The Maldives consists of around 1000 islands, only 200 of which are inhabited. For adventurous travellers looking for genuine experiences and looking to get away from well trodden tracks, it’s a tough nut to crack.
Two weeks in Spilimbergo, where my partner's family are from. We're in Friuli, where the local language is Friulano, and where prosecco and San Daniele prosciutto is produced. The tomatoes growing in the garden are incredible, and one morning we visit the buffaloes and bring home fresh mozzarella.
That feeling of complete happiness is rare, for most people. We wake up every day and we strive, to do better, be better and work harder. In global capitals like New York and London especially, we are in constant forward motion.
Everyone's got their NY story. The place is more familiar to us through film and TV references than probably anywhere else on the planet. But this was my first time, and I fell in love - with the real New York.
Bogota is a city nearly as populous as my home country. Its history however couldn't be more different. Full of tragedy, corruption and crimes against its people, Colombia is now bouncing back - starting with compensatory payments offered to victims of the conflict. My sister can tell you all about its development. We visit her where she lives in Bogota, working for the government organisation dealing with extreme poverty.
We leave Morocco with a sense of relief. We've ticked it off the list, but unsure if we would go back.
I think we all experience times in our life when circumstances move out of our control. An unexpected breakup, a sudden change in business climate, a health problem that sneaks up on you. This happened to me in 2012/2013.
Waking up to the news of unseasonably cold temperatures and rain in London, I decide I should spend my last day in Asia in the sun. Anas and Sharifah drive me to their local club house and wait while I spend two hours at the pool. It is practically empty, and it is the perfect end to my adventures.
Turns out I didn’t quite realise the extent of my hosts’ intention to look after me. I had told them I wanted to do some last minute shopping, and 9 hours (!) later I return with Sharifah after having been driven all over KL in her little rattling car in search of the best deals. She stays with me for 2 hours in one mall, haggling prices in Bahasa to ensure I get a good price.
I leave Labuan Bajo (Flores Island) early, having had breakfast overlooking the bay and waving my goodbye to the manta rays I now know lurk beneath the surface. From the taxi I get some insights into village life, like a man driving his 3 kids to school – all on his motor bike. Two sit behind him and one in front. I scramble to get a picture but miss it.