Life is in the detail

For a truly authentic flamenco experience in Seville, head to Casa Anselma in the gypsy quarter. Enjoy watching traditional flamenco performed by locals to live music, safe in the knowledge that you'll be the only tourists there.

Jess - Original Traveller

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Jessica Higgs

Original Travel Expert

My travels

Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • See the Northern Lights - the first thing I ever put on my bucket list
  • Take a road trip through Europe in a vintage car - eating and drinking my way around
  • See the Mayan, Incan and Aztec ruins in Mexico and Peru - I'm a bit of a history geek
  • Go on a riding safari in the Okavango Delta - a combination of so many of my favourite things

Best Moments

  • Summiting Kilimanjaro. Having spent most of the summit night stumbling onwards (remaining upright while stationary became particularly challenging) and thinking I was surrounded by little gremlins (altitude sickness is weird), reaching the top in time for sunrise was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
  • Bungee jumping in New Zealand. I resolutely did not want to do this but pitifully succumbed to peer pressure... and I'm so glad I did!
  • My favourite place: the beach at Refugio De Vida Silvestre La Flor (rehash.lowdown.kooks - for all you What3Words fans) on the west coast of Nicaragua where I watched turtles lay their eggs in the small hours of the morning. Having schlepped through the jungle to reach the remote coastline as night fell, we spent most of the night gazing up at the stars and listening to the ocean roll in onto the shore, before the turtles rocked up and did their thing... absolutely amazing.

Toughest Travel Moment

  • Having to make the decision to send my friend back down Kilimanjaro half way through our climb because she wasn't well enough to continue

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • Sharing a bag of deep-fried insects with a local guy on a bus in Laos while he rested his head on my shoulder and we watched a movie on my iPod.

Explore my blog posts

Sensational Cities: Our Ultimate City Adventures

When asked to picture their perfect holiday, many people's minds immediately hit the beach; warm white sand between the toes, sparkling azure waters and someone rather good-looking fanning you with a large palm leaf. And who are we to deny such glories? But here at Original Travel we're also…

driving through canadian woods

Hit The Road: Our Favourite Road Trips

"It's not the destination, it's the journey" - said every cheesy, road to redemption reality show presenter ever. But they might just be on to something, you know. When the journey involves switch-back turns through epic mountains, cruising along sweeping coastlines or trundling through…

Lights. Camera. Action: It's Show Time...

Who else was totally enthralled by Joanna Lumley in India and Wild Alaska Live? Both gave fascinating insights into some of the most beautiful corners of our planet, and made us want to immediately grab our passports and head off in search of adventure. But what should we watch on the telly…

Aerial view of Cape Town

African Adventures (There's More Than Safaris)

When we say Africa, you dig out the binoculars and khaki trousers and begin practising your best David Attenborough voice, right? Wrong! While safaris might hog most of the African holiday limelight, there is so much more to this supremely diverse continent, from mind-blowing scenery to…

Galopagos view from Bartolome Island

Ahead of the Curve: Planning for 2018

We all like to think of ourselves as free spirits, booking with glorious last-minute abandon and able to act on the spur of the spontaneous moment (that's not just us, right?). Well, sorry for being the fun police on this one but when it comes to travel, the impromptu you is missing out. You…

Last Minute Summer 2017 Escapes

With summer currently MIA, a severe bout of daydreamania is sweeping the country - the tendency to stare aimlessly into space and drift off into a hazy stupor awash with images of clear azure waters, endless sandy beaches, picturesque towns and sun-drenched hillsides. The only known cure? A…

Uzbekistan

Do You Need To Up Your Insta-Game?

Question: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to Instagram it, does it actually happen? We all love a bit of an Insta-brag every now and then (never more so than when we're on holiday) and making sure you get the perfect angle, have the filters ramped up to the max and enough…

Sunflowers

Top Five Winter Sun Destinations for 2017

Winter is coming. No, we haven't temporarily taken leave of our senses and this isn't a belated April Fool's. You did, in fact, read that correctly - we said winter. While summer hasn't really even kicked off yet (and who knows whether it will even make an appearance) news has reached us…

Colourful Houses, Bolivia

Travel by Colour: our Top Five Destinations in Latin America

Latin America is a region of many characters; football is practically a religion; the steak is the best in the world (and the only vegetarian item you're likely to find on the menu is a mojito) and the jeans are very, very tight. It's also a continent awash with colour - from bright woven…

Gondolas, Venice

Find Your Perfect Travel Destination

May maybe May and co.'s month to campaign before yet another election but we can all agree that the current whirlwind of politicos spouting seemingly endless streams of specious speculation is hardly gripping the nation. But while you may have your political tribe nailed down, what about…

Amanzoe hotel terrace, Greece

Top Five: Hotels with Villas

Hiring a villa is a quintessential holiday experience, affording guests much more privacy and flexibility than staying at a hotel. That being said, there are lots of lovely perks to staying in a hotel - fabulous food, that little choccy on your pillow at night, a great kids club to keep the…

Beyond the Beach: Five of the Best Things to do in Mauritius

Mauritius has long been considered one of the best destinations in the world for beach getaways; tropical climate, undisturbed coastline, calm and clear waters, and some thoroughly spoiling hotels. And while this is all true, there is so much to this Indian Ocean gem beyond the (admittedly…

Argentina

Our Coolest Combos for 2017

Dynamic duos: think gin and tonic, French and Saunders, pineapple and pizza… okay, maybe not that last one, but the fact remains that some things are just better together - greater than the sum of their parts and thus elevated to legendary status (definitely not that last one, then). The…

Where to Escape to the Sun in 2017

What do a good cup of tea, queuing and Broadchurch have in common? They've all reached the upper echelons of British national obsession. Top of the pile, however, is surely our love of discussing the weather and, in particular, why the sun isn't shining. It's no surprise then that studies…

Halong Bay

Where we're going in 2017

It can be difficult to keep up with the best 'it' destinations of the moment but we have the inside track on the hottest hotels and activities across the globe. We selflessly visit all the locations we recommend to ensure that the sea on your private beach really is as crystal clear as it…

The Best Boutique Hotels for 2017

Independently run, few rooms, bespoke interiors, personalised experiences and impeccable service - just a few of the reasons to pick a boutique hotel for your holiday. Yes, the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a destination are the stuff that treasured holiday memories are made of but…

Our 2017 Summer Holiday Picks

The unnervingly mild weather of the last couple of weeks (before we all got blown away by Storm Doris) has brought us out of hibernation and dreaming of sunnier times (and climes). It's true that once we Brits get the merest whiff of warmth, summer is pretty much all we can think about. And…

The Best Destinations for a Last-Minute Holiday in 2017

Whoever said failure to prepare is preparation for failure clearly never experienced the thrill of being spontaneous. While it's all very commendable to plan things months and years in advance, sometimes it's just wonderfully liberating to make a snap decision. Never more so than with…

Wildlife Wonders: Amazing Safari Experiences for 2017

Whether soaring in a light aircraft over the dust-red dunes of the Skeleton Coast, hiking through the Indonesian jungle to spot the Thomas Leaf monkey, or watching bears congregate at Campbell river on Vancouver Island, a safari is one of the most enriching and exciting holidays in the…

Cape Town

Our Top 5 Valentine's Recommendations

Valentine's Day: two words that strike fear in the hearts of women and men the world over. The first challenge, obviously, is remembering when it actually is (14th of February, just in case). And once that's out of the way, how to procure the perfect gift? Well, if it had slipped your mind…

IGO Adventures

Reboot Your Resolutions

The advent of a new year often brings with it rather lofty ambitions of transforming oneself into a fitter, healthier, more cultured, better organised and generally super-charged version of the previous year's self: new year, new you and all that jazz. And by about now those ambitions have…

Zion National Park

Our Top Seven Destinations for 2017

Christmas is over, 2017 is here and so far January is (unfortunately) living up to its reputation as less than a favourite: New Year blues and distinctly British weather. In fact one of the only things it is good for is planning your getaways for the year ahead, and that's where we come in.…

Where You've Been in 2016

At the end every year we love to take a look back at some of the amazing trips we've planned for our clients, and this year there have been some absolute stonkers. We're talking intrepid honeymoons, adventurous sabbaticals, secret beach breaks, fun-filled family getaways, cultural escapades…

Hit The Slopes

Imagine this: you're sitting on a sofa 30 feet above the ground with two planks tied to your feet as you casually get hoiked up the side of a snowy mountain. What is this madness? Well, when put like that, skiing does sound a bit… odd. But who can deny the glory of fresh mountain air rushing…

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