Six flights, one train, two coaches, three boats and one gondola later and I’m sat back where I started – home.

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Tallinn, Estonia

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks with what feels like a little bit of  everything thrown in. I’ve been to three beautiful countries, each of which taught me a little something about keeping hope and faith in the face of overwhelming adversity. This has been a unique travel experience visiting countries all with long histories, much of which is still visible today. Yet due a succession of invasions and occupations followed by independence within the last generation; they each feel incredibly young and full of energy & optimism, whilst still baring scars of brutal regimes and some of the worst of humanity.

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Riga, Latvia

These are not dour places stymied by the weight of history. These are colourful, characterful places moving forward at pace and ready to challenge perceptions.

Any of the Baltic countries is deserving of a high placing on the list of any potential travellers. They each offer a fantastic experience, but taken together as an example of how countries can each retain what makes them unique, whist forming a close relationship aimed at boosting each other they are a must-see destination.

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Vilnius, Lithuania

Ironically it is a phrase I heard many, many times throughout my time in South-East Asia that best sums up this part of Eastern Europe – ‘Same, Same… But Different’.

 

Written by Nezgsy

FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, I WANTED TO SEE THE WORLD.... From early childhood I inherited a love of adventure movies, books and comics. I loved the action and excitement but I was equally fascinated by the places these took place. At first I was astonished to learn that many of of these fantastic places weren't just movie sets or products of the writers imagination, but real world places that could be visited, seen and touched. Growing up on a beautiful, but very small, island this was a revelation and from that point on I spent equally as much time borrowing books from the library to learn about these places. As I grew a little older and Micheal Palin started his seminal TV show - 'Around the World in 80 Days' - I was hooked, and knew that some day I wanted to have an adventure like his. I've been very fortunate that life has given me the chance to go out and see the world. I've been equally fortunate in discovering another passion in photography. My website - www.neilblakely.com is where I share these passions with all those people who also want to go out and see what lies over the horizon.

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