It’s Not A Holiday by Andy Robinson and Kirsty McGregor (30th Nov)

It's NOT a Holiday! The A-Z Guide to Group TravelIt’s NOT a Holiday! The A-Z Guide to Group Travel by Andy N Robinson and Kirsty McGregor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“It’s Not a Holiday”, is a brilliant book all about going on an organised tour with a group of people. It is full of humour and I laughed out loud whilst reading it. Gap years are no longer just for students and taking a tour to far away places has become very popular. The authors of this book have been tour guides and or drivers on such overland tours and are very experienced as shown by the content. If you have ever considered a tour to places like Africa, Asia and South America where you want to see the real people and experience the local sights by driving across the land and eating, living and embracing these cultures then this book is a must. It tells you what to expect and what is expected of you, don’t be surprised if it shocks you, forewarned is always forearmed and this way you’re more likely to have fun and enjoy the trip.

Check out yesterday’s guest author interview with Andy and Kirsty here; It includes some fab photos!

Find a copy of this book here from, or

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Mexico: The Country, It’s History and The Maya World by Swarupa N Ovalekar

Mexico - The Country, Its History & the Maya WorldThis is a beautiful book written by an author who is passionate about Mexico. The book contains lots of photographs that depict Mexico, it’s people, their culture, history and their landscape. Mexico has 24 UNESCO World Heritage sites so there is much to see. Swarupa’s book covers the geography, people, religion, economy, education and tourism in the first chapters. it then moves on to Ancient Mexico and the Maya people coming forward through invasion and independence to the modern day.

You can get a copy of this book direct from Swarupa;

Mexico: The Country, Its History & The Maya World:

To find out more about Swarupa follow this link to a recent author interview here on the blog.

Guest Author Swarupa N. Ovalekar

Please welcome my guest author today, I love reading her blog posts they make me feel like I’m on holiday.


1) Hi Swarupa can you tell us where your home town is?

Hi, I live in Mumbai (or Bombay), India.

2) You’ve written 3 books about Mexico, covering the country, its history and its cuisine, how long did they take to write?

Well, writing the 3 books (“Discovering Mexico”, “Mexico: The Country, Its History & The Maya World”, and “A Guide To Mexican Cuisine”) involved intense research and working endless hours at the computer. It took me over a year and a half to complete this epic labour of love.

3) Your blog posts provide the reader with some wonderful glimpses into the people of Mexico and you have some beautiful pictures, do you take them yourself?

Yes, all the photos on my blog whether on Mexico or otherwise belong to me. I just love clicking photos wherever I go.  It’s one of my favourite hobbies!

4) Is there a favourite part to Mexico for you, for instance the culture, the people or the Mayan history?

I love everything about Mexico! Be it the people, places, culture, cuisine, history, ancient civilizations (and especially the Maya), etc.

5) Do you think the people of Mexico keep their traditions alive? Or are they embracing modern technology and leaving the past behind?

Mexicans like to socialize and place a high value on family and traditional values. I believe that they have struck the right balance between old and the new. While embracing modern technology, they have also retained ancient customs and traditions like the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and the Posadas (‘Inns’).

6) Can you recommend 5 places that a tourist could go to see some of your favourite parts of Mexico?

It’s extremely difficult for me to choose just 5 places because every part of the country has its own unique charm. I have many favourite places but amongst them I would recommend a visit to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Riviera Maya, Merida and San Cristobal de Las Casas.

7) Where can people buy your books? Are they only available as e-books?

My books are available for sale as e-books in PDF format at my blog: and my Facebook Page:

It takes just a few minutes to buy them. Select the e-books, pay through PayPal using your credit card, check your email inbox for the links to download the e-books and then download them. A safe, simple and quick medium to buy and read my e-books 🙂

8) Recently you have been posting about India on your blog, how long did you travel around India or have you been on several trips?

You’re right. It’s been a year and a little more than a month since I started my blog. Most of my 80+ posts are about Mexico but I have also written about India and my recent travels within the country. I have travelled almost all over India from the northernmost tip of the country in Ladakh to the southernmost tip in Kanyakumari, to the North East and briefly through the West.

I intend to blog about my trips to “heavenly” Ladakh and the North East which happened just after I had completed my books on Mexico. I‘ve got plenty of lovely photographs of these amazing places to share with my readers.

9) Were there any similarities or differences between Mexico and India that surprised you?

Yes, there are many similarities between Mexico and India in culture, customs and cuisine. The similarities did surprise me a lot considering the fact that the two countries are located at the opposite ends of the world. I have written about the similarities in my blog. Here are the links:

10) Do you plan to put your Indian experiences into a book?

Not at the moment. Maybe someday in the future I’d write a book “Adventures of Swarupa” covering my Indian experiences 🙂

11) I see you’ve also written a romance “The Blue-Eyed Prince of Natlife”, can you tell us where it is set and what inspired you to write it?

After my 3 books on Mexico, I was eager to write a romance fiction, a popular genre. So I started with “The Blue-Eyed Prince of Natlife”. It’s about a girl from Mexico City who comes to Mumbai to work for an Indian company and falls in love with her boss. Here’s my book trailer which will give you the storyline:

And here’s my blog page where you can read the synopsis and the first 5 chapters of the book:

It’s again an e-book in PDF format available for sale at my blog.

Discovering Mexico

Discovering Mexico:

Mexico - The Country, Its History & the Maya World

Mexico: The Country, Its History & The Maya World:

A Guide To Mexican Cuisine

A Guide To Mexican Cuisine:

The Blue-Eyed Prince Of Natlife

The Blue-Eyed Prince of Natlife:

Thank you Swarupa, do go over and visit her blog the experience is truly delightful. Even better news, Swarupa is offering free e-copies of “A Guide to Mexican Cuisine” until 11th September, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and send her an e-mail request to