When will I see you again?

As I’ve noted here before, I am moving on. Even though I don’t know exactly when I will leave Abu Dhabi, which has been home base and starting point for my many travels for the past five years, every day that passes means I will be here one day less. Almost certainly, I will be gone within four weeks.

A toast to friendship!

Even so, it was a surprise today when one of my colleagues, who will be on holidays in the week I will probably leave, said to me: “Do you think we will ever see each other again?”

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Clearing the clutter

My name in Brett and I am a hoarder. I hate to let things go. And at the moment I’m having a minor crisis as I force myself to throw out things I know I’ll never need again but I can’t bear to part with.

To keep or not to keep?

And this is just the start. Once I reduce my possessions in Abu Dhabi to two suitcases and a carry-on bag, I will be back in Australia trying to pare down the accumulations of my entire existence into a manageable amount.

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Birthplace of the Olympics

Even a non-sporty person such as myself couldn’t resist the idea of squaring off at the starting line where the ancient — and therefore the modern — Olympic Games began.

Olympia, on Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula, is where it all began. And it’s where the Olympics torch relay always begins every four years.

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Suite dreams at sea

My motto for all travel is to do what you can comfortably afford to do. As I’ve written, if you want to fly business- or first-class, and you have the money to do it, don’t let anybody persuade you otherwise.

First-class cabin on the Titanic (origin unknown)

The difference between business and economy class on a plane — especially on long-haul flights — is painfully obvious. That is, the ever-more-cramped economy-class seats will induce pain; the lie-flat options up front will not. Continue reading Suite dreams at sea

Probably the best brewery …

I was going to include these pictures in an upcoming gallery of Copenhagen, but I thought they deserved special attention. They were taken at the Carlsberg brewery, where the famous Elephant Gate ushers visitors into the fascinations of a beer-making process that has changed little over more than 150 years.

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Cruise ships: bigger, better, best?

In both aircraft and cruise-ship manufacturing, there’s a debate: is bigger always better? In aviation, the largest commercial plane, the Airbus A380, is popular only with airlines, notably Emirates, that are staking the future on carrying a lot of people over long distances to and from big airports.

Project Leonardo (NCL)

With cruise ships, there has been greater investment by those who believe  bigger is better, although niche operators beg to differ.

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Sober on the high seas

A Twitter follower recently posed me an interesting question that went a little like this: “I am a non-drinker, and I have always shied away from cruises because everybody on board seems to be drinking all the time.

One of many cruise-ship bars. Where to go if you don’t drink?

“Is there anything to do on a cruise if you don’t drink?”

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Belgrade: a city of contrasts


I don’t normally take package holidays, but I got a great deal from Abu Dhabi to Belgrade on Air Serbia, booking via Etihad, that took me to the Serbian capital for five nights in a four-star hotel for around US$1000.

Here are a few sights I saw along the way. Much of the city betrays austerity and the ravages of war, but if you’re interested in the murals and funky cafes, head for the Bohemian Quarter.

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The art of moving on

With just over a month to go before I vacate my flat in Abu Dhabi, I’ve begun the job of sorting through the stuff I’ve accumulated over the past five years of my life.

The sun is setting on my Abu Dhabi adventure

I’m a sentimental person and I do find it hard to part company with possessions, especially those with memories attached. The problem is that everything I have evokes some kind of emotion. So I’ve decided to be ruthless. More or less.

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A dummy’s guide to travel

I recently read an online guide to budget travel that really got my goat*, as my granny used to say.

Spending more is sometimes worth it

It also got me thinking about all the bad travel advice I’ve read online, and how some of it ought to be challenged. Which is what I’m about to do.

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You’re never alone at sea

If you follow this blog, you might be aware the I’m a fan of Quora, the site that crowdsources answers to interesting questions, including many about travel.

I’m not just an avid reader of the site, I’ve recently become a contributor, with a few posts and a couple of thousand views to my name.  My latest answer relates to something I’m reasonably well informed about: cruising alone.

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BA flight caught short

The longest flight delay I have ever experienced* is 11 hours — waiting for a charter jet to take me from Glasgow to Malaga for a package holiday on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

A British Airways Boeing 777-200 (ba.com)

The reason given was urgent repairs to the plane — which, to be honest, is fairly compelling and mitigates the boredom of being stuck at Glasgow airport for half a day. I’m not so sure how I would’ve reacted if the reason was that they forgot to load the toilet paper.

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