"Diving is so much fun, you'll love it", my friends said. As I vomited in the water and fought back tears on the first day of my four-day Open Water Diver course in Dahab I began plotting my revenge against these so-called friends. At first, the course seemed like torture. This was my holiday, after all, and I had paid a substantial sum of money to spend part of it studying a textbook called the PADI Open Water Diver Manual, and the other part subjecting myself to complicated skills work in the ocean, such as learning to pivot on my fins. Read more about Learn to Dive on the Cheap in Dahab, Egypt
As I roll along a narrow country road behind yet another country road being yet another tractor in no hurry, I take the chance to poke to my head out of the car window. Sprawling paddocks dip into a huge body of water and the grass is an impossible shade of green, like it has been touched up in Photoshop. Sheep turn their heads and walk towards me as if they are the welcoming party for the wild west of Ireland - it seems Irish hospitality knows no bounds. Read more about Drive the Southwest Peninsula, Ireland
The notion of spending two minutes in a box-sized room chilled to an inconceivable -121C, all in the name of a health kick, sounds like something from a sci-fi novel. And when I hear that this so-called 'wonder treatment' - used by athletes to boost performance - is known as 'cryotherapy', my mind fills with wrapped images of dead bodies put in the freezer. Fortunately, cryonics (freezing the dead) is very different to cryotherapy, which I'm about to try at AquaCity, a water park and spa centre at the foot of the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. Read more about Experience Cryotherapy at AquaCity - Poprad, Slovakia
The arrival of budget airline flights and its buzzing nightlife scene have given Tallinn a bit of a reputation as a stag and hen party zone in a recent years, but look beyond the drinks specials and you'll find more to this min-Prague, which has had the badge of a 'European Capital of Culture'. Read more about Culture Club Tallinn, Estonia
Looking towards the north face of the Bec de Rosses, a fabled mountain in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier, I ask a friend whether the extreme skiers and boarders zoom down the left - or right-hand side of the mountains. "Neither," she replies, "they go down the middle".
'Simply not possible' is the first term that springs to mind. How anyone could navigate a slope that's so steep and so strewn with jagged rocks and cliffs, that it looks more suited to rock climbing than skiing or boarding, is beyond me. Read more about Speed Demons of Verbier, Switzerland
There it was again. A streak of colour and a scurry in the tiny alleyway up ahead. I crept forward, treading lightly past wooden facades and unmarked doors, careful not to knock the red lanterns that cast an atmospheric glow across the cobbled path. A sharp turn to the left, and there she is: a geisha. A quick glance over her shoulder, her white made-up face contrasting with the elaborate design of her kimono - and she's gone.
While we all know that geishas' inherent beauty, grace and charm have been admired for centuries, the same could be said of Kyoto. Like waiting for a glimpse of a shy nocturnal creature, you can wait all day for the city to reveal its secrets, and just as you're about to give up in favour of fast food and a night at karaoke, Kyoto's discrete world will reveal itself. Read more about Kyoto - The Heart of Japan
By the second week of the New Year it's a fair bet that any after-effects of New Year's Eve partying will have worn off - unless you're in the Gwaun Valley in West Wales, where you'll just be gearing up for the New Year celebrations in mid-January. Read more about Celebrate the New Year Twice, Visit Gwaun Valley, West Wales
Antequera, the lovely historic town which stands right in the centre of Andalucía. Is home to the remarkable dolmens of Menga and Viera, which are just outside the town, and El Romeral, a few kilometres away, are among the largest and most interesting megalithic structures in Europe. They were recently accepted as a Unesco World Heritage Site, something that local people and historians and archaeologists from all over the world had been wanting for years. Read more about See the Dolmens of Menga and Viera - Andalucia
Home to surfing communities, rugged mountain ranges and one very famous opera house, New South Wales (NSW) encapsulates all that's great about life Down Under. And this time of year is when it really shines, with a rich calendar of events to enjoy. the main focus is a culinary one, with no fewer than six dedicated food and drink festivals taking place, including the city-wide Sydney Good Food Month throughout October. Meanwhile, 777 miles to the north, the ten-day Byron Bay Film Festival - now in its tenth year - will kick off in October. Read more about It's all About Food and Films - New South Wales
Treat yourself to lashings of festive cheer by enjoying a Welsh Christmas with all the trimmings. With a slew of open-air Ice rinks, Christmas markets, Santas' grottos and cherry shopping experiences (phew!), Wales has plenty to offer anyone seeking a bit of Chrimbo va-va-voom.
Rewind to Victorian time with a visit to Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, December. Opulent rooms will be decked out in festive decorations and carol singing will echo through the halls. Glug back some hot punch and munch on roasted chestnuts to get that cosy festival feeling. Read more about Christmas in Wales