My Big Fat Greek 30th Birthday Party & a Private Jet!

Wow, I can’t imagine not writing my birthday blog post, mostly because I really wish I could invite everyone I know (including all of you – my followers/readers) t0 share this special day together but because I couldn’t at least I’ll get to share it with you here! I love celebrating birthdays, because it’s such a great break from our routine, forces us to appreciate life and family and friends.

I really wanted to spend my time with my family, who I don’t get to see very often because they live in Poland so we all ended up meeting in Athens (Michael and I flew in from Turkey, Michael’s mum straight from the US and my family from Poland). We spent a few days in Athens and arrived in Mykonos on Sept 20th, 4 days before my birthday.

We got picked up by the Greek Villas crew who escorted us to Villa Thelma otherwise known as Villas Sunset, which is a part of Casa Del Mar Hotel in Mykonos. 16 people villa with a private infinity pool was such a dream!!!! I was so so happy to see my mum sunbathing and swimming in such a stunning infinity pool I was super close to tears the entire time ???

 

The next day, my girls arrived. These were my favorite, closest travel ladies who I adore so much, I couldn’t imagine better company for my big day. I met Christine from Tour de Lust and Christina from The Bold Brunette on a press trip to Aruba where we were all invited and we immediately took off. I since saw Christina in Florida (that’s actually where I met Lisa from Lisa Homsy who came to the party too. I actually never met Raya from Raya Was Here but we chatted so much over DMs for months I really wanted to meet here so she came to Greece.

Now, let’s talk about the party! The theme was all white and I got these golden Greek-style crowns for everyone to wear, here is a closeup so you can see.

 

 

What I thought will be a small dinner for a few people turned out to be a party for 28! I had 10 people my family, my 5 girls, then last minute I found out that my girl crush Helen Owen and Zack Kalter are on the island and wanna come so they did with Naomi from @BookonIn who I knew over DMs before. They turned out to be super lovely!

Last but not least, there were 8 members of my Master Tribe. Master Tribe is a group I started for coaching future travel bloggers. I thought there wasn’t a course that would walk people through the travel blogging experience with guidance and all the feedback needed to grow. I ended up choosing 17 out of over 50 people who applied because I really truly believed in the potential of these 17 folks. Since April, I tried to share with them everything I know about photo editing, social media etc etc and luckily for me, 8 of my rock star ‘students’ were able to visit me in Greece.

Here is  photo of all of them and the girls. Please check out their beautiful feeds and I guarantee you’ll be in love with them as much as I am 😉 #superproud #besttribe

Below:

From the top left: Nikky from Nikky Riddy, Izabela from Regards Bella, Ania from Style of Wonders (she also did my hair for the party!), Christina, Ryan and his prettier half from Up for Adventure.

From the bottom left: Raya, Marta from Where Life is Great, Me, Christine, Kat from Her Beautiful Now, Lisa and her boyfriend James 😉

 

 

After dinner we went out to a club and were dancing till 4a at night!!! It was awesome.

Last but not least, I wanted to finish off my time in Greece in style and rented a private jet as a surprise for my family. When we showed up in Santorini and pulled up to a private jet, they couldn’t believe their eyes. It was the best feeling ever!

Here is what I said in my post about it:

“Wrapping up my time in Greece in style – just me and my family on a private jet drinking champagne ???

I have to say I was hesitating a little about this post cause I was worried about your reaction. But then I remembered I am not talking to the whole Internet over here, I am talking to you, my followers! And you are nothing short of amazing.
::
I meet more and more of you on my travels and every time I realize that people that follow me are truly extraordinary. They might be doing different things in life, but my followers’ souls are of great leaders and they have potential for some grand things in life.
::
You also should know by now that I strive to live life to the fullest and that as a #TonyRobbins fan, I believe that the secret to living is giving and that there is no greater pleasure than surprising and spending money on those who you love. It’s been my dream forever to treat my family to something amazing!
::
I wanted to have the best birthday gift for my own 30th so I knew I have to give (instead of receive) something to those who I made me as successful as I am today. To my family and my ‘rock’ Michael.
::
So I rented a private jet for all of us as a surprise. And I never even expected I would fly in one ever in my life because as a family we could NEVER afford flying even commercial!
My family didn’t suspect anything until we got dropped off right in front of the jet with a flight attendant standing there to welcome us.
::
My mums face was so lit up (swipe left to see what I’m talking about!). It was the best feeling ever to see her this happy.??
::
What is cheap? No. Did I get it for free? No!
But I was happy to pay for it from my own money earned from I love most of all – promoting traveling.
The idea of a real gift is that it actually costs you a lot of money, time and sacrifice of your own needs so it makes others happy.
::
Last but not least, I’m sharing this not to show off but to motivate you & ask you to come up with a fun surprise for someone you love this week – go do it! Spend money on making them happy – it’s the best feeling in the world!
With so much love!
Your Aggie

 

Travel in My Shoes

The last few months have been crazy busy. Up until this April, I travel a lot but it was more like – 3 weeks in Philippines, 2 weeks home, 1 week in Europe, 2-3 weeks home etc so I had my routine including daily walks at the beach etc.

The April was when it all blew up. Aruba, 1 day home, Dubai, straight to Sri Lanka, straight to Maldives, the day I got home after a month of being home my sister came to visit me from Poland so we went to Palm Springs, San Fransisco and Tulum for a week. Then I was home for 6 days, went to Florida, Vegas, 10hrs home straight to Bermuda, 17 hrs home in LA, then onto Poland, France, Italy, 5 days home then Cambodia, Thailand, Bali, 4 days home then Vegas, two days home and then Hawaii.

You get the idea. haha. The only days I was home, I was so busy washing, editing videos, paying bills, doing beauty treatments (like hairdresser, nails, facial etc) I had zero time to go outside and enjoy the fact I live right by the beach, crazy!

So yesterday, despite the amount of work, an unpacked suitcase and a mess in the house, Michael and I went out to the beach like we used to – to play volleyball with friends, watch sunset and enjoy the last warm summer days. It was also a good excuse to test my new gift from Allbirds – their Wool Runners.

No need to stay I have a slight obsession about shoes and a lot of my followers often joke about that, but apart from loving shoes I am also very picky when choosing them and here’s why.

a) I barely ever get shoes I can wear right away without painfully breaking them in which kinds sucks.

b) I hate socks! I dare you to find a photo of me wearing socks, even in runners/boots I avoid them at all costs.

c) Since I hate socks and my feet rub easily, I tend to find it hard to find comfortable shoes.

The struggle is even more real when I want comfortable shoes that look great with a dress or shorts and not clunky so taking all of the above into the consideration Allbirds was ticking off all the requirements in theory (yay) so I was all up for a collaboration to see if they really are as good as they sound.

Outing to the beach was a great excuse, because the pier area with all the restaurants and volleyball courts are 10-16 mins from my house – doesn’t sound like a lot, but I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I wore some semi-comfortable shoes because I wanted to look good and couldn’t make back home without blisters. Allbirds passed the ‘walk to the pier’ test easy peasy.

Here are some more things I love about them:

  • They are made with natural New Zealand merino so they are actually meant to be worn without socks – that way they can absorb the moisture and your feet, you know… won’t smell haha!
  • I cannot even express how soft and comfy they feel. They are extremely light so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing shoes at all.
  • I love that their curvy design, making my legs look long which I love haha.
  • I went for their Natural White color from the Classics, which look like million bucks in my opinion and I could dress them up with the blue dress for a sunset sail in Redondo Beach the other day – see my IG photo). I can already tell I’ll be ordering their lavender ones too ASAP (check them out here)

If you have any ideas of how to style them for my upcoming trip to Turkey and Greece, let me know 😉 And if you want to find more styles, go to Allbirds website.

****Although this is a sponsored post, I have a financial privilege to only recommend products I feel passionate about and would spend money on. Sometimes I send back products to companies which I thought looked good on their website, but wasn’t happy to use them/ would never recommend them to a friend. If you’re reading this post, it means I truly believed in the above mentioned product and feel excited and happy to share it with you.****

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND: Elephants, Temples, Yummiest Food & The Best Green Curry Recipe

Omg, I’m so excited to tell you about Thailand I don’t know where to start.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand reached out to me about their yearly campaign Amazing Thailand Women’s Journey. Every year in August, Thailand celebrates women & tries to make it easier for foreign women (solo or not) to visit Thailand. Every August. women get expedited lines at the airport (‘pink lanes’), free SIM card, deals on taxis, accommodations tours – you name it.

You know me, I love the idea of encouraging women to travel more – it’s very empowering and soul healing for anyone but as a woman who traveled solo a lot and was in some dodgy situations myself, I understand why so many of women are hesitant to take off on their own. And today, I want to tell you that I had nothing to worry about as a woman in Thailand.

This was my second time in Thailand and every time I love it more and more. I never ever felt in danger or disrespected, treated less of a human – you name it. Women in Thailand have a strong position in the society and I really like the gender dynamics there. Since it was supposed to be an all girls trip, I couldn’t take Michael with me (sad face) but instead I took my friend Lisa (who’s also an influencer) and I’m glad I did, because traveling with girls is so much fun in its own way too!

I want to share with you my itinerary so you can get an idea of what 10 days in Thailand can look like. In this post, I will talk about Chiang Mai, in the next ones I will tell you more about Koh Samui and Bangkok.

To be honest, I was never particularly interested in visiting northern Thailand only because I thought of Thailand as the land of beaches and ocean, so why go inland? If it wasn’t for this trip, I would not plan to go there, but boy, I would miss out big time. Chiang Mai was awesome!

Lisa and I got picked up by Tippie, our guide – a sweet lady in her 50s who always couldn’t believe how obsessed we are with taking photos ? For the first few days, I stayed at the Akyra Manor Hotel, one of the best designed hotel I’ve seen. It was very modern, had a giant outdoor bathtub right in the middle of your suite & a glass pool on the roof (epic photo to follow).

The following day we kicked off our trip with a two hour massage at Oasis Spa – I don’t think I ever had a massage this long but that was only the beginning of my massage overdose on this trip haha. For lunch we were supposed to try the traditional Northern Thai soup called Khao Soi (it’s a curry soup base with rice noodles). Up until that moment, I thought nothing will ever come close to my green curry obsession in my life, but I was wrong. KHAO SOI is THE BEST. Tippie took us to a small local market (hole in a wall kinda place you would never run into as a normal tourist). The soup was only 40 baht (a little over one US dollar) but it changed my life forever (I was devouring the soup at the table looking up restaurants in LA that serve the soup). So so good. If you ever run into a Northern Thai restaurant, do yourself a favor and try it! ?

After lunch, we went to visit a few temples with my favorite one being the silver temple (no women allowed inside, but that’s okay, because we went to a few other temples later on).

That afternoon, we met up with Acyra Chiang Mai executive chef Phubase Chuprakong who took us shopping to a local market for some ingredients to make dinner with that evening. I saw soooo many fruit and veggies I have never seen in my life! So fun.

After we got back to the hotel, we went upstairs to try some super fancy drinks & I have to say it was one of the best moments in the entire trip. There were 7 of us – Lisa and I, Anita & Ilona (two magazine writers from Canada), Tippy our guide, Apple – a TAT representative & a hotel marketing manager (also a woman) and we were just laughing, sipping super fancy cocktails & having a really fun girls’ time. That night chef Phubase cooked a feast for us, but the best part was of course the green curry. I dare to say it was one of the best green curries I had in my life & chef was kind enough to share the recipe with me (posted all the way at the bottom of this post).

The next day, we moved from Acyra to Anantara & had yet another massage session. The bed was heated & soft as a cloud, I felt very relaxed. Our room at Anantara was huuuuge & I love that they serve Green curry for breakfast haha:-)

In the afternoon we drove out to the footsteps of Doi Suthep visit Naenna Studio. Naenna Studio (http://www.studio-naenna.com/products.html) is ran by an English lady called Patricia who employs women from local tribes to create beautiful sustainable clothing. I’m not so much into fabrics, but I was very inspired to meet someone as visionary as Patricia. The studio uses eco-textile and is totally faire trade – meaning that women get paid well for their work (textile industry is among the most corrupted and exploiting one in the world – think of all major multi-billion dollar clothing companies using sweatshops to make their products). It was very eye opening to see the entire process and realize how much it depends on me (buyer) when it comes to conditions textile workers live and work in.

That evening we had the most wonderful dinner at Villa Mahabhirom (which means ‘a place of great pleasure’ in Thai) – a hotel which is made up with old Thai villas shipped from all over Thailand. Lisa and I loved the design so much, we came back to the villa the following day to take some of these photos.

On our last day in Chiang Mai, we visited Patara Elephant Park. As a huge animal lover, ex vegan and now pescatarian, I always always check on elephants parks to make sure they don’t abuse/torture the animals. I also strongly encourage you to never ride elephants & do your own research about parks you visit. In Patara, I didn’t see any pokers or sticks or chains so to the best of my knowledge, elephants seemed happy, however checking on current reviews of every animal place is so important. If in doubt, it’s always good to look for elephant sanctuaries, not parks.

Just take a look at these beautiful creatures. Best day ever.

And then green curry recipe 😉

150 gr meat
50 gr apple eggplant
20 gr big red chilli
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar
100 gr coconut mlik
20 gr chicken stock or veg stock
sweet basil
kaffir lime leaf

green chilli paste
10 N fresh green chilli
1 tsp black pepper seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cummin seed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp galangal
1 tsp lemongrass
1 tsp kaffir lime skin
1 tsp coriander root
1 tbs garlic
1 tbs shallot
1 tsp shrimp paste

Positano, Amalfi Coast with What Anna Wears

I can’t even count how many times I have heard about Positano – it’s been all over Instagram for as long as I remember, which usually makes me not want to visit a certain place.

But I wanted to experience the European summer which I missed for years and years. Living in the US with my entire family in Poland, every time I would come to visit Poland in summer every second year or so, I never came down to the Mediterranean because of lack of time or some other excuse – fast forward a few years later and I still barely seen most of the Mediterranean countries and never been to Spain, Portugal or Greece!

I met Anna from What Anna Wears in September last year. I had a small following on my social media back then (only about 20k on IG) but have been following Anna and her travels for over a year at that point. When she announced she’s heading to LA, I just simply DMd her saying she’s welcome to stay at my house if she needs to, because I’ve been admiring her travels for so long and she replied… ‘actually, we don’t have a place to stay so why not!’. We got on well immediately & the rest is history. We would always meet when I came to visit my parents in Warsaw (that’s where Anna lives too), but we wanted to go traveling together too. Anna heard so much about Positano too so we thought why not and started planning our trip in May.

Everything I heard about Positano turned out to be true: the magic in the air, stunning views, friendly Italians. It didn’t seem very crowded despite all the hotels being completely booked out. Positano is tiny and there is only one one-way road that goes from the very top of the hill, all the way down to the beach and then back up. The only way to get there is by car, but then you have to park it for your entire stay as car parks are rare and expensive by the hour (we paid $40 per day and $45 for 5 hrs!).

This was not a sponsored trip – just me, Ania and Michael hanging out together. Michael and I arrived early from our trip to the French Riviera and spent a night in L’Ancora hotel. Beautiful views! Because we didn’t realize how busy Positano is in season, all the places were booked out and we had to keep changing the hotels pretty much every night!

Hotel we stayed with Ania was called Pasitea. Restaurant with the best view was inside the hotel called Albergo California – very reasonable prices (right next to it there is also not a bad restaurant called Bruno). We also enjoyed Cafe Positano (stunning views!) and Chez Black – with heart-shaped pizza right on the beach.

You will see in the photos we also went to Capri for a day (Positano is very small, so after w few days you do feel like going on the water). The ferry costs 40 Euro return and takes 30mins. Capri is stunning and you have to rent a boat to go around the island to check out all the grottos. The prices are per boat, not person and are approx. 100 euro per hour, 150 for 2 or 250 for 4 hours.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions you want me to answer! And if you want to check out Anna’s blog, go to www.whatannawears.com

The French Riviera

The French Riviera has a special place in my heart. It was the very first foreign destination I’ve ever visited in my life – I was 14 years old and went on a camp to Cannes for 2 weeks and loved every bit of it.

This time I flew to Nice with my mum after visiting my parents in Poland. It was my first time in Nice and I loved it! We spent the first two days of our trip at Hyatt Regency Nice and went to the old town, had wine & hang at the beach. (The beach is pebble and not so pleasant, but the azur water is the prettiest in the entire French Riviera ?

Then, we had a day trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo – I recommend visiting the castle and the famous Monte Carlo casino (dress code is strictly obeyed). The views were spectacular!

We also took a day trip to Saint Tropez, which was my favorite 15 years ago and it was favorite on this trip. Cute little French streets made for perfect IG photos.

Take a look!