The Express Guide to Venice

Earlier this year, The Express and Monarch Airlines teamed up with the clear aim of creating a series of European city guides for their respective readers. And I am now delighted to confirm that I, along with my team at WorldWORDS, was selected to create the first six in their portfolio. All of these guides were recently published on The Express website, and you can find links to them below. I hope they come in handy. Happy travels!

THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO VENICE by Joseph Reaney (that’s yours truly!)

THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO BARCELONA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO ROME | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO VERONA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO PALMA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO DUBROVNIK by Mandy (a WorldWORDS writer)

London’s Best International Dishes

Forbes Travel Guide has recent published my run-down of the tastiest international dishes to enjoy in London. England’s vibrant capital is one of the most multicultural destinations in the world, with more than 300 languages spoken throughout the city, and with foreign-born residents accounting for a third of the population. This diverse range of influences results in a great gastronomic smorgasbord – so I’ve selected some of the most interesting culinary treats currently being served up in the capital. From Indian vindaloo of ox cheek at Cinnamon Soho to finger-licking Jamaican jerk chicken at Cottons in Camden, you can read all of my recommendations right here.

A Stay at Exclusive Resorts Costa Rica

At the end of April this year, I was treated to five-day press trip to Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica, courtesy of the world’s leading luxury destination club Exclusive Resorts. It is an incredible resort in a beautiful location, and the varied activities on offer – zip lining through the forest canopy, jet-skiing around the peninsula’s bay, spotting dolphins on a cocktail-crazy cruise – were beyond my expectations. I subsequently wrote an article all about the destination club for Private Air Luxury Homes Magazine… and this has just been published! You can read it by clicking on the image, or this here link.

On a side note, my team of writers at WorldWORDS also penned more than a dozen articles for the latest issue of the magazine, on topics ranging from repurposing historic buildings in London to magical museum exhibitions in Geneva to legendary farm properties in New York State. You can read the majority of these in the WorldWORDS portfolio, and the rest on the Private Air site.

A National Geographic Runner-Up

Way back in October 2012, I entered National Geographic Traveller‘s annual travel writing competition. Now, a mere six months later, I have discovered I was the runner-up! Alas, I missed out on the rather wonderful prize of a 10-day polar cruise to the Norwegian Isle of Spitsbergen, but I did land myself a(nother) year’s subscription to a fantastic magazine! Far more importantly, my article was then also published in the May/June 2013 issue of Traveller!

My near-winning piece was called simply ‘The Flight’, and it began like this:

“I heard the plane before I saw it. Sitting mutely in a pallid departure lounge, the dirty put-put-put of the engine gradually trickled into my subconscious.

Rubbing my face, I turned to the runway and there it was: my peeling, patched-up biplane. My journey had begun…”

Read the entire thing by visiting the National Geographic Traveller website – or by clicking that image to the left.

P.S. Huge congratulations to the winner, Ben Taub. ‘Set in Stone’ is a beautifully evocative piece – a worthy winner!

Another Little Breath of Private Air

I’m a bit late mentioning this, as it’s already halfway through the current print run, but I wrote two new articles in the January/February edition of Private Air Magazine. You can read the openings of each below, then click to read more.

The Circle – A New Form of Airport Architecture
“For many decades, airports have been at the forefront of large-scale creative architecture. From the inviting contemporary curves of Incheon International in South Korea to the lush ring-shaped oasis of King Abdulaziz International in Saudi Arabia, revolutionary airport designs around the world have immeasurably improved the passenger experience, making flying more of a pleasure than an ordeal.

Yet for Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto, that ambition isn’t enough. He believes airports should aim not just to be passenger transport hubs, but multi-purpose centres for the whole world to share – and he is showing the way with a radical new development at Zurich Airport. It’s called The Circle…” // Click to read more

Albania: The Foreign Investment of the Decade?
“The sunlight creeps into the crack between the wooden stalls, and the Old Bazaar stirs into life. Shutters are slid open, shelves are straightened and scarves are suspended from the ceiling; the modest market nestled below the castle in Krujë is open for business. In recent years, this tiny Albanian arcade has gained fame as a foreign investor’s idyll – where old Russian ration books change hands for pennies and 1920s gramophones sell for the price of iTunes album – but it is becoming clear that it’s just part of a wider story. Albania at large is now being touted as the investment opportunity of the decade…” // Click to read more

You can subscribe to the excellent Private Air Magazine right here, or simply read the latest issue for free here.

Contributing to Vertu Select

I have been contributing short articles to the luxury digital publication Vertu Select for more than a year now, but there has been such a backlog that it has taken a very long time to see any of them published – and even longer to get my mitts on the prints! But now, they have kindly supplied me with the few of my articles that have made it to public consumption. The first, published in May, starts like this:

“The 20th century was a trying period for Ukrainian art. After a promisingly avant-garde start to the 1900s, during which many popular contemporary movements like Futurism, Constructionism and Cubism swept through the streets of Kiev, everything came to a very sudden (and very prolonged) halt in 1922 with the foundation of the Soviet Union. However, since the parting of the Iron Curtain in 1991, Ukrainian art has enjoyed a stuttering resurgence – and it’s set for an enormous boost this summer with the opening of Kiev’s first ever Biennale…”

You can read the rest of ‘Kiev Arsenale 2012′ by clicking on the image to the left. Or you can read my latest one about Eastern European cruises. Here’s the intro:

“Medieval hilltop castles, high gold-domed churches and ancient Mediterranean ports… Eastern Europe has a wealth of treasures just waiting to be discovered. As there’s no finer way to acquaint yourself with a city than with a late night excursion on the water, here are five of the East’s favourite evening cruises…”

You can read the whole article by clicking this here link (it’s external, you know).

If you’ve noticed a theme emerging, it’s that I specialise in Central and European destinations for Vertu. Hopefully, the remaining dozen-or-so articles covering this area, plus the few elsewhere, will appear in my travel journalism portfolio shortly.

New Articles for Private Air Magazine

During October, I wrote three articles for the bi-monthly Private Air Magazine – and they have all just been published. Two are foreign investment pieces, and the other is a destination piece. You can read the openings of each below…

Shenzhen: A Better Investment than Hong Kong?
“For more than half a century, Hong Kong has been one of the world’s great economic success stories. Thanks to a mass influx of Chinese immigrants and foreign business people during the mid-20th century, the autonomous city-state boosted its economy to impressive levels, and so established itself as one of the biggest financial and investment centres not only of Asia, but of the world. However, in recent years Hong Kong has had to cope with an ever-growing threat to its established global position – and it’s a threat coming from next door.” // Click to read more

Ukraine Again: Is Real Estate Investment Back?
“On 2nd October 2012, the Ukrainian government passed an amendment to their Land Code that allows non-citizens to become land owners when they buy real estate. It’s an attempt to combat a property market crisis that has enveloped the nation since 2008, and to tempt back the scores of American, British and Middle Eastern investors who helped grow the economy so dramatically at the turn of the century. The question that really needs to be asked is whether Ukrainian property remains an attractive opportunity for foreign investors.” // Click to read more

The Call of the Cayman Islands
“The Cayman Islands may be best known as an offshore tax haven, but any regular visitor will attest that this charming corner of the Caribbean has far more to offer than pinstripe-suited bankers and fat cat financial lawyers. These Caymans are also bewitchingly beautiful holiday havens…” // Read more

You can subscribe to the excellent Private Air Magazine right here, or simply read the latest issue for free here.

Off Mt. Everest’s Beaten Track

I feel like throwing up. My head is spinning, my stomach churning, my joints throbbing. I suck in a lungful of icy air but there isn’t enough oxygen. Yet still I ignore that pounding thought: ‘turn back, turn back’. After two weeks of physical and mental exertion, with my final destination only an hour ahead, I know I can’t give up now. So I plant a walking pole deep into the dirt track and drag my heavy body onwards. Slowly, I begin to move my legs, bend my knees, pick up my feet, and I struggle on through the white wilderness, closer and closer to the finish line. I’m going to make it.

That’s when it all goes black. Continue reading

Killing Time in Europe’s Best Cemeteries

I’ve had a new travel article published in the latest issue of stalkingElk (a comedy satire magazine, for which I am the ‘roaming correspondent’) about the very best cemeteries to visit in Europe.  Here’s how it all starts…

“You can’t beat a good graveyard. An inexorable fixture in every childhood – whether burying your gran, losing your virginity or dabbling in the occult – cemeteries also offer the more adult pleasure of killing time prior to your own pathetic demise. So however you like to do it, from taking a walk out of the grim city to spotting D-list celebrity gravestones, here are ten of the continent’s finest time-killing cemeteries…”

If you’d like to read more of ‘Killing Time in Europe’s Best Cemeteries’ – and you really should, you know – you can click here for the whole article. Or if you want to read more similarly-flippant comedy nonsense, you can visit the stalkingElk website to buy the whole mag for three measly quid.

What’s behind trolling?

Do you know about ‘trolls’? They’re the rather annoying individuals who anonymously post insults, threats and provocations on online forums, Facebook pages and newspaper comments sections. The BBC has recently published an excellent magazine article on the growing phenomenon, looking at the psychology behind it.

“Online people feel anonymous and disinhibited,” says Professor Mark Griffiths, director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University. “They lower their emotional guard and in the heat of the moment may troll either reactively or proactively.”

The article also points out that, thanks to a recent surge in trolling behaviour, there’s been increasing pressure on governments and private organisations to put restrictions on – or even entirely abolish – online anonymity. However, Jeff Jarvis, author of Public Parts, has a far less draconion suggestion. “The answer is for newspaper websites and online forums to employ sufficient moderators to prevent the comments spiralling into petty vendettas.”

Well, that’s one solution – but there are plenty of others too. Shamelessly relating back to an article I first wrote over two years ago, here are ten top ways to keep the trolls at bay. Well, nine top ones and a rubbish voice censor.

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