Author: Jessica Lee

Since deciding that growing up and getting a proper job was highly overrated at the age of 18, New Zealander Jessica Lee has spent most of her life travelling extensively in Africa, Australasia, Asia, Europe and Latin America. She is the author of Footprint Travel Guide's guidebooks to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and their Focus guides to Beirut and Damascus. She has lived in the Middle East since 2007 and nowadays can usually be found somewhere on the overland trail between Cairo and Istanbul. Her website is

Home of the mighty Pharaohs, Egypt has awed visitors from Alexander the Great to Napoleon. This vast nation is packed full of so much history that it can be difficult to decide what to see if your vacation is short on time. Bundle the best of Egypt into one week using the attractions below as a guide. This is a slice of the nation’s most riveting sights which even the speediest vacationers can achieve.

Egypt …

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Ski holidays are to winter what the beach is to summer. They’re fun, family-friendly and give you the chance to revert back to childhood for some good old fashioned frolicking in the snow. While the snow-bunny herds flock to the fashionable ski resorts – where crowded slopes and booked-out accommodations mean that skiers pay a premium for powder – why not pack your skis and head to one of the lesser known destinations. Just like …

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It’s become the manifesto for people yearning to do something different with their lives. Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ (which tells the story of her journey through Italy, India and Bali to cure herself of depression and feed a hunger to lead a more spiritual life) has encouraged thousands of dissatisfied professionals to up-sticks and head off into the yonder to ‘find themselves’. A journey of discovery, though, is not a one-size-fits-all path. …

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Sand…sun…sea; the checklist to the perfect summer break. The trouble with settling on which beach to choose is that usually everyone else has discovered it as well. If you prefer your slice of sandy heaven to come without being sandwiched in by the sun lounger crowds, plan a beach break with a difference in one of the forgotten corners of coastline below.

Ninety Mile Beach – New Zealand

It may be famous in New Zealand …

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The Great British sporting event – Wimbledon

Game…set…match. There is no sporting event quite as quintessentially British as Wimbledon. Where the players have to wear whites and despite the rain (which dependably showers down to stop play) crowds swan around in summer dresses drinking Pimms and lemonade and tucking into strawberries and cream. This is sport with a stiff upper-lip at its best.
Wimbledon runs for two weeks during June-July every year. Most court tickets …

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Lunch with Jaws: Diving with Sharks, South Africa

There’s nothing quite like a dinner invite when you feel like part of the meal rather than a fellow guest. As fascinating as it is terrifying, you’ll get about as near to the teeth of a Great White as possible as you’re lowered underwater in a metal cage that suddenly seems incredibly flimsy now that you and the ocean’s greatest predator are eye-to-eye.

How-to: Gansbaai (a 2.5 …

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A plain old soak in the tub is now officially passé. Here are just five of the many weird and wonderful places around the world which put more zing in your bath time.

Hamam scrub-down: Istanbul, Turkey

You haven’t been to Turkey until you’ve experienced the hamam (or Turkish bath) and where better to partake in a traditional scrub and soak than in the sultan’s ex-playground of Istanbul. An experience not for the modest, a …

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Calling all surface-dwellers. These days you don’t have to be a spelunker to seek out the places within so it’s time to explore some subterranean sights. Whether you want to see the secret cities ancient societies dug under the warped and wrinkled landscape of Turkey’s Cappadocia, or witness the sparkling glowworm spectacle of Waitomo in New Zealand, there’s a strange and eerie world awaiting you below.

Underground Cities, Cappadocia, Turkey

Formed by a mother nature …

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Is normal travel becoming a yawn? Well why not try a new era as well as a new place. Head to the Roman ruin of Jerash to experience gladiators battling it out or joust-it-up with the knights of Kaltenberg Castle; from local festivals to historic re-enactments, the world is full of wacky ways you can journey back in time, not just across oceans.

Up Helly Aa Festival, Shetland Islands, UK

Pillaged, plundered and then settled …

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