Category Archives: Travel

A journey begins with a single step

If travel is not on your list of new year resolutions then it definitely should be! For me, there is nothing more invigorating and healthy than to travel – experiencing new cultures, new foods, new sensations and getting some valuable perspective on the world. Lorna and I have our favourite places, and we do go back to them, time and again – Val Thorens in the French Alps where we are at the moment, and beautiful Beaulieu sur Mer on the French Riviera where we keep our boat – but we also enjoy exploring places that surprise us and keep us on our toes. I am always on the look out for interesting trips to take – and as the owner of a luxury travel company I keep an eye firmly on travel trends and up-and-coming destinations. So, before you make your travel plans for 2016 take a look at my hot tips for the new year around the world …and then maybe change them!

Where will you go this year? Get some more inspiration on my Pinterest board, find me on Facebook or tweet and tell me @normanpeires!

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Skiing toward Christmas…

December is here and the run-up to Christmas – and for us that usually signals our first ski trip of the season. We are off to Val Thorens next week, which is always a wonderful change of environment. It is a place that fills us both with delight; there’s such a fresh, healthy feel to it. Our apartment there is an exquisite place – it’s relatively small, compared to our house here, but we have spent years making it just how we want it to be – and that includes glass walls so we can wake up and look straight out at the mountains. For me, that is something that always lifts the spirits.

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Oh the snow outside is…delightful

 

Winter is always welcome to me – mainly because it means I can indulge in skiing, one of my big sporting passions. I am a big believer that exercise keeps you young and strong. Age is no barrier to being physically active – in fact, I’d say that you can’t stop exercising when you’re older, just because perhaps you’re not as good at it as you once were, and expect to keep strong and fit. Keeping active keeps your body working at its best and keeps your mind sharp. When you accept that exercise brings a plethora of health benefits, such as increased bone density, reduced blood pressure, increased muscular strength and power, and improved balance, it seems obvious that we should make the time to move our bodies.

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Bring me sunshine….

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the UK autumn is, so-far, a bit of a grey affair. It’s around this time of year that I start to miss the warmth of the South of France, where we spend a lot of the year on our boat – and start to look to where I can get a sunshine top up. For Lorna and I, as for many people, the answer is a winter break in the Caribbean.

Swapping leaden skies and puddles for blue horizons and soft sand beaches seems like a great deal to me. But I think you do need to be careful where you book to avoid the crowds who agree! As the founder of a luxury holiday provider I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of the Caribbean and discover some of its unexpected corners, beautiful and untouched by the rampant commercialism of many of the bigger islands. If you want a relaxing break with a difference then here are my top three suggestions for a sunshine break this winter….

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African dreams

As a South African by birth I have a great attachment to my home country. I don’t think I am being biased to say it has stunning scenery, wonderful weather, interesting cities and great food and wine. South Africa, and in fact, Africa in general, is, in my opinion, only just really beginning to fulfil its potential in tourism. So I am always really interested to read about people’s experiences there. This week I have been doing a little wish list compilation on places to go and things to see and do on the continent on some of my favourite travel blogs. If you need inspiration to visit, then one of my top five posts will definitely get you booking your ticket to explore.

Have you got any top tips for African destinations? I’d love to hear your thoughts – tweet me on @normanpeires….  Continue reading

(Short) break the mould…

Summer might have bowed out now for another year – in the UK, where I live at least – but there’s definitely time for an autumn/fall break before the ski season starts (no rest, it’s a big world to explore….!) Reading some of my favourite travel blogs recently I’ve been getting some great ideas for a short trip for Lorna and I before winter sets in – my only stipulation is that there has to be the outside chance of blue skies and a great mix of interest and relaxation on offer. I’ve narrowed it down to a shortlist of five destinations that inspire me. Hopefully they will inspire you too….and if you have any great suggestions of your own I’d love to hear them. Tweet me your tips on @normanpeiresContinue reading

Step off the beaten track

I’m an avid traveller, and one of the things I love about globetrotting is the chance it gives you to surprise yourself with new things – whether places, experiences, food or people. Which is why I like to explore destinations I might not have even thought of going to. I’m a big reader of travel blogs – both as an interested travel blogger myself and as a travel enthusiast – and I take inspiration from them as to where to go next. Planning our next break, I’ve been inspired by some unusual ideas away from the typical seaside and sun lounger mix. Here are my five top suggestions for summer breaks with a difference, from some of the internet’s top travel blogs…where would you recommend? Tweet me your tips on @normanpeires…

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Creativity is everywhere in New York

As someone who has spent much of their life pursuing business goals, I am truly inspired by those who choose to take the creative route. Lorna and I really value art – albeit different types – and enjoy seeing the cultural side of cities, so while we’re in New York visiting Guy, Milou and Ona, we’re going to make the most of all the art galleries and exhibitions here.

There are of course the big three; The Met, the Guggenheim Museum and the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art), but there are also a collection of smaller galleries that I’ve been told are worth a visit.

There’s a real abundance of street artists, performers and pop-up exhibitions in this city; you get the sense that the whole city is a living, breathing museum. Like London, New York has a vibrant, buzzing cultural scene, and there are always new things to go and see, or do. Continue reading

Why New York is such a fine example of urban regeneration

The High Line

The High Line. Photo: Flikr

At the moment I’m on holidays in ‘The Big Apple’ visiting my son Guy, his lovely wife Milou and their daughter Ona, my precious granddaughter, who is now 15 months old. This isn’t our first time here, so we’ve seen a lot of the sights before, but I’m still looking forward to exploring the city a bit more and eating at a few of my favourite restaurants – on top of spending plenty of time with my family of course. Continue reading

Travelling as a couple – why experiencing new places together is so important

They say that couples “…. who travel together, stay together” and I believe this to be true! Lorna and I love to take trips, explore new countries and share experiences. I believe it’s made our relationship stronger.

When we married, it was not the first time for either of us; in the past I had often spent long periods of time away from partner and family in order to make a success of my business. I know from first-hand experience that this is not good for a relationship’s success or longevity.

Lorna and I in Paris

Lorna and I on a trip to Paris

Lorna and I have made a concerted effort to spend most of our leisure time together. During trips to our place in the South of France, we enjoy walking, swimming and relaxing together.

We relish exploring new places too; there’s nothing like finding a little local restaurant where you can share a romantic dinner together, browsing a craft market for a trinket from your trip or meeting colourful local characters. Continue reading