Adventurous // Spontaneous // See Everything
Sasha used to be a children’s teacher and headmistress before becoming a children’s author and writer. Collaborating on film scripts, TV shows and also working in the music industry. Sasha spends her time between London and Los Angeles and loves nothing more than exploring the local area of wherever she finds herself. Here are some of the tips she has from some of her favourite trips:
WHERE TO GO
Hwange National Park, African Safari
One of my first big trips was on safari in Africa with my family and it was a fantastic way to enjoy observing wild animals. We stayed in a lodge and camped where wild animals roamed wherever they wished to go including a lion that sniffed around my tent in the very early hours of the morning. The lodge was called Giraffe Springs in Hwange National Park. Every day was different and we would go out with a guide before the sun rose to see the animals and again in the afternoon. Here you are a guest of their world. Being so close to wild lions, their cubs and elephants without intruding is something I have never forgotten. At night we sat around fires and listened to the creatures who were out and about under the stars.
APPollo's favourite pick of hotel in the Hwange National Park is 'Somalisa Camp', a luxurious tented camp.
Joshua Tree, California
I have visited Joshua Tree a couple of times as the biggest treat of all for me is being submerged in nature and the Joshua Tree National Park goes on for as far as the eye can see in every direction. There are hikes to go on or you can sit at the various picnic areas and enjoy the serenity. I love exploring and taking photos here. There are Joshua trees and cactuses, the cactus have a lovely glow to them at sunset and sunrise. You can camp in the park or stay nearby but you will struggle to find a phone signal so embrace the outdoors and forget about your real world.
A few hours train ride from Athens is Meteora, which is made up of rock formations with six functioning monasteries built on the top that you can visit. From the nearby town you can hire a scooter or car and take in the sights. This place is a hidden gem and well worth visiting. If you get up early enough you may hear the bells ringing as the sun rises. The monasteries are all open at different times as they are still in use and each one is unique in its design and the path to them varies. But be careful there is only one train there and back a day to Athens which you can easily miss and the platforms are not full of information! When I visited I stayed the night at the Meteoritis Hotel in Kalambaka, the hotel was full of charm and the local town had delicious restaurants with the freshest products.
Pemba Island, Island in the Indian Ocean
I visited here after an African safari and it is white sands and tranquillity, the ideal place to unwind. There are a few hotels to choose from and there is a real relaxed island vibe. It is surrounded by coral reefs so snorkelling is a must while you are there. There are lots of day activities you can do like visiting other islands or you can just relax on the beach and watch the world go by.
A fantastic guide for Pemba is here: https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-to-visit-pemba-island-the-complete-guide-4174717
Away from the main towns of Iceland are beautiful waterfalls, black sand beaches and Icelandic horses. Some of the not so well known areas have even been used as scenery in Game Of Thrones. My highlight of my trip was seeing the sun rise over the snowy mountain tops as the Icelandic horses raced down to the fields to play in the snow. In Iceland everything is quite expensive so it is worth staying somewhere that has a kitchen whether it be a hotel or Air BnB and if you can bring rice, pasta and snacks… do! So that if you eat out it's a treat.
Redwoods State Park
I felt like a fairy when I visited here, the trees are vast and form a canopy overhead. Nature thrives wherever you look, untouched and undisturbed.
WHERE TO EAT / DRINK
Petit Ermitage, West Hollywood, Los Angeles
This was where I stayed on my first ever trip to Los Angeles and I love going back. The hotel rooms have a very European feel to them. But it has a stunning rooftop where scrumptious cocktails are served at the butterfly bar, or you can dine on the rooftop in the gorgeous hummingbird garden where hummingbirds and butterflies will flutter around you.
Gong, Shangri La, London
This is the place I suggest all my out of town friends visit, it is a cosy Asian themed cocktail bar on the top floor of the Shangri-La hotel in London so the views are out of this world. It is a ‘must’, if you like to drink cocktails while overlooking a city. One evening I was there when it was a blood moon and the views were exceptional. It is a great place for either day or night.
Sea Chest Restaurant, Moonstone beach, Cambria
Such a unique, nautical themed restaurant opposite moonstone beach in California. It’s only open in the early evening and there is always a queue of people waiting to be treated to the most delicious fresh fish catch of the day.
The Sunset Restaurant, Malibu, Los Angeles
This is the perfect place for sundowners after a day in Malibu or on the beach. If you are lucky you can sit in the window watching the sun set over the waves and toast to your day.
Thai Sapa, Zion National Park
When visiting Zion National Park and having braved The Narrows this restaurant brings together the freshest Asian and Thai food for an unforgettable feast.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
This place is magical but like magic it doesn't happen all the time, it depends on the amount of rain California has but the poppies are stunning and it is well worth the visit.
BEST TRAVEL / ‘TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN’ MOMENT
I was so lucky to be able to go to Antarctica and it really did exceed all my expectations. I lived on a boat and most days the only sound you hear is your boat crunching through the icy waters. But in this silent world you watch for whales, see Albatross ircle overhead, observe penguins and stay away from Leopard Seals. You can visit various landings by a Zodiac boat, passing icebergs as you go. It is a dream like paradise where you see first-hand how our world is melting away and the desperate need to do something about it.
FIRST TRIP AFTER LOCKDOWN
Los Angeles to catch up with people I’ve missed seeing through the lockdown and hopefully visit a national park as I'm craving nature and beauty; while not being in large crowds! I am longing to go to Antelope Canyon and the Grand Canyon when there is a full moon.
Sasha’s Instagrams are @sashareid_ @little_red_hummingbird and @penandwhiskers
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