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Best of London: London’s Rooftop Cinemas

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Best of London” post – in fact, looking back through this blog’s archives, I rarely write about things to do in London, despite having lived here for three years now. That’s a bit odd, considering I feel like I’m always doing cool stuff in the city; anyone who has been to London knows there is seemingly no shortage of museums, markets, neighbourhoods, restaurants, and bars to sample.

Last night, however, I did something new and wanted to share it: I went to my first rooftop cinema in London.

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On Dreaming, and On Staying Ambitious

I’ve been really tired these days. Between a full-time job that has recently gotten a lot more demanding, to maintaining my duties to fulfil the requirements for my Graduate Entrepreneur Visa in the UK, to freelance work, to running this blog and its social media, to social events, to, oh yeah, travelling, I find myself constantly wanting a nap and constantly wanting someone to crack my back for me (it feels so damn good). Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about these things; I’m learning a lot, earning a little, and still seeing the world and getting to hang out with some of my favourite people in it. My life at the moment, while busy and stressful, is a pretty great one.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t making plans for the future, too.

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On Ghosting (and what to do if it happens to you)

The first time I was ghosted, I didn’t understand what I had done wrong.

I met Chris in a little cocktail bar one rainy night in London (sidenote: my best friend has demanded that I never again date a guy called Chris… I’m cursed with guys called Chris). We had a fantastic date, one of my best ever, and it culminated with both a passionate kiss and an invitation to a second date. He texted me on the way home.

“I can’t stop smiling…,” he wrote, and oh my god, there is no better feeling than getting that text after making out with a ridiculously hot, ridiculously intelligent journalist named Chris, let me tell you.

Over the next couple of days, we texted back and forth and made plans for our upcoming dinner date. And then, the day before, I texted him to confirm what time we were meeting. No response. That seemed a bit strange, but I tried not to let it bother me until the next day. By lunchtime – I would assume we were meeting only a few hours later – I texted again. Yes, oh yes, the dreaded double-text. But I was kind of worried, and very confused.

“Hey,” I texted. “Are we still on for tonight?”

And that, dear friends, is when I encountered my first ghost.

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An Ode to the Aperol Spritz

I’ve been lucky this summer, because it’s been a summer of near constant travel, more-so than usual for me. If we count May, I’ve visited Italy twice (Bologna and Cinque Terre), Spain (to Mallorca, where I stayed in a villa with my mum for a week), Sweden (for a travel blogging conference), and Prague (for a weekend holiday with a friend). I also have a weekend in Brighton coming up, as well as a few days in Paris at the end of the month. It’s been a spectacular string of travels, and I’ve loved every minute.

And, oh yeah, I also fell in love with a drink.

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Visiting Bhutan’s Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Found in the Himalayas between China and India, Bhutan is a deeply Buddhist country. As I’ve written about before, there is no limit to how many tourists enter per year, as some people may believe; however, each tourist is required to pay a daily fee, part of the “High Value, Low Impact” policy of the country. And as I’ve written about before, Bhutan is worth every penny of that daily fee.

For starters, there’s the backdrop: the snowcapped mountains rising in the distance, the sweeping forests of green, the emerald rivers that run throughout. There’s the culture: the dance festivals, the archery competitions, the spicy, delicious food. There are the people, so welcoming, helpful, and enthusiastic about sharing Bhutan. And then there’s the architecture, the ornate monasteries, nunneries, and dzongs (similar to fortresses), each one beautiful and unique. The most famous of these? Taktsang Palphug, commonly known in English as Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

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Why We Need Travel More Than Ever

I try to remain positive every day, and to remind myself that the majority of the people on this planet do not wish harm against one another. But fuck, it’s difficult sometimes. It’s difficult when you hear about a person with so much hatred inside him that he feels the need to fire a semi-automatic rifle into a crowd of people dancing, that he feels the need to detonate a bomb strapped to his chest while surrounded by families doing their daily shopping, that he feels the need to wield an axe on a train of commuters just trying to get home, that he feels the need to drive a truck through a busy street filled with children. It’s difficult when you hear about young men being shot just for reaching for their wallet. It’s difficult when you hear about casual post-Brexit racism happening in your own neighbourhood, to your own neighbours. And I sit down, and I read all the news articles I can, and I debate whether or not hashtag activism is insensitive or not, and I talk to my parents about it, and I talk to my friends about it, and then I just feel hopeless. I feel like there is nothing I can do.

But, in a way, I suppose there is something I can do, and something you can do, too.

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The Last Time I Saw You (Part Five)

The last time I saw you, you were walking away from me, your hair shining blue-black in the streetlights. I had turned back to wave again, but you didn’t, and so all I saw was the back of you, disappearing into the night.

***

We met at a beach party on another continent, a place where the water turned smooth as glass. The night we met the moon shone low, turning the sand a pale grey.

“You don’t need salt,” I said to you, reaching for the salt shaker in your hand. Those were my first words to you, leaning up against the bamboo bar.

“Oh, I don’t?” you replied, the shot of tequila in your hand full to the brim. You smiled a wicked smile, your teeth flashing like the Cheshire Cat.

“No, you don’t. It will taste better without salt, trust me.” I was flirting with you, my hand still lingering on top of yours, both of us holding on to the salt shaker, neither of us breaking eye contact. I was wearing a long turquoise dress; it brought out my tan and my blue eyes. I felt good that night. I felt like flirting with you, the most handsome man at the bar.

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The Perfect Holiday: A Villa in Mallorca

For those of you who don’t know much about Mallorca – often spelt Majorca – it is the largest island in the Balearic Archipelago of Spain, located in the Mediterranean. Perhaps you’ve heard of its neighbour, Ibiza. And the thing about these islands is… they’re known for their partying. For their stag-dos, hen-dos, their all-night hedonism. They’re known for amazing nightlife, for clubs and house music, for a really, really fun time… if that’s your definition of a fun time, that is. And that’s the thing – that’s not my definition of a fun time. I don’t want to go out and hit up clubs full of 18-25 year olds doing shots of unidentifiable liquid. I like to party, I like to dance, I like to drink, but, much as my friend Sam said, I’m not exactly a ‘Mallorca type’.

But yes, you guessed it, I was completely, 100% wrong. I am totally a ‘Mallorca type’. I just didn’t know the truth about Mallorca, and that the paragraph I just wrote only describes a very small part of the island. The rest of the island – outside the area of Palma/Magaluf – is absolutely gorgeous, filled with sleepy Spanish villages, olive groves, and secluded beaches, and I will be writing more about my time there (and how to spend the perfect week on the island) soon. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful villas I’ve ever seen.

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Bicycles in Denmark 3

On Bicycles and Brothers

I can remember holding you for the first time, your tiny pink hand slowly clenching and unclenching around my finger. By the time you were walking and talking we were inseparable. When you were old enough, we’d go out on long bike rides, riding to the convenience store for Slurpees and five cent candies. We’d then whip around the neighbourhood, going as fast as we could leading up to the hill down Crescent Drive, toward the golf course. People joke that you can watch your dog run away for three days in the prairies, and we had to make the most out of every minor hill, every chance to feel the rush of wind on our faces. We’d race each other through the pathways of Wildwood Park, stopping in each playground to eat candy while sitting on the swings. We knew those streets like the back of our hands, knew every crack in the sidewalk, every low branch, every yard that had a dog that would bark as we zoomed past. When it would be time to go home, we’d cycle down South Drive slowly, seeing who could ride with our hands off of the handlebars the longest, both of us showing off.

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