Travel & Design Blog - BY YASMIN METZ-JOHNSON

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Pimp My Ride - West Africa #2


4. Cream Cadalliac

5. Bumble Bee

6. Dark Corduroy


Many of the taxi's in Dakar, Senegal have individually styled interiors. Like any owned interior, it’s informative and enlightens the passenger about the driver in the slightest way. Regardless of language barriers, the different interiors I find them to be useful props for starting/ continuing conversations with your chauffeur of approximately 10 to 15 minutes. 
Here Just a few of the taxi interiors I have come across the month of April.

Enjoy!




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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Portugal: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway



 I went back to the UK for the first time this year during the Easter period (I’ve recently relocated to Dakar, Senegal in West Africa).  Earlier this month I had a quick stop in Lisbon, Portugal, as it was my transit stop before taking the second flight back to Dakar. I left the airport and strolled around Portugal with a friend of a friend who generously spent her Sunday afternoon with me showing me the best spots. Bearing in mind I was only there for 8 hours I think we did a lot. (Thanks again Isabel!) After spending lunch and the early afternoon in Lisbon, we drove to the calm small town of Sintra where we drank and ate pastries at the ever so crowded Casa Pirquita.  This café is clearly the place to be as a local on a Sunday afternoon, I got that vibe I then understood why after scoffing my face with two Travesseiros’ and a Quelijadas. If you love cakes and all that sweet stuff then it is definitely somewhere to go in Sintra as they sell every traditional Portuguese pastry you could possibly think of.

I’m glad I left the airport instead of waiting around for my next flight which was later that evening. It was as if I was supposed to leave the airport because I began to contemplate and overthink my choices on the plane from London before arriving at Aeroporto de Lisboa. All sorts’ doubts started to enter my mind about my life choices, my impulsive decision to leave home, going alone, leaving family and friends etc. However what I had seen in Portugal left an impression on me in a way I hope I can explain.  These grand thresholds only reassured me about my recent yet hasty decisions. Any essence of doubt had vanished from my mind by the time I returned to the airport later that evening. The one that is still vivid in my mind are the stairs that lead to nowhere opposite the ESCS – School of communication and Mass Studies. I looked back at the images after taking them and I thought if they could speak they would say the title of this post.

There is a running theme with the photos I have captured. I don’t know if I necessarily noticed this whilst taking them, however when I had another glance it is apparent that these structures have many things in common. As they stand solo and from a distance, a million miles from anything such as comfort with no real designated path after climbing the stairs or walking through the arch. Looking out towards the unknown. Which is not always a bad, as it seems. 

 Its up to us as individuals to craft and build the life we wish to live, and as scary as each step can be its best to go along with what you desire.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.


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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Portugal : Shades of Lisbon








I was in Lisbon a week ago, for only a matter of hours as it was a transit stop. I arrived at 1pm from London and my flight back to Dakar wasn’t until later in the evening. So I had a wander around to see what Lisbon had to offer. This was my second time visiting Portugal’s capital city. I went for the first time back in 2012 with my course mates during my second year of university, so the city already held a lot of great memories for me that were made here as a student. 

I don't think I need to explain much (actually the truth is I didn't like what I had written and every draft seemed as if it was getting worse rather than improved) I was rambling about 'liking the pastel colors'? When I came to read it I was making a mountain out of a molehill, so I thought let's scrap this. I promise this isn't me being lazy I just assure you that I haven't wasted your time. However there is more to come on my short stint in Lisbon this week. Sometimes we should just let the imagery do the talking. 


Enjoy!



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Friday, 8 April 2016

A few things I learnt this Easter


I recently returned to the UK for the Easter break, to see my family who I had not seen in months (as well as to collect a lot of my things to take back with me to where I have relocated–Dakar, Senegal). It was great to see them and catch up. My 10 day trip also allowed me to make observations and reassess some of my relationships, outlooks and life in general for example here are a few things that came to mind during my return.


Gentrification is happening: Last week I put a photo up on my Instagram alongside it I explained how there used to be a massive school playground near my grandparents house. However the once grand playground is now micro as it is now hidden behind new housing in my local area… sigh.

Nothing Changes: I met up with a few friends and although I had not seen them in a long time. One of them I hadn’t seen in over a year, nothing had changed. This is a reassuring sign. We don’t need to see each other all the time, but good vibes are guaranteed when we do!

Self indulged people: Unfortunately some people enjoy talking about themselves/their life for hours on end. I guess that is partly what you are supposed to do when you meet up, but at least ask about the other person/s? Damn.


Out grown relationships: People I would have liked to have seen, but deep down I know we have nothing in common anymore and meeting up would be awkward. C’est la vie.

London is just the best!
I would say it’s the best city, but how can I possibly say that when I haven’t seen all the cities the world has to offer! But on a serious note, its great there is just so much and too much to do, how is a girl supposed to fit it all in!? I do think I prefer visiting London rather than living there I must say.

Still so much to see. During my short return to London, just when I thought I was aware of most areas in London or had been to most tube stations. I managed to pass a few during this trip I had never even heard of before. So much for knowing the city.

Time is so precious: So much to do so little time! As always. Choose who you spend your time with/ what you do with your time wisely.

I have too much stuff: (to read the small print!)
Stuff I don’t need to say the least. I think many of us are guilty for owning more than we need. I have never dreaded packing a suitcase so much in my life! How do you decide what goes with you, and what stays behind when most of your items are priority items once you have formed some sort of attachment with it? This would not have been such a mammoth task if I actually took the time to read my ticket information that I had purchased two pieces of luggage instead of spending the night before rejigging the one suitcase to the correct weight!



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