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My top 10 most insightful books to read on Cambodia

Recommended Reading: Cambodia Cambodia has to be one of the most moving places I have ever been to. Their tragic recent past still haunts the population today in the form of landmine victims, psychological trauma, lost family members and mistrust.  However they struggle on with life – because after all, it could not be worse […]

Zen and the art of relaxing …whilst taking on a scarey, new challenge

It is winter in Dahab, Egypt, but the sun still shines every day. Dahab is surrounded by a backdrop of caramel-coloured, desertous mountains which contrast nicely next to the turquoise waters of the Red Sea. As a busy person, I come here for the winter, not to grind to a halt, but for some “downtime”

Giving back and travelling in Cambodia

When you booked yourself a trip to Cambodia, lured by the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, lush landscapes, warm temperatures, cheap cocktails and tropical beaches, you might not have spared much of a thought for it’s recent dark past. Maybe when the Khmer Rouge took Phnom Penh by storm in 1975 and sent the inhabitants of the […]

7 good reasons to drink Gin

Like you need a reason. But ok, here goes. And this is also why we have gin o’clock on our Venus Adventures trips, it’s an important part of our day. Cheers! 1. Gin and tonic with a slice/squeeze of lemon. Now we all know the benefits of lemons, some say it can even cure cancer. 2. […]

9 different reasons why I love to visit Muslim / Arab countries

In these days of rampant Islamophobia, a trip to an Arab country could do everyone a bit of good. Being amongst Muslims has certainly changed me, and understanding other cultures, not judging them, is key, I believe, to  peace. Travelling either as a lone female or with a group of women in the Muslim world, […]

The Interesting Characters of St Catherines village

The Bedouin Jebeliya tribe of the St Catherines area (South Sinai, Egypt) is full of interesting characters. In fact, I have never met so many interesting people in one place. Being around these people, with all their knowledge, fascinating old skills and wisdom, is a privilege and I learn something new every time I visit. Jamil Attiya […]

A fistful of Fata (and it’s not goat cheese)

Sitting in the dark, gravel-floor lean-to at my old Bedouin neighbours house, sipping on a glass of hot, sweet black tea, two little girls came in and said something to me in Arabic. I didn’t quite get everything they said, since my Arabic is not that great (yet!), and also since they speak another dialect, but […]

Changing Bedouin lifestyles: from the tent to a house

Times are changing fast for the Bedouin tribes of the South Sinai. Up until around 30-40 years ago most of them used to live a nomadic lifestyle in the desert, moving with the seasons to feed their herds of goats and camels on the fragrant desert herbs. They lived in tents woven from goat and […]

How to ward off the evil eye…

When travelling in Morocco, you will come across the Hand of Fatima in jewellery shops (as beautiful pendants) or as door knockers on peoples homes – and it is used to ward off the evil eye. The Hand of Fatima, also known as Khamsa (meaning “five”), is named after Mohamed’s daughter, Fatima Zahra. Arab’s are […]

10 Weddings and a Funeral

The Women’s Party – Part 1 I’d just arrived back in Egypt to hear that my Bedouin neighbour was getting married, and there was to be a party for the women only in 2 days time. Great! The party day arrived, and the sunset prayer sang out from the local mosque. This meant the party […]