• SPOTLIGHT ON: Menorca

    The island of Menorca is sleepier and more tranquil than its Balearic neighbours, with a reputation for impeccable unspoiled coastlines Caribbean-worthy caves and coves and eco tourism which is a world away from the hedonistic holidays on offer in Ibiza and Majorca.

    It’s also the birthplace of two different types of famous footwear – Avarcas sandals and Pretty Ballerinas, so the shoe shopping’s superior too…

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  • Shopping In Rome

    The question I’m asked most often as a travel writer is: ‘What’s your favourite country in the world?’ My answer is Italy.

    Follow along as I meet some of the Eternal City’s most accomplished artisans who have been hand picked to represent the finest crafts Rome has to offer – and who take the concept of shopping in Italy to another level entirely…

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  • Canada

    Come with me as I explore the country I call my second home – from exploring British Columbia’s biggest city to the ice skating on Manitoba’s frozen river via days spent at rodeos and weekends camping and crabbing…

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  • London

    When you’re tired of London you’re tired of life, or so the saying goes. Tire yourself out virtually by reading this Londoner’s posts about her beloved hometown…

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  • Viva Mexico

    Discover a few different ways to enjoy the Yucatan Peninsula – from getting healthy at a blissful beachside yoga retreat with The Travel Yogi to the ultimate in luxury holidays in your own private villa, at The Banyan Tree at Mayakoba.

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10 Cool Things To Do In Menorca Beyond The Beach

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Balearic Islands, Continents, Europe, Menorca, Spain

Menorca

Recognise these? Traditional Menorcan sandals are wardrobe staples around the world.

The island of Menorca is sleepier and more tranquil than its big hitting Balearic neighbours, with a reputation for impeccable unspoiled coastlines and eco tourism which is a world away from the hedonistic holidays and resorts often associated with neighbouring Ibiza and Majorca.

Best known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and Caribbean-worthy coves (known as calas in Spanish) Menorca is the chosen destination for many nature-loving families seeking a low key beach break within easy reach of the UK – yet the small island is packed with its own history and culture offering unique shopping, outdoor adventure and farm-to-table cuisine at every turn.

Here are my 10 favourite things to do in Menorca

Everything You Need To Know About The Everglades Alligator Tour

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, Continents, Florida, Photo Journeys, USA, Worldwide Vacation

crocodile

See ya later alligator

At number 2 on my top 10 travel lessons to transform your trips is the importance of getting up close with nature and especially wildlife at any (respectful & safe) opportunity.

No matter how much I travel absolutely nothing reminds me of how lucky I am to see so much of the world and puts a huge smile on my face like meeting animals in their natural environment – and on my second ever visit to Florida I managed to finally fit in an Everglades Alligator Tour.

As well as being delighted I’d decided to take the tour while in the Sunshine State, I was even more happy with the resulting pictures – and memories.

Here’s what I think you need to know before your Everglades alligator tour

Flashback Friday: Guilty Pleasures Of Backpcking In Bali

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Asia, Bali, Continents

Candikuning-Market-Bedugul-Bali-Indonesia

Photo courtesy of kathmanduandbeyond.com

The Indonesian island of Bali was the first ‘exotic’ place to which I ever travelled, so it will always occupy a pretty special place in my memory – and it’s probably the only time I can truly say I’ve backpacked.

But when you’re in a destination for a while, the desire to explore every day and indulge in constant cultural pursuits can wane just slightly leaving you doing a few things that might raise the eyebrow of a serious traveller.

So, just for a bit of Friday fun, here are 5 things I enjoyed on holiday in Bali that the real traveller in me knows I probably shouldn’t have…

In Photos: Queen Of Fallas For A Day

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Photo Journeys, Spain, Valencia, Women of the world

Queen of Fallas for a day

That time I was the Queen of Fallas for a day – complete with traditional Valencian costume

This isn’t exactly a news flash, but we girls like getting dressed up.

And from the moment I arrived in Valencia I was determined to do one thing (besides eat paella): dress up in the famous Fallas festival costume, and become a Spanish Queen for the day.

And here’s another thing about girls; we already think we’re royalty, and we usually get what we want

The Rice Is Right: Why Everything You Know About Paella Is Probably Wrong

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Continents, Europe, Food, Opinion, Spain, Valencia, Worldwide Vacation

paella in valencia

A pretty sign for paella in Valencia 

It shouldn’t be bright yellow, or fluffy, it isn’t intended for dinner and it’s not supposed to be synonymous with seafood. In fact, technically it’s not even a Spanish dish

Even though the first food that springs to mind when you think of Spanish cuisine is probably paella, the dish has been bastardised beyond all recognition to a point where it’s about as authentic to the original as a McFlurry is to a gelato. 

So here are 5 fast facts you didn’t know about real Valencian paella – so you can call yourself a true paella perfectionist…

Hide Your face With Spanish Lace: The Story Of The Valencia Fan

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Photo Journeys, Spain, Valencia, Worldwide Vacation

Valencia fan

Valencia fan: There are some colourful fans on display in the city’s shop windows

Despite the Brits’ well-documented love affair with the Spanish coast, I never went on a family holiday to Spain as a child.

Yet one of my most treasured possessions as a little girl was a delicate handheld Spanish lace fan. 

So when I was given the opportunity to meet a traditional Valencia fan maker in the city which is packed with these ornate hand-made and hand-painted souvenirs, I was filled with a childhood sense of wonderment – and couldn’t wait to learn about the process of producing these gorgeous – and girlie – wearable works of art.

Hidden Artisans of Rome: The Restoration Game

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Continents, Europe, Italy, Roman Artisans, Shopping

Art restoration Rome

An art restorer at Pavia Restauro Studio at work

Imagine trying to get job satisfaction when the best testament to the skill of your work is no-one having a clue you’ve done anything at all.

This bizarre ideal is, I learn while meeting a husband and wife art restoration team in Rome, the ultimate goal within the intense world of fine art conservation

Diamond *Experts* Are A Girl’s Best Friend: A 7 Step Guide To Diamond Buying

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Italy, Roman Artisans, Shopping, Worldwide Vacation

The perfect engagement ring

The perfect engagement ring?

It’s like a dream come true for a girl to visit not just one but 12 Italian jewellery stores and learn about gem stones, design and precious metals from classically trained Roman jewellers.

It’s even more perfect when these happen to be Rome’s best hand-crafted jewellery boutiques, all on the official list of the 28 best shops in Rome.

So when this recently engaged girl went shopping for a ring in Rome she asked a lot of questions about diamonds: such as what to look out for and what to avoid.

If you’re thinking of buying a diamond or gem stone ring, necklace or any other form of precious jewellery, don’t even think about making a purchase until you’ve read this Italian guide to diamond buying and soaked up the wisdom of one of Rome’s premier jewellers…

It’s Official: These Are The 28 Best Shops In Rome

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Continents, Europe, Italy, Roman Artisans, Shopping

Roman Artisans

Rome

Italy is of course famous for food, but its cities are also celebrated for iconic fashion, classic style and luxurious shopping.

So when I was asked to spend a weekend in Italy, meet the 28 best artisans in the Eternal City, and visit the best shops in Rome, it was an invitation I was unlikely to turn down.

Here’s what you need to know if your travels take you to Rome and you’d like to indulge in some serious shopping in some secret and special spots…