I genuinely think I can speak for all Aussies and Kiwis living in London when I say that there is very little in life that can generate as much excitement as the idea of a day trip to another country. From the city of Adelaide where I grew up, I had to drive for 8 hours (non-stop. No biggie) to hit the closest major city. And from there it’s another 12 hours to the next one. To fly to another country, the closest being New Zealand, is a flight of just over 4 hours. Continue reading
One of the things that surprised me most about the cruise I joined last year was the sheer size of Reflection, the Celebrity Cruises ship I was travelling on. There was so much to see and do on board that in the four days I called it home I barely scratched the surface. When Celebrity invited me to come and see another of their ships, Eclipse, in Southampton I was keen to delve a little further into all that a cruise ship has to offer.
Once again, a day was hardly enough time to cover everything on board, but being on the ship when there were no passengers gave us the chance to sneak a peek into a number of different cabins and to explore the vessel more freely. Here’s what I learned from the experience:
St. Petersburg is often called ‘Venice of the North’, but I beg to differ.
Sure, it’s built on a series of canals, but to compare it to the infamous Italian city is unfair. Russia’s St. Petersburg, although almost nothing like Italy, is a spectacular destination with its own identity that’s well worth taking the time to uncover.
If you have more than a few days you can take the time to head outside of the main part of the city, to places like The Catherine Palace or Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery, but for a 24 to 48 hour visit, make sure your itinerary includes the following sights and experiences in St. Petersburg, Russia. Continue reading
It’s not just ladies who want to look stylish while they travel, and yet there are hardly any resources out there for the style-savvy gentleman hoping to look trendy on his travels.
Enter Brendan: well travelled, packs like a pro, knows where to find adventure in a new destination, and dedicated to looking stylish while he’s at it. Oh, and he’s my husband.
You’ll be seeing his face around this blog here and there, as he’s going to be writing tips on how a man can travel without having to look like a backpacker. Continue reading
It’s one of the most recognisable structures in the world; up there with the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. It was originally known as a thirty-five million dollar steel harp, but you and I just know it as the Golden Gate Bridge. An iconic emblem of the city of San Francisco; just mentioning the name evokes images of the orange vermilion structure glowing in the sunlight, San Francisco’s famous fog rolling in from the background. Thousands – no, probably millions of photos have been taken of this stunning bridge and yet when you’re visiting San Francisco it’s impossible to resist pointing your lens its way. Continue reading
Moscow is so many things at once; it’s surprising and yet very much how you expect it to be. It’s intimidating and imposing, but also warm and inviting. It’s modern and at the same time so very traditional. It’s beautiful and forbidding. 24 hours is never enough time to delve beyond the surface of a city, but sometimes it’s all you have to work with. If you find yourself in the Russian capital with limited time, here’s a 24 hour guide to Moscow that will allow you to see the highlights and to experience the contrasts that make it such a fascinating destination. Continue reading
St. Petersburg was a city I fully expected to like: a number of people had told me of its beauty, I’d been frantically adding images of the destination to my Pinterest board and before we arrived I devoured the final page of The Bronze Horseman. I had high expectations, but they were exceeded and during my visit I truly fell in love with this enchantingly beautiful Russian city.
An important lesson I have learned throughout my travels is that where you stay is everything. I have visited the same cities multiple times and stayed in various accommodations, and there is a direct correlation between the quality of my accommodation and how much I enjoyed my stay. This doesn’t necessarily mean that lodgings must be pricey – I have stayed in truly fabulous hostels before – but believe me when I tell you that where you stay will set the tone of your visit, so be sure to choose wisely. Continue reading
I’ve got a confession to make: I was more nervous about visiting Russia than I ever have been about a destination, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the political situation in the world’s biggest country has obviously been tense lately, and the media has made it out to be a pretty unstable destination. Any time I mentioned I was travelling to Russia people would raise their eyebrows and say things like “Hmmm. I hope you have a good cancellation policy” or “Are you sure that’s the best idea right now?” I almost reconsidered travelling there but in the end, after seeing that Moscow & St. Petersburg weren’t under any government travel alerts, I decided to go ahead.
The second reason for my trepidation was the lack of helpful information online about Russia. I suppose that’s not an entirely fair statement. There is information available, just not in the same overwhelmingly plentiful way as all other destinations I’ve ever visited. I found a few helpful blog posts and articles but in general it felt like there was more scaremongering and horror stories than useful information. Having now visited Russia for myself, I’ve come up with a few tips I wish I’d known before I went, which I hope will help you, and also fill a bit of that gap I noticed when I was researching. Continue reading
Trudging clumsily off the bus and towards the village gondola, I clutched my skis awkwardly, trying to look like I knew how to carry them. The knot in my stomach was tightening by the second, so I concentrated on breathing steadily and trying to take my mind off what I knew was coming: humiliation, frustration and, ultimately, tears. You see, I was about to have my very first ski lesson as a last-ditch effort to master snow sports. I’ve written about my chequered past with snowboarding before (read about it here) and since publishing that post I’ve not so much as touched a board. When Brendan announced that he wanted to spend his 30th birthday snowboarding in California my heart sunk. California sounded amazing. Snowboarding? Not so much. Continue reading
I’ve been to Vegas twice now. When I left the first time I swore I’d never return, but eventually I decided I’d like to give it another chance to see if there was more to it than I first thought. After spending 48 hours in Sin City in February, I left feeling like I’d barely scratched the surface of what can only be described as a weird place. Not bad, just unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before. Looking back, I wish I’d known these tips before I arrived but there is always next time (and believe me, I never thought there would be a future visit). If you’re heading to to Sin City for the first time, here are 10 essential tips for visiting Las Vegas to help you make the most of your time there. Continue reading