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Author: elliehopgood

How to pose for photos

How to pose for photos

When you go somewhere new and exciting, you tend to take photographs. Some of these photos might be merely of the landscape, but, in order to prove that you were, you know, right there, it’s pretty common to take a snap or two of you in front of said landmark or vista, despite the fact that anyone looking at these photos has probably seen plenty of your face and very little of whatever area you were exploring. As you take…

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The truth about ‘paradise’

The truth about ‘paradise’

I didn’t know what to expect from the Seychelles. The impression I had was that, though incredibly beautiful, it was a place for luxury tourism. Reading blogs and websites prior to going had addressed some of these assumptions, but I still didn’t have a clear sense of whether they would feel like manicured tourist islands or, like most places, a destination with a central, local community to which you were just a visitor. When you live in a big city…

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Trust me it’s better, down where it’s wetter: diving in the Seychelles

Trust me it’s better, down where it’s wetter: diving in the Seychelles

I remember diving being really complicated. When I got certified almost a decade ago, we had to study a textbook and take a test before getting into the water. As a self-confessed control freak and nerd, I studied that textbook avidly. I got a perfect score, beating both of my parents. Yes, I still remember this. I am the worst. Fast-forward ten years and the experience was different. Having not been diving in over five years, I had to do…

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Love in the time of humidity, hills and wrong turns

Love in the time of humidity, hills and wrong turns

Jake and I travel well together. We both eat everything, are unfussy about accommodation and transport and love new places and experiences. We also share an unreasonable love for anything deep-fried and making pig noses at each other on planes. You know, the important stuff. However, there are moments that test even the most relaxed couple. These same moments also test me and Jake. We were travelling by boat from Praslin to Mahé, the island where we would spend our…

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Thoughts from forty thousand feet

Thoughts from forty thousand feet

At this point, I am well practised at flying long haul. Having flown to and from Australia upwards of ten times, visiting my family, I am used to taking a fourteen hour flight, stumbling blearily around an airport for two hours and then boarding another nine hour flight. Ten hours direct from Mahe Airport to London Heathrow should be easy in comparison. And yet, regardless of experience, long haul flights are a beast unto themselves. Here’s how I spent ten…

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Three days on Praslin island

Three days on Praslin island

The second island we visited was Praslin, which is only a fifteen minute boat ride from La Digue. Praslin is bigger than La Digue, with actual roads and buses that sometimes arrive when the schedule says they will. Except for the 63. As we were told, the timetable for the 63 bus is a “suggestion.” Finding our accommodation was its own challenge. I had lots of relevant information about the place, like the unmarked junction it is situated at and…

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Exploring La Digue: sunsets and stingrays

Exploring La Digue: sunsets and stingrays

Although there are 115 islands overall, there are three main islands in the Seychelles: Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. La Digue is the smallest, home to only 1800 people, and our first stop on the trip. I loved this little speck of an island! There are very few cars allowed so most people get around on bikes. There’s no need to ever lock your bike up; one day we left our bikes on the side of the road for over…

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On “beach bodies”

On “beach bodies”

There’s a weird cultural phenomenon where, before a holiday or the summer, people suddenly start trying to lose weight, solely for the purpose of looking thinner on the beach and in their holiday photos. Bikini bodies, beach bodies, summer bodies – whatever you call it, clearly there’s dissonance for many between the body they live in most of the time and the public body that they want others to see (or are less stressed about others seeing). The idea that…

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Budget breakdown: two days in Copenhagen

Budget breakdown: two days in Copenhagen

As the world gets more expensive, it can seem like everyone is competing to win the “it costs me the most live an ordinary existence” contest. House prices have become a comparative signifier of the modern yo-pro’s economic stress, with everywhere from London to New York to Sydney to San Francisco exclaiming that they have the hottest, most unaffordable property market. Within this mix of many major cities exclaiming their citizens are the most likely to be living in an abandoned warehouse…

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Looking up: Prague’s St Vitus Cathedral

Looking up: Prague’s St Vitus Cathedral

St Vitus Cathedral is an impressive structure. It’s not exactly ground-breaking that I would suggest you visit here, given that it’s part of the castle complex that tops every ‘what to do in Prague’ list. It’s full name is The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert, so bum deal for Wenceslaus and Adalbert whose names get dropped most of the time (though with a name like Wenceslaus, he’s probably used to it). This is a massive Gothic cathedral,…

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