Life is in the detail

Lake Annecy in France is unbelievably beautiful, really quiet (too much rain for a lot of tourists) and surrounded by mountains making it the most perfect spot for wild swimming

Ella - Original Traveller

Ella Mawson

Original Travel Expert

I have extensive travel experience throughout Europe, Hong Kong and UK.

My travels

Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Go to Copenhagen in the Autumn and get some first-hand experience of the famous Danish hygge. Sit by a roaring fire, eat lots of pastries, play boardgames...the full works!
  • Travel around somewhere, anywhere, by campervan. Canada, New Zealand, Australia...I'm not fussed.
  • See the Northern Lights and experience proper stargazing
  • Go on an African safari

Best Moments

  • Going for a night swim in Lake Annecy, France. The water was freezing, the only light was from the car headlights and it was completely exhilarating
  • Weathering a T10 typhoon in Hong Kong and looking out of our window at the usually packed street below to see an abandoned taxi, smashed glass everywhere and some very foolhardy locals struggling to stay on their feet as they battled the wind
  • Being ridden around the backstreets of Aswan on a horse and carriage and scraping the sides of the narrow streets as we went

Toughest Travel Moment

  • Celebrating getting through the typhoon unscathed only to realise that the water pipe in our bathroom had ripped clean off the wall (unrelated to the storm amazingly) and for five minutes we had water gushing into our apartment. Rang up our landlord only to be instructed in broken English to "take a picture" to which we responded rather hysterically, "we can't take a picture, our flat is flooding!"

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • Travelling back from work on the MTR in Hong Kong and chatting to the tallest man I have ever seen in my life only to find out that he was a professional basketball player and the tallest man in all of Italy and Malta (7 ft 5 in). Safe to say we had a lot of people looking our way that journey!

Explore my blog posts

Our Favourite Wellbeing Holidays

Wellbeing holidays can mean something different to each of us. Maybe it's a stay in a serene beach resort that leaves you feeling perfectly pampered or a getaway in nature that gives you the chance to unwind and disconnect. Perhaps it's a glamorous getaway for one that you've been craving or…

woman tram lisbon

A Month in Lisbon: The Luxury of Long Holidays

In the era of budget flights and short-haul adventures, weekend getaways have never been easier. While we're big fans of those espresso-style Big Short Breaks for when you're short on time, there's something wonderfully luxurious about long holidays. More time in a destination means more…

Green park with flowers Amsterdam

Our Little Green Book: The Most Environmentally "Green" Cities in Europe

What comes to mind when you think of green travel? Huge swathes of lush rainforest filled with all manner of exotic creatures? Pristine waterways without a single cruise ship in sight? How about a busy city filled with people and skyscrapers? Probably not the latter. While we're big…

couple snorkelling

Best Snorkelling Destinations in the World

There's a lot to love about snorkelling: it's suitable for all ages and abilities, requires little equipment and offers the chance to see a multitude of marine species closer to the surface. From the colourful reefs of Belize and Indonesia to the first underwater sculpture park in Grenada,…

hiker mountain silhouette

Once in a Lifetime Experiences

Planet Earth plays host to some seriously epic events. There are those that happen every year, such as Holi Festival (the world's most colourful celebration) and the Great Wildebeest Migration through Tanzania and Kenya (the largest overland migration in the world). And then there are the…

women road trip

Top Tips for Planning a Driving Holiday in Europe

As the world opens up again for travel, we're willing to bet that road trips are going to be the big summer trend. If you're planning a driving holiday in Europe there's a lot to consider, from destinations to driving routes and from packing essentials to memorable activities along the way.…

family road trip luggage

A First-Timer’s Guide to Travelling on the Eurotunnel

If you're desperate to travel post-lockdown but the prospect of flying fills you with dread, we're here to offer an alternative: the Eurotunnel. Board this fantastic futuristic train (big enough to hold a full-sized lorry as well as a full fleet of family-filled cars) and you can whizz under…

travel globe

The Original Travel Quiz: Week 7

If there's one thing that the lockdown has taught us, it's that old-fashioned fun has become the new norm. A thousand-piece puzzle? Piece of cake. Knitting? A Friday night favourite. The Original Travel Quiz? Highlight of the week. We hope you've brushed up on your travel knowledge because…

fishermen myanmar

Philantourism: The Countries Most Reliant on Tourism and Why we Can’t Wait to go There Once Lockdown is Over

At Original Travel, we're big believers in the power of tourism to help sustain captivating countries around the world. Many countries rely on tourism, whether it's because their economies depend on it, or because the lack of tourism during lockdown has led to an increase in illegal…

The Original Travel Quiz: Week 6

It's week six of the Original Travel quiz. That means that you've already got five weeks of travel trivia training behind you and you're well on your way to becoming the next pub quiz champion when your favourite boozer throws open their doors once again. This week we're not going easy on…

The Original Travel Quiz: Week 3

If you're feeling a little (or a lot) stir crazy and the travel bug is really starting to bite, we know how you feel. There's nothing like a dollop of healthy distraction to keep us dreaming about the future adventures we'll go on once the lockdown is lifted and that's where our weekly…

garden path england

Our Favourite Gardens From Around the World

At the risk of sounding terribly middle-aged, we love a good garden. But where can you find the best (apart from at Monty Don's house, obviously)? Lucky for you, we've dug up (sorry) a list of some of our very favourites gardens from around the world…

hiker mountains patagonia

Epic Ways to Come out of Lockdown

In a time of travel restrictions and lockdowns, face masks and flight cancellations, it can be difficult to imagine what our future travel plans will look like. At Original Travel, we like to think of ourselves as forward thinkers, and that's why we're already daydreaming about future…

family beach

Best Places for a Multi-Gen Holiday - Reconnect With the Wider Family After the Lockdown

With the world on lockdown and fun family get-togethers a thing of the past, we're willing to bet that the moment the restrictions are lifted, families far and wide will be desperate for a foreign holiday, bringing together the whole clan for a sunny escape. While we may not be able to go…

Tips to Avoid Overtourism

Overtourism: too many of us going to the same places at the same times to see the same sights. With harrowing images of long queues to get to the summit of Mount Everest, swarms of holidaymakers descending on the world's most famous (and Instagrammable) spots, and islands and beaches having…

undertourism man walking on hill alone

Eight of the Best Alternative Destinations to Escape the Crowds

If your idea of holiday hell is visiting a famous tourist hotspot with crowds jostling for the perfect shot and you'd much rather spend your precious time exploring under-the-radar hidden gems that are away from the masses, then may we introduce Undertourism. Aspiring Undertourist and…

pregnant woman pool sunrise

Babymoon Destinations for Every Season

A little one on the way means big change is on the horizon, and your sights may be set on heading off on one last holiday hurrah before you swap cocktails for cots and happy hour for afternoon naps. Enter, the babymoon. For parents-to-be this is the perfect time for a blissful beach break, a…

Nnhavn Harbour Listing

Getting Hygge in Copenhagen

Cosy cafes, snug pubs and candle-lit restaurants combine to make the Danish capital of Copenhagen one of the top destinations for a hit of hygge. The Danish word that sums up feelings of cosiness and contentment, hygge encapsulates everything from a good old-fashioned games night with…

cyclades houses flowers

Top Honeymoon Destinations in Europe

Venue - check. Rings - check. Cake - check… What's missing? The honeymoon! Let's be honest (although we may be slightly biased), it's one of the most important parts of the whole wedding process. If you're seeking inspiration for that perfect post-wedding getaway, why not look a little…

tapas restaurant menu

Valencia's Fabulous Foodie Culture

For a bitesize break bursting with fabulous food and heaps of culture, Valencia is hard to top. This pocket-sized port city on Spain's south-eastern coast is overflowing with cool cafes, lovely local restaurants, buzzing tapas bars and a pulsing nightlife. Read on to discover the top foodie…

Polar Bear On Ice

'His Dark Materials' Animals and Where to See Them

Imagine a reality in which your soul existed outside of your body in animal form. This is the world created by Phillip Pullman in his best-selling trilogy, His Dark Materials, which was recently adapted into a hit BBC drama starring the likes of Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson and James McAvoy. From…

Ice Cave

Seriously Scandi: Our Favourite Scandinavian Winter Activities

Cold, crisp, chilly; the winter wonderland that is the Scandinavian region offers oodles of festive fun and plenty of opportunities to warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate in one hand and Swedish meatballs in the other. The people here are known as the happiest in the world and while…

Uzbekistan Header

Paths Less Travelled: 2020’s Secret Scenes

We agree - it is becoming increasingly difficult these days to not be a travel sheep. When we hear friends bleating about amazing places we naturally want to follow their lead and visit too. However, with the growing problem of 'overtourism' and the destruction of some of the world's most…

The Beauty of Balance: Holidays to Detox and 'Retox'

Luxury holidays tend to fall very squarely into two very different camps. On the one hand are the health holidays: lung-busting hilltop hikes by day, healthy farm-fresh meals by night and a smattering of smoothies and spa treatments in between. They'll leave you feeling great but perhaps a…

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