Posts Tagged With: Solo Travel

Pirates of Mykonos

The narrow twists and turns of Mykonos’ streets were designed in a way to confuse the pirates who roamed the high seas of the Mediterranean centuries ago.

Today, these streets are full of unique boutique shops and galleries. First time visitors to the popular Greek island tend to find themselves wandering aimlessly in circles as they navigate the complex maze of cobbled streets.

However, it is good to let yourself get lost at least once during your visit. It is a great way to discover the different shops and maybe find yourself something different as a souvenir. But be sure to  buy that unique item when you see it because you may not find your way back to the exact store later on.

Eventually you will find yourself exiting the complex maze of streets into Little Venice  Your big day of exploration will be rewarded with stunning views of the famous windmills. 

The cove of Luttle Venice, where buildings perch precariously on the water’s edge, were rumoured to be used by smugglers. They would row in at night to store their precious (maybe black market) cargo in the basement of these buildings.

These days Little Venice is the place to be to witness the best show in Mykonos. Take up a prime position at one of the terrace bars, cocktail in hand, and settle in for the evening.  A Mykonos sunset is unlike others you may have seen around the world.  Once you watch the golden sun melt slowly on the horizon, you will never see another sunset to top it.

 

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Photo of the Month: Illuminations

I will always love this photo I took of the Pantheon in central Rome. During the day the piazza is hot and crowded. But when the sun goes down the city vibe makes Rome even more magical. 

The Pantheon is one of the most visited buildings  in the city and it does tend to fill up with people quickly.  So get there early and you can enjoy a relatively still and peaceful visit.

Rome is fast becoming one of my favourite cities. The culture, language, food – and of course the people. Italians are quirky but intense at the same time.  A volatile but vibrant combination.

I loved the feeling of walking around Rome in the early summer evening. Not only was the temperature more pleasant, but the people were not in a hurry anymore. Everyone was relaxed, happy and out to enjoy this gorgeous illuminated city.

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Language of Travel

Do you need to learn the language of the country you want to visit? This, of course, depends on the experience you want to seek from your travels. 

If you travel with a tour group, quite often you will be surrounded by others who speak your language. However, don’t just interact with those on tour. After all, did you really travel all this way to talk to another Australian (or fellow country person) for a month?

No, you put yourself though the trauma of a long haul flight to experience a new country, culture, food and language. You can only immerse yourself in a country by talking to the people.

The best way to do this is to learn a few words and phrases before you leave home. Don’t worry if you don’t master the language perfectly, you will have enough to start with the basics. I have discovered the locals like it when visitors make an attempt to speak their language. 

Whenever I travel to a new country I will enrol in a short language course before I leave. I want to be able to at least know the basics. It demonstrates to the locals you are willing to try and communicate with them in their native tongue.

Later this year I will be travelling to South America, so I am taking Spanish lessons. While I will never be fluent, I have learnt a few useful words and phrases to assist me upon my arrival.

Additionally, learning a language can be fun. It broadens your horizons. It also makes you realise how complex the English language can be for a non-english speaker.

You may think trying to remember if a word is masculine or feminine is hard. English words are more difficult because there are so many which sound the same but will completely change the meaning of your sentences.

Photo courtesy of Google Clipart gallery 

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Travel: Addiction or Lifestyle?

I came across an article recently on Facebook about travel being a real addiction. A doctor was quoted in the piece confirming just that. But I have to disagree with that diagnosis. Because for me, travel is a lifestyle choice.

The article takes it to the extreme to say people get competitive about visiting more countries than their neighbours and colleagues. You can read article here. 

Travel is for the curious mind, yes, but it should not be a competition. If you race around the globe, are you really enjoying the experience. How do you enjoy a city when your focus is on visiting more places than your competition. Even worse, do you even know who your competition is!

Travel is about going to a city because you want to enjoy the experience and culture. It is visiting a place where you will feel happy, relaxed and inspired.

The inquisitive traveller does not compete with others. They are on a journey to see as much of the world as they can – on their own terms.

Travel is a lifestyle choice. It is not for everyone. If you are constantly homesick then it is definitely not for you. If you are committed to a full time job, then taking off suddenly to run around the world can be seen as irresponsible.

Travel can be enjoyable but it is about making the decision which is right for you. If you are a free spirit who does not want to live in one place then seek out a job which suits your wandering lifestyle.

I love to travel and I take off whenever I can. I am curious about other countries, cultures, people and history. When the travel bug bit after my first holiday I just knew travel was the lifestyle for me. I even spent time living overseas. I embraced the challenges and excitement of each new place with curiosity.

To some extent travel could be seen as an addiction, but really for me it is more of a lifestyle choice.

solo-1

Photo courtesy of Google Clipart

 

 

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Photo of the Month: Camel Train

Camels are an intriguing animal and  not temperamental as I discovered during my camel ride at Uluru last year. They are actually gentle and friendly. My camel, name Wally, was a great example of a placid camel.  He was happy to follow along on our mini sunset camel train. Continue reading

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Why Packing Light Makes Good Travel Sense?

On the aircraft you already have to cope with distractions beyond your control such as the snoring passenger in the next seat, the crying child or the long epic journey (if you’re travelling from Australia).  Your suitcase should not add to the list of worries. Continue reading

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The Audrey Hepburn Tour of Rome

Many movies have been inspired and filmed in Rome including one of my favourites – Roman Holiday.  When I was in Rome this past August, I made a point to visit a few locations used in the movie.  Although it was not my first visit to Rome, it felt like it.  I experienced this ancient city again from a different perspective – without a tour group and stopped off longer at these unique places.  While I don’t recommend walking the streets at night after a couple of sleeping pills like Audrey Hepburn did in the movie, the city is worth a look day and night. Continue reading

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Panoramic Canada By Rail

The best way I discovered to see as much of Canada’s beautiful panorama as possible was by train.  It is such a large country, and like Australia, impossible to see everything in such a short time.  Everything is spread out and it takes a couple of days to travel across the country.  But it is really worth the journey! Continue reading

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