#1880 | Wanderlust: Manarola x Arbaspaa

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If there were a single word to describe Cinque Terre, it’d be romantic.

Cinque Terre was our last stop in Europe after seven months of touring, more or less marking the end of our fun under the european sun, and I don’t think there could have been a better way to wrap up our lives in the west. Some people say that you can cover Cinque Terre in a day, but I don’t see the point in rushing through something so beautiful. Sure, you can technically hit all five towns in a day, but should you? The answer is no – it would be criminal not to savor it. I took so many photos in Cinque Terre that it’s impossible to feature everything here in one post, so I’ll just be covering my favorite of five towns here, and the rest in another post!

Cinque Terre literally translates to The Five Towns, and for those uninitiated, it’s a beautiful coastal region along the Italian Riveria. Cars are banned here, so you can shuttle between the five towns either by train or by hiking – in fact, the hiking paths are world famous for being incredibly scenic and romantic, but I’ve done my fair share of hiking over my seven months in Europe, so I decided to take a more laid back approach to Cinque Terre and slowly explore the towns individually via train instead. I did my research and decided to stay in Manarola because it seemed a comfortable compromise between old world charm and a modern bustling town, and I’m so glad I did because it turned out to be my favorite of the five! Arbaspaa Italy very kindly invited us to stay in the
Sun&Sea – the highest house in Manarola – and while getting there was something of a hike, it was completely and absolutely worth it if only for the view:

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Can I get a hell yes. Imagine waking up to this view everyday – it was breathtaking. Above you see the fabled vineyards where the Cinque Terre white wine is grown and made, and the gorgeous colored houses set against the sea view. I have never been wined and dined as much as I have in Cinque Terre, and if you have the time there’s actually the option of taking a tour of the vineyards or wine cellars, or going for a wine tasting session under the stars. It’s all very, very classy and romantic, and wine aficionados would love it. Arbaspaa, the company that invited us to come stay, also organizes boat tours, wine tasting sessions, and cooking classes if you’d like a taste of authentic italian living, and you can check them out here.

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From our gorgeous two bedroomed apartment, it was only a short walk to what I quickly established as my favorite lunch spot in the whole of Cinque Terre: Nessum Dorma, a new cafe carved into the cliff rocks of Manarola that serves light drinks and sandwiches. It’s honestly a bonus that the food was good as well, though I’d gladly pay to sit there just for the pretty much unbeatable view. I went back a couple of times over my stay in Cinque Terre just to chill, and the staff were really friendly as well, making it feel a lot more like hanging out with friends than visiting a cafe.

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I had the most refreshing strawberry daiquiri of my life and their signature paninis – I asked them to recommend something and it didn’t disappoint. If you’re headed to Cinque Terre, you must drop by Nessum Dorma – it’s not even an option. Very affordable compared to the rest of the restaurants in Cinque Terre, and altogether extremely enjoyable.

Nessum Dorma
Località Punta Bonfiglio
19017 Manarola
Always open
+39 320 071 3868
nessundormacinqueterre@gmail.com

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Yes I did the same dive

I knew I would only have time for one swim in Cinque Terre, so after exploring all five towns I spent my last day swimming in the Tyrrhenian seas off Manarola. No beach no problem – the concrete slopes down into the sea, and it was fantastic, just suntanning on the rocks and attempting cliff dives! It was an approximately 33ft jump and it was nerve wracking. I clambered up to the top of the cliff, stared down, and went oh i dont think so. Meanwhile, children were running and flinging themselves off the same ledge because the fear of God has not yet been injected into those not yet past their sixth birthday, I presume. It was insane. I stood there shivering from the cold and fear, and feeling absolutely inadequate. At the same time, a crowd of europeans had gathered around me on the rocks, half waiting for their turn to jump, half amused, all egging me on and refusing to let me back down. Finally, a little boy climbed up to me and offered gallantly: Do you want me to help give you a push?

What the hell, I thought, and jumped.

It was exhilarating. When I finally resurfaced they were all cheering like it was the best thing they saw all day. I felt like a rockstar. Thank you, Cinque Terre Manarola.

Headed back to the apartment to change before dinner – it’s truly a plus that each town is tiny enough that you can be in the sea one minute and back at your place the next, but not so small that there arent quaint winding paths and new alleyways to discover at every turn. The apartment came with a fully stocked and equipped kitchen but we didn’t cook because there were so many dinner options in the area that we decided to just ball out for the last leg of our trip! Still, if you’re visiting with friends (the apartment accommodates anywhere from four to six anyway) and would like to spend a quiet night in chatting and enjoying dinner and wine by the balcony, then it’s good to know that the local grocery store is open every evening with very reasonably priced groceries which you can buy back to the apartment to prepare!

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If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that I never book a place without a kitchen because it’s crucial if you’re on a budget – splitting the cost and effort of cooking is much cheaper than eating out, and it makes for a very enjoyable evening, bonding over a newly opened bottle of wine and homemade pasta. In any case, although we didn’t cook in Cinque Terre, it was very reassuring knowing we had the option to. Instead, we dined two nights in Manarola itself because I personally felt like it had the best restaurants of the five towns – the only other place I felt had a comparable restaurant was in Vernazza, which I’ll write about again in another post.

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The first night, we dined at this seaside restaurant called Marina Piccola – it was pretty good, but very quickly overshadowed by the restaurant we had dinner at the next day: Trattoria Dal Billy, recommended to us by Eugenio of Arbaspaa (the Arbaspaa people don’t just rent accomodation and organize tours, they take it upon themselves to make sure you have the best experience objectively as well by providing recommendations as and when needed!), and we were warned that we had to make a reservation because it was impossible to just walk in. It became clear why immediately – a quick google search revealed that it was the best restaurant in Manarola and boy oh boy was it true.

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We booked the sunset slot in Dal Billy’s – you make your reservations by the two-hour because they’re so popular that they need to have a turn over of two hours at least. They’re not pushy about it though, we overran our slot and when we asked if there was time for dessert they shrugged and said the other customers, they can wait. Italians. I love it.

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It was our last night in Cinque Terre, so we decided to go all out and opt for the twelve course seafood sampler, which needs a minimum of two people to order. It was mindblowing. Everything was exquisitely and lovingly prepared, and it was all so, so fresh. It was so expensive but so worth it. You don’t debate on whether it’s worth spending money on, you save up for this meal of a lifetime. I would come back to Manarola for this meal. That’s how good it was. And so romantic – having this while the sun set in front of our eyes. Penning this now I feel so incredibly nostalgic for that evening – it was incredible. Incredible.

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For the main course, we had a lobster pasta dish that also required two people minimum to order. It’s like this place was designed exclusively for couples. It was really good – not on the menu either, you have to make a request for it – but I don’t think it was nearly as amazing as the seafood sampler. Then again, the seafood sampler set the bar incredibly high.

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The view over dinner and our dessert of some form of ice cream berry creation, which was lovely.

Trattoria Dal Billy
via Aldo Rollandi 122, 19010 Manarola, Italy
0187-920628

http://www.trattoriabilly.com

It was a plus that the restaurant, which was basically the best meal of my life thus far, was right at the foot of our apartment. You know what this means – being able to finish dinner right at your doorstep, then head back and unwind on the balcony while star gazing. It’s a lifestyle I can only dream of and aspire towards for the rest of my days.

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Bedroom #2 in our Sun&Sea apartment

The sun sets late in Europe over the summer, so we basically had many hours of daylight in our brightly lit apartment! It gave the impression of a more fruitful day, and for sure we got a lot done in each day there. Still, we visited in August, where tourist season is supposedly at its peak. A quick consultation with the Arbaspaa folks confirmed that visiting in September would have been even better, with less crowds and a more forgiving sun, but it was still entirely too enjoyable. Another reason why I loved Manarola so much was because it had the most beautiful sunsets – we had a great time watching the sun go down from our apartment’s balcony, but beyond that, a short walk down to the waters offered another view on the sunset, and also this money shot that Cinque Terre is so famous for:

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The locals were all smiles as they helped us take this shot – another sunkissed couple on the cliffs of Manarola is surely no new sight for them. Still, if this be a tourist trap, then willingly, let us be trapped. We flew right into the tourist attractions of Manarola like moths to a flame, and I still look back so fondly on our time there because it was so breathtakingly beautiful.

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Hanging off the edge of a cliff while waiting for the sun to set

There’s no question about it: Manarola is surely my favorite of the five towns, even after a month of consideration in between us leaving and the publishing of this post. I’m supremely glad we made Manarola our base from which to explore the other four towns because it was unbeatably the best of the lot. We parenthesized each day overlooking the sea with a glass of white wine in hand, admiring the sunsets each evening nodding and ciao-ing at the people lazily making their way about the town, and each day, I felt less and less like a tourist and more and more like someone who belonged, carving our own little italian bubble in Cinque Terre. I was very, very sorry to leave.

This trip wouldn’t have been half as wonderful as it had been without the hospitality of the good people down at Arbaspaa Italy, and for that I’m so grateful. For everyone else heading to Cinque Terre, I strongly suggest you check out their apartment listings – they have accommodation options in each of the five towns, but I personally recommend staying in Manarola as I did. Their main office is by the Manarola train station, and upon check in they’ll personally escort you to your apartment and answer any questions you have. If you’re the kind who likes to do your own research and have it free and easy like me, you can just book a place with them and use it as a base from which to explore, but otherwise they also organize day tours and even custom itineraries for people who’d like them to plan the entire trip to perfection. You can check out their website or drop them an email at the contact details below:

Arbaspaa Italy
Via Molini 11
19017 Manarola
La Spezia (SP)
Cinque Terre – Italia
http://www.arbaspaa.com/
+39.0187.760083
info@arbaspaa.com

Thank you so much for your hospitality, Arbaspaa, and Cinque Terre: I’ll be back.

x
♥jem

#1879| BROKE STUDENT’S GUIDE TO ROME

Ie. How to do Rome for under a hundred bucks. Heh heh!

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I was in Rome for four days in end July, when the sun is burning and gelato is in high demand, to the strange and disconcerting realization that Rome, like Paris, smells like piss. It was the Eat Pray Love (coughpretentiouscough) part of my trip, where I was determined to go solo in a country most people deem dangerous. So guys, the moral of the story is, if a small asian girl can do it alone, so can you – basically, if you can’t find a travel companion, just wing it solo! Don’t let the fear of a pickpocketed wallet or being knocked over by a Vespa keep you from the wonders of a new city. Pssh!

DISCLAIMER
This hundred bucks includes everything except my flight into Roma and my shopping, because no one should have to account for my shopping habit except myself. Anyway, I booked it early and my Ryanair flight only cost me 30euros, so.

ACCOMMODATION
Free.
I couchsurfed in Rome – because paying for accommodation is overrated anyway. Also, when you couchsurf, you get to hang out with a local who knows what’s what. It’s like a walking wikipedia experience and match.com for making friends all at once. I also hung out with the other two couchsurfing american girls who stayed at the same place i did / met them for meals, and now they’re coming to Singapore to visit me in a year!

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Here’s one of the cats that I also lived with.

The last time i spoke about couchsurfing here I had a lot of feedback from you guys on how it may not be safe, or how it might be dangerous for a girl to do it alone and so on, so here’s my two cents. Couchsurfing is essentially you sleeping in a stranger’s home, and most of the time your host will be a guy, so I understand the concern. However – it’s a community based website, and with all community based sites, you have the huge advantage of being able to read real life (read: non-sponsored content) reviews from other users. You can read my guide to couchsurfing here to give you an idea of what to look out for in a host and so on because it’s too lengthy to list here. Either way, it’s a really good experience I feel, and will make your travels much more interesting compared to basing it out of hotel rooms, so give it a shot!

BREAK DOWN OF EXPENSES + ROUGH ITINERARY

Touchdown Roma – if you arrive by train, the metro is right next to Rome Termini, so good for you!

If you take a flight in, you’ll be in either Rome Ciampino or Fiumicino. Either way, it’s pretty easy to get to the city center. I landed in Rome CIA because that’s where cheap flights go (ha ha) – when you touchdown, there’s no passport stamping area, you just walk right out and there are a whole row of buses there. Walk up to them and ask when the next one is departing and pay the bus driver. It cost me 4 Euros on the spot (accurate as of mid 2014) and this is the same price you would pay if you book online, so don’t bother booking it. If you book with a bus company online you’re gonna have to follow their schedules, which isn’t worth the hassle. The ride to the city is about half an hour.

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- TRANSPORT

The metros run by the gantry system, so you need a ticket to get in. Buy the BIT ticket (basic integrated ticket or something) from any metro station machine. Each ticket is 1.50Eur and gives you a single train ride plus a hundred minutes of bus rides from the time stamped, though that’s a bit unnecessary because you’ll find that noone in Rome cares if you pay for the buses or trams. You can’t even buy a ticket on the bus itself. Consequently, I took buses everywhere because i’m a poor student who has no money for morals.

Buses in Rome can either be the best thing in the world or your worst nightmare. They’re irregular, always late, and pickpocketing heaven. On the other hand, they go everywhere and they’re basically and illegally free.

The metro line is far more regular and reliable, but there are only two lines and they don’t really go everywhere unlike the trains in london and paris, ie. you’ll still have to walk a fair distance to the attractions when you alight. I only took the train 3 times – once late at night when i reached Rome and didn’t know how to work the bus system, once to the Vatican (not much choice about this i think) and once to the main station because i was rushing to catch my train out from Rome and i didn’t wanna risk missing it.

Total cost on public transportation: 4.50EUR.

- FOOD

This is how I do holiday meals. It’s no secret that eating out in Europe is really expensive, and sometimes you don’t stay in a central enough area to justify time spent popping back to your apartment to cook lunch. At the same time, eating bad food just because it’s the cheapest option available when you’re traveling can kind of be really depressing.

So what I do is, I splurge on 1 x good meal per day (usually in between lunch and dinner) and then just have a snack in the morning or while walking. For Rome, it was 1 x meal and 1 x gelato/ lemonade or some form of refreshing beverage a day. It worked out goooooood. Here’s what I had and highly recommend:

Ristorante Calabascio
Via Properzio, 20/22/24, Rome, Italy
00193 Roma

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Best first lunch in Rome ever

Near the Vatican, recommended by my new American friends’ previous couch host in Bari, Italy. Pretty much the most fancy restaurant on the street.
Shared appetizer (this amazing bruschetta!!!). Homemade Fettucine, still water to share, a large bottle or Peroni, and a post-meal espresso. Free flow bread. I also tried a bit of both my lunch companions’ food – lasagna and pizza. Both were really good – I was originally going to order carbonara but i asked for the server’s recommendation and he said to try fettucine and it’s rude to ask for advice and not take it, so. But it was a great recommendation either way because it was SO GOOD.
EUR25/ person

Chopsticks Restaurant
Viale Regina Margherita, 17, 00198 Roma

I saw an ad for this on the bus and googled it – it had 4.5 stars on trip advisor and yelp, and was pretty far out from the city center but it was soooo worth it. It’s a Japanese / Chinese / Brazilian buffet restaurant where you order food off a menu and they bring it to you, and it’s basically the best meal i’ve had in a long long time. The different sushi rolls.. fresh grilled salmon and scampi… before the brazilian churrasco i didn’t even know pork could taste this good. Make a reservation or go exactly when they open to avoid a long wait. I recommend this so hard i would rate it about fifteen upon ten.
EUR21/ person for dinner, but if you do lunch it’s 15.90


Day Snacks:

Frigidarium
Via del Governo Vecchio, 112, 00186 Roma

“Best Gelato in Rome” – i did my research on this!! It really is several kinds of amazing though. Near the gorgeous Piazza Navona and Pantheon, so plan out your route and itinerary accordingly.
2EUR/small cone with 2 flavors, comes with free whipped cream or chocolate dip.

Giolitti
Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, Roma

“Mainstream Best Gelato in Rome” – seems to be a hot favorite, really really famous, and beautiful seating area in a very grand and old interior deco style. Really wide selection of flavors, but i take points off for being shoved nonstop by annoying tourists. This is one of those places you never see sans a whole flock of tourists.. it’s near the Pantheon and Trevi fountain. Random fun fact: the pope came here once!
3,50EUR/ medium cone with 3 flavors, comes with whipped cream.

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Random gelato shop in Rome

I only had gelato twice in Rome, but I got a heck load of recommendations for more places on instagram. Check out the comments here for user based reviews and suggestions. (View on phone to load all comments)

Watermelon
Basically bought it because the weather was ridiculously hot and for the instagram shot.
1EUR/ slice (overpriced, but it costs the same in all the stands i think)

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Beers
Bought beers to go from a supermarket/convenience store and went to sit on a grass ledge by the Colosseum to people watch and catch the sunset. Peroni, 1eur/bottle vs sitting in a restaurant to order, 3.5-5eur/same bottle.

Ladurée
Via Borgognona, 4, Roma

On my last day I decided to give myself a treat at Laduree instead of having a proper meal because i’ve never done a sit-in for them and had coffee and what not. I didn’t get food because I wasn’t hungry (snacked on watermelons) but I had some pretty heavenly salted caramel coffee for 5.5Eur. When the waiter saw me taking photos of my coffee, he got excited and brought me a whole plate of macaroons. Score!

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I also spent money on random bottles of water (1-1.5Eur each depending on how touristy the area is) and drinks, though actually this is not necessary expenditure since Rome is littered with water fountains spouting drinkable water on the streets. My host was saying he never buys water, but I was lazy to carry my bottle around and I’m useless at water fountains – i always get my hair wet, so whatever. Spent 6.2Eur on water/drinks in total for the trip (yes I kept track for this blogpost and wrote everything down).

Total spent on snackables and so on: 20.2Eur
Total spent on meals plus snackables (ie. total spent on ALL ingested material): 66.2Eur for 4 days

I guess it’s cheaper than if i ate out for lunch and dinner each day because a cheap meal (pizza, pasta, cheapest options) would have cost 8-10EUR each anyway, and this way i actually get to leave Rome with BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES OF REALLY EPIC MEALS.

- TOURIST ATTRACTIONS/ THINGS TO DO

The Americans girls told me something i thought made a lot of sense: anytime anyone comes up to you and tries to sell you something in Italy, it is almost certainly a scam. People kept trying to get us to buy their packages and tours to skip queues and so on, but they’re often so very overpriced and bought on misconstrued premises anyway! (Eg. Especially in the Vatican, tour guides are always trying to hustle you into buying their tour packages because it’s immediate while the queue takes “two hours”. It does not. It takes half a hour, max.)

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The Vatican
Is one of those things you have to do if you come to Rome, because of its rich history and also just because it’s actually classified as another country within Rome, so you can be all like hey, I’m in two countries at once!! when you cross the border. Etc.
I paid 5Eur to climb the dome (500 steps y’all) and visit the basilica. It was pretty impressive – i felt like it was worth about five or more euros. Didn’t visit the Sistine Chapel due to a lack of time, but it cost 17Eur if you’re a student under 26.

This is the only thing I spent money on to see. Everything else was free.

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The Pantheon

Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma
So necessary and breathtaking. Except, when I was walking into the Pantheon, I overheard two boys behind me excitedly going “I recognize this from Assassin’s Creed!!!” Sigh.

The Trevi Fountain
Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma
I wanted my Lizzie Mcguire moment so badly, but the trevi is undergoing reconstruction work and will only be done in 2015. Right now, it’s just an empty fountain where tourists flock to for their photographs. Still, I had extra time and I was in the area so I popped by to have a look. Honestly though, I recommend the..

Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma
One of the most beautiful squares in Rome in my opinion, with the most gorgeous fountain. Great to people watch or just chill and take photos. Possibly my favorite place in Rome x

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The Colosseum
Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma
Also another very recognizable/ iconic place. I didn’t bother going in because honestly? I’m not going to pay for that. I grabbed beers with the American girls and sat by a grass ledge right behind the Colosseum to watch the sun set from 8-10pm. It was lovely.

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The Roman Forum
Via della Salaria Vecchia, 5/6, Roma
Important ancient ruins. Didn’t pay to go in either, because you get a pretty amazing view of the place if you climb up this hill from the back. It’s called the Capitoline Hill and has several lookout points on the way up.

Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia, Via del Corso, Roma
The heart of Rome, around which everything is centered. It’s also a huge monument/building that looks like an extravagant wedding cake and which tourists love. Nevertheless, it’s pretty…


Other places I visited:
Piazza della Repubblica (mainly to sit and people watch/ eat my watermelon), Piazza di Pietra, Villa Ada (a chill bros park near Chopsticks Restaurant), and the whole governmental building area.

//

And that was it. That was literally all I spent in Rome: a total of 75.6EUR. I wrote this post to debunk the idea that you need loads of money to travel in Europe – because you don’t. You really don’t, you just need to not stay in a five star hotel and give yourself a rough budget in your head. At no point in my trip to Rome did I feel like an imporvished student, I just felt like a normal person having a really, really good time abroad alone.

There was one other thing I bought in Rome that I didn’t include in the tally above – a SIM Card. I didn’t include it mainly because not everyone will get a SIM card when they go to Italy, and also because my SIM card lasted me six Italian cities, so it wasn’t technically a Rome-only expenditure. But for those of you who, like me, live and breathe data and are looking to get a SIM card in Italy, here’s what I recommend:

TIM’s Tourist Sim Card
20EUR for 2 GB of data and 200 minutes of call time
+ 10EUR for the sim card itself
More info here

TIM is one of their main service providers, and their shops can be found everywhere. I relied on it a lot for my italian trip because I was using it to search up best places to eat and visit and so on (more info on my Guide To Top Five Free Travel Apps), and if you’re spending more than a week in Italy I suggest you get it. Even better if you’re with friends – then one person can get it and hotspot everyone else. It’s a pretty decent deal, and I think one of the best ones out there for tourists looking for a temporary data fix without any commitment.

Alright, so that’s that! I had a lot of fun in Rome, and though it isnt necessarily the most exciting Italian city around, it certainly is the most iconic and a mandatory stop for anyone hitting Italy. It’s also easy to get from there to Ponza (blogpost upcoming!), my favorite destination in seven months of traveling Europe. I hope this post was useful for you guys planning trips, and as usual, if you have any suggestions or tips do hit me up via ask.fm or in the comment section below :)

x
♥jem

#1878 | Getting your Gam Gams on

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Everyone warned me about Italy. All they eat, my friends said, are carbs: pizza, spaghetti, bread, rice, bread on rice, und so weiter - and it must have been either foolishness or careless planning that had us leaving our Italian jaunt to the last leg of our seven months in Europe. And they were right (they were all right). What I had counted on was a modicum of self control in the land of pasta, what I had not expected was swooning at my first bite and going I don’t care if I get fat. It’s all worth it.

I’ll leave my narratives of Italy to another blogpost, but between that and all the recipes I’ve been posting online, what I mean to say is really that going on exchange will make you fat. It’s worth it, but it doesnt make it any less true. In any case, just before I got back I got an invitation from BottomSlim to come down and try out their treatments (goodness, do the photos show the effects of all that pizza already?) and lets just say – it was pretty good timing.

I’ve actually blogged about Bottomslim before, so it shouldn’t be anything new to you guys when I explain that it’s the pioneer in lower body slimming specifically designed to combat disproportionate body problems – things like having a bigger lower body due to long hours sitting in front of a desk, cellulite, stretch marks and so on that seem to afflict girls of every size and are particularly stubborn, even with exercise. Things like having a bulging tummy, wide hips, bulky/ chunky legs, stretch marks, cellulite, water retention and so on seem to be their main speciality, and they also pride themselves on the fact that their treatments are meant to be fast and healthy, with no injections, surgeries, or pills involved, and without requiring your own exercise outside the treatment. They were also the trusted lower body slimming salon and main presenter of the recent Star Awards 2014:

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Which gives them a lot of star power heh heh.

Either way, while I’m not overtly self conscious or critical of my own body, I also don’t mind getting more toned, so this engagement I’m doing with Bottomslim is something that’s pretty exciting for me. I’ve always been skeptical of slimming companies, but hey – I’m going to just try it out and give my own honest account of the whole experience, effective or not, so if you’ve ever considered trying it out and dont know if you want to commit to ten sessions with a slimming company, then stick with me over the next few weeks and I’ll be your guinea pig.

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I’m doing my treatments at the Orchard outlet, which is tucked in a quiet corner in Takashimaya, great if you’re self conscious about walking into a slimming center, ha-ha. It’s pretty big and the whole place is done up in earthy tones of brown and beige, and the muted lighting, while terrible for photos, makes you feel like a blanket of calm has settled over you. It’s all very good at distracting you from the pain – I’m actually writing this right off my third session with them (we’re doing it over a period instead of a one off treatment which I personally think won’t have lasting effects) and I have to say in good conscience that small, flowery bruises, have bloomed all over the back of my thighs.

They’re currently doing this treatment for me called the BottomTrim, a twenty minute treatment where you lie on your front and they use a machine to rub the back of your thighs. Apparently, it can help boost the circulation and fat burning process, and the bruises form when the therapy trying to break down your fat cells rubs against the more stubborn ones, creating friction. In addition to this bruises also form due to amount of toxins in your body – the more toxins & clogged lymph nodes you have, the more bruises you get. Not gonna lie, it hurt like a bitch the first time, but by the third session I was more or less used to it (it also gets less painful as you go along). It also works to shape your legs and “push” them back into a more tapered down silhouette.

It’s a treatment they decided upon after a personalized consultation with their in house specialist during the first session, and everyone at the takashimaya outlet has been super nice and friendly to me in and out of treatment, which kind of takes the edge off the pain. (OW! / Are you feeling okay? / OW! / I like your hair / OW! / You look so young and pretty) Who doesnt like a compliment, am I right. But back to the nitty gritty – after the first session, they took a photo of my legs before and after, and I couldn’t really tell the difference yet. Still, I figure this is because the preliminary sessions serve to break down and soften existing cellulite before proceeding to work on visible inch loss. I *felt* a bit more toned, but up till now I’m still trying to figure out if it’s psychological. I’m still not sure. After my third treatment, with each treatment being done one or two days within each other, my legs feel harder. You know, not enough to warrant the word Toned, but just less wobbly. I suppose it’d be unrealistic to expect to get Jessica Alba’s gams in a week, so we’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks!

Right now though, here’s something to take away from this post for you guys – BottomSlim is giving away 5 Sponsored BottomTrim sessions to 10 lucky readers. Simply tell us how your lower body concerns have affected you in your daily life. The reader with the most significant results will win a sponsored slimming course worth $6888 + shopping vouchers worth $200!


bs giveaway

You can use the form below to participate :)

And for everyone else – keep with me. I’ll be jotting down thoughts after every couple of treatments to share with you guys and hopefully, I’ll either get Jessica alba’s legs or you’ll get a good idea of what goes on behind doors during slimming treatments :)

x
♥jem

#1877| Life’s a beach

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Two piece floral set c/o Kenensa | Sunnies from Primark | Gold necklace: my sister’s | Photos by Cepheus for Uniquecolors

It’s racing towards the middle of the semester already, you guys, and it’s something I cannot reconcile myself to. Perhaps it’s got to do with the fact that i effectively only have one day of school per week, but I still feel too much as if I were still floating by in the middle of summer. I’ve been fluctuating wildly between peaceful calmness and restlessness, sitting down trying to pen narratives to paper and yet somehow being to content with life to create anything new. Is it only unhappiness that breeds creativity then? Surely that’s too destructive a mantra to live by.

This week I turned twenty two. I believe Taylor Swift wrote a song about this day. I felt unendingly old – because twenty one somehow sounds cool and twenty two just sounds.. not twenty one. I dont know. I spent my birthday in the best way possible with the best people I could think of and would want around me, and ate way too much cake. I want to say that I’m subsequently abstaining from all forms of sugar but we both know that ain’t true. As we speak I’m dreaming of a condensed form of chocolate cake so cold it makes you swoon and roll your eyes back in pleasure. I wish my weakness were a type of salad or something, but then again so does everybody.

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I don’t want to ramble, so I’ll leave off soon. Just popping in to say that I am not keeping in time with real life on this space – off to Korea this weekend on a whim, and I’ll be posting another installment of the Broke Student’s Guide series up on the blog this week, this time regarding Rome. The strange thing is I actually wouldn’t classify myself as suffering from wanderlust – I just want to forge new experiences while I still can. And on that international note, thank you for sticking by me all these years, and a lot of emotions all around for those of you who’ve been emailing /ask.fm-ing me with well wishes and the sweetest notes an online persona could wish for. x

x
♥jem