I spent a couple of weeks this summer in Central Asia, visiting the Silk Road nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
These countries have had a chequered history. From a rich heritage as trading posts, and at the heart of Timur’s vast empire, all three nations have natural beauty but also magnificent historic cities, fortresses, mosques and madrassahs which play a substantial part in their heritage.… Keep reading
“I wish I was as brave as you”.
“You’re so brave travelling alone to all these places!”
“Solo travel? I could never do that!”
I’ve heard a hundred permutations of this phrase over the years.
It always baffles me that people see me as being brave when that’s never been one of my defining qualities.… Keep reading
In addition to my love of travel, I have always loved and been fascinated by foreign languages: how we can experience the same world but express it in such different ways and with such a mixture of sounds. If, like me, you are a native English speaker then, like me, you have been handed a gift on a golden platter, because so much of the world uses English as a common or second language.… Keep reading
I had a Facebook message from a friend the other day: “Have you ever had any airport disasters?”. Well, let’s just say I might have done… once or twice. The question inspired me to write about some of the occasions when it all went – for want of a better word – wrong.… Keep reading
With the amount of travel I have done in the past 10 years, it stands to reason that I have a few rules I apply every time I start planning a new adventure. Here are my top tips – what are yours?
1. Plan ahead.
I plan most of my trips well in advance – sometimes up to a year or more, certainly at least 6 months.… Keep reading
I’m writing this sitting on a plane at 35,000 ft. And I need to kill the boredom.
This is the decidedly unglamorous side of travel. I remember, growing up, reading my mother’s series of “Shirley Flight: Air Hostess” books – she had the complete set and they are still on the bookshelves in my spare room – which portrayed air travel in the 1950s and 1960s.… Keep reading