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Guests’ Corner: HappyShell Travel Reviews

As part of the next instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner (previously a local South African travel interview section on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust), I chatted to Ofri Daniel, a keen travel blogger and nature girl of note.

For as long as she can remember, Ofri Daniel has adored travelling. She is – and always was – the nature girl in her family. Despite studying and working in the Economics field, it soon became clear that an office cubicle was not best suited to Ofri’s life mission and she eventually resigned, entering into Education instead.

While she enjoyed this new role, Ofri couldn’t quite shake the feeling that something was missing… So, going out on a limb, she started travelling the world instead – and, in time, her lovely travel blog, HappyShell Travel Reviews, was born.

Through her blog, Ofri shares her latest travels and favourite destinations, insights into fascinating cultures and exciting experiences with her readers, as she enjoys everything from diving toexploring goat villages in France. 

Ofri hopes that her blog will help you to step out of your own shell – and into the great unknown! What are you waiting for?

1. Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?

My two brothers travelled the world, doing what felt right to them. They figured that, by doing so, everything will work out – even economically. In one of our conversations, I mentioned that I want to travel more, and I was debating whether to start a travel blog.

They didn’t understand my dilemma and asked, “Why are you so afraid of enjoying yourself?” As far as they were concerned, I should follow my passion and the rest would work out.

The truth is that, as things really fell into place for them, I decided to take the step – and started a travel blog.

2. What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?

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I would like to consider myself as a diverse traveller. I enjoy diving and the sea in general; I love mountain landscapes and special, isolated spots.

I also like exploring the big cities for a day or two, and then exploring the less travelled paths.

3. Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.

1. Sinai, Egypt: Sinai has long stretches of beach, amazing reefs for diving and interesting people. I go back to visit every chance I get!

2. Greece: I love exploring the islands of Greece. What I like most are the isolated beaches and the locals who know how to enjoy life.

3. Israel: Israel has many landscapes: desert, woods, seas and lakes and they are all in close proximity, so you can travel to different landscapes even in the same day.

4. What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?

I live in southern Israel… In the heart of the desert, on the cliff of the Ramon Crater, lies the town of Mitzpeh Ramon, a desert town with a special, slower pace.

When I visited Mitzpeh Ramon, I realised that it is possible to live differently, at a slower pace, with less stress than is common in big cities.

The people in the town are calmer and happier… That visit made me decide to move to Mitzpeh Ramon for a better quality of life.

5. Worst (local) travel experience?

On one of my trips to Sinai in Egypt, I arrived right after the holidays and after many tourists had already left. For those who do not know, not everyone in the Sinai are aware of cleanliness and hygiene, so when the tourists left piles of trash, mice and flies came next…

The same week I was there, a fly plague broke, mice jumped on me at night and the food got contaminated. I found myself with severe stomach poisoning, which did not pass until I got home. I knew that this was an unusual experience, so I continue visiting Sinai because there is nothing like it!

6. Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?

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1. The Sardine Run in southern Africa: I have not been but it’s on my bucket list. Once a year, all the great predators of the ocean co-operate in the pursuit of sardines, and divers from all over the world get the chance to dive with a variety of marine animals.

2. Snorkelling with Orcas in Norway: Also on my bucket list. The Killer whale is one of the most intelligent and intriguing marine mammals – and I really want to meet one in person!

3. Sinai, Egypt: Sinai offers a desert mountain landscape alongside a clear turquoise sea, reefs and marine animals. It is one of the most beautiful – and a safe destination for all divers and sea lovers.

7. Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?

Yes. I really enjoy reading the travel blog, Salt in our Hair.

The blog is very nicely designed, and I like to read their posts.

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?

I would like to travel to the Maldives – not to the prestigious resorts – but to the small islands where the locals live, to get to know the culture and dive in the beautiful reefs of the Maldives.

9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?

There is a lot to see in Mitzpeh Ramon, Israel:

1. The Alpaca Farm: The farm has alpacas and other animals such as camels, horses, pigs, Llamas, goats and more. Some of the animals roam freely, so you can feed them, with food provided to you by the farm.

2. Ramon Crater: Ramon Crater has many beautiful hiking trails, coloured sands, water reservoirs and much more.

3. Individual farms around Mitzpeh Ramon: There are quite a few farms, some of which produce wine, and you can enjoy wine tastings at a pastoral farm.

10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?

Do not hesitate to ask for help or guidance from locals.

To read about and see all of Ofri’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit her awesome blog. Or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you very much, Ofri, for appearing in this guest travel segment.

Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

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