Anje Rautenbach of Knysna SOUTH AFRICA

29. Featured Traveller 
 Anje Rautenbach
ESL Teacher : Writer : Traveller

"Dream. Explore. Discover" 

Her craziness and desire to travel started from a very young age. She went from the back seat of her parents' VW kombi to leaving South Africa in 2009 to explore South Korea and the rest of Asia.

Anje picked up the travel bug quite fast - the unknown intrigued her and she got mesmerised by different smells, cultures, food, languages and adventures.

She explored beautiful places around Asia, ate delicious Asian food, got food poisoning countless of times, collected Asian beer cans, did a two month cycle trip in Indonesia, completely fell in love with bicycle touring, studied Indonesian, taught English, got addicted to goats and ducks, ticked off items on her bucket list, added items to her bucket list, filled up a passport, met locals, lived like a local, CouchSurfed, got tattoos and developed a personal mantra to "dream, explore & discover".

Anje returned home to South Africa after living abroad for more than 3 years. She took off all her travelling bracelets, got an interview, bought a car and landed a job as a copy writer.


Try Exotic Travelling Destinations For a Holiday

Written by Jesse Cadena

You recline in the golden glow of sunset, toes digging into warm soft sand and the lulling sweep of waves rising and falling, sending you off into a dream.  Sounds too good to be true when you have a fresh foot of snow to shovel off of the drive and walks in the morning?  Not if you start planning now and book a trip to one of the exotic travelling destinations where you've always imagined yourself going, someday.  Now is that day.

Kauia (Garden Isle) Hawaii USA
Bali.  Jamaica.  Kauai.  Just the sound of the names brings up the dream of long warm evenings on the beach and tranquil days spent near the water, boating or diving.  The islands all have lush forests with trails for exploring jungles and waterfalls when you are ready to venture inland from the beach.  Find food that satisfies your exotic cravings and the most tantalizing drinks of fresh fruit juices you have ever sipped.


Travellers stranded in Toronto due to Ice Storm

Toronto weather creates havoc in Toronto as ice storm leaves 400,000 in the dark across Ontario

The purpose of this post is to advise friends and relatives of travellers who are in Canada for a visit and scheduled to leave the country during the holiday season. Ice storm that hits Toronto and other cities on Saturday stranded most travellers.  Here is part of the news that was published early Monday morning. Read on....latest news at the end of the article.
A “rare and vigorous” winter storm that coated Eastern Canada in a thick layer of ice over the weekend saw major power outages in Toronto, paralyzing much of the city’s transit system and stranding holiday travellers.
The steady dose of freezing rain Saturday night turned roads and sidewalks into skating rinks Sunday, cut power to hundreds of thousands of people, and played havoc with holiday plans at one of the busiest travel times of the year.
Stranded Travellers at Pearson International Airport in Toronto
Photo Credit : James Martin/National Post
At the peak of the storm’s impact Sunday, hundreds of thousands of households were without power — approximately 300,000 in Toronto alone. By late Sunday night, Toronto Hydro was still working to restore power to 254,000 customers. Southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes saw as much as 30 mm of ice blanket roads and trees, sending broken branches into power lines.
“It truly is a catastrophic ice storm that we have had here, probably one of the worst we’ve ever had,” Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines said Sunday. The worst hit parts of Toronto are the neighbourhoods near the 401, stretching the city from Etobicoke to Scarbourough.


Warm Welcome to the New and Shiny Year 2014

Written by Shezaa Nehal

The New Year's Eve celebration greets warmly the coming year, which could be very beneficial, gainful, satisfying and flourishing for the entire world. Everyone is anxiously waiting with the hopes of fulfilling their desires and dreams with the gleaming beam of new sun. Here we will identify the best possible ways to welcome the New Year in the following lines.
Hangout Anywhere For New Year's Eve Celebration
The New Year's Eve celebration can be ideally organized at home, in any unique restaurant or hotel located in the city or anywhere in the local station, in a farm house, in a relaxing location, or in any sea resort. The main aim is to bid goodbye to the passing year, and offer a very warm welcome to a new excellent and shiny year, with the hope that it will bring significant benefits and amazing success, together with well-rounded pleasure and joys.

Jovial Activities for New Year Eve Celebration
The New Year Eve celebration is amazingly known for its foods, which add spirit and eagerness to the vibrant festivities. Other vital components of New Year celebration are eating and drinking gatherings, having a party and dance, gorgeous light decorations, experiencing fireworks and bonfires, and joyful trip to adventurous Hatta mountain safari, a place of natural elegance and grace. There are some well known dishes that are associated with this evening like prime rib, seafood, some soups and lentils and many more.


Rafting in Rishikesh

Written by Zara Jones

The holy Ganga River is one of the strongest anchors of the Hindu religion. It holds the faiths of millions of people and is looked upon as a saviour. The journey of a Hindu life begins and ends in Ganga. The river immerses not only the sins of the people but also the bodily ashes of the departed souls.
The sacred waters of Ganga originate from the mighty glaciers of the Himalayas and after a journey of 250 kilometres, it reaches the plains of Rishikesh (in Uttarakhand).

River Rafting Tour Rishikesh  Photo Credit : Bhandariseo
Rishikesh is the base for undertaking the ‘Chota Char Dham’ pilgrimage comprising - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. The city is also famous for its Yoga and Ayurvedic treatments. The rejuvenating effects of the therapeutic practices get more enhanced through the spiritually enriched in the  picturesque land of Rishikesh.
There is one more facet of Rishikesh for which it has become renowned world over - the adventurous side of the revered land. Rishikesh offers various enthralling activities like river rafting, body surfing, cliff jumping, rappelling, rock climbing, waterfall trekking, kayaking and canoeing. Among all of them, river rafting, which is famously called white water rafting, is the major sparkling attraction, bringing thousands of people to Rishikesh.


Steven Moore of Lowestoft ENGLAND

28Featured Traveller 
 Steven Moore

Writer : Novelist : Traveller
 Lowestoft ENGLAND

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, 
in the end." ~ Ernest Hemingway

Featuring a fellow traveller is fun and fulfilling. It's a great honour, especially to me as a blogger who tries to reach out, not only to a cool guy who blogs, but that is also a seasoned writer. 

Flag of the United Kingdom
I am talking about nomadic Steve, who, once upon a time, hailed from England.  He has since travelled to many places around the globe (and still counting). I cannot help but publish the list of countries he has explored, not just once, but a couple of times. Have a look and tell me if you notice something.

England (home),  Republic of Ireland,  Wales x 5,  France x 3,  Monaco,  Spain x about 20,  Italy x 2, Vatican City x 2,  Holland x 3,  Belgium x 2,  Czech Rep x 2,  Poland,  Austria,  Germany x 3, Greece x 2,  Turkey x 3,  Slovakia,  Hungary,  Israel x 2,  Egypt x 2,  Tunisia,  Morocco,  Nepal, India x 2, South Korea x 3,  Japan,  China (Hong Kong),  Singapore x 3,  Indonesia x 4, Philippines,  Malaysia x 5,  Thailand x 8, Cambodia x 2,  Vietnam,  Laos,  Australia x 6,  New Zealand x 4,  Fiji,  French Polynesia,  Argentina,  Chile,  Brazil,  Peru,  Mexico x 3,  U.S.A x 2, Canada.

It's no wonder Steve does not stay long in the UK. He is always on the road, and possibly at places we still haven't heard of. 

You might ask why he's visited Spain the most (20 times) and not India (x2) which is his favourite destination. Steve must have a good answer to that. Please note that he is a writer, so he can surely justify as you read on.

Steve in the Red Sea
Steve loves to travel by train but prefer to walk on his travels.

He muses, "Budget is important, as I tend to go on longer "trips" than short holidays. But sometimes, you've just got to splash out on once in a lifetime moments. Carpe Diem, right?"


Taiwan- beautiful island blending East and West

Written by Ruth Sheffer

The lure and magic of the East with the comforts of the West - what could be more tempting?

After living in China for a while, the attraction of modern toilets and a clean environment could never be overstated. So with this in mind we hopped on a ferry boat to the island of Jinmen and from there onto a small domestic flight and soon found ourselves in the heart of the capital city, Taipei.

Maobitou Rock Formations & Cliffs - TAIWAN
How can I describe Taipei - bustling, cultured, fascinating, illuminated? 

All of these are true, but not enough to capture the charm of the city. It has a great subway system, cheap and easily navigated even by those who don't read Chinese characters. It has skyscrapers, the famous Taipei 101  being one of them, it has Asian markets full of cheap knock-off goods, but also exclusive glitzy fashion stores for the fashion conscious, and it has every style of restaurant imaginable, from the hole in the wall noodle guy to the fancy elegant upscale seafood place. 

It also has a fascinating history and enough museums to prove it, and finally it has art galleries and exhibitions. We were lucky enough to be there during a Hello Kitty exhibition in a building formerly a tobacco factory.


Autumn in Patroklos Island

Written by Antonis Iordanoglou

Years ago I heard my father talking about Gaidouronisi (donkey island in Greek), as we drove to Cape Sounion, watching this remote island, located quite close to the shore. We now know the place as Patroclos (or Patroclus’) island and since I got my speedboat I often moor at its sandy beaches and protected bays.

Island of Patroclus...

On that October Saturday, I had gone spearfishing with a friend, again in that island. The weather was weird: it started like a north wind but kept changing direction west - east. The clarity at the atmosphere was amazing. We loiter at the spotless horizon all the nearby Cyclades islands up to Serifos. What a sweet autumn afternoon...
Very few boats had come out to the sea that day and quiet was absolute. Underwater it was quiet too; fish were not many, but the images were full of greatness.

I was watching around, during my dives, the remains of the many shipwrecks of Patroclus. Broken crockery everywhere, iron plates, wires, handles from ancient jugs tied to incredible formations with the colourful rocks of the seabed, trimmed with all kinds of seaweed, anemones and sponges. I've seen those remains many times.


A Whistle Stop Tour of Ireland

Written by Kate Power
If you can, I would advise spending a whole year in Ireland.

Visit the best cities in the world like Cork, Galway, or Belfast. Go to the small towns and soak up the sights and sounds. Get invited to go surfing on the Atlantic Coast at Doonbeg, find yourself in Enniscrone, find out why it’s called the Devil’s ladder in Kerry or discover the undiscovered beauty of islands like Baltimore off the Cork Coast. You could spend a long time in Ireland and still not discover everything. But, we don’t always have the time, so I’ve taken a couple of highlights for a quick stopover in Ireland.

Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Photo Credit: Tinou Bao
A hop-on hop-off bus tour is a good way to spend a morning.

Dublin is a small city so it only takes an hour or two and if nothing else, it’ll help you figure out where everything is.

A good place to stop off is at either the National Gallery or the National Museum; both are free and offer a real insight, if in broad sweeping strokes through Irish history. You cannot leave without visiting the Guinness Storehouse. Its reputation is well earned; offering a fun and imaginative tour. It finishes off with a pint of the black stuff in the Gravity Bar, one of the best views of the city.

The Science Gallery is an incredible science and information hybrid, with real life experiments like growing cheese out of your armpit or clothes from a pint of Guinness as well as a great lunch. It’s free in, just check their programme to see what’s exhibiting when you arrive.


Why Spend Your Next Holidays In Fascinating City Of Dubai?

Written by Shezaa Nehal
Dubai is one of the most sprawling and bustling cities of the modern world beyond any doubt. This bewitching city does not only provide great business opportunities to the investors from across the globe but also offers some sensational places for the tourists to explore and behold.
Following lines explain some important reasons for the people to visit Dubai during their holidays.
Best Destination for Shopping
Most of the items in Dubai are duty free and therefore, Dubai is a spectacular destination for the people who love shopping. People can actually choose from a large variety of their favourite things available at exquisite shopping malls, plazas and boutiques scattered across the city.

Dubai Shopping Girls - Vector Illustration
The Excellent Climate
The climate of the city remains warm throughout the year making it a perfect tourist spot especially for the western tourists. A large number of people choose Dubai to spend their vacations in order to get rid of cold weather in their respective countries and enjoy the warmth and energy that is available in this mesmerizing city. You can also avail an opportunity of Dubai fishing during your winter stay in Dubai.


Drew Goldberg of Seoul SOUTH KOREA

27Featured Traveller 
 Drew Goldberg
English Teacher

"Life is short and the world is large"

This is a story of a young man who travel a lot and got two things in mind when travelling - food and nightlife

Binsky, as he is fondly called, has travelled to every country in Western/Central Europe, USA, Mexico,Canada, Bahamas, Haiti, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Israel, UAE, Japan and South Korea. In spite of the 40 countries he has visited, he plans to take trips from January to February 2014 to South America and at least ten different Southeastern Asian countries. 

Flag of South Korea
"My life is a constant adventure.  I am very optimistic, love to make new friends and enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone. 

My friends that I met around the world inspire and motivate me to travel. They are always recommending a new place to explore. And I do love visiting them in their home countries", he says.

Drew is currently living in South Korea. He spend most of his time teaching the English language.

Flag of the USA
He was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and attended at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where he completed degrees in economics and entrepreneurship. He also studied in Prague, Czech Republic in the spring of 2012. During his stay in the country, he had the opportunity to travel all over Europe. He has learned other languages other than English during his travels. He can communicate in Spanish, Czech and Korean, and willing to learn more as the situation calls for it.

Drew has one very important advice to you when you are travelling. "Always talk to the locals. They know better than any lonely planet or guidebook will tell you. I have made some awesome local friends and had some awesome experiences", he adds.

He will tell you more about his journey all around the world in his own travel blog, The Hungry Partier. Come and visit him before, during and after your travels. It's a blog worth reading!

* * * * *
I always want to share my travel experiences around the world by providing tips and advices that will be of help to travellers like you, who eat and party in every place you go. Growing up in a Jewish household made me a food lover and going to college at Wisconsin cultured me with drinking and partying.  

Drew in Interlaken SWITZERLAND
If you want to experience the true culture of a city and find the best local cuisines and the hottest nightclubs in town, then Amsterdam is a good place for you to visit. The city is a magical place. Contrary to what we have been hearing about Amsterdam, it is not known only for its fabulous Red Light District and lavish entertainment. Tourists are coming here for many reasons.


Christmas Celebrations With White Sand In Dubai

Written by Shezaa Nehal
With the arrival of December, Christmas celebrations can be seen everywhere with their full hype. Some are making plans for shopping while some are thinking to experience joyful smashes in other countries. Here, our focus is on the Christmas celebrations in Dubai with the touch of old and new Arabian styles.
Christmas in the Vivid Arabian City   
While some may appreciate the rich lifestyle and exclusive environment of different places, Dubai remains at the top of the many. The city offers unique Christmas shopping opportunities and a variety of elegant destinations to the people around the world. Nothing make anybody uncomfortable on the occasion in spite of the fact that the city is Islam by religion.

Cost Effective Shopping
Many shops in Dubai city start excellent sales before Christmas at the end of November, including the attractions of a joyful break of New Year. Whether you are walking down in the city or viewing shopping malls, you will find everything at an excellent price. Here you can get something different, such as the Diamond Market, where the newest jewelry styles can be found. It is the place where fashion lovers can get newest styles from across the globe. Dubai is in fact the house to some of the most famous shops on the globe.


A Picturesque Setting For Your Next Conference

Written by Sylvia Cates

Organising a business conference might not be quite as stressful as planning a wedding ceremony, but it does often require a similarly lavish venue. When it comes to industry success, it seems that appearances are everything. If you're liaising with a big client and they're in two minds as to whether to invest in your company, a conference held in a lavish location can make a very big difference, say the experts at Sundial Group.

It sounds cynical, but it's true. We're all impressed by indulgence - business directors and managers even more so, some would say. Whilst you can always hold your next big conference in a tired, old boardroom in the middle of the city, why not surprise your client and whisk them off to a beautiful venue

Visit Amazing Venues website for information and advice on the vast range of corporate venues available throughout the United Kingdom. Here's a guide to some of the most picturesque conference venues in the country.

Colshaw Hall, Cheshire
Colshaw Hall, Cheshire
This beautiful Tudor style manor house is situated deep in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. It was built in 1903 and is now an English Heritage Grade II listed building.

It's privately owned by the Irlam family, who bought the house just over a decade ago.

A few years ago, this family decided that they wanted to share Colshaw Hall with the world. It has been fully restored and is now used as a venue for weddings and corporate events, says journalist Emma Mayoh.


Greek Christmas Traditions

Written by Kate Power
Even though Easter is a much bigger holiday than Christmas for Greeks, it’s still a great time of tradition, but with a twist. Greek Orthodox traditions mingle with familiar festive customs. Where some people decorate a Christmas Tree, lots of Greeks put model ships in their houses, and where gifts are presented on December 25th in some homes, Greek give gifts on New Year’s Eve.

Christmas Tree in Greece. Photo Credit Tilemahos Efthimiadis
After a couple of years living in Greece, here are some of the most famous that I’ve heard of:

The Christmas Goblin

I had never heard of these even in my first few years of living in Greece. The kallikantzari are mischievous elves who visit earth for 12 days over Christmas. Their aim is to disturb people; they come out at night to steal food or knock things over. However they are not too effective as far as mischief goes, because usually they can’t agree on anything, so their plans are left on the shelf. In the past, villagers wouldn’t leave their houses after nightfall for fear of running into one of the creatures. On Epiphany (January 6th), water is blessed and it forces them back underground.


Grab Some Snacks And Be On The Adventurous Trip

Written by Shezaa Nehal
Now get out of your homesickness when in Dubai because this content is going to tell you what you can do to entertain your sleeping soul. The city’s sky, desert, ocean, beaches all are ready to be captured by you so get on for the best time.
Make A Fly
Wonderful to see the entire desert in a single glimpse. Look around and observe the tiny running desert safaris, camels with their little moves and people like tiny creature. The unique experience of watching the desert will always amuse you whenever you recall it.

Fishing and Swimming in Dubai
Dinner Along With Music
Along the creek hop on the glittering dhow cruise to have a dinner with your loved one and enjoy the soft melodious tunes in the background. Everything around you definitely hit to your senses. The fascinating lightening of the city fills your trip with more charm, so miss this bright chance.
Dune Bashing For Fun  
Thrilling actions will chill out when you are making the 45 degree angle. Rolling up and down in the scattered desert will help you to observe the desert as well to experience a different thing in your life. But do not forget that the horrible jeeps are roaring around you so be careful.


Top 10 Tips for Photography Abroad

Written by Glenn Asher-Gordon

Publisher's Note:

Taking photos can be as challenging as can be, especially to me. These tips are so inspiring that I honestly cannot imagine my life without a camera. I am so grateful to Glenn for sharing valuable information which is very useful to new photographers and for you who is passionate about photography. 

* * * * * 
                          Glenn Asher-Gordon

I am a happy, young and enthusiastic photographer who specialises in taking pictures of landscape and wildlife. Though I normally take photos while travelling abroad, I capture Events professionally in Leicestershire and beyond. 

I enjoy bringing my love of nature into my wedding and event photography wherever possible. When shooting portraits, I like to focus on the interplay between people or pets, trying to capture something of a person's spirit that indefinable quality that makes them unique. Visit me at Gray Gordon Photography. 

Whether photography is a hobby or profession, the following tips are essential to improve and master your passion. Remember, just because someone has an expensive camera doesn't mean that they're a good photographer.

  • Respect your Environment
Most importantly of all, look after your surroundings. Do not destroy delicate plant life, endanger or frighten an animal just to get a good shot. If you truly value the beauty of your subject, please take the time and care to protect it.

Basking by the Sea  - Photo Courtesy of Glenn Asher-Gordon 
  •                                                             Copyrighted

  • The Early Bird Catches the Worm
And the early photographer catches the early bird, catching the worm. Be prepared to put yourself out a little if you want to get that stunning shot.  Really, attention-grabbing or thought-provoking shots rarely fall onto your lap, you have to go and look for them.


Ryanair launched flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg

Irish carrier may follow other budgets already blazing trail in Russian airspace. It is cleared for take off to Russia.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline, looks set to follow other low-cost carriers into Russian airspace by launching flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg early next year.

Photo Credit: Josep Lago

Russia’s aviation authority has granted the Irish carrier permission to fly from Dublin to Russia beginning in March 2014, Bloomberg reports.
However, the airline was still in negotiations over which airports it could potentially use in Russia, Ryanair said.
“Ryanair has had discussions with a number of Russian airports, but they are purely exploratory at this time,” the airline’s spokesman, Robin Kiely, said in a brief statement.
Domodedovo Airport, to which Ryanair’s competitor easyJet currently flies, was the most likely candidate for the Russian capital, The Moscow Times said.


When Is a Temple Not a Temple?

Written by D.R. Ransdell

When Is a Temple Not a Temple?
Answer: When it’s a mega-temple!

My friend and I decided to visit Thailand’s Wat Pho on the morning we were going to visit The Grand Palace because the two famous sites were close together. The descriptions in our guidebooks made it sound like the temple was famous because it was one of the oldest in Thailand and because it was closely associated with the Buddha. We didn’t think much past that. We took for granted it was on a must-see list.

            When we arrived at the temple, we were shocked to find that it wasn’t merely a temple but a whole temple complex. This was completely new to me. Up to that point I’d spent a lot of time traveling through Europe, which meant touring famous churches such as the Chartres Cathedral or the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. Even though those two churches were examples of buildings that deserved a ninety-minute visit, I wasn’t prepared for Wat Pho, which was worth several hours!


Making the Most of Your Museum Visit

Written by Marie Rea

Many people get turned off with the idea of visiting museums. But for my family of four, museums are awesome and interesting places to enjoy- they offer exhibits and collections you will perhaps never see as they are rare and they offer avenues for intellectual exploration which can lead to more amazing discoveries for your kids particularly, depending on their interests.

First, what are museums?
According to the Museum Association website (UK): 'Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artefacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society.' This definition includes art galleries with collections of works of art, as well as museums with historical collections of objects."

Often they are housed in huge buildings with several levels like the Natural History Museums in almost every country. Or, they can be in a small "Heritage listed" old home that often has been restored and so forth.

Inside Museum - Prefecture of Kerkyra CORFU
Here are some guidelines on getting the most from your museum visit, based on my personal experience:

Do your research before your intended visit. This way, you will know which areas you need to spend more time in and those you don't need to see or just pass through quickly.

For instance, when my boys were fascinated with dinosaurs and other prehistoric stuff, we took them to the Field Museum in Chicago which was an enormous place with various sections. So we knew which floors to go to first and then just browsed through the others. But, once we were there, we were also fascinated with the various natural stones and minerals exhibits that this encouraged my boys to get interested in collecting stones and forge metals.To this day, they have a growing collection of pocket knives (all legal) and the like.