“Just don’t smile,” Che advised me. Suddenly everything made sense, I wasn’t experiencing hell in paradise. I didn’t realise that a natural reaction to discovering the wonders of the submarinal world was the root of all my problems. After all, I had only learnt to swim properly and overcome my fear of deep water three months earlier!
I had been advised to learn how to scuba dive by my friend’s husband when I mentioned I was heading to Borneo. I signed up for a course with Scuba Junkies, who were based out of Semporna, a tiny village on the south of the Malaysian side of the island. They had just opened a hostel opposite their shop, with a bar that served pizzas to the guests, all of which were on pilgrimage to explore one of the dive world’s meccas. Sipadan is a coral reef island, formed on top of an extinct volcano and is teeming with marine life. There were some serious professionals around, including Scandinavian ice divers and specialist deep sea macro photographers. In comparison I was completely out of my depth.
Travelling to a new area of the world can be a life changing point for many people. At last, you’ll be able to experience everything there is to offer – and learn that it’s not so scary after all. Africa… Continue Reading →
Cape Town and the neighbouring areas offer visitors an activity packed and fun-filled vacation. Sitting at the very bottom of Africa, it’s a multi-cultural city that has shaken off discrimination and evolved into a destination for diversity and acceptance. It… Continue Reading →
Travelling for the first time can be really scary. Everything is new and different, literally taking you out of your comfort zone! It’s a great opportunity to embrace new experiences and develop life skills but it can also be very daunting. However this can also present certain hazards and safety issues that you need to be aware of. So before heading off it is a good idea is to follow this guide to being prepared for your first trip.
Tanzania is full of incredible places. Destinations that are so diverse, it’s impossible to say that one place or another is the ‘best’. Yet, sometimes when travelling to Tanzania, you come across a magical destination. A place that speaks to your soul and rejuvenates your spirit.
Voluntourism is when someone, usually from a developed country or privileged background, spends time on a project, typically for a charity or non-governmental organisation, in a developed country. It is often part of a vacation or gap year and mostly lasts for only a few weeks. In recent years this practice has become a multi-billion dollar industry, with travel companies marketing package holiday style experiences to young travellers. However careful thought should be given to engaging in voluntourism and the organisations involved in offering these trips.
Beezie was one tough lady. She lived in sweet isolation on Cottage Island, a former leper colony, in the middle of a lake near the town of Sligo, Ireland. She rowed herself ashore to swap her potent home brew for produce at the market right up until she passed away. There was a joke that the fish stall would be empty the next day; the trawlers would not set sail as the fishermen would all be suffering a dreadful hangover. As we gently paddled past her former home I admired her tenacity and grew envious of her tranquil residence.
Managing your money whilst you are travelling can be quite tricky. How much cash should you take? Where do you keep it? What do you do if it gets stolen? Here’s a guide to some strategies you may want to use to help reduce any money worries whilst exploring the world.
If you have ever wondered how a penny managed to find its way into an impossibly small bottle then the answer lies in the city of Sunderland.
Sunderland’s association with glass goes all the way back to the times of the medieval monk Benedict Biscop, who introduced glass to Britain when he hired French glaziers to put windows into his nearby newly built priory in 674 AD. Then in the 18th century the glassmaking industry boomed on the shores of the river Wear as the great shipping links brought in a large amount of good quality sand from the Baltics plus there was abundant cheap local coal. It was even the British centre of revolutionary bakeware Pyrex for over eighty years. The National Glass centre in Sunderland is not only a celebration of the area’s importance in the history of making glass but also provides a learning zone and a creative hub for artists that love to use glass.
You’ve been bitten by the bug, swept up into wanderlust and become an avid traveller. You’ve worked hard, saved up and made extra spending money to be able to indulge in your hobby. You try and get away as often as you can as a budget traveller or love to live in luxury on one big vacation. Maybe your are the kind of traveller that spends time researching and planning your trips, or enjoys the excitement and mysteries of last minute getaways. When you travel, you explore new places, learn historical facts, enjoy new foods, meet wonderful local people, take part in exhilarating activities, discover alternative viewpoints, admire beautiful vistas, engage with nature and return a wiser person. You love to share your experiences in real life and online with your friends, family and colleagues.
And then you get travel shamed.