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Safety – should we trust our own judgement?

Every journey we take, whether we’re walking up the road to post a letter or flying to the other side of the world, poses a certain level of risk. Some of the risks are easy to identify (getting run over, being involved in a plane crash or a terrorist incident), while others are impossible to […]

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Do we really need to travel?

According to the UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organisation) there are now over 1 billion people travelling internationally each year; a number that is expected to increase sharply as more people in India and China acquire the means to go on foreign holidays. In the world of travel and tourism this travel bonanza is being embraced […]

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War, what is it good for? Tourism, actually

Take a trip to almost any country in the world and you’ll find war and conflict behind many of the major tourist attractions. Perhaps this should not come as a surprise: war has afflicted every corner of the world and has left a mark, usually both physical and emotional, that is in most cases more […]

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Visiting museums: seeing things in a different way

Have you ever noticed the different ways in which visitors to a museum or gallery take in the objects they are looking at? Have you seen how some people stand there, as if in a trance, transported into whatever place or time period they’re observing, while others read a sign, take a photo and move […]

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Chasing familiarity in far-flung places

I’ve been involved in a project looking at recent immigrants’ first impressions of the UK and have been very surprised at what people notice about our country. The sight of double-decker buses, rows of identical red brick houses and the experience of driving on the left side of the road all make a strong impression with […]

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Peace Memorial Hiroshima

Remembering the past: why we should listen to our parents

Have you ever stood in a gallery and instead of staring at the artwork, been more intrigued by the reactions of the other visitors? It’s easy to appreciate when looking at something as subjective as an abstract painting that each observer experiences what he/she sees in their own way; one man’s masterpiece is another man’s […]

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How museums get their stuff: should we care?

London has a well-deserved reputation for being the home of many of the world’s best museums. Wander through the grand old buildings that are home to the Natural History, the Victoria and Albert or the British Museums and you can admire some of the finest collections of antiquities and rare objects. Yet as we look […]

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The Campden Wonder: How history can bring a place to life

As so often happens, the comments section of my recent post looking at what inspires us to choose our travel destinations has proved to be more interesting than my original entry. Both Maxine Sheppard and Pam Mandel highlighted the role that the history of a place can play in enticing us to visit; I was reminded […]

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Is it ever right to make money from tragedy?

The streets and public squares of Budapest were once dominated by a series of giant imposing statues that celebrated the power of communist philosophy. When the Soviet influence was overthrown the newly elected government had to work out what to do with these over-sized symbols of repression. They decided to set up a dedicated park […]

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The fear of talking to strangers

Today I completed an email interview for another site. One of the questions required me to give a piece of advice to new inexperienced travellers. Instinctively I wrote that we shouldn’t be shy in talking to strangers; the encounters that result will almost always provide us with our most cherished travel memories. I absolutely believe […]

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