Do you always stick to the same type when it comes to dating? Has dating this way nearly always turned sour? Would you ever consider branching out and dating someone outside your type? This article discusses the ways we type-cast people and the benefits that can be gained from broadening your horizons when it comes to dating. 
Like most singles, you probably have a very specific dating checklist when it comes to looking for potential partners. You may be guilty of ruling most people out within a split second, based on very superficial qualities which fail to match up to your idea of what makes the ideal mate. 
But by broadening your horizons could you be more likely to find the perfect date?
Having a specific type
Most people have a specific type. This could be down to physical attributes – you may prefer the tall, dark, handsome type or the sweet blonde hair, blue eyes look.
You may only date people of a certain ethnicity, or you may restrict your dates to those who share your religious beliefs. You may rule out anyone who isn’t in a certain age bracket and you may be adamantly against dating a single parent.

Are you unlucky in love?
Have you found that sticking to your to type has led to a string of unsuccessful relationships? Many people who stick to a very narrow ‘dating-attribute’ checklist find that they are unlucky in love. 
Someone may tick all the boxes physically, but have nothing in common with you on a deeper level. The most important part of person for longevity in a relationship is their personality. 
If you do not share the same sense of humour, interests in certain subjects and life values then you are unlikely to connect on a level that goes beyond the surface of physical attraction.
Trying something new
If you are finding that sticking to your type is getting you nowhere then it might be time to think about trying someone new. By being less particular about what you are looking for you will open yourself up to meeting a whole load of people who you would previously have dismissed straight away. 
Compatibility is not just a physical thing. Keep an open mind and get to know someone before you rule them out. You may find a genuine connection in the most surprising of places! Some of the best relationships occur when people go for someone outside of their physical typecasting. 
If the personality, laughter and chemistry is there then who cares if that person is not your perfect ideal, or does not tick all the boxes on your list. Give it a go and see what happens!
Meeting new people through online dating
One easy way to broaden your horizons is to try an online dating site such as You can browse the profiles of people of all different ages, races, religions and beliefs. 
Whether you are looking for someone slightly older, someone who shares your religious beliefs or people who are interested in Japanese dating, online sites attract people with a wide array of interests.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and broaden your horizons when it comes to dating. You could be overlooking your perfect match because of shallow, superficial reasons. Give people a chance and see if love can blossom!
Resource box
The BBC’s relationship page has articles on intimacy, love, body image and coping with conflict.

The Guardian 
The Guardian has a section dedicated to relationship tips and advice.

The Gloss 
The Gloss has an article discussing the pit falls of dating a specific type.

There's something for everyone in volunteering. It's such a vast, far-reaching community that almost any interest, hobby or career ambition can be matched to a suitable programme. All that you need to do is pick something relevant to you. If you do not yet know what career you want, picking the right type of volunteering might open your eyes up to a new job path.


A medicine-based volunteer programme is a natural choice for anyone with ambitions to become a doctor or nurse. It will also provide invaluable experience in your personal and professional development, as well as an excellent boost to your CV. But you don't have to be halfway through medical school to choose a medical volunteer programme.

There are placements available for all levels of interest and experience, including care workers, dentistry and nursing. Browse some of the numerous projects available on the Projects Abroad website and learn more about Projects Abroad UK, which offers volunteer projects in Ghana and throughout the world.


 Green issues have come to the forefront in recent years. If you're someone who values the protection and upkeep of the world's natural environment, it may be worth looking into one of the many conservation volunteer placements available.

There are opportunities to work in underwater coral reefs and thick jungle rainforests; on the African savannah or the Himalayan mountains. Each gives you the chance to fight on the frontline of environmentalism.


 Teaching is a popular choice for volunteers as it’s available in almost every country that welcomes volunteers and, with accepted qualifications like a TEFL, does not even require a second language – just the right attitude.

Teaching is perfect for those who enjoy working with children, who are hardworking and dedicated, and who are sociable and friendly. It's common for deep attachments and lifelong friendships to spark up between teachers and students.


 If you like getting your hands dirty, perhaps a volunteering project in construction or building is for you? You don't need any experience (although a bit of DIY knowledge may come in handy along the way) – you'll most likely be trained on your placement. Most important, as with all volunteering, is a can-do attitude and willingness to work hard and long hours.

There are huge numbers of countries who happily accept volunteers to help out in places where the architecture is basic or infrastructure is poor. Building projects are almost always tough and physical, so ensure you're in shape, but the rewards and satisfaction will be immense.

    Share you thoughts!

Resource box

Why Volunteer?

TPP lists some reasons why you should consider volunteering

Why I Chose To Volunteer Abroad

Case study in the Guardian from a seasoned volunteer              

The Cost of Volunteering Abroad

The Verge magazine assesses the benefits of spending money on volunteering

Europe’s premier city is a hotbed of inspirational education and cultural delights. From the British Museum and National Gallery to the Palace of Westminster and Tate Modern, there are countless sights to soak up. Not only this, but the city itself is wonderfully cosmopolitan, broadening the outlook of visitors and locals alike. Little surprise then, that an increasing number of parents are choosing London’s schools for their children’s International Baccalaureate education; an education which is inherently creative and global in its outlook.
London is the world's most-visited city, and one that has much to offer educationally, as well as visually. Those that choose to reside in the city while their children undertake the IB can be reassured that the city will inspire and delight in equal measure. Importantly, as one of the world’s leading international cities, the capital is a sympathetic foil to the world-encompassing outlook inherent in the IB curriculum.



As the UK’s economic and cultural powerhouse, it’s not surprising that London feels like a world unto itself. Indeed, for many who choose to live and work in the country’s capital, the city provides enough to keep them entertained for more than one lifetime.

For those that wish to travel beyond the city, Paris can be reached in less than three hours by Eurostar. There are also nine London airports and good road connections in every direction. 


London’s rich and varied culture is its pride. Places such as the British Museum and the National Gallery are loved by both residents and visitors – not just because they’re free, but because they, like the city itself, inspire both inquisitiveness and a sense of awe. Cultural delights seemingly lie around every corner – from the gothic Palace of Westminster to the modernist Tate.

kid studying

Why IB?

The International Baccalaureate is increasing in popularity in countries around the world – especially the UK. With globalisation having resulted in a demand for employees with a broad education, teachers and parents are ever more frequently turning to the IB to ensure that their children get the best chances in the future. 

According to David Miles, Deputy Head at Gresham’s School in Norfolk, ‘the IB is more about an ethos of an educational style’. This ‘ethos’, says the International Baccalaureate Organisation, encourages students to ‘participate in creative and service-oriented activities, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of reflection on a personal and academic level’.

The IB Curriculum is now taught in a number of schools in the UK, with increasing attention being given to the Primary and Mid Years Programmes. Gill Bowker, an Independent Education Consultant at Bowker Consulting, says that the greatest strength of the IB Primary and Mid Years Programmes is that they are ‘accessible and appropriate for children from any country and any educational background’.

For those seeking an IB-focussed independent school, London has a great many to offer, such as the IC School. Situated in the quiet locality of Regent’s Park, the dedicated primary school teaches six main subjects areas. The exact way this is taught, says Assistant Principal, Liz Bowie, depends on the child. Our curriculum embraces purposeful, structured inquiry as the main feature of teaching and learning,’ she says.

Useful links

Visit London
Official guide to the UK capital

Is the IB the best option?

Hanover Research
Why IB Programs are Gaining Traction across the United States

Looking for old books can be unduly tiring and time-consuming, if you are not aware of the correct places to look for them. In what follows, readers will be acquainted with 5 such places, where such rare books are most likely to be available. Searching for old, ‘out-of-print’ books can pose to be a problematic affair. Such texts would generally not be available at the leading book stores in your locality, and you might end up wasting a great deal of time, while on the hunt for a rare and valuable book. Forgetting the actual title of the book and/or the author name can add to the complications further. Over here, we will elaborate on five places where you are most likely to stumble upon the rare book that you have been looking for:

  • At a fellow-book lover’s house – One of the easiest places where you can find that elusive title. If a friend/neighbor/colleague or any other acquaintance happens to share your love for books, invite yourself over to their place, and request for permission to go through their personal collections. If you indeed find the book you are after, borrow it for a few days.
  • At the public libraries – Public libraries typically have a wide collection of both fictional as well as nonfiction books. As such, it would not be surprising if the library in your town/city has a copy of the book(s) that are no longer available in the markets. Take out a day to scour through the catalogs of all the noted public libraries in your locality. You might just find the book you are after!
  • At second-hand book stores – Yet another good place to look for ‘out-of-print’ books is the used book stores, which are present in practically every city. You will need to have the time and patience to jot down the addresses of all such book stores in your neighborhood, before starting to visit them. If you are a South African resident, you will find many such used book stores, which have large collections of both story books and textbooks in South Africa.
  • At the office of the publishing house – If you are aware of the name of the publishing house which had brought out the book you are looking for, that might prove advantageous. Get in touch with the publisher, via phone or email – and ask whether they happen to retain a copy of the book in question. If possible, pay a visit to the publisher’s office, to interact with the staff there in a better manner. They might even be able to refer you other places where you can find the book.
  • At online book stores – This is precisely where technology can come to the aid of those who are on the hunt for rare books. Find out the details about the leading online book shops, and look through their catalogs carefully. Make sure that you are using the correct book title and author name in your searches. You can even place ‘requests’ on these reading websites, and be notified as and when the concerned book becomes available. One of the biggest advantages of these online book shops is that – the electronic copies of the old books are kept in fine, readable condition, unlike their physical counterparts, which can become dilapidated.
Apart from the above sources, you should also keep an eye out for book auctions that are held from time to time in different places. Bear in mind that, old and rare books tend to be priced at slightly higher levels – so you need to find out from where you can get the best deal. Be smart while searching for old pieces of literature – the task might not be as difficult as it first appears to be!

Author’s Bio: Rickey is the owner of a renowned book publishing agency. His book previews and reading tips also enjoy widespread popularity among readers. In here, he lists out 5 places where a reader is most likely to find rare and valuable books.

If you’re looking for a luxury holiday there are plenty of possibilities in Italy. The country is full of culture, style and great food, and you can easily find a destination that suits your tastes. To add a little luxury to your trip you can set up a holiday home exchange, which saves you money and allows you to stay in the comfort of someone’s home. In this guide you will find 10 suggestions for luxury holiday locations in Italy.

Italy is a fantastic destination, full of interesting cities and luxury locations. You can visit Italy in style and really live it up with a bit of planning. A home swap is one of the best ways to make a luxurious holiday affordable. In this guide you can read about 10 luxury locations in Italy, including Capri, the Amalfi Coast and Lake Como.


Venice is famous for its canals and romantic atmosphere. It’s the capital of the Veneto region and combines quaint Italian charm with all the amenities you would expect of a big city.


Florence is an amazing city, both to look at and to explore. The architecture is breathtaking, the food is delicious and it’s a really stylish destination. It’s an art-filled choice for a luxury getaway!

Lake Como

Head for Lake Como if you want a real taste of how the rich and famous holiday. You really want to stay on the lake itself, and if you do you’ll feel like you’re in a truly special location.

Amalfi Coast

If it’s a beach break you’re after, you should head for the Amalfi Coast in Campania. You can while away your days in the sun and maybe even hire your own beach cabana to add to the luxury.


Sardinia is another good place to visit for a luxury getaway. You could opt for the coastal town of Cagliari or, for a bit of peaceful luxury, you could head for Carloforte.

Madonna di Campiglio

Head up the Italian Dolomites to try your hand at skiing in Madonna di Campiglio. Spend the day on the beautiful white slopes, marvel at the scenery and then return to sip a cocktail in your chalet.


Combine luxury and romance by heading for the beautiful city of Verona. This is where Romeo and Juliet is set so, if you fancy a romantic break, it doesn’t get any more romantic than Verona!


Capri is the place for the wealthy and you can enjoy it too. You’ll be right on the coast and will definitely want to visit the famous Piazzetta. It doesn’t get more exclusive or luxurious than Capri.


You’ve read about Florence but what about the rest of Tuscany? Well, there are plenty of other places you can go for a luxury holiday, as well as great food, in towns like Siena and Lucca.

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo is another of Italy’s fantastic ski resorts. It’s a great place for skiers and snowboarders and the après ski is pretty good too!

You can find holiday home swaps at And, if you like the idea of a house swap in Italy, you have plenty of options open to you.

Poll: where in Italy would you like to go?

A             Madonna di Campiglio

B             Capri

C             Lake Como

D             Venice

E              Other

Resource box



Lonely Planet’s guide to Italy

Amalfi Coast

Tourist information on this stunning destination

Italy and Skiing

A look at Italian ski resorts in the Guardian

Breakfast is an institution in the UK, even more when the week-end arrives. A fry up is the most traditional British breakfast, with its local additions, such as black pudding and potato scones in Scotland, or hog's pudding for the full Cornish version. However, this is sometimes a bit heavy or unhealthy, and it is always a good idea to vary your week-end breakfasts. You can also use them to travel a bit, and even set the theme for a Sunday, by for example eating food from the same country all day.

Pancakes, croissants, and even rice

There are of course many different foods eaten for breakfast around the world, the most known to us being the continental breakfast with croissants, toasts, jam and butter. If you prefer your breakfast to be savoury, then you can take inspiration from the other side of the Atlantic and have American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. A bit more different but still delicious is the New York traditional bagel filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
For something very different from what we are used to eat for breakfast, try the Turkish menemen, a kind of omelette with onion, tomato, green peppers and spices. You can some spicy sausage or dried cured beef to it. Or you can experiment with a gallopinto, the typical Costa Rican breakfast which is a combination of rice with white and red beans, and fresh fruits on the side.
The Caribbean are usually known for their great beaches where you can spend your time sunbathing and swimming in the deep blue and warm water. The atmosphere is laid-back and locals and tourists alike enjoy a life of leisure where nothing is hurried. It is a part of the world that is close to heaven. But it isn't what the Caribbean are just about and in some places, surf is the main occupation. The Costa Rica, which has its east coast on the Caribbean Sea, has some great surfing spots, especially between December and March and from June to July.

For confirmed surfers and beginners

This is when the Salsa Brava crashes ashore, a twenty-foot tubular and thick wave formed by deep water meeting a very shallow reef. If you are a confirmed surfer, you can try to ride it, but anyone else can watch the show offers by the best surfers in the world meeting for the Puerto Viejo open every February.
A couple of kilometres from Puerto Viejo is the Playa Cocles with some of the best surfing on the east coast and a bit more accessible, especially in September and October. However, beginners will want to start on the Puerto Viejo beach where waves are more friendly.
Bristol is a city of culture as well as great shops. With a thriving student population, and many poets and writers in residence, bookshops are often highly sought after and the city does not disappoint. While bigger stores such as Waterstones tend to dominate the market for readers there are many great independent book shops on offer across the city. Here are just a few.

Bloom and Curll

As far as independent bookstores go, this one is a real treat. Paper cuttings direct you to the different sections, flyers for literary events adorn the walls and there’s even free cake on occasion. The staff are avid readers themselves and always happy to help you track things down.

Books for Amnesty

In a great position on the busy Gloucester Road, Books For Amnesty is a deceptively small shop from the outside but crammed to the back wall with books upon entering. Well-stocked with many reasonably priced books, shoppers can also feel good about donating to charity whenever they buy books from here.


Starting off as a travel bookshop, Stanfords (situated near the centre of town) has now expanded into fiction as well, making it a great stop for any avid reader. They still stock a huge range of maps and foreign language books – ideal for anybody studying at the nearby BLC English school.

Oxfam bookshop

One of the best charity shops in Bristol, the Oxfam Bookshop at the top of Park Street is a real gem. Books of all subjects are stocked, as well as cards, gifts and ornaments. Some rare treats often end up on their shelves, including an original Harry Potter book which sold for over £700.


Just along from Bloom & Curll, Booty offers a similar array of books along with gifts, clothes and even posh hats. A store you could spend hours in!

Beware of the Leopard

Named after a sign in the great Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Beware of the Leopard is definitely for serious readers. Split over two stalls in St Nicholas Market, one half holds fiction and the other non-fiction with plenty to browse.

Arnolfini bookshop

Tacked on to the modern art gallery near the Docks, the Arnolfini bookshop specialises in art, film, music and photography with some great fiction and poetry thrown in. It’s not cheap, but it’s well worth a visit for some good quality browsing.

J and Star Bazaar

This strange little shop in Southville is a mix of bric-a-brac, books and items from yesteryear. The chaotic layout of the shop doesn’t encourage casual browsing, but there’s plenty to see should you persist. In among the stacks of books are ancient guitars, second-hand bicycles and obscure ornaments. You never know what you might find...


Not technically an independent, Blackwells in Bristol has still done well to survive despite having to downsize from a four-storey megastore to a smaller one-floor shop. A good mix of books is to be found here – those completing teacher training courses in the UK can rely on Blackwells for academic books, while fiction lovers can always find the latest releases. 

The Last Bookshop

Finally, The Last Bookshop on Park Street sells anything and everything book-shaped – all for £2. Walk away with a slim volume of poetry or a huge collection of photography - they’ll both cost you the same price. The shop also offers cult DVDs, postcards and prints.
Resource Box

Visit Bristol

Tourist information for visitors


Official website for Bristol art gallery


Information about the Bristol bookshop

What could be more romantic than enjoying the best of the UK’s countryside on a holiday break made for two? Walking holidays aren’t just for serious hikers – there’s plenty for everybody to enjoy, regardless of your fitness level. Take some time to enjoy each other’s company while enjoying the great outdoors. From the mountains of Ireland to the rolling hills of Shropshire, this article looks at five romantic walking breaks for couples to enjoy together.
Are you and your partner fitness fanatics? Or do you just love to take in the countryside? A walking holiday is a great idea for spending some quality time together, while exploring some of the best sights the UK has to offer. From rolling hills to lush green fields, enjoy the great outdoors during the day and relax in a country hotel in the evening. Still looking for your perfect match? Visit a dating site like eHarmony and start searching for your walking partner! I follow them on Twitter for dating ideas and romantic getaways- they give some good inspiration.

The Shropshire Hills

One of the most beautiful and unspoilt counties in England, Shropshire is home to the lovely hill country – voted ‘An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Couples can also take in the county town Shrewsbury, one of England’s finest medieval market towns.
The steep valleys of the Long Mynd walking trail are great for expert hikers, or you could visit the gentler trail along Wenlock Edge, which offers lovely views of the surrounding countryside. Views along the Welsh border are also not to be missed.

Wales Coastal Path

For anyone who has met their perfect partner while dating in Wales, the recently-opened Wales Coast Path is a treat for avid walkers. Choose a length of the 870-mile trail and enjoy the beauty of the country together.
Starting from the outskirts of Chester, the path meanders all the way to Chepstow, making it the world’s only coastal path which spans the length of a country. Visit the little-known area of Ceredigion, a beautiful spot for some lovely coastal views.

Offa's Dyke Path

Part of the Wales Coast Path, the Offa’s Dyke path totals 177 miles from Prestatyn, North Wales, to Chepstow on the Severn. The route follows the ancient barrier built by Offa, King of Mercia, to protect his kingdom during the 8th Century.
This is a long route for ambitious walkers, but there are many lovely sights and comfortable hotels along the way. Pass through the Clwydian Hills and cross the Dee Valley for breath-taking sights of the surrounding countryside.

The River Lune

If you’re looking for ancient intrigues and beautiful scenic countryside, try this trail along the River Lune. Winding its way down from the moors at Sedburgh, the Lune flows through timelessly charming countryside and fascinating stone villages. The poets Ruskin, Gray and Wordsworth have all been inspired by this lovely trail.
The Holiday Inn at Lancaster provides the ideal accommodation for holidaying couples, with modern facilities giving you the chance to relax after a hard day’s walking. The peaceful village of Halton can also be found nearby.

The South Coast

You can wander up to the downs to admire some beautiful countryside spots and phenomenal views of the south coast. Seafront in the summer can be the most romantic; many couples enjoy watching the sun set from Brighton Pier - one of the most beautiful things to share together. Another great walk would be along the coast to the Seven Sisters!
eHarmony Dating Website
Whether you're keen hikers or not, there are some great places to walk with your partner or your date. It's a great time to share stories, talk and get to know one another. You'll probably look back and say it was one of the most romantic things that you did.
This article lists ten of the most popular and acclaimed bands from Manchester, a city with a long and proud reputation for music, featuring bands of the punk era to the cutting edge of today's post-punk revival, and beyond.  
Music is integral to Manchester. Some of the most famous and acclaimed bands the UK has ever produced came from the northwest, and many people visit the city for this reason. If you decide to go on a musical pilgrimage to Britain's unofficial second city, there are some great accommodation options handily located to the city's musical landmarks like Luther King House (
Here are ten of the greatest bands to come out of Manchester:
Buzzcocks are an essential part of the city's musical history – they invited the Sex Pistols to play at the legendary Free Trade Hall gig, where Mark E Smith, Morrissey, Tony Wilson and others were in attendance. But more importantly, their classic song “Ever Fallen In Love” remains a local anthem.

The Fall
They may have 29 albums under their belt, but The Fall have never been a mainstream Manchester band, always operating slightly under the radar. Yet their influence is always there: John Peel named them his favourite band, and their chameleonic styles remain a firm favourite to many.

The Smiths
Perhaps the most important band from Manchester's thriving 80s music scene, The Smiths remain as important to the city as ever. Murmurs of a reunion continue to rumble, but unless Morrissey and Johnny Marr patch up their differences, it seems we'll have to settle for their incredible back catalogue.

Joy Division
The mystique of Ian Curtis and Joy Division endures thirty years on – not least because of the continued legacy set by New Order, the band that was born out of it. The few songs that exist hold a bittersweet edge in the light of Curtis' sudden suicide, aged just 23.
The Stone Roses
The insane reaction seen at The Stone Roses' reunion gig in Manchester's Heaton Park this year is testament to how highly these Madchester heroes are still regarded. Some called it closer to a “religious experience” than a gig – you don't hear many bands talked about like that.

Badly Drawn Boy
Always seen in an unruly mess of hair and beard, and always clad in his trademark grubby-looking beanie, the man known to his mum as Darren Gough first emerged in the late 90s. His likeable, quirky brand of folk has won him plaudits, and sound tracking duties on two films.

Existing outside of the guitar-band tradition, Lamb always seemed closer aligned to the Bristol sound of trip-hop and electronica. Nonetheless, they're an important milestone in Manchester's musical history; a recent reunion emphasised some deep affection for the band.

Oasis are easily the biggest band ever to come out of Manchester, and one of the biggest ever to come out of the UK. A very long-running feud between the Gallagher brothers ensured that we might not see them on a stage ever again, but the memory of that hot Britpop summer of 1995 still lingers.
Perhaps the biggest Manc band around at the present, Elbow's friendly, heart-warming style has won them fans the world over. This was firmly cemented when they wrote the official Olympics song at London 2012 and performed at the Closing Ceremony.

Egyptian Hip Hop
Egyptian Hip Hop is not a localised genre but actually an English rock band who have been making huge waves in the current Manchester music scene. 

Manchester really is the city of music. The three-day festival In the City recognised this in 2010 by gathering the music industry in Manchester and providing a forum to showcase new talent as well as holding workshops, debates and conferences in Manchester wide. It is a city well worth visiting for its music scene – you can visit musical landmarks as well as discover the wealth of new talent that is still emerging from Manchester today.
Resource Box
Manchester voted as having the UK's best live music scene
The NME reports on a live music survey.

Manchester's music scene now has Everything Everything
The Guardian examines the city's current music scene.

Popular music of Manchester
A Wikipedia article on the city's musical history.