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

blue mosque istanbul

Souqs and Street Eats: The Top 8 Things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul, Europe's largest city, is a vibrant metropolis known for its beautiful architecture, colourful souks and fragrant spice bazaars. When it comes to choosing the top things to do in Istanbul, you are so spoilt for choice that it can be hard to pack everything into a single trip. If…

What is a Delta? A Lesson on The Okavango Delta

Something that has become abundantly clear this year is that people love the challenge of a good old fashioned quiz. Whether it's a traditional pub quiz, or a virtual get together with friends and family from the comfort of our homes, many of us have been putting our general knowledge to the…

Woman riding horse on beach

Place Your Bets for the 2021 Holiday Destinations on the Green List

It's been an exciting few days, with a certain famous steeplechase race taking place last weekend in the UK, but we suspect most eyes are on the far bigger prize: the 2021 Grand (Inter)National to enjoy foreign holidays. The good news is that the Chief Steward, one Boris Johnson, has…

Meet the Travel Experts

We believe that expertise, experience and passion are key to creating a holiday that goes beyond the norm, and that Original Travel has all three in bucket loads.

The Best Easter Holiday Destinations for 2022 and Beyond

While there's nothing wrong with staying at home and stuffing your face with chocolate, Easter is a great time of year for a holiday. Make the most of the school break with a further-afield family getaway, or stay closer to home and soak up the sun with a beachy break in Europe or a festive…

‘Call of the Wild’: The Best Adventure Holidays to Make up For Lost Time

In a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions, it's easy to feel a bit cooped up. If you find yourself - like a certain 140-pound St. Bernard by the name of Buck - lured by the call of the wild, we've got you covered. From treks through the lush rainforests of Guyana in South America, to…

man carnival brazil

The Top Five Happiest Countries in the World 2020

Every year, the World Happiness Report is released, revealing the list of the happiest countries in the world. These are destinations where people feel safe and secure, there is a strong community spirit, and work and life are actually in balance. This year, the Nordic countries have…

Bon Appetit! Our Favourite Food Holidays Around the World

Travel is an activity that activates all the senses - especially the taste buds. Whether it's just-caught lobster in Nova Scotia, a rich and creamy pasta dish in Italy, or a little bit of everything in foodie haven, Melbourne, feasting on local delicacies is a great way to sink your teeth…

Where the Wild Things Are: Our Favourite Wildlife Experiences Around the World

One of the best things about travel is the full spectrum of experiences on offer. There are city tours and cooking classes for those who crave culture; riding safaris and kayaking excursions for the adrenaline junkies; and then there are the wildlife experiences which can include everything…

Woman in Bali

Boycott Black Friday... (and Celebrate Green Friday Instead)

Sick of endless Black Friday emails, ads and pop-ups? Ticked off as to why the UK has even picked up this Thanksgiving-specific consumer culture from our American friends in the first place? Us too. That's why we're boycotting Black Friday and celebrating Green Friday instead. In short,…

The Science of Anticipation: Why Travel is Good for You

The winter months ahead may look a little bleak, but with news of a potential vaccine, it feels like there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel. We know how to make that light a little brighter still. We've always been interested in the psychology of travel, and in particular the…

Simply Starstruck: The Best Stargazing Destinations in the World

I'm no Professor Brian Cox, and I'm not about to start banging on about antimatter, circumstellar discs and magellanic clouds (although they all sound marvellous), but there are few greater feelings than the sense of wonderment that comes with tipping your head back and gazing up at the…

Hit the Trail: The Best Hiking Holidays Around the World

We're all for a relaxing holiday packed with pampering spa treatments and lazy beach days, but sometimes an active adventure in nature is just what the doctor ordered. In fact, a recent study from Trinity College, Dublin, found that a regular dose of 'awe' helps boost healthy emotions such…

Time to Reconnect: The Benefits of Authentic Travel

We are living in an age of convenience with a world of technology, information and services at our fingertips. The benefit? Life is far easier. The downside? We end up feeling utterly disconnected from the world around us. Reconnect travel is about pressing pause on the madness of modern…

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…

Meet the rest of the team

We’re seasoned travellers who combine our personal insights and exceptional knowledge to create memorable trips and experiences.

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