Scotland’s Ancient Heart: The Mountains Of The Lost World Of Pangea

January 27th, 2023
Scotland’s Ancient Heart: The Mountains Of The Lost World Of Pangea

A few steps outside my house is a proper, real-life Scottish mountain.

I mean, that’s what it feels like. It’s really at the bottom of my road, where it turns into the beach overlooking the waterway of the Firth of Clyde, and it’s really really at the other side of that, on the island of Arran.

A Taste of European Tea

January 21st, 2023
A Taste of European Tea

Azure is often described as the color of sky on a clear day. On the color spectrum, it rests in a calm, cool window somewhere between cyan and true blue. Flying over the north Atlantic, all you see is azure blue in the reflected water.

For hours, nothing but sparkling waves pass beneath the belly of the plane.

Why Nothing Cooks – Or Tastes – Like A Moroccan Tagine

January 6th, 2023
Why Nothing Cooks – Or Tastes – Like A Moroccan Tagine

There’s nothing quite like receiving a birthday gift where, when you open the box, you have no idea what on earth you’re looking at.

Especially awkwardly, I’m opening it in front of the people who gave it to me - my aunt and uncle. Now they’re waiting for my reaction.

Setting Travel Intentions for the New Year

January 6th, 2023
Setting Travel Intentions for the New Year

In this season of intention-setting, I’ve been contemplating how to make the most of my travel in 2023. Here are the three big takeaways I’m carrying with me into the new year, and some resources if you’d like to follow along with me.

Igniting wanderlust, even from the couch

Shopping around for trips can be titillating.

How To Winter: Do We Stay Or Do We Go?

December 16th, 2022
How To Winter: Do We Stay Or Do We Go?

Around this time of year, as the cold descends on the Northern Hemisphere, certain species migrate thousands of miles southwards to find enough warmth and sunlight to ride out the winter until the spring flowers are making an appearance once again. 

I don’t mean the birds, which I wrote about last winter - although certainly them too, even though they’ve already done their migrating months ago when the conditions were pleasant enough for winging it over long distances.

Matcha and Meditation

December 9th, 2022
Matcha and Meditation

I sit with crossed legs and heavy eyelids. I’m the last in a line of seven people, each of us waiting in silence outside of the dim meditation hall. It’s nearly midnight at this Zen Monastery, and many of us hope to stay awake until sunrise. For two nights and three days, forty of us will hold vigil to commemorate the Buddha’s enlightenment.

A Planet Called Ocean: In Search Of The Blue World We Often Miss

December 2nd, 2022
A Planet Called Ocean: In Search Of The Blue World We Often Miss

Oh, what a world.

At the time of writing, NASA’s Artemis spacecraft has just achieved an incredible milestone - it’s travelled 430,000 km out from the Earth, far beyond the other side of the Moon. This is further than any spacecraft designed for humans has ever travelled (this time around, Artemis is unmanned - but future expeditions will take astronauts back to the Moon). 

And to celebrate this monumental landmark, NASA pointed the ship’s Orion capsule back the way it had come, to take this instantly iconic photograph.

The ethereal yaguara of costa rica

November 25th, 2022
The ethereal yaguara of costa rica

“The beast that kills in one bound.”

That’s what Yaguara, or jaguar, translates to from its original Guaraní Indian.

The largest cat in the Americas, jaguars have been revered through countless native mythologies for their stealth, beauty, and power.

The Ancient World Was A Riot Of Colour – So Why Do We Pretend It Wasn’t?

November 17th, 2022
The Ancient World Was A Riot Of Colour – So Why Do We Pretend It Wasn’t?

The beginning of Wheel & Anchor’s brochure for our 2023 trip to Greece says this:

“Close your eyes and imagine the Greek Islands - what do you see? I think for most it’s something like blue-roofed houses atop steep cliffs that plunge into the sea, surrounded by the sparkling cobalt waters of the Mediterranean….”

After having spent a lot of time there over the last decade, this is absolutely the same Greece I conjure up in my mind’s eye: a palette of colours so piercing they take your breath away: not just that unique, luminous blue of the sea and sky that’s also made its way onto the roofs of buildings, onto doorways and windowsills and even onto the national flag, but the rich hues of the fresh fruit, the orange of a good honey raki, the sparkling gold of a glass of Naxos’s famous kitron - and really, the whole spectrum, set gloriously aglow in the Aegean sun.

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