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Christmas tree

Gifts for the traveller in your life

November 27, 2010 | Advice, Article, Travel | 17 Comments

In the interests of saving everyone the pain of spending hours coming up with gift ideas better than a new pair of y-fronts or a shaved ice machine, here’s several things that most travellers would be thrilled to receive in their proverbial stocking this year

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Waiting

So What the Hell Are You Waiting For?

October 26, 2010 | Advice, Article, Travel | 59 Comments

I wish.

Two of my least favourite words in the English language.

I wish I had more money.

I wish I could lose weight.

I wish I had a better job … or house … or car … or partner … or life.

I wish I could travel the world.

Guess what? Fairy godmothers and magic wands don’t exist. Wishing only works in children’s books. Back here on planet Earth, it’s not going to get you one step closer to achieving your goals. Sorry to burst your bubble. If you want something to change – if you really, truly, honestly want it – stop wishing. Start making it happen.

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iPhone

My nine must-have iPhone travel apps

October 4, 2010 | Advice, Article, Travel | 10 Comments

I’ve fallen in love.

She’s slim, dark and sexy, always there when I need her but doesn’t complain if I ignore her for a day or two. She keeps me amused, entertained and informed, often gets me out of sticky situations and hardly ever lets me down. I’ve travelled with her continuously by my side for the last four months and yet we’ve never had an argument or wanted to go our separate ways. In fact, we’ve grown so close now that it’s hard to imagine life without her.

She’s my iPhone.

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25 Tips for Backpacking Around South East Asia

Serene monks on mobile phones and corrupt politicians in limousines. Stinking traffic jams and stunning deserted beaches. Ancient ruins and gleaming skyscrapers. Armani suits and subsistence farmers. Full moon parties and silent contemplation. No matter which way you look at it, South East Asia is one of the most interesting, vibrant, beautiful and complex areas in the world. For me, it’s utterly fascinating, achingly beautiful and one of the greatest places in the world to backpack, and I find myself returning there time and again. Here’s a few things that I’ve figured out to help you enjoy your time in the region, and avoid a few of the pitfalls along the way.

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La Tomatina crowd

La Tomatina. Anyone for ketchup?

August 31, 2010 | Advice, Article, Spain, Travel | 18 Comments

Forty thousand revellers. One hundred and fifty thousand tomatoes. Thirty five degrees Celsius. Uncountable amounts of sangria. One small town. A recipe for one hell of a good party.

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Angkor Wat

Making the most of the temples of Angkor

July 9, 2010 | Advice, Cambodia, Travel | 11 Comments

Angkor Wat.

Even the name conjures up a sense of wonder and mystery, an appreciation of both the incredible feats of mankind over the millennia and the inexorable power of nature in equal measure. Or maybe that’s just me. In any case it would be fair to say that I was rather looking forward to my time at the vast Angkorian temple complex near Siem Reap in Cambodia, albeit tinged with a slight concern that perhaps it wouldn’t live up to the picture already formed in my overhyped imagination.

I needn’t have worried.
If your first view of the towers of the main attraction, the smiling faces of Bayon or the encroaching jungle at Ta Prohm don’t leave an indelible impression on your consciousness, I’d suggest double-checking for a pulse. It really is that sort of place, and one that you owe it to yourself to visit at least once during your lifetime.

Here are a few things I figured out while I was there to help you make the most of your time in this unbelievable part of the world.

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Backpack

Finding My New Backpack

How many packs are too many? For many years I’ve laughed at a good friend of mine who seemed to have more backpacks than he did pairs of underwear. As I stood and gazed upon the contents of my wardrobe a few days ago however, I came to the realisation that I’m not much better. There seemed to be luggage for every occasion, from the super small black bag that fitted only a bottle of water and a city guide, to the stained and dirty blue suitcase that carted most of my stuff home from the UK several years ago. Several day packs of different shapes and sizes, plus the 90 litre behemoth that accompanied me on my last round the world trip. In this apartment, I swear half of my storage space has been taken up by storage space. Obviously, therefore, it was time to go pack shopping…

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Anything but the airport

May 9, 2010 | Advice, Article, Travel | 2 Comments

Gather round, children, and let your Uncle Dave tell you a story about the good old days of air travel.

This story starts back in the foggy mists of time. Back before Michael Jackson died and Britney lost the plot. Before Enron went bust and commuters started sprouting white earphones. Before Bush stole the presidency and Gore became the Climate Crusader. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about those mystical decades known as the late 20th century.

Now I know you’re not going to believe this, but back in those halcyon days air travel was actually quite exciting and going to the airport was almost fun. The security lines didn’t take two hours to get through, and you didn’t have to take your shoes off and stand there like a naughty toddler while you waited. Klaxons didn’t go off if you had a bottle of water in your hand luggage. You didn’t get to star in your own soft porn film as you walked through full body scanners. There was even a chance that some goon from the TSA wasn’t going to rifle through your bags and pick out the best stuff to sell on eBay.

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