Nessa is a well known face in the Irish fashion world but it is her love for travel that really ignites the imagery on her feed and on the blog Dreaming Always, a blog dedicated to inspiring and motivating other like minded Mums who dream of creativity, style & travel. Dreaming Always is a mutual collaboration between her and Leona O’Sullivan Breen, another creative and style driven Mother from Cork, Ireland.
From far flung corners of the globe she is always making us want to travel more via beautiful pictures of her journeys, most recently her exquisite trip to Lisbon. We chat travel with Nessa, one of our #OtterBoxInsider crew as she shares her favourite snaps from Lisbon, and her insights from her recent move to Dubai, UAE using her Strada Limited Edition case in stone sterpent.
Follow Nessa @NessaHurley / @Dreaming_Always_ / http://dreamingalways.com /
You are now based in Dubai, UAE . Where do you go to escape the heat?
There is no escaping the heat in Dubai right now so I came home to Ireland for almost 2 months this Summer which has been a dream but we are heading back to the heat very soon. Unfortunately, it’s way too hot in Dubai from June to September to be outdoors so you end up spending a lot of time in the air-conditioned malls during the day when you aren’t working. I do love heading to the pool by our house with my husband and daughter in the evenings or early on a Saturday morning to cool down too and once the temperatures drop, we will spend a lot of time there and at Kite Beach – our fave hang-out spot in Dubai.
What is your favourite way to travel?
I love to travel but I actually hate flying! I hate the feeling of being stuck on the plane. I usually spend half of the flight pacing up and down the aisle and now that I am travelling with a toddler, I spend the flight running around after her instead. I love travelling by car because you have such freedom to stop wherever and whenever you like and the biggest perk of all… you can bring as much luggage as you like. We usually have a car bursting with things “just in case…” if we are travelling around Ireland.
If you had to live in another country (aside from Ireland and Dubai) where would you move and why?
This is easy for me – either Portugal or California. I would actually love to spend some time living in both these places. I have done a few three month stints in California and have always felt a strong pull to go back there again and again. I always say I left a piece of my heart in Santa Barbara. I also adore Portugal – we got married there three years ago and I have travelled quite a bit of the country from the North to the South and I love everything about it – the scenery, the culture, the beaches, the food, the wine and the kindness and friendliness of the people. I often think there is something similar about the Algarve and California – maybe it is the laid back vibe and relaxed lifestyle I have experienced and loved in both that make me want to spend more time there.
Travel essentials. Anything you always take regardless of where you’re headed?
Since becoming a mother, my travel essentials have changed dramatically. I genuinely don’t go anywhere without my Otterbox phone cases as my little girl likes to throw my phone around and it’s less worrying when my iPhone is protected with a stylish Otterbox case. Also between Peppa Pig marathons and constant scrolling through Instagram, I am always short on battery so I bring an Otterbox power bank whenever I travel. I always bring cosy socks even if going to somewhere warm and sunny and big sunglasses so I can cover my tired face after travelling.
Can you give us any tips on things you do when you are about to pack for travels?
I am actually a pretty organised packer. I start putting things into a case weeks in advance. I find it helps me decide what I really want or need to bring as it’s not so last minute shoving everything into the case. It also stops me wearing things which gives that really satisfying feeling of having new things to wear on your holidays… we all experience that don’t we? I also buy new underwear and pjs every time I travel… too much information?
You have always been fond of Portugal, can you let us in on some of your favourite secret gems?
It’s not exactly a hidden gem but it’s a place I constantly tell people to visit – Alvor, a beautiful seaside resort in the Algarve which just has won me over time and time again. It’s a really special place for me and there are so many delicious places to eat there. I also discovered the most incredible place with my husband Denis a few years ago called Areias do Seixo which is such a gem – probably my favourite place I have stayed in and not very well known amongst people I have spoken to.
Lisbon is a great city and one that you just visited? What/where are your ‘go to’ places?
My favourite part of our trip was wandering around Alfama – the old part of the city – as it just had so much character. We got the Number 28 tram up there which is a great experience and it’s just gorgeous. Yes, it is very much a tourist spot but I think we were so lucky with the times we went there – we had a shoot there at 8am on Sunday and it was so quiet which was actually magical… the streets were all ours. I’d advise going early… not all the shops and coffee places are open but you can really explore the place. We went back again in the afternoon around 4pm and it was not very busy then either. I also loved discovering the area of Chiado where there was lots of cool boutiques and hotels. It’s quite urban and trendy there. We spent Sunday evening in a beautiful new venue we stumbled across called Le Consulat which had the most gorgeous interiors. I love when you don’t make a plan and just discover random gorgeous places… it’s the beauty of exploring new cities.
What’s the ideal items for a Portuguese summer break?
Some stylish flats that you can wear with everything as it’s not really a place for heels with the cobbled streets and so much walking. People are so gorgeous and stylish in Lisbon. I loved people watching there.
I always find it quiet chilly in the evenings in Portugal, even in Summer, so bring a nice cover up which you will definitely wear.
What are your top 5 bucket list travel destinations and why?
I have luckily ticked a few of my bucket list destinations off in the last few years but I just keep adding to the list. I am obsessed with going to Texas – it just seems like a fun place to visit. I would actually love to rent a big camper van and travel for months around the United States. I’m a dreamer! I’d love to go to Porto in Portugal which I haven’t managed to get to yet – it has been referred as a Portuguese California so I want to know why! I have always wanted to go to the Seychelles because it just looks dreamy and I love the island life. I would love to visit Surrey in the UK ever since I watched the film, The Holiday, and curl up in a cute house reading books. I am dying to go to Muscat in Oman which is probably the most realistic destination on my bucket list right now and a trip we plan to take soon.
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