Crete after sunset: Chania

Busy street in Chania, Crete, Greece

The city comes alive as the sun sputters into the sea, dragging the heat down with it.

The fish that had sat on display, nestled in flaked ice, now grace the plates of tourists in artful swirls of purple grilled octopus, red snapper with lemon bursts, blackened escargot and white-fleshed scallops. Sunset catches in wine glasses and raki shots, while stray cats wander between tables on restaurant patios, hoping for dinner scraps from soft-hearted tourists.

The shops get their...

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Five Senses for Travel: Touch

Chrissi Beach near Crete, Greece

Imagine yourself on a beach. But before you go too far with daydreaming about beach volleyball and margaritas, ask yourself this first — what’s the sand like?

Is it that fine golden sand that packs hard under your feet when wet, making it easy to jog alongside the water? Or is it pebbled and impossible to walk on? Maybe it’s grainy and loose like the black volcanic sands of Santorini, which heats up to scalding hot levels in the sun.

One of my favourite swimming holes was...

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Five Senses for Travel: Sound

A music band on the streets of Paris, France.

Travel has a soundtrack built into it. A composition of sounds that plays in the background of the scenery you pass through. Whether it's the sound of waves crashing on a shoreline,  soft cooing from pigeons, the creaking of tall trees in the wind, the incomprehensible cacophony of a busy cafe, or something even more tangible, like music coming from a busker on a street corner. Background noise may not always have the melody of a beautiful song, it might even be closer to silence than...

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Five Senses for Travel: Taste

Saturday market in Edinburgh, Scotland

I didn’t start out writing this on an empty stomach, but I might just get a snack now that it’s done. Let’s talk food.

My stomach has short term memory issues — I’m hungry a lot. So when I travel, food becomes an integral part of the experience for me. Finding a good place to eat, sampling the local cuisine, checking out the seasonal markets, these are all as much an important part of my travels as a nice museum or an ancient ruin.

Travel is a multi-sensory...

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Five Senses for Travel: Scent

Summer, Ukraine, Europe

Travel is often referred to as sight-seeing. But if that was all there was to it, travelling would be like flipping through a virtual reality guide book. Yes, there’s a picture of Golden Gate Bridge. Ooh la la, the picturesque Montmartre. Look at those Alps, aren’t they grand?

Travel should be an experience of all the senses. It’s not just about seeing a place, but hearing the noisy clamour of a city like London or the soft quiet of the countryside in Scotland. It’s about...

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