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I like to think of myself as very well-travelled but there are a few places which really standout for me. Read about my must-go places.
I am in love with Sri Lanka, and that’s not just because I got engaged there! The sheer variety and diversity of experiences on the island are mind blowing- exploring the sites of the ancient kingdoms, strolling through tea plantations, spending nights under canvas near the national park, sunbathing on beautifully wild beaches- not to mention the cuisine which is a vegetarian’s dream.
It is difficult to pinpoint a favourite memory from my time in Sri Lanka as every day has so many fantastic moments. One experience that does stand out were the games drives we went on in Wilpattu National Park. We were incredibly lucky to have an amazing leopard sighting, thanks to our passionate and very skilled naturalist and tracker at Leopard Trails- of course not everyone is so fortunate, but the experience is rewarding regardless.
For me, Chile is the perfect one stop Latin American trip, offering an incredibly diverse range of landscapes and experiences. Dramatic deserts: bright blue glaciers and immense mountain ranges; rural ranches and vineyards; buzzing nightlife; rich history and culture. You name it, it’s got it. The Atacama Desert is a photographer’s dream, with an intense variety of landscapes as you travel between 2,500 metres and 4,200 metres above sea-level. Watching the changing light as the sun set over the moon-like valleys and immense sand dunes was awe-inspiring.
Torres del Paine National park in Chilean Patagonia was a huge contrast- stepping out of the mini-van and being battered by the high winds was my first real experience of Patagonian weather – a revitalising experience! There are excursions for everyone here. You don’t have to head out on a hard-core eight-hour hike to see the bright blue icebergs which have drifted away from the impressive Grey Glacier (which, contrary to its name, is actually contrasting shades of bright blue). Gentle walks, boat trips, horse-riding and bird-watching excursions through the mountainous terrain and forest landscapes are also on the menu. It’s impossible to describe just how incredible this region is, I highly recommend seeing it for yourself!
I was totally smitten with Rajasthan. There's really nowhere else quite like it with the ancient palaces that glow in the setting sun and shimmering lakes made for romantic boat trips. The colours stayed with me: bright flashes of saris and turbans, pink and orange hues of flowers tumbling over forts and markets filled with tropical fruit.
I stayed in Rawla Narlai, which is rural India at its best. This beautiful heritage property exudes character and after the chaos of the big cities, it is the perfect place to catch your breath. I would highly recommend the dinner by the ancient stepwell, for a delicious selection of curries to the sound of traditional Rajasthani music. I always encourage people to visit this property, it really was a highlight of my trip.
It is so difficult to decide on just the one experience. Visiting the Galapagos Islands was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had. I stayed with friends on a catamaran for 7 nights, travelling overnight to different islands. It was incredible to see the famous blue-footed boobies, and the sea lions that fill the beaches were very cute (although deafeningly loud) but my highlight was snorkelling as the sea life is so varied and beautiful. We were lucky to be out at sea in a dingy when a manta ray jumped into the air right beside us, an unforgettable experience. But- the list could go on forever! Renting a motorboat and exploring the hidden coves and the crystal-clear seas of the Greek islands, watching shooting stars dash across star filled skies from a floating bungalow in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand, watching the sunset over the lunar landscape of the Atacama Desert