5 Beautiful Sunsets in South America

Montanita, Ecuador
I wasn't expecting to enjoy Montanita quite as much as I did. The plan was to spend a few days there and visit Isla del la Plata (and getting drunk) but since the earthquake closed the island and there was a nationwide alcohol ban in effect for most of our stay our plans were scuppered. We ended up staying almost two weeks though, eating the best fruit I've ever tasted, hanging out with the iguanas, surfing and accidentally stumbling upon sunsets like these. Not taking my camera on our walk when we saw this is one of my few regrets.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia
The dense canopy of trees in the Tayrona jungle meant that technically we didn't see the sunset, the sky did provide a pretty spectcular pink backdrop to the dark palms. I was lucky to have my camera on me while we were sipping beer on the beach as it was almost one of those blink and you miss it moments. 

 Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
If you're going to travel anywhere in South America to see the sun set then it has to be the Bolivian salt flats. I wrote a whole post on it! After a cramped overnight bus ride, a long day of driving on very little sleep and the onset of violent sickness I really did not want to get out of the jeep and wait around for the sun to go down, but I am so glad I did. We were the only people around for miles and it felt like such an intimate and special moment. 

Montanita, Ecuador
I loved Montanita so much that I've included it twice in this list. I took my camera out hoping we'd get the impressive red skies again and unfortunately we didn't, but I thought the golden reflection on the water was gorgeous too. This was our last night in Montanita and after a sunset dip in the ocean and a long romantic stroll along the beach we found a little bar serving amazing fruit ciders which were much more lethal than they looked. 

Copacabana, Bolivia
Copacabana itself is entirely unspectacular, but sunset over Lake Titicaca is magical. This is one of the first sights we saw in Bolivia and it only got better from there with our visit to the Isla del Sol the next day. 

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Take 5: Croatia

Where to visit in Croatia. The ultimate travel bucket list.
Holidaying in Croatia has definitely become the thing to do in 2016 and I think literally everyone with an Instagram account will be able to see why. It didn't steal my heart in quite the same way as Montenegro did, but the tiny part I did see had me itching to go back and visit. Here are 5 more places on my bucket list.
Close Up Dubrovnik
An obvious choice, but Dubrovnik has been on my wanderlist since I planned a big Balkan adventure way back in 2012 and I still haven't got round to visiting. It looks gorgeous, but since Zadar in August was really pushing my crowd tolerance I'd definitely plan a visit off-season.

Plitvice Plitvice National Park
One of the main reasons I chose Croatia as our summer holiday last year was Plitvice, but we ended up choosing Krka National Park instead because you can swim there. I'd love to go back and visit Plitvice too, but again maybe I'll save it for shoulder season. 

Read more: Exploring Plitvice National Park (Jasmin Charlotte)

P1030854.JPG Lopud
I'd never even heard of Lopud until I saw Sarah's beautiful photos this week, but doesn't it look amazing?! I'm a huge fan of autumn and I definitely have no complaints about the sudden plummet in temperatures, but I am longing to be lost in a book on one of those beaches with a pint of Pan.

Hvar Hvar
Another one of the reasons I wanted to visit Croatia was to do some island hopping but well, that didn't happen either. Truth is we just found it too difficult to pull ourselves away from relaxing and drinking local wine on the balcony. Hvar was one of the islands I'd have visited though as it just looks so tranquil and stunning. I'd really love to visit in lavender season. 

Zagabria Zagreb
Balkan capitals are often overlooked in favour of the coastal resorts and national parks (and there's probably good reason for this) so Zagreb wasn't even on my radar until recently. It seems like such an unusual and interesting city though and sure it probably can't compare to the beauty of the rest of the country, but we all know that when it comes to falling for places I love a challenge.

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New Beginnings

 I've now been back in the UK for longer than I was away and that thought is absolutely terrifying to me. Time seems to have slipped away in to nothing lately and it feels like I've accomplished nothing over the last few months, but when I look back on how much has changed since then I realise that it's now wonder the days have seemed so fleeting. 

It's been a while since I posted a life update and it seems a bit weird to since on paper it looks like my life has gone back to almost the same as it was before I went travelling. It feels anything but the same though, so here's what I've been up to over the last few months.

I started a new job. In all honesty I think I hate it. I'm struggling to see myself there long-term and it's taking a lot of getting used to but for now it pays the rent and I don't know what else I want to do. So let's not dwell on that too much.

I went vegan. I've spoken about this a few times but pretty much as soon as we landed I made the decision that I wasn't going to consume or purchase any more animal products and it's one of the best things I've ever done. I'm trying not to be too preachy about it, but as it's such a big part of my life now I want to start incorportaing veganism more into my future content . In terms of physical health I feel the best I ever have, I eat much better and for far cheaper and I feel lighter knowing that I'm not contributing to such inhumane and unsustainable industries. And no, I haven't had even the slightest craving for cheese or chocolate.

I moved back to Manchester! My parents were so supportive of our decision to take some time out to travel and I was lucky enough to be able to live in their spare bedroom until I found myself a new flat and a job. Being back in Wales was nice, but I was itching to get back to the city I fell in love with a little over two years ago and start setting up home here again. This time I did it alone and I've traded life in the suburbs for life in the city and found myself a beautiful flat in Ancoats. Living alone is difficult, but also very rewarding.

I'm trying to be more open with my struggles. I find it really difficult to admit that I need help, but September was without a doubt the worst month of my life and I'm having a really hard time in terms of my mental health. I had to take some time off work earlier this week and instead of brushing it off as a migraine or stomach complaint I'm trying to be more open about the actual problem albeit not in very graphic detail. The open book approach is mostly just because it's simply become too difficult to hide, but I'm hoping that shunning the shame and stigma will make it easier to get the help I need. I don't really know where I'm going with this, hopefully you get what I mean.

And my travel plans? All that I have planned between now and next year is a mini-break to the Lake District next week and a few days in Athens in November. I still want to visit all of the places, but I'm trying to take it slowly since life has left me feeling a bit tender.

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