Pierre Soulages Museum, Rodez, France

The Aveyron region in France is dense with villages holding the title of the “Most beautiful towns in France”, but the reason I decided to go on a trip there was that the itinerary foresaw a visit to the contemporary art museum of Pierre Soulages in Rodez.

If you are like “Who? What? Where?” now – so was I. Ye olde Internet was fired up to provide some background information, which let me know that Pierre Soulages is a (super famous) painter who likes the colour… black. Which is really the absence of colour.

Pierre Soulages: The Painter of Black

Pierre Soulages Museum, Rodez, France

The Aveyron region in France is dense with villages holding the title of the “Most beautiful towns in France”, but the reason I decided to go on a trip there was that the itinerary foresaw a visit to the contemporary art museum of Pierre Soulages in Rodez.

If you are like “Who? What? Where?” now – so was I. Ye olde Internet was fired up to provide some background information, which let me know that Pierre Soulages is a (super famous) painter who likes the colour… black. Which is really the absence of colour.

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Milan Duomo day time

Milano! That’s where we recently went, because it was… wait for it… Fashion week! Okay, so that’s not at all the reason we went. But although we were told that all through the year Milan is full of fashionable folk (I don’t doubt that – hey, it’s Italy!), we saw some pretty far out people. Actually, some of them might have been aliens. Am I still talking about fashion? So sorry! Let’s get down and dirty with Milan!

What to do in Milan

Milan Duomo day time

Milano! That’s where we recently went, because it was… wait for it… Fashion week! Okay, so that’s not at all the reason we went. But although we were told that all through the year Milan is full of fashionable folk (I don’t doubt that – hey, it’s Italy!), we saw some pretty far out people. Actually, some of them might have been aliens. Am I still talking about fashion? So sorry! Let’s get down and dirty with Milan!

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dubai roundabout night lights-smoothed - scaled

Time to share another series of some of our most popular photos as shared on the site’s Facebook Page! We love sharing these images from our travels – and almost 300,000 folks are following along now, which is pretty awesome.

Since the last update, we’ve travelled to Dubai, Milan, Finland and Spain, so naturally photos from those locations have been featuring, as well as other shots from our travels.

21 Spectacular Photos From Around the World: XVI

dubai roundabout night lights-smoothed - scaled

Time to share another series of some of our most popular photos as shared on the site’s Facebook Page! We love sharing these images from our travels – and almost 300,000 folks are following along now, which is pretty awesome.

Since the last update, we’ve travelled to Dubai, Milan, Finland and Spain, so naturally photos from those locations have been featuring, as well as other shots from our travels.

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Besalu Bridge Costa Brava

I am quite excited because the title rhymes. Most things that rhyme are pretty good, right? Apart from that, you probably don’t have the faintest idea where the heck Besalú is, but guess what: that already makes you smarter than me, because I had in fact been there two years ago and the name still didn’t ring a bell when we went back this summer.

‘What a memorable place this Besalú must be!’, you might be thinking to yourselves now, unaware of my incompetence when it comes to remembering names. Also, when I say that I had already been there, I by that mean: arrived, jumped out of the bus, had half an hour to take pictures of a bridge, jumped back on the bus, off we went.

What to do in Besalú

Besalu Bridge Costa Brava

I am quite excited because the title rhymes. Most things that rhyme are pretty good, right? Apart from that, you probably don’t have the faintest idea where the heck Besalú is, but guess what: that already makes you smarter than me, because I had in fact been there two years ago and the name still didn’t ring a bell when we went back this summer.

‘What a memorable place this Besalú must be!’, you might be thinking to yourselves now, unaware of my incompetence when it comes to remembering names. Also, when I say that I had already been there, I by that mean: arrived, jumped out of the bus, had half an hour to take pictures of a bridge, jumped back on the bus, off we went.

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Naturaki Can Martinot Costa Brava loft bedroom wooden

When I lived in the UK, friends and I would often band together and go on holidays to giant houses in remote parts of the country, including the Scottish Highlands or the Lake District.

We usually hired extravagantly huge houses for these adventures. I remember one on a 10,000 acre estate which came complete with its own Scottish Loch (prehistoric monster as an optional add-on).

Beyond the optional monster, that one had a 10 mile, hour-long, tremendously bumpy drive between the entrance gate and the actual building, more rooms than I can remember, and an entirely disturbing collection of dead animals on the wall.

How to stay in a Villa for less than the price of a Hostel

Naturaki Can Martinot Costa Brava loft bedroom wooden

When I lived in the UK, friends and I would often band together and go on holidays to giant houses in remote parts of the country, including the Scottish Highlands or the Lake District.

We usually hired extravagantly huge houses for these adventures. I remember one on a 10,000 acre estate which came complete with its own Scottish Loch (prehistoric monster as an optional add-on).

Beyond the optional monster, that one had a 10 mile, hour-long, tremendously bumpy drive between the entrance gate and the actual building, more rooms than I can remember, and an entirely disturbing collection of dead animals on the wall.

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DSC07272

Ah, Rio! It’s an amazing city for many reasons, although one of them might not come to mind as easily as, say for example, the beaches. I’m talking about Rio’s street art, which, once you’re there, you’ll find pretty much everywhere – yes, on the aforementioned beaches, too!

The Street Art of Rio de Janeiro

DSC07272

Ah, Rio! It’s an amazing city for many reasons, although one of them might not come to mind as easily as, say for example, the beaches. I’m talking about Rio’s street art, which, once you’re there, you’ll find pretty much everywhere – yes, on the aforementioned beaches, too!

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Helsinki-Cathedral7

I was in Finland recently for the first time, exploring the wonderful outdoors. During my stay however I had a few days of free time and glorious weather, which I used to explore the Finnish capital of Helsinki

In between making not exactly hilarious word-play jokes about never being “finnished” (sorry), I was able to get a quick feel for the city, and take in some of the essential sights. If you’re heading to Finland, then wandering Helsinki should be on your list. Here’s what I recommend:

What To Do In Helsinki

Helsinki-Cathedral7

I was in Finland recently for the first time, exploring the wonderful outdoors. During my stay however I had a few days of free time and glorious weather, which I used to explore the Finnish capital of Helsinki

In between making not exactly hilarious word-play jokes about never being “finnished” (sorry), I was able to get a quick feel for the city, and take in some of the essential sights. If you’re heading to Finland, then wandering Helsinki should be on your list. Here’s what I recommend:

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Clouds WA scaled

I often get asked how I go about finding places to stay. I mean, I travel a lot, presumably I have an awesome system in place for picking the best spots for the best price. A secret system, known only to seasoned travellers.

Obviously to anyone who knows me, I don’t have said secret system.

My travel booking process (although calling what I do a process is a bit of a stretch) tends to start a couple of months out, where I load up a few of the more common booking websites like Booking.com or Hostelworld, get some ideas as to price, get giddy as to the idea of going on a trip, and then get distracted by a kitten on Facebook.

Yonderbound: A whole new way to plan and book travel

Clouds WA scaled

I often get asked how I go about finding places to stay. I mean, I travel a lot, presumably I have an awesome system in place for picking the best spots for the best price. A secret system, known only to seasoned travellers.

Obviously to anyone who knows me, I don’t have said secret system.

My travel booking process (although calling what I do a process is a bit of a stretch) tends to start a couple of months out, where I load up a few of the more common booking websites like Booking.com or Hostelworld, get some ideas as to price, get giddy as to the idea of going on a trip, and then get distracted by a kitten on Facebook.

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boat Finland helsinki

If I asked you to name the largest group of islands (by number) in the world, I wonder where you’d think that might be. Pause a moment and ponder.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking of sun kissed beaches and turquoise waters, with palm trees flapping around lazily in the breeze. Maybe there’s a pina colada somewhere in the shot.

Visiting the worlds largest Archipelago

boat Finland helsinki

If I asked you to name the largest group of islands (by number) in the world, I wonder where you’d think that might be. Pause a moment and ponder.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking of sun kissed beaches and turquoise waters, with palm trees flapping around lazily in the breeze. Maybe there’s a pina colada somewhere in the shot.

Read More

DCIM\106GOPRO

Here are three things I didn’t know about Finland: it’s made up of a lot of water and islands, Finnish people are crazy about the outdoors, and there are almost as many saunas as there are people.

Perhaps these things don’t come as a surprise to you, but this was my first visit to the country, and I like to go to a place knowing as little as possible, so I can be happily overwhelmed by new stuff.

That, or I’m too lazy to do research. I prefer to think of it as the former.

Exploring Finland’s Great Outdoors

DCIM\106GOPRO

Here are three things I didn’t know about Finland: it’s made up of a lot of water and islands, Finnish people are crazy about the outdoors, and there are almost as many saunas as there are people.

Perhaps these things don’t come as a surprise to you, but this was my first visit to the country, and I like to go to a place knowing as little as possible, so I can be happily overwhelmed by new stuff.

That, or I’m too lazy to do research. I prefer to think of it as the former.

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Jambalaya at Momo in Poznan, Poland

Maybe you recall that we went to Poznan in Poland recently. Maybe you even remember that it was our second time; our first visit happening last November. Back then we did a post on the food of Poznan, with which we managed to surprise ourselves a bit, I think, because we usually don’t really do food posts. Anyway, you can imagine we were looking very much forward to coming back this summer and eating more of the same stuff again, but that didn’t happen.

The Food of Poznan– Summer Edition

Jambalaya at Momo in Poznan, Poland

Maybe you recall that we went to Poznan in Poland recently. Maybe you even remember that it was our second time; our first visit happening last November. Back then we did a post on the food of Poznan, with which we managed to surprise ourselves a bit, I think, because we usually don’t really do food posts. Anyway, you can imagine we were looking very much forward to coming back this summer and eating more of the same stuff again, but that didn’t happen.

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Dubai marina night skyline

Early on in 2014 I whizzed across to Dubai to take part in the Arabian Travel Market – a very large travel show where I was speaking on a variety of topics, from working with professional travel bloggers, through to the importance of mobile in today’s tourism industry.

Yep, I do more than take pictures it turns out.

In photos: Dubai

Dubai marina night skyline

Early on in 2014 I whizzed across to Dubai to take part in the Arabian Travel Market – a very large travel show where I was speaking on a variety of topics, from working with professional travel bloggers, through to the importance of mobile in today’s tourism industry.

Yep, I do more than take pictures it turns out.

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DCIM\100GOPRO

I popped over to the Visit Finland website recently, and discovered that they have a Finnish name generator. My Finnish name turns out to be Tapio Kontio, which means Ancient King of the Forest Bear. Which was nice. Try it yourself here, and let me know your Finnish name in the comments.

Anyway, I was on the Visit Finland website because I’ve recently been invited to visit Finland for the first time. I always get so excited about heading to a new country. It’s the little things that get me – the different shops on the high streets, the different cultural attitudes to asking the way to the toilet, and all those signs I can’t even begin to pronounce (assuming I can read them!).

To Finland!

DCIM\100GOPRO

I popped over to the Visit Finland website recently, and discovered that they have a Finnish name generator. My Finnish name turns out to be Tapio Kontio, which means Ancient King of the Forest Bear. Which was nice. Try it yourself here, and let me know your Finnish name in the comments.

Anyway, I was on the Visit Finland website because I’ve recently been invited to visit Finland for the first time. I always get so excited about heading to a new country. It’s the little things that get me – the different shops on the high streets, the different cultural attitudes to asking the way to the toilet, and all those signs I can’t even begin to pronounce (assuming I can read them!).

Read More

Glacier new zealand west coast scaled

And so we roll around to version 15 of this post, where I highlight some of my most popular pictures I’ve shared on my Facebook Page from the last month or two. I’ve renamed the series to mark the fifteenth edition, but other than a prettier label, the filling remains the same.

Since the last round up we’ve had the pleasure of visiting Poznan, Dubai and Paris, and of course continued to share various images from our other travels. I’d add something brilliantly witty here, but having now done fifteen introductions to this post, I think you’re probably happier just getting on with the eye candy. Am I right?

20 Spectacular Photos From Around The World: XV

Glacier new zealand west coast scaled

And so we roll around to version 15 of this post, where I highlight some of my most popular pictures I’ve shared on my Facebook Page from the last month or two. I’ve renamed the series to mark the fifteenth edition, but other than a prettier label, the filling remains the same.

Since the last round up we’ve had the pleasure of visiting Poznan, Dubai and Paris, and of course continued to share various images from our other travels. I’d add something brilliantly witty here, but having now done fifteen introductions to this post, I think you’re probably happier just getting on with the eye candy. Am I right?

Read More

Laurence at sunset

I’ve been blogging for just over four years now, with probably three of those years at a more serious level. I’m often asked what that’s like, how I started, and how we got the blog to where it is today – helping us to see the world and, even better, getting paid to do so. It’s the dream, right?

Of course, like any dream, it takes a lot of hard work, frustration, mistakes, and learning. It’s also unlikely to make you rich, except in experience.

In today’s post I want to share some of my observations on what travel blogging is all about, where I think it’s likely going, how to turn it into a business with a liveable income and of course, how you can go about that yourself. First though:

How to Become a Professional Travel Blogger

Laurence at sunset

I’ve been blogging for just over four years now, with probably three of those years at a more serious level. I’m often asked what that’s like, how I started, and how we got the blog to where it is today – helping us to see the world and, even better, getting paid to do so. It’s the dream, right?

Of course, like any dream, it takes a lot of hard work, frustration, mistakes, and learning. It’s also unlikely to make you rich, except in experience.

In today’s post I want to share some of my observations on what travel blogging is all about, where I think it’s likely going, how to turn it into a business with a liveable income and of course, how you can go about that yourself. First though:

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Rock fortress Sigiriya Sri Lanka scaled

I recently spent a very brief amount of time in Sri Lanka, a country I have never visited before, and where I am helping to set up a conference with the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.

In between zipping from location to location, peering at hotel rooms, inspecting conference venues and bravely trying at least nineteen varieties of curry, I managed to get a few photos.

Brief Wanders in Sri Lanka: A Photo Essay

Rock fortress Sigiriya Sri Lanka scaled

I recently spent a very brief amount of time in Sri Lanka, a country I have never visited before, and where I am helping to set up a conference with the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.

In between zipping from location to location, peering at hotel rooms, inspecting conference venues and bravely trying at least nineteen varieties of curry, I managed to get a few photos.

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Notre Dame from behind scaled

It had been a while since I had been to Paris, so when Loz and his friend Dan’s photo-workshop was announced to take place in the city of love, I foraged the vast plains of the Internet to find advice and inspiration as in what to do and see.

It didn’t take long for me to get slightly irritated. Every single Paris post I read had a reference to scams in it. At one point I was convinced that there are as many posts about the scams of Paris than there are posts about the sights of Paris. Probably not a good sign. I can’t deny it put a bit of a damper on my anticipation. Who is looking forward to going to a beautiful city only to have to constantly be aware of scam artists?

Tips for Surviving The Scams of Paris – A Little Case Study

Notre Dame from behind scaled

It had been a while since I had been to Paris, so when Loz and his friend Dan’s photo-workshop was announced to take place in the city of love, I foraged the vast plains of the Internet to find advice and inspiration as in what to do and see.

It didn’t take long for me to get slightly irritated. Every single Paris post I read had a reference to scams in it. At one point I was convinced that there are as many posts about the scams of Paris than there are posts about the sights of Paris. Probably not a good sign. I can’t deny it put a bit of a damper on my anticipation. Who is looking forward to going to a beautiful city only to have to constantly be aware of scam artists?

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Paris Notre Dame and Seine

Paris, is, quite frankly, a wonderful city. Stuffed with sights, cafes, and baguette wielding locals, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most visited cities in the world.

Today’s post is a photo essay from a weekend I spent in Paris recently where I was delighted to teach a photography workshop as part of my Lightmoves Creatve project. We had what could best be described as “variable” weather, but we managed to get out and see some of the sights and get some photos all the same!

Here are ten of my favourites from the trip, starting with the shot above of the River Seine and Notre Dame, and moving on to:

10 Reasons to Visit Paris. In Photos.

Paris Notre Dame and Seine

Paris, is, quite frankly, a wonderful city. Stuffed with sights, cafes, and baguette wielding locals, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most visited cities in the world.

Today’s post is a photo essay from a weekend I spent in Paris recently where I was delighted to teach a photography workshop as part of my Lightmoves Creatve project. We had what could best be described as “variable” weather, but we managed to get out and see some of the sights and get some photos all the same!

Here are ten of my favourites from the trip, starting with the shot above of the River Seine and Notre Dame, and moving on to:

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Poznan Cathedral Spires Clouds

Cities change throughout the seasons; that’s nothing new. And although travel guides always debate the “best time to visit”, in the end they often admit that each season has its own benefits, its celebrations, its food, its fashions. We fell in love with Poznan during our first visit last November, but we weren’t prepared to find the city so different from that when we returned this summer!

It inspired us to write this post and give you five very good reasons to check out Poznan in the summer time, starting with:

1) The ice-cream

Obviously! European cities go crazy for ice-cream in summer, and Poznan is no difference. The most popular gelateria in Poznan is “Wytwornia Lodow Tradycyjnych” (meaning “Manufacturer of traditional ice-cream”), which has two shops in the city. It was those guys who kinda kick-started a legitimate ice-cream culture in the city, when they appeared on the scene a year ago, with artisan ice-cream in ever-changing and sometimes unheard of flavours (Guinness ice-cream, anyone?).

Five Reasons to visit Poznan in Summer

Poznan Cathedral Spires Clouds

Cities change throughout the seasons; that’s nothing new. And although travel guides always debate the “best time to visit”, in the end they often admit that each season has its own benefits, its celebrations, its food, its fashions. We fell in love with Poznan during our first visit last November, but we weren’t prepared to find the city so different from that when we returned this summer!

It inspired us to write this post and give you five very good reasons to check out Poznan in the summer time, starting with:

1) The ice-cream

Obviously! European cities go crazy for ice-cream in summer, and Poznan is no difference. The most popular gelateria in Poznan is “Wytwornia Lodow Tradycyjnych” (meaning “Manufacturer of traditional ice-cream”), which has two shops in the city. It was those guys who kinda kick-started a legitimate ice-cream culture in the city, when they appeared on the scene a year ago, with artisan ice-cream in ever-changing and sometimes unheard of flavours (Guinness ice-cream, anyone?).

Read More