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Where To Find the Sinking House of Paris

Over the past year or so, as I’ve enjoyed Instagram more and more (and simultaneously less and less with the new algorithms, if I’m honest), there have been some photos that have actually inspired me to travel somewhere new, or to explore a different part of a place I’ve already been. I fell in love with Cinque Terre through Instagram, for example, which inspired not one but two trips there this year.

In doing research for my recent trip to Paris, I noticed that a particular photo kept popping up – the “sinking house” or “tilting house”. Although I’d been to the French capital a few times before, this seemed like a fun and unusual spot to visit, and so I decided to try to find out just how exactly to find the sinking house of Paris.

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Best in London: “Ride the Slide” at ArcelorMittal Orbit

“What is that thing?” I thought to myself for the tenth time. I was on a bus to Stansted Airport; being an East Londoner, this is the most convenient airport to fly from when I go abroad. Looking out the window as I passed the area of Stratford, I saw a tall structure, red metal coiled around it. I had seen it every time I was on this bus, and yet I never thought to, you know, Google it, or ask someone, or figure it out. Not until that day a couple of months ago, when I did indeed whip out my phone and Google it.

“It’s a giant SLIDE?!” I thought to myself, and I stared at the structure again. Because just when you think London can’t get any cooler, or interesting, or full of things to do, it turns out that the city now holds the longest and tallest tunnel slide in the world.

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The Travel Mistake I Keep Making

A few months ago, when I was in Mallorca, I wrote a post called “Nine Mistakes to Make as a Traveller”. In that post, I wrote about things like trusting strangers and getting lost and how those “mistakes” could actually be really good, valuable, fun things to do.

But the travel mistake I keep making wasn’t on that list. And I made the mistake – again, and for the hundredth time – just this last weekend in Paris.

“Whatever could it be?!” I’m sure you’re all quivering with anticipation. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the travel mistake I keep making is actually one that I’m sure many people don’t make at all, if they are smart, resourceful, responsible travellers.

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Best of London: London’s Rooftop Cinemas

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Best of London” post – in fact, looking back through this blog’s archives, I rarely write about things to do in London, despite having lived here for three years now. That’s a bit odd, considering I feel like I’m always doing cool stuff in the city; anyone who has been to London knows there is seemingly no shortage of museums, markets, neighbourhoods, restaurants, and bars to sample.

Last night, however, I did something new and wanted to share it: I went to my first rooftop cinema in London.

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On Dreaming, and On Staying Ambitious

I’ve been really tired these days. Between a full-time job that has recently gotten a lot more demanding, to maintaining my duties to fulfil the requirements for my Graduate Entrepreneur Visa in the UK, to freelance work, to running this blog and its social media, to social events, to, oh yeah, travelling, I find myself constantly wanting a nap and constantly wanting someone to crack my back for me (it feels so damn good). Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about these things; I’m learning a lot, earning a little, and still seeing the world and getting to hang out with some of my favourite people in it. My life at the moment, while busy and stressful, is a pretty great one.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t making plans for the future, too.

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On Ghosting (and what to do if it happens to you)

The first time I was ghosted, I didn’t understand what I had done wrong.

I met Chris in a little cocktail bar one rainy night in London (sidenote: my best friend has demanded that I never again date a guy called Chris… I’m cursed with guys called Chris). We had a fantastic date, one of my best ever, and it culminated with both a passionate kiss and an invitation to a second date. He texted me on the way home.

“I can’t stop smiling…,” he wrote, and oh my god, there is no better feeling than getting that text after making out with a ridiculously hot, ridiculously intelligent journalist named Chris, let me tell you.

Over the next couple of days, we texted back and forth and made plans for our upcoming dinner date. And then, the day before, I texted him to confirm what time we were meeting. No response. That seemed a bit strange, but I tried not to let it bother me until the next day. By lunchtime – I would assume we were meeting only a few hours later – I texted again. Yes, oh yes, the dreaded double-text. But I was kind of worried, and very confused.

“Hey,” I texted. “Are we still on for tonight?”

And that, dear friends, is when I encountered my first ghost.

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An Ode to the Aperol Spritz

I’ve been lucky this summer, because it’s been a summer of near constant travel, more-so than usual for me. If we count May, I’ve visited Italy twice (Bologna and Cinque Terre), Spain (to Mallorca, where I stayed in a villa with my mum for a week), Sweden (for a travel blogging conference), and Prague (for a weekend holiday with a friend). I also have a weekend in Brighton coming up, as well as a few days in Paris at the end of the month. It’s been a spectacular string of travels, and I’ve loved every minute.

And, oh yeah, I also fell in love with a drink.

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Visiting Bhutan’s Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Found in the Himalayas between China and India, Bhutan is a deeply Buddhist country. As I’ve written about before, there is no limit to how many tourists enter per year, as some people may believe; however, each tourist is required to pay a daily fee, part of the “High Value, Low Impact” policy of the country. And as I’ve written about before, Bhutan is worth every penny of that daily fee.

For starters, there’s the backdrop: the snowcapped mountains rising in the distance, the sweeping forests of green, the emerald rivers that run throughout. There’s the culture: the dance festivals, the archery competitions, the spicy, delicious food. There are the people, so welcoming, helpful, and enthusiastic about sharing Bhutan. And then there’s the architecture, the ornate monasteries, nunneries, and dzongs (similar to fortresses), each one beautiful and unique. The most famous of these? Taktsang Palphug, commonly known in English as Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

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Why We Need Travel More Than Ever

I try to remain positive every day, and to remind myself that the majority of the people on this planet do not wish harm against one another. But fuck, it’s difficult sometimes. It’s difficult when you hear about a person with so much hatred inside him that he feels the need to fire a semi-automatic rifle into a crowd of people dancing, that he feels the need to detonate a bomb strapped to his chest while surrounded by families doing their daily shopping, that he feels the need to wield an axe on a train of commuters just trying to get home, that he feels the need to drive a truck through a busy street filled with children. It’s difficult when you hear about young men being shot just for reaching for their wallet. It’s difficult when you hear about casual post-Brexit racism happening in your own neighbourhood, to your own neighbours. And I sit down, and I read all the news articles I can, and I debate whether or not hashtag activism is insensitive or not, and I talk to my parents about it, and I talk to my friends about it, and then I just feel hopeless. I feel like there is nothing I can do.

But, in a way, I suppose there is something I can do, and something you can do, too.

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