The Philippine Island of Camiguin, Mindanao

The Philippine Island of Camiguin, Mindanao

Although I spend most of my working time writing about Nepal, I’m not just a one-trick pony. I’ve travelled to lots and lots of places, and potentially like to write about them all. I just had this article published in the Indian newspaper LiveMint. It’s about the pretty little island of Camiguin, which sits about an hour’s ferry ride off northern Mindanao. Read an extract below, or the full article on LiveMint here. Come Again to Camiguin “Just off the coast of northern Mindanao in the Philippines is the volcanic island of Camiguin, covered in thick tropical jungle and waterfalls, and surrounded by turquoise waters and rainbow reefs. In a country of 7,107 tropical islands, Camiguin is firmly off the well-trodden South-East Asian beach circuit. However, the short hour-long ferry ride from mainland Mindanao doesn’t reflect its relative remoteness. Martial law was declared across Mindanao in May by Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte in response to an attack on Marawi city by the Islamic State-affiliated Maute group. Marawi city was besieged till October, and several hundreds were killed, mainly members of the Maute group.” Top image: Camiguin Island from the ferry, taken when I visited in October 2016.

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No Country is a Shithole

The ex-President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, said it best: Trump’s mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. It would be an understatement to say that Donald Trump is an incompetent fool who has no idea what he is doing. That is so blatantly evident that it doesn’t need me to reiterate. But, it is necessary for all of us who are so offended by his glaring ignorant incompetence to stand up for the people he harms on a daily basis. I’m not American so I can’t put my vote where my mouth is. But I can use my experience as a world traveller and my power as a writer (however small that may be) to challenge his foul words. The only shitholes are the mouths of President Trump and his supporters. I’m the content editor at Pink Pangea, a website for women who love to travel, and I used my most recent newsletter to encourage appreciation of and respect for the countries that Trump insulted. I’m copying the newsletter here for those of you who don’t subscribe to Pink Pangea’s newsletters. Check out the website if you haven’t already, and I hope you’ll support us by reading our stories of travels in countries that are definitely not shitholes. Hi everyone, As travellers, we see the beauty in everywhere we go—the resilience of the people, their hospitality, incredible landscapes, cultural differences and similarities with the places we call home. So, we were disgusted by the recent comments made by the…

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7 New Zealand Trails You Should Hike

7 New Zealand Trails You Should Hike

Did you know that the New Zealand English word for hiking or trekking is ‘tramping’? Well it is. I’d never considered myself an avid tramper, because when I used to live in New Zealand I wasn’t much into outdoor activities (understatement; see photo above in which I am going for a bush walk with a white leather handbag. LOL). It’s only since I moved to Nepal that I got into trekking. So now that I’m in New Zealand again, I suppose I’d better start saying that I’m a tramper. Hmm. Anyway, I wrote an article on New Zealand hikes/tramps for World Nomads. It’s called ‘Tramping on the North Island: 7 Trails You Should Hike’ and you can read it here. Here’s an extract and outline of the hikes covered in the article, in case you want to read more. Tramping on the North Island: 7 Trails You Should Hike Even though the North Island is the more densely-populated of New Zealand’s two main islands, towns are still few and far between once you leave Auckland and Wellington. It’s an island of volcanic peaks, dense bush, stunning coastline, high plateaus, rolling farmland – pretty much, this is perfect hiking territory, or ‘tramping’, as the Kiwis say. Tongariro Alpine Crossing Rangitoto Summit Cape Brett Walkway Coromandel Coastal Walk Putangirua Pinnacles Lake Waikaremoana Te Araroa Read the full article here.

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Street Art in San Jose, Costa Rica's Dreary Capital

Street Art in San Jose, Costa Rica’s Dreary Capital

Costa Rica is a pretty little place, but the capital, San Jose? Not so much. On first impressions, anyway. If you dig a little, you’ll find a riot of colour in the form of vibrant street art. I wrote about it for love2fly, the Iberia Airlines blog. Below are a couple of teaser pics (because I have so many); read the full article here.

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The Rabbit Resort Pattaya: A Touch of Class in an Unclassy Town

The Rabbit Resort Pattaya: A Touch of Class in an Unclassy Town

Things have been a bit quiet around here, and on the writing front in general, as I’ve been on leave the past few weeks. I’m in Thailand, and while it’s not entirely a leisure trip, I made a little time for R&R in Pattaya. Why Pattaya? It’s a city about two hours’ drive from Bangkok (where I’ve been staying) that’s known as a hub of sex tourism. Ugh. Why would I head here when Thailand is famous for its many superior beaches? Essentially, because I needed a beach break that was close to Bangkok. Travelling with a newborn baby meant that the bus was out of the question, so accessibility by taxi from Bangkok was important. Fortunately, I found out about the Rabbit Resort Pattaya. In a city full of damn ugly high-rise hotels and condos, the Rabbit Resort is a delightful breath of clean air. The four acre oceanfront property on Dongtan Beach, Jomtien, south of Pattaya, is made up of 49 rooms, all housed in traditional style Thai buildings. Think Jim Thompson’s House. It’s covered in lush palms and tropical flowering trees, has two gorgeous swimming pools (one for kids and families and the other for adults), and is utterly peaceful. The beach is just metres from the Chef’s Company restaurant. While Dongtan Beach isn’t the most spectacular beach in the world–the water isn’t very clear, and the high rises of Pattaya city spread out along the coastline–after living in a landlocked country, it was still a bit…

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