Back in February, I completely went off of meat, something I never thought would happen to me. Since then, I’ve been adjusting to a vegan diet. The first few months my diet was a mess, pretty much all I would eat is chips… yes chips, everytime I went out to eat my order consisted of …yes you guessed it, chips.

That was until I discovered vegan food festivals which pretty much changed my life. The first one I attended in London was called ‘Vegan nights’ which was completely mind blowing, I was introduced to so many different foods including deep fried cauliflower (don’t knock it until you try it)!

So, when I heard that Vegandale festival (a vegan north american annual food festival) was coming to Toronto, well you know that your girl had to cop a ticket and check it out.

Location, Location. Location

This years Vegandale festival took place in the grounds of fort york, leaving ample amount of space for a variety of food stands & a stage.

Whilst the food I tried was amazing, think; vegan spicy calabrese pizza, chocolate almond ice cream & mini pancakes, there wasn’t that much creativity in comparison to what I had seen at ‘Vegan nights’. However the atmosphere was one to be reckoned with, the weather (a comfortable 26 degrees) paired with the amazing DJ & entertainment (including a push-up competition) made Vegandale a festival to remember.

Veganism for the masses?

Vegandale is a food festival for everyone, ticket holders are allowed to bring their dogs (& pigs, yes someone actually brought a pig) Plus you don’t even have to be vegan to attend.

The price of food on-site was actually also quite reasonable, which in turn helps to bridge the gap between vegan food and affordability. A common myth I often hear is that it is way too expensive to be vegan; This I agree with to some extent but attending festivals such as vegandale have really turned this argument on it’s head.

Overall it was a fun event…different but interesting and insightful all the same.

To conclude, I’ll leave you with some of the pictures I took 🙂

Top 4 things to do in Oslo, Norway

Norway has a reputation for being terribly expensive, however there are many things to do that involve very little to no money at all. I have listed my top 4 things to do in Oslo, Norway below:

Vigeland sculpture park

Cost: £0

The Vigeland sculpture park is one of Oslo’s most famous tourist attractions. With over 200 different sculptures, you’ll be sure to spend a decent amount of time there taking everything in. All the sculptures are outdoors so be sure to wrap up warm if it’s cold out. However if you happen to visit on a warm day, there are plenty of green spaces for you to enjoy a picnic

The changing of the Guards

Cost: £0

Every day at 1:30pm (regardless of the weather), the changing of the Guards takes place just outside of the Royal Palace. It does tend to get rather packed so be sure to arrive a little earlier to secure your place at the front, especially if you want to capture some good shots. Overall, the change lasts for around 45 minutes, so be prepared for a lot of standing around.

Oslo Opera House

Cost: £0

The opera house is an example of breathtakingly beautiful architecture, honestly the pictures just don’t do it justice at all! Located in the city, a few steps away from Oslo central station, it is a perfect way to spend the afternoon before or after getting a bite to eat. Surprisingly, the roof is also open to the public, but be cautious as it is quite slippery when wet.

The Norsk Folkemuseum & the viking ship museum

Cost – £0 with a Oslo city pass (a 24 hour pass costs 445 NOK and gives you access to 30 museums at no extra cost, in addition to free public transport, discounts on food, tours & many more.

The Norsk Folkemuseum & the viking ship museum are located on an island called Bygdøy, which can be accessed by a boat (10-15 min journey). I believe you can get a bus also, however that does take significantly longer.

Out of the 2, the ‘Norsk Folkemuseum’ is a personal favourite. The main purpose of this museum is to show visitors just how Norwegians used to live back in the day. They achieved this by replicating life sized models of the houses, shops, schools, churches and pretty much everything that was around in that time period. The best thing is that you can actually go into these buildings and experience life as it used to be.

The Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower

Cost: £0 with a Oslo city pass

Just a short train ride away from Oslo central, you’ll find the world’s oldest Ski jump. After wandering around the museum detailing the vast history of the sport, you are free to take a lift straight to the top of the Ski tower. Please note that this is not for the faint hearted or those that are afraid of heights. If you do however decide to go to the top, you will be met with stunning panoramic views of the city.

Thank you for reading my top 4 things to do in Oslo! Traveling and experiencing different cultures doesn’t always have to cost the earth. Sometimes the best experiences cost the least.

Have you taken a trip to Oslo? let me know in the comments if you have or if there are any experiences that you would like to share 🙂

Life update

Hi guys,

It definitely has been a while, can you believe that my last post was on July 1st?? nearly a whole 2 months…

Well, in the past couple of months a lot has changed which has sadly taken up the majority of my time, meaning that some things (including Adina’s universe) have had to take a backseat.

But all that matters now is i’m back and i’m better.

So lets get into the actual update.

  1. Completed a year long digital media internship

Honestly, this deserves an honourable mention. Being my first real job after finishing University, I had no idea of what to expect or even how to conduct myself in a corporate environment. I didn’t even think that I would be able to last the full year for various reasons, but I did & I’m beyond proud of myself. I may not know exactly what I want to do, but it’s a step in the right direction

  1. Moved country

Ok so this one may come as a surprise as I didn’t really vocalise it to anyone, for no other reason than uncertainty. When I applied for an IEC visa for Canada, I wasn’t in a good place mentally and what does Adina do when things don’t seem to be working out? run away. Anyway, skip forward to almost 2 years later and I wasn’t 100% sure I even wanted to continue with my plans of moving. However, I knew that I would probably regret it if I didn’t, so here I am 🤷🏾‍♀️

Photo creds: @STATravel

Almost 2 weeks in and trust me the homesickness is real. I’m not too sure how long I’ll be staying out here, but i’m beyond grateful to have been given the opportunity regardless of how things pan out.

Travel vlogs: Grenada

I know what you’re thinking “didn’t you visit Grenada 7 months ago”… Yes, yes I did & in true Adina form, the art of procrastination took over.

Anyway after months of sitting on the footage, it’s finally up on YouTube!! 🎉 I tried my best to capture the beauty of Grenada, so hopefully this video (embedded below) does it justice!

If you would like to see what else I got up to in Grenada you can have a read of my ‘top things to do in Grenada’ here.

Thank you for watching if you did & please let me know what you think or if you have any tips on how to improve 🙂

Solo in Oslo: My thoughts and hotel recommendation

Last month I went on my first proper solo trip to Oslo, Norway. I can’t say that it was at the top of my list of places to visit; however, when I found flights for £5 each way over bank holiday, there was no way that I could let that opportunity fly by (no pun intended).

First thoughts

The first thing I noticed once arriving in Oslo (might I add in here that I was desperately hungry) was a burger for 360kr – £32 (accurate at the time of writing with an exchange rate of £1 : 11.03kr)

I mean, yeah I had heard that Oslo was extremely expensive but boy, I was not prepared for that at all. Although, my initial shock soon dissolved once I had left the airport, & came across more affordable prices. Surprisingly, I only spent a total £160 over the 5 days (yes, you guessed it – blog post/cost breakdown soon).

In addition to this, the cleanliness of the city also stood out & not just in terms of a visual standpoint; honestly, there is a noticeable difference in air quality from the moment you step off the plane. So it comes as no surprise to know that the EU have named Oslo as a European green capital, which is basically an award that acknowledges cities for their efforts in achieving high environmental standards.

Hotel: Comfort Xpress Youngstorget

Following the theme of environmentally friendly. The hotel I stayed in; ‘comfort xpress youngstorget‘ was (to my surprise) an eco friendly one, some of their initiatives include:

  • Not providing any plastic utensils: e.g Toothbrush holders, cups etc (they provide glass instead)
  • Cleaning your room every 4 days (unless requested otherwise)
  • Drinkable tap water (I don’t drink tap water, but I’ve understood that this is super important to the majority of travellers! If anyone knows of any sustainable water packaging companies please let me know so I can help save the planet too)
  • Recycling bins
  • Bikes to hire
  • No packaged toiletries (Shower gel is in bulk which reduces packaging)

Price: £290 for 5 nights

Majority of these initiatives are also cost effective, which means that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to stay there! It’s good to note that the above price of £290 per night would be the same if you were traveling in a pair 🙂

The hotel itself had somewhat of a hostel vibe, or what I would imagine a hostel to be like anyway 😂. Upon entering, you are greeted by a couple of IPad’s that allow you to check yourself in, which in turn are overlooked by the main desk that doubles up as a ‘food checkout’ – situated next to the deli corner.

Deli Area

The rooms themselves were pretty small and basic, however I was upgraded (at no extra price) to a much bigger room once the staff became aware of how many nights I was staying for. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as I kid you not, every time I stepped into that room I fell asleep.

Closing thoughts

This hotel is perfect for solo travellers as there are a number of places to meet new people & socialise. The upstairs lounge is effectively a co-working space, that has quite a number of people visiting each day. Downstairs, the ‘Grandma’s lounge’ has more of a chilled atmosphere; it comes equipped with a laundry area, a communal fridge and table tennis. I didn’t use any of these features, but I did grab a book and read for a couple of hours just to have a change of environment.

My all time favourite feature of the hotel would definitely have to be the rooftop area, which I annoyingly discovered on my last day. The views are absolutely mind blowing; paired with hammocks and various outdoor seating areas, it’s bound to be super busy in the summer.