Travel tips, stories, photography and advice - Finding the universe

Rock arch santa cruz california

I have the rather jolly fortune of spending a part of 2015 in California, which has given me plenty of opportunity to explore some of the highlights of the area.

From San Francisco, an easy day trip is to pop across to the gorgeous town of Santa Cruz, famed for its boardwalk, laid back vibe and surfing opportunities galore. I took advantage of this fact and headed there recently to see what I could find to do, and of course to wander around and take some pictures.

What To Do On A Day Trip To Santa Cruz, California

Rock arch santa cruz california

I have the rather jolly fortune of spending a part of 2015 in California, which has given me plenty of opportunity to explore some of the highlights of the area.

From San Francisco, an easy day trip is to pop across to the gorgeous town of Santa Cruz, famed for its boardwalk, laid back vibe and surfing opportunities galore. I took advantage of this fact and headed there recently to see what I could find to do, and of course to wander around and take some pictures.

Read More

Brooklyn bridge and New York skyline

The following sponsored content is brought to you in partnership with Yonderbound, who are in the process of moving from being just a great hotel booking engine who reward you for using them, and experimenting with letting you book activities, and wanted to share that with you. If you’ve not used Yonderbound yet, I can recommend checking them out, and don’t miss the free credit on sign up towards your next trip. All words are mine.

Last time I was in New York, I think it’s fair to say I wasn’t exactly “active”. I mean, I moved from place to place, and my shutter finger was certainly busy, but I don’t think any of the sight-seeing or bar-hopping I did could really qualify as being exactly active.

Getting Active in New York

Brooklyn bridge and New York skyline

The following sponsored content is brought to you in partnership with Yonderbound, who are in the process of moving from being just a great hotel booking engine who reward you for using them, and experimenting with letting you book activities, and wanted to share that with you. If you’ve not used Yonderbound yet, I can recommend checking them out, and don’t miss the free credit on sign up towards your next trip. All words are mine.

Last time I was in New York, I think it’s fair to say I wasn’t exactly “active”. I mean, I moved from place to place, and my shutter finger was certainly busy, but I don’t think any of the sight-seeing or bar-hopping I did could really qualify as being exactly active.

Read More

town square at sunset tallinn estonia

We almost didn’t make it to Tallinn. Waking at 5.00am on a January morning in Helsinki, we looked outside to see flurries of snow and temperatures well below freezing.

A thirty minute walk in the dark to the ferry terminal didn’t seem like a hugely appealing activity, particularly as neither of us had slept particularly well the night before, and the thought of tramping around an unknown city in these conditions wasn’t exactly filling us with joy.

Why Tallinn Needs To Be On Your List: One Day Itinerary Ideas

town square at sunset tallinn estonia

We almost didn’t make it to Tallinn. Waking at 5.00am on a January morning in Helsinki, we looked outside to see flurries of snow and temperatures well below freezing.

A thirty minute walk in the dark to the ferry terminal didn’t seem like a hugely appealing activity, particularly as neither of us had slept particularly well the night before, and the thought of tramping around an unknown city in these conditions wasn’t exactly filling us with joy.

Read More

Tree smoke light

This content was written by me and sponsored by CARE.org, a global humanitarian organisation who focus on fighting poverty around the world..

When I was growing up in the Seychelles, one of my most vivid memories of visiting my grandmother is that there would invariably be something burning.

I should probably clarify.

Fighting Poverty with CARE - #CAREKnowsHow

Tree smoke light

This content was written by me and sponsored by CARE.org, a global humanitarian organisation who focus on fighting poverty around the world..

When I was growing up in the Seychelles, one of my most vivid memories of visiting my grandmother is that there would invariably be something burning.

I should probably clarify.

Read More

Rauma old town in Winter

Visiting a summer town in the dead of winter is a weird experience. To start with, I’m fairly sure we were the only people staying in the hotel. The town’s streets were oddly, almost eerily quiet, at any time of the day or night.

The exception was after the local team played ice hockey, at which point it appeared to flame into life.

I managed to catch that game – my first ever – which was quite the experience. More on that below.

Rauma–Visiting a World Heritage Site in Winter

Rauma old town in Winter

Visiting a summer town in the dead of winter is a weird experience. To start with, I’m fairly sure we were the only people staying in the hotel. The town’s streets were oddly, almost eerily quiet, at any time of the day or night.

The exception was after the local team played ice hockey, at which point it appeared to flame into life.

I managed to catch that game – my first ever – which was quite the experience. More on that below.

Read More

Swarovski pocket cl review 1

Binoculars. Truth be told, they aren’t something I have ever really spent much time contemplating. As a photographer I spend a great deal of time peering through bits of glass with one eye, rather than enjoying it with both!

This isn’t to say I’m not familiar with binoculars of course. I grew up on a small island in the Seychelles called Bird Island, which was famous, as you might imagine, for its hordes of nesting seabirds, not to mention being home to many passing migrant species. My parents and many of their friends were avid bird watchers, and I have certainly spent some time with my eyes up against binoculars having the virtues of various birdlife explained to me.

Are these the perfect travel binoculars?

Swarovski pocket cl review 1

Binoculars. Truth be told, they aren’t something I have ever really spent much time contemplating. As a photographer I spend a great deal of time peering through bits of glass with one eye, rather than enjoying it with both!

This isn’t to say I’m not familiar with binoculars of course. I grew up on a small island in the Seychelles called Bird Island, which was famous, as you might imagine, for its hordes of nesting seabirds, not to mention being home to many passing migrant species. My parents and many of their friends were avid bird watchers, and I have certainly spent some time with my eyes up against binoculars having the virtues of various birdlife explained to me.

Read More

Sunrise from Iso Syote hotel finland

Don’t like the cold? Neither did I when I decided to go to Finland for a spot of Winter fun at the start of 2015.

On the other hand, I’ve always liked the idea of the northern lights, clear skies and fabulously frosted landscapes. All of which, it appear, seem to require putting up with a spot of chilly weather.

I travelled around various parts of Finland, and I’ve already told you about my amazing two day husky safari up near Rovaniemi in the Artic Circle.

Falling in Love with Winter in Finland at Iso-Syote

Sunrise from Iso Syote hotel finland

Don’t like the cold? Neither did I when I decided to go to Finland for a spot of Winter fun at the start of 2015.

On the other hand, I’ve always liked the idea of the northern lights, clear skies and fabulously frosted landscapes. All of which, it appear, seem to require putting up with a spot of chilly weather.

I travelled around various parts of Finland, and I’ve already told you about my amazing two day husky safari up near Rovaniemi in the Artic Circle.

Read More

monastery in meteora

Well, the clue is in the title here folks! Regular readers will know that for the last few months I’ve been travelling around with this wonderfully travel friendly mirrorless camera system from Panasonic as part of the LumixGTheOne project.

I shared some photos using it here, and wrote up my thoughts on the Lumix G6 here.

But there’s no point me having a camera and just telling you about it! Presumably you guys would love to own a camera like this too. So today I’m delighted to be able to giveaway a Panasonic Lumix G6 with 14-42mm lens.

Win a Panasonic Lumix G6 mirrorless camera worth €500!

monastery in meteora

Well, the clue is in the title here folks! Regular readers will know that for the last few months I’ve been travelling around with this wonderfully travel friendly mirrorless camera system from Panasonic as part of the LumixGTheOne project.

I shared some photos using it here, and wrote up my thoughts on the Lumix G6 here.

But there’s no point me having a camera and just telling you about it! Presumably you guys would love to own a camera like this too. So today I’m delighted to be able to giveaway a Panasonic Lumix G6 with 14-42mm lens.

Read More

bee pollen smoothie garnish

Today’s blog is a guest post from my friend Monica, who occasionally sends over some wonderful content for me to share with you guys. Today she’s sharing her favourite things to bring back from a trip to Gascony in France. Caution, you might be hungry by the end of this post!

I’m just back from another one of my pilgrimages to Gascony, a region in southwest France that I haven’t been able to get enough of since first visited in August 2012. When I go, I almost always go by ferry, so that I can drive my car and load it up with all kinds of local delights.

12 Things to Bring Back from Your Road Trip to Gascony

bee pollen smoothie garnish

Today’s blog is a guest post from my friend Monica, who occasionally sends over some wonderful content for me to share with you guys. Today she’s sharing her favourite things to bring back from a trip to Gascony in France. Caution, you might be hungry by the end of this post!

I’m just back from another one of my pilgrimages to Gascony, a region in southwest France that I haven’t been able to get enough of since first visited in August 2012. When I go, I almost always go by ferry, so that I can drive my car and load it up with all kinds of local delights.

Read More

husky dogs sunset finland lapland

Rule one of husky sledding? Don’t let go of the sled. Whatever happens – you don’t let go of the sled. How did that work out on my recent husky sledding adventure in Finland? I’ll get to that shortly. Let’s rewind a bit first.

As you might know, I grew up in a warm place. The Seychelles to be precise. And I normally do my best to escape cold places for Winter if I can.

Husky Sledding in the Arctic Circle

husky dogs sunset finland lapland

Rule one of husky sledding? Don’t let go of the sled. Whatever happens – you don’t let go of the sled. How did that work out on my recent husky sledding adventure in Finland? I’ll get to that shortly. Let’s rewind a bit first.

As you might know, I grew up in a warm place. The Seychelles to be precise. And I normally do my best to escape cold places for Winter if I can.

Read More