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Travelhappygirl

Kicking back in Bahrain

When I heard my friend was moving to Bahrain I answered, “Where is that?”, and almost everyone I told about my holiday there had a similar reaction.

Bahrain is a tiny island that is a part of the UAE. It’s a relatively liberal middle-eastern country, but it lacks the wealth and the luxury lifestyle that Dubai and Abu Dhabi have become known for. Continue reading “Kicking back in Bahrain”

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Wanderlust in the Dark Months

What is it about January that makes feet itch? I was fortunate enough to travel quite a bit last year; six countries, five of them new. That satiated me for a while.

But when the days are short and the nights are cold, it’s easy to start dreaming about travel again.
Continue reading “Wanderlust in the Dark Months”

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.

Continue reading “Perhentian Paradise Islands”

Getting Close to Orangutans in Borneo

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.

Continue reading “Getting Close to Orangutans in Borneo”

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 keen to learn (and try) more.

Continue reading “Learning to Cook in Kathmandu”

5 Malaysian Dishes to Try Today

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.

Continue reading “5 Malaysian Dishes to Try Today”

Volunteering with Turtles in Malaysia

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.

Continue reading “Volunteering with Turtles in Malaysia”

8 Ways to Prepare for a Big 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 Big 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.
Continue reading “10 of the Best Road Movies of All Time”

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