeks!
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Chalkboard around the world

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SPAIN:
We were lucky enough to be in Barcelona on my birthday in January! Once again, this was a quick stop during our cruise so I can’t wait to get back to explore more!
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Chalkboard around the world

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CZECH REPUBLIC:
We met some great friends in Prague and had an amazing time exploring this beautiful old city. While Europe has some of the best beer in the world, I’d bet most of it can be found in Prague, and at a cheap price too!
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Chalkboard around the world

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EGYPT:
Egypt just may have been my favorite place on this trip! Not only did I fulfill a childhood dream of visiting the pyramids, but we also got to spend great time with some new friends!
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Chalkboard around the world

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HUNGARY:
Budapest is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe. It is a great city where history meets a modern twist. I would live here in a heartbeat! This was the first time we have used AirBNB and found ourselves in this old apartment complex trying to find which apartment was ours!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
Even though we spent most of our time in Dubai, we were still able to get out and see the beautiful desert! Jeff and I were both really impressed with Dubai and can’t wait to get back to explore more.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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ESTONIA:
Tallinn, Estonia is a quant little old city and has so much culture and lots to see. We were only here for one night but enjoyed walking around the old town watching the snow fall.
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Chalkboard around the world

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FINLAND:
Finland is also on the top of my favorite places we’ve been to this year! Helsinki is a great design oriented town that is hip and embraces its rich history, although I had to take this photo while up in Lapland exploring the arctic circle and seeing snow fall for the first time in my life!
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Chalkboard around the world
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ITALY:
We went to many places in Italy, but it was in Venice during Carnival that I wanted to take this photo. Carnival was such a unique and beautiful way to explore all that Venice has to offer.
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Chalkboard around the world
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NORTHERN IRELAND:
While in Dublin, we decided why not take the 3 hour drive with some friends up to Northern Ireland to see the Giant’s Causeway and while we got there right after sunset we were able to catch some light for this photo!
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Chalkboard around the world
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GERMANY:
Germany has always been on the top of my list of places to visit in Europe and this year it finally happened! Although we only had 2 days in Berlin, it was great to learn more about Germany’s vast history and how the city has transformed to a modern city with tons of artistic expression.
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Chalkboard around the world
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HOLLAND:
I didn’t know if I should write Holland or The Netherlands but in the end it didn’t matter since we had such a great time in Amsterdam exploring the canals!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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PORTUGAL:
This photo is in Lisbon near the port while it was pouring rain. We had to be quick since the rain just kept washing the chalk off the board, but it made for a fun experience!
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Chalkboard around the world

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TURKEY:
Although Istanbul has so much history and culture, it was this pop of color while walking around that caught my eye. I wanted to show a different side to such an old city.
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Chalkboard around the world

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SWEDEN:
Since we spent an entire night at the airport in Stockholm we though it would be fun to take photos in the nearly abandoned airport at 2 in the morning.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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VATICAN:
The Vatican is such a beautiful place and it was very surreal to see all the paintings and murals in the museum, but it was here that meant the most to me. It really is amazing to stand here and thing about all the people that come here to see the pope.
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Chalkboard around the world

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MALDIVES:
Holy blue ocean! The Maldives are such a beautiful place. There are 1,190 different islands so it is hard to pick just one. We stayed in Maafushi which is a local island, but as you can see we still had a resort like beach to spend our time.
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Chalkboard around the world
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FRANCE:
Paris is a place that every girl longs to go to at least once in her life and I was no exception, I absolutely fell in love with Paris. We had an amazing 5 days here with a good friend who was kind enough to show us around this memorizing city. I can’t wait to get back and eat some more macaroons!

Chalkboard around the world

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SINGAPORE:
While it was not my first time in Singapore, it was great to be back and see how much this city has grown. Singapore is a beautiful city which great people and beautiful architecture.
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Thailand
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THAILAND:
Phuket will always be a second home to me and it is where we began and ended our around the world trip. Living here has really opened my eyes and taking this photo was really important. This photo was taken in a little lagoon in Koh Phi Phi Ley near where the majestic beach from the movie The Beach was filmed. You can see another hidden beach in the background that we could swim to. Taking a long tail boat out to this preserved island and spending the day snorkeling and soaking up the sun is my favorite thing to do in Thailand.
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MEXICO:
Growing up, my family always spent at least once if not twice a year in Mexico. This year I was fortunate enough to get the change to travel to a new place in Baja called Loreto. It is a great little fishing town located right on the Sea of Cortez.
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SRI LANKA:
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation located just southeast of India and visiting was a great treat for me. There are many elephants, beautiful landscapes and beaches. If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful country, take it!
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Bio Photo Marina 150x150 My First Time: Taking a Cruise Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

Park Hyatt Dubai

Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Dubai

 

There are some hotels that just stand out and make you forget all about the stress of work, school and bills. The Park Hyatt Dubai takes that to a whole new level. Dubai is an amazing city with so much to offer including endless entertainment and once in a lifetime experiences. Dubai has set a new standard of what luxury means and the Park Hyatt Dubai is no exception.

 

Upon our arrival we entered what is probably the most beautiful hotel lobby I have ever seen. The Mediterranean architecture takes your breath away in this large, open, peaceful lobby. It was calm and there were no other guests, which made us feel like they were waiting just for us. The entire feel of the Park Hyatt Dubai is to create a harmonious feeling to give you the best holiday possible and to give off the feeling of exceedingly magical privacy around every corner.

While we were told the hotel was at 100% capacity during our stay, we rarely saw another guest anywhere in the hotel, it was shockingly peaceful and quiet. The pool always had loads of free chairs, private areas and was silent, amazing considering how close we were to the middle of the city. The winding walkways, rooms, plant life and subtle smells of incense and spices truly whisk you off your feet and take away the world outside.

 

Park Hyatt Dubai

 

The best feature of the Park Hyatt Dubai is the pool. Lets be honest, Dubai is a hot city so what better way to spend the day than relaxing pool slide in style? Jeff and I were happy to spend much of our time here at the pool soaking in the sunlight and enjoying the heat. The pool here was wonderful. It felt as though we were on a private island in the middle of the Ocean, for a while I even forgot we were in Dubai.

 

Park Hyatt Dubai

Our room was nothing but beautiful. I loved the layout of the room because the bathroom overlooked the bedroom with a big open window that can see directly out of the balcony, making the room feel large and open. The bathroom also had a great tub complete with bath salts and bubbles, making any girl feel like a queen plus a shower and two large his and her sinks. Jeff and I enjoyed curling up in our big comfy robes and relaxing.

 

The overall appeal of this hotel is unlike anything I have experienced on my travels. The entire property was beautifully designed and the restaurants were to die for! Jeff and I highly recommend Cafe Arabesque and The Thai Kitchen. Cafe Arabesque has amazing Middle Eastern cuisine and The Thai Kitchen has some delicious Thai food, and trust us, we know Thai food!

 

    Check out our full review of The Thai Kitchen! 

 

The Thai Kitchen

 

 

Overall, the Park Hyatt Dubai was one of my favorite hotels in Dubai. It was so clean and comfortable and made me feel like I was a celebrity on holiday and feel like I had the resort to myself. I can’t wait to come back and try out the Amara Spa, which was beautiful, private and just looked amazing!

 

Park Hyatt Dubai If you are looking for some actives to partake in during your stay, look no further. The Park Hyatt has so much to offer!  Like I mentioned the Amara Spa is stunning and definitely won’t disappoint you. And for those guys out there, they have a beautiful 18-hole golf course at your disposal! They also have a salon, fitness center and you can even take cooking classes with the Master Classes at the Park. Dubai is full of some of the best chefs in the world, so why not learn from the masters?

 

One extra bonus at the Park Hyatt Dubai is that the wifi is free and you don’t even need a password. Nowadays that is always a perk. Your holiday here will exceed all your expectations!

 

 

Bio Photo Marina 150x150 Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

 

Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel

Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel 

 

Hospitality has a whole new meaning in Dubai. Here, everyone is treated like royalty and the Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel is no different. The Pullman is an elegant hotel designed with dignity and class. This isn’t just any other hotel, it has a sophisticated class about it and you feel that the second you walk through the doors.

Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel The Pullman pulls out all the stops in Dubai. They have a great outdoor pool complete with a poolside bar, a full service gym and spa, meeting and conference rooms and free wifi, which makes it the perfect hotel for a holiday or for business.

If you are visiting on Business or just want something a little extra, be sure to book an executive room and get access to the executive floor. In my opinion, the Pullman takes the executive floor to a whole new level and provides a great escape from a busy city. The executive option really defines the way you experience your hotel stay. From the minute you walk in you will be ushered to your room, without the need to stand in line at the front desk to check in. Once on  the executive floor, all amenities are within an arms reach. A separate breakfast is served in the executive lounge with a wide array of foods at their classy buffet as well as made to order English, American and Arab breakfasts. The executive lounge is open all day and provides a special happy hour with complimentary drinks and finger food each evening. This is the perfect place to escape your room for a quiet place to work or as a classy location for a business meeting during your stay.

Pullman Dubai PoolThe Pullman is also connected to the Deira City Centre Mall that you can walk to straight from the hotel lobby. This mall is great and full of excellent shopping, restaurants and even a movie theatre so there is always something to do.  If you need a new dress for a nice dinner out, or forgot to pack socks it is really convenient to have a full mall at your disposal to get those last minute items while traveling.  The mall also has a metro stop so if you want to explore Dubai with the locals, the metro is a great (air conditioned) way to see the city.

 

Soma Spa 

Soma Spa

 

One of the best reasons to stay at the Pullman in Dubai is their Soma Spa. This tranquil spa is beautiful and relaxing and will help you truly experience the luxury Dubai has to offer. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly and the massage therapists are very talented. No matter what treatment you choose you will not be disappointed with the experience.

 

“Welcoming you with a refreshing drink and a luxurious foot bath, your discovery to an exquisite indulgence for your senses with Soma Spa awaits.“

 

The Soma Spa was my first spa experience ever. I know, I know, it’s crazy! I’ve waited this long to go to a spa, but waiting for the luxury experience the Soma Spa had to offer was well worth the wait. I didn’t think I would like a massage, but boy was I wrong.
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When I first arrived I was greeted with a welcome drink and settled in. Then I was taken into the ladies changing room where I was able to get good and comfy in a big robe and slippers. After I was changed I went into the sauna for about 15 minutes which felt really nice to just relax and sweat out some stress. After I was ready the massage therapist showed me to my room to start the treatment. I was a bit nervous since I had never done it before and wasn’t sure what to expect.
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In the room I was eased with the sound of peaceful music and the smell of rich spices. The therapist choose a treatment that was right for me, since I didn’t know what would be best and during the whole massage made sure that I was comfortable.
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I never thought I would like getting a massage, but it really was a great experience. Everyone one at the Soma Spa was very helpful and explained everything to me so that I could understand. Whether you have had dozens of spa experiences or like me, never have gone before, I would highly recommend a treatment at the Soma Spa at the Pullman in Dubai.
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Pullman Dubai

 

I would highly recommend a stay at the Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel, one of the most complete accommodation options we have yet experienced. It is a great hotel that will leave you feeling rested and ready to explore all that Dubai has to offer. Rooms start at about $160 a night and airport pick up service can be arranged.

 

 

Bio Photo Marina 150x150 Taking A Chalkboard Around The WorldMarina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

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