ūüáļūüáł ¬†I’m all about the palm trees and 80 degrees (not forgetting the Vitamin D)‚ėÄÔłŹ

We’ve had some dark, dingy and damp months here in Bergen over the Winter period (nothing new there), so I was more than ecstatic when¬†I received a message from my mother inviting me to Florida with her this Spring!

Part of me, believe it or not, was a little reluctant at first as I was nervous about the long haul flight – but this turned out to be fine! The abundance of movies and tv shows, and food and wine, made it much more bearable and enjoyable than a regular flight from Bergen to the UK!

Since my mum’s three sisters live there, a lot of my time was spent catching up with¬†my aunts and cousins, as well as soaking up the sun. ‚̧

I¬†was also lucky enough to spend Mothers Day with my mum (it’s been many years since the last time we spent it together).¬†On the evening before, we went to Downtown St. Petersburg for dinner and drinks, and then spent the Sunday sunbathing¬†on the beach.

I’ve already been to Florida twice before; once when I was 12 and again when¬†I was 16. During those trips, we visited¬†Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and Disney’s Magic Kingdom – so this was a much more relaxing and chilled visit to the sunshine state!

Overall, it was a fab holiday! It was just what I needed, and had a great time seeing my family!

The journey home was a bit stressful though! Our flight from Tampa to Philadelphia was delayed over an hour, which meant we would miss our connection¬†from Philadelphia to Manchester!¬†ūüôą¬†Luckily, I found out just in the nick of time, and spoke to the helpful American Airlines staff who¬†managed to pull a few strings and get us seats on a Tampa – Charlotte flight, and then Charlotte – Philadelphia! We landed in Philadelphia with just¬†enough time to board our Manchester bound flight. PHEW!!!

Tid for Syden

Syden –¬†Literally meaning “the south”, is a common Norwegian term for destinations with a warmer climate.

After visiting Pula in Croatia two years ago and falling in love with the place, the atmosphere, the wine and the friendliness of the locals, we have been itching to go back there ever since. Last year, we were focused on getting our business up and running, so we were more than ready for a vacation this summer!



This year,¬†we booked¬†to stay in Podgora in Makarska Riviera; a beautiful coastal area between Dubrovnik and Split. The weather was perfect, apart from some strong “bura wind” on some¬†evenings! The locals explained how this usually occurs during the winter but this year, they had been experiencing it during the¬†summer. Whilst we were there, the wind speeds were up to 65kmph (40mph)!¬†This sounded intense¬†at the time, but after finding out speeds have been recorded at 304kmph back in 2005, I¬†realise my worry was just an overreaction!

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On our second day, we visited the monument “wings of a seagull” for a concert in the evening to celebrate Saint Vincent, the protector of Podgora. The monument, unveiled in 1962, is in remembrance to fallen soldiers during the second world war. There we sat in the filled amphitheatre-style seating, drank some Pivo and enjoyed some live Croatian music.



Last time we were in Croatia, we visited Trapan Wine Station; a vineyard in¬†Ň†iŇ°an and sampled many of their delicious wines along with other brands during our stay in Istria. Since our last vacation, we found that it’s near impossible to find Croatian wine in the UK or in Norway! So we made sure to sample some more beautiful wine whilst we were there.

A few of those sampled were:

  • PoŇ°ip ńĆara – Dalmatia
  • Zlatan Babińá – Dalmatia
  • Zlatan Opol Ros√© – Dalmatia
  • Vina Laguna Merlot – Istria
  • Vina Laguna Pinot Sivi – Istria
  • Grabovac KujundŇĺuŇ°a – Dalmatia


On our third day, we eventually took the bus to Makarska (three buses never turned up!) and spent the day there, relaxing in the shade before heading to Grabovac Wine Bar in¬†Kańćińá Square. There we sampled five of their wines, tasted some lovely Dalmatian ham (don’t worry, I’m not referring to a black and white dog!) and cheese whilst learning some new and interesting things about wine tasting and winemaking. Whilst there, Bj√łrnar spoke to the winemaker and mentioned how we had been unsuccessful in¬†finding Croatian wine back home. Despite the fact they have been producing wine for many centuries and very successfully might I add,¬†they can only produce a fraction of wine in comparison to other countries. The winemaker explained that this was due to the fact Croatia only had¬†30,000 hectares planted whereas Spain for example, has 1 million!

Mystery solved!


Another thing I love about Croatia is their Pivo! Their 2% raddlers are yummy¬†and refreshing! However,¬†I was a little bit gutted that I didn’t find the pink grapefruit OŇĺujsko this year. ¬†ūüė¶

Split Airport

As many people know, I hate flying so it’s essential¬†that I have a pleasant and relaxing experience in the airport¬†to help calm my nerves. I’d already braced myself for bedlam after seeing photographs taken inside Split Airport showing how insanely overcrowded the place was. Despite this, we did manage to¬†have a giggle about having to sit on the floor¬†whilst drinking crappy wine served in a tiny plastic cup! ūüėÄ

Anyway, goodbye for now Croatia! We’ll be back… ūüėČ ¬† ‚̧

Money Money Money

I may have lived overseas for almost 3 years, but one thing I didn’t do before relocating¬†was to close my english bank account. For me, it just seemed easier to keep it open¬†just incase I ever move back. Plus, I use my card whenever I visit home and I also pay my masters degree loan from that account every month.

When I first moved here, I thought the only two options I had to transfer money to my english account were through my Norwegian bank account (which is expensive) or through PayPal (time consuming and difficult). For the first few months, I used PayPal until I came across TransferWise.

I’m not really sure how I discovered it, I think I just stumbled upon it when searching for a more efficient and easier way to do my monthly transfers! Anyway, I did a little bit of research into it first as I’d never heard of it before, and found that it was developed by the same people at PayPal. (So far so good…)

After signing up, another thing that appealed to me was their interface, which is very user-friendly and modern (another great thing to have when transferring money as it makes things so much easier!)

I’ve been¬†using this service since December 2013¬†and¬†so far, I have transferred ¬£9700 and saved ¬£225 in fees!

It’s easy¬†and free to sign up! If you use the following link, you receive¬†your first transfer up to ¬£500 for free.


Reasons to use TransferWise:

  • Free to sign up
  • Low fees compared to your bank
  • Fast transfers
  • Supports many different currencies
  • Great customer service (Respond quickly and are very helpful)
  • Easy to use interface
  • Cheaper than PayPal

If you have any questions about how to use this service, I¬†would be happy to try and assist ūüôā

My review and opinions expressed here are my own and based on my experience with TransferWise. I am not affiliated with the brand nor do I endorse them and they do not endorse me. I am not paid for my review.