Have Yourself a Merry Astro-Christmas!

Twitter strikes again!  This time, it was in the form of a serendipitous tweet from AstroFarm, suggesting a different kind of Christmas… Interested yet?

Xmas at Astrofarm – dark skies, astronomy, great food, astronomy, good company, astronomy, help & advice and …oh did we mention astronomy?

So yes: we’ll be heading to Confolens (south of France) for 3 full nights of magic starting on the 2nd day of winter & just after the winter solstice.

We won’t be spotting Santa & his reindeers up on the skies (though you never know..) but with a bit of luck and clear skies, we’ll spot a few of those Ursids twinkling in the night sky. … More Have Yourself a Merry Astro-Christmas!

The New Zealand Giants You Should Not Miss!

When you think New Zealand, what’s the first thing that pops to mind?

I’m willing to bet you:  It’s Not Giant Redwoods at Treewalk Rotorua
The US kind of has a monopoly over the popularity of the mighty redwoods. And yet, you can experience a walk amongst the giants at the other end of the world, in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Meet the Whakarewarewa Forest

More The New Zealand Giants You Should Not Miss!

Open Mic: Overtourisming the World & Travel Differently

In the wake of the 2017 TSG (Travel+SocialGood) Global Summit, and continuing the topic of Overtourisming the World, I have invited three more bloggers to this Open Mic, sharing their thoughts and opinions. From Barcelona to Paris, from Venice to Rejkyavik, everyone is spewing discontent: for locals, it’s too many tourists! for visitors, it’s not … More Open Mic: Overtourisming the World & Travel Differently

Readathon to the End of the World: Timekeepers

I stumbled across Timekeepers in a bookshop at Gatwick airport quite a few months back and I bought it to complement my non-fiction mini collection.

While I had browsed through it a bit, I decided that Timekeepers was a definite keeper for my in-flight readathon to the edge of the world.

And it seemed only fitting to choose this book for my New Zealand readathon. To spend some time with Time, as I counted down my 24 hours & 12 time zones for the longest flight in the world.

While I was, of course, moaning about the length of travel & my soon to be stiff legs and sore buttocks, I couldn’t resist feeling a bit like a fraud. … More Readathon to the End of the World: Timekeepers

Going Oriental in Central Berlin: Indoors Magic!

I always mix business with pleasure. In travels, I mean. So when I was asked to go to Berlin for work (my 5th time already) I wondered: how can I sample Berlin with a twist? You know, once you go beyond the must do’s, tourist hotspots and the classic city icons.

And since I never met Berlin in a good (weather) mood anyway – this time proving to be no exception – indoors was the obvious answer.  … More Going Oriental in Central Berlin: Indoors Magic!

Open Mic: How To Stop Over-Tourisming The World?

After 10 years and a lot of fast & slow travel in over 30 countries, I am seeing a distinct change in the world of travel, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Getting to the other side of the world has never been easier and more accessible to masses, as middle classes grow, social media reigns higher and prices drop further.

However: we are also way, way more people than 10 years ago.

No secret there. In 2007 Earth’s population was 6.6 billion – these days, our pale blue dot struggles with 7.5 billion and rising. And globally, tourist numbers are growing at 6 % a year.

And our hunger for travel is starting to hurt us back. … More Open Mic: How To Stop Over-Tourisming The World?

Hidden Spain Collection: In a Medieval Mood

It’s been one year already. One year since I packed up and moved away from gloomy Brussels and into sunny Barcelona.

One year that flew by, as I purposefully neglected Spain’s gems and instead fell in love with South Africa, Indonesia, and soon New Zealand.

But as the end of the year draws near, so will my travels. And I guarantee you this much: Spain will shine in the spotlight of the year to come, in colors you’ve never seen it wear before!

I figured gorgeous Besalú with its matching, picture perfect neighboring friends will make for a wonderful start or that journey – and an easy day trip from Barcelona.

Prepare to be taken by surprise by a Spain few people know: … More Hidden Spain Collection: In a Medieval Mood

In The Wild, Where They Belong: Big Five Lucky in South Africa

Part of our amazingly organized 3-day safari in South Africa, the time came when we had to leave our explorers’ den at GomoGomo and head to Mohlabetsi Lodge for the last leg of our real-life nature documentary.

Mohlabetsi was, surprisingly, a substantial change of scenery from Gomo Gomo.

In a chat with the owner of the lodge – a seasoned hospitality veteran who decided to create his own boutique, luxury heaven in nature – he told us about the challenges they’ve had with elephants, which in times of drought are attracted by the green pastures hiding in plain sight, behind the electrified fences of the lodges.

And can you blame them? In the wild there’s a constant fight for survival, and this is their home, we’re merely uninvited guests. … More In The Wild, Where They Belong: Big Five Lucky in South Africa

Sampling Antarctica With a Bunch of Jackasses

Waking up to a spring that left me waiting.

With a magnificent view over Table mountain that also kept me waiting in vain, as the clouds didn’t budge for 3 full days.

It almost felt like Antarctica when I got out to Boulders Beach and was instantly hit by the icy drizzle.
The umbrella wasn’t much of a friend either. I eventually abandoned it in the arms of my partner, soon after a lone penguin caught my eye.

South Africa. Since hitching a ride to Antarctica is an expensive endeavor that I’m working towards – and at a relatively slow crawl, I might add – I settled for the nonetheless amazing encounter with the Jackass Penguins of South Africa.

In The Wild – Where They Belong … More Sampling Antarctica With a Bunch of Jackasses