Don’t worry. This is still a travel post. It’s just that you find us in Verona. And it’s been mentioned more than once that this is a romantic city. So it got me thinking about what makes a place romantic and, more broadly, what is this romance thing anyway? I freely admit to being a contrary … More What is romance?
Vietnam’s chaotic. The roads are a battleground: cars, cabs, trucks, buses and thousands upon thousands of scooters fighting for space; all, seemingly, blaring their horns at each other simultaneously . Our cab ride to the station at Hue immersed us into this now familiar tangle of traffic. On one side: ten-ton trucks bearing down on … More Life and death on the Vietnamese Express
We had a wonderful time in Sapa, which is in the north-western corn of Vietnam, not far from the Chinese border. It’s a mountainous region with the natural/artificial landscape of terraced paddy fields. Vietnam has many minority ethnic groups and each village in this area has one or two tribes living in it. What is … More Photo essay: the fantastic faces of Sapa, Vietnam
The woman beamed at me. And slipped her arm around my waist to give me a quick squeeze. She’d stood back to let me off the boat to the former Emperors’ Summer Palace first, and I’d attempted a ‘thankyou’ in her language. She seemed not only astonished by my gesture, but by my appearance. In … More Putting up walls: a sweet and sour taste of China life
There are six bloody pockets in these hilarious zip off hiking trousers. Six. But despite five minutes of frantic wriggling and searching, I couldn’t find a single tissue. The cab driver, probably suspecting I had ants in my pants, now had to endure a couple of loud, theatrical sniffs from his female fare in the … More Tears in Tonga as we bid a final farewell
I’ve always loved ocean mammals – especially dolphins. And one of my long-held ambitions has been to swim with them … sharing their world as a guest. In fact, despite being in many places where dolphins are known to inhabit, I have never actually seen one in the wild. On the flight from Auckland to … More How I didn’t swim with dolphins
We’d spent a couple of hours alone on a palm-bordered beach. Swimming in the South Pacific. No one in sight. Crystal clear waters. Now, it was pushing five, and we were a bit miffed about the prospect of missing Happy Hour cocktails at the hotel. We’d giddily knocked back two each the night before; then … More Tonga: The unexpected truth in a happy hour
Preparing for life as an empty nester can be a mix of sadness and excitement.You’ve nurtured and raised your fledglings. You’ve warned them they’ll have to flap those wings like crazy to stay airborne. And then—before you embark on the travels you’ve been planning for so long– you watch them fly. In my case, it … More Rome alone…and a scare in the air.