Billionaires, burned buildings and selfish generosity

Billionaires, burned buildings and selfish generosity

Last week, Notre Dame burned down, and a lot of people were sad. Some people were so sad (and so rich) that they decided to donate enormous sums of money toward the restoration of the cathedral, donations which have now surpassed a billion dollars. And now lots of the non-billionaire sad people are angry. It’s not anger at the desire to rebuild Notre Dame. It’s not even – in this specific moment – that there are people out there who…

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Thinking about what came before in Bodrum

Thinking about what came before in Bodrum

Bodrum used to be a big deal. Back around two thousand years ago, Bodrum was known as Halicarnassus, part of the First Persian Empire and home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Back in the day, the day being around 350 BC, the mausoleum was truly a wonder (as you’d expect, given that only seven structures were given that title out of all the amazing things in the ancient world). Now, it…

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Get Snappy 16: Bodrum, Turkey

Get Snappy 16: Bodrum, Turkey

I have written so many blogs this week that I’m all written-out by now, which is a shame given that I have some cool photos from Turkey this week and would like to put some interesting words with them. This week, I have posted blogs about a food tour in Bruges, the role colonisation played in the development of our favourite snacks, a piece comparing the fall of Bruges with Brexit and the potential decline of the UK, a post…

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Lessons in how a financial powerhouse falls

Lessons in how a financial powerhouse falls

Aside from food, the other thing we spent a lot of time learning about in Bruges was its financial and political history. Bruges is the site of the very first stock exchange, which was located at the ‘Ter Beurse’ inn. Bruges was a thriving centre of trade in the 14th and 15th centuries and visiting merchants would come to the inn to make trades, sign contracts and do deals. Eventually the process at the inn became more formalised, with trading…

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Let them eat pralines (and fries): the truth behind our favourite treats

Let them eat pralines (and fries): the truth behind our favourite treats

In most of the blogs I’ve already posted about Belgium, I have waxed poetic about the food. As I recounted the food tour we went on, I referenced both the fry museum and the chocolate museum, two places that we circled back to later to get a better look at. The fry museum is particularly notable, as it’s the only place in the world that has dedicated itself to the humble chip. There are quite a few chocolate museums on…

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Beautiful Bruges in thirty-three photos

Beautiful Bruges in thirty-three photos

As per usual, there’s only so far words can get you when telling the story of a place. Especially when those words are my words. As I’ve written more non-travel content, I’ve realised how much harder it is (for me) to tell funny, impactful stories about the things I’ve seen and done. I’m a big non-fiction reader and that shows in my writing; while travel tales are true, they read like a story rather than an essay or an argument,…

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When things don’t endure

When things don’t endure

Notre Dame is burning while the whole world watches.  I am not French. I am not a Catholic. But I feel deeply, mournfully saddened by the videos and pictures pouring out of Paris, showing such a beautiful, historic, holy site burning to the ground. What is it that makes this feel like as big a tragedy as last month’s mass shooting? After all, it’s just a building. Other than one injured firefighter, no one has been hurt. And yet, it…

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Bruges by mouth: fries, waffles and chocolate

Bruges by mouth: fries, waffles and chocolate

I really love food tourism. Not just in a ‘I want to see if I can eat my body weight in noodles’ kind of way, but also in a ‘food is an enormous part of culture’ kind of way. Eating food from different countries is one of the best parts of travel and Belgium did not disappoint. Often, the Internet can give a misleading view of what locals actually eat. For example, sushi is definitely a part of Japanese cuisine,…

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Get Snappy 15: Bruges, Belgium

Get Snappy 15: Bruges, Belgium

Greetings from Belgium! Before I arrived, the impression I’d gathered from popular culture was that Belgium was all about chocolate, waffles, fries and beer. I can now confirm that a large part of Belgian culture – or at least, Belgian tourism – revolves around chocolate, waffles, fries and beer. It is joyous. We took a food tour to learn a little more about the history of these various delicacies, which was eye opening. We visited Bruges’ chocolate museum and the…

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How to pose for photos as a couple

How to pose for photos as a couple

A few months ago, I wrote a post containing my best tips for posing for photos. As that post proved, I am extremely gifted in the art of posing, which is why I am definitely the right person to be offering advice. I thought I’d come back again to try to help you solve another photographic conundrum – how to pose for photos with your partner. We all know that getting great shots with your love is an art. Feeling…

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