Jordan is hot by nature and conservative by inclination. Its capital Amman is a world away from the new-money glitz of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but it’s still got a great cosmopolitan vibe, with trendy cafes and art galleries popping up on the palm-studded boulevard of the aptly named Rainbow Street.
The traditional greeting in Nepal is ‘namaste’, spoken with a slight bow and the palms pressed gently together. It’s the acknowledgement of the soul in one by the soul of another, and there’s no gesture or word that better sums up the spirit of Nepal.
When our felucca with its flapping sails and smiling Nubian crew pulled up at the dock of our Aswan hotel, we knew it was the beginning of a truly magical journey.
The Kingdom of Cambodia sits at the heart of the Southeast Asia loop, boasting a thread of pristine white coastline and an interior of elephant trodden trails, straw hut villages and emerald jungles – all of which can be explored for a very reasonable price.
What began in the 1950s as a way of uniting post-war Europe in song has evolved in the 60 years since into a way of uniting the world in the ridicule of awful music and an appreciation for strange pants.
Fun fact: Tokyo has more Michelin starred restaurants than London, Paris and New York combined.
When you’ve traveled in a region before, know something of its language and think nothing of toting a guidebook, it can be tempting to think there’s little to be gained from organised group travel.