Across the divide – a visit to the former inner German border

Follow the bend in the road, then walk for around 100 metres. If I hadn’t seen the satellite photo a few minutes earlier I’d have had no idea where to look. Beyond the roadside ditch wild flowers were swallowed up by the long grass, and only an occasional car broke the calm of an afternoon […]

Comfortable hotels – why are they so rare?

“Your home away from home” is how many hotels like to market themselves. It’s an easy slogan to use, but for many hotel owners I am fairly sure that if they had to live in the properties which earn them a living, they wouldn’t put up with many of the irritations to which they are […]

A tale of car rental woe with a happy ending

I loathe every aspect of renting a car abroad. Even the process of booking a car for our recent Sicily trip took far too long; every time I was about to book a car I made the mistake of checking a review site and ended up getting distracted by a stream of one-star ratings from angry […]

Seeing Stonehenge beyond a pile of rocks

‘It’s just a pile of rocks’. Take a look through the comments on Tripadvisor (or any review site) and you’ll find many visitors who were spellbound by the ancient stones at Stonehenge, and plenty of others for whom it was an overpriced and underwhelming attraction. Just how do different people experience the same place in such a […]

Reflections on Aqaba and Jordan

This is the final post of the Digital Nomad series with National Geographic Traveller. Our two weeks in Jordan flew by in a highly enjoyable blur. Our Digital Nomad trip was hosted by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), and through our experiences they wanted to communicate three main messages to an international audience: that Jordan is a […]

An oversized lunch in an Aqaba home

This post is part of the Digital Nomad project with National Geographic Traveller. The greeting was warm and unfussy. After a long drive back to Aqaba it was a pleasure to stretch out, sit in the shaded courtyard and do nothing more energetic than sip tea while our host busied herself with preparing lunch. We […]

Over the edge: our first abseiling adventure

This post is part of the Digital Nomad project with National Geographic Traveller. I try not to look down. The only thing between me and a 20 metre drop into the gorge below is the rope to which I’m attached; but thinking about that isn’t going to help. Instead I focus on trying to move slowly backwards […]

Petra beyond the façades

This post is part of the Digital Nomad project with National Geographic Traveller. When we came to Petra for the first time in 2009, we spent the few hours we had at the site rushing to see the most famous parts of the site before making a premature exit and returning to Amman. We had more time […]

Hiking from Dana to Petra

This post is part of the Digital Nomad project with National Geographic Traveller. No pain, no gain. My feet and my calves were letting me know in no uncertain terms that I’d far exceeded my normal level of physical activity. By the end of the second day I’d covered around 40 kilometres on uneven paths, climbing up […]

Petra Kitchen – taking a stab at Jordanian cooking

This post is part of the Digital Nomad project with National Geographic Traveller. “Not like that – watch me.” I stood back as Tariq took over with my chopping knife and within seconds had reduced my onion to pieces barely larger than grains of sand. After he’d delivered a few instructions to our group and […]