Brother and sister posing in front of a bus

I have countless happy memories of holiday travel with my family; from childhood vacations down the Garden route during the apartheid era, to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand where they somehow I assumed I was a local.

Every obstacle was seen as an adventure, even when we boarded the wrong bus and ended up at the last stop in the middle of nowhere, a good few kilometers outside of Kuala Lumpur.

I remember my father telling us that before we could go out to see the world, we needed to experience and see our own country and appreciate the diversity of it’s cultures and customs. During my teens we spent many summers and Easter school holidays in cottages on the beach in the West Coast town of St. Helena Bay, eating freshly caught crayfish from Paternoster during the day, and watching the silver moonlight streaking across the ocean at night.

My first trip alone was travelling to the UK in 1999, and to be honest, I was scared spitless, even though my relatives were waiting for me on the other side. I discovered that it was not as scary as I had imagined. I learned that it makes you stronger when you have to learn to do everything for yourself and by yourself (cleaning toilets and doing laundry, in my case). I saw myself and others from a new perspective and learned to appreciate the little things that I took for granted as the only daughter in my parent’s home… like a ride from the station on a cold and blustery winter’s night or my favorite cookies especially baked and sent for me.

My father taught us to travel with no more than a cabin sized trolley bag for our clothing and toiletries. Larger bags, if any, are strictly for gifts and shopping!!!

Since moving to Dubai in 2006 I have travelled to the Northern Emirates, France, Spain, Jordan, Turkey as well as Oman and Qatar. You can find my Tripadvisor contributions here.

My first trip to Jordan was in July 2011, when I went for a long weekend to the area of Ma’in, about 45 minutes outside of Amman. Though most of the people I met spoke little to no English, their generosity and kindness did not need words to warm the heart. The driver of the bus for the Dead Sea excursion insisted on stopping on the way back to let me take pictures of the sunset and twinkling lights of the West Bank.

West Bank at sunset

Sunset shades reminded me of home…

Dead Sea observation area

View across the Dead Sea to the Palestinian West Bank.

Evason Hotel & Six Senses Spa, Ma'In, Jordan

Evason Hotel & Six Senses Spa,- main hotel hot spring waterfall.

You may read about my culinary tour of Istanbul and the walks Culinary Backstreets of the Bazaar Quarter, Born on the Bosphorus and Shop, Cook, Feast – a hands-on adventure.

My next vacation plans include a 5 day trip to London that includes attending Food Blogger Connect, an international conference for food and travel bloggers. You can learn more about it here.

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