My makeup always had the genetic traveler within and I’ve been travelling on a journey all my life. The earliest memories are of being selected from my school in 1982 for a youth exchange program to Grenada at 16. This trip also included Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and other Islands around the West Indies. Continue reading
Returning to Larnaca in Cyprus after over a decade away was always going to bring to the surface fond memories of this divided island. It had been our old playground for 3 years and we had such a great experience there. I couldn’t wait.
The prospect of reliving long lost sunny days brought with it the anticipation of beach B-B-Q’s, living it up on the cheap, skinny dipping with strangers and catching up with old friends.
Without any arm twisting, it seemed an ideal reason for a returning ex-pat. All with the added bonus of familiarity of the area thrown in for good measure.
Cyprus – The plan
In 2001 during a 3 year career break, myself and partner lived the dream, sold our house in the UK and headed for pastures new. Not quite on a whim and a prayer, and not on the odd snippet of expat advice gathered from a string of past holidays.
No, this was planned, and we even shipped our Vitara Jeep over there for £500. We also had the good fortune of my Cypriot friends Father-in-law already based on the island to point us on the right path. Having a head start on most and help when required was a bonus.
We started by renting a penthouse apartment in Pyla for a year at £1800. It was was a steal, and with 2 balconies both of which could hold over 50 sun beds with sea & mountain views thrown in for good measure, seemed a great deal. With an abundance of local taverna’s a stones throw from our doorstep and being only Two minutes from the beach across the Dhekalia Road, the location was perfect.
Cyprus – easy living
Being only Ten minutes outside Larnaca town and all it’s facilities of modern living and banking, would be the ideal setting. We could eat out and wine and dine for £5, and not blow our budget for taking 3 years out of the rat race. Living was easy, and with the Cyprus pound equivalent to a British pound at one-for one, it seemed life wouldn’t get any better than this. Gas and electricity came in at £10 pounds a month, and rates and water £7 pounds per quarter. This also included refuse collection and the postman. Happy days.
We upgraded the second year to a detached 2 bedroom house with gardens and air-con throughout. This was near to Oroklini, a small village on the coast. This cost £2000 a year, another steal and just up the road from our initial base. We sold our Jeep as we couldn’t keep it on the island unless we paid taxes. This worked out to an astronomical sum so took the cash which was equivalent to the price back home. We enjoyed days out that lasted 36 hours, skinny dipping in a lagoon and all the trappings this gem threw at us.
“Fifteen Euro’s” he barked, as we jumped out of his Taxi, a battered and worn Mercedes. It had seen better days as he retrieved our bags from the trunk. We had arrived at Larnaka airport on a cheap flight and jumped into a Taxi from the stand outside.
“How much” I inquisitively replied knowing I was being taken for a ride. For a 10 minute transfer from Larnaca Airport to McKenzie Beach had previously cost Three Cyprus pounds, an expensive one at that.
“Fifteen Euro’s, what’s the problem friend” he again barked.
Even with the obligatory few sentences of Greek thrown in to charm this peasant he wasn’t going to budge. Even with the intervention of our guest house owner coming out to greet us, it would have been a Mexican stand-off. We paid him Ten Euro and the gas guzzling Mercedes drove off cursing. In hindsight, I thought of his next victim who wouldn’t get off so lightly.
With this our first experience of the new “Euro Cyprus”, things had changed, and unfortunately for the worse. In the Pre Euro days, Cypriots had a care free attitude and enjoyed life. Their restaurants were plentiful and usually busy at £3-£5 per head, even throughout the off season months.
What was once a haven for retired ex-pats living on £600 a month pensions is now a distant memory. Those who enjoyed all the trappings of island life have flown the nest for a new affordable paradise somewhere else.
In its place are derelict 5 star Hotels, stripped bare of their once elegant marble décor. It looks like a ghost town. What was once a thriving piece of paradise has been all but abandoned. There has also been an influx of other new Europeans and Foreign investment. Once in the Euro, money has been thrown at this island as an off-shore hedge fund in over priced property. I mention no names.
Cyprus – the end ?
Sadly It’s not the place we remembered so fondly. With the problems that Greece are going through I can’t see it changing in the near future. They say this will effect up to 3 generations of Greeks. You can see why they want to go back to their old currency the drachma.
If I’m lucky I’ll still have some tucked away somewhere from my Greek Island exploits throughout the 80’s.
Happy travels on your Global Gallivants
Staying safe on your travels is the upmost importance of a worry free adventure. We always travel with world nomads travel insurance to cover all eventualities. Get a quote from the below link.
Railay beach is nestled between Ao Nang and the town of Krabi in Southern Thailand. Set on a small peninsula, It’s surrounded by limestone cliffs and cut off from the mainland. It’s only accessible from the Andaman Sea by boat. Rai Leh as it’s also known is a big attractions for rock climbers from around the globe. Continue reading
Any visit to the Unesco world heritage site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia will be a magical and mind-blowing experience. The below essential travel guide for first time visitors will ensure you have a great adventure and hit the road running and avoiding any pitfalls along the way. Continue reading
So after many hours of searching for cheap flights to your next destination, worryingly they’re dam expensive. Fear not, as these few tips may be able to save you a few pounds or dollars that can be spent elsewhere for that all important cold one. Continue reading
This guide of our favorite South Goa Beaches will help you decide where to visit in Goa. South Goa in India has some amazing beaches for you to explore and should be at the top of any visit to India. These resorts should give you ideas for your next trip. Continue reading
The Tegalalang rice terraces in Bali Indonesia are located 15km outside of Ubud. The journey takes around 30 minutes by vehicle and there are numerous buses and tours you can sign up to. Continue reading
Here’s a list of travel inspiration books of destinations to visit whilst on the road. You will have plenty of spare time when travelling with endless hours spent on buses, planes & trains. there’s also hours at airport lounges and long lay-overs to kill. The below stories of travel, bravery, motivation and travel inspiration should get you in the mood.
Travel inspiration books
Shantaram is an essential read if visiting India. The book tells the story of Gregory David Roberts, an escaped Australian convict who flees to India in the 1980’s. He settles in Bombay and embarks on careers from a professional forger to slum doctor. Covering various destinations, it’s a true reflection of life in India, be it with slightly conflicting reports of the truth.
The Beach tells the story of an American travelling in Thailand Southeast Asia. After obtaining a hand drawn map of a lost island in Bangkok he embarks on an adventure with 2 friends. They set off on a whim to find the hidden paradise. It’s a fast-paced novel that will take you on a journey in the search for lost continents and island communities.
The Lost City Of Z tells the true story of explorer Percival Fawcett and his never ending search for a lost city in the Amazon rain forest. The film portrays travel of this era and is due for release in April 2017 produced by Brad Pitt and the link is here.
Off The Road is a great read if you are planning on taking on the challenge of the Camino De Santiago. The 500 mile pilgrimage from France to Northern Spain takes in the Pyrenees from Pied Du Port through to Santiago. This book will enlighten you on the journey, with insights and adventure throughout. The Film The Way was based on this book, starring Martin Sheen and directed and starring Emilio Estevez.
Into The Wild is the true story of Chris McCandles who as a young man gave up everything he owned. He goes on a journey into the Alaskan wilderness on a quest for enlightenment and to live off the land. He paid the ultimate price in this great read and come highly recommended. Made into a movie and directed by Sean Penn and filmed on location in America.
Notes From A Small Island is Bill Bryson’s take on the UK, and is a funny read of his travels around various destinations in the mother land. Some great situations and tales from one of the great travel writers of our time. His writing style and insights on life in the UK will bring with it laugh-out-loud moments.
Wild:Lost and found on the Pacific Crest Trail is the true story of Cheryl Strayed who embarked on the PCT’s 2650 mile trek from Mexico to Canada. The journeypasses through California, Oregon, and Washington along with her monster backpack and supplies. A true story of escaping into the wilderness to get over her troubled past with a self help alternative therapy.
Midnight Express is the true story of American Billy Hayes travelling to Turkey’s Istanbul and smuggling marijuana to the States. Sentenced to 30 years the book portrays life in a Turkish prison and the reality’s within. A fantastic read for your travels.
Add a travel inspiration book
Please feel free to add any comments/recommendations. We’re always looking for travel inspiration books for new destinations. If you like this list then why not try our Travel inspirational movies here.
If you’re based in or around the Khao San Road, this Bangkok essential to do list will guide you around the most popular attractions. Most attractions are conveniently based within a short 10-15 minute walk from this central traveler’s hub. Continue reading
Sanur is located in the south-east corner of Bali, Indonesia, based along it’s coastline. It’s long stretch of beach also has a cycle/walking path that follows along the coast for approximately 7 Kilometers. Continue reading