Saturday, 28 October 2017

5 small island escapes in south-east Asia

With a lifetime of adventure, south-east Asia is way up on my recommendations list. At this time of year as we start preparing to scrape ice off our windscreens before work, it's the palm fringed islands that I would suggest if you are planning an escape.

Throughout south-east Asia many islands are becoming so popular they are falling foul of over development and this sadly applies to some of the smaller, lesser known islands too.

Backpackers can still find budget accommodation, but more and more islands are becoming less and less affordable, unless you are looking a little more towards the top end and often all inclusive options.

When planning an island visit I recommend you consider some of my favourites, before they become over developed and unrecognisable.

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.

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.