Tag Archives: Guidebooks

How to Plan Your Holiday More Effectively

Zora Neale Hurston, the American writer and anthropologist, once said: ‘Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.’ Yet, when it comes to travel, most of us do very little prep at all, then wonder why we end up with only a vague idea of where we’ve spent the last few days and what it meant to be there.

It’s great to be spontaneous and live in the moment, but a little research goes a long way and means you won’t waste as much of your time off. By all means don’t tie yourself down to specific times, or route march between sights, but do turn up with a fair idea of what you want to get out of your visit. Unless you’ve got deep pockets, you may well only visit a place once in your lifetime, so why take it for granted? read more

Vintage Language Lessons: J.I. Roquette’s Portuguese from the 1840s

Discoveries Map of Europe. Credit: University of Texas

Tucked away on a shelf inside a quiet antique bookshop, I found the best souvenir of my trip to Lisbon – a tiny language guide with a wordy title. J.I. Roquette’s Guia de Conversação Portuguez-Inglez, para uso dos Viajantes e dos Estudantes (Guide to Portuguese-English Conversation for Travellers and Students) doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but this little book was a real insight into 19th century travel, delivered by a country famous for its explorers. If anyone should be advising fellow adventurers, surely it should be the Portuguese. read more