Airport Rating N/A
Reception of locals ****
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most famous coastlines in all of Europe, located south of Naples and to the west of Salerno. The coastline is most famous for its dramatic cliffside drops that leave very little room for arable land, but create a stunning spectacle. In fact, as with the rest of my blog, the photos in these article are taken with an old school 8MP camera, but still look postcard perfect. Three towns in particular are heavily associated with the coast; Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi, and during my recent trip to Italy, I visited all three.
Airport Rating ****
Reception of locals ****
Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and the centre of the American Midwest. The city has an incredible history considering its relatively short existence (especially compared to cities in Europe). The Great Fire of Chicago gave rise to the birth of the skyscraper, whilst prohibition brought along with it the rise of gangsters such as Al Capone.
It was another work related matter that allowed me to visit a different American city, this time to give a talk. I decided to take some extra time in the city afterward to explore a little of Chicago and see some of the main sights, and I'm glad I did because I thought it was a beautiful city.
Airport Rating *****
Reception of locals ****
Florida is a fairly popular tourist destination for British tourists, but this was my first trip down to the Sunshine State and it coincided with Spring Break.
Most of my time in the United States so far has been exploring New York, but as I approached my second month I felt it was worth taking a trip elsewhere and exploring more of America whilse I'm here. With temperatures in New York consistently under 1 degrees celsius I felt it was the perfect time to go somewhere warmer.
I took a long weekend to make the three hour flight to Florida landing in Palm Beach and then taking a short road trip down to Miami.
Firstly; I'm no Mr Universe. I'm not even close, however I'm a strong believer that physical fitness is incredibly important for a number of reasons. Appearance isn't everything, however you can still make some valid judgements about a person depending on their appearance. It takes discipline to stay in shape and if you can't take care of your health, how are you going to take care of your family or anything else?
Physical fitness is also one of the core requirements within Sikhi, infact the second Guru, Angad, ordered that every Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) should have a gym attached to it and although this custom has fallen in some parts of the world, in the UK its still very strong with groups like Lions MMA, Shin Kin and various Gatka Akharas basing classes in Gurdwara gyms. I did Shin Kin when I was younger and then trained for a short while with Lions MMA when I was a little older and have a lot of respect for these groups. A Sikh is supposed to be 'Tyar bar tiyar' (always prepared) and the life of a Sikh is supposed to be geared toward protecting the innocent. It's pretty hard to protect someone else if you can't even protect your waistline.
I tend to go to the gym between 3-4 times a week, train in Thai Boxing and play football. To test my fitness I took part in a Tough Mudder (which I'd recommend for all) and occasionally do medium distance runs for charity. That being said, as a guy of Panjabi heritage, my diet isn't great, although its something I'm actively trying to improve.
I usually get a little cranky when I don't go gym for a few days, so going on longer travels presents a problem. However, during my first extended trip I found that just because you're travelling, doesn't mean you have to skip gym.
Spain is the number one destination for British tourists, and its not hard to see why. Sun, sea, sand, lively nightlife, a rich cultural history and cheap flights mean this country has a little something for everyone.
I have been to Spain a number of times over the past few years including trips to Madrid, Ibiza, Menorca, Valencia (x2) and Barcelona (x3). I have even spent a little time studying in the country and every time I go I experience something new and something different. Although, the one thing I have never experienced over there is rain.
It's difficult to condense my experiences into a small list, but here are the 10 things I loved most about Spain,.
Rio de Janeiro
One of the largest cities in the Southern Hemisphere, home of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, birthplace of the largest carnival on Earth and famous for its beaches, it is no wonder that Rio is the most visited city in South America.
This city has the feel of a very large metropolis, similar to the rush of Bangkok, and you could spend a month here and still not scratch the surface. Rio has a lot going for it, but there is an income gap that seems to be increasing and social tensions that the state tries to hide from the public view (the construction of large panels to cover Favela's as you drive into Rio being the most striking). However, the positives are endless and this is truly one of those cities that never sleeps.
In this article I have included a selection of my favourite photo's that I took in the city, pictures that I think can give you a feel for Rio, its culture and its attractions.
Airport Rating ****
Reception of locals *****
Founded initially as a Roman Colony, Valencia has architecture dating back two thousand years with Roman, Arabic and Spanish influence all mixing to create a modern city with traditional roots and the third largest city in Spain.
Its the location of Valencia, coupled with its climate and recent growth that has seen it become a popular location for stag parties over the past couple of years. A city that offers experiences similar to nearby Barcelona for a fraction of the price is always going to be a popular choice. I made two different trips to the city over a 3 month period, staying in both the old town and by the beach and both experiences were quite different although tied together by the amazing City of Arts and Sciences
When it comes to Thailand, I can't limit myself to my usual 5 favourite experiences as this country has so much to offer.
I have been to Thailand twice in the past 3 years, covering the entire country from the ancient cities in the north to the beaches and islands of the south and everything in between and I loved absolutely everything about it.
From cycling in the beautiful countryside of Lampang to enjoying beach parties in Ko Phangan, here are the 10 things I loved about Thailand.
Between the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics, Rio is somewhat of a buzzword these days with the focus of the world's media on the sixth largest city in the Americas.
A booming economy in the early 2000's has catapulted Brazil onto the world stage, and where Brasilia is the brains, Sao Paulo the hard working heart, Rio is undoubtedly the soul of this great country. I stayed here for just under a week during my trip to South America and I felt like I had barely scratched the surface.
The city retains a portion of its Portuguese heritage and combines it with West African and indigenous culture to create the distinct Brazilian feel that has given the world Carnival and Samba.
The Maracana was closed on my arrival but here are my top 5 favourite things about Rio.
South East Asia or South America. These two parts of the world have seen an explosion of popularity over the past decade and for most people the decision of where to visit first is often a difficult one. In this entry, I'll try and rate each of the locations on factors that are important to the average person and come up with an overall rating.
Things to consider
Before I get things started, its important to note that my experiences over the two locations will vary. I spent more time in South East Asia, and it was also the place I decided to visit first. There are important locations missing from both locations. I didn't visit Laos in SE Asia and I didn't visit Colombia and Argentina in South America. Personally, I feel that Argentina is a significant omission due to the size of the country and the number of things to see and do. Ratings and experiences are also very subjective, my experience could be significantly different from the experience of others so I'd bare this in mind when you make your decision.
Finally, a comparison between the two locations isn't an exact science. The phrase apples and oranges comes to mind. Peru and Brazil have completely different cultures, speak completely different languages, yet for the purpose of comparison they have been lumped together under a loose 'South American' category. This entry is a subjective rough overview of my experiences and can form part of your research into each location.
British Sikh, born in the Midlands, based in London, travelling the world seeing new cultures.