Author Archives: travelwithclem

What Makes This Site Unique

Category : About Me

There are millions of travel blogs out there, and most times it is difficult to navigate through them all. Whilst I am happy you landed on my travel website, I want to share with you 3 key reasons why in only a few months, the eyes of the travel community have turned towards my blog has hit a record number of more than 5,000 views in only a few months:

I Believe Traveling is Expensive.


Me in front of the Red River. Shreveport, Louisiana. 2017.










Have you ever noticed that  when you spend a day, a weekend or a week away in another city or country, it is always more expensive than spending that same time at home? The simple act of leaving your usual comfort to create a memorable experience somewhere else comes with a (real) cost. Fortunately, I have found ways of cutting cost at all levels during my travels, from accommodation, flights, food and even sightseeing, and I have been able to saved up to 70% on my travel budget. If I have done it, you can do it too and on this website, I am going to show you how.

I Speak from Proven Experience.


Me at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2017















All the tips that I am sharing with you on my travel website  have been tested by me and reproduced by the wide community of travel bloggers who follow me, with proven results. I only recommend tips that I have tried, that have worked and that I firmly believe in.

I never took time off to travel, yet I have already been to 48 cities and 27 countries. 


Me at the Minneapolis Greek Festival. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2017















And if I have been able to do this, you can do it too. You don’t have to take a leap year, 6 months off or quit your job to travel the world. I firmly believe that the magic of traveling happens everywhere you are, if only you’d see it. I will show you how you can incorporate traveling experiences anywhere you are, and finally make those dreams come true.

So if you’re ready to take your traveling experiences to the next level, Follow me now and I will guide you by sharing insights into destinations, travel tips and more!


6 Awesome Reasons to Go to a Harvest Fest this Fall!

With the fall season steadily picking up in the Twin Cities, there is more than one way to keep entertained! And even for the super-introverts, there surely is something to do.


If you’ve added apple picking, zombie pub crawls or halloween parties to your bucket list for the 2017 fall, then you should definitely make some time to attend a Fall Harvest Fest in Minnesota this year! After all, it’s one of the locals’ top fall activities, and here are 5 reasons why:

1. Creative Pumpkin Carving: one thing people certainly look forward to every fall, is the amazingly creative display of carved pumpkins everywhere. Whether you are an amateur or a seasoned “pumpkin carver”, this is definitely an activity that anyone can learn and enjoy1 Experiment with creative styles or just go for the fun designs!

2. Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest: there is no fall without a pumpkin pie. This is the “unspoken” official dessert of the season. And whilst you might want to prepare one at home, why not enter a pie eating contest at one of the local fall harvest fest? And plus, if you’re lucky like we were at the Stillwater Fall Harvest Fest this weekend, the contest was free! And the winner got a food shopping gift card of an attractive value. And for those who did not win, who cares. They got a free pie. And they showed amazing team spirit.


3. Chili Cook-Off Competitions: I didn’t know there was at least 8 ways of cooking chili until I attended the Stillwater Harvest Fest. Well, that is definitely something good to know, and a great activity for all food lovers and chili connoisseurs! So if you’re heading to a fall harvest fest this season, make sure to check out the food competition booths!

4. Beer-Tasting Like Nobody’s Business: if you didn’t get the chance to attend any Oktoberfest event in the Twin Cities, then a Fall Harvest Fest might be your last chance (or perhaps your best excuse to go beer-sampling without having to explain yourself!)


Beer is so special that it grows in its own garden. Beer Garden.

5. Well… Comfort Food Everywhere! Harvest festivals are always great ways to indulge in different kinds and varieties of foods, and a great time for food sampling. Don’t worry about the extra kilos (at least not yet), you’ll need to burn those calories to keep warm anyways!

6. Memories to Look Back To: great memories are always made with great company. So whether you want to spend time with your family, friend or significant other, a fall harvest fest is a great event to bond, rekindle and just simply.., get together!

What’s your favorite fall event?

Leave me a comment below!

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

PS: I prepared some unique travel tips for you. SIGN UP HERE to receive them right now.

Linking back to City Tripping this week!

Wander Mum

24 Hours in Brussels!

If you only had 24 hours to travel, where would you go?

While in Europe, I chose “Brussels”. Small city, fun city, interesting city, tricky city. The reason I chose that city was to have a taste spicy enough just to let me decide whether I would go back one day… Or not. (And also, because the flights were cheaper).

In my opinion, the city is big enough to make you want to see more, and small enough to get you to see enough in 24 hours. This statement is made in comparison to other European cities where I’ve been, such as Paris, Rome, Geneva, and London.

So if you ever happen to have 24 free hours while in Europe and want to take a jump and try out a new city, go to Brussels, and I’m pretty sure you’d be able to do one of these 10 things (I did all 10, y’all):

1.Free City Tour

A lot of European cities have the concept of “free city tours”, which I like a lot. It’s a good option for tourists to have a bit of a historical background of the city they’re visiting, and this with no commitment (financial and time-related, that is). If you love the tour, stick around til the end. If you get bored, feel free to leave. And if you stick til the end because you find it interesting, you’re welcome to give a tip to the tour guide at the end, with no obligations. Do it… if the spirit moves you:)

Tip: free city tours usually last for 1h to 1h30. They are walking tours, have fixed departure times and are also available in multiple languages. Before traveling, find out, in your destination city tourism website, where the gathering points for the free tours are. In Brussels, a lot of tour groups gathered at the market place. 

2. The Atomium

The Atomium is a 102 m tall building shaped as a molecule made of several circular atoms connected by chemical bonds (well, in this case, physical bonds). It was built in 1958 as part of a scientif Expo (Expo 58) in Brussels. Now, the Atomium is a museum; the top sphere of which includes a restaurant with a panoramic view of Brussels. You could simply stand outside and take a picture around the molecule (which I did), but if you’d like to go in, there is a fee. Interestingly, access to the attraction is sold alongside with access to the Mini-Europe attraction, which might turn out to be a great combo deal for you:

Atomium + Mini – Europe: € 24,70 (adults) and € 16,60 (<12y) € 21,80 (12-18y) for children.

Tip: a good trip to the museum takes “at least” an hour. If you plan on visiting this museum, consider that in allocating your time available for the different attractions you want to see. Also, the Atomium is about 35 mns from the city center, one way, by metro. With that said, it would take you 1h10 mns to go from and to the city. Take this into consideration when making your plans.

3. Mini-Europe

Mini-Europe is rather an interesting concept. It is a miniature park that displays the landmarks of Europe, as well as cities and the most important buildings in the continent. It is located just above the Atomium, so you can easily tackle both attractions at once.

Tip: you can purchase a combo ticket that gives you access to both the Atomium and Mini-Europe. There is also a restaurant around if you want to grab a quick bite, and a movie theater if you feel like being entertained by the latest releases. Very practical for an afternoon out alone, with a friend, or as a family.

4. Brussels’ Market Place

The market place is located in the city center, and is a hub for all tourists. It’s also one of the most active points on the weekends (daytime), and you can easily access all the remaining attractions listed in this article by walking up, down and around the market place.

Tip: anytime is a good time to go there, and there are usually a lot of tourists early in the morning and in the afternoon! If you want to take a free guided tour, make sure to get there early and join a group that speaks your language!

5. Belgian Fries for Lunch

I have a philosophy: just like you can’t go to France and not have French fries, you can’t go to Belgium and not have Belgian fries. This is simply unacceptable. ^_^

I had my first Belgian fries experience at Belgian Frites. I received a generous and delectable portion for less than 5 euros, and my heart (and mouth) were at peace (you know how I feel about food). I also learned that the difference between French fries and Belgian fries was in the cut!

Tip: this is a sample medium portion, and it was sufficient to keep me full for the afternoon (and I’m a food lover). You can choose to add other sauces and dressings to your serving, at an additional cost. 

6. Belgian Beer Museum

Did you know that the average Belgian drinks about 84 liters of beer per year. Yup.

I never realized that Belgium was so big on beers until I went to the Belgian Beer Museum in Brussels, located in the Market Place. For only 5 euros, you get to learn about the beer making process, different types of beers used for different occasions, history of beer, and on top of that, you get a free beer glass (you can even choose which type you want).

I felt so enlightened to learn about the different types of beers (thirst quenching and degustation beers), to learn that specific beers are served in specific glasses, and to even realize that some beers are made for specific occasions (like Christmas, for instance).

Tip: the museum is pretty small, and if at the end of your visit you want to sit down inside to sip your beer, then I recommend getting there early, perhaps before 10. Otherwise, there’s a 50/50 chance that you won’t get a seat. But if you don’t mind standing up while sipping, then that’s great!

7. A Belgian Waffles’ Treat

Again, back to my philosophy: just like you can’t go to France and not have French crêpes, you also can’t go to Belgium and not have Belgian waffles. This is simply unacceptable. All along the market place, there is a wide variety of sellers. You can get them for as little as 1 euro, and you get to choose your toppings (additional cost).

Tip: I saw some tourists buying humongous waffles (with 4-5 toppings), and I also saw some locals purchasing a plain waffle. So, it all depends on your budget and the experience you want to have.

8. The Manneken Pis

Going to Brussels, I told myself: “If I don’t see anything, I want to see the Atomium and the Manneken Pis”. And as I was kindly led along the Market Place by two tourists sensitive to my plight and supportive of my desire to fulfill the second part of my goal, I finally encountered… The Manneken Pis: he’s a little boy.

A little boy, but an iconic landmark sculpture in Brussels. The scuplture depicts a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin.

Historically, it was the first fountain that played an essential role in the distribution of drinking water in Brussels since the 15th century.  The sculpture also survived the bombing of Brussels in 1695. The Manneken Pis was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618 or 1619.

It is said that Manne (can I just call him Manne – reads “Manu”, I find him so adorable…) has more than 900 suits in his wardrobe, and before each suit is officialized, there is a full ceremony. He is dressed about 130 times per year, and you better believe there is an official calendar that dictates (ahead of time) when he should be dressed. You can find out more about his wardrobe and costumes here. So, next time someone tells you you have too many clothes, just send them the link to this article and let them know that the Manneken Pis, Manne, has more than 900. Case closed.

Tip: Manne is a VIP, and it might be difficult for you to get a nice clean shot with him, when you go there, simply because there are a lot of other tourists. So you have to be pretty strategic! 

9. Tintin Museum (aka Hergé Museum)

If you are a huge fan of cartoons like I am, you’ll love visiting the Tintin Museum. You know, I grew up watching Tintin and Milou’s adventures all my childhood and early teenage years (well, at least til I entered medical school), and I only discovered that Tintin was Belgian when I went to Brussels. Quite an eye-opening trip! If you have a few minutes to spare, stop by, and if not, just pick up some souvenirs!

Tip: there is a small fee that you have to pay to access the museum.

10. MOOF Museum (Museum Of Original Figurines) 

This one is also a must for anyone who is a die-hard (or die-soft) fan of cartoons! This museum features original figurines of cartoons like The Smurfs, Asterix and Obelix, Tintin, and so many more! I was overwhelmed being there, it felt like childhood again. I’d definitely recommend this.

Tip: there is a small fee that you have to pay to access the museum.

One attraction I’d definitely love to see when I go back “someday”: The Musical Instruments Museum:

After everything had been seen, done, eaten and drank, I hopped back on the train to the airport, and guess what: I wasn’t even late for my flight! 🙂

Linking back to Faraway Flies!

Untold Morsels

Go Fund Me Campaigns for Hurricane Maria: Donate or Not ?

Since the Nature Isle, Dominica, was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria, there has been an impressive outpouring of national pride and international solidarity from Dominicans, friends and well-wishers abroad. However, with so much to do to repair the country, preserve life, and sustain the bodies, minds and souls of the hurricane Maria survivors, it’s hard from people abroad to know where to start, because we are so eager to help and do it right. But we know one thing for sure: we always need money, and we will never “not” need it. Especially in disaster emergencies.

If you haven’t seen the extent of the damage that Dominica endured, check out this short snippet of a region in the island 24 hours after the devastating hurricane.

But What do Hurricane Survivors Really Need?

The needs of hurricane survivors can be classified according to each phase of disaster response. There are a) Immediate needs, b) Maintenance needs and c) Long term needs.


Immediate needs include BASIC NECESSITIES TO SURVIVE: food, water, shelter. Food, water. Water. More water. Even more water. Food. Shelter. A lot of it all. You get the point.

Maintenance needs also include immediate needs, but in larger amounts, to ensure sustainability. On top of that, you have other important things like first aid and essential which I am happy to discuss in another post.


Long term needs include infrastructure, rebuilding and of course, emotional health (that money unfortunately cannot buy). I am happy to discuss about these needs in another blog post… For now, let’s get back to… Go Fund Me!

The Truth About Go Fund Me Campaigns

Go Fund Me has become one of the top crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for events and causes that are worthy of every penny. In the past 7 years, the San Diego based company has raised over 3 billion dollars through more than 2 million individual campaigns. And while a lot of people have been able to support their dear cause, pay for overwhelming medical expenses, complete their graduate education and even support disaster relief operations through Go Fund Me funds, there are a few things you need to know about Go Fund Me campaigns before involving your funds.


  • Where Does my Money go? This is the #1 question that I have heard from donors. The majority of the funds that are donated go to the person who created the campaign, and Go Fund Me taxes are deduced from the money raised (see picture). Other crowdfunding sites have policies on taxes and fees as well, such as Crowdfunder or Rockethub (just to name a few).

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 10.11.44 PM

  • How Do I know the Campaign is legit? The truth is, you don’t. While there are truly people out there who are raising funds for the good cause they pledged allegiance to, there are also scammers and people out there to take advantage. Differentiating between campaigns can be tricky, because even the most detailed and organized campaign can be a perfectly written lie (I don’t mean to be pessimist, but this is the digital age). Nonetheless, it might help to see that the campaign is associated with an official account and approved by the host government. For Dominica for instance, Go Fund Me campaigns that have been approved include the campaign by the CDOA Relief Fund, or the campaign by the Dominica American Relief and Development Association (DARDA). There are also other great campaigns organized by individuals such as Doctors in Our Circle Dominica Aid. Note that while popular campaigns seem to be more attractive and easy to see in Go Fund Me search, you still have to make sure that you a) read the description, b) check out the organizing party c) get in touch with them if need be!

What Happens with the Money Donated through Go Fund Me?

This is where we bridge the gap between the needs of hurricane survivors and ways in which Go Fund Me campaigns address those needs. For hurricane Maria survivors in Dominica, the majority of the campaigns that I have encountered aim at purchasing non-perishable items, essentials and water supplies for the survivors on island. This contributed in addressing their immediate and maintenance needs. Clearly, rebuilding infrastructure and ensuring emotional health are processes that would take a lot of time, but they have to start with a first step.


The Final Verdict

When it comes to Go Fund Me, nothing is guarantee. I think at the end of the day, you make a judgement call and you listen to your intuition. If you feel like a campaign is legit, go for it. Donate, help someone. At the end of it all, you know how much Go Fund Me deducts from the campaign, but you might never know how much of the balance is actually used for the intended purpose. Unless you (or a very close friend) are the one running the campaign. So choose: do you want to take the risk of helping someone else, or hold back by fear? The ball is in your court.


Have you ever done a Go Fund Me Campaign? Have you ever donated in Go Fund Me? Let me know what your experience was in the comments section below!


The Medtronic Twin Cities 2017 Marathon: 5 Life Lessons You Learn from Running!

Let’s get one thing straight: “I did not run”.

Now that we have this out of the way…

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is one of the top 10 marathons in the USA. Professional athletes, beginners, runners from all the continents travelled to the twin cities last weekend to take part in this amazingly inspiring event. And though many did it to win the Grand prize and dethrone the reigning champions, Dominic Ondoro (Kenya, 2016 male winner) and Jane Kibii (Kenya, 2016 female winner), there were a wide variety of inspiring reasons why people participated, according to my survey:


  1. It was on my bucket list
  2. I wanted to do something that I was proud of
  3. It would be the greatest challenge of my life yet
  4. I love running

There are a lot more inspirational reasons why people run marathons. For my part, I was among the crowds of happy and enthusiastic cheerers on the sideline, and here are 5 key lessons that I learned, from attending my very first official marathon…


Preparation is Key.

Practice Makes it Perfect. And this goes without saying, especially for a physically demanding event like the Twin cities marathon. Training is crucial for any challenge or undertaking you want to dive into. Whether you’re looking into starting a new job, picking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, whatever it is: it takes time, dedication, patience and training. Secondly…
Forget About the Speed. Focus on Endurance…

Some might argue this for a while, but let’s look at it from a “sustainability” perspective. If you use all your energy, your drive, your resources for the first mile, then you might not have enough left for the remaining 25 miles. That is why it is critical develop endurance. Endurance creates habits, that create consistency. Sometimes in life, it seems like it is better to get somewhere faster than to climb step by step and develop our endurance. But stop and think: the more you develop endurance and consistency, the more the methods you are using turn into habits (repetition) and the faster you become.


… And Resilience.

Wikipedia defines (psychological) resilience as the “ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or highly adverse conditions”. I was dumbstruck to see that people who I did not expect in such a highly demanding physical undertaking were well present and close to the finish line: children (who seemed younger than 10), physically impaired, wheelchair-bound and people with disability. This just goes to say that while society might put a halt or a break on what you can or cannot do based on your a) background, b) social status, c) gender or d) race (or any other parameter), at the end of the day, the only limitations that matter are those you put on yourself.


‘Wonder woman” doing her thing.

And even for physically fit people, resilience is very important. When I spoke to Erin, one of the Twin Cities Marathon finishers, she told me that it was her second marathon and at multiple times, she felt like giving up. She felt like stopping, going back. But she didn’t. She just had to continue., regardless of the fact that she still had a lot of miles to go. And at the end, the feeling of having accomplished that challenge was for her, something “indescribable”.

You’re Never Too Old, and It’s Never Too Late.

I was amazed to see more than one 70+ years old folks running the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon; and even better: close to the finish line! What type of lesson can you learn from that? All kinds of lessons! It goes without saying, those elderly people did not wake up one day and decided to run a marathon the next day. I would assume they had a dream, a desire, a vision and decided to go for it. So you might not be interested in running a marathon “ever”, but don’t be discouraged to chase your dreams because “it’s too late”. There is no such thing. Girl please.


A courageous “Viking’ at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, 2017.

You need friends. No, great friends.

There is no greater feeling than achieving something overwhelmingly challenging and seeing the people who love you the most share that moment with you. When I looked at the faces of the marathon runners who saw their family members cheering for them along the twin cities marathon route, I nearly broke into tears myself. And I could see their sadness and physical pain transform into an emotion of joy and fuel a “I can do it” attitude!


“Nora’s friends” cheering at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, 2017

I saw family members cheering, friends cheering, and even total strangers cheering for all marathon runners! One of the marathon cheerers, who had come to support her friend Nora (first time marathon runner), told me that for these reasons, the twin cities marathon is her favourite time of the year. Doesn’t that show that there is still some goodness out there in the world?


Nora’s friends cheering at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, 2017

So back to the opening statement of this blog post: “I did not run. But I might, someday”.


Me at a Fundraising run in September. Minneapolis.

Have you ever ran a marathon? Do you know someone who did? Share your experience in the comments section below!

5 Key Facts That You Need to Know About Atlantic Hurricanes

With the public outcry, the repeated requests from my readers and the facts that I directly (Hurricane Harvey in Houston) and indirectly (Hurricane Maria in Dominica and Puerto Rico) experienced two atlantic hurricanes during this hurricane season, I felt the need to develop a “hurricane series”.


The purposes of this hurricane series are to 1) raise awareness on the multimodal devastating nature of hurricanes as natural disasters (for those who are still underestimating), 2) to share factual information and pictures of the aftermath of hurricane Maria and to 3) give recommendations on how you can provide hurricane relief in Dominica and why not, other areas affected by hurricanes.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a Hurricane expert, and I will keep informing myself and share what I learn with you. Feel free to share your knowledge on this topic as well in an informative manner. But to start with, here are 5 key facts that everyone needs to know about Hurricanes.


1. Here is the actual definition of a hurricane: a hurricane is a “specific name” for a severe tropical cyclone. According to Wikipedia, a hurricane is “a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain”. In simpler terms, a hurricane is a group of storms that form along a low-pressure center and moved in a circular fashion, and are characterized by heavy strong winds and heavy rains. Depending on where you are, such tropical cyclones are called by different names. However, once a tropical cyclone moves at the sustained wind speed of 74-76 mph (miles per hour), it is considered a hurricane. If a tropical cyclone develops over the Atlantic ocean or northeastern Pacific ocean, it is called a “hurricane”. If it develops over the northwestern Pacific Ocean, it is called a “typhoon”. If it develops over the South Pacific or Indian Ocean, it is called a “cyclone”. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 10.56.46 PM.png

2. Hurricanes are Classified According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale: a lot of people have heard of hurricane categories 1-5, but the more I speak with people, the more I realize they don’t actually know what it means. And it’s Ok, because I used to “not know” as well. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale assesses hurricane severity based on the sustained wind speed, and this in turns helps to assess the likelihood of property damage. In other terms, the higher the “sustained wind speed”, the more deadly and damaging the hurricane is.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 10.40.21 PM

3. For each country and region prone to hurricanes, hurricanes develop during a particular season, and there is a reason for that: hurricanes basically develop over large water surfaces, and are fueled by the evaporation of water. That being said, in the Caribbean, hurricane season usually starts in June (start of summer) and continues until November. That is when the waters get heated the most.

hurricane season

4. Global Warming Potentiates Hurricanes: if you didn’t believe it before, believe it now. Think about it: when the oceans are getting heated up by the sun, three things happen, according to fluid dynamics:

a. Water evaporates, condenses and falls back as rain. And the more water evaporates, the more rain will fall, and the cycle goes on.

b. Water also expands in the ocean and occupies a larger surface, and that just gives more room for more water to evaporate and… the cycle continues.

c. More heat produces more energy to fuel the hurricane: based on the points that were made earlier, this makes sense.


5. Hurricane “Warning” and Hurricane “watch” are issued in islands prone to hurricanes, and these mean different things: do you remember this “74 mph” we spoke about earlier? That is the cut off number that meteorologists use to determine when a cyclone becomes a hurricane. A hurricane watch is issued when you suspect that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) will form in the next 48 hours. So this means “there is a possibility, let’s keep watching but let’s prepare and start taking precautions”.

A hurricane warning is issued when you expect  hurricane conditions develop in the next 36 hours. Therefore, a hurricane warning is issued within 36 hours. This means “it is going to happen, let’s take more aggressive precautions and let’s evacuate”.

watch vs warning

If you learned something in this article, please share. Make sure you subscribe to be notified of my next blog post: “Here is What People Truly die of during Hurricanes”.

Additional resources to keep you informed:

  1. Wikipedia (has almost everything)

Have you ever experienced a hurricane, a tropical cyclone, a tropical depression or a typhoon? Please let us know in the comments below!





“A Whole New World” with Aladdin! (The Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis)

There are a few things that I would go out on a limb for when traveling, and one of them is “attending musicals”. If you read my article on my musical experience in St Louis, Missouri, you’d get to better understand why I love musicals so much and why this is something I don’t mind spending money on.


Minneapolis by Night.

Coming from a country where “performing arts” is not as developed as other areas of the society (and by many, not even considered as an actual profession or career path), I learned appreciate the true value of this type of arts during my experience as an Alto Singer at one of Dominica’s best cultural choirs, the Sixth Form Sisserou Singers. And tonight, just like when I went to watch Les Miserables in Perth, Western Australia, The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Paris, France, Mamma Mia! in St Louis, Missouri; I felt totally immersed in “a whole new world” at the first shownight of the Broadway musical, “Aladdin“.


Maximal Happiness Meter: 100%

Pricetickets prices started at USD 42, but one all taxes and additional fees are added, prices can go up to USD 60-70. In my opinion and experience, this was very affordable for a show of such high quality.

Location: in Minneapolis, Aladdin was staged at the Orpheum Theatre.

What I Loved

❤️The graphics, decor, scenes, background and backdrop were just on point, from start to finish, for every scene and thereafter. I mean, they were able to recreate the “Arabian night” at a new level. The stage was literally “lit. And the “magic carpet scene” was the icing on the cake. I just wanted to join Alanine (Aladdin and Jasmine) up there.


❤️The  costume design was on point, and the costume changes were extremely effective.  I was watching particularly the main characters who had speedy costume changes on stage, but I am still puzzled by how they managed to change Jafar’s gown towards the end in less than 2 seconds. 😗

❤️ The Choreography: this was definitely my favorite part. I appreciated the fact that while the choreographers stuck to the culture, feel and the style that are highlighted in this musical, there was also a great deal of expertise and creativity that were evidenced by an air of modernism and variability in the choreography. The performers used the stage so effectively that it kept me engaged all the time.

(I would have loved to mention the names of everyone who was involved in the production, graphic design, choreography, etc. But as you can imagine, they are too numerous to mention. Nonetheless, I give props and loads of kudos to all the background workers. The show was nothing short of phenomenal.  #ittakesavillage.


Aladdin, the Company

What I did not like: for some reasons, I did not like the songs. There was just something that was not right for me there, except for “A Whole New World” and “A Friend Like Me” that were magnificently staged (I would love to see a behind the scenes clip and find out how they managed to pull off the Magic Carpet). Of all the musicals I have watched, the songs here were my least favorite. But perhaps this is out of personal preference, and your opinion (when you go watch it) might differ.

So if you are in Minneapolis right now (or for the next few weeks), I highly recommend you making time to watch Aladdin, the Musical at the Orpheum Theatre. What is your favorite musical? Comment below!


Magic happens where you see it! #Iammyowngenie

PS: don’t forget to subscribe by clicking the “Follow” button at the right corner, and also connect with me on social media! Facebook: Travel with Clem, Instagram: @travelwithclem.

“Musicals are like a fantastic travel machine: they make you relive past stories, whether true or tales, in a present, today-kind of world”. 

Clementine Affana


Welcome to the Minneapolis Greek Festival!


🌺“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous🌺

I am officially starting a new journey at a new destination, Minneapolis! And there was no better way to start it off than with the Minneapolis Greek Festival!


Perhaps my love for everything Greece is a biased feeling because I am a huge lover of Greek (and also Roman) mythology, but having a taste of Greece before eventually traveling here (one day) was an amazing experience.


The Festival was organized for September 8-10th, and so ran for the entire weekend. This is certainly an event that I would recommend to anyone visiting Minneapolis or if you live there, it’s a family friendly event worth checking out!

The festival featured greek future expressed in the form of traditional dances, music, and of course… food!

I particularly enjoyed the display of greek beverages and delicacies, not only because I am a foodie but also because food and culinary arts are a great part of culture all over the world.


Food was offered using a “ticket” system, and every guest had the opportunity to earn 2 free tickets simply by bringing 3 dry good items for donations.

The Balkava Sundae that I had (on a perfect Sunday too) was a real delight! It was my first time tasting something Greek ever, and I certainly enjoyed it.



I also loved the fact that I got the opportunity to discover the Orthodox church and learn more about its beliefs and teachings during the festival. While appreciating its similarities with the Catholic Church, I also got to discover the few features that make the orthodox church different.

Thinking about the fact that I nearly didn’t go, I feel contented by the fact that I did. ♥️


Moving to a new city can be daunting, but hey – life is the living. I know for sure this taste of Greece revived in me the desire to… go to Greece one day.

Have you ever been to Greece?




Linking back to Two Traveling Texans!

Two Traveling Texans

Take Me to Church! The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

There is something about historical churches that makes your presence there even more meaningful.


The Basilica of Saint Louis is one of the landmarks of Saint Louis. The cathedral is famous for being named after King Louis IX of France, namesake of the city and only King of France to ever be canonized and considered as a saint. Saint Louis was notorious for his religious devotion during his rule. To find out more about his life and the events that led him to be canonized, click here. The rest of us, let’s proceed into the church.


I found it very practical for me to visit the cathedral immediately after mass, which a lot of people do. While visitors are invited to take pictures after the Sunday service, no sightseeing tours are allowed during or immediately after mass.



The Cathedral is also known for its large mosaic installation (which contains 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces in more than 7,000 colors). The mosaic is said to be the “largest mosaic in the Western Hemisphere”. 


Construction of this cathedral began in 1907, and was completed in 1914 (the start of the first world war).

One of the peculiarities of the mosaics inside the cathedral is the fact that they were designed by different architects and they also have different meanings. For instance, the narthex of the church illustrates key moments in the life of King Louis IX of France. The rear dome includes mosaics of significant archdiocesan events, while the main dome by represents selected Biblical scenes from both the Old and the New Testaments.


Mosaic from the Narthex: Saint Louis returns to Paris with the Crown of Thorns.


Enter Mosaic from the Narthex: Saint Louis founds the Sorbonne.


Mosaic from the Narthex: Saint Louis ruling his subjects.

There are sections in the church that are reserved for special prayers and in which no pictures are allowed.  The Blessed Sacrament is one of them.



Here are some other great shots of the Basilica of Saint Louis.


If you’re interested in going there for Sunday service, this information will certainly be useful.



In a way, the cathedral was designed to reflect and illustrate St Louis’ love for architecture and art.


I loved this building. And I think anyone visiting St Louis should take some time to stop by.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
― Henry Miller

1,2,3… Mamma Mia! (The Fox Theater, St Louis)


Mamma Mia! Here we go. The E-ticket.

Nothing can potentially explain how I feel about musicals.

They are one of the highest mode of expression of performing arts perhaps, in my opinion, and something that always brings me to a higher level of appreciation for art, creativity, music, and everything else that makes humans nothing short of amazing.


Me at the Fox Theater, after having made everyone “go away” so I could take this perfect picture!

From the first time I went to watch Les Miserables in Sydney, Australia, I became a sucker for musicals. To see humans like you and I reproduce the sceneries from previous times, recreate in us the emotions that govern and directed success stories of before in visual arts, music and literature; to see them bring back the characters that we know from childhood tales or literature books back to life in today’s modernistic and contemporary world, and to make us, the audience, in turn, travel back in time and experience the very same emotions; is something that is far more than impressive. The word for this, I can’t describe.


An ultimate moment to capture during intermission. Musical Program and of course, Personalized ice-cream. Compliments, the Theater.

I went to watch Mamma Mia! on tour, when the broadway musical was showing at the Fox Theater in St Louis, Missouri. The romantic comedy was inspired from the songs of the well-known Swedish group, ABBA (of which I only knew one track by heart: “Dancing Queen” and “Chiquitita”; I recalled the later from childhood memories). This was the final year of the smash broadway musical being on tour, after 18 years on the road. I was definitely one of the lucky ones (amidst all the other spectators who made the full house that night) to see this.

The plot narrates the story of a bride-to-be, Sophie sheridan, who secretly invited her three of her mother’s ex-conquests in her quest to find her real father. And for a story that I knew nothing of prior, I enjoyed the musical until the last song.


Musicals are one of my “must-dos” whenever I travel and whenever I get the chance. Do you like musicals? What are your favorites? Drop a comment below!

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“To travel is to live.”

Hans Christian Andersen


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