Summer Photo Contest 2014!

Well, unintentionally it would seem that I’ve taken the summer off from blogging. I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since it’s given me a bit of a breather and saved any potential readers from drab drivel and prefab platitudes driven by the feeling that I need to publish something – anything – in order…

Family Skiing at Boi-Taull, in Spain’s Vall de Boi

A while back I wrote a piece giving advice about taking ski holidays with kids, and after my wife reminded me of this I reread my own advice, abandoned the over-elaborate and absurdly ambitious plans I’d been making, and booked us into a week near the little family-oriented resort of Boi-Taull in the Pyrenees. The Vall…

Montserrat – The Spiritual Soul of Catalonia

One of the pitfalls of extensive travel is developing a higher ‘wow’ threshold, of, like an adrenaline junkie seeking ever-increasing danger in order to get the pituitary glands pumping endorphins, needing more spectacular scenery or more exotic architecture to impress you. The first time you fly over the Alps you’re glued to the window –…

Expats Part II: 10 Tips for Moving Abroad

So you’re thinking about living abroad. Your workplace is considering sending you to Tokyo, or maybe you just want to see new places, experience different cultures. That’s great! My wife and I have been living in various countries since 1996, and we’ve learned a few things along the way. Gone are the days when we’d…

Yes, Morons Go on Holiday Too

Saw this today on the Huffington Post, and it was just too good not to share. These are actual complaints received from dissatisfied customers by Thomas Cook Vacations (based on a Thomas Cook/ABTA survey): 1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like…

New Photo Contest: Summer 2013

Well, summer has come to a close (although you’d never know it here in Spain, where the days are still hot and where I went for a midnight swim in the sea just a couple of nights ago), so it’s time for another FNFF Photo Competition! Send in your best snaps from the summer –…

Expatriates and Other Foreign Fauna

This is the first installment of an I-don’t-really-know-how-many-part series on living abroad. If you’ve recently moved abroad or are contemplating it, I hope to provide you with some very useful information, something to smooth your transition into a foreign culture. If not, I hope to provide you with a field guide’s insight into the species…