Ever since I was little, my family have always gone on camping trips either within the UK or to France or Italy; The Lake District, Cornwall, The Dordogne or Brittany being particularly frequented. This year, we decided to stay in the UK and visit both The New Forest and Dorset. We were very lucky with the weather on this trip. As you probably know, English weather is very unpredictable, but most days were warm and sunny. The drive to The New Forest from our home on the outskirts of London is only about 2 hours, so it was not long until…

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I’ve just come back from a few days spent in Rome with a group of friends. We stayed just outside of Rome in a place called Flaminio, at a lovely little holiday park called Flaminio village. The holiday park was complete with a swimming pool (which we didn’t use but it was nice to know it was there), a bar and a restaurant. Staying here was great because it got us away from the hustle and bustle of the city after long days of exploring, plus we saved a lot of money by staying outside of the city, and just…

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I’ve been in China for the past 2 weeks in a place called Louguantai, just south west of Xi’an. I’d taken it upon myself to head to China through Real Gap to volunteer at a wildlife rescue and research centre called Louguantai Wild Animal Breeding and Protection Centre, in the Louguantai National Forest Park. During my time there, I was an assistant zoo keeper to giant pandas; feeding and cleaning their enclosures, and also helping the keepers with their English. I chose to volunteer with pandas specifically because they’re a very endangered species (only 1600 remain in the wild and 300 in captivity) and…

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Yesterday evening, we went off to explore more of the Lou Guan Tai National Forest Park, as the wildlife centre I’ve been volunteering at is situated inside it. We learned that the national park is a very important site for Taoists, as it was here where the founder of Taoism, Laozi, wrote the yin and yang philosophy. A large statue of Laozi can be found in the forest, as well as many temples and stone tablets dedicated to him and his work. The forest was stunning, with acres of lush greenery surrounding the temples, and we spent a good few…

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A fellow volunteer named Frank, who lives in the area, invited Meighan and I to visit an ancient town with him and his mother yesterday evening. He said that this place translates in English to “the water town” but its name is really only in Chinese, 水乡古镇. Google searches for this in the area do not bring anything up. Nonetheless, if you manage to find it, do have a look. I was not prepared for how spectacular it was going to be. The place felt so authentically Chinese, and gave me a real feel of the ancient Chinese culture and lifestyle; it was lots…

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