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Places I’ve Sworn I’d “Leave Tomorrow”

The way I’ve travelled has evolved over the years. In the beginning, when I first strapped my backpack to my back and took off around Europe, I moved quickly, barely getting to know one city before hopping on a train to the next. While sometimes that is the most efficient way to see a lot in a short period of time, I don’t like to travel that way anymore. I prefer, at the minimum, a few days in each place, and to visit at least a few places per country. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way – I recently only had time for four days in Italy, for example – but, in an ideal world, I would be able to travel slowly. Over the years of adapting a slower style of travelling, then, there have been a few places that have just completely captivated me, or, perhaps, captured me.

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Best of London: A West End Musical

We finally had our tickets in hand and entered the theatre through the front doors in time for the 7:30pm performance. There is nothing like the buzz in the air before a great show, of spectators finding their seats, of that magic that occurs when the lights dim and a hush falls over the crowd. Kasha and I certainly weren’t disappointed with our seats as we were front row centre. And then, the music started, the curtain lifted…

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Photo Essay: Snapshots of Basilicata

When I was invited to travel around the region of Basilicata, my first thought was, “Where’s Basilicata?” Even upon arriving at the airport in Bari, only a two-hour flight from London, I didn’t really know where I was or what to expect.

And while I’d visited Italy three times before, and seen most of the major cities, I didn’t expect to feel so immediately comfortable and welcome in the region. Each day, action-packed with cooking lessons and sailing and zip-lining and festival-going and eating and drinking (and eating and drinking some more), made me fall more and more in love with the region and its people.

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Vietnamese Baby

We met on a sweaty night in the middle of Hanoi, high up on a balcony full of backpackers. In the middle of the balcony was an old bathtub full of ice; staff members from the bar kept refilling it with bottles of beer, trying to keep up with the raucous crowd. For some inexplicable reason, everyone was wearing pink sombreros, and the place was filled with kids barely old enough to drink, sunburnt, be-hatted, throwing their heads back in drunken laughter. And then: I saw you.

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The Stigma of the Travel Blog

The stigma of blogging has definitely subsided over the last decade, as so many people are online in some way, whether through blogging or social media. What used to be a strange phenomenon – writing and posting on the Internet for a bunch of strangers to read – is now quite common, and, in some cases, expected (for a business or magazine, for example). But I also realise that I feel differently about blogging than most, because my entire life is about blogging or writing in some way. Not everyone feels the same way that I do.

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My Kind of Hostel: The Backpack, Cape Town

I have stayed in over 300 hostels in my life; the first one was over 17 years ago, in London. Since then, I’ve stayed in huge hostels and tiny hostels, one that are former prisons, ones that overlook beaches, ones with bedbugs, ones with the kind of atmosphere that encourages people to become best friends.

One of the very best hostels I’ve ever stayed in, however, is The Backpack in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Leaving Laburnum Street

How quickly a place can feel like a home. I’ve been thinking about that a lot these days, especially as I’ve now lived in London for nine months, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I remember, years ago, reading the book Zeitoun by Dave Eggers while lying under a mosquito net in Thailand; in it, Zeitoun speaks of his travelling past, and that he knew he’d always settle down somewhere if he either found a woman he loved or a port that he loved. While I won’t speak on the former at the moment, I can certainly speak for the latter. I love London.

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Expedia Pioneer: Your Dream Job?

I almost never talk about work on my personal blog, but this opportunity is so fantastic that I really wanted to share it here. For the past six months I’ve been working with Expedia on two different but related projects, both of which I can finally talk about. The first is a new travel blogging platform called Traveller Notes, where I am the Community Manager and Content Creator. I am also the Community Manager for the amazing new Expedia Pioneers project…

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