Malaysia Revisited – Part I, Airports

Malaysia Revisited - Airports

“Is this your first time in Malaysia?” “No, I actually spent a month travelling around the country when I was 18.” “Awesome, did you have a good time?” [thinks to self] “Now there’s a question, where the hell do I start…” Since setting foot back on Malaysian soil after nearly a decade, I’ve spent my first month fending off friendly curiosity about my previous Asian adventure. Now, a relatively clued-up twenty-something with a husband, a job and a fairly decent understanding of ‘who I am’, I couldn’t be much further away than the teenage girl who set forth on what would prove to be something of a pivotal trip ten years previously. At 18, with a few long years of schooling under my belt and another three years of academic slog stretching ahead of me in the shape of university, I was chomping at the bit to experience “proper travelling” for the first time. So when my boyfriend of the time suggested that I fly out to meet him at the end of his gap-year in an exotic, far-flung location, it seemed like the perfect time to get the stamp in my passport that I was craving. I don’t know what I imagined – I probably had some hazy vision of cocktails on the beach, skinny dipping in the sea and ‘finding myself’ – but I know for sure I didn’t get what I bargained for. In some ways I got so much more, and in others I lost out. I experienced highs that my
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Green-eyed in Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Indonesia

The human eye can see more shades of green than any other colour. This is thanks to our natural history – we’ve evolved against a background of lush fields and forests where the ability to recognise subtle shifts in the hue of our, predominantly green, surroundings could mean the difference between life and death-by-leopard. I picked up this fact when I was younger, pocketed it in the ‘pub-quiz’ compartment of my brain, and promptly forgot all about it. That is until I visited Bali.
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Diving in Saint Lucia, and other topside activities

Recalling my holiday to St Lucia in 2014

Saint Lucia is not a big island – just 27 miles from head to toe to be precise – but with only 2 weeks to enjoy everything it had to offer, it felt plenty big enough to provide all the adventure we could wish for. We set our sights on St Lucia as the perfect holiday destination – sand, sea and adventure and relaxation in equal measures. The lush green landscape is a playground for trekkers and sightseers alike, and the clear warm waters are a diver’s delight.
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The highs and lows of my all-inclusive holiday to Cuba

Remembering my holiday to Guardalavaca, Cuba

“I had dreamt of vintage cars and cigars rolled on the thighs of virgins, of smoky jazz clubs and salsa parties that spilled out onto the cobbled evening streets. Instead I got Happy Hour, aquarobics and an invitation to join a teenage drinking gang.” – The Truth about My All-Inclusive Holiday to Cuba I recently wrote an article for the online travel community Pink Pangea entitled ‘The Truth About My All-Inclusive Holiday to Cuba‘, inspired by a holiday I took in 2009. It was a holiday, of extremes. On the one hand, this was my first proper trip abroad with James – a true test of our relationship, one that we passed with flying colours, which saw us enjoy 14 days of each other’s uninterrupted company on a beautiful, tropical beach. On the other hand, it was a true failure in authentic travel – we saw little to no true Cuban culture, and the pre-booked activities we undertook were soulless and synthetic, designed to make easy money off the easily-pleased tourists that flocked in in their droves. 6 long years later and a lot has changed, not least my attitude towards travel. I no longer dream of brief bursts of sunshine and relaxation; holidays since have focused on the pursuit of more genuine sights and sensations. But whilst it may not have been travel perfection, the revisited series is an exercise of honest reflection for me; I look back on the highs and lows of my definitive holiday to Cuba: The highs
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The time I went to Hawaii & Mexico. Apparently.

Hawaii_Mexico_Revisited

Ah, the hot white sand of Hawaii, the world-class diving in azure waters and the fragrant scent of fresh fish cooking on smoky fires; the majestic wonders of ancient Mexico, the smell of spice carrying on the warm breeze; I close my eyes and I can picture it now. But remember it? Not a chance. That’s because – to my undying exasperation – this beyond fabulous adventure to far-off tropical lands happened before I was walking, talking or forming longterm memories.
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I’m spoiled…

27 countries visited and I haven't even started travelling - apparently

When it comes to seeing the world, I have it pretty good. I live on an island that is perfectly positioned to visit the many and varied delights that Europe has to offer. I’ve also benefited from the luxury of living abroad as a child. Born in Canada, we moved back to England, via Germany, in time for me to start school. Then England, then Germany, the England again. This yo-yoing between countries meant that I not only experienced different cultures first-hand, but that a whole new range of holiday destinations was opened up to us. Hawaii, Mexico and the Rockies before I could walk or talk? You could say I was born to travel.
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Third time’s a charm in Amsterdam

Revisiting Amsterdam, Holland

I’m currently holed up in a basement cafe, hands wrapped around a nice hot tea and shoes steaming on a radiator as I attempt to dry off and warm up. It’s October in Amsterdam, and it’s tipping it down outside. Far from dampening my experience of this city, it’s given me the perfect opportunity to take stock and reflect on my short but sweet third visit.
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