#Explaw🐾-ing Málaga

In my element
In my element

The UK has recently had incredible weather – I definitely have tanned some more (my Fitbit tan line is proof! 😝) It’s almost been as nice as when Matt and I went to Málaga a few weeks ago. Although the trip had unexpected bumps, we still made the most out of it!

Our trip in 5 minutes

I’m pretty proud of the video I created that showcases bits of our trip, it contains clips both from both Matt’s Canon G7X Mark II camera and GoPro Session 5.

It was fun playing around with the GoPro with our different amounts (chest and head straps were our favourites!) – we ended up getting some pretty cool shots that we couldn’t have had without it. I’m excited to play around with it some more for future trips! The original clips from the GoPro weren’t as vibrant as we were expecting, so I edited the saturation in the video. I’m sure there’s a setting or something to make the video more vibrant but we didn’t get a chance to explore this – if you know (plus any tricks!) let me know 🤗

Quick reality check

Although the video shows us having an awesome time (don’t get us wrong, we did! It was definitely time needed), it doesn’t show how we ran into so much bad luck along the way.

This really honed into me that what you see on social media is definitely not an accurate representation of real life. During my trip, I received so many comments about how everything is perfect on my trip and how happy I must be 24/7 but behind all the beautiful ‘gram shots and 15-second videos, were a lot of struggle! We must be more mindful of this – it’s so easy to fall into the trap of judging someone’s life based solely on their Instagram posts and stories. I got real and highlighted this – there’s a lot more to real life than those little colourful squares.

It all started with a silly mistake…


We woke on our first full day hungry – we hadn’t eaten anything since the airport the night before. So, eager to fill up we went to a supermarket to fill up the fridge in the apartment we stayed at. In addition to food, we bought some sunscreen for our beach adventures after eating. We paid and made our way back to the apartment and excitedly got ready to head out to the beach. All is well and good, we spend most of our first day under sun, tanning and playing around in the sea.

After a few hours, we got back to the apartment where the light wasn’t so blinding and quickly found out that Matt was burnt. Very very very badly – he couldn’t let ANYTHING touch his skin otherwise it was greeted with a hell lotta pain. We then quickly realised that the sunscreen we bought was suntan lotion… not sunscreen…


The beach early in the morning
The beach early in the morning

From this one silly mistake, it all went downhill from here…

  • 💤 We didn’t sleep well because it was difficult for him to lay down on his back, so we were up most nights trying to figure out how to sleep sitting up (verdict: impossible 😂)
  • 😴 We didn’t sleep much ANYWAY because with the aircon it was too cold, without it it was too hot. 😆
  • 🍽 When we ate at an Italian place (which charged us $6 for water!!!!), Matt quickly lost his appetite.
  • 🤢 And then when we returned to the apartment that day, he was sick.
  • 🏥 He was so sick that we rushed to the hospital on an Uber up the hills of Benalmadena…
  • 💰 When we got to a hospital, we were told to pay $130 for someone to see him (it ended up being a private hospital) Thankfully, there was a public one around the corner that checked up and treated Matt for free.
  • 👙 At the same time this was all happening, my bikini bottoms broke and was difficult to fix at the hospital so I mostly walked around with half of it falling down my shorts…
  • 🚽 THEN I spent time in the waiting room looking around for the toilet. When I finally found one, I walked in on somebody who yelled, “LOCK IS BROKEN GET OUT!!!!” At this point, I was not only tired, hungry, anxious and stressed but also was drowning in my own embarrassment.
  • ✨ Once we left the hospital that night, we got back and Matt was feeling okay again. They made sure he was hydrated (we think he had some sort of a sunstroke / was severely dehydrated and burnt) So we got to sleep that night, happy and relieved.
  •  ❤ Until the next morning, where he continued to feel unwell. So we mostly stayed inside to try and let the sickness pass and making sure that he was eating and drinking well. I went out to do little trips to supermarkets and chemists for meds but other than that, it was just waiting for him to recover.
  • ☀ A few days after that when he was feeling strong enough to go out, we spent the day exploring and chilling by the beach (this time with a little beach umbrella for extra protection and of course, sunscreen (different types at this point 😂)) When we got back after this day, we found Matt covered in sun blisters. Terrified of all of the things that happened up to this point, we decided to stay indoors for the rest of the day to make sure he was fully hydrated and well.
  • 🙌🏼 THANKFULLY, the blisters didn’t get any worse so the next day (the final full day 😅) we spent time eating paella, exploring the Marina, walking around the area and of course, swimming in the sea!
  • 🏖 When we were at the beach, Matt and I started planning some cute couple shots with a selfie stick. For some reason, the camera wasn’t attached to the stick securely and fell off, landing in the sand.
  • 📸 AND YES, YOU GUESSED IT, THE CAMERA BROKE. 🙃 After a few attempts of trying to fix it (probably making it worse at this point), I semi-fixed it by removing sand I could see on the lens. Eventually, it could shut down and switch on fine again but still has sand inside (which we will get fixed soon!) It works but is broken, if that makes any sense. 
The Marina
The Marina

But you know what? Despite this, we…

  • 📸 Still took incredible shots on our multiple cameras and tech to document such a truly beautiful place (anything by the sea is beautiful!)
  • 🇪🇸 Had some awesome food – did someone say Paella? I ordered Paella that was for two people – the waiter was shocked. DON’T BE YA GIRL IS BIG I GOTTA FEED MYSELF OK.
  • 🍦 Ate at the best ice cream place in ALL of Spain
  • 🐠 Explored one of the best Marinas!
  • 🌊 Had fun on the beach and sea!! The water was cold but you eventually get used to it!
  • 🏠 Stayed in a really cosy apartment quite cheaply
  • ✈ Had the opportunity to explore a new place outside Sheffield!
  • 👫 Spent time together and supported each other no matter the circumstance – through sickness, through arguments and disagreements. ❤

Málaga in photos

Sometimes the most unexpected things that happen, make the best stories. Have you had a trip gone wrong before?

16 responses to “#Explaw🐾-ing Málaga”

  1. GIRL. Besides the beautiful photos and the extreme adventures, I’m still glad your trip was eventful! I’ve only ever gotten one horrible sunburn in my entire life (Lake Tahoe, 2012) and honestly, the only thing that really helped was lidocaine spray and aloe vera lotion.

    I’m glad to hear that Matt is doing so much better though. Sleeping with a sunburn is horrible! Tell him to continue staying hydrated cause if he got blisters, almost sounds like he suffered a first-degree burn! 🙁

    I love your attitude about this trip, Pawlean! Keep looking at the positives, not the negatives. Also, love love love that photo of you with the red skirt! #goals

    1. Yeah we later realised that he did suffer a first-degree burn, it wasn’t pretty! I’ve never experienced it before myself but just watching Matt completely go from being healthy and happy to in awful pain all day was horrible 😢 I treated him with aloe vera lotion and oil – which did help a lot!

      Thanks so much for the pawsitivity, Eena! It wasn’t how we imagined the trip to be but it taught us a hell lot of lessons! ✨

  2. Girl I ALWAYS relate so much with your posts and this one was SO REAL. It’s so funny how social media makes everything seem perfect and dreamy when in reality, right before we took that pic with the colosseum, we were dying in the heat, lugging our backpacking bags around, hopelessly lost, and near tears. Another Italy disaster was when we were on the way to Manarola and got on the WRONG train, then dashed off, completely lost (again), and Ben trying to calm a hysterical me down in McDonalds while we tried to figure out where we were. BUT, Italy was still the best trip of our life, in spite of these (and MANY more) mishaps.
    So sad for Matt that he had to go through that. There is no pain like a severe sunburn, and the sickness will seriously crep up on you. We’re glad he began to feel a little better, and you guys still enjoyed your trip!
    Also – why don’t people share more of their mishap stories?! Those are the ones that make me feel less like a derp when I travel!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    1. YOU ARE SO RIGHT. We do need to be more vocal about these stories because in the midst of our beautiful photos for Instagram, they are forgotten and hidden when they were part of the story and our reality. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Aaaah. That would have been awful to have been burnt so badly. The bad thing is often the placement of items and the packaging. Some of them can look so similar and it can be an easy mistake to make.

    Wow. There was a lot of struggles to get through, but in the end, you had each other and you were still able to find the positives and have a good time. What you mentioned at the start, about how we perceive others through their feeds, is such a great reminder that life is not always perfect and I guess those poop things allow us to see the good bits.

    1. We need to share the bad things too – only showing the good things can give a false sense of reality!

      He’s a lot better now, thanks Kassy! 🤗 I hope that you’re well.

  4. Not all trips begin spic and span. My cousin and her family did when they had a 2-week trip to Japan last December. AirBNB issues and Japanese addresses are complicated as heck because they have block numbers in them LOL. They should’ve brought me along with them. Anyway. 😀

    But either way, you guys made the trip an enjoyable one, more or less memorable too. I think among the trips I’ve had the worse scenarios, even up to now, was my trip to New York (I think I’ve told you this before ages ago LOL), mainly for the humidity and some rude locals. Yeah. ^^

    Hope Matt is doing better (even though I’m probably late with the comments haha). Sunburns in all different shapes and sizes are never a good thing. I’ve been carrying a small tube of sunscreen wherever I go now, even if it’s work, and I’ve also added (light) sunscreen as part of my morning skincare routine too, just so I can protect myself from the sun. Hope this helps. ^^

    1. He’s doing so much better now, thanks Adrianne! He’s still peeling but that’s so much better than the pain he had before. Thanks for the advice! It’s made me want to take better care of my own skincare routine as well.

  5. Málaga has such sweet vibes 😀 We never been there but after reading and seeing this we will considere it for our bucket list!
    Sending all the good vibes,

    Patricia & Miguel

    1. Thanks both! You should definitley try and make a trip out of it!

  6. Malaga looks so beautiful, and the sand and water there look so nice! That looks like a great place to visit in the summer! I know what you mean about social media not being an accurate representation. Something usually happens during my vacation that isn’t so great, but it’s not something I want to document, so people don’t realize it happens. (Like in my recent Hawaii trip, I actually got stung pretty badly in the water by something.)

    Sorry to hear about what happened to Matt though! Being that badly burnt sounds so painful, and even worse that he felt so sick that he needed a hospital visit. I’m glad it wasn’t anything major and that he was able to recover a little so you guys could go out and explore. And oh no about the broken camera! That is actually one of my fears since I like taking photos so much. You still got great photos though!

    Even after all of that, I’m glad you still had a positive outlook in the end and still managed to have fun!

    1. Thanks Cat! I’m proud that I persisted with the camera, I wasn’t about to let it ruin the rest of the trip haha!

  7. Wow. That’s a lot of things happening in one trip. Truly wouldn’t have guessed looking at your photos. Glad you had fun though. You’ll love back at those moments and laugh. It’ll be one of those stories you’ll tell at parties. 😀

    Joy to the World

    1. I think that’s the thing — people just don’t see or know the behind the scenes so that’s why this was important for me to share! 😊

  8. Oooh! It’s exciting that you got to go to Malaga! Oh, it is SO important to wear sunscreen when you’re going to be spending some serious time in the sun. Hopefully his skin is healing at this point. Oh my goodness, y’all went through some serious adventure there but at least no one got seriously hurt at the end! Or have an outstanding pain.

    Malaga looks gorgeous – glad you enjoyed your time there overall :)!

    1. Thanks Nancy! You’re right – we still had a great time and no one was hurt in any way so thats a positive!!

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