All posts by Ella

About Ella

Becky, Steve or the other two useless ones (shhh they won't read this) form part of the Openstories team, a collaborative travel blog that we use to dump our ideas, plans and experiences onto the worldwide web. We're honored that you're hear reading this, and we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by!

Overloaded Circuits? Take a Trip That Will Afford You Memories for a Lifetime

Whether you are a veteran globetrotter, you rarely venture outside your own ZIP code, or you are somewhere in between, South Africa in general, and Pretoria in particular, is a great vacation destination. Most people speak English, or at least a form of it. At the same time, South Africa is nothing like the United States in terms of the culture and weather. Remember that when it’s summer in the U.S., it’s winter in South Africa. Pretoria itself is a big city but it is not teeming with people and tourists, so there are lots of things to do and not a whole lot of crowds to fight. Continue reading Overloaded Circuits? Take a Trip That Will Afford You Memories for a Lifetime

Renting vs. Buying: Finding the Right Option for Your Expat Home

Moving overseas means having to find yourself a home in a new country as you’re finding yourself at home in a new country. Confusing times, and plenty stressful if you don’t think through the fundamentals. One of the most important decisions you’ll be faced with is whether to rent or buy, though sometimes local laws will force the decision for you. If you’re free to choose, make sure you consider the relative strengths of each option. Continue reading Renting vs. Buying: Finding the Right Option for Your Expat Home

hotel in York, iknow-UK

Exploring the UK’s Top Family Destination – York

Yes I said it – I truly believe York is indeed the UK’s top family destination, even though this city which is deeply steeped in unique history often fights it out with Manchester as the UK’s second most visited after London! In terms of what York has to offer by way of family fun, I honestly don’t think it gets any better.

So here’s the thing, right? You can enjoy a lot of which York has to offer together as a family or each of you can split up and enjoy it individually, each engaging in your own flavour of what you’d call fun of course.

For the sightseers, this ancient cathedral city’s pre-Roman times history offers a lot to just soak in and if you have an eye for ancient architecture, it seldom gets better than this with the city housing some of Europe’s best-preserved selection of historical structures and buildings. I mean where do you think the United States city of New York got its name?

Beyond the awe-inspiring evidence of what was clearly an inspired architectural revolution of sorts, when it comes to immersing oneself in some of the activities York has to offer, you probably won’t have enough time to get a good taste of everything if your stay in town isn’t at least for four to five nights. I mean there are some festivals which go on for a full 10 nights, like the York Festival of Food and Drink, so something like that alone is an event which can have the entire family occupied for the entire duration of a typical stay in York.

If you’re looking for more information about where to go and what to do on a trip to York, follow this link to read an ultimate guide.

The adults can perhaps enjoy the drinks programme in addition to all the food tastings and demonstrations, while the kids can get their hands dirty with plenty of hands-on cooking for children.

There are many more events and festivals to get completely lost in, such as catching the Mystery Plays if you’re lucky enough to be in town on one of the years in which they’re doing the rounds, but the Viking Festival is a total must – that’s pretty much the purest reflection of what the history of York is all about.

There are plenty of walking and ghost tours in the offing as well, making for some fun for the whole family to enjoy together, otherwise, you can also take a boat up the River Ouse and even catch a movie at City Screen, the modern cinema in the centre of York, just off Coney Street. You can catch an amazing view of the river in the resident cafe’s balcony which overlooks the Ouse.

For all kinds of shopping preferences, Browns makes for a good quality department store, while Gillygate and Low Petergate provides a nice mix of high street stores, galleries and small shops.

As far as the gastronomic delights of the city go, let’s just say the food-based events and festivals are really just a reflection of what the city ordinarily has to offer, which is a whole lot of fantastic variety!

6+1 Reasons You Should Travel To Thailand

Whether you are planning to teach English abroad or dreaming of a tropical beach holiday – Thailand has it all. From the moment you arrive, you will be warmly welcomed to this spiritual country by friendly Thai people, and fellow teachers, and travelers.

In no time at all, you will understand why this country is a place that some people choose never to leave and make their permanent home.Is Thailand on your Bucket List? Continue reading 6+1 Reasons You Should Travel To Thailand

Why Budget Travellers Always Get More out of Their Travels

They always appear to have more money than everybody else because they travel a lot more than we all do, but budget travellers get more out of their travels because they’ve developed a set of special skills. But yeah, that’s why you’ll find the budget traveller’s daily routine comprised out of scouring platforms such as, even if they have no immediate plans of staying at Manchester airport hotels or other such hotels in other airport towns — they’re busy piecing everything together to come up with a bigger picture of what the travel scene looks like and this is how they take full advantage of any savings they can amass. Continue reading Why Budget Travellers Always Get More out of Their Travels

Carrying a travel wheelchair – How can owning one benefit your life?

We all know that one of the greatest joys of being able to travel is to see new places which you may not have seen before and for most people, this is indeed a great pleasure and opportunity that should be grabbed whenever you have enough ability and time. But when you’re literally confined to a wheelchair, things have to be seen from a different perspective altogether. You then need to do more planning, particularly when you’re planning to travel long distance. You need to get things prepared to save the hassles when the time comes. One of the most important things that you need to carry with you is lightweight folding wheelchairs. Let’s check out a few pros and cons of traveling with such lightweight folding wheelchairs. Continue reading Carrying a travel wheelchair – How can owning one benefit your life?