The author has travelled extensively in many countries. These pages give his advice on how best to prepare for, and enjoy your vacation
This is the home page of all my travel guides and travel advice pages.
The function of the page is to promote the concept of travel - to demonstrate how travelling can provide memories of a kind which will last forever, and how a visit to another country can be a life enriching experience. And I hope that in the process, I can encourage anyone who can possibly afford to do so, to get on that plane, or that boat or that train, and leave the comfortable environment of their home world behind.
It will also be the page which provides links to all my other travel pages. If you enjoy travel and wish to read more about the places I visit, then please bookmark the page and return to read.
N.B: Please note, all of my articles are best read on desktops and laptops
Happy travelling everyone!
My experiences of travel are those of a holiday maker, not a professional travel guide. As such the experiences began in my childhood during school summer holidays with my parents, and have since continued throughout adulthood travelling mostly on my own, to where ever takes my fancy, and for no other reason than enjoyment of the wider world beyond my own little world, here in the UK.
As a child I spent a lot of time in most of the countries of Western Europe with my parents - long summer trips camping in a tent stored whilst on the move in a trailer hitched to the back of my father's car. We'd drive through France or Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria - but we'd usually end up in a campsite on a beach in Spain or Italy. Fond memories. I also toured America with my parents in a Winnebago on one occasion taking in 22 states - a very long summer holiday combined with a business trip by my father. Subsequently I visited Florida several times in the 1990s.
However, it is since the turn of the new millennium that I have found the time, money and motivation to travel more extensively, and more often, and I now try to take in at least one or two foreign trips each year (and since giving up work, more even than this). Destinations so far visited during this time include Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, Greece, Egypt, Tanzania, South Africa, Libya, Jordan, India, Thailand and Malaysia, and many others. In time I hope to compile travel guides covering most of these and more.
Almost all photos which accompany these guides are taken by me. Because of this, some guides will be delayed until I have had time to scan my slides (formerly the photographic medium of choice) into digital format. However, I do hope to regularly add further travel pages to this site.
All photos shown on this page are taken in countries featured in my reviews, and will change as more pages and more countries are added. For this reason I apologise for the limited range of countries featured today. They will increase.
I am just an ordinary guy who travels for pleasure - just like most of the people who may read this article. I hope therefore that I can identify with the concerns of all 'ordinary guys' who are planning to travel to another region of the world - their fears, hopes and expectations, and what exactly they can get out of the experience. That will be reflected in my travel guides.
My travel guides for the most part are not intended to be a complete source of all information for the tourist. Therefore in most of my guides, you will not find detailed information on how to get to a destination, places to stay or eat, local currency rates, and so on. Instead my guides are intended more to give a quick illustrated guide to things to do and sights to see. I review some of the world’s great attractions, and some less known attractions, and the history or geography which surrounds them.
I hope that the guides will offer a pleasant or interesting read, and a full appreciation of what you are looking at if you visit these places. If any of them actually inspires someone to pack their bags and get on a plane, then even better! Currently I will only write about the places I have enjoyed, so if someone else can visit and enjoy these places as I have done, then writing the pages will have been well worthwhile.
The following is a list of links to my travel guides, followed by my advocacy for the benefits of international travel.
My Travel Guides
SPAIN - THE CANARY ISLANDS
- Lanzarote: First Impressions
- Lanzarote: Timanfaya National Park - The Volcanic Landscape
- Lanzarote: The Papagayo Beaches
- Tenerife: Mount Teide National Park
- Tenerife: The Santa Cruz Palmetum
- Tenerife: Carnival in Santa Cruz
- Gran Canaria: Maspalomas Dunes
- Gran Canaria: Dunas Suites and Villas Resort
- Gran Canaria: The Mountains
- Fuerteventura: Impressions
I have been a frequent visitor toThailand, and so far I have written 15 pages about all aspects of this country. In view of this, I have put together a Thailand home page which includes links to all of these:
U.S.A - FLORIDA
- Florida Vacation; Wildlife in the Tourist Paradise
- Florida Vacation ; Water Birds in the Tourist Paradise
My Travel Guides
UK - ENGLAND
- Paris: Photographic Tour of the Sites along the Seine
- Paris: Photographic Guide to Versailles and Sacré-Coeur
- Paris: Photographic Guide to Artistry and Architecture
- Venice: History of a Unique City and My First Impressions
- Venice: The Grand Canal
- Venice: Islands in the Lagoon
- Venice: A Visitor's Guide to the Island of Murano
PORTUGAL - MADEIRA
Links to the Other Travel Pages I Have Published
- Vacation Guide to Effective Holiday Check in and Carry on Packing
- Vacation Checklist
- Vacation Guide to Good Holiday Preparation
Why Travel? - Travel Can Offer Us the Greatest of Experiences
'Of journeying the benefits are many: the freshness it bringeth to the heart, the seeing and hearing of marvelous things, the delight of beholding new cities, the meeting of unknown friends, and the learning of high manners'. Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi (13th century Persian poet)
'Travel allows you to discover history and culture, nature and people, and maybe you will discover something about yourself'
Travel allows us to experience sights and sounds, impossible in the home environment, and it gives us memories which enrich the soul for as long as one lives. Here I'm not talking about lying on a beach burning to a cinder in the sun, or dancing and drinking in a disco until the mind is addled, and the body is out of control. (though I'm not denying there may be a place for these activiities). I'm talking about experiences which cannot be had at home; experiences which stimulate the senses and expand the mind. Experiences such as new foods and styles of music and dance, culture and language. And the greatest sights in the world - legendary cities, monuments and natural beauty.
A Small List of Experiences
In the past fifteen years I have:
- Sailed on the Nile in Egypt, through the realm of the first great human civilisation, visited the location in Greece of the greatest cataclysm ever to hit a civilised society, walked where human sacrifices once took place in Guatemala and seen a chequered courtyard in India where the Emperor once played a chess-like game, reputedly with slave girls as the game pieces.
- Lived as the guest of a family in a small village in Thailand, and experienced Carnival on the Island of Madeira. I've had afternoon tea in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore and I've even met and dated a local girl whilst on vacation in Cuba.
- Walked among wild zebras in Swaziland and been attacked by black kites in The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania (they were only after the picnic lunch). I have swum with stingrays in Belize and laid on a tropical beach at night-fall, as hundreds of giant fruit bats passed slowly overhead. And I've also witnessed a volcanic eruption in Costa Rica and seen a total eclipse of the sun in Libya.
The point about this is that I am by no means a seasoned professional traveller. All of these experiences have come from no more than four to five weeks carefully selected vacation per year. If you can afford to travel but haven't yet done so, please do so!
Why Travel? - Travel Allows Us to Walk in the Footsteps of History
'The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page'. St. Augustine
'Travelling is the death of ignorance'. Mark Twain
Travelling in Africa allows you to walk in the footsteps of the first people on Earth. Travelling in the Middle East allows you to walk in the footsteps of the first people to develop civilisations and harvest crops and rear livestock. Travelling in Europe and Asia and in Central America allows you to walk in the footsteps of the first people to establish great cities and empires. And travelling throughout the world allows you to walk in the footsteps of the people who shaped the modern world with their discoveries, inventions, and constructions. And their wars.
You can stand where great leaders were inaugurated, made speeches or were put to death, where attrocities were committed or landmark events took place. Travelling to these places lends substance to - and breathes life into - the tired old history lessons of our childhood. It makes history come alive, and become more real and relevant than it can ever be on the printed page or the television screen.
I have learned more and understood more from a week's visit to Jordan, a few days in the Mayan cities of Belize, or a few hours in the ancient capital of Thailand, than I could ever have learned in any other way.
Why Travel? - Travel Will Broaden Our Minds
'To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries'. Aldous Huxley
'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness'. Mark Twain
The more one travels to distant lands where people superficially live very different lives to us, the more one may appreciate the diversity of cultures and customs. But equally, the more one appreciates that we are all basically the same. As a person travels, and gets to meet Asians and Africans, Aborigines and Latin Americans, Buddhists and Hindus, Muslims and Christians, so it becomes increasingly difficult I believe for anyone to be racist or xenophobic.
The more I travel, the less nationalistic I may feel.. I live in a civilised, affluent, well-organised country (the United Kingdom) and there are no doubts as to the benefits of such a society over most others. Yet wherever I go in the world, there will always be something - a local custom or etiquette, a new foodstuff, a traffic law, or a way of solving some social problem - which is a better way of doing things than we know. And I will meet people who have a welcoming charm and warmth which is difficult to find in our hectic, urbanised, wealth-obsessed Western society.
Travel can give a much better perspective on life, and make a person more tolerant of differences between cultures, and more responsive to new ways of doing things.
Why Travel? - Final Thoughts
Here in the West we seem increasingly compelled to live hectic complicated lives - lives which mean that for many there is a vital need to relax, to unwind and to forget the pressures of work or day to day domestic life. Travel enables this release from stress better than almost anything else we can do. It can take us as far away from the world we normally inhabit, physically or spiritually, as it is possible to go. And it gives us the chance to briefly forget about our problems and return home rejuvinated. Deprivations we may see in countries less fortunate than our own, may even make us more grateful for our own standards of living which we spend the rest of the year cursing.
Of course the value that one gets out of travel depends in part on the effort and the spirit that we put into it. It is no good travelling to the other side of the world if all that happens is that we are disconcerted by all the differences which exist, whether it be poverty or language or food or culture, Better to cherish the differences than to lament them. And if we travel with the right approach, an enquiring mind, and a spirit of open-mindeness, the favourable experiences to be gained from travel will stay with us a lifetime.
Please feel free to quote limited text on condition that an active link back to this page is included. Photos are copyright
All My Other Pages ...
I have written articles on many subjects including science and history, politics and philosophy, film reviews and travel guides, as well as poems and stories. All can be accessed by clicking on my name at the top of this page
© 2011 Greensleeves Hubs
I'd Love to Hear Your Comments. Thanks. Alun
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on July 06, 2015:
Alun, my pleasure. It's the least I can do and pay it forward.
Greensleeves Hubs (author) from Essex, UK on July 06, 2015:
Kristen Howe; Thanks very much Kristen - a really nice comment. And timely - it's made me realise I've got a few more links to add to this hub for places I've written about in the recent past! Cheers, Alun
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on July 02, 2015:
Great guide for your travelogue hubs to have it all in one place. Very useful to scroll through your hubs. You're a trail-blazing traveler. Voted up!
Greensleeves Hubs (author) from Essex, UK on February 26, 2013:
Thanks so much Suzie. When I wrote this and went through some of the experiences I'd had in just the last ten years, it really made me wish I could spend my whole life travelling! There's so much to see and do in the world - the great experiences provide permanent and good memories, whilst even the negative experiences are something to learn from and benefit from.
I've taken to preparing 'home pages' for subjects on which I've written more than 8 or 10 hubs - it's a nice way to gather links to all the hubs on a single page - not sure if it increases views, but I guess it can't do any harm! I intend adding more travel hubs before long and linking them here, but unfortunately most of my trips were made in the days of slide photography, and it takes so long to scan those photos for digital use. I must make the effort to do it!
I really appreciate all your many visits to my pages, and your kind comments, Suzie.
Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on February 26, 2013:
This is another fantastic travel hub in way of an index to your outstanding work I so admire and respect as a traveler lover and could not agree more with all your reasons to travel. I am a much richer person having been enlightened with so many cultures, traditions, people, food and experiences like you. I loved your list of things that you have done in various countries. Tea in Raffles, walking with zebras and living with a family in a tiny village. Truly memories for a lifetime.
I remember similar amazing things that have helped ignite those travel flames never to burn out.
Congrats on a wonderful hub and I look forward to more of your exceptional work through your gift of words and photography.
Vu, Useful, Interesting, Awesome, Shared and Pinned!
Greensleeves Hubs (author) from Essex, UK on February 26, 2013:
Thank you Alfred. I very much appreciate all your visits to my pages, and your support. Alun.
Alfred Hoeld on February 26, 2013:
Well done your Hub pages, -I LIKE- ;-)
Greensleeves Hubs (author) from Essex, UK on November 02, 2011:
Thank you Derdriu. I will have to try to get my slides digitised and write up some pages on places I've visited in the past so I can keep that promise! But two months ago I spent 3 days in Paris, so that will be the subject of 3 more guides hopefully all to be published within the next week.
Thanks so much for visiting another of my pages and commenting.
Derdriu on November 01, 2011:
Greensleeves Hubs: It is so convenient that you have compiled this home page to your considerable worldwide travels. It is a promise of coming attractions which must be kept!
Thank you, voted up, etc.,
Greensleeves Hubs (author) from Essex, UK on September 01, 2011:
Thanks Jeannie! Appreciate your comments, and glad you like the pics. Thanks for visiting and voting.
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on September 01, 2011:
This is a very informative hub. I also love the layout of the hub. The photos are beautiful, as well. Voted up!