Instagram: travel friend or foe?

Shortly before Christmas I read an article in the Guardian titled Instacrammed: the big fib at the heart of New Zealand picture-perfect peaks. Intrigued, after all it was covering two subjects I’m very much interested in, I read on. The article describes how social media has given certain hikes unprecedented popularity almost overnight, and the effects that that has had on the walks themselves. It includes the rather amusing picture of someone taking their perfect photo, contrasted to the line of people behind them queuing to get pretty much the same shot. It made me consider both my own travel experiences in New Zealand, and my use of the Instagram app.

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There’s no place like York

I lived in York for four years, and it remains my favourite city in the UK. I read recently that “you belong in three places: the place you grew up, the place where you went to college and the place where the person you love is” and so it’s not surprising that York will always be an important place to me. It was the place where I studied, the place where I took my first graduate job, and it was the city where James and I met. However, I still had a nervous sense of anticipation about my recent visit. It was over 18 months since I’d last been to the city and a lot can change in that time. Part of me was worried that going back would feel so much like going home that I’d want to leave Bristol immediately, and a larger part of me was concerned…

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A few thoughts on Dark Tourism

Dark tourism wasn’t something I had ever really given much thought to until I was trying to decide whether or not to visit Auschwitz whilst I was in Poland. It’s a phrase that I have some difficulties with, particularly given the negative coverage that dark tourism often receives in the media, which makes me reluctant to classify myself as a ‘dark tourist’. However when I think back over some of the places that I’ve visited, I have definitely been to some prominent dark tourist sights.

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A short break in Kraków

Kraków isn’t somewhere I’d always dreamed of going to, and it hadn’t been one of my first considerations when I started to think about a Christmas market city break in December. However I noticed a few places were offering deals to go there. Curiosity piqued, I soon realised I could get there myself much cheaper (always look around!), there were direct flights from Bristol, and it came recommended by various friends. Suddenly I had a plan! Recently returned, I feel like I’m recommending the city to everyone I see. It was a great place for a short break, and I’d happily go back (although maybe when the weather’s a bit warmer…). Here’s my guide to a short city break in Kraków.

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Rangitoto Island: Our Final Day in New Zealand

It’s over a year since I left New Zealand and I have no idea where the time has gone. In some respects it feels like only yesterday that we were backpacking around the two islands and seeing some incredible sights, but it also feels like a lifetime ago. There’s still one very special story from my time in New Zealand that I haven’t shared yet, and so here it is just over one year on.

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