Summer Favorites

Drone footage from a beautiful beach on a summer day

Summer has gone… but our favorites are in this post to keep for eternity! We had a really wonderful time exploring the Balkans and our own country, you can read the full story here. If you want to know our best-loved items and activities read this post, it’s our complete roundup of Summer favorites! We’re sure you’ll find something to try out yourself, either next season or next Summer.

Aerial view from Alvao Natural Park in green and pink summer hues

DJI Spark

In the last couple of months we have been falling more and more in love with drone footage. It’s amazing how a different angle can completely change your perspective of a certain place! When the DJI Spark finally came out in Portugal we could not hold our wallets and just went for it. We opted for the Spark (aka Sparky!) because we are absolute beginners in the field and also due to its small size, which is perfect for us as we never pay extra for hold luggage. We have to admit that it has been challenging to understand the laws regarding drone usage here in Portugal – we are doing our best to comply (which means we barely used it!), but information is sparse and even contradictory sometimes.

Printed Digital Album showing a picture from our time in Montenegro

Digital Album

We love photography – so much so we still use film cameras, and also got an instant back for our Diana F+. Unfortunately we were out of film (and luggage space) when we went to the Balkans and ended up only taking digital photos. We knew we would have to print them, and jumped to the opportunity to create our (first) digital album with Saal Digital. The service is very fast and intuitive and the quality is great! We can’t stop going through these pages and wishing we could go back. It’s also a great way to show some of our memories to our friends and family in a more traditional manner. Photographs really are some of the best memory holders and ultimately a big part of our trips: we love to photograph and are really trying to improve!

One of our favorite activities is sipping cocktails in one of the many rooftop bars in Lisbon

Cocktails & Rooftops

We know, we know… who doesn’t like cocktails and nice views? This isn’t at all an original favorite nor something that will blow your mind away, but hey, it does feel good to sip on a cocktail while taking in the summer heat with a wonderful view. All of these things have been around for a while but it was only last season that we started actively making this a tradition to be cherished. It’s unfortunate that in most rooftops in Lisbon a cocktail costs more than a meal, but we still feel the euros were well spent.

There is a new rooftop opening every day in Lisbon (that is a rough estimate, but probably not too far from the truth), serving as a great excuse to explore. Do let us warn you that there are some very disappointing cocktails in some menus and you’ll leave with a bad (literally) taste in your mouth thinking of all the things you could’ve done with the money. To help you make the right choices, we’ll be coming up with a more specific list of our favorites soon, so stay tuned!

Watching a Youtube vlog from Brendan Van Son on my phone
Set up to watch Netflix offline on our iPad during our travels

Vlogs on Youtube

YouTube has been around for a while but never has there been a time with so much wonderful content in it. There is also this relatively new trend of (almost) daily vlogging that we find really interesting – a visual diary mixed with a bit of a reality TV show where you can actually follow the steps of those you are watching (in a non-scary way). I (Maria) haven’t missed a vlog from Brendan van Son in months: he is a travel photographer sharing tips from every corner of the planet (just a few examples of what you can see from these last few months: Kyrgyzstan, Norway, United Kingdom, Canada) and Rui spent the summer catching up on Casey Neistat’s best vlogs: he is a filmmaker living in New York, and basically YouTube royalty who needs no introduction (that crazy guy that wanders around the city in his boosted skateboard).

Netflix Offline

Yes, we know this service came out awhile back, but we only started using it this Summer and it was kind of a life safer! On our way back from the Balkans we had three flights (everything to make a budget trip possible!): Sarajevo – Brussels – Toulouse – Lisbon. Due to some transport misunderstandings in Sarajevo we arrived 3 hours early to our flight… which ended up being almost 3 hours late. We only had 15 minutes to access the internet, after which we were very thankful Rui had downloaded the entire season of “13 Reason Why” to our iPad through Netflix. The next day we had a long layover in Toulouse, during which we planned to see the city but our plans were literally washed over by all the rain and we opted to stay in with our duty free Pringles for another Netflix marathon at the airport.


Nos Alive

We love live music, but have not been to as many concerts as we would’ve liked the last couple of years. However, and as Portugal has a very active music festival scene in the Summer, we make sure to go to at least one day to lay back and enjoy some of our favorite bands! Music is a key element to our daily lives and listening to it live makes it so much more magical and personal. It’s also a great chance to meet with friends, as music festivals are becoming increasingly popular. This year we went to Nos Alive together for the first time and we had a really fun night listening to Alt-J, Phoenix, The xx and The Weeknd.  We created a Spotify playlist with some of our favorite songs from these bands.

Salomon Cobaki Hiking Shoes are one of our favorites due to their comfort

Salomon Cokabi

(Maria only) No, this is not a variety of sushi, but rather some really nice hiking shoes. I’ve been trying to invest in good quality items that will not only last, but also make me more comfortable along the way. I love hiking, but hate doing it with the wrong shoes as I do have a natural tendency to easily slip and fall. It did take me a couple of hours in the store (sorry, Rui!) to decide which hiking shoes to bring home, but I’m glad I chose the Salomon Cokabi as they were a great fit for all the walking we did this Summer, especially while hiking in the Balkans.

They were not as budget-friendly or fashionable as I wished, but they serve their purpose very well – they are the perfect mix between sturdy and light and flexible, and still look new! Now I really need to invest on a good waterproof pair – do you have any recommendations?

We would love to know some of your favorites from the Summer as well, so don’t be shy and share them in the comments below!


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