Come se dice…

Week one as an English tutor was over, and yet I already had what felt like enough memories to last a lifetime. Monday was tough, and ended with the news that one of my kids - held back a year due to learning difficulties - had gone home crying after feeling alone in a group [...]

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Civita di Bagnoregio

“If you like, tomorrow we can take you into Rome!” The transition for our first camp was organised perfectly - get all the travel and orientation done on Saturday, so that we’d have all of Sunday with our host families. With most of my colleagues having never visited Italy before, and with our orientation being [...]

It was Mentana to be…

There’s nothing like immersion to help with language learning. Along with “seeing everything I’d missed last time” and “escaping the rut I had found myself in”, one of the main reasons behind moving to Italy was to put myself in an environment where I could become a lot more proficient in the language than I [...]

Chicken into Kiev…

"Okay, before I head to the airport, have I forgotten anything? I feel like I have..." Passport? Check. Wallet? Check. Phone, tablet, extra socks? All check. Something was bugging me. What had I forgotten... ...oh, that's right. Tiananmen Square. I forgot to visit one of the most important sites in Beijing. I mean sure, I [...]

Beijing Part 3: Peeking Duck

My next rule of travel? Never be afraid to do more research, even after you've arrived. Between China and Ukraine, most of my planning went into the latter - I knew very little about Kyiv, so I wanted to find out what was there other than tour companies offering trips to Chernobyl. For China, I had [...]

Beijing Part 2: Hidden Dragon

I'd done a lot of research on the Great Wall before leaving, and had a good idea of which section I wished to visit. Hiking from Simitai to Jiankou was my first choice, but it was closed. Jianshanlong was my second choice, but only if I could find a reasonably-priced tour heading there. Mutaniyu was [...]

Beijing Part 1: Crouching Tiger

I stepped out of the unlit hutong alley, dodging rubbish and stray dogs as I headed closer to the main strip. I turned the corner onto a side street filled with small shops adorned with neon signs all in Mandarin. No English signs suggesting these stores welcomed Western customers, no flags showing what languages other than Chinese [...]