Travel & culture


Havana mañana

Go now!

Ten and a half hours across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe and you land at José Martí International Airport, 15 km southwest of Havana. The blitz on your senses has just begun! Jan Homden has just returned from a trip to the Caribbean and has one piece of advice about Cuba – go now!

Read More


Soft impact hotel

At a time when there is so much concern about the environment, and more particularly, the negative impact of humans on a range of natural ecosystems, Andy Homden reports it’s nice to know that there are some success stories which show that people and nature can co-exist in an area of rapid economic development.

Read More

Ah – Vienna!

An astounding cultural centre

David Gregory had always wanted to go to Vienna, attracted by the music, the architecture, the history and of course the gigantic pretzels. Recently, he had that chance and took a slow train from Zürich.

Read More

Rolling Home!

Tales of the sea, PART 1

What’s a young family to do? Travel of course! In the first of three articles, the intrepid Catherine Lorenzen tells how she got caught up in the whole business of international education as a nurse, married to a marine engineer, with three children in tow. Part 1 of her adventures takes us from revolutionary Iran to Yemen and on to Jakarta, where the family learn to sail. 

Read More

Seamus Heaney’s HomePlace

HomePlace, the new arts centre celebrating the work of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney opened in September to considerable acclaim. Andy Homden dropped in recently for a tour, some poems, a few songs and a bite to eat. He found more than he bargained for. Even if poetry does nothing for you (or your children), find out why you must visit!

Read More

Life after teaching

From Principal to Balinese ‘Basil Fawlty’!

David Knott retired from the role of Principal at Bangkok Patana School in 2012, after 12 happy years. Whilst he knew he would miss his colleagues, students and their parents, he was looking forward to the absence of the 05.00 alarm call or the frustrations that often accompanied the role. Was now the time to try something new? David takes up the story.

Read More

The missing three years

Relocating overseas is one thing. Coming home another

Living overseas and travelling can, at times, be exhilarating, fascinating, confusing or even daunting, but at all times it has a vibrancy that may be difficult to replicate when one returns ‘home’. Brianna Hill Kastler gives her personal perspective on going back to her homeland of Colorado after three years in Asia.

Read More

New blood invigorates Foreign Administrators and Retirees Tournament of Sport

Old Principals die hard; newcomers have a blast

Forget the Olympics. This is where international teachers want to play.  In 2016, five new golfers helped the XXIInd iteration of the Foreign Administrators and Retirees Tournament of Sports (the acronym is probably fairly obvious to you?) to a robust 20 golfer tournament, held at the Country Club of New Hampshire in July, reports Gail Schoppert.

Read More

The Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland’s new long distance coastal drive

DSCF0912 (800x600) (2)Thinking of visiting Ireland in the coming year? Drive, walk, cycle or a combination of all three along this touring route aptly named the Wild Atlantic Way. Download our free compilation guide to follow your interests whatever they may be – surfing, fishing, golfing, horse-riding, or walking with a donkey! I have collected together links to websites and included information taken from each source. See also the links to accommodation to suit all budgets and …… luxury camping in Mongolian yurts in Westmeath anyone?

Read More

Summer music

Buskers and Festivals: the memorable music of summer

DSCF3014 (2) (800x589)If you’re a music lover and in London or Edinburgh over the holidays it is unlikely you will have overlooked the dates of the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts (the “Proms”) at the Royal Albert Hall or the Edinburgh Festival. And then there’s the wonderful Boston Symphony orchestra season at Tanglewood – if you’re in New England.

Read More

Go by train!

SunflowersFed up with the crush and stress of using low cost airlines? Outraged by the cost of car hire (especially the daily charge to get rid of those daunting insurance excesses)? Want a greener way to travel in Europe this year? How about reviving memories of the old inter-rail days and touring by train? It’s cheap, takes you direct to city centres and offers, well, a more civilised alternative to the hire car and airport routine.

Read More

Insider’s guide to Japan

lunch boxSteeped in centuries of history and a unique culture, Japan offers something different for the visitor. A former long time resident of Tokyo, Elly Tobin knows the place. Here she looks at some of the country’s highlights, from the contrasting attractions of Tokyo to the City of Temples, a lakeside idyll and the ancient Middle Mountain Road. The accompanying and very helpful travel hints promise to make your adventure easier and considerably cheaper.

Read More

Savour the moment in “edgy” Brussels

Tintin-roi-de-belgique-_optA city of shapes disclosed in stunning and not so stunning architecture, a city of chocolate to die for, beer to satisfy the most discerning tastes and of course Tin Tin, Brussels is an edgy cultural whirlpool. It’s  home to Dutch speaking Belgians, French speaking Belgians and Belgian nationals from other European countries as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, Morocco and Turkey. Combine this mix with the ex-pats and the tourists from all over the world and Brussels is more than you might expect.

Read More

Hill country centre

Bryan Massingham

Bryan Massingham

Bryan Massingham’s account of his pursuit of “a long-held desire” to establish a first-class outdoor centre and the difficulties encountered on his journey, serve to reaffirm the wisdom of following one’s dream. The centre he and his wife Rose established 12 years ago has also been recently developed to accommodate individual travellers looking for somewhere to chill out in this beautiful hill country.

Read More

Turkish bath time

Hammam 5


Deeply cleansing, relaxing rituals and the opportunity to socialise have traditionally been the attractions of the hammam or Turkish Bath. A visit to Istanbul provided the ideal opportunity for Elly Tobin to visit the “marble paradise”*, enjoyed by Lord Byron, to see if the hammam is still an experience to refresh, rejuvenate and relish.

Read More