Tuesday, 26 June 2018

A postcard from Tenerife

Hello, my loves! Today, I am very excited to finally talk to you about our nine-year anniversary trip to Tenerife. We had the most wonderful time, and I think that it might actually be our favourite holiday to date. It may seem a little strange, but whenever I am on holiday, it almost feels like living in an alternate reality. You are so far away from everything that makes up your everyday life - the grind, the routine, all the daily problems and challenges. You don't need to worry about going to work or any other everyday responsibilities - you are free to relax, explore and do whatever you like. Travelling is one of the few things in life that makes me feel truly happy and carefree, and I wish I could enjoy it more often. We always make a point to save up to be able to go on holiday once a year, and when we do, it is always super special.

Being a tropical island, Tenerife is well-known for its beaches, and let me tell you - they are absolutely gorgeous! The sand there is a little odd - it's a volcanic island, so the sand is very dark, but it also feels incredibly soft and silky. The water is warm and crystal clear, and we really loved going for a daily swim in the ocean. As cliche as this may sounds, relaxing on a beautiful beach is probably my favourite part of any holiday! I just love being near the ocean - something about resting in the sun and listening to the heavy waves hit the shore is so soothing and calming. We spent every evening watching the sunset at the beach, delicious cocktail in hand; and that was honestly when I was at my happiest - it felt so blissful.

One of the craziest things we did was going up to the very top of the mount Teide, which is actually the highest peak of Spain at 3718 metres above sea level. It was a pretty rough climb, especially near the top where the air kept getting thinner and thinner, and it was quite difficult to breathe. It was definitely worth the effort, though. Sitting at the top of the highest peak of Spain right next to the crater of an active volcano, with sulfur gas bursting from the vents was quite an experience! At the top, you are way above the clouds and can see the entirety of Tenerife, as well as a few neighbouring islands. It definitely felt like an achievement, and something that I won't ever forget. The peak is surrounded by the beautiful Teide National Park, with lots of stunning sights, wild lizards and little trails to explore. Looking back at it now, it was probably my favourite thing we did whilst in Tenerife. Nothing makes me happier than being in nature and channelling my inner Dora the Explorer!

View from the top of the volcano - you can see the entire island!

We also went on a couple of boat trips to observe wild whales and dolphins. Tenerife is one of the best places in the world for whale-watching, and if you're lucky you might even spot some blue or humpback whales. We were lucky to see a few dolphins on our trip, but the highlight was definitely finding a nursery of pilot whales! It was a group of a few adult whales, travelling with lots and lots of cute little babies. We also spotted a baby sea turtle, which was one of the most adorable things I have ever witnessed. I love observing animals in the wild (it is not only much more ethical, but also more enjoyable than seeing then in captivity!), so these trips were definitely a highlight.

The infamous Tower of Power... It looks innocent here, but it still gives me nightmares!
On our last day, we visited the Siam Park, which is Europe's biggest and most popular water park. I've learned a lot about myself that day - first and foremost, I now know for a fact that I am not a thrill-seeker! Most flume rides were very long, extreme and almost entirely in the dark (something that really terrifies me), and I was too scared to go on a lot of them. However, I am proud to say that I have conquered Siam Park's biggest challenge - the infamous Tower of Power. This slide is a 30m vertical drop where you're in free-fall at nearly 80km/h, speeding down through a freaking shark tank. Yep! Needless to say, it was the most frightening seven seconds of my entire life. I honestly felt like I was about to die, and my body froze up so much I couldn't even scream! It was definitely an experience, but not one I'd ever want to repeat again.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about our adventures! It sure makes me feel a little nostalgic writing it all up. Next year, we're planning on going to Iceland to mix things up a little for our ten-year (!) anniversary (we've done two beach holidays in a row, so it's time for something different!). Have any of you been to Iceland?
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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Shoes and Glitter is going vegan and cruelty-free!

Hello my loves, and welcome back after what ended up being a pretty long blogging break! I had an absolutely wonderful time in paradise (aka Tenerife!), and I can't wait to share my adventures with you in a separate post. It felt good to take some proper time off to recharge, relax, but also reflect on things. I've been thinking a lot about this little corner of the web of mine, and about all the things that I want to achieve through it. To be completely honest with you, loves, I was starting to feel quite uninspired with my current content and direction; which, as I am sure many of you can understand, is the worst thing to feel as a blogger. This, amongst other things, is why I've decided to go for a serious content shift, and make Shoes and Glitter a green, happy, vegan and cruelty-free blog. I understand that this might seem like a slightly extreme, and even controversial move, but trust me, loves - I don't believe that being a vegan means that you have to start a crusade against anyone that doesn't agree with your lifestyle. I am all about living by example, and sharing this lifestyle - its good sides and bad - without judging others.

A while back, when I shared my first update after switching to a vegan diet, a lot of you seemed interested, asked a lot of questions, and wanted to see more posts related to veganism. To be completely honest, I fell off the vegan wagon a few times since that post; but I've recently made a shift that I am now determined to commit to. This will also extend beyond just a vegan diet, and to a cruelty-free lifestyle in general. So whilst you will still see plenty of beauty posts, they will now include only cruelty-free products that have not been tested on animals. And, besides beauty posts, I want to expand this blog to talk more about my favourite thing in the world - yummy food! Being vegan has inspired me to put more effort into proper cooking, so I am very excited to share with you some new content related to that. All of this is something that I am truly passionate about, and I really hope that you stick around with me on this journey. Thank you for all your love and support throughout the years, and stay tuned for some fresh, brand new posts!
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