Magical Manado

‘You are going to Indonesia? So Bali?’

‘Ah no, there is more to Indonesia than just Bali…..’

 

This seems to be a a pretty standard conversation when it comes to planning a trip to Indonesia. But what if I told you that there was more to Indonesia than just Bali? What?! You don’t believe me? Well let me tell you about this little hidden gem called Manado in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Manado (pronounced Ma-nado) is the capital city of the North Sulawesi province in Indonesia. In 2010, Manado had a population of 408,000 of some of the happiest people you will ever meet. The name Manado comes from the words manadou which means ‘on the far coast’. Manado has a Spanish and Dutch influence due to early settlement. In 1942, the Japanese captured Manado and the city was heavily damaged by the allies bombing in WWII.

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Searching Skye

As you walk up over the cliff face and realise that one wrong step means a fall of a couple of hundred metres, you embrace it. It takes all of your strength to jump over a waterfall to continue your journey along the cliff face. But the view just makes you feel like the King of the world. All you can see is a winding road and a pathway that edges along adventure. I thought these places only belonged in a fairy tale. But it is simple. The Quiraing will take your breath away. There is a reason that this is one of the top places to go to on the Isle of Skye (Skye).  Skye is one of the most enchanting places on this planet – this is where faeries live and adventures begin.

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What is Australia Day?

As some of you may know, today is Australia Day (26 January). But what actually is Australia Day? Today isn’t just all about having a public holiday (a nice bonus though that was introduced in 1994), but it is a day that we can reflect upon our diverse society and landscape. A day we can think about all of the amazing achievements and what our future may hold for us. And even more exciting, a day for the new Australian citizens who can call themselves Australian after being conferred citizenship.

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Locating Lewis

Hidden away, just off the north west coast of mainland Scotland, is  the Isle of Lewis. Never heard of the Isle of Lewis? I am not that surprised. I found that most people I spoke to in the UK (and pretty much the world) had no idea what I was talking about or where I was going. But this worked to my advantage as this hidden gem was pretty much all mine! Lewis is a part of the Outer Hebrides (or Western Isles) that expands down the majority of the westerly coast of Scotland. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be cruising around an island off Scotland. Lewis is pretty flat and is mainly made up of muddy moorlands but don’t let that description put you off. The flatness just means that driving around is a lot easier (note – their roads are mainly single lane with ‘Passing Places’) and quicker (watch out for the sheep – they do sometimes sleep on the road). To be honest, I have no idea what the speed limit most of the time actually was as speed signs are not exactly in abundance over there.

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Flying with Malaysia Airlines after MH370 and MH17

Some people thought I was crazy… I had chosen to fly with Malaysia Airlines (MA), just a year after two of the most publicised modern day air disasters. The disasters of MH17 (shot down over the Ukraine-Russia border) and MH370 (disappeared over the southern Indian Ocean) are two of the most significant events of 2014 and have involved numerous countries to cooperate and unite across the world.  MA is the national carrier of Malaysia and is one of Asia’s largest. On a daily basis they serve 40,000 guests on 330 flights to more than 50 destinations.  This isn’t an airline that mucks around with its safety.

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My travel blogging journey begins!

One of my goals in life is to inspire people to travel the world. Get them out of their comfort zone, experience different cultures, be immersed in a different language and see the many beautiful sights that the world has to offer. I want to be able to share the adventures I have had and the picturesque views that I have seen.

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Christmas in Australia

I really wanted to write a blog about Australia and Christmas but I really had no idea where to start. Christmas is one of those sacred times with family yet we all celebrate it so openly. I wanted to bring you all Australia’s traditions with a mixture of some of my friend’s traditions. Because, what is it really like having Christmas in Australia? I was a bit stumped on where to start and if my family really even had any traditions. Since I moved out of home just over a year ago, I make sure that I head over to the parents place on Christmas Eve so I can wake up with the family on Christmas Day. As I walked in the door with my washing basket full of presents, I started to remember all of these things we do every year. Like every year my Sister and I make a gingerbread house (we are very average at it) but I have so much fun doing it. Or my Mum always uses my Nan’s gravy jug (to remember and include her in the festive day) and it plays as a centre piece on the table. This is just how my family’s traditions are.  They are different. They are what we have created over the years and what we will continue to do.

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