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All Posts By Adebola MBV

Unpopular Opinion: Dubai is Overrated

Dubai is sooo overrated.

I am always a believer that you shouldn’t take on what someone says about a place, destination or anywhere in the world. Why? Well, because everyone’s experience is and can be completely different from mine or anyone else’s.  

For example, I remember while travelling in Cambodia and briefly discussing with a friend on what Vietnam was like. He had commented on how much he hated it and that it was racist! Now we all know the racism that I have experienced in the past, but I have to be honest. I can tell you all that when I travelled to Vietnam myself, I didn’t once experience racism and very much enjoyed myself. But honestly, guys, can you imagine if I took on his word? I wouldn’t have gone!  

So you’re rightly wondering where I am going with this right? 

This is a post that is very much an unpopular opinion’. I write this post with a strong line that I think Dubai is overrated. Yes, I said it, and if you want to understand why and willing then I would suggest you continue reading this post. 

Why do I think Dubai is overrated? 

Before I get into this. Please understand why I say I am only speaking from my own view. Just because I think Dubai is overrated doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Read when I talk about this in a recent blog post – Travelling Perceptions & Safety: Why I don’t Allow the Experiences Stop me From Seeing The World?

I travelled to Dubai five years ago and although I enjoyed myself with a few hiccups (cause everywhere has a few hiccups when travelling). Honestly, after all the 35+ countries I have been too, I guess Dubai is overrated for me. 

Listen BEFORE YOU JUMP ALL AT ME! Please hear me out! 

There is no uniqueness to Dubai 

I have grown up most of my life in a city (London) and travelled to several cities in the world. Travelling and living in cities has made me realise that cities don’t fully represent a country. I love to experience the cultures of a country, I like to see the difference between the upper and working class (whatever they call it in their countries). And I love to understand the politics of a country. 

When I went to Dubai, I didn’t really feel the countries uniqueness. It came across to me as a money pumped place.

Glorified living in Dubai 

My other reasons for seeing Dubai as an overrated destination almost links to my first point. There is almost a sense of a glorified way of living when you are over there. People go there to style and do the absolute most! Which for me removes the feeling of real reality. 

Uggghhh smoking 

I also hated that smoking was allowed in all the clubs! And it was gross! My weave, my clothes everything stank of smoke and it was disgusting! Clubs also all finished at 3 am- way too early for me ( a girl still wanted to party). 

Dubai clubs closed at 3am!

Indoor Ski Paradise 

Another thing that makes me feel like Dubai is overrated was the indoor ski paradise! I mean what????? It made me really uncomfortable seeing a country in the middle of a desert with an indoor ski paradise. It’s no wonder that Dubai has the largest ecological footprints of any city in the world!

ski paradise in dubai

Migrant work like slaves  

The city has so much money and big bling boats, skyscrapers and skylines. When you are there you will see a number of migrants working on these infrastructures. This saddens me that it’s built by migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, which I am sure they all live in slave-like conditions.  

Final thoughts…

Overall, I think Dubai is overrated because it lacks real culture because again it is a man-made city. The country is one big shopping mall! I never really got the sense that there was a real religion of Islam while I was there.

Dubai came across very business and materialistic like. A place that is heavily revolved around making money, driving fancy cars. For me, Dubai exists as a place that is fit for those that like to appear to live the high-end materialistic lifestyle.   

Again, I don’t think this means you should not go! I wanted to state my opinion (and glad I did)! I am sure I will go back again to see what has changed since I first went there, but for now, I think everyone should express how they feel about a country.   

What about you, have you been to a country that you just weren’t impressed by? Let me know in the comments below. 
P.S. I would like to thank everyone on Twitter that gave me the confidence to get this blog posted.

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Friends You Need Patience For When Travelling Abroad

The friends you go travelling with can literally make or break a trip! Here are a few examples of friends you need to have the patience for when travelling with them. 

– The friends that can’t take a good picture  

I mean girl come on, we need a friend that can break her back go on top of a mountain like because yeah, we require that excellent picture! Allow them friends that take a picture with their thumb in the right-hand corner or where you are bare blurry the person is just not needed! 

bad pictures taken by friend
Bad Picture

– The friends that don’t embrace a culture.  

Them ones that travel, but don’t know how to experience and live in the culture surrounding them. They complain about everything! It can be the weather, the fact that people are speaking another language around them or worse that they can’t stand the food!. FYI traveller – you are in another country – embrace what is around you or STAY AT HOME!

-The friends that need you to hold something for them – like every two seconds!

Oh my gosh! I can’t. I recently went away with someone, and they always needed me to put something in their bag. If it wasn’t that, then they wanted me to hold something. Now I think I wear my emotions on my face so this person could see this was getting on my nerves. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with holding something for someone here and there; every second can be extremely annoying!

friends that need you to hold something

– The friends that don’t do anything!

Lucky for me I haven’t yet been on holiday with anyone like that – tell a lie I have been with someone like this, and it can really ruin a holiday! I have a friend who went on holiday with someone that was basically terrified of going anywhere and basically ruined the holiday and can you believe we both had that experience when we went to Barcelona – I need to go back! 

friends that do nothing

-The friends that rush you to get ready 

Hunnie I am a black girl, and when I am on holiday I like to slay! I have a massive obsession with doing my face up – adding my eyelashes and just trying on a few outfits and planning how I am going to look! If you are rushing me, this gets me angry. Just don’t rush me but please don’t be the person that is always the very last to get ready that will get annoying when everyone’s still sitting around waiting for you.  

rushing to get ready

– The friends that rely on you for everything  

We can agree that if you are travelling with someone who plans or decides to do nothing that can be a hell of annoying! I have been on a few trips with people who rely on you for everything, and it can be incredibly frustrating. However, what I will say is at least you get to do everything you enjoy. 

-The friends who always need the toilet 

Look, I get it. I am someone who should always go to the toilet when I leave a location. But some people don’t have self-control! This person will slow you or the group down, and you don’t need this.  

toilet friend

– The friends that are always on social media  

I am very guilty of this so I can’t really talk – *wait yes, I can it’s my blog*  

Let’s face it when you are Instagramming, Facebooking, snap chatting, and whatever there is nowadays it can get very annoying! As I am very guilty of doing this, I think I have learnt that it is ok to take videos and pictures and whatever, but spend some time trying to enjoy the moment and then do all of that stuff letter.  

friends always on social media
social media

– The friends that are CHEAP

Now I know this isn’t me, so LISTEN and listen well!  

Please don’t go on holiday with stingy people and I mean people that are happy with you to pay for everything and they give you an I.O.U tab on your head. I’ve been on holiday with some CHEAP people and trust me it can hurt one’s soul! Let’s be real when you are on holiday you want to participate in activities and if you have a friend that doesn’t want to pay up you are going to be a little irritated trust me! 

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11 Afrobeat Travel Lyrics for Your Instagram Captions

I love me some Afrobeats! Anything to get me moving and I tend to play at least one or two songs a day and more while I’m on holiday!

To tell you the truth, this post was inspired by Char of memoirsmusings.com. Her witness and banter is one not to be missed! I did ask her if I could do this post – please note she hasn’t done the genre Afrobeats but she has done many other particularly around Drake – check them out on her blog!

Have a look at the 15 afrobeat travel lyrics below, and if you have to share then leave in the comments below!

15 Afrobeat Travel Lyrics for Your Instagram Captions

1. Adekunle Gold – Before You Wake Up 

Let’s go away for 6 months twice in a year

2. WizKid Feat Femi Kuti – Jaiye Jaiye  

Lagos Today and London Tomorrow Oluwa Lo Seyi ( God has done this)

3. Davido – Assurance

She go follow go Atlanta. The cause disaster

4. Falz and Simi – Foreign  

I’m foreign, just call me foreign baby oh “international” 
Foreign baby, just call me foreign baby oh “I’m international” 
Foreign baby, just call me foreign baby oh “international” 
Foreign!

5. Cuppy ft Zlatan – Gelato  

I go take you to Italy, I go take you to America, Take you to London, I go bring you come Nigeria. Just to have some Gelato (Gelato)

6. Olamide – I Love Lagos  

If i carry you go banana 
My guy you go love lagos 
You go love lagos 
If i carry you go to elegushi 
you go love lagos ooo  

7. Burna Boy – Dangote  

When I dey move from Place to Place.  Wetin I dey find …? 

8. Mike Tyson ft Runtown- DrkoVibes  

We de spoil everwhere from Bolga to Canada …

9. Runtown – International Badman Killer

International Badman Killa , pull up in a benz she go reconisder.  

10. Ahann – Nana Peruzzi  

Tell me what is the time and place No holiday for you case

11. Teni – Billionaire

I wan chop life on Santorini…

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afrobeat travel lyrics

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11 Things To Do In Singapore

There are so many things you can do when in Singapore. As a student living in Singapore. I never felt that I was able to cover everything. However, in my time living there, I can honestly say that I learnt that there are a few things you must do when in Singapore.

11 Things You Must Do When In Singapore 

The Singapore Flyer 

The Singapore Flyer is the world’s most giant observation wheel. A one-of-a-kind experience. It was built over a 3-story terminal building, and is 150 metres in diameter, 165 metres high, and travels at 0.21m per second (it is some 30 metres taller than the famous London Eye!). 

I went on this in my first month of living in there (the picture below). You get to see such beautiful city sights like the river, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Empress Place and the Padang. 

Location: 30 Raffles Ave, 039803 / Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 10.30 pm 

Raffles Hotel

This luxurious colonial-style hotel has a long history dating back to 1887 and has become one of the most famous landmarks in Singapore. Stay here or go with a group or by yourself for the Raffles Bar experience and order yourself a Singapore Sling. 

Location: 1 Beach Rd, 189673

Head over to China Town  

I truly love exploring a Chinatown when in a new country! It has my favourite thing in the world – food! China Town has the most authentic Chinese food you will taste! There are countless restaurants and hawker food vendors to choose from. 

It’s also great for shopping – many swear you’ll find the cheapest souvenirs here. 

Marina Bay Sands AKA MBS 

The S$5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands complex is the focal point of the bay. Many of the great things to do and see in the area revolve around this monumental building and resort, such as the Science Museum, Casino and various shopping, dining and nightlife options. 

You must head over to Marina Bay around 8 pm to catch the spectacular light show, which illuminates the water as well as several iconic landmarks in the city centre. 

Visit Ce LA VI 

When I lived in the Lion City, this club was actually called Ku De Ta. It is a club on the 57th floor and has to be the most amazing views! This place is excellent for a night out with some crazy music! 

Ce LA VI
Location: 1 Bayfront Avenue Hotel Tower 3, Level 57 Marina Bay Sands, SkyPark 018971/ Open: Daily from 12 pm to 4 pm 

Gardens by the bay  

The famous Supertree structures offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens. Go here for an Instagram photo and more beautiful sites of the city. 

Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, 018953 / Open: Daily from 5am to 2 am 

Singaporean Zoo  

I did the Singapore Zoo, with my family when I was living in Singapore and loved every single minute of it. It was first called the Singapore Zoological Gardens or Mandai Zoo but is now known as the Singapore Zoo. 

Location: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826/ Opens: 8.30 am to 6.30 pm 

Botanic Gardens 

I first visited the famous Singapore Botanic Gardens as a student. I loved it so much that I had to go back last year. It is a 160-year-old tropical garden located at the fringe of Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping district and is a must-visit. 

botanic gardens Singapore
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569/ Open: Daily from 5am to 12 pm 

Sentosa

Sentosa isn’t my favourite place in Singapore, and I would say it is mainly for tourist, clubbing, shopping and food. It has a very man-made vibe going on but is good again for some fun times. You can easily access all the attractions via MRT in 15 minutes from downtown Singapore. 

Jewel Changi Airport

The Jewel Changi Airport was not built when I lived in Singapore. It opened in April 2019 and has been a huge attraction ever since! It is a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex on the landside of Changi Airport, Singapore.

Location: Airport Boulevard Terminal 2, Level 3 Departure Transit Lounge/ Open: 24 hours
A few other things to also check out:
  • Head over to the museums.
  • Universal Studios

Thank you for taking the time to have a read. Is there anything I missed that should be included – let me know in the comments below. 

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11 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN

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7 Things To Consider Before Moving Abroad

Now I know I haven’t moved abroad for work or anything, so I do feel slightly cheeky writing a post on things you should know before moving abroad.

But. And there is always a but!

I still believe my points are worth considering from my experience as a study exchange student. Plus, I do plan to move abroad again, one day. And I think it’s always wise to have some tools before you consider moving abroad.

As you’ve heard me say a million times before ‘moving abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made’. I feel like it was a period of my life that I learnt so much about myself. It’s when I felt like I became whole and really believed I was capable of doing absolutely anything.  

7 Things to think about before moving abroad  

THERE WILL BE A LOT OF SELF DOUBT  

Unfortunately, this is inevitable. When I moved abroad, I always doubted myself, mainly as a young black female. And (at the time) had never even lived out of her family’s home before. I was first worried about how I would be taken in Singapore. Everything I did caused doubt.

China Town

Honestly, moving abroad was and is one of the most humbling experiences. I was forced to come out of my shell overnight with very little support (that’s my opinion – which I am happy to discuss at a later date).

But moving abroad is an experience to meet people and live after a while the self-doubt will literally disappear.

MAKING FRIENDS MAY BE DIFFICULT 

I personally didn’t have a massive issue with this because as you can imagine, everyone wanted to be my friend haha! I’m joking moving abroad can be quite daunting when you don’t know anyone on the other side.

As an adult or young person, should I say, making friends can be somewhat much more tricky, and if you are an introvert even harder – in my opinion? There can also be lots of misunderstandings, you know people learning about themselves. I had this trouble while living in Singapore, and it caused a bit of friction between a few friends and me. 

Tip: I would suggest starting with an interest, I was surprised how music was an icebreaker for me when making friends in Singapore. I seemed to find similar interest with people that loved Beyonce! If you can, I would also suggest using Instagram and Facebook.  

N.B don’t be afraid to ghost someone; people appear their best selves when you first meet them. If you don’t think you click with someone, do not hesitate to keep it moving! 

YOU’LL GET FRUSTRATED LIKE ALL THE TIME  

Anyone who tells you that moving abroad is easy is just lying! Moving abroad can be quite overwhelming, and if you lose your cool – it’s understandable. If you are moving over as a student, this can be reasonably straight forward, but if you’re doing this on your own – it can be quite frustrating!  

It doesn’t stop there you then have to think about getting a new sim-card (if you already have a phone) then signing up to a new bank, the money you need to spend. Not to mention time difference. This can really test you – honestly, there were times I’m sure people thought I was just a spoilt brat! Things didn’t seem to go my way when I moved to Singapore, and I just wanted to come home!  

However, despite the little hiccups, I learnt so many things. I reminded myself that it was all a learning process. As cheesy as it sounds, you really have to take a step back and just breath! All these annoying things definitely made me a more patient person. 

YOU WILL BE SPENDING MONEY LIKE YOU’RE BARCLAYS BANK  

Let me be real with you. Unless you have some fantastic benefits, you will be spending a lot of money. The first thing I did when I landed in Singapore was head out to IKEA. I wanted to feel like I was at home, and I couldn’t do that with no bedsheets.  

Singapore money

Get ready to save some money before you go and then spend it once you get there.  

YOUR STEREOTYPES WILL BE CHALLENGED  

THIS IS SOMETHING PEOPLE LIKE TO IGNORE. PLEASE DON’T!

Sometimes as human beings, we have preconceived notions of how people behave or how they will perceive us. You can even have presumptions of how a place might be and more. Moving abroad wholly change everything for me. Not only did I learn so much about the culture in Singapore, but I was continually learning about other cultures and countries. I met people from America, Malaysia, South Korea, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada and more. At first, I can honestly say it was a huge learning curve, but an enjoyable one where I felt like I gained so much from people. 

IT’LL BE THE BEST DECISION YOU’VE EVER MADE  

As I will always say and continue to preach! Moving abroad has and will always be the best decision I ever made. The decision to get out of my shell and see the world really changed me for the better and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  

If you’ve ever had a thought that moving abroad is something you want to do, I’ve got one piece of advice for you – DO IT! If you are in uni/college, please consider. 

What about you have you ever thought about moving abroad? What’s holding you back?  

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Singapore: The Difference As A Student Vs Tourist

I’m sure you are all tired of hearing me tell the story of how I lived in Singapore. The beautiful city-state haha! Well, today is your lucky day because we are going to talk about the difference with being a student vs a tourist in another country. If you are new to the blog you need to know that I lived in Singapore for seven months and studied at the National University of Singapore.

I’ve only ever been both a tourist and a student in Singapore. I guess some people can argue that I could be considered a tourist in the UK, as I’ve lived as a student and could be a tourist in the UK, but I think it’s more fun in Singapore. Don’t you?

Before we get into the differences. I thought it would be wise to define the two for ease:

Tourist

Visting Singapore Gardens by the Bay

Usually, explore the local landmarks, sometimes if they are in the country long enough tourist can learn some keywords or phrases. Tourists can go as far as having a chat with the locals take some photos of the sights, try some local cuisines and end the trip with a fun souvenir. 

Student

student at nus

Students, on the other hand, live abroad, which gives them the chance to truly know and embrace a city. There is more time to discover the charming little streets with the best cafés and the ideal spots for authentic cuisine. You can end the stay with a life-changing experience that no one can take from you. 

There are benefits to both studying abroad and visiting a destination as a tourist. If you want to really get to know a city, a country or place. I would always suggest that it’s best to live and take in the culture, food and in this case sun.

Going back to Singapore as a tourist last year was quite an overwhelming experience for me. I had left Singapore six years ago a place I called home and was now returning as a tourist. The many memories that popped up while I sat in a taxi to my friend’s house, left me feeling quite sad. Memories of pretending to be a tourist in the first month. Living in Singapore going to the Singapore Zoo, clubbing and the Singapore flyer.

Above I defined the difference, but what was the difference for me?

Tourist vs. Student in Singapore

Visa Process

Student – you get a visa – mine was for six months. And trust me when I say it is hella of a long process! I arrived later at my uni/college than the other students. This required me to figure out how to do the visa myself! I didn’t know where I had to go and what I needed to bring with me. The staff were kind enough to allow me as they could see how frustrated and flustered I was.

One thing I do remember is not being able to locate my identity box. In Singapore, you are either African or British. You can’t be both Black British, like the UK. This was something that I was naive to believe was universal around the world.

If you want to ever see my student visa it I’m happy to send a picture to you (I still kept it after all these years).

Tourist – You get a stamped visa after completing a form (ask for one on the plane and have a pen). You are then with this stamp, able to stay up to 90 days as a tourist, on business or on a social visit. 

Language

Student – you may think that I learnt to speak Singaporean, but I’m afraid Singaporeans don’t speak Singaporean either. The country has a mixture of languages – Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English. As a student, I was able to speak English to all locals.

Tourist – As a tourist, I would even expect you to learn any of the languages. I was happy to of picked up on some words when I was a student (all of which I’ve forgotten).

Meeting People

Student – you will make lifelong friends. Honestly, I made such good friend that I’m still in contact with today. And get this. Last year I was fortunate enough to be at one of my international friend’s weddings and even better her bridesmaid. See the picture below – in due time I will be writing about my experience.

Dulang girls and Malaysian bridesmaid
friends in singapore

Tourist – I was able to meet up with friends, but with the length. Staying in Singapore as a tourist I knew I wasn’t about to make any life long friends.

Culture

Student – as a student, I was able to experience vast amounts of culture and more. I learnt about traditions, tasted the richness of food and more! My personal faves have to be chicken rice, chilli crab and stingray! My mouth waters as I write this!

chicken rice

Tourist – I guess I was at an advantage because I had already experienced living in Singapore as a student. However, as a tourist, there’s only so much you can try! I would suggest the meals I stated above – or you could subscribe and find out places to eat in Singapore.

Views of the World

Student – Looking back now, I felt like, I honestly was able to gain a new perspective of the world. I came home with fresh eyes to the world and was ready to explore more. I came back and felt out of places to my friends and family. Having experienced so much of a different life to them. Time had moved for me. I had seen and experienced a new and different world a new perspective and a new culture.

china town

Tourist – Hahaha! Of course, you can taste another side of the world as a tourist. However, I have to say that it’s never the same as living somewhere else!

Thank you for reading my experiences, I do hope you enjoyed them, and it encourages you to move abroad. Have you ever been both a tourist and student or lived in the same country. What was it like share your comments below.

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