A lazy spring Sunday in Dublin, Ireland

I was unsure about going to Dublin. Reviews from other travellers had not been amazing, many online resources sounded a bit blasé and I was simply not sure about what to see there. But, despite my uncertainty, I backed Dublin in the destination negotiations, figuring it was a capital city and therefore must have something goingContinue reading “A lazy spring Sunday in Dublin, Ireland”

The west coast of Ireland: Westport, Achill Island, Doolough, Galway & Cliffs of Moher

The salt haze has stiffened and the evening light has paled across the wild Atlantic view. I am warm and comfortable inside the campervan but the whistle of the coast wind brings chill bumps to my skin. I’m not sure how long I’ve been here. It could be an hour, it could be four. ButContinue reading “The west coast of Ireland: Westport, Achill Island, Doolough, Galway & Cliffs of Moher”

Driving the Causeway Coast: from Belfast to Derry, Northern Ireland

Winding along pebbled beaches, through cliff-side tunnels, past castles and natural wonders, it’s hard to believe that Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route was not designed especially for a tourism brochure. From Belfast, we took two laid-back days to drive the 120 mile coastline in our Wicked camper, finding plenty of delights along the way, andContinue reading “Driving the Causeway Coast: from Belfast to Derry, Northern Ireland”

Wide angle: a photo walk through Belfast, Northern Ireland

The complex character of Belfast is hard to pick. The iconic yellow Harland and Wolff cranes and sprawling harbour flag the city’s shipping roots. The regal city hall marks the influence of the English crown. The barbed wire, corrugated tin and concrete fences show this city has seen The Troubles. And the store-lined boulevards andContinue reading “Wide angle: a photo walk through Belfast, Northern Ireland”

The road to Glasgow, Scotland: the Highlands, Ben Nevis and Loch Lomond

When you look at the squiggly black line on a map, it’s hard to know what is in store for you on the road ahead. That 3cm patch of green ‘vegetation’  never quite translates to those tumbling fields of pastel green, the scraggly woodland thickets or proud lines of Scottish pines; that blob of blueContinue reading “The road to Glasgow, Scotland: the Highlands, Ben Nevis and Loch Lomond”

Rainbows & mist on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Mist-veiled, ancient and peacefully picturesque, Scotland’s Isle of Skye is like a mystical forgotten land, chronicled in a dusty, leather-bound book. It is clear that nature rules there: stern peaks plunge into deep lochs with mighty authority; mist and cloud hover like a defensive old sage; and the wind whispers tales of the ages. ItContinue reading “Rainbows & mist on the Isle of Skye, Scotland”

8 Essential Experiences in Edinburgh, Scotland

Crawling with history, wholesomely creative and full of personality, Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, is my latest destination crush. In fact, I will go as far as saying that, so far, Edinburgh is the highlight of my Wicked Campers road trip and one of the best cities of my 2012 European travel adventure. After three daysContinue reading “8 Essential Experiences in Edinburgh, Scotland”

A day along Hadrian’s Wall, England

Ever since Mr Jones, my ear-pierced, leather-jacketed Ancient History teacher, explained the marvel of Hadrian’s Wall, I have wanted to see it with my own eyes. So when we drove the length of it in our Wicked campervan the other day, I was quite an excited little traveller. Stretching 73 miles across the northern peninsulaContinue reading “A day along Hadrian’s Wall, England”

Exploring the Yorkshire Dales & the Lake District in a campervan

I’d been anticipating our visit to England’s Lake District with a niggling curiosity and measured excitement. The area that inspired literary greats such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor-Coleridge and Beatrix Potter was surely something to behold. But its coined popularity and links to the rich and famous had me wondering how much hype was inContinue reading “Exploring the Yorkshire Dales & the Lake District in a campervan”

Driving through the Peaks District to York, England

Complete with ancient Roman walls, a piano-serenaded cathedral and a castle tower encircled with daffodils, the city of York in England was another delightful find on my Wicked road trip around the UK and Ireland. After wild camping at the Buxton Traveller’s Rest in our Wicked campervan, we drove the 84 miles (134 kms) northContinue reading “Driving through the Peaks District to York, England”

A beginner’s guide to skiing in Bansko, Bulgaria

When you talk to a skier or snowboarder about their sport, you’ll notice the poetry and passion in their words. The natural majesty of towering white peaks, pine-scent air and virgin snow does not go unadmired as skiers and boarders seek the best slopes to swish down. Like pilgrims, they return season after season toContinue reading “A beginner’s guide to skiing in Bansko, Bulgaria”

Wide angle: a photo walk through Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

Weaving under wise old trees and past mossy stones, the walk along the Avon in Stratford is one of the most peaceful I’ve done. The sun came out for us after a slow, foggy start to the morning, making our Stratford experience truly warming. I was a little snap-happy along the way and just hadContinue reading “Wide angle: a photo walk through Stratford-Upon-Avon, England”

First two days in a campervan: London, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon & the English shires

Sitting in our Wicked campervan atop a night-shrouded hill somewhere in Derbyshire, England, it is hard to believe we have seen so much in the first two days of road trip. London Within minutes of being handed the keys to our Wicked campervan, ‘Kamikaze Panda’, (a.k.a. Panda) in London’s Waterloo, Dave and I were thumbingContinue reading “First two days in a campervan: London, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon & the English shires”

My Wicked Campers road trip begins: UK & Ireland here I come

Do you ever feel like you just need to get into a car and go… explore…get lost? I’m now two adventure-packed months into a nine month European trip and am craving a different pace of travel. We’ve been city-hopping, backpacking, couch-surfing, weekender-ing and ski-tripping, so now it’s time to try something new. Today Dave andContinue reading “My Wicked Campers road trip begins: UK & Ireland here I come”

Glimpses of Wales: Cardiff, Swansea, Mumbles & Rhossili

The wintery coast of Wales can have a very calming affect on the weary traveller. Wind-battered headlands, rocky cliffs, pebble-strewn beaches and soggy green fields along the Gower Peninsula are the stuff of paintings and poems; dramatically beautiful, mysterious and thought-provoking. Our recent four-day trip to Wales was exactly what Dave and I needed afterContinue reading “Glimpses of Wales: Cardiff, Swansea, Mumbles & Rhossili”

How to be impressed by Bristol, UK: art, food & views of the river

I recently visited a spunky place called Bristol, in the south-west of England, and was wildly impressed with what I found. A city of about 440,000 people, Bristol boasts an active cultural scene, a dramatic suspension bridge, plenty of cider, lovely manners and a laid-back charm… all things that make me smile. Known for beingContinue reading “How to be impressed by Bristol, UK: art, food & views of the river”

The Travellers’ Introduction to London: 6 mini itineraries to get you started

Nervous excitement fluttered in my belly as our plane soared over the green patchwork surrounding London. After a lifetime of media impressions, hours of reading about the sights and lots of tips from ex-pat friends, I was keen to get out there and explore. But deciding where to start was a bit of a pickle.Continue reading “The Travellers’ Introduction to London: 6 mini itineraries to get you started”

One month travelled, eight to go.

My understanding of one month seems to have adjusted a little since starting this adventure on 1 January. Instead of one hour, one day or one month, I now seem to think in units of one country, one city, one tube station. Memories of one month ago seem like snippets from another world, where IContinue reading “One month travelled, eight to go.”

Top 10 tips for travelling Stockholm, Sweden

Known for its world-class designers, elegant city-scape and natural summer beauty, Stockholm is a city of high-density living that offers plenty of urban cultural delights. After four full days of wandering through wintery Stockholm, here are my top ten tips for understanding a bit about the city and getting the most out of your StockholmContinue reading “Top 10 tips for travelling Stockholm, Sweden”

Wide angle: Exploring Oslo, Norway in winter

Norway’s capital, Oslo, is a city with understated appeal. Organised, clean and winter-quiet on first impression, Oslo’s small city centre offers a relaxed atmosphere and a humble blend of historic, retro and ultra modern buildings. Admittedly, before being invited to my friend’s wedding just outside of the city, I had not considered Oslo as oneContinue reading “Wide angle: Exploring Oslo, Norway in winter”

Norway in a nutshell: the delights of Norwegian trains, fjords & Bergen

The train bound for Bergen offers a picturesque glimpse at Norway’s natural delights. Frozen lakes wedged between icy peaks; ragged pine-lined gorges plunging to black-ribbon creeks; leafless trees like skeletons starved by winter; and colourful toy-like houses spotted across endless walls of white. We departed Oslo Sentral (Oslo S) right on 8.11am, excited for theContinue reading “Norway in a nutshell: the delights of Norwegian trains, fjords & Bergen”

Hunting the Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway

Flying to Tromsø, Norway for barely two days in search of the Aurora Borealis (a.k.a Northern Lights) was brazenly optimistic at best. Although the phenomena is commonly seen from this small Arctic island, especially between December and March, even the experts admit that a sighting in highly dependant on the conditions, and is by noContinue reading “Hunting the Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway”

Playing in a winter wonderland: Kleivstua, Norway

I could hardly believe my eyes as the bus pulled into Kleivstua Hotell to reveal pine trees dusted in white, branches with icy fingers and a blanket of fresh snow across the quiet, still wilderness. I had already been impressed by the picturesque 1 hour bus journey from Oslo, which took us along mountain edgesContinue reading “Playing in a winter wonderland: Kleivstua, Norway”

In focus: Vigeland Park in Frognerparken, Oslo, Norway

If I had to pick one attraction  to recommend in Oslo, it would be Vigeland Park in Frognerparken. Only minutes by trik (tram) from the centre of Oslo, this unique outdoor sculpture park features more than 200 statues by the renowned Norwegian sculptor, Gustav Vigeland (1872-1943). Made of bronze, cast iron and granite, these captivatingContinue reading “In focus: Vigeland Park in Frognerparken, Oslo, Norway”

Farewell Brisbane, hello Singapore–Dubai–Frankfurt–Oslo

As I sit looking across the night-lit Oslo fjord thinking of the past few days, I am astounded at how far I’ve come. My senses are hazy after more than 48 hours of travel across the globe and it seems an age since I watched Brisbane’s first sunrise of 2012 from the panoramic windows ofContinue reading “Farewell Brisbane, hello Singapore–Dubai–Frankfurt–Oslo”

Thanks for the Versatile Blogger nomination

So I’m chuffed to have been nominated as a versatile blogger by Mschristiner, Worldly Winds and Get Set and Go! Thank you all! Although I’m only relatively new to the world of blogging, I’ve quickly become immersed in the culture of sharing ideas, swapping pleasures, learning about all the wonderfully enjoyable places, people and personalities outContinue reading “Thanks for the Versatile Blogger nomination”

Looking back to step forward: lessons from past travels

I was flicking through an old travel journal while packing the other day and I found this passage. I wrote it when I was 20 and terrified to be embarking on my first international solo trip. Well, I guess my journey has started. I am feeling so much – anxiety, excitement… a headache from blubberingContinue reading “Looking back to step forward: lessons from past travels”

2244km In 3 days: driving the east coast of Australia

Spontaneity can be a blessing and a burden. It can lead to amazing adventures that you may otherwise reason away… and it can find you tired, bleary-eyed and staring at headlights after 14 hours of driving. Spontaneity can apply the pressure that comes from a lack of planning, but also give you freedom from pre-conceivedContinue reading “2244km In 3 days: driving the east coast of Australia”

A photo walk through Brisbane, Australia

I love that, even after three years of actively exploring this city, I am still finding delights during my daily wanderings. With only five weeks left before lift off for my big 2012 travel adventure, I have been taking extra care to look around as I walk through Brisbane. This week I’ve been taking photosContinue reading “A photo walk through Brisbane, Australia”

Packing, piling, listing: how to prepare for months of travel

Sometimes I feel like my head will explode from the size of my mental ‘to do’ list. While I’m feeling that quite regularly these days (with only six weeks until my 2012 Europe adventure), I also feel glad that once this prep has been done, there is nothing but travel, travel, travel for nine months!Continue reading “Packing, piling, listing: how to prepare for months of travel”

Blue-Balle​d Monkeys and Molasses: Random Post

I wanted to share a delightful email that I received this week. Although the somewhat random title does not suggest it, the email was in response to a recent parcel I sent as part of the 5 book project. I asked the recipients to share a story about their part of the world, about theContinue reading “Blue-Balle​d Monkeys and Molasses: Random Post”

Adventures Under $20: The Travel-Budgeter’s Guide to Brisbane

I used to consider myself a very conscientious saver. But as my pay packet has grown, so has the time between consulting those handy budgeting  spread sheets that I used to religiously maintain. I have learnt to love the financial and social freedom allowed by full time work: museums, restaurants and cafes, regular gigs, movies, evenContinue reading “Adventures Under $20: The Travel-Budgeter’s Guide to Brisbane”

The 2012 Travel Itinerary: Choosing From a World of Adventures

‘Which ones can we cross off the list then?’ he asked with sincere concern. We had been negotiating with nations (I’ll give you Malta for Slovenia and raise you Bulgaria). But suddenly I realised how unrealistic I was being; perhaps we couldn’t see all the places in Europe… Sure, nine months of travelling seems likeContinue reading “The 2012 Travel Itinerary: Choosing From a World of Adventures”

Now is the Time: Travelling Europe in 2012

I have something so amazing to tell you that I am having trouble sitting still…Next year, I will be travelling Europe for nine months! It’s a dream about to come true; an empowering, daunting, slightly overwhelming but oh-so-wonderful reality. As I write this, I’m sitting on my favourite red park bench in Brisbane’s King EdwardContinue reading “Now is the Time: Travelling Europe in 2012”

Camping with the Kangaroos: Yuraygir National Park

All I can hear is the barrelling of waves, the flap of a tent, the twill of a cricket and the crackles of a fire. There is no other light. Cloudy skies thicken the blackness, leaving us here beside our lone beacon, cocooned by the night. This satisfies me. I can taste the serenity, warmContinue reading “Camping with the Kangaroos: Yuraygir National Park”

Mullumbimby, Newrybar & Bangalow: little places with big delights

It seems that the smaller or less familiar a place is to you, the more delightful are the little treasures you find there. This was certainly the case on my recent road trip from Brisbane, Queensland to Bellingen, New South Wales, when I had the pleasure of exploring Mullumbimby, Newrybar and Bangalow, all near ByronContinue reading “Mullumbimby, Newrybar & Bangalow: little places with big delights”

Dancing in the Mud: the 2011 Bellingen Global Carnival

I could feel the damp seeping through my jacket as I stumbled into the Bazaar Tent and out of the evening storm. Only minutes before, I had left the campsite fortified by extra layers of clothing and ready to face another night of wet but wonderful world music. The tent was dark. Squinting through rain-speckledContinue reading “Dancing in the Mud: the 2011 Bellingen Global Carnival”