Top Tips For Planning A Safe Road Trip

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Summer is always a time of exciting getaways and holidays – whether abroad or just in your own backyard. Easily one of the most popular summer holiday ideas is to go on a road trip – and what better way than with all your favourite people to your favourite places. Road trips are a great option for those who are trying to remain budget friendly – if you camp along the way rather than staying in hotels, it can vastly reduce the cost of the trip. But how else should you prepare for a road trip? Did you know that distracted driving can reduce your response time? Check out a fun game about that very thing here. You can also check out some information about how GPS use on phones has actually increased phone use while driving. Scary right? Don’t run afoul of these problems while on the road. Here are some of our top tips for preparation and staying safe

GPS/SAT NAV

It goes without saying that one of the ways you will probably be getting around includes the use of a Sat Nav or GPS. These days though, the traditional Sat Nav has become less and less popular as GPS is available through almost any phone. Sat Navs and GPS use is common when it comes to driving, and it’s increased cell phone use while driving, resulting in more dangerous potential distraction while on the road. One of the best ways to still use GPS but not be distracted? Use a holder of some kind attached to the dashboard. This should help keep your eyes on the road and your hands off the phone, avoiding distracted driving.  

Car Prep

Car prep is another important aspect when it comes to making sure you stay safe while having fun. Car prep can involve getting the brakes checked, the tyres balanced or getting an oil change. After all, you don’t want to be stuck somewhere with a bad tyre in the middle of nowhere, right? Always better to be safe than sorry. 

Packing

Packing up the car will depend entirely on where you go. Are you heading to the mountains? You will want to be sure to take some warmer clothes as even in the summer it can be cool in the hills. Likewise, if you’re looking for someone to go hiking with, take this into consideration when you plan your packing gear – you will want boots, sticks and maybe a day pack of some kind to carry snacks and water. Planning to camp along the way? Don’t forget that tent and sleeping gear – you will sure miss it if you forget it, and you will have to shell out for potentially expensive hotel rooms instead!

The Route – With Alternatives

Finally, one of our top tips is to plan out your route in advance, with some alternatives in mind in case a road is blocked or closed or you simply find you can’t get to a specific place. It’s always a downer if you get to a turn off and find you can’t go further, so be sure to look in advance. Oftentimes, Google Maps actually have road closures announced, so this could be a good tool to use to plan your route. 

So there you have some of the top suggestions for staying safe while planning and embarking on a road trip. Road trips are time honoured traditions with family and friends and allow for a whole lot of autonomy when it comes to getting around, picking your sights and the like. Enjoy!

 

Top Things To See And Do In Liverpool

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The UK is easily one of the best places for travellers to explore – what with numerous amazing towns and cities to visit, deep and rich history to experience and a number of fantastic areas of natural beauty just waiting to be explored. If you haven’t been to the UK before though, you might be wondering which cities aside from London you should add to your must-see list. Liverpool is one such city that many travellers miss out on, but you really shouldn’t, especially if you’re a Beatles fan! Here is a short guide to Liverpool and how you can really make the city your own and truly experience the #VIPLiverpool lifestyle with all the top spots to see and experience around the city such as the top Liverpool ONE restaurants you need to check out when you’re stopping for a bite amid hours of sightseeing. 

The Beatles Story

Of course, what’s Liverpool without exploring the city’s most famous four – the Beatles. Hailing from Liverpool, the Beatles went onto worldwide success and fame and to this day are one of the most well known bands in history. The Beatles Story is an exciting and interactive exhibit located at Albert Dock that is touted as the place to see in Liverpool for any tourist – regardless of whether they like the Beatles or not. The whole exhibit goes from their inception, their career and fame and then also follows the lives and careers following the breakup of the band. A definite gem of Liverpool, and one that you shouldn’t miss. Bring your phone for some awesome photo opportunities in and around the exhibit. 

Liverpool ONE Shopping District

With over 150 shops and restaurants, Liverpool ONE is the top shopping area in the city. Located right in the heart of Liverpool, Liverpool ONE is a modern collection of all the best high street offerings from John Lewis to Claire’s and more. There are also numerous bespoke shops as well that you won’t find elsewhere. Liverpool ONE is more than just shopping and eating though – there are festivals and events that take place year round as well as touring exhibitions and even some museums on site. The Liverpool ONE restaurants are plentiful and provide excellent options for shoppers and  visitors that are looking for anything from a quick bite and coffee all the way up to posh meals with friends. You definitely won’t want to miss this shopping and dining experience.

Shiverpool and Other Tours

Liverpool is home to numerous tours that visitors can enjoy, allowing them to get up close and personal with some of the city’s best bits. Shiverpool takes visitors on a choice of three different tours, all in the city centre that feature the cathedrals, Albert Dock or the Auld City. Bookings in advance are recommended. Definitely a great way to explore some of the hidden back alley gems of the city, so be sure to bring your camera! Other tours that exist in the city include the Fab Four Beatles tour – a step back in time while you visit the childhood homes of John, Paul, Ringo and George. If you’re into the television show Peaky Blinders, you can also hop on a tour of the filming locations for a behind the scenes look at this historical TV drama.

So whether it’s your first or fiftieth time to the UK, be sure to add Liverpool to your list of places to check out on your next vacation to the British Isles. With so many unique things to see and do, as well as a hidden gem seemingly around every corner, you honestly won’t regret it. With so many things to see and do in Liverpool alone, you will wonder why you didn’t check out this northern gem before. So come to Liverpool – you honestly won’t regret it.

 

Top Snorkelling and Diving Destinations In The World

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Are you an avid fan of snorkelling or diving and trying to find the next best place to go for your upcoming holidays? There are literally so many places across the world that provide excellent snorkelling and diving as well as opportunities for boat trips that can take you out to fantastic reefs, just teeming with life. While diving requires training and expertise in order to perform, you can go on try dives and introduction courses even if you have no intention of doing it long term which helps you get a feel for the underwater world away from snorkelling. If you don’t want to have to put all that equipment on every time you go to enjoy the sea though, snorkelling is just as good – sometimes better. Here is a list of some of the world’s best snorkelling and diving countries. 

Egypt

It’s no secret that some of the best ocean life is found in Egypt’s Red Sea. Whether you’re a diver or a snorkeller, it’s likely that you will be shocked at the amount of fish as well as their colour when you visit some of Egypt’s dive sites and reefs. The corals as well are typically in good condition and provide a colourful backdrop, especially in the springtime when they bloom and provide a whole myriad of colours and shades. Boat trips to various reefs in the Red Sea are popular and sought after from mainly Sharm El-Sheikh or Dahab. Book a cheap flight to Sharm El-Sheikh to get your dive on.

Indonesia

With thousands of islands and pristine reef throughout, Indonesia is easily one of the most amazing countries in the world for both diving and snorkeling. Whether you’re staying on Bali, the Gili Islands or you’re going further afield to the likes of Raja Ampat, the Banda or Cai Islands, one thing is for certain, and that’s the fact that when it comes to sea life, Indonesia has it going on. Raja Ampat is one of the most beautiful and pristine marine reserves in the world and has limits on building in the marine park as well as limits on what can and cannot be done as well as the number of tourists that go through there in order to keep its ranking as one of the best in the world. That being said though, the rest of Indonesia also has pristine reefs, so finding something truly spectacular isn’t too difficult. 

Australia

Home to the world’s most famous reef, the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has some seriously impressive reefs and coastline where you can catch a whole variety of earth’s marine life. Comprised of almost 3000 individual reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is a truly unique and beautiful reef system. Considering the state of the reefs across the world and how important the Great Barrier Reef is to the overall health and wellness of the overall marine system worldwide, strict rules are enforced when it comes to the Great Barrier Reef. While some of it is experiencing coral bleaching due to climate change, any tour operator worth their weight will know where you should and shouldn’t go in order to minimise further reef damage.

Thailand

One of the most popular island destinations in the world, Thailand is home to several gorgeous islands that have great reefs just waiting to be explored. While some films such as The Beach made certain coves, bays and beaches insanely popular, the Thai government has recognised this and have taken steps to minimise further reef damage by closing beaches. That being said though, you can still visit various reefs around the islands – the main ones being Koh Phanang, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Tao and Koh Lanta. Come see for yourself the Thai reefs and waters that have many different things to offer. Boat trips to island hop are a popular way to see more than one island chain and its offerings in an afternoon, often an excellent way to see as much marine life as possible due to the fact some islands have better reefs than others. 

So if you’re looking for the best reefs to check out in the world, hopefully this short list will help you make some great plans in regard to going to visit various reefs, teeming with life. With so many great reefs to choose from, the only question you will have is “where to first?”.

 

Anouk Govil – The Benefits of Going Kayaking

I met Anouk Govil when I first started university here in New York, he was from Connecticut and I helped him to acclimatize somewhat to this crazy city. Last month he invited me up to his home town to spend the Easter holidays and show off what people do back up in a far quieter part of the country. During our week of activities I fell in love with kayaking and I have since started to go out on a weekend to the Hudson River to get my fix! If you have the opportunity to go kayaking where you live here is why I think that you should.

The Peace

Even in a city as hectic as New York there is great peace to be found out there on the river, especially first thing in the morning. It was far more beautiful back in Connecticut I must admit but the tranquility of floating along the water is exactly the same. If you head out alone then you can enjoy taking some time out, watching the world go by as you gently sail on down the currents of the water. There is a great peace to be found out on the water when you do go kayaking.

Fitness

It is truly blissful when you are floating down stream but when the time comes to go up against the current you really have to put some effort in. This has proven great for me from a health standpoint and after just a few weeks of kayaking I can already feel me abs getting stronger as well as my arms. When you are in the kayak there is only you to power and maneuver it which isn’t always easy, regular trips to the water in your kayak will help your health.

Back to Nature

There is something very cathartic about getting in touch with nature, some do this by hiking through forests and jungles, sleeping wild, and others get it by taking to the water. I really have enjoyed this experience and floating on the water feels like something very human and something which really brings me a great deal of joy.

Buddy Up

When I hit the water with Anouk we had a great time and it is a wonderful way of catching up with someone. Together you can float downstream, slowly chatting about the world and enjoying some very personal time with your friends.

Fun

Beyond all other reasons kayaking is a just a very fun endeavor which will put a smile on your face. I’d recommend doing this first thing in the morning if you can because it will put you in a great mood for the rest of the day. This is a sport which is only as intense as you want it to be and one which will ultimately leave you happy to be alive.

Why not give it a try this week?

Unique Destinations For Any Getaway

Planning that ultimate getaway that is a mix of both exciting and unique can sometimes be a challenge. In these days of Instagram, Facebook and more, it seems that everyone and their dog have been to the usual countries like Thailand, Mexico, Italy and more. What about those of us who crave something more – something truly unique? Something that doesn’t seem to always make the front page of social media? Here are some unique ideas you can consider for that getaway that might raise a few eyebrows.

Ireland

Have you or someone you know been to the wilds of the Emerald Isle? It may seem like it’s frequently visited, but it may surprise you if you sit down and really think about the people you know that travel that haven’t been! While it has a large tourist economy and is set up for tourists to enjoy the wilds of the Emerald Isle, a lot of people do tend to want warmth and sun during their holidays, something that Ireland can’t always guarantee. Never fear though – with rugged coastlines, amazing hospitality and Guinness that’s to die for, we’re pretty sure you won’t have too many complaints about choosing Ireland for your next getaway.

Russia

Want something that will really raise eyebrows? Why not try Russia? Many people haven’t gone to Russia for holidays, but we’re not really sure why. It’s a unique place with immense history and gorgeous architecture, along with absolutely scrumptious food – and we haven’t even mentioned the vodka! With cities like Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg to choose from, the choices will impress and delight even the most discerning of travellers. Want something extra unique? Try the Trans-Siberian train route. You can take it from Moscow all the way to Beijing if you change in Irkutsk to a different line!

Iran

This is one that will really get people talking. Iran has long been seemingly closed off for tourists and travellers, but that’s a popular misconception. In fact, Iran is open to tourists of all kinds – just… not really Americans, Brits or Canadians really. To check out this beautiful and shockingly welcoming country as one of those three you’ll need to be a part of an official tour, but if you’re just about any other nationality, you’re free to go as you please. Get ready to be mobbed by friendly locals wanting to legitimately learn about you and your homeland, get invited for tea and meals, be offered lifts to neighbouring towns and more. Don’t miss the rainbow mosque in Shiraz for an impressive photo opportunity and a chance to just relax for a bit in the colourful silence.

The ‘Stans

Most people might think you as strange for wanting to visit any of the ‘Stans, but they are not just unique, but welcoming and stunningly beautiful. Their somewhat inaccurate reputation means that there’s not many tourists around, leaving you with amazing mosques and other tourist sites in the likes of Uzbekistan almost all to yourself. Don’t miss Samarkand or Bushara for ancient Silk Road sites as well as beautiful open air mosques, desert mausoleums and more that will surprise and delight you.

With so many cool, unique and often unvisited countries in the world to check out, if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, you’re likely to find yourself having the experience of a lifetime if you’re willing to go where few have gone before. Good luck!

Amazing Asian Destinations For First Timers

Travelling to far flung, exotic and unique places in Asia is often times high on the bucket lists of many people. Who wouldn’t want to traverse unknown places, explore bustling cities, try new and strange food, see beautiful sights and more? It’s one of the most time honoured traditions that has luckily become more accessible to the masses these days thanks to cheaper flights, more competition with hotels and great travel deals to be had all over the globe. Sound like something you can get behind? Here’s a list of our favourite destinations for the traveller who wants something exciting, challenging and unique – whether it’s their first for fiftieth time abroad.

Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in South East Asia, with stunning coastline that runs the length of the country, unique rock formations in Ha Long Bay and bustling cities brimming with tasty opportunities to try local cuisine either through food tours or cooking classes. Don’t miss out on some of the historical side of the country with many different ways to learn about the Vietnam war, either through visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, countless museums or some of the battlefields themselves, such as those near Da Nang.

Japan

Easily one of the most desired destinations for travellers to Asia, Japan has it all, a bit of something for everyone. Visit in the springtime to experience the deeply loved tradition of ‘hanami’, the enjoyment of picnicking under the sakura blossoms or its night time equivalent, ‘yozakura’. Whether you like modern and futuristic vibes or traditional culture, you’ll find something to tickle your fancy in Japan. Dine at a robot restaurant or sing karaoke in a neon lit karaoke room before touring the bright lights and strange sights and sounds of both Shinjuku and Harajuku. If you want a real physical challenge, you can try climbing Mount Fuji, or for those who want relaxation, kicking back in some hot springs is just what the doctor ordered. Whether you want tradition or modernity, Japan has it all.

China

China is a vast country with a whole host of interesting landscapes, regions and things to see and do. Whether you want a nature based experience in the likes of Yunnan province with its green, lush mountains and lakes or you want to stroll through the bright neon districts of Shanghai or Hong Kong, China is a great mixture of East meets West. For the real adventurer, check out Western China and even further into Tibet – a place that few people seem to go.

Indonesia

Beaches, bikinis and boarding is a great way to sum up Indonesia. Parts of it anyway. On the island of Bali you can laze the days away on the beach just chilling out or you can hit up beach parties, swim with turtles or explore ancient temples. For some of the best beaches, check out Gili Trawnagan island. The best temple experiences are arguably on Java island near Yogyakarta. Whatever you decide, you’ll be in awe at the beauty, nature and adventure you can have in this nation made up of a string of islands.

Wherever you decide to head for your Asian adventure, one thing is for sure – you’ll be tempted back to the region time and again. Enjoy!

European Destinations Not To Miss In 2019

Europe is one of the most sought after destinations when it comes to travelling – whether it’s a first time traveller, a seasoned globetrotter or a family getaway for the summer holidays. It’s got a bit of something for everyone, and with so many amazing countries to visit, it’s the perfect way to get the most out of any trip, whatever the length. But just which country or countries should you choose for that epic European adventure? Each has its own flavour, vibe and attractions, so how can you pick? Here’s a couple of top European destinations you should try this year.

Italy

One of the most popular options when it comes to European travel, Italy has a whole host of places to experience and things to do. Not only this, but it’s rich with history and beautiful cities to explore and even offers up some island life such as visiting the southern island of Sicily. If you’re looking for the real Italian experience though, consider a week or more in rural Tuscany, where the wine is to die for and the rolling hills will keep taking your breath away day after day.

Ireland 

Ireland may seem sometimes rainy and gloomy, but that’s part of the charm. Don’t forget some warm clothes and waterproofs and you’re sure to have the time of your life exploring the Emerald Isle and all its unique villages, towns and cities. Kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle just outside Cork, catch the majestic Cliffs of Moher in county Clare or take a road trip around the Ring of Kerry – a well known route that takes you through some of the backcountry wilderness past lakes, through hills and tiny villages – some of which only got electricity in the last decade or two.

Greece

Who doesn’t want to while away the hours on a Greek island for their holiday. It’s the thing that dreams are frequently made of. With dozens of islands to choose from, plus a vast and interesting mainland rich with history and myths, Greece continues to delight visitors year after year and is almost always in the top five or ten for many people visiting Europe. Not to mention – the food is to die for, too!

Czech Republic

Known for being one of the stag party capitals of the world, the Czech Republic (sometimes known today as Czechia) is far more than just cheap beer and seedy bars. The beautiful and unique architecture of the place brings visitors from around the world to experience its museums, history and amazing food – a combination of Eastern European, German and Hungarian, the perfect mix! With spa towns and crazy sites to visit like the Ossuary at Sedlec in Kutna Hora, the Czech Republic will easily keep you guessing and engaged at every turn.

With so many cool destinations to choose from, how do you pick? If you like the sound of more than one place, why not consider a couple. The nice thing about Europe is the array of budget airlines meaning you can get from country to country quickly, easily and for far less than you might expect. Enjoy!

5 Top Tips For Visiting Russia

Have you ever dreamt of visiting somewhere exotic and exciting that many people don’t think to travel to? Eastern Europe – and Russia in particular – is a great area for those seeking a bit of a challenge. With unique culture, food, music and history, Russia has long created a sense of mystique around it, with many people who travel there reporting that it was hugely rewarding, even in the winter when the mercury can dip to bone-chilling temperatures. Sound like something you could get in on? Check out these five top tips for visiting Russia.

Get Your Visa First

One of the things you should consider doing before you do anything else is to get your Russian visa online before you go. Citizens of many countries aren’t able to get visas on arrival in the likes of Russia, so it’s imperative to get your visa before you fly or risk being turned around and denied entry. Getting a visa online is super quick and easy, and leaving this delicate aspect of your trip in the hands of professionals is a great way to ensure everything goes smoothly and leaves nothing to chance.

Try A Spa

Once you’re in Russia, one of the things you have to try is a real Russian spa. They say that it’s a great way to draw out the toxins in your body, but it also might leave you a bit shocked. Part of the spa process includes not just sitting in a sauna like we do in the west, but being hit up and down with switches of branches with leaves still on them. This helps to draw out the toxins and can actually be a fairly relaxing experience. If it’s winter, usually it’s followed by a shocking jump into an outdoor lake to help close up the pores. Try at your peril, but it would be a pretty fantastic cultural experience all the same!

Eat All The Food!

Russia has some of the most amazing food on offer and you will do yourself a disservice if you miss out and stick to things like McDonald’s or other western chains. Check out the varied, seasoned dishes like borscht (a beetroot soup), pelmeni (small dumplings with meat), varenyky (larger dumplings often with potato) and the whole range of salads, pickles and of course, vodka! The vodka distilled in Russia is some of the best in the world, so don’t miss out!

Choose Your Cities Carefully

One thing you need to do when you book a trip to Russia is to pick the cities you want to see carefully. There are a number of cities worth visiting in the country, but some can be very far distances from where you start your trip. The two most common cities to visit include St Petersburg as well as Moscow, but some like to visit Yekaterinburg as well to see the site where the last imperial family of Russia were murdered. Whatever your choices for Russian cities, know that you’re in for a treat.

Book A Car

One of the best ways to see all the sights of cities like St Petersburg and Moscow is to book a car or taxi to take you around for the day. It’s an easy and straightforward process and can be done online and ensures you will get the most out of your Russia experience with a qualified and knowledgeable driver who can even help suggest sites of interest for you.

So if you’re looking for a bit of a challenge this year, consider heading to Russia. Hopefully these cool tips will help you plan the getaway of a lifetime! Enjoy!

A Climb to be Cherished – Why Many Love Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of Tanzania’s most sought after landmarks. A marvellous and magnificent mountain that’s surrounded by enchanting rainforest and an array of rock gardens, and topped off with a cap of snow that offers a colourful contrast to its peak. It’s a beautiful sight to behold and one that is held in high esteem for Tanzanians and the rest of the world. There’s no wonder why it is one of the most popular mountains to climb. It offers an exhilarating and exciting adventure to all who embark on the journey of climbing it. So let’s take a look at a few reasons why Kilimanjaro climbing is so loved among many.

So Much To Take In

This mountain also known as the ‘roof of Africa’ will leave you feeling like you’re on cloud nine when you reach its summit. It offers an extensive few of all that surrounds it, as well as being one of the only places a view of the equator is attainable. You don’t have to be short on exceptional imaginary when you’re surrounded by something so glorious. Have a celestial experience while you camp out on the mountain and see an astronomical amount of stars in the sky, fish for the selection of unique fauna and flora; it’s beauty at its best.

Keep Fit While Keeping Fascinated

While your eyes are gazing along the paths of this pleasant mountain and taking in all that there is to behold, you’re also burning a heap of fat. This trek will not only leave you tantalized and maybe a little tired, it will be a tremendous way to keep fit. Climb and cut calories at the same time; this is definitely a factor that drives many to take on the challenge of ascending this mountain.

Attaining an Achievement

Don’t only aim high on these Alps, aim high in your mind. What better way to make yourself feel good than conquering a mountain like this one. It’s no light thing, so once completed it’ll leave you smiling from ear to ear and chuffed about what you’ve accomplished. It takes a significant amount of skill, stamina, and self-motivation, so to overcome the various obstacles and still come out on top is cause for rejoicing. It’s an achievement that doesn’t have to be just be talked about, you’re images captured can boast of it, as well as it being a great accomplishment to jot on your C.V. to impress future employers.

Walk it While it Stands

There’s much controversy over the fact that the glaciers are shrinking from this mountain and that potential by 2030, the glaciers could disappear. It’s a disappointing point, but whether this will be the case or not, the climb is something that you should grab while it lasts. You don’t have to miss out on this marvellous experience, a trip up it can be just around the corner. And even if this mountain stays standing, you want to venture it while you’re still standing and fit a healthy; when ailments and age hinder you it may not be a possibility, so take to it while you can.

Why Not Try Somewhere New

As we start to enter holiday season again it’s time to look at some of the new emerging places in which to take a trip. Each year it seems new countries become more available to the average traveller and everybody is going to new exotic locations. The old one-week trip to Europe is no longer enough as travel becomes more affordable and our understanding of countries becomes clearer. They are no longer the distant scary places they once were, but are now easy to access, exotic and with a whole host of new experiences to offer us. This year is no different and in this article, we hope to look at a few countries which are more easily accessible than before, and which might spark your interest to travel further afield than you once might have had. We’ll look at some of its cultural and tourist hotspots to give you a flavour of some of the things these countries have to offer.

Colombia:

A country with a troubled past, it is a country quickly emerging as a hugely popular tourist location. As vast swathes of the country become more accessible to the public there are plenty of things to do and see throughout the country. You can experience the thrills of the cities of Medellin, Cali and Bogota, the jungles of the amazon and the beauty of the coast. All accessible through cheap airfare and a good transport network. The people are incredibly open and welcoming making them the main driving force behind this truly stunning country.

India:

A country and a continent in one. What better way to spend your holidays than attempting to transverse this astounding country. You can test your taste buds and strengths against the thousands of herbs and spices available throughout the country and visit manmade and natural wonders. Although some locations remain difficult to reach that is a given in a country so vast. Plan your trip carefully and you will be amazed with the differences and similarities that such a country can display to you. So go on a holiday to India.

South Africa:

One aspect of this country has been popular for a while now, but it has so much more to offer than simply a safari although this is a once in a life time event. South Africa is an ever changing and emerging country with a rich history to offer its visitors. Yes, some places would require extra caution but his is part and parcel when visiting any country be it your home country or somewhere completely new. Discover the history of the townships, the community development and of course the natural beauty of the country with its mix of European and African history mixing together.

Getting out of your comfort zone and visiting new countries is something everyone should do at least once. Maybe it will spark an increased interest you didn’t realise was there before or maybe it will be a once off, but either way a trip like this will not be something you forget to easily.