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Perhentian paradise islands

Here I’ve pulled together a selection of photos I took on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia.

The photos were taken on Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Island) and on Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Island). The former is more popular with backpackers and the latter with holidaymakers. I was based in the Fisherman’s Village on Kecil, but also camped with the turtle project on Besar.

I hope you enjoy these blue-tinted beauties.

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Borneo’s Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Malaysian Borneo is one of the best-known places to see orangutans.

While it is possible to see orangutans in the wild – and no doubt rewarding – it is of course much more difficult. Unfortunately, I only had five days in Borneo. After flying into Kota Kinabalu in Sabah I realised I’d have to take either a long bus or another, internal, flight just to get to the rainforests populated by the great apes; my main motivation for visiting the island. I had just enough time to visit the centre, but sadly not enough to wander freely into the jungle.

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Learning to cook in Kathmandu

With little time left until I returned to the UK after a two-month trip to Asia, I knew I had to find time for a cooking class.

I loved Nepalese food from the get-go. Vegetables aren’t relegated to the side of the plate, they’re given the attention they deserve, there’s usually a choice or selection of dishes and everything is sumptuously spicy. I was eager to learn (and try) more.

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5 Malaysian dishes you need to try

One of the many things that I loved about Malaysia was its food.

Due to the prevalence of Islam and Hinduism, beef and especially pork are uncommon in much of Malaysian food. Instead, chicken, fish and vegetables prop up the majority of meals.

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Volunteering with the Perhentian Turtle Project

It was 5am when the turtle finally dragged herself back into the sea, pausing only momentarily to catch her breath.

She was the first green turtle of the year to visit the nesting beach on Malaysia’s Perhentian Island, Kula Besar. By the time she returned to the lapping waves, we had been quietly sat by, watching her, for over two hours.

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8 ways to prepare for a trip

Planning a trip in my late twenties has been a considerably different experience to the one that I had in my early twenties, when preparation involved little more than packing a backpack the day before boarding a plane.

That is a slight exaggeration, but it is fair to say that my brain functioned slightly differently at that time in my life. I thought far less of what might occur in the future, which was in some ways liberating, but in many ways it was pretty irresponsible and silly, and left me woefully unprepared for a ten-month trip. Continue reading “8 ways to prepare for a trip”

10 of the best road movies of all time

Packing a bag isn’t the only way to cure a travel bug; you can keep it at bay with a really good travel book or film. ‘Road movies’ combine my two greatest loves – film and travel – and account for many of my favourite films.

The joy of road movies is that the destination is irrelevant. It is the journey itself which provides all of the action and the lessons learned. I have compiled a list of my favourite road movies of all time. What gives these films their power, for me, is their characters’ search for meaning, or for something more than what society has taught them to expect. Often the trip or journey is ill-fated, but the strength of the characters and their relationships stands out.
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Before a big trip, how much planning is too much planning?

After a long period of time spent living in London, I am finally planning a big trip. I’ve booked a one-way-flight. There’s no going back.

I’ve been meaning to go backpacking ever since my last long trip five years ago, but my career and my financial situation have held me back until now. Of course, my current situation is not perfect. I will have to put my career on ice for a while, and I don’t think I will ever be able to save money as long as I’m living in London, but it seems as good a time as any to take the plunge.
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Modern Milan

Traditionally, Milan is viewed as the enclave of the super rich and the fashion elite, but there is a different side to the city; a side that is far more accessible and inclusive.

My sister, my friend and I stayed in Navigli on the southern side of the city, far from the luxury hotels and retailers. Here are some of my recommendations for a cheap and cheerful stay in Milan:

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