• Asia

    Review: Day Trip to the Great Wall of China

    Upon booking our flights to New Zealand was agreed on a 10-hour layover in China. The flights were so cheap with the layover and thought we would hang around in the airport, especially as Beijing is one of the largest terminals in an airport. It wasn’t until I was having a chat with my Mum about her previous layover in Singapore where they have a little bus shuttle from the airport that I started to investigate what our options were. Beijing Layover Tour I stumbled across the 24/144 hour visa-free transit pass, meaning that you can apply at the airport to leave the terminal. A tour company called Beijing Layover…

  • Oceania

    Getting Lost in the Rotorua Redwoods

    Rotorua in the central North Island of New Zealand is infamous for its geothermal activity, with the lingering notes of sulphur in the air and its Maori heritage. What maybe isn’t as well known, is the Whakarewarewa or Redwoods Forest alongside the south of Lake Rotorua. An interesting experiment… During the early 20th century, foresters in the area were intrigued as to what northern hemisphere trees would grow in this part of the world, and planted over 170 species as part of an experiment. New Zealand trees tend to grow quite slowly and with an increase in settlers, wood was needed for building shelters and homes. With demand high, a…

  • Oceania

    Experience The Magic Of Middle Earth At Hobbiton

    In a small hole in the ground, once lived a hobbit; and in the small Waikato town of Matamata lives a little magical piece of Middle Earth. Finding Middle Earth When the filming of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy confirmed, the challenge for film markers was finding the perfect set locations for these iconic novels. For many fans of the novels, the Shire was one of the most important locations get right. The Alexander farm on Buckland road was seen by the location scouts from above, with its rolling green hills and large Oak tree at the perfect setting for the Shire of Middle Earth. They could not have…

  • Events,  London

    London’s Top 5 Most Spectacular Fireworks Displays

    London celebrates Guy Fawkes Night every year on the 5th November. This is the day that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in a terrorist attack but was foiled. On the weekend closest to the 5th, all over London, there are a number of free or ticketed events to catch a glimpse of some amazing firework displays. North London: Alexandra Palace One of the most famous and iconic firework displays in London, Alexandra Palace in North London also hosts a German Beer Festival and ice rink. There is a nearby train station and then a 15-minute walk or you can get the underground to Wood Green…

  • Events,  London

    Triple Review: Instagram tour of London with a social media expert

    I came across Triple.Co while browsing the internet on a typical morning commute (you know what it is like, Alice falling down the rabbit hole!). They offer a number of local run tours in numerous cities across Europe. They appealed to me as I love anything where locals can teach me about my own city and being a guide may be something I consider in the future. It’s sometimes hard to find something to do in your own town and end up doing the same things over and over, so I was looking for inspiration! London Heading over to the London section of the website to browse the various events…

  • United Kingdom

    From Balloch to Tarbet – The West of Loch Lomond

    Where the sun shines fair on the banks of Loch Lomond Britain’s largest loch (or lake) is one of the most beautiful destinations in Scotland (and trust me there are a lot of places to chose from). I have spent many childhood summers visiting my grandparents who are only a 10-minute drive away. Situated in the heart of the ‘Trossachs’ Scotland’s first national park, is a miniature version of the highlands, only an hour from Glasgow. Balloch The start of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs park is Balloch, which has plenty to do and see. Balloch Castle Country Park Initially developed in the early 19th century, the country park and…

  • Getting Around

    Things I Wish People Knew Before Visiting London

    London is my home city, and yes I may be incredibly biased, but there is nowhere else like it. There may be capital cities but none with the history, diversity, and culture of my own, and rightly so we have a plethora of visitors every year. But… (there had to be a but right!) But it frustrates me how everyone’s experience of London could be improved with just a few small changes and some heartfelt advice. This article isn’t meant to be a bitch fit rant at tourists, but a few tips from a local might make your trip a bit calmer! Please let people off the tube before boarding The whole…

  • Travel Inspiration

    The 40 Before 40 Challenge

    So last week was my 32nd birthday. It was a pretty quiet affair, with a few friends and family for a chilled out Sunday BBQ. Birthdays to me are always a time to reflect upon what I have achieved and lessons learned, but also moving forwards towards new goals and targets. One of the things I want to do is to travel more, which will then be able to provide more content for blogging and build towards that goal. So here I am setting myself a travel challenge. Over a business lunch, my manager mentioned that she was travelling to Malta as part of her personal 50 countries before she turns…

  • Travel,  Travel Inspiration

    Travel Quotes To Actually Inspire Travel

    You’ve seen them flashed all over your Instagram feed and numerous Pinterest boards for quotes to spark your wanderlust and inspire the traveller in you. There are so many quotes to choose from. For me, it is the story and origin of the quote that makes it meaningful. Give a perspective on a quote, it can make it more purposeful and insightful. Flaubert was an influential French novelist in the 19th century. He believed in finding just the right word for his prose and revealed in romanticism and realism. Innovative, Flaubert quotes here the truth, no cliché, just delicate yet powerful. The world is such an enormous place, but getting…

  • Europe

    Top 7 Things To Do In Budapest

    Budapest is a city of contrast. From the gently sloping hills of ancient Buda to the flat terrain of Pest. With a history of Celtic, Roman and Ottoman occupation, and pivotal during both of the World Wars, Budapest has something for everyone. Here are the top 7 things to do when you visit Budapest 1. Take In The Architecture Of The Parliament Building The outstanding Gothic building on the banks of the Danube is one of the largest buildings in Hungary. Still, a fully functional parliamentary office, stunning from virtually every angle, forming part of the UNESCO site as a central element in the Danube panorama. Tickets are available daily to…

  • Africa

    Chilling With Penguins In Cape Town

    An hour-long drive from Cape Town southwards, along the coastal road through Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, lives an unusual family. Hidden in a sheltered bay of granite boulders, resides a colony of African penguins. White sandy beaches, peaceful neighbourhood, plenty of swimming spots, Boulders Beach is the perfect place to settle. A few friendly penguins settled into the beach first in 1982. Now their family has grown, and the colony is almost 3,000 penguins. It is incredible that so many wild creatures have made this little part of the Cape Peninsula their home. Remember they are wild animals, and those beaks are pretty sharp! African penguins are an endangered…

  • Travel Advice

    Top Tips For Staying Safe When Travelling

    Travelling can be such a thrilling experience. Whether it’s because you’re visiting a new culture or getting to meet new people or just having a new adventure. It is important to remember that you need to stay safe while travelling and here are some top tips to look after yourself when away. 1. Do Your Homework Research your destination before your travel. This may be the local cultures and customs, being prepared for what weather you can expect when there and knowing what to look out for. Know how to avoid accidentally offending someone. Be aware of the local scams. 2. Get comprehensive travel insurance and make sure you have…

  • Travel Inspiration

    What Makes A Bucket List?

    The term is thrown around very casually and it seems that everyone has heard of a bucket list but what actually is it? Generally, the most common description is a list of all the things you want to try, goals you want to achieve and life experiences you want to have before you die. Simple right? But where do you even start? First start by really defining what you want in a Bucket List? You can have numerous different bucket lists, whether they are from your home country or places to visit or things to see. Bucket lists make you stop and think what you actually want to experience in this…

  • United Kingdom

    The First Emperor and Liverpool’s China Town​

    The first Chinese immigrants to Liverpool arrived in the 1830s when the first vessel direct from China arrived in Liverpool’s docks to trade such goods as silk and cotton wool. More immigrants came in Liverpool in the late 1860s with the establishment of the Blue Funnel Shipping Line. The commercial shipping line created strong trade links between the cities of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Liverpool; mainly importing silk, cotton and tea. Liverpool is still a twinned city with Shanghai. From the 1890s onwards, small numbers of Chinese began to set up businesses catering to the Chinese sailors and some married working-class British women, resulting in many British-born Eurasian Chinese being…

  • Europe

    Ruins to Rebirth – Budapest’s Ruin Pubs

    In the quiet heart of the old Jewish Quarter of Budapest, there is an unexpected emerging bar scene. From the abandoned homes and businesses, has grown an eclectic nightlife. The Jewish Quarter is the smallest in Budapest, yet it currently has the highest population density. The Jewish district is full with the historical remains of the Jewish community that once thrived there. There are three synagogues in the area, with the Dohány Synagogue being the largest and, indeed, the second largest in the entire world. Sadly, the tragic effects of the Holocaust ravaged the area and stripped it of its population and identity. Luckily, the Jewish culture is not only something of the past. The district is experiencing…

  • United Kingdom

    Exploring Edinburgh

    Edinburgh is one of the prettiest cities I have ever visited. This historic old town has a wondrous range of activities and things to do, with heritage, culture and festivals. The contrasts of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town has bundles of history. The city was leading the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century and retains its cosmopolitan feel with its summer festivals. Having lived in Dunedin (Edinburgh of the South) in New Zealand, before visiting Edinburgh, it was really extraordinary to see the similarities. Mostly with the street names and styling of buildings and monuments, but they really did attempt to make Dunedin an Edinburgh…

  • Travel Inspiration

    What Does It Mean to Travel?

    Depending on who you speak to, travel can mean many different things. Typically – or according to my dictionary – travel is to take a journey. This usually is a journey of distance, but for many travels is also emotional and spiritual. A different perspective on your own life, the sincere desire for change or the radical notion of escaping. People travel for health, somewhere sunny to help with mental strength and rest, they move to gain knowledge, to regain their own power and to help others. People go on pilgrimages, seek spiritual enlightenment and to achieve a sense of accomplishment. Not all those who wander are lost – J.R.R…