August 20, 2016

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: LISBON IN 100 BITES E-BOOK

On June, Zara (portuguese) and Ashray (indian) from the blog Backpack ME came to Lisbon and we had to meet for breakfast in Lx Factory. I mean, this people might be the coolest traveller couple in the World (besides me and Bruno, of course hehe). While having great food, they told me about this e-book they released about food in Lisbon. Immediately, I said "I gotta tell about this to my blog readers".

I had a great time reading this e-book and after that I was so hungry :) Zara made an awesome job writting this book, very clear, easy english, funny expressions and a bunch of history. I guess this is not only a good book for travelers who are coming to Lisbon, but also to Portugal! Not that you'll find every single "bite" in the whole country but mostly of the dishes are spread around and if you really want to indulge in the portuguese culture you have to try our traditional food.

This guide is well organized with petiscos (appetizers), soups, from the sea, from the land, desserts, pastelaria (pastries and snacks) and between, Zara also talk about Couvert Alert, A Brief Note about Wines, Another Round for Street-Smart Folks and A Digestive Talk.

Each page has a good quality picture with a description of the food, as you can see up here, but instead of divided in 4, it comes one page by one. Sometimes you will find notes that I found pretty useful.

This book is definitely a must have if you are coming to Portugal but also if you are curious about portuguese gastronomy. For example, I'm portuguese and I know all these foods but the history, how they are prepared, which ingredients are used, mostly I wasn't aware.

But hey! Don't purchase this book if:
- You are looking for a portuguese recipe book
- You want a guide of restaurants in Lisbon
- You are vegetarian 

Lisbon in 100 bites is a great source to help you find the portuguese meals that suits you, with a lot of precious information and tips. Believe me, we have tons and tons of typical dishes!

Would you like to have this book? So, let's go for the giveaway!!! One lucky person will get a copy of Lisbon in 100 Bites. It's open to everywhere in the World. Fill this up and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 19, 2016

WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO


You thought I bought a van and disapeared somewhere in the World? Or was eaten by a Whale? Nope, here Iam alive and happy :) 
It's hard to believe that is been almost f-i-v-e months since my last blog post here. I didn't mean to be silent for so long but life happens! Since I opened a portuguese blog that I debate what to do, because doesn't make much sense to keep with two blogs about the same subjects, even though one is in english and the other is portuguese. Translating every single text wasn't a solution since it's super time consuming - sometimes it takes 3 hours to finish a single blog post. But I found out a handy google translator tool that is now in the side bar of Shanti Free Bird blog and will be soon another one in my portuguese blog so you can also follow me there. Do you read portuguese and haven't followed my Viver a Viajar blog yet?! Still on time, I swear I don't take it personally :D 

If you are around for a while you know that when I take ages to update the blog, I will make a "What I've been up to" post, so here we go. 

After the scam I was evolved, Ana showed up and we had a beautiful and peaceful trip. We managed to visit Angkor Wat for 3 full days, celebrate my birthday in the paradise, sleep in a Buddhist Monastery with a monk in Myanmar and crush a burmese wedding.

Back in Portugal in the beggining of March, I applied for the Photography Course and started it in April :) I actually finished it already few days ago and I can say it was full of surprises, learned a lot, made great friends and now need to practice like TONS. This picture was taken from our first project which had the theme "praxis" and we had to photograph in black and white film. Analog is love Y


In the end of March I was accepted to work with Worldpackers, a platform online that find volunteers for hostels around the World. So me, right? Because of this job I've been visiting wonderful hostels in Lisbon and meeting awesome hostels managers and owners, like this one who kindly drove me back home. I can make a visit of 40 minutes or 4 hours!! READ MORE IN PORTUGUESE HERE

In March I started doing volunteer work in the Refood close to my house. Refood is spread around the World and our aim is to use the leftovers from restaurants + bakeries + coffee shops and also the products that are almost expiring in the supermarkets and give away food to families economically in need. It's been such a positive experience and I love my refood fellows who work with me.


During the two months Photography Course I had to photograph a lot, my teacher was sending homework every two days or so. I understand that we had to practice and show him results so he could tell us where to improve but I had a phase of completly burnout and started not enjoying photography anymore. This made me think, Am I will ever be able to be a professional photographer? To take pictures WHEN I HAVE TO, accept to do works I DISLIKE, or do I want to keep it as an hobby and love each bit of it? Still figuring out. 

Well, these pics were taken in the Bollywood Holi here in Lisbon, it was super fun and I was proud of my final photography results. Again, I was taking pics of something I truly adore. That's awesome when you have homeworks like this :D

Been in a bunch of fairs and markets and finding great organic beauty products and cheap second hand goodies. This one is called Feira Intendente and actually last weekend me and Bruno had a stall with our Around the World ethnic products plus clothes, books and sunglasses. I was missing so much the interaction between vendors and the art of bargaining. Hopefully will attend some more during the Summer. 

I said I would go to my hometown every two months but I'm going every 2 weeks :) First Ana came as a surprise, then it was Su's Baby Shower, then her baby born and I had to meet his pretty face. Soon I'll be there again. My 2016 plan of visiting more often my family is going pretty well. 

First weekend of June was Bloggers Camp! It's one of the most exciting events of the year and it was so cool to meet up more of the bloggers I follow. Also it was a great surprise that in 40 bloggers, 4 were travel bloggers, we are growing in Portugal and I couldn't be happier :D 

Last month Cat from Joan of July sent me a special invitation to colaborate in a portuguese online magazine about photography! May was a super busy month and I almost denied but in the end I said yes and I'm so happy to be part of such beautiful creation. Can't wait to see our baby Blume growing up.

Guys I think this post is getting way too long. I'd like to know what's up in your lives and thank you for all the messages and emails asking to come back, YOU RULE! 

Keep following me in Viver a Viajar, facebook, instagram, twitter,  or email me martachantrips(at)gmail(dot)com Let's keep in touch :)

January 26, 2016

WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS IN THE BORDER THAILAND - CAMBODIA


I wish my first blog post about Cambodia was something incredibly beautiful but I have to tell you about my story so you don't pass thru the same situation. 

I booked my bus ticket from Bangkok to Siem Reap in one of those zillions agencies in Khao San Road for 8 dollars, a pretty good deal. I was by myself and nothing to fear, I was booking thru a physical agency and all my friends told me how easy is to get a cambodian visa in the border for 30 bucks. (The agency I booked my ticket is called: Lampoo Travel & Tours; Address: 42 Viengtai Hotel Rambuttri Rd. Banglumpoo Bangkok 10200)

I had to wake up really early to catch the mini van ride. It was a smooth and easy trip with other backpacker travelers from Europe and USA. When we arrived in the border of Poi Pet there was these guys waiting for us. They told us that we were going with them to Siem Reap but first we needed to make the visa. I was innocent enough to think they were there to help us, it was part of the agency ticket deal. They had this big room with tables and chairs so we could sit and fill up all forms. When I paid them my 30 dollars they said it was 1600 baht, which is 44 dollars. I thought that was weird. I looked around and everyone was paying them this amount. I tried to talk with the group and they said they paid this amount in the agency! When I confronted the guys about the higher price they made up a story about visa online is cheaper but there was 44 dollars. Not that 14 dollars more is huge but I started feeling something was wrong. 

I thought about doing my visa by myself and pay what was fair. If there's something I can't handle is injustice and being ripped of. But then this feeling of fear came across and questions like: "What if these guys kidnap me? What if they rob me? And then, how I'm gonna find transportation to Siem Reap? Hmmm maybe with these guys we get the visa faster?" With this last question I made up my decision and went the easy way: paid whatever they asked for. 

We were in Cambodian border already and waiting to the bus to go to the bus station. A girl from Denmark aka blond with blue eyes started to stress out. She was super nervous that one of the guys was trying to put her in another bus. First he wanted her to go in a bus before us and now because she didn't go, she had to go to the next bus. What?! She was terrified and started crying a lot. I said out loud she would come with us. I could feel her fear and would never leave her alone. Some girls in the group also reacted. The guy was laughing inside. I held her hand and we caught the same bus. The girl was crying rivers saying that he tried many times to be alone with her

We finally arrived in the bus station but this story is not over yet. One of the guys arrived saying that the bus will take one hour and an half. It was 3 pm already. But, of course, for only 5 dollars we could go by mini van now. I couldn't believe! These assholes wanted more money from us. Half of the group said yes and other half said no. Slowly slowly I figured out everyone gave up and all of them would go with the mini van. I got really nervous and said "You guys already stole me 14 bucks and want more money??!! I want to go in the mini van free!" They answered: "See, it's not fair with the rest of the group, they already paid". I had no choice, I didn't want to cooperate more with this scammers so I went to have a sit and wait for the bus. It's not about the money, it's about respect, values, they think they can do whatever with tourists? NO! We have to react, silence is the same as consenting. 

Not even one minute after one guy came and talked really softly saying that they will ask the group if it's ok going for free. They said yes. I thank everyone. In this two hours ride I reflected on life and all those times we are oppressed by people who make us feel bad and with fear. I have to be better than that and do something, stand up for our rights! Not that I will destroy with scams and save the World but at least I did my part and told everyone what is going on. Don't ever cooperate with these guys, they will always work on this and rob us. Yes, this is robbing because they never told me that they would charge a bit more because they were "helping".

A good solution: Instead of entering Cambodia via Poi Pet Border, cross other border called Trat close to Koh Chang (Thailand).

Well, there's always a first time. After 8 years of traveling I had to be in a scam one day right? And I thank all gods and goddesses that it was an happy ending and wasn't that big deal. But happened. It's part of my life experience now. By the way, I'm loving Cambodia, these people are soooo smiley and friendly. I guess I'm going to be very happy here. Stay tuned for the next Cambodia posts! 

Much love xx
Marta 

January 20, 2016

LET'S GO TO CAMBODIA!


Hey guys!! 
You might be wondering what's going on, the free bird girl doesn't travel anymore? Nahhh. Traveling is my passion, how is supposed to live without passion? 
My trip to Asia - my fave continent - is around the corner and as always, I leave everything for the last day, including the plan. Ok, we all know by now I simply don't plan, I read some blog posts from travelers fellows and write down some tips. I don't really like to read all information because my expectations will be high and also, I love to be surprised in all places I visit :)

January 12, 2016

BEAUTIFUL SOULS WHO INSPIRE ME - FILIPE VENTURA




Long time, no see this Series I enjoy so much. Today I bring you a friend of mine from Portugal, those rare portuguese who save all money to travel and oh Filipe travels A LOT for a person who works full time and has 21 days vacation per year. 
This is a different post because instead of typing Filipe's story I scanned page to page and you can read from his hand writing :) It was Filipe's idea and I had to agree... this year I want to focus on writing letters, postcards and my journal. 

January 8, 2016

PLANS FOR 2016


Right after reviewing our last year it's time to make our goals list for the new year. For some reason I'm taking way too long to put together my goals for 2016 (Check 2014 and 2015 goals) Not that I have a bunch of dreams, hopes and plans but calling them goals is maybe too much. So this year I decided to make plans instead for 2016 and 2017 :) I'm doing this to myself because every year, even though I make a good job accomplishing my personal goals, I always leave some of them for next year(s). Also I figured out some of my goals aren't for that certain year but life goals, a process let's say. 

This year I wrote my plans in my agenda, as you can see in the image above. This way I can read them time to time and make sure I focus on my happiness.