Six must-visit towns close to Edinburgh

Bass Rock, North Berwick, Scotland

On my first visit to Edinburgh, I spent a lot of time getting familiar with the city, but after a while I began to crave more and decided to branch out. One of the great things about Edinburgh, or really any big city in the UK, is their railway system. It’s very easy to hop on a train and take a daytrip!

Although Edinburgh is amazing, I highly recommend going beyond Scotland’s capital if you have the time. Here are six charming towns, close to Edinburgh, which I think everyone...

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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: 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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London’s train stations and the kindness of strangers

London King's Cross Station atrium, UK

The London King’s Cross is beyond hectic — it’s no wonder Harry Potter had to ask for directions.

I commuted into downtown London with my friend, who had been kind enough to let me “kip” on her couch, but she left me a few metro stops early to go to work. This was my first time visiting the city and I emerged into the melee of morning rush hour at King’s Cross, entirely overwhelmed and a little in awe. It’s a big place, filled to the brim with busy people.

I decided...

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Winter festivities in Ottawa go beyond just New Years

Winter in Canada can seem unbearably long and miserable if you don’t find something fun to do in the outdoors. Although I’ve always loved skiing and skating, I’ve never properly taken advantage of all the different winter festivals and activities that happen throughout those cold snowy months.

This year, for the first time, my friend and I went to the Governor General’s Winter Celebration in Ottawa. It was as though mother nature decided to let us have our day in the snow —...

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