The aim of travel shows is to showcase a small part of what the world can offer, all under one roof! I hadn’t been to one before (crazy enough!) but as part of my Wanderlust Magazine Subscription I could claim 2 free tickets to the 2016 Destinations Show at London’s Olympia, so had nothing to lose! What with the whole emigration thing in my near future, I didn’t want to go too crazy on finding new destinations but it certainly did inspire me (and fill my tummy with free food samples!)
- Along with the Tourist Board stands, there were various ‘specialist’ talks throughout the day. I went along to see the BBC travel documentary presenter – Simon Reeve, he came across as such a nice, enthusiastic guy, I was hooked on his every word (his new tv programme about Greece started in the UK last night, literally as I just got home, and it was really interesting! Well worth a watch!). I also saw Levison Wood’s talk, who has had a couple of documentaries, following his journey from when he walked the length of the River Nile, and more recently, The Himalayas. At the end, he did a book signing so I now have 2 more books to keep me entertained! I’m really looking forward to reading ‘Walking The Nile’, I find Africa so interesting, so it’ll be interesting to see how the book differs from the TV documentary.
- Favourite food sample of the day: Baklavas! I love them anyway so I was more than happy to try the samples…just to make sure they were still just as tasty…they were! For anyone unsure of what a Baklava is, it’s a sweet crunchy filo pastry, filled with nuts (such as pistachios). YUMMY. The Brazilian style steak came a close second! When my buddy comes to visit me when I move to Iowa, I’m going to take her out for a steak…they have damn good steak there too!
- My free pretty purple G Adventures tote bag…minus the flower, that came from Thai Airways (top left – image above). OK I’m easily pleased. I successful managed to shrink my Colchester Zoo tote bag in the wash and my Lonely Planet one didn’t survive my Jamaica trip. They are so handy as they fold up so small and they make great beach bags!
As the stands were mainly Tourist Boards, rather than Tour Companies, it made it easier to gather information on the destinations, compared to just browsing tours. I book a lot of my travels independently. As mentioned above, I’m trying to reign in my travels a teeny weenie bit, since getting married, I guess I have some more responsibilities now! Luckily for me, this year there was a Visit USA exhibition! Yay! As of next year, America is going to be the main focus of my travels (…maybe…it’s what I’m telling myself anyway!)
Places to consider since discovering them at the show:
- NORTH CAROLINA – I picked up a brochure for here as it’s not somewhere I really knew anything about (in fact the whole of the MidWest is fairly unknown to me so I’m really looking forward to exploring an area I probably would have ignored otherwise!). The coastline has giant sand dunes, there are mountains and rivers, seems like a cool mix of places to explore! South Carolina looks nice too but they weren’t at the show.
- FLORIDA KEYS – I’ve had my eye on here for a while and the brochures have confirmed that yes, I definitely need to visit here! It’s like a little slice of the Caribbean, attached to Mainland America! It’s a fair distance away from Iowa though so I’m not sure if that’ll class as budget friendly travelling!
- MASSACHUSETTS – Again a little bit of a stretch from Iowa, the coastal towns in Massachusetts look really nice though!
…I really wish there had of been more information on the MidWest! I can’t believe how under the radar it seems to be!
I already have a few Europe trips booked for this year and I’m flexible and open to what to do while I’m away. I was really happy that Dubrovnik Tourism was at the show! It was literally the only ‘city’ stall that was there and as I’m basing myself there for a week I was interested to see what they had on offer!
- LOKRUM ISLAND – A short ferry ride from Dubrovnik. There is no form of transport on the island, it’s now a nature reserve with a few beaches, a 10 metre deep salt water lake, a monastery…and some peacocks! I’m hoping it’ll be a nice escape from the craziness of Dubrovnik’s old town, this is definitely on my itinerary now.
REST OF THE WORLD DREAMING
- BELIZE. It looks so colourful and interesting and I want to go so bad!
Have you travelled anywhere in the American MidWest and know of any ‘must see’ places I should go to in the future? Or anything else I should see in Dubrovnik? (I’m going to Bosnia and Montenegro while I’m there too). Feel free to comment below!