How would you feel about taking a holiday in West Africa right now? Given the news coverage of the Ebola outbreak over the past few months, most people would say "No thanks". But having just returned from The Gambia with my wife and daughter, I'd heartily recommend it.
Like lots of people I had a dream to travel the world. Not in bite size two week trips. I wanted to really travel and have the luxury of getting to know a country inside and out, to do yoga in India, stay with tribes in Vietnam and generally be a bit of a hippy with an income that required little work.
Some people might only have bad things to say about gap years, but what they don't know is that many great thinkers kick-started their intellectual journey abroad. Sometimes there is just nothing better than to polish your Einstein brain far away from home and wander into the heart of unknown lands. Let's take a look at the great list...
A week into Jan and already planning how the hell to get outta here? Nothing gets you through the January blues like booking a trip, even more so when there are bangin' beaches, bargain booze and world class bartenders waiting.
If you're planning to tie the knot in 2015, your first thought might be a luxury hotel on a beach. But in a world where many couples have already travelled extensively, there's a search for something with more pizazz. More of a "wow" factor.
One of the best ways to experience Carnival is to simply wander the city, especially around Piazza San Marco, admiring the professionals in their elaborately over-the-top costumes as they pose and preen for the cameras, all vying for the "Best Costume" award.
The catastrophic collapse happened for me in summer last year. After a week staying with my boyfriend's parents, he proceeded to tell me he didn't love me any more on the train home. Such a nice guy, right?
"Start before you're ready" ... What does it mean? It means to "whisper #YOLO to the wind" and delve into something before all your cards are dealt, because, let's face it - so many of us wait for the right moment and that moment never comes.
In the words of the very wise Bridget Jones, "A mini-break means true love" - so if you're trying to sweep someone special off their feet then a weekend away is the way to go.
You are guaranteed to meet some amazing people while travelling. Everyone is far more willing to strike up a conversation with strangers. I met a few special people who, after just a few days, I felt like I had known for years and years.
The hotel's gardens definitely have a magical feel to them such as hidden greenery beneath low hung branches that would be perfect for a Mad Hatters tea party and open forest areas that are just waiting for something special to be placed there.
I don't in fact blame the people who think in this way actually. Despite their views, some of them were actually quite nice, The question is: If this is their public information service how else can they think after, being bombarded with information like as the great 'terror expert' Steven Emerson told Fox News?
A hundred summers ago Opatija, on the Adriatic coast, was regarded one of Europe's finest seaside resorts. Head there today and you'll find an attractive Croatian town overlooking the shimmering water of Kvarner Bay.
I sleep to the sound of surf and wake for an early morning dip in the ocean, braving the breakers. Meals are taken outdoors and the contemporary Mexican cuisine uses the finest fresh and organic ingredients.
Leaving home is always going to be hard, be it a semester-long escapade or a few years of study, being thrown into a completely foreign country is terrifying. But it will be the best decision you will ever make in your life, as it is mine.
There is only one thing that I find brings cheer at this wretched time when it feels like it's dark again before you've really even opened your eyes. Planning your next holiday!