Of Rivers and Oceans: an Ode to the Filipino Boat

I dip my paddle’s curved edge into the still, green water. The banks of the river are bright with thick waxy leaves and colourful pinpricks of budding flowers. I can feel the vegetation radiating tropical heat.  Pulling back on the paddle’s long handle with both hands allows the muscles in my shoulders to take the strain. There’s […]

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The Tiny Latvian Town with Eight Hundred Years of History

At over eight hundred years old, Cesis (pronounced ‘Tsaaysis’) is exactly what you’d expect a medieval Latvian town to look like. The streets are narrow and occasionally cobblestoned; the small squat houses are made from faded wooden panels; the half ruined complex of a 13th century castle and the oldest brewery in the country sit within spitting distance of each […]

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11 Things I Never Expected About the Philippines

When you think of South East Asia, what springs to mind? For me, it’s a backpacker’s mecca –  particularly for those on a budget. Food and accommodation is cheap, the weather’s good, beaches are seemingly everywhere and the traveller trail is so well established that it’s easy to move from place to place. But with so many countries […]

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Sometimes I’m Scared to Travel – But That Doesn’t Stop Me

“Don’t you get scared? Travelling alone?” The girl from Paris spears a piece of pineapple as she looks towards me, across a table groaning with freshly cooked food. Outside, the sounds of Havana’s streets ricochet from one crumbling balcony to another, caught in the billowing folds of hanging laundry. I smile, mentally preparing the phrases […]

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More Than the Big Five: On Safari in South Africa

Our small plane soared over South Africa’s rugged landscape as we flew toward the MalaMala Game Reserve. With the Kruger National Park sprawled out down below, I began to stare into the trees in earnest, on the lookout for a herd of zebras or an elephant stampede. Maybe even the slight evidence of a tussle in the dust to […]

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Sunsets and Sleepovers: Spending a Night in a Scottish Castle

I’ve always been a little obsessed with staying in quirky places. Lighthouses, churches, treehouses, giant hammocks – you name it, I’ll sleep in it. But spending a night sleeping in a castle tops them all. It’s a dream I imagine many people share: being tucked up in the top of a tall tower, listening to the wind howl around the […]

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