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Responsible Travel? What the…?
15 Jun 2015

Responsible Travel? What the…?

To some, the idea of responsible travel is an oxymoron. Travel requires energy, mass travel requires mass energy, mass energy is currently  produced unsustainably. The world would be a sad place if, in the name of travelling sustainably, we must simply daydream from our armchairs. To promote this would also be madness: who would listen? People will travel. People should travel. But we’re going to be in trouble if we don’t do it sustainably. So what on earth is responsible...

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The Taipei Stopover
1 Jun 2015

The Taipei Stopover

Despite having visited Taipei on the to-and-fro of my 2014/2015 Christmas trip to New Zealand, the nature of print media means the travel feature I wrote back then has only just now been published. I managed to break up the long haul Frankfurt-Auckland flights with two, day-long stopovers to explore the sights and tastes of this fascinating city. You can read about it here, on the Otago Daily Times website. Although I had a blast exploring Taipei, I’m still a newbie...

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Lessons from Bootstrap Backpacking

The title of this post may conjure up images of a sun-seasoned traveller. He strides down a dirt road somewhere exotic: sure steps in a double-knotted pair of sturdy leather boots that have, and will continue to take him,  down many paths in many lands. However, ‘Bootstrapping’ is a term one comes across often in Berlin, and many other metropolitan hubs. The word comes from the 19th century saying  ‘to lift oneself up by one’s own bootstraps’, or in other...

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Good Things Come in Threes
16 Apr 2015

Good Things Come in Threes

At the risk of sounding like a corporate engagement fanatic, I believe a good milestone is grounds to celebrate. Things have been rather busy since a particular milestone I celebrated earlier this month, but the lack of any written material around this has not been due to a lack of excitement. Excitement at realising I’ve now been abroad for three years. What? No… That can’t be right. Three entire years? I had to break that period down to make sense...

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The Amsterdamned
25 Mar 2015

The Amsterdamned

It’s curious that my first visit back to the Netherlands in almost two years should begin in Amsterdam. My thoughts on the city were divided when I arrived on Friday. The city itself is undeniably gorgeous; all of those canals lined with golden age townhouses, tall and narrow, with their ornate facades ever-so-slightly leaning out over sauntering tourists and bicycle traffic. Those bikers have their thumbs hovering over their handlebar bells in readiness, for they know the tourists will unwittingly...

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Like a Kiwi Part 4 – Christchurch
17 Mar 2015

Like a Kiwi Part 4 – Christchurch

After three weeks of traversing New Zealand from east to west, from north to south, I finally reached the beautiful but scarred city of Christchurch. I won’t go into details, but the bus ride between Queenstown and Christchurch was stunning. It’s a road every New Zealander and visitor should travel, if only to catch a glimpse of our tallest mountain Aoraki/ Mount Cook reflected in the glacial waters of Lake Pukaki. As the bus detoured through the southern suburbs of...

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Sustaining the Travel Movement
8 Mar 2015

Sustaining the Travel Movement

Two things really struck me this week. The first was a mind-blowing fact which cropped up again and again when I attended the ITB travel trade show, the leading expo of its kind in the world. 2012 was the first year in which more than one billion tourists visited an international destination. Around a seventh of the world’s population travelled overseas. If you think that number is hard to comprehend, then just imagine; this is predicted to reach 1.8 billion...

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A Rough Guide to Kölner Karneval

After last year missing out on Kölner Karneval (Carnival in Cologne) because I was sick, 2015 was definitely the year to take on this colourful Rhineland tradition. So, without further ado, here’s your rough guide to Karneval in Köln, based on the hard-earned experience of the fortnight previous. Karneval in Köln, Jeck Here! We’ll start off with some simple vocabulary to make your Karneval a less confusing and more amusing experience. Jeck: This is an important one. Jeck is, in broader...

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Like a Kiwi Part 3 – South. Queenstown & Alexandra

The Queenstown area is one of those parts of New Zealand which tourists seem to flock to in justifying the ridiculous long-haul flights down under…  I really can’t blame them as this was my home before I left to travel, the part of the country to which I felt curiously drawn ever since visiting on a family holiday at the age of 16. Maybe it was the jagged mountain ranges enclosing the tiny resort town, which can receive powder snow...

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A Frosty Intermission
9 Feb 2015

A Frosty Intermission

Brr. Yesterday’s spontaneous day at the ski resort of Oberwiesenthal was rather wild, so I think the follow-up to last week’s Raglan/NZ New Years post shall have to be postponed in favour of portraying the faces of this frosty trip out east. Starting at 5.30am, ending at 10.30pm, plenty in between.

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