We all know what they mean – just take a look at their Twitter feeds, these travellers, nomads, backpackers, wanderlusters, roamers and adventurers. You’re a tourist. They’re a traveller.
If you had to pick a word to describe the kind of traveller you are, what would it be? Spontaneous, nervous, restless, organised, solitary, inquisitive, confident, relaxed, outgoing, interested, adventurous, accident-prone – or none of these? (If it’s accident-prone – tell me it’s not accident-prone – may I suggest adequate travel insurance.)
This is where you get to take a peek at the first chapter of my new book, Takoradi to the stars (via Huddersfield) – I’m hoping it grabs you and sends you scurrying to Amazon right away, but even if you’re just dropping by for a moment or two, I send you warm wishes from Takoradi and Huddersfield, wherever you are!
Christmas – a time for family festivities and home comforts. Or, if you’re a travel writer – make that a not very well organised travel writer – a time for ending up somewhere a bit odd, that you hadn’t quite planned.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who love the ‘Outlander’ TV series and books. And – no, hang on. Surely there’s only one kind of people in this world?
Here’s why, how, what and where to eat the best tapas in Spain – or my top tips for a tapas tour (and try saying that after a glass or three of vino).
The Irish giant of myth and legend Finn MacCool built stepping stones across to Scotland to avoid getting his feet wet – a thing that all giants hate, or so it’s told.
To get to the lush Cameron Highlands – home of Malaysia’s best-known tea plantations – you go through the old tin-mining town of Ipoh. And to get to Ipoh, you used to have to go through my dad, who was stationed there as a conscripted National Serviceman in the early 1950s.
We’ve got wildlife in the UK, though it’s more at the deer-and-badger end of the spectrum than lions and tigers and bears (oh my).
Do you always make a beeline for a city’s best-known sights, or do you give them a miss, preferring to seek out the less ordinary, the off-beat, the – oh go on, I’m going to say it – hidden gem?
Here’s a 64,000-euro question – which bar in Dublin serves the best pint of Guinness? Luckily, you don’t have to give me 64,000 big ones – I have selflessly been and gone to Dublin to check out the contenders. You’re welcome!
Hundertwasserhaus doesn’t so much line the street as pour along it, in a sinuous wave of colour that shakes a fist at conservative Vienna and shouts, “Baroque? No chance, this is what people want!”.
Summer is fighting season in Virginia. And if you didn’t know better, you’d swear that the whole Civil War had been fought over the vexed question of facial hair.
“And one more thing”, says Callum, the scuba-dive instructor. “I don’t want to hear anyone calling these flippers and goggles. They’re fins and masks. This isn’t splash time. It’s serious stuff”.
They call it the most beautiful sea voyage in the world, which is some claim. But it’s probably true and it’s probably not where you think.
The inky depths and prevailing currents offshore from Kaikoura, New Zealand, attract a large number of giant sperm whales, making this just about the best place there is in the world to go whale-watching.
How did I end up in a café in Vienna eating the best chocolate cake in the world? The truth is that – like so many of my ‘discoveries’ – it was here all along and I stumbled upon it. I am a shameless Christopher Columbus in this respect.
Most travel bloggers travel because stuff is ‘awesome’, because they don’t want a 9 to 5, because social media makes it possible. But why do they really travel? Why does anyone?
I was at King’s Cross Station recently. That’s a long line for a train, I thought, until I spotted that I was waiting next to Platform 9 ¾ …
My friend, Glynis Charlton, a very talented creative writer, has found a fabulous place in Umbria for her writing workshops – and to find it, you just turn right at Tuscany.
Of all the cities in Malaysia, it’s Melaka (Malacca) on the west coast that has my heart. It’s an on-foot, by-bike, by-boat kind of city – definitely my kind of place.
I’ve eaten pizzas all over the world, but sooner or later you have to take a stand. They serve the best pizza in the world in Naples, Italy. They just do.
Ready for a Lake District micro-adventure? Then sit back and enjoy the trip to Skiddaw House – England’s most extraordinary youth hostel.
Kumasi has the largest outdoor market in West Africa. It’s big in the way that towns are big. It’s basically a city in its own right, and you can get lost in a heartbeat.
I have been on a lot of flights to a lot of places. Statistically, I suppose, not everything is going to go to plan all the time, but even so I have always got there and back in one piece. Still, I could have done without these announcements from the cockpit.
The buildings, the streets, the walls – the very physical essence of Pompeii – you expect. But the art? This – for me – was an intoxicating surprise.
I took my first trip to Australia in 1998. That’s so last century. No smart phone, no digital camera, just a point-and-shoot compact. Put the photos in an album and never really looked at them again. Until now.
I like the bars and restaurants of Glasgow’s West End – but I love the Botanical Gardens, a little slice of Scottish tropicana since 1842.