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Posted on Aug 13, 2013 in Guest Posts, Travel Destinations |

San Francisco’s Historical Hotspots

With 182 registered historical sights, San Francisco can feel nearly impossible to visit in its entirety. Whittling down the list and selecting a manageable few to go see is a hard task—but one that I have attempted so that you don’t have to. Here is a list of the six places you must see that represent a wide variety of the culture and history that only San Francisco can offer. Alcatraz: A maximum security prison from 1934 until 1963, Alcatraz is famous for a number of reasons. For starters, it is located in the San Francisco Bay as an island. In spite of this, it has housed a number of now-escaped convicts that have inspired much lore and a Clint Eastwood film (Escape from Alcatraz). Throughout its history, it has been a military fortification, a military prison, a federal prison, and a home to a number of protesting aboriginal peoples before becoming the national recreation area it is today. While there, you can learn about nefarious prisoners and see various items either made by prisoners during their sentences or used to restrain them while imagining the flight of Frank Morris. Golden Gate Bridge: This is one of the seven wonders of the modern world, so it’s a must-see. It is also the most photographed bridge in the world, and the most recognizable feature of the city. It’s especially beautiful at night—so checking it out at different points in the day might be worth a trip. Golden Gate Park: The fifth most visited park in the US, and 20% larger than Central park, Golden Gate Park is a giant expanse of land that is home to a music band shell, the California Academy of the Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Botanical Garden, AIDS Memorial Grove, five natural lakes, windmills, bison, and a number of homeless folks. You’ll still have to narrow down the park attractions you want to see, unless you think ahead and buy a discount pass ahead of time that gives you cheap access to the museums. Japanese Tea Garden: This tea...

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Posted on Jul 22, 2013 in Guest Posts, Travel |

Unwind and De-Stress: Travel to One of These 7 Serene Parks in Phuket

While most tourists visiting Phuket go for the sun, sand and sea (and a few cocktails no doubt) there is also a plethora of flora and fauna in the area that travellers can immerse themselves in. Although you will find Phuket hotels offer a variety of facilities to keep you busy, if you’re a nature lover you can also enjoy the many oases of relaxation on offer. From national parks with affordable entry fees to the free beachside spaces or hilltop viewpoints that offer sweeping vistas over the island’s greenery, there are plenty of choices to explore. If you’re looking to cool off in the midday tropical heat, you can enjoy one of the many waterfalls in Phuket, or if you desire some peace and quiet and contemplation time, you can spend hours trekking through tropical forests. Either way, the beauty and majesty of the island has more than enough natural variety for everyone to find something they can appreciate. Read on for a guide to some of the most breathtaking green spaces in Phuket. Sirinat National Park Covering 90 square kilometres on the island’s northern tip, Sirinat National Park offers some of the best beaches on Phuket (including Nai Yang, Nai Thon and Mai Khao) plus vital mangrove ecosystems, beautiful coral reefs, great nature trails and a well-known sea turtle nesting site. Founded in 1981, the area contains a wide variety of bird and wildlife species. These include the Asian Fairy bird, sea eagles, the Pied Fantail, Common Lora, Greater Racket Tailed Drongo, crabs, monitor lizards, mudskippers and Mangrove and Cat Eye snakes. Laem Phromthep Also known as Phromthep Cape, this spectacular location offers magnificent views of Phuket and is packed with locals and tourists alike each early evening as people gather to watch the breathtaking sunsets from the peak. During the day visitors can hike down the cape or view the impressive Elephant Shrine to Brahma that’s surrounded by thousands of wooden elephants. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park With an abundance of natural flora and fauna, Khao Phra Thaeo park in northeast Phuket covers around 23 square...

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Posted on Jul 16, 2013 in Guest Posts, Travel Destinations |

Punta Cana: More than Just Spectacular Beaches

Sometimes when you travel, it’s just as much fun to do it on the cheap and you don’t feel as though you’re missing out on anything. Sure, you might be staying in a hostel dorm room instead of a five star hotel, and your late night snacks might come from a vending machine instead of hotel room service, but who cares? You still get to see the sights of the city in exactly the same way as those who have opted to stay in the lap of luxury.  With some destinations, however, travelling on the cheap simply doesn’t cut it, particularly if the destination is associated with the level of wonderful and much-deserved indulgence. While there are many things to see and do all over the Dominican Republic, visitors to Punta Cana have just one thing on their mind: 100 per cent pure relaxation. From Russia with Love Most popular with US tourists, due to its proximity to the American mainland, Punta Cana has begun to attract tourists from other nations in recent years and it’s actually possible to get flights directly to this part of the Dominican Republic from Moscow, as well as many cities in Western Europe. Where the Oceans Meet Punta Cana is on the most easterly point of the Dominican Republic and depending on which beach you’re standing on, you you’ll me looking at either the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, as this is where the two meet. The area only has a population of around 100,000 and is relatively deserted when compared with the rest of the country; the vast majority of people in the area can be found at the numerous resorts, which operate much like small, independent villages. The Joy of All-Inclusive While it’s possible to get out and about and explore the local villages, if you’re coming to Punta Cana, you’re coming to relax and sit on the beach, or by the pool, only tearing yourself away for meals (or to enjoy the resorts activities, if you’re feeling energetic). For this type of getaway, there’s something perfect about an all-inclusive...

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Posted on Jul 16, 2013 in Guest Posts, Travel Destinations |

Famous Scottish Film Locations

Scotland’s scenery is world-famous, with spectacular hills, glens and ruined castles that captivate the imaginations of thousands of tourists each year. The movie industry is certainly not immune to this appeal, and every year Hollywood comes to Scotland in search of unique locations for a variety of feature films. Film buffs who are visiting Scotland may wish to get in on the action (and re-enact some favourite scenes) by checking out these famous Scottish film locations. St Andrew’s – Chariots of Fire, 1981 Long before Prince William met Kate Middleton, this university town achieved fame through its cameo in the film Chariots of Fire. The film’s iconic opening scene – in which the university running team races down a broad, sandy beach as the inspiring theme tune plays – was filmed on St Andrew’s own West Sands Beach, with a glimpse of the town in the background. Now a favourite summer hangout for local students, this Blue Flag beach is a great place to seek out some of that elusive Scottish sunshine. West Sands stretches for two miles, so pop on your running shoes and go for an invigorating jog as you enjoy the views of sand dunes and golf courses. Edinburgh – Trainspotting, 1996 Glasgow loves to play other cities on film, and it played Edinburgh in most of the scenes in this edgy Brit flick. However, there is one area of the capital that Scotland’s second city simply couldn’t replicate: Princes Street. Edinburgh’s main shopping thoroughfare sits under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and boasts a unique view of the skyline and gardens. Fans of the film will remember Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller legging it along there after shoplifting from John Menzies’ newsagents. You can follow in their footsteps with a stroll east along Princes Street, then turn left at Leith Street and continue on to the Black Bull pub at the bottom: this is where McGregor’s character was accosted by the police. The Glenfinnan Viaduct – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002 All aboard the Hogwarts Express! The steam-powered Jacobite Train played...

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Posted on Jul 15, 2013 in Guest Posts, Working Abroad |

Connecting Travel with Food: How to Become an International Chef

Becoming a chef is something like becoming an artist. There are hundreds of careers and options, but becoming a top chef is a challenge. You can become a career chef almost anywhere in the world, but there are many advantages to becoming a chef overseas. You don’t have to live in a country for long to gain the advantages of the career. There are both temporary and long-term chef jobs that you can get abroad. If you want to get ahead in the chef industry, try cooking in one of the following environments. Temporary Work Some chef jobs only last a few months, and these jobs are ideal for learning a variety of cooking styles and learning about traditional foods in other countries. You can learn a lot without having to apply for extended visas and deal with other complicated laws. Cruise Ships: On a cruise ship, you have a chance to create some of the most elegant dishes in the world. Cruise ships turn food into art, so if you are looking to land a career in high-fashion foods, then a cruise ship is the ultimate training grounds. Resorts: Resorts in the summer and winter abroad will deliver a wide variety of foods. Learn about cooking hearty foods in the winter and lighter fare in the summer. You can also learn a variety of cooking styles, from the fish and chips variety to high-class foods with the most expensive ingredients in the world. Summer Camps: A summer camp is the best place to start out in cooking abroad. The venue is perfect for learning how to feed a crowd and the timing of dishes. You can learn much about catering and the business of saving money with the right ingredients when you work at a summer camp. Long-term Careers If you want something a little more long-term, you can try for a permanent cooking job. If possible, look to work in places where top chefs from that country work. Even if you have to take a lower position than your qualifications, it is worth it if you get...

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Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Guest Posts, Travel Destinations |

4 Activities You Must Do When Visiting England

Are you planning a holiday visit to England? If you answered “yes” to this question, then it’s time to start deciding what sites you’ll want to see and what activities you’ll want to take part in. Your options are limitless. If you have a well-organized plan, then you may even find yourself being able take in more of the beautiful country. Blue Planet Aquarium Once noted as being the largest aquarium in the United Kingdom, the Blue Planet Aquarium is still the largest aquarium in North West England, and the perfect spot for all ages. Shaped like a crashing wave, this establishment offers many attractions, such as: marine and freshwater fish, sharks, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Here, you can spend the day having fun and gaining knowledge about the marine environment. Earnse Bay Do you enjoy going to the beach? England has plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from; Earnse Bay is just one of the hot spots to choose from. Home to Furness Golf Club, the North West Kitesurfing surf school, and a holiday and residential complex, the area stretches some eight miles along the coastline. Views of the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man, and the Lake District mountains are also available. During the summer months, Earnse Bay is noted for being popular amongst walkers, sunbathers, and kitesurfers. The Cheltenham Festival If you enjoy watching horse races, then the Cheltenham Festival is for you. Noted for the large crowds and noise levels generated by spectators, this event offers British and Irish trained horses racing during the month of March. During the four-day long festival, large amounts of money are gambled. In fact, the amount of race prize money that is generated is only second to the Grand National. Different events that take place within this festival include Champions Day, Ladies Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Gold Cup Day. Champions Day begins on the 11th of March, followed by Ladies Day. Ladies Day is a chance for different women to show off their fashion senses, drink, and enjoy themselves. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated early, as a huge...

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Posted on Jun 25, 2013 in Guest Posts, Travel |

5 Types of Travellers You Should Avoid

Going on a solo travel adventure can be a fun and liberating experience for some but for others, they prefer travelling with company. Choosing who to explore the world with is crucial to the success of your trip. At the end of the day, you do not want to be stuck in some random airport screaming at the top of your lungs at each other just because someone got the boarding gate wrong and you missed your flight (true story). There are many types of notoriously bad travellers around, so we decided to give you a heads up on the 5 types of travellers you should avoid. 1. The Tense and Uptight One Highly strung people are no fun to travel with. With an ability to be overly edgy over the tiniest of details, even the calmest lot will end up being somewhat affected by their behaviour. The transport that will bring you to the airport is late? Immediately, they think they will miss the flight. Forgot to pack first aid and medication? They anxiously start seeking the nearest pharmacy. When they said live life on the edge, this wasn’t it. They fret all the time and lose it when things don’t go according to schedule which brings us to no.2. 2. The Worry Wart Highly similar to No.1, the difference is that the worry wart frets about the “what ifs” and the possibilities of things that can go hypothetically bad. Unlike the uptight traveller who only gets wound up when things don’t go according to plan, the worrier sees the bad even though it may or may not happen. Negativity is their middle name and they should be avoided at all costs lest they dampen your holiday spirit. 3. The Rigid Traveller Everything and we mean everything, must pan out according to plan. If you stray from the itinerary, you are most likely to be met with a death stare insisting that you follow the schedule. Most regimental in their thinking, we suspect they make the best military personnel. Travel with them at your own risk because they...

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