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Learning to dive in Aqaba – new skills and old problems

This post is part of the Digital Nomad project with National Geographic Traveller. You could call it unfinished business. A day trip to the Great Barrier Reef on Christmas Eve 2000 has since been remembered for a rushed and quickly aborted ‘free introductory’ dive. Once we signalled that our ears didn’t feel quite right, we […]

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Introducing the National Geographic Traveller Digital Nomad project

I’m excited to introduce the National Geographic Traveller Digital Nomad project, which will see the two of us heading to Aqaba in southern Jordan tomorrow (Saturday) for what promises to be an intensive and fascinating 14-day trip. Disclosures up front: we are undertaking the Digital Nomad project for APL Media, who produce National Geographic Traveller in the UK, for whom […]

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Tell-tale signs of a free press flight

There once was a time (long before I started this writing lark) when airlines were only too willing to offer free flights to travel writers. The usual payback for them was a mention in the factbox at the end of the article that would later be produced. The world has moved on and now you […]

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Rule 1 of basic customer service: it’s about the customer, not you

I read a recent article written by a hotel receptionist (I’ve searched through my archives to try and find a link, with no success) that had me banging my head on the desk in frustration (metaphorically, of course). The author was scathing about the inventor of rolling luggage (suitcases with wheels), saying that they had […]

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10 Highlights of Budapest

Budapest has long been an important European capital, sitting as it does pretty much in the centre of the continent and straddling the mighty Danube. A succession of invaders have left their mark on the skyline of Budapest and evidence of 20th century European battles is easy to uncover. Budapest is home to dozens of […]

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Why living without a smartphone isn’t really that bad

There was a time around 30 years ago when talking into a large brick was the hallmark of a sophisticated businessman. The mobile phones of the 1980s were barely worthy of the ‘mobile’ tag and must have been an ordeal to hold up to your ears for more than a few moments. Thankfully the cost […]

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Does Twitter really drive today’s news agenda?

An increasing number of people are shunning the traditional news outlets of TV and newspapers and are looking to the online world to get their daily news fix. While the evidence of this shift in news consumption is not in dispute, is there a parallel change in how news stories are sourced and produced? Is […]

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Is anything really unique?

Are you promoting a part of the world that has nothing particularly special going for it? Perhaps your city or region has a few nice waterfalls, a row of 100 year old buildings and a few hills. You need to create an impression that you live in a place that’s truly special. Fear not. It’s […]

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Holiday in Japan – travelling the easy way

We’re coming towards the end of our month in Japan and it’s fair to say that this will be remembered as one of our best trips. As with any good trip it has had its ups and downs (my next post will list the things in Japan that I won’t miss once I’m back in […]

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A tip for planning a trip: don’t listen to travel planning tips

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t enjoy sharing their travel tips. Tell someone who spends the same week every year in the same hotel in the same English seaside town that you’re heading that way and they’ll happily spend all day telling you where you should go for a good cup […]

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