5 years ago, the thought of visiting a quiet village in a region where brown people are a rarity wasn't something that I'd have wanted to do. But, as I get older, the moments away from packed beaches and big cities are actually quite nice.
I've written a post on Brittany (which you can read here), and a detailed post on Ploumanac'h, the most beautiful village in the region (which you can read here). I've tried to take the best of both articles and cover my favourite things in this article. I haven't included Mont Saint-Michel (because technically it's in Normandy) but you can read about it in my detailed Brittany article linked to above. Here are 5 things I loved about Brittany.
Airport Rating ** (ferry)
Reception of locals ****
The Thai Islands
Did you know there are 1430 islands in Thailand? These are split between the Andaman Sea (on the west), and the Gulf of Thailand (on the eastern side). I visited a handful of these during my time in Thailand, each of them with their own unique character, different in their own ways. I spent most of my time in the southern islands in the Gulf of Thailand.
I previously shared pictures from my trip to northern Thailand, and although probably not the best photos I've ever taken (on a phone that was basically a potato), I decided to share some photos from my trip to the south for completeness. You can read about my adventures in Thailand here.
The Amalfi Coast
This is part of a series of posts where I look back at some of my favourite pictures from different cities that I have visited. You can read the rest of the series here.
I'm not sure I've been to too many places more photogenic than the Italian Amalfi Coast. From houses perched on the sides of hills, to beautiful churches and cathedrals, all framed by an incredibly blue sea, the Amalfi Coast is picture perfect. It's probably not somewhere to go on your own like I did, and it isn't the cheapest place in the world either - but I can promise, you won't find much better scenery anywhere else. You can read about my full trip to the Amalfi Coat here, and my visits to Pompeii and Herculaneum here.
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.
British Sikh, born in the Midlands, based in London, travelling the world seeing new cultures.