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Lourdes Pilgrimage: Two nuns pose with a pilgrim


Lourdes pilgrimage: In search of spirituality

Every year the French town of Lourdes buzzes with thousands of Catholic pilgrims searching for spirituality and hoping to bathe in the miraculous healing waters at the site of St Bernadette’s vision of the Virgin Mary. But what about non-believers?… Read more »

Special day courses, like those from Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, can help travellers overcome their fear of flying.


Plane afraid: Fear of flying

Do you quiver with fear as you board a plane? Get the jitters as soon as you leave terra firma? Pteromerhanophobia, or fear of flying, can affect anyone and can appear at anytime. But the good news is that you… Read more »

Sam undergoing training at Manop Gym, Phuket. Image: Muay Thai Manop Gym.


Thai boxing holidays: Just for kicks

Want to get under the skin of Thai culture? Or to get fit fast? Then take a trip to a Muay Thai kick boxing camp — even the luxury spa hotels are offering boxing rings and personal trainers Read more »

Meera and mother outside her grandmother's former home, Bhanvad, Gujarat.


Family tree: Getting back to my roots

How much do you know about your family tree? Born in Essex to Indian parents who hailed from Uganda, our writer goes in search of her long-lost ancestors in the state of Gujarat, India’s ‘jewel of the west’, and finds… Read more »

Portrait of Serge outside 5 Rue de Verneui. Image: Alamy


Paris: In search of Serge Gainsbourg

Never meet your heroes, they say, but there’s no harm in following them. Our associate editor steps out in his favourite city, Paris, on the trail of treasured French troublemaker and musician Read more »



Trust in travel

Most of us research our trips online before travelling, but can we trust everything we read about getting there, where to stay and what to do? Read more »

The author learns the bongo drums with his couchsurfing hosts in Brasov, Romania. Image: Joseph Reaney


Stay for free: Sleeping with strangers

Popular ‘hospitality exchanges’, such as Couchsurfing, allow travellers to stay with locals around the world — for free. But as any experienced host or surfer will testify, there’s more to this trend than penny-pinching Read more »

Working in the biogarden, Manu National Park, Peru.


Voluntourism: Every little helps?

From monitoring reef sharks on a conservation project in the tropics to helping build an African school, voluntourism is an increasingly attractive way to travel. But it’s also a moral minefield. With many volunteer tourism companies motivated chiefly by profit,… Read more »