Welcome back to Hayley Lately. Each month, this is where I chat about my life and what I’ve been up to. Keep reading to discover the book I couldn’t put down, my new favourite show and the best things I ate this month #priorities.
Well, hello from Tallinn in Estonia! What a month it’s been around here. I’ve visited 10 destinations across seven countries and have fallen for the most unexpected places. At the end of August I was in Gothenburg and surprisingly, the city is still my favourite. It didn’t have a lot of big attractions, but I loved just wandering and eating. I then moved on to Malmö, which cemented Sweden as my favourite country so far. Yes, it was expensive. But I loved the scenery, the food, the nice people and the architecture. I am HOOKED.
Next, we casually crossed a bridge and entered Copenhagen and Denmark in under an hour. I thought Copenhagen was a cool city with lots of things to do and see, but it didn’t blow me away. This may be because I found it to be more expensive than Sweden (I didn’t think that was possible 😂) and it was overflowing with tourists. But highlights included Nyhavn, a great walking tour and the view from Christiansborg Palace.
Then it was on to Hamburg via bus and ferry. To be honest, I don’t think I’d return to Hamburg. There were nice spots – the warehouse district, Alster Lake and the park – but overall, it didn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I then headed back to Berlin, a city I first visited 12 years ago! This was another city that was just a little bit too big and busy for me. However, a highlight was getting to meet up with Claire, an American expat and fellow blogger living in Berlin. I’ve been following her on Instagram for over a year and we had a great day eating, walking and talking about everything!
The next country I visited was Poland. My first stop was Wrocław and wow, this city is sitting just behind Gothenburg on my favourites list. It was quite small but had a charming Old Town and very cheap food. I think this may also be my top foodie destination too! I then headed to the Polish capital of Warsaw, which had some cool aspects but I’m not in any rush to return. After the longest bus journey so far (8+ hours) I arrived in Vilnius next and this was another city I unexpectedly enjoyed. You can read all about it in my latest blog post 😉. Then it was onto Riga in Latvia, which once again I liked but didn’t love. The final destination this month is of course, Tallinn in Estonia. I’ll tell you all about it next month!
So far I’m really happy that I’ve visited both big and small cities, as it seems the small, less-visited ones are the places I like the most!
Here’s a quick glimpse at my favourite meals in September. Firstly, the most memorable meal might be the enormous cinnamon bun I couldn’t finish from Cafe Husaren in Gothenburg. I ate a lot of pastries this month, but Meyers Bageri in Copenhagen, and the pecan and caramel bun available at the Espresso House chain across Sweden were the best.
Surprisingly, Hamburg wasn’t my favourite place but it’s home to good food. I recommend Better Burger Company and Quan Do. In Wrocław, check out the massive oven-baked pierogi from Pierogarnia. If you’re also craving veggies, I had a delicious teriyaki stir fry from Wok In.
I’ve actually been working on a few paid writing assignments this month. At the beginning I definitely struggled with juggling work and play, but I eventually got into a good rhythm. In Berlin, I finally finished my Bali guide for the new travel app I’ve mentioned. My mum actually said I’ll be sick of Bali after focusing on it exclusively for over a month, but I could go back tomorrow. If I can stay somewhere for a month and not get sick of it, I think it’s love ❤. I’ve also been continuing to write sporadically for Royal Caribbean Cruises, which has been keeping my travel fun healthy.
Honestly, I’m surprised I managed to get three blog posts written and published this month. If you missed them, I wrote about my mum and I’s fun stay at Bali Mandira, my favourite places to visit on the Sunshine Coast, and the things you can’t miss in Vilnius.
I actually didn’t think I’d read that many books this month, but as it turns out I’m currently reading book five (and it’s a goodie). They were all advanced reader copies I’ve received through NetGalley. For YA lovers, I recommend Michigan vs The Boys, which is about a talented teenage girl dealing with the consequences of joining the boys hockey team. I also thought A Million Dreams told a totally unique story, but that one won’t be released until mid-November.
As my to do list has dwindled I’ve started watching a little bit more TV at night. The final season of Jane the Virgin has been available on Netflix in some countries, so I’ve been slowly finishing that. I also finally started watching the last season of This Is Us. I actually didn’t finish a lot of series this year – kind of got distracted by the whole moving thing! Now I just have to avoid spoilers until I catch up eventually 🤣.
Well, I think that’s my month at a (not-so brief) glance. I only have the first two weeks of October planned, which see me going from Tallinn to Helsinki to England! I’ll be spending time in London and visiting family in Plymouth (for now…). I was looking at my map one bus drive and thought, I could totally travel by bus and train from London to Athens, so that’s my future plan 😁.
See you next month 👋🏻.