Sunday, 15 October 2017

Digital detox: and living in noble silence #Vipassana

It was just over ten years ago that I took my first big trip overseas. Back then, although I carried a mobile phone for emergencies, my only line of communication was the short spurts spent in internet cafes. I carried a journal and a guidebook, wrote postcards and looked up from behind my camera.



That was another world compared to where we are today, with numerous devices that translate, navigate, update, recommend and basically keep you permanently connected to everything and everyone.

I'm still a strong believer that a holiday means a digital detox, but even I struggle to achieve a full detox most of the time, as my tablet (despite being offline) is permanently with me for navigation, reference and the odd email. Then there's the blogging ;) doh!

Taking a true digital detox is becoming more common as people start to feel the need to escape. 

My personal experience of a more spiritual digital detox, and 10 days living in noble silence, with Vipassana, was something quite unique.

Blogger Tricks

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Impressions of Albania

I knew very little about Albania until my visit in September. My knowledge was limited to a bunch of preconceptions built from sporadic research each time this destination made it back into my to do next list. Finally I was going to visit.


Not yet part of the EU, one of the biggest exporters of cannabis in Europe and yet one of the poorest countries in the region. Albania was closed and ruled by a dictator for many years, and of course I didn't even know his name before I got there.


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Must try Moroccan meals

The food in Morocco is as diverse as it's culture. With the Berber, Arabic, French and Spanish influence, wherever you travel around Morocco you can find a variety of local specialities and of course numerous versions of the originally North African Berber dish, tagine.



So where to start on the menu?

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Death railway: options for your visit to the Bridge on the River Kwai

If you are planning a visit to Kanchanaburi, Thailand for the Death Railway and the famous Bridge on the River Kwai, there's a few things to consider to make the most of your visit. 


Here's a quick summary and some useful links to help with the minefield of information.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Step out of your comfort zone

We all need a bit of get up an go to get started on planning for the new year, so whilst considering plans for my travels in 2017 I took some time to reminisce over some of my past experiences.

Here are some of the 'out of my comfort zone' moments from my travels ...



Saturday, 24 December 2016

Tips for Myanmar travellers

This under-the-radar destination seems almost unvisited compared to its neighbours Thailand, China and India.


As a first time traveller in Asia, Myanmar is probably not a good destination to start with, but don't let that put you off. If you are prepared with the basics, you'll be experiencing what Thailand probably was 20 years ago, and it's surprisingly easier to travel there than you would expect.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas market countdown

With the last few days of the Christmas period fast approaching, what better than to visit the Christmas markets for those last minute gifts, where you can relax with a glass of something warm.



The best Christmas markets in my opinion are by far the German ones. However, if you can't quite stretch to a trip to Cologne or Nuremberg, there are more and more markets scattered around the globe, and maybe just close enough to stop by in the coming days...

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Toilet tips for travellers #worldtoiletday

Today is World Toilet Day (yes really!), as designated by the United Nations General Assembly, in 2013. Originally established in 2001, the campaign was created to highlight the sanitation issues experienced in many parts of the globe. Read more information at the official website here.


To mark the occasion I thought it time to share my top toilet tips for travellers. Prepare yourself... there's no holding back on the graphic details today!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Surprising observations from Myanmar

Myanmar (formerly the British colony of Burma) has been on my shortlist for quite some time. Mostly, because I was curious to see for myself a country which had been unofficially closed up from the outside world, for decades; due to its military regime.

Sunset over Bagan

The extent of recent changes was way beyond what I had anticipated, and sadly a little disappointing. Untouched and less visited it is no longer, plan a visit as soon as you can.

In as recently as 2011, changes introduced by the military leaders, including the release of 6,000 political prisoners, have quickly extended to other reforms. This time last year the country elected the first civilian-led government in more than 50 years, and in May this year the US eased many sanctions allowing for investment opportunities.

Further changes are expected to occur fairly rapidly. Guide books continue to be out of date soon after print and so blog posts such as this are the best place to find out up-to-date info before you travel there.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Travelling to Thailand: October 2016

Just a week ago, the sad news was announced, of the death of the King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. At 88, and holding the record for the world's longest reigning monarch, Thailand's population and a good portion of the rest of the world is in mourning.


Streets are congested with tuk tuks, food sellers are scattered along the pavements and old ladies are selling their frog souvenirs. But Bangkok is very different to normal, with increased visitors from the provinces heading there to pay their respects.