Boots scurry through volcanic gravel. A sliding door slams. The engine rumbles, the van lurches forward – and so the journey begins. Before me I see scrubland worming up through black volcanic fields, mountain ranges wildly stripped of green, waterfalls gushing from stunted valleys, lagoons littered with sky-blue chunks of ice, and ponds so still and so clear that they are mirrors to an inverted world – one where the sky or a mountain crag hangs upside-down.
Eighty kilometres of jackknives, hairpins, switchbacks, dips, and blind summits wind through the treeless glens along the Isle of Skye’s northernmost peninsula. The Trotternish Loop — a more poetic title for the serpentining sprawl of the A87 — is, despite my descriptors to the contrary, a forgiving stretch of asphalt for someone who has never driven on the left side of the road in his life.
Whether you are reading this at your desk, slowly disappearing beneath a pile of aesthetically pleasing yet functionally useless revision notes, or frantically clutching a coffee cup in some uninhabitable, oxygen-starved corner of the library – allow me to provide some momentary relief.
For the 2016 New Year’s Eve countdown, my family and I traveled to Tokyo, Japan! The people were so kind and welcoming, there was inspiring art everywhere and the fashion was gorgeous; but, there was one stand out night that I’ll always remember.
Summer is on the horizon, and for those of you struggling to decide where you want to spend your precious vacation time, let me help. Cape Town in South Africa offers it all: pristine beaches, breathtaking mountains, vibrant neighbourhoods, a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and open savannahs filled with an incredible array of wild animals.
A small boat pulls up alongside a stone jetty. It bobs up and down in the waves, as suitcases and passengers are precariously unloaded. A walk up a sloping grassy hill looms above them and they start regretting all the unnecessary items they packed in their heavy cases. Seagulls call and carelessly soar above the boat. They have no such things to weigh them down.
I visited Budapest for the first time last May, and it is the type of place I can see myself returning to again and again. Think cool museums, vintage shopping, excellent coffee and vibrant, alternative nightlife – exactly the escape I needed during last year’s exam period, and exactly the escape I am craving as I write this!
Southern California, or ‘SoCal’ as I call it, has always been my home. It has a very rare reputation of being a place where you can ski and surf in the same day. We all know the main sites; Disneyland, the Hollywood sign, PCH. But what about the local secrets? Here are some must-see spots for people who want to go off the beaten track in Southern California:
I have a massive family and we’re always travelling together, anywhere from a day trip to the beach to a two-week cruise. I’ve also been on a summer camp through Asia with fifty other students, so I have certainly been around the block with travelling in big groups. But, until spring break this year, when I travelled to Barcelona with nine of my friends, I never had to be a part of planning it. Here are some tips that we learned along the way for how to make the process as easy as possible!
You want to visit a new country, but you don’t speak the language? It may take twice as long to pick up groceries or make local friends, but here are some easy tricks to make the language barrier a fun hurdle rather than a frightening one.