Eating my way around Vietnam for 2 weeks

Well hello to you my reader chums! Vietnam has my heart. The food, its people, the atmosphere; there’s something special about the country. I’ve visited on two occasions and it still doesn’t feel like enough time to fully embrace everything Vietnam offers.

The main attraction of Vietnam which draws me back every time is the food scene. The pho, the iconic sandwiches, the spring rolls, the iced chocolates, ginger teas and curries, thrill all of my senses. I’m still thinking about some of the meals and drinks I ate over the two weeks I spent in Vietnam. The aroma of the food lingers in my mind when I think about dinner; I’m desperate to eat some of the dishes again.

Eating my way around Vietnam for 2 weeks

Whether you're new to Vietnam or looking for places to eat, here's my guide to eating around Vietnam for 2 weeks.


The first stop in any Vietnam trip must be Hanoi's bustle. Most travellers either go north to south or south to north. North to the centre of Vietnam was my plan for this last trip as it had places I knew I’d enjoy the most. The buzz of Hanoi thrills me; I can never get over its manic traffic, the endless street stalls, the coffee shop scene and the local vibe. It amazes me that in such a touristy place, the city still remains authentic and local.

Vietnam has a coffee shop way of life where their coffee shops only sell drinks rather than being a cafe. Sometimes this was great as I only wanted a drink, but at other times, when I was hungry too, it was a little annoying.

In Hanoi, I experienced some of my favourite coffee shops in Vietnam and the best hot chocolate I had was at An Cafe. An Cafe was a local, tiny little cafe with a couple of tables outside, serving up drinks and fruit-yoghurt pot-style breakfasts. They laid out the hot chocolate on a gorgeous gold plate and cutlery with a biscuit on the side - and it was like heaven in my mouth. The drink was a blend of thick chocolate with cinnamon and it warmed up my stomach and soul.

Hanoi Coffee Station was another modern-style cafe with a great Western brunch menu including yummy oatmeal with fruit and seeds and a strong coffee list also. The Note Cafe warmed my heart in many ways including the hot drinks. It’s very famous for people to visit on their trip to Hanoi and is covered in post-it notes with people leaving messages from their travels. I loved sitting there reading what many people across the world had to say - it’s a great way to connect travellers. Also, this is the place we tried the first egg coffee and egg chocolate, renowned across Vietnam. It was actually pretty great, reminding me of custard.

Eating my way around Vietnam for 2 weeks

Banh mi is the Vietnamese version of a French baguette and I’m obsessed with the blend of fillings they use. Traditionally, a banh mi has pate, chilli, cucumber, pickles, meat and vegetables in it, however, across Hanoi (and Vietnam as a whole), the options are endless on fillings. My favourite sandwiches I had was a classic pate style banh mi and the vegetarian option too. The vegetarian place in Hanoi called Chay Hong Phuoc was a random find and used mushrooms as an alternative filling and it was delicious, I wish I had more of it. Banh Mi Pho was another eatery we came across and offered brilliant meat options. Usually, I’m a vegetarian, but in Vietnam, many of the traditional dishes are meat-based and it’s hard to resist.

Street stalls are where you get the best food across Vietnam, especially in Hanoi as they’re wherever you look, across the bustling part of the city (old quarter). My favourite food to get on the street stalls is a classic bowl of pho, especially the beef kind. It’s cheap, cheerful and full of flavour and I absolutely love it.

As a sweet treat fan, I also have to shout out the gem of a bakery, Coba Bakery which we found on a whim when searching for dessert. Their range of cookies, cakes and chocolate mousses was insanely good and cheap.

Mai Chau

The next step on the journey was Mai Chau only for a night to experience the endless rice fields and quiet village life. What we discovered, cycling around the village is food options were very localised and meat-heavy, not to our taste in particular. However, we were staying at a homestay and ended up eating there, Mai Chau Countryside Homestay. It was rated pretty high on Google and the food was lovely and a great addition to our stay there. I tried the tofu in tomato sauce - which seemed to be a local delicacy in many parts of the country.

Ninh Binh

From Mai Chau to Ninh Binh, we came to realise the main hub of Ninh Binh was pretty quiet on the food front and we had to travel into Tam Coc for some really good dishes. Although in the centre of Ninh Binh, we found some gems including one of my favourite banh mi at a local stall, a quaint cafe serving great hot chocolate, Cafe Long Bien and the largest dinners at Trung Tuyet Restaurant. The restaurant’s portions were giant, providing way too much, divine food including vegetarian pho.

Tam Coc is the tourist spot in Ninh Binh where all the main activities and things to do are, and there, we ate well. Ngon Vegan Restaurant was packed out and we ended up sharing a table with another couple who were playing cards. It was lovely being able to connect with travellers whilst choosing a restaurant with phenomenal food. The vegetarian spring rolls were always a great starter, which we had every day during the trip. And, for mains, the coconut tofu curry had a beautiful flavour which I wish I could recreate. I’d love to eat it all over again! An iconic cafe called Brick Coffee Shop was a surprising find, serving up wholesome hot drinks and carrot cake. It’s also run by the loveliest family with kids running around.

Eating my way around Vietnam for 2 weeks

Cat Ba Island

Away from the city bustle, we headed to island life on Cat Ba and the energy had a completely different feel. It wasn’t busy with endless street stalls and non-stop traffic, but a quieter experience and heavy on the restaurant front. The odd street stall sold pancakes and more tourist-style street food than traditional.

In a tourism-heavy place, food suits tourists’ tastes rather than a traditional appeal. Although, we visited a few places which offered some great options. Like Coffee was brilliant for a vegetarian banh mi, whilst The Little Leaf restaurant served a delicious ginger tea. Ginger tea was one of those morning routines I’ve continued since being in Vietnam as they made the tea with fresh lemongrass, ginger and something sweet. The Bigman Restaurant also deserves a shoutout for a wide range of food including good pho.

Eating my way around Vietnam for 2 weeks

Da Nang

Moving back from the islands' side of things, we centred ourselves in Da Nang, in the middle of Vietnam. Da Nang wasn’t as wild as Hanoi, yet, the city appeal was there with lots of traffic, tall buildings and a party vibe to it. It’s one of those underrated cities with more than meets the eye, including a beautiful beach. The food options varied from brilliant local food at Kimdy restaurant and My Quang Ba Mua to Insta-worthy brunch places such as Je M’aime Cafe and Eatery. Kimdy Restaurant served up delicious cheap pho, whilst, at My Quang, I tried my first rice pancakes and loved them.

As breakfast isn’t a common thing across Vietnam (well, non-traditional), sourcing cool places for fulfilling options can be tricky. An’s Cafe had to be the loveliest place serving up cheap fruit, oatmeal and smoothies, whilst Je M’aime Cafe and Eatery was the pricier option with a contemporary co-working ambience.

Hoi An

Getting a bus down to Hoi An, was a bittersweet moment as I was incredibly excited to finally visit Hoi An, but sad it would be our last destination in the country. Two weeks of roaming around felt fast and slow all at the same time.

Hoi An is a foodies hub with many dishes, traditional to the town itself. These dishes include Cao lau, white rose and mi quang (this dish, in particular, is renowned more in Da Nang). I wasn’t the greatest fan of mi quang, yet cao lau and white rose were like heaven on my tongue. Cao Lau is a sweet noodle dish with pork and white rose meat-style dumplings. I don’t know the specific ingredients of how they make either but I could eat buckets of the noodles and dumplings as they are that good.

As Cao Lau is raved about, we tried it at Cao Lau Khong Gian Xanh and it was the cheapest and greatest meal all in one. The restaurant had a completely local feel despite the tourist energy throughout the old town of Hoi An. We had it with herbal water and the combination was a dream. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Another strong dinner option in the ancient town was Pho Xua Restaurant, as its dumplings were divine. It also featured the various local dishes, whereas some restaurants would do one or the other.

Banh mi was eaten during our trip and I didn’t stop in Hoi An, visiting the most popular sandwich place in the ancient town. Called Banh Mi Phuong, I had high expectations for this sandwich and genuinely, it did live up to them. Considering the famous name around it, I expected the sandwich to be costly but it was very affordable and tasty.

Eating my way around Vietnam for 2 weeks

Coffee shops were in the bucket load across Hoi An and it was pretty hard to choose where to have a drink, or to pick one with food too. My favourite coffee shops included Raw Coco Coffee, Cong and Tamy Coffee. The best thing about Vietnam overall when it came to cool drinks is they use quality chocolate in their iced and hot chocolates. It wasn’t overly milky and instead, had a definitive chocolate flavour - and Raw Coco Coffee and Cong made it perfectly. Tamy Coffee was a fab place for cakes as well, perfect for evening or day treats.

Breakfast in Hoi An was an easy choice as it catered to modern, brunch-style places. Phin Coffee and Restaurant had to be my favourite because it was tucked away around some of the windier roads in the old town and the cafe featured endless amounts of plants. It had a natural appeal and served up great French toast and smoothie bowls, with a long list of drink options.

For more typical Instagram, brunch places, Rosie’s Cafe and Ellie’s Cafe are solid choices and the food there is top quality. Rosie’s Cafe is designed for tourists with a typical English menu, whilst Ellie’s Cafe is still locally run, catering to Westerners.

Overall thoughts

I’ve travelled the most around the north and centre of Vietnam and would be intrigued to discover how different the south differentiates when it comes to traditional meals. I’ve loved experiencing more of trying their unique foods and flavours, and even dabbling in a cooking class, learning to cook rice pancakes. It was certainly an experience seeing how simple some of the food is, yet it’s incredibly tasty. This makes me realise as the Italians say, the best food is the simplest.

Vietnamese food is on another level to many cuisines, packed with flavour, heart and tradition. It’s difficult to eat poorly across Vietnam as most dishes have a local influence and authenticity is still incredibly strong. My time in Vietnam guaranteed a very happy tummy and dreams of wanting to recreate dishes and dinners over and over again. It’s certainly a place hard to beat when it comes to its delicacies!

Eating my way around Vietnam for 2 weeks

With two visits to Vietnam, I’m excited when I have the opportunity to travel again and eat my way around the various cities, towns and beach destinations. The people, the food and the warming culture will always stay with me.

Thank you for reading! What's your favourite Vietnamese dish?

Thank you for reading <3

27 things I'm grateful for

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I recently turned 27 and honestly, it baffles me I'm closer to my thirties than my early twenties, however, I'm loving the woman I've grown into. Every year, I write a birthday post on either experiences or learnings and this year, I wanted to step back and reflect on what I'm grateful for.

Gratitude is one of the most important things for living a positive life and enjoying what life offers. To celebrate my birthday, here is a list of 27 things I'm grateful for.

27 things I'm grateful for

My family and friends

I have the most adoring family and friends around me and as I've gotten older, these connections have grown even deeper. I'm lucky to have people in my inner circle who are my biggest cheerleaders and my biggest support system. Whether it's wanting to book a fun holiday or go to a coffee shop to have a chat, they're always up for spending the time. As I've grown, I've increasingly improved in opening up to my family and friends, developing our relationships more.

My supportive partner

I've been dreaming of finding true love for a long time, a love where that person supports me, grows with me and wants to be silly with me always. I'm lucky to find that in my partner who from the first moment of meeting me, has been a constant in my life. We love to adventure together and do the little parts of life together which makes my heart so full. I'm grateful for us to grow together and see what our future holds.

Living by the beach

I've lived by the beach my entire life and it's home to me. There's something to peaceful in knowing the sound of the waves is only a few minutes away from my home. I love heading to the beach for strolls, reading and enjoying the sunshine. I've recently moved to another beach town as well and love it just as much. I appreciate how wonderful it is to have the beach on my doorstep.

Working for myself

My biggest goal in life has always been to run my own business and work for myself, and here I am today, making it work. I started full-time freelancing this year and it's progressing exactly how I wanted and can't wait to see what the future holds for my career. 

My travels

Travelling is one of my biggest passions and as you may guess from this blog, I love nothing more than roaming around new cities and countries. I've been privileged enough to travel to 27 countries and many of those I've seen more than once, and I'm excited to see even more countries on my list.

My local freelancing community

When I started freelancing, I was worried about how lonely the experience would be. However, where I live, there's an amazing co-working group which I've joined and regularly attend multiple times a week. It has given me the opportunity to develop great connections with other freelancers, grow my confidence and find 'colleagues'. 

Beach sunsets

I'm obsessed with sunsets, especially on the beach. I think there's something so magical about watching the day come to a close with the calm ambience of the waves. With the beach on my doorstep, I can watch as many sunsets as possible.

My flexible schedule

Working for myself means I've finally been able to experience the flexible schedule I've always wanted. This means I'm able to work based on my productivity levels, slot in hobbies I want to do and socialise on weekdays whenever I like, rather than waiting until the weekend.

The wonder of books

Books have been my biggest passion from a very young age and to this day, reading brings me an incredible amount of joy. I'm obsessed with various books but especially, historical fiction, crime thrillers and feminist literature. 

My writing skills

My obsession with books is what fuelled my passion for writing. I've been wanting to write since I began to read and as I grew so did my writing skills and today, I've written five books and have a career in writing - everything I've dreamt of.

Baking cookies whenever I want

I love to bake, and I love brownies, cookies and cake more than anything. One of the little things as an adult I love is to bake whenever I want to. If I crave cookies or brownies, I can bake them in my own kitchen and it's wonderful.

All types of food

Food is one of the greatest things in life and I adore trying new cuisines and different types of foods. I'm grateful for all the restaurants around me that I can regularly visit.

Relaxing in coffee shops

There is something so peaceful about sitting in a coffee shop and reading a book or having a chat with a pal. In my town, there are many gorgeous coffee shops to enjoy this simple pleasure.

Yoga on the beach

I recently started yoga classes on the beach and love the relaxing element of it, and also appreciate how accessible it is where I live.

Musical theatre

I adore musicals and think I've seen around 15 in total over the years. I could happily see musical theatre shows time and time again - they are beautiful. One of my favourite pleasures is playing musical theatre tunes and singing my heart out.

Nostalgic music

Music is one of the best things about life and hearing someone's thoughts through their songs is a gorgeous experience. There are so many tunes and albums which bring back a nostalgic feeling and I love listening to them on repeat.

My blog

I've had this blog for ten years and to this day, it brings me an immense amount of joy to write and share my thoughts with the internet. 

My Italian heritage 

Being half-Italian is something I'm incredibly proud of and every time I visit Italy, my heart feels so full. I love Italy and how it is a part of my heritage and soul.

Trying to make new recipes

Cooking is another favourite thing as I love how there's so much you can do with food and there are plenty of recipes to try.

Road trips

The joy of a road trip is the best, there's something entertaining about sticking on some tunes or a podcast and admiring the scenery around me.

Plane rides

Soaring through the sky is a phenomenal feeling, knowing you start the day in one location and end it in another. I've been lucky enough to make use of travelling and experiencing many plane rides.

Freedom of living the life of my dreams

It's amazing to be sitting here living what I've dreamt about growing up. I always wanted to work for myself, be in a loving relationship and stay living by the beach - and I'm here doing just that. I love how I have the freedom to do exactly what I want.

My body

I've had a love-hate relationship with my body for years and it has taken me a while to accept it and learn to love it as my body has changed through the years. However, I'm incredibly grateful for the powerful things my body does for me every day and continues to do.

My anxious brain

I used to think anxiety was a hindrance in my life but as I've grown, I've realised what a positive effect it can have and how it has helped me develop and achieve things I never thought I would. Living with anxiety has certainly been a journey over the past decade but I'm grateful for the lessons it has taught me and how it has made me more understanding and empathetic to others.

The power of kindness

Kindness is all around us, from the little things loved ones do to a greeting of a stranger. It's what makes life so magical.


I live in dungarees and they're my favourite item of clothing to wear on whatever occasion. They're comfy, cute and suit me perfectly.

Quality time with loved ones

My loved ones mean the world to me and I wish I could spend every day with them all and enjoy life. But as life does get so busy, I appreciate all the quality time loved ones make for me and the things we do together.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are you grateful for?

Thank you for reading <3

Ultimate guide to Dambulla, Sri Lanka

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm missing the wonders of Sri Lanka; it has to be one of my favourite countries I've visited. Sri Lanka featured plenty of beautiful experiences and scenery and I felt welcomed with open arms by the people. 

If you're planning a trip to Sri Lanka, Dambulla is a must-see and here is the ultimate guide to what to see and do.

Ultimate guide to Dambulla, Sri Lanka

What to see and do in Dambulla

Hike up Sigiriya Rock or Pidurangala Rock

I will rave about this hike time and time again as it was one of my favourite experiences of the entire trip. Dambulla is renowned for two hikes, Sigiriya Rock and Pidurangala Rock. Sigiriya Rock is a UNESCO Heritage Site, whilst Pidurangala Rock is located a couple of kilometres away. You can do either hike as the views will be just as amazing as the other.

I chose Pidurangala Rock for a couple of reasons: it was cheaper, $2 in comparison to $35 and it was nowhere near as crowded. As I reached the top of the rock, I could see the crowds on Sigiriya Rock. Plus, by climbing this one, I had a gorgeous view of the UNESCO heritage site. Pidurangala Rock was a phenomenal experience because it really challenged me with my hiking skills and confidence. 

I especially loved it because the view was out of this world. It genuinely felt like I was on a cloud, looking out at the stunning natural scenery below and surrounding me, especially Sigiriya Rock. We timed it beautifully as we got to the top a while before sunset and got to enjoy the view in the daytime and watch the sun go down.

Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple

As the largest and best-preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka, it holds great historical significance and is a wonder to visit. The Cave Temple I enjoyed for many reasons. Firstly, I loved the uniqueness of the fact it was in a cave and had many Buddha statues; it was awe-inspiring to wander around and soak up the culture. I also loved the location of the temple, despite the long walk to the top, it overlooked the natural side of Dambulla.

Go on a safari in Hurulu Eco Park

Elephants are my favourite animals and in Sri Lanka, I knew there were loads of opportunities to see them roam free in the wild. Depending on the time of year determines where the heard of elephants are. As we went in January, they were roaming around the Hurulu Eco Park in Dambulla. 

We booked a safari tour through our homestay and the jeep driver is what made the experience even better than it was. He drove us to the park earlier than any other tourists, meaning for most of our tour, it felt as if the eco-park was ours to explore. I also loved how cautious our driver was for the elephants' welfare and that he wouldn't crowd them, unlike some of the other jeeps we witnessed. 

I loved the freedom of driving through the park and witnessing the elephants just go about their day and enjoy it. The whole experience was magical and I'd give anything to relive the wonders of being in the elephant's natural habitat.

Go to a spice garden

Spice gardens are very common in Sri Lanka and often as a part of a tour or when you're being taxied around, you would be offered to you to see one. However, despite them trying to force us to visit, I really enjoyed the spice garden. I'm a big fan of holistic health and I really enjoyed learning more about what herbs and spices can do, as well as receiving a free massage. 

Ultimate guide to Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Explore its surrounding nature

Dambulla is a hub for gorgeous surroundings with green wherever you look. The roads are filled with trees and many high viewpoints meaning you can see views of green scenery for days. We stayed at a homestay and our driver helped us with many of our excursions and even took us to a beautiful rock to watch the sunset. As we left our accommodation in his car, he drove through various village lanes and then we arrived at this massive rock to climb up, which boasted a pretty epic landscape.

Where to stay in Dambulla

The accommodation options in Dambulla vary from hostels, homestays to hotels. The accommodation in Dambulla had to be one of my favourite places I stayed in Sri Lanka and a place I will never forget. As a homestay, the Perfect Hideout was located close to the Cave Temple and had the kindest owner. He helped us book excursions, taxied us around and generally, was a helping hand on our trip. Plus, he made us breakfast every morning and always checked in with us. The room itself was beautifully modern with every amenity you could need.

Things to know before visiting Dambulla

  • It's hard to get around - Dambulla's main attractions aren't walkable to each other; you need to hire a tuk-tuk to get around everywhere, or if you're feeling brave, hire a scooter.
  • Talk to the locals for recommendations - Our host at the homestay was a blessing during the time in Dambulla as he helped us with many excursions, taxis, food recommendations and advice. 
  • Wear suitable clothes - The excursions in Dambulla require suitable walking shoes, especially for the hikes and being in nature. Pack accordingly for all of these attractions.
  • Visit the attractions as early as you can - The weather can get hot and attractions can get busy which means it's best to visit first thing in the morning or later in the day.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Are you planning a trip soon?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The No Show by Beth O Leary

Well hello to you my reader chums! I’m a massive fan of Beth O’Leary; every one of her books I’ve read in only a couple of sittings because I’m obsessed and this book is no different.

If you’re looking for a not-so-typical romance with brilliant character development, here’s my review of The No Show by Beth O Leary.

Book review: The No Show by Beth O Leary


The plot follows three women, Siobhan, Miranda and Jane and their love lives. Siobhan who is casually seeing a guy, Miranda with a boyfriend and Jane who is pretending to have a boyfriend. All three women have links to the same guy, Joseph Carter. And all three women have been stood up by him. It’s an unexpected love story surrounding Joseph Carter.

Characters and relationships

I adored the differences between all the women in this novel, it’s what made the book even more special. I liked them all for different reasons but most importantly because they were authentically themselves and not described in a perfect way but in a real way. They were real women, living their best and worst dating dilemmas and learning what love is.

Siobhan - What a complex and interesting character. As a life coach, she comes across as incredibly strong-willed and confident, however, as the plot moves on, it opens Siobhan’s emotions and makes her an honest, real woman with feelings. I loved learning every part of who she was and watching her character develop, as well as reading about her friendship with Fiona.

Miranda - I loved Miranda’s badass and strong energy, paving the way in the male-dominated industry of being a tree surgeon. She is assertive, proud and caring, and is a great role model to her younger twin sisters. As the plot goes on, I got more of a grasp of her dating situation and how a man can really affect everything, and not always in a good way.

Jane - Jane is a character I want to give a giant hug to throughout most of the novel with her rigid routines, simple life and fear outside of her comfort zone. She also has the biggest heart and cares way too much for everyone around her, loving deeply whether that’s platonically or romantically.

Joseph - Joseph Carter is who the whole plot centres around as it becomes apparent he’s involved in all of these women’s lives. Initially, to me, he came across as the guy who thought he had it all and was late to everything. However, as the plot unfolds and I learnt more about him, I came to understand who he really is and what he thinks about love and relationships.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I loved every part of this book, I read it in just under 3 sessions. It’s one of those books where I fell in with the characters straight away and needed to learn more about who they are and what the big mystery is.

I love how the book is split between the perspectives of all three women as although it’s set in the third person, the narrative carefully explains what’s going on, leaving a sense of mystery with every chapter. The book started out and I had an opinion of what I thought it was, but as the plot was unveiled and the characters developed, its meaning got deeper and my perspective changed.

The No Show is an unexpected romance, sharing the highs and lows of dating and love, and how exactly that feels for different women. I would love to read this all over again.


The ending warmed my heart. After discovering the tragedies and what the characters have been through, the ending is uplifting and joyous, showcasing what love really is about.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you read Beth O’Leary’s books?

Thank you for reading <3

How to deal with self-doubt - my best tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Self-doubt is inevitable. As human beings, we're our own worst critics and easily doubt ourselves in every possible way. I will easily admit that I'm terrible when it comes to self-doubt and doubt myself far too often about the littlest of things.

As part of my self-love journey, dealing with self-doubt has gone hand in hand with that and I'm slowly improving it. If you're dealing with self-doubt, here are my best tips on how to care for yourself.

How to deal with self-doubt - my best tips

Keep a positivity log

I've been recommended this idea a few times and it's one I love to share because it's so useful. Every time someone says something nice to you, in person, via email or by message, note it down in this log. It could be a compliment about how you look, it could be about something you've achieved or even a task done well at work. Whatever the positive thing, the log is a great piece of writing to read when you're not feeling your best and doubting yourself.

Write a list of everything you've achieved

When I'm feeling doubtful about myself, I like to take a step back and look at the wider picture, and consider everything I've achieved. This could be the little tasks I've achieved in one day or the bigger projects and accomplishments over my lifetime. It reassures me I am capable, worthy, and determined and can achieve anything I want to. 

Reach out to loved ones

If the feelings of doubt come in, sometimes you need love, affection and support. This is where you can reach out to any loved ones around you to offer this comfort. Whether it's your partner, best friend, parent, colleague or neighbour, whoever is around you can help boost your mood, and sway your mind away from doubtful thoughts.

Focus on an activity which makes you happy

When I'm feeling down and doubtful, it often makes my mood low, and that results in feeling sad.  I find doing an activity which I love can help make me feel a little happier and move these doubtful feelings aside. Whether it's writing, baking some cookies, reading, heading to the beach or watching one of my favourite shows, anything small can do wonders.

Practice self-care

Self-care is more than bubble baths and facemasks, however, in this instance, it may actually be those two things. Doubtful feelings can lead to feeling down and that's when a pamper may come in handy. I love to have a bubble bath or have a chill evening of not thinking about anything and resting in my comfy clothes.

Utilise affirmations

Affirmations are powerful and can really steer your mindset when you're feeling great. I have an app called 'I Am' which sends through daily affirmations of all kinds, affirming lovely and kind things about myself. In these moments, repeat words such as 'I am capable', 'I am intelligent', 'I will achieve great things' and 'I am beautiful'.

Write down your thoughts

Negative thoughts can breed in my brain like a disease and releasing them can make things easier. In moments of doubt, get out your notes app or a notebook and write down everything you're feeling. This will take a weight off your mind and help you focus on other things.

Feel all of your feelings 

I'm a firm believer in feeling everything you're feeling rather than suppressing it. As if you push it down, the feelings are more likely to come out louder and bolder.

I hope you enjoyed this post. How do you deal with self-doubt?

Thank you for reading <3

2-week itinerary for Sri Lanka

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Sri Lanka has my heart, I'm still in awe of the incredible experiences I had in the country and loved travelling over the course of two weeks around the country. With a diverse range of experiences from temple hopping, and tea plantations to beaches and hiking, Sri Lanka offers something unique for everyone.

If you're planning a  backpacking trip to Sri Lanka and unsure where to go, here is my 2-week itinerary for Sri Lanka featuring many exciting destinations.

2 week itinerary for Sri Lanka

Colombo - 1 night

As Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo is typically the city you will fly into, wherever you depart. I've got to admit Colombo was my least favourite part of Sri Lanka because essentially, it's a commuter city. It's loud, packed with way too much traffic and crowds of people going about their day. I'd recommend staying here for the night, simply to rest up before travelling somewhere else after the flight. There are a couple of sights to see in the city including various temples and markets, but generally, it's a city to eat, sleep and spend time in friendlier locations.

Anuradhapura - 2 days

From Colombo, you can get the train to Anuradhapura and it takes around 5 hours. The train has different class carriages and you can book the tickets either online or buy them at the station. I loved the train journey as it had some gorgeous green scenery. 

Anuradhapura isn't huge and two days is enough to experience its ancient capital and the variety of iconic temples. This amount allows you to soak up the sights, experience the natural side of the city and blend in with local life. Despite the historical significance, it's not an over touristy place and allows you to immerse yourself in the culture.

Dambulla - 3 days

2 week itinerary for Sri Lanka

Dambulla is larger than Anuradhapura and I would suggest three days to make the most of the attractions and experiences here. It takes around 3 hours on a bus from Anuradhapura to Dambulla and once you're there, it's easier to have a mode of transport to get around. Dambulla was one of my favourite places due to its gorgeous sights. It's home to the famous Cave Temple, Sigiriya Rock and Piduranagala Rock, perfect for experiencing the natural, picture-perfect landscapes Sri Lanka offers. Also, here I went on an elephant safari (in an eco-park) and enjoyed the wonders of the many spice gardens. It has a combination of hikes, wild experiences and religious significance, plus a completely natural landscape throughout the town.

Kandy/Nuwara Eliya - 2 days

Kandy to Ella is a very recommended route for backpackers, however, there isn't much in Kandy. You can easily spend one day there to experience the best sights such as the renowned Temple of the Tooth, botanical gardens, the markets and the beautiful lake, set in the middle of the city. From there, I would head en route to Ella. However, instead of getting the 8-hour train journey, hire a driver to take you to Nuwara Eliya and get the train to Ella from there. I'm incredibly thankful we made this choice because it allowed us to experience many beautiful sights between Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, including the tea plantations, a tea factory tour, waterfalls and endless sights of greenery. When we arrived in Nuwara Eliya, we also got to see the town and our driver dropped us off at the station, ready for our train.

Ella - 3 days

The train from Nuwara Eliya took around 4 hours and was the famous journey for' sticking your head out of the train' for a photo. Arriving in Ella, it was the first place that felt like tourist heaven, with plenty of backpackers and families. I'd recommend three days in Ella because it has many different sights and spots to relax, eat and enjoy the holiday spirit. The best sights range from Little Adam's Peak, the Nine Arch Bridge, and waterfalls including Diyaluma Falls. Plus, it's a beautiful place to walk around the natural paths and enjoy mountainous views. 

2 week itinerary for Sri Lanka

Unawatuna - 3 days

To end the trip on a high, head down south and explore the phenomenal beach scene. There are many different towns down south to choose but we went for Unawatuna and I'm thrilled we did. The beach haven featured many wonderful stretches of sand, endless brunch places, and delicious dinner spots and was nearby to the historical Galle Fort. It was the perfect way to bid goodbye to Sri Lanka, relaxing and soaking up the sunshine.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Where's next on your travel wishlist?

Thank you for reading <3