For a lot of travelers hand written diaries are becoming a thing of the past. Of course, they are a good means of future personal reflection, and perhaps a means of documenting evens on your travels that you don’t necessarily want your grandmother to read about! But let’s face it, almost every traveler has a tablet computer or a laptop and some want to share their experience in more detail than a Facebook status and say a lot more than is possible in a tweet. Not only this but regular blogging becomes a future-proof diary which some travelers go on to compile into a book or an eBook, some can then be published and money can be made.
On the subject of money, lets not forget that you can be paid for individual blogs also and a lot of hostels and guesthouses will let you stay there for free in return for a mention or good review. The same goes for a lot of tour and activity packages. If you are new to blogging, the first thing you need is to get a web hosting account,
By blogging you are also teaching people about other cultures, sharing tips with other travelers, showing people some of the planets amazing sights and places and sharing experiences that some people will only ever read about in your blog (or dream about). You can also meet some amazing people along the way through your blog. I’d never met Mitch & Taylor from Common Ground in Thailand if it wasn’t for blogging. A couple of cool guys who started their own hostel and now even their own clothing line selling Thai style clothes.
Some of my relatives (especially the elderly ones) will never take part in a random unorganised trek through the jungle for 11 miles to camp at a waterfall and party with 7 relative strangers, who become good friends instantly. Or spend a few nights will hill tribes or swimming with whale sharks amongst the pristine reefs of the Andaman sea. But they can get as close as possible to living through the experience by reading about what I did and checking out the pictures and videos. This is quite a wonderful thing.
Perhaps the most important part of blogging while you travel is that you get to relive the experience in years to come when you read back through what you have done and reading about the things that you could otherwise have forgotten about. This gives you so much inspiration to get out there and have new adventures and do it all over again.
It had been nearly 15- years since I’d seen home, or at least the Florida I used to call home while growing up. I have been working in the Mediterranean for quite some time, helping struggling families become more self-sufficient as well as subsidising my income as a food writer and consultant for various hotels. The work has been incredibly rewarding but travelling between Athens and Cyprus, and various other capital cities in these regions had taken a toll on my soul, that my need to go home became overwhelming. I was leaving during the height of the holiday season, so I really had to compare any flights to Vegas from one travel agency to another. Because I usually route through the UK (I have family there too) I connect my flights to Orlando when I travel to and from Greece, the Greek Islands and the Cypriote Island.
When I did get home, I found it difficult to change back to ‘western food’, mainly because my system was used to eating organic vegetables, rich meats and the freshest seafood caught in the mornings but finding good Greek food in Florida seemed to be a harder task than catching a goat in the rain….
My Big Fat Greek Restaurant (Opa!)
My first stop was the Fort Lauderdale restaurant with a name reminiscent of a movie I absolutely love. We were seated outside, I assume because there was so many of us and inside seemed quite full. I ordered some traditional wine for everyone to taste while the kids munched on their bread-baskets.
There was just so much on the menu, not all of it was what I would call ‘Greek’, but I think it’s to cater for a variety of people and include people who might not necessarily think that they’ll enjoy traditional Grecian foods. But since I wanted everyone to be adventurous a little, I asked everyone to order something different so others could get a little taster as well. Overseas, a meal is very much a group event, it’s all shared and enjoyed with good people.
The highlights were the mousaka, the salads (especially the berry and feta one), grilled shrimp and octopus, the meat lovers platter basically had to be ordered twice because it was devoured once it hit the table. For dessert we all had a side of rice pudding and the galaktobouriko which is a custard tartlet made with phyllo pastry.
We ordered far too much food and apologised to our very understanding waiter (we are an energetic family). The service isn’t the fastest but the restaurant has good food, a great environment and they encourage you to get your Greek on.
This is a great Greek restaurant in Florida, I’m sure there are others and I wish I had more time to try their menus but I was only staying for a few days and this dinner was my ‘asfalés taxídi’ before a ride back to the airport for my flight back to my other home away from home…with some delicious leftovers.
One of the best ways to find inspiration for your art and get new ideas is by looking at art others have produced. There are many, many art museums around the world, displaying work by thousands of artists over centuries.
Keen to find inspiration as well as to see famous and beautiful artworks, many artists plan a holiday specifically to see art galleries. Of course, to make it worth the journey you will probably want a large gallery with prestigious artworks. These galleries can be found in many major cities, and sometimes draw millions of visitors every year according to this article at the the Art Newspaper.
If you are going to an art museum or gallery specifically to seek inspiration, you will probably want to stock up on art materials. It is likely you will find yourself keen to produce art while on your holiday, so you will likely want to ensure you have plenty of supplies to bring with you.
It is usually best to stock up on supplies before leaving, as it can be hard to find the best art materials and outlets in an unfamiliar place. It will often be best to stock up online from a company such as Jackson’s Art Supplies at www.jacksonsart.com. This will make it easier to browse a wide range of affordable products in your free time, then order them for delivery to your door leaving more time to plan the trip.
The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre is one of the most famous and popular art museums in the entire world. Temporary and permanent displays include a huge number of artworks from famous and talented artists. Artwork from throughout history is represented including the Mona Lisa, possibly the most famous painting of all time.
The Louvre has an unrivalled reputation in the world of art galleries. It is widely considered one of the greatest art museums in the world, and a true must-see for artists and art-lovers alike. It also has the benefit of being located in Paris, a city famous for its thriving art scene and packed with galleries large and small.
Tate Britain and Tate Modern, London
Although two galleries, both are part of the Tate network and are located close to one another. As such, it is without doubt worth visiting both and in many ways they work together, each covering different aspects of art. The Tate Modern is the more popular of the two, and is devoted to some of the most exciting works of modern art from around the world.
The Tate Britain, on the other hand, is devoted to a wider range of artworks from throughout history. Works of many great masters are represented in its displays. In particular, it is famous for including a number of works by Turner.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
America’s most-visited art museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has permanent and temporary collections which contain artworks from throughout history. Some of the works on permanent display are thousands of years old, created by great cultures of antiquity such as Ancient Egypt.
The museum is split across two locations. The majority of displays are found in the main building, which is one of the largest art museums in the world by area. There is also a smaller second building, which is primarily devoted to medieval artworks.
Vatican Museums, Vatican City
The Vatican Museums house the extensive collections of art and other artifacts which have come into the possession of the Catholic Church during its long history. The earliest parts of the museums were first founded in the early 16th Century, making them over 500 years old.
The 54 galleries contain an absolutely vast range of artworks stretching out over millennia. Ancient sculptures are represented as well as modern, largely religious-inspired works of art and pieces from all the centuries in between. Important renaissance works are particularly well-represented.
Image Attributed to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seeminglee/3990072885/
Cyprus is undoubtedly one of the hidden gems of the Mediterranean. Most British holidaymakers tend to look at Spain or the Greek Islands first, hugely underestimating how much Cyprus provides. These are just 5 reasons why we think you should make it your next holiday destination.
Stunning Resort & Villa Options
When it comes to providing a range of accommodation options that make you feel like you’ve landed in a little slice of paradise, Cyprus has absolutely nailed it. Compared to other Mediterranean options, it’s easy to get yourself luxury at an affordable price point.
The resort and villas come in all shapes and sizes, whether you’re looking for an isolated patch for a romantic week away or something to share with the entire family. Holiday villas in Cyprus are particularly sought-after, as they give you a bit of privacy from the hustle and bustle of resorts. If you’re single and looking for a night out on the town, there are plenty of options for that as well.
Friendly and Welcoming People
When you visit a foreign country, it’s often the case that locals don’t quite give the most positive of vibes. This is particularly true if you don’t speak the language. When it comes to Cyprus, this is something you’ll never encounter.
Most holidaymakers say that the thing that really gives Cyprus the edge over other destinations is just how warm and friendly Cypriots are. In fact, the country is known for its hospitality and locals really live up to that fame.
Incredible (Healthy!) Cuisine
If you’re a foodie, then Cyprus is the place to be. The tasty Mediterranean cuisine you’ll find here is akin to Greek dishes, but many have a distinct twist that make Cypriot food unique and interesting.
The beauty about the local food is the fact that it’s healthy – you’ll find yourself wondering how something so tasty can actually be good for you. Everything is usually 100% fresh, from fruits and vegetables to fish caught on the day.
Ask someone about beach resorts and they’ll often respond with examples in Egypt, Spain, or the Greek Islands. Cyprus, however, has some of the most stunning seaside resorts on the planet. They’d give any beach anywhere a run for their money, no question.
You’ll find beautiful white sand, clear waters, and plenty of sunshine. There’s loads to do, whether you just like relaxing while reading a book (and working on that tan!) or exploring underwater life, doing some water sports, or sipping a cocktail while watching the world go by.
Cultural and Historical Experience
While not as celebrated as Greek or Italian history, the Cypriots have a rich and varied past as well. The country’s location means it has experienced the likes of Roman, Greek and Byzantine cultures.
It’s on this small island that you’ll find Aphrodite’s Rock, the walls at Nicosia, as well as various museums that exemplify the abundance of cultural heritage found in a relatively small area.
These 5 reasons barely scratch the surface – there’s so much more to experience and we guarantee you’ll have an excellent time in Cyprus. We’ve yet to come across someone who’s regretted it.
Cyprus is allegedly the birthplace of Aphrodite the goddess of love and beauty and you have to see for yourself to know why. It is therefore no surprise that many tourists are intoxicated by its culture and stunning scenery. It is one of the most beautiful and diverse places in Europe with turquoise waters, golden sands, ancient mosques and rich history. It is a divided island as one half is Turkish while the rest is Greek giving it two distinctive cultures. It may be an expensive destination due to its popularity but if you plan carefully you may actually enjoy the best of Cyprus without breaking the bank.
An important basic for a budget traveler is to have a budget travel insurance policy that fits into your budget and ensures that you do get refunded incase of flight delays or cancellations, covers your medical expenses when you get ill and pays for lost items if lost during your holiday.
Beach holidays in Cyprus are exciting, they involve lazing on the pristine beaches enjoying the sun, exploring historical sites and hard partying at night. Ayia Napa is a popular destination if you are travelling on a budget as prices are lower and accommodations are varied from all inclusive resorts to hostels and guest houses.
Take your time finding the best beaches and indulge in sandy adventures; you will not pay a dime for strolling along the beaches. Make use of the beach restaurants and eateries as they offer fresh sea foods at lower prices. Mingle with the locals and discover even greater bargains for anything else you may need.
Cyrus is a recommended destination for golf holidays in Europe; it enjoys fine weather all throughout the year hence you can tee off virtually any time of the year without limitations. The scenic beauty of Cyprus is captivating and the golf courses are effortlessly set amongst spectacular surroundings. You will find excellent courses facing the picturesque sandy beaches and set in the most delightful island scenery.
You can tee off in Cyprus without actually spending a fortune by staying in resorts that offer golf games as a part of the all inclusive package. This means that you do not have to pay every time you play. Otherwise you can stay near major courses if you do not wish to stay in resorts to avoid transport costs every time you decide to visit the course.
HISTORICAL TRIP TO SEE RUINS
Cyprus is an island full of historical treasures that range from Greek and Roman ruins to donkey sanctuaries and cat monasteries with everything in between. It is also one of the most budget friendly areas in Eastern Europe giving you an opportunity to explore its historical treasures without having to get into debt.
Before visiting the historical sites make sure you pack your very own water and food: touristic areas tend to charge more for such basics because they are out for business. Explore the UNESCO Byzantine churches of the Troodos region built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Since you need your own transportation to this region you may have to rent a car. In order to do so on a budget, why not carpool with fellow tourists. This way, you get to enjoy the sights at your own pace.
Limassol or Lemesos, the largest port city of the Republic of Cyprus, is a fascinating place to visit as it blends historical buildings, an exuberant night life, great places to eat, and attractive beaches. It’s certainly worth a visit as part of your tour of the Mediterranean Sea area.
Limassol has warm to hot, dry summers and mild winters, a typical sub-tropical Mediterranean climate, in fact. The weather between December and March can be windy with rain, but is interspersed with lovely sunny days. Spring and autumn are generally pleasant, and summer high temperatures are usually in the mid-30°C and winter lows reach around 8°C.
You can get to Limassol by air, but the most practical, relaxing, and romantic way to arrive in the city is on a sea cruise. A number of shipping lines stop at Limassol throughout the year, including Holland America, Regent Seven Seas, Azamara Luxury Club Cruises, and Seabourn.
Things to Do In Limassol
History buffs enjoy strolling around both Limassol Castle and Kolossi Castle, built in the fourteenth century and thirteenth century, respectively. The former is located in the Old Town, near the harbour, while Kolossi Castle is found in the village of Kolossi, just west of Limassol. The Limassol Castle is home to the Medieval Museum, which has a remarkable collection of antiquities.
Two other museums to see are the Archaeological Museum and the Folk Art Museum, which offer insights into ancient Cyprus history as well as its more modern past. The museums features art works, cultural artefacts, and exhibits illustrating how Cypriots live.
Another way to step back in history is to visit Kourion, which is just 15 minutes away from Limassol. This ancient town dates back to the twelfth century and its Greco-Roman open-air theatre has been completely restored and is the setting for many musical and theatre performances.
The Municipal Gardens and Twin Cities Park is a great place to relax when you’re in between busy sightseeing tours. The pretty vegetation is typical of a Mediterranean landscape, and there are shady places to stop and sit, a small zoo to view, and a sculpture garden to enjoy.
The nightlife in Limassol is fun, although you need to be discerning as to where you go; some of the so-called cabarets are nothing more than brothels. The Rialto Theatre, Pattichio Municipal Theatre, and the Shadow Theatre at Kings Garden all have much to offer with cultural, musical, and traditional shows. The Monte Caputo Multi Function Centre features live bands and delicious food, while the Basement Club offers great music and is conveniently situated within the city.
There are lots of festivals and sporting events held in fun-loving Limassol throughout the year, so you should time your visit to coincide with the one that holds the most interest for you.