Author: Bec J. H.

University student and aspiring travel writer. Find Bec's blog at: travelplacebo.wordpress.com

Some Places Have It All

Milan, Italy

July 2013

In the European summer of 2013 I made my first foray into solo travelling. I had four days to fill somewhere in Italy between the day my family returned home to Australia and the day I would be meeting up with a friend in Germany. So where to spend it? Northern Italy was my preference, in order to avoid the heat of the south and lessen my travel time between Italy and Germany. I quickly ruled out a beachside location, as going to the beach is never as fun without friends. I wanted to go somewhere with a focus on culture and plenty of indoor activities and attractions, as I find that these are often more enjoyable solo than outdoor adventures. After much thought, I eventually settled on Milan. I am so glad I did. Milan, in my opinion, is a perfect destination for the solo traveller. To put it simply, Milan has it all.  (more…)

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Indisposable Memories

Kosciuszko National Park, Australia

April 2007

I usually think of myself as a child of the digital age. There are moments, though, when I think back and realise that I wasn’t always the digital native that I feel I ought to be. I remember the joy of analogue, especially film photography, taking your photos to be developed and wondering how they’d turn out…  (more…)

At the House of the Apothecary

Amboise, France

June 2015

I’ve noticed that different travellers have very different views on hotels. It seems to range from “All I ask for is a place to sleep” to “My entire holiday is centred around enjoying this hotel to the fullest”. I think I would place myself somewhere in the middle of this continuum – travelling by myself I’m not really fussed where I stay, so long as it is clean and convenient for where I need to get to. That is not say, however, that I don’t enjoy luxury hotels when I get the chance to stay at one!  (more…)

When Home is Your Castle

Amboise, France

June 2015

I’ve heard it said that a man’s home is his castle, but it’s not that often that someone’s home really is a castle. That’s the case at the Château de Cheverny (pictured above), which has been continuously inhabited by the same family for over 600 years. Cheverny was one of six châteaux (castles, broadly speaking) that I visited in the Loire valley on a two-day extravaganza with Loire Valley Tours, starting out from the beautiful town of Amboise each morning, then spending the day exploring castle after castle in the frankly stifling heat of a French summer heatwave (40oC each day). The weather was hot, the walking distances were long and the schedule was busy, but these castles, brimming with history, were worth it (the air-conditioned van also helped).  (more…)

The Part I Always Forget

From my notebook, 23rd June 2015:

As far as travellers go, I would say I am a moderately seasoned one. No, I am not an expat who has lived all over the world. No, I have not spent a year of my life backpacking around Europe. I don’t travel for work (yet) or lead the nomadic existence of the permanently suitcase-bound, but I can find my way around a foreign city, successfully navigate airports and twelve-hour long-haul flights, and can communicate with moderate success using that combination of loud, over-enunciated English and haphazard hand gestures known to English-speaking travellers everywhere.  (more…)