“travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

One of the perks in my “Expat Diva Wife” contract is that we travel as much as possible during our tenure, because if you’re going to put me in the desert baby, I have to venture out and play! So I’m happy to say that Poss has stuck to the contract and we’ve been very lucky to have had some amazing adventures.

I think I’ve always had a love for travel – exotic destinations, fascinating histories & cultures, guiltless eating, drinking & shopping – what’s not to love! My mother is always encouraging me to see the world while I’m still young enough to enjoy it to its fullest – “Better an adventure than another pair of shoes!”. Hmmm … if you say so Mum!

My friends seem to think that I’m perpetually on holiday, but truth be told, we typically go on one BIG trip a year in May for our anniversary – usually somewhere we’ve not been before. Then, if Poss’s schedule allows and there’s still some money under the mattress, we might go on one or two little getaways later in the year. As living in Dubai makes the world so accessible, it would be a shame not to see as much as possible. In under 7 hours, you can reach a plethora of destinations – the problem is deciding where to go first.

I’ve been known to research our travels to the point of insanity – always looking out for weird and wonderful little things that may be off the beaten tourist track and doing my best to ensure that no stone is left unturned. While our itineraries generally involve us exploring at our own pace with a few tours thrown in here and there, we still manage to pack in quite a bit. We do a helluva lot of walking though – I think my poor Mum was about ready to keel over on our trips to Russia & Jordan. Sorry Mum! But really, with so much world to explore, you just don’t know when you might get back to the same destination.

Due to my somewhat obsessive research and subsequent e-book itineraries, I often get asked by my mates for travel suggestions, so I figured, why not add a “snapshot” guide of my travel adventures to my blog, highlighting what we did, saw, ate, loved, loathed etc, with a few Diva tips thrown in.

As a traveler, I’m more a Luxe Guide kinda girl. I just adore their pocket editions and how they astutely present their highly curated fab finds. That doesn’t mean it’s all about luxury because even Divas have budgets, but rather about more boutique/intimate visitor experiences (as opposed to blatantly touristy). So personal local guides or special tours, unique or small independent hotels, little hidden shopping & gastronomy gems or even walkabouts in the wee hours of the morning when you have the city almost to yourself – that’s my ideal holiday. Of course it doesn’t always pan out that way and we inevitably find ourselves lost in a sea of people trying our best not to take someone’s eye out when trying to throw our coin into the Trevi fountain – you know what I mean. For someone who has a thing for picture postcards, you can imagine how long I have to wait for that split second where everyone clears my frame! Yes, it would be easier to buy an actual postcard but where’s the fun in that?

Rail is also my preferred mode of transport, primarily because I hate flying, but also because you get to see a lot on the way. My train travel guru is The Man in Seat 61 – his insightful site has helped me traverse many a country by train. My dream is to travel on the Venice Simplon Orient Express, but that would require me to stop eating in order to afford it! And speaking of eating, I am no foodie but Poss does love to eat, so I have started to include restaurants in my itineraries vs “I’m hungry! Shall we eat here? or there? or that looks nice, what do you reckon?” – it used to drive Poss barmy. Now that I always have a list of places booked or at the ready, he’s a much happier camper.

So let’s go on a journey together through my travel diaries. Some adventures may date back a few years but there should still be snippets that are relevant. At the very least, I hope you’ll leave inspired.