Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 January 2016

14 Wonderful Travel destinations. Number 6 is my personal favourite.

Seeing an article about the most colourful places in the world, it got me thinking about the places I have seen and loved. With family and loved ones spread across the globe, I got to experience a lot of amazing places that are off the beaten track. See below for a list of travel destinations you wouldn't normally hear about and are less often mentioned.

1. New hampshire lakes, USA

2. In the estrella mountains near O porto, Portugal

3. Fraysinette, near albi, france

4. Oludeniz, Turkey

5. Ushuia, Argentina

6. Mendoza, Argentina

7. Ormiston gorge, Alice springs Australia

8. Elephanta Island, India


9. Rangitoto, Auckland New zealand

10. Singapore

11. Frans Joseph glacier, South Island New zealand

12. The countryside around Barcelona, Spain

13. Kerry, Ireland

14. Scarfell, Lake district, UK

Collecting these pictures together has really brought back the memories. I am also discovering that out of all the places i could have shown i seem to have an affinity with mountains and water, chuckling to myself. 


 For more travel stories and tips see:

Cheap air tickets to an exotic destination, Singapore.

Cheap tickets to an exotic location, India.

Lonely planet, globetrotter without the baggage.
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Cheap air tickets to an exotic destination, Singapore

Singapore has been dubbed the country where east meets west. Combining an amazing richness of cultures in the 'garden city' situated very close to the Malaysia. Everything from Asian to European culture mixing in a delight of modern beauty vs. strict conservation measures and reserves from where it gets one of its many nicknames. Bazaars, street markets and temples are nestled between highrise buildings. It feels like an adventure into the unknown when walking around, with many wonderful surprises.

Personal experience and travel

Looking for the cheapest air tickets, i flew to Singapore with Air Asia and returned with Thai airways. The trip with Air Asia was comfortable and went super smoothly, and i arrived to the wonderfully airconditioned airport in Singapore. This was a planned stop over on my way to visiting family in New zealand and Australia. Giving me 3 days to explore this city. 

The first time i came here i visited with my family and we visited the nature reserve and the zoo. It was great fun to see the animals and experience the high up walkways giving great access to the birds in the bird park.

During this visit i got to walk through the beautiful bazaars with richly coloured fabric and found a great place to eat wanton soup before continuing back to my hotel. The first day complete i slept soundly, still a little between time zones. 

The next day i woke up early eager to explore the city and some of the many temples and markets.  Checking the singapore weather review and map in hand i ventured fourth. The singapore map is a little strange to read or maybe it was me, but i got lost and found and lost again. In the end trusting to instinct i managed to walk back to the hotel after a day full of the unexpected delights, not knowing what was around the corner. After getting lost the first time and finding myself i came across a part of the city i had never been in before and marveled as i found the beginnings of a reserve. 

After walking around for a few hours i got a taxi to Little India. Hearing hte latest Singapore news in a cafe where the owner took pity on me and gave me a new improved singapore map. Thanking them as i paid for my drink and left, only to discover that it was exactly the same as the first. I couldn't help myself but i started to laugh and then giggle as people watched me in the new pouring rain. It was a wonderful respite from the aching heat of the day but i have to say i didn't expect this wonderful bit of Singapore weather. 

Walking in a storm of rain drops the size of  tennis balls I soon found a place i could hide and enjoy my first proper meal in Singapore. 

On the second and third day i mainly chilled out at the hotel and walking in the neighbourhood. Singapores China town and India town are really my favourite places of all. Enjoying the informality while finding wonderful presents for my family and loved one back home. 

Things i did in Singapore:

  • Walked around and saw the markets of  Little India and Chinatown
  • Singapore zoo
  • Jurong bird park and walkways in the sky
  • Singapore harbour with its incredible tree art, Sentosa and world famous Lion statue.
  • Visited gardens and reserves enjoying Singapores nature
  • The food in Little India and Chinatown is to die for. 
  • Singapore Botanic gardens
  • Sri Mariamman, Kong meng san phor temple and Kusu Island
Temple in India town, Singapore
Tree lights in the harbour. 

Useful to know:

  • There are strict laws about rubbish and litering.
  • For women you shouldn't sit in parks alone, or be aware of appropriate spaces to sit.
  • Hot means hot in the Chilli houses there and the condiments are even more powerful.
  • Huge killer ants in the reserves, only kidding. but they are huge.
  • Check the Singapore weather as the rain is formidable.  
  • Lastly, its worth to find a good map of Singapore before arriving. There is so much to see its great to have an idea of some of the things you would like to do beforehand.


I have visited Singapore 5 times now and each time has been short, fun and inspiring. The way the new mixes with the old and the richness of traditions and cultures makes this a special place on the map for me and well worth visiting again.

Liked this article then check out more articles on travel below.

Other articles in the Travel genre:

Cheap tickets to an exotic location, India, click below.

Lonely planet, globetrotter without the baggage, click below.
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Cheap tickets to an exotic destination, whats your flight status?

With family in Australia and New Zealand, I have been lucky enough to travel from a very young age. Flight status is always on the go especially working in Tango. Its gotten me air tickets to many great places outside on the realm of the travel guide books, seeing how the locals do it. I will take the chance to thank all the people who hosted me on my travels. I would like to share a little of the exotic beauty of Mumbai with you and just maybe inspire a new air ticket.

Seeing exotic destinations that both capture the imagination and test limits of understanding when facing overwhelming situations. Ranging from the raw beauty, poverty culture and cheeky monkeys in Bombay or Mumbai. Not to mention our taxi driver who took us to some very special places around the city, later in the evening to be found playing cricket in the kitchen of our hotel along with 3 other younger men. Singapore with its exotic markets, mixing pot of cultures and stunning temples. Bangkok, Hong Kong and Japan which still remains on my untraveled list but country i would dearly like to visit.

India and in particular Mumbai (Bombay)

India or i should say Mumbai was a one time deal for me. Admitting to not having traveled outside the city. Later hearing that its good to travel outside because the capital city is very different from anywhere else. But for me as a child of 9 years, the 5 days we spent there were some of the most thrilling and boundery crossing of my life in that moment. Visiting the Gateway to india and the Taj Mahal palace sitting next to each other edge of the Mumbai harbour.

This is also one of the places to take a boat trip out across the water to Elephanta Island, a truly astounding place that goes far beyond exotic into realms that were fascinating as a child. the sheer size of the caves that are completely man made. Slightly scared of being in the dark, haunted spaces. Just before making the way down to the boat again we many tiny monkeys up to no good, teasing tourists and locals alike. Highlight was a baby monkey making comedy for everyone, painfully close tot he edge of a small drop. Laughing and hoping at the same time. Then the call to return to the boat came so everyone began to file down to the water. For me and my brother i think the boat was also one of the best bits, coming form a family who loves boats an the water i think something rubbed off.

Each day we would go and do something one of us wanted to do, and on the third day it was my turn. Back home mum had two very beautiful sari's from the time she and my father had lived in Sudan. As a small girl i loved them. Wishing to dress up, make unusual costumes and in particular the big tents that used to take up most of the bedroom. So with this in mind mum promised to buy me a sari in Mumbai. Each day we had the same taxi man who mum had made a deal with. He seemed friendly and honest while enjoying our adventurousness to go off the beaten track of tourist routes into more local places which my mother loved. After about 40 minutes in the taxi he parked the car and asked us to follow him, while i loved the idea of owning my own sari i was a little worried when he started to go down alley ways and tighter and smaller places. Then suddenly he stopped and told us to enter the doorway, keeping in mind this was less than a meter tall. It was a bazaar wonderful moment filled with trepidation. i was the first to go in, it was a tiny room filled from bottom to top with saris of all colours and pattern. Truly beautiful, we talked with the owner for 20 minutes and then he brought out 3 sari's that might fit what i was looking for. He and my mum haggled over the price, something she had learned in Sudan i think.   The owner enjoyed great that this unexpected woman could battle with him over price and in the end he gave a leaving present of a shawl as a reward. i will never forget his grin as we left.

Another day was spent walking the beach that was very close to our hotel, the amazing combination of extreme wealth going into sudden desperate poor as you walk across an invisible line on the beach. Running from shoreline to coastal road, separating two worlds.  The culture shock of this day was extreme. It was also the moment i think my brother and i truly looked at the people we were passing and were away from the seeming safety of the taxi. Everywhere we walked we had people coming up and begging for money. We briefly went in the taxi to a temple my mum wanted to see. On the way back we saw a small crowd of children begging outside. Some had were crippled and i remember wanting to give them something when the taxi driver smiled at me and told that it wouldn't do any good. Sadly he told how parents will break the limbs of their children so they make more money begging. To give money to these children will only grow the problem and the they won't see any of the money anyway. Many of these children don't reach adulthood.

At that point we went back to the hotel and something inside me broke, I remember as clearly as if it was yesterday. I wanted my air ticket home and out of this place. My brother and i didn't want to go out on the last day, and i think it had to do with the feeling of not being safe anymore. After some complaining how boring we are, Mum got us the most delicious omelet sandwiches. What made them taste so good was the spicy tomato ketchup they had used. So we stayed holed up for the last day of our visit.

On our last day we had one more meal of the most delicious omelette sandwiches ever and left for the airport to check into our flight. When we arrived the flight had been delayed so we had to wait for about 3 hours constantly checking up the flight status. This is one of the more potentially annoying things about air travel and probably traveling in general. But it gave the change to look around. There was a shop selling lonely planet travel guides next to another selling more of the same, maybe slightly different brands i don't know anymore. But travel guides all the same. Getting up i checked the flight status again and suddenly we were running for the gate as the boarding had begun without any announcements or warning.

My last memory of Mumbai was the change in flight status, the airplane taking off. Joking about the spicy orange juice and spicy English breakfast. Thinking about the meaning of some of the things we had seen in the last days and feeling truly thankful that i wasn't one of the poor beggar children. It was a life defining moment making me vow to live life as it comes and be thankful for what i have.

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Other articles in the Travel genre:

Lonely planet, globetrotter without the baggage, click below.
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage
Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage

Monday, 21 December 2015

Lonely planet, Globetrotter without baggage

This isn't your typical travel story about the places we should see on this lonely planet, doing it with fewer belongings. Or a travel guide for the places one must see or one hasn't lived. Its about people who already travel and have this bug of always needing to move onto the next big experience. Caught in the rapture of getting things done and the thrill of the chasing the next jet stream to a place that will somehow fulfill the inside need that drives us all. Flight after flight, traveling the world. I include myself into this mix. Little do we know that somehow we are scattering ourselves across this lonely planet, with little bits of history forgotten in cities around the globe.

With this era of globetrotting and the perception that we as individuals are defined by our history, how do we carry this with us without it becoming too heavy. Should we carry it at all and is this focus on big adventure and excitement taking us away from developing more internal processes that can lead to greater personal fulfillment? These are questions you can only answer yourself, here are a few of mine to prompt thought.

I don't have the feeling to hang onto my history, but integrating the experiences into who i am in the present and giving them an acknowledged existence somehow feels apt. Sometimes these big experiences are left forever, sometimes you find it back again with a little element of surprise as you go around a corner of a city you feel you barely know. Falling into a place where you have fallen in love, or got lost, or some small or big story that reminds you of times past. A distant memory that stalks you on your travels until you are reunited by physically being in the same place again. How well do we know any place? But one that holds strong memories is a place that is on our internal map forever.

Traveling lightly has been a natural process when constantly on the move. Including the way I dealt with shifting relationships with friends, family and loves. I sometimes have the feeling i should have worked more on these relationships instead of the minimalist approach i took to everything. Always living fully and deeply, moving on, letting go, chasing the dream and never standing still. Addicted to crossing off big experiences in my internal list, until the day I faced my inner junky. Exchanging big adventures and dangerous situations for taking the time to live fully each moment. See the value in the small things like walking through a sun soaked garden, smelling jasmine and orange blossom mixing together after it had just rained. It probably sounds funny but i only discovered that i have a really good sense of smell when i was 23 years old. With this new found peace that moved with me, I saw this beautiful city of Buenos Aires with fresh eyes and wonder.

So now I bump into baggage blindly, walking around a forgotten corner into a street where i had a difficult moment, or avoiding unconsciously a house where I discovered that someone could truly love me. A particular crossing where 2 guys where so busy chatting me up from the safety of their car, that they comically crashed into a pile of garbage left to one side of the pedestrian crossing. i laughed about that for days. A milonga where I was with a lover for the last time before we wordlessly left each other and having already expressed so much and not knowing how to continue in our separate worlds.  The list goes on. Its got to the point where I would like to either spend a lot of time here to change it creating new stories or make this my last journey here to this beautiful city of Buenos Aires. This only highlights that its physically uncomfortable for me to experience history that is built into a place. I am not used to this and think to find peace with history itself rather than try for one of the above two options.

So for now I am sitting in my history learning not to take it too seriously while also having a moment in time to question my present and what is happening in my life right now. When do we choose that difficult is too much and move on? a big question for me now as i am always worried about the mistake to move on too quickly, often causing myself pain and more hurt in the process. A bit cryptic but i will leave it this way for now. Written as if pen to paper.

isolde kanikani blog chiclocaBefore the big boom in air travel, we all lived more in one place. Where each person was surrounded by their own history. Nowadays we globe trotters have gotten so used to experiencing so much but leaving it behind in some forgotten place. The incidental confrontations are uncomfortable because we are less used to them now. Growing as people from the experience but not having the confrontation and responsibility of it like we used to have in times when people moved around a lot less, and friends were like mirrors. Searching for fulfillment in big experiences while its often the personal everyday ones that hold the greatest meaning for us when we look back. Like the sailor who has a lover in every port, until he discovers the love of his life and all others are forgotten. I suspect that when i look back as an old woman on my life, I won't be interested in the in ports or the list that stands full with my adventures. But instead remembering and cherishing the people who touched my life profoundly
however brief and the little instances that have added rich flavours.

Never forgetting the first time I smelled jasmine and orange blossom mixing forever in a tiny sun soaked garden, installed forever on the internal map of my tiny globe.