• Steak, sunsets and the magic of Montevideo

    Montevideo was my introduction to South America and, to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about it. I knew very little about Uruguay and I’d read a few things about Montevideo, the capital, that concerned me. In particular, the Ciudad Vieja area, where I was staying, was meant to be pretty sketchy on weekends and after dark. And on a more practical note, accommodation in Uruguay was relatively expensive and I risked blowing through my budget early in my trip. Returning home so soon with my tail between my legs wasn’t an appealing thought. At this point you may be asking why I was even travelling to Uruguay in…

  • Train travel in Ukraine: What you need to know

    I don’t know about you guys but I love travelling overland, especially by train. Give me a window seat, snacks and a good book and I’m a happy camper. Sadly, the train system in the UK is prohibitively expensive and, for the most part, rubbish. So when I had to make the train journey from Kiev to Lviv in Ukraine, I was probably a little more excited than the average person. What’s more, the journey was 7 hours long meaning I had the perfect excuse to do nothing but daydream and read for pretty much an entire day. Getting around a foreign country by public transport is something I’m very…

  • Why you need to visit Pondicherry

    Delhi. Rajasthan. Kerala. Goa. It’s a safe assumption that pretty much all of these places are on the “must see” list of most visitors to India. And rightly so because they’re all incredible in their own unique ways. I’ve been to India twice, spending just over three weeks there on my most recent visit, and I’ve still only seen a fraction of what this vast and wonderful country has to offer. So I completely understand why first (and second) time visitors gravitate towards the big names, the places they’ve already heard of. But I want to tell you about another part of India that you might not have considered visiting…

  • Dreams of exploration in Punta Arenas

    Stepping off the bus at Punta Arenas and into the frozen Chilean dusk, my first impression of the super skinny South American country was “wow, it’s a bit chilly in Chile”. Sorry… But when you’re almost as far south as it’s possible to go before you reach Antarctica, in a country that juts out into the stormy Drake Passage, you would expect the weather to be a little on the cold side. I ended up in Punta Arenas kind of by mistake thanks to a misunderstanding around bus schedules. However, I did half expect to be staying here at some point during my journey through South America – partly because…

  • How to spend one week in Ukraine

    What do you imagine when you think of Ukraine? The endless fields of wheat that earned it the nickname “bread basket of the Soviet Union”? Little old ladies wearing headscarves? Or perhaps your thoughts immediately turn to darker issues. A war zone? A nuclear disaster? Donald Trump’s latest scandal? Until you actually visit a country, you’re only getting half the story. Ukraine may not seem like an obvious holiday destination but then I’m not an obvious holiday destination sort of person. However, it is safe to visit (the war with Russia is only affecting areas on the eastern border), it’s beautiful, offers great value for money and the people are…

  • Teaching English in Laos with Big Brother Mouse

      Before I went travelling, if I had to think of a really random situation to find myself in, teaching English in Laos would be a strong contender. I didn’t know much about Laos and I had absolutely no desire to teach anything to anyone ever. Yet travel changes you and I arrived in the UNESCO-listed town of Luang Prabang, in northern Laos, a different person to the one who left London several months earlier. I immediately fell in love with Luang Prabang and its sleepy old town, sandwiched between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. I spent days wandering through streets lined with palm trees, past Buddhist temples and…

  • What to do in Sri Lanka: A two week itinerary

    Let’s be real. Two weeks isn’t long enough to experience all of Sri Lanka. However, it’s certainly possible to cover a fair bit of ground in this amount of time. This itinerary means you’ll get to experience tea plantations, beaches and even a safari – making your two week trip feel like a lot longer. Isn’t that what we all want from our holidays? Days 1 – 3: Negombo Here’s a not very interesting fact: Colombo airport isn’t actually in Colombo. It’s in the town of Negombo, just to the north. It’s worth knowing this not very interesting fact because Negombo is actually a much better place to stay than…

  • Yala National Park: Is it any good?

      Sri Lanka is justifiably famous for its wildlife and one of the best ways to spend a few days while in the country is to go on safari. There are three national parks to choose from – Yala, Udawalawe and Wilpattu with Yala being the most popular thanks to its leopard population and its location in the more visited south of the country. But does popular equal good? Not necessarily… I visited Yala as part of a wider trip throughout the south of Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is in the far north so it wasn’t practical to visit on this occasion. Udawalawe is the place to go to observe elephants…

  • Travelling to Ushuaia: the bus to the end of the world

      When I was planning my trip to South America, I had grand ambitions of travelling overland from Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of the continent, all the way up to Canada. After bimbling aimlessly around Asia, I wanted to undertake a grand expedition with a clear goal. However, heading straight to Ushuaia – right at the bottom of Argentina – from the UK is a lengthy and expensive journey. So my “expedition” actually started in Uruguay and I worked my way down the east of South America, journeying back north on the other side. My goal was to travel 100% overland. I wanted to really see as…

  • Five great things to do in Melaka

      There are a few places in the world whose name alone conjures images of adventure – steamy, tropical weather; intriguing spice-laden food; dimly-lit shops filled with strange and unrecognisable items. Melaka (or Malacca), in the south-west of the Malay peninsula, is one of those places. Coveted by the Chinese, the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British, this former trading hub became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Despite this it’s often eclipsed by its glitzier neighbours, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Here are five reasons why Melaka should be on your travel to-do list: Soak up the history Melaka was once one of Asia’s greatest trading hubs and it…