Road Trip to Global Carnival: a mini Australian adventure

I’m on holidays! <Insert happy dance> I have a long list of things to do (washing, mowing, tax return)… But instead, I will be taking off, cutting loose, letting my hair down, being fancy-free (and quite possibly partaking in many other clichéd movie-like holiday activities). Dave and I have bought tickets to the Global Carnival,Continue reading “Road Trip to Global Carnival: a mini Australian adventure”

Perpetuating the Parcel-Posting Happiness

I am a very happy me today. I arrived home on dusk to find a very quiet, unannounced brown parcel sitting in my mail box. It turns out that my lovely friend Ruth from Bristol, UK, who I met last year while travelling through the Middle East, had read about the 5 Book Project andContinue reading “Perpetuating the Parcel-Posting Happiness”

The Wonderful World of Picnics Around Brisbane

In honour of World Parks Day on Saturday, I thought I would write a little bit about my favourite park activity: picnics. These lovely little events encompass many of life’s wonderful pleasures: people, food, wine, cheese, outdoorsiness, bare feet and hopefully, sunshine. I have often found that when I’m craving a little bit of casualContinue reading “The Wonderful World of Picnics Around Brisbane”

The Glass House Mountain Challenge: the first climb

The challenge was conceived during a little picnic at McCarthy’s Lookout during a recent weekend away in Maleny. It was a sunny afternoon. We had cheese, sausage and pickles. The weekend adventure was coming to end and we were high on fresh air. So of course, a view of the Glass House Mountains and aContinue reading “The Glass House Mountain Challenge: the first climb”

Oh Brisbane, you light me up

I have a funny kind of excitement bubbling under my skin this afternoon. There are lots of things to be excited about. It’s Friday. The Brisbane Festival starts this weekend. Brisbane Riverfire  is on Saturday. I will be seeing friends and art and music this weekend. And…. to top it all off, my words areContinue reading “Oh Brisbane, you light me up”

The 5 book project: posting parcels across the world

There is a unique charm about a crisp brown paper parcel arriving in the mail. Like an exotic unannounced traveller at your doorstep, a parcel is mysterious and exciting, prompting questions of origin and purpose. I’ve always had a quiet fascination with snail mail. The romance of an envelope or twine-wrapped bundle journeying across oceansContinue reading “The 5 book project: posting parcels across the world”

Some thoughts on new challenges and comfort zones

I’m feeling sentimental tonight. It’s been a day of farewells, best wishes and ‘we’ll miss you’ as I packed up and handed over a job I’ve been in for more than two years. More than ever, I felt compelled to stay late at my desk to finish that ‘one last thing’ in the never-ending queue.Continue reading “Some thoughts on new challenges and comfort zones”

Little things that make you smile: a photo essay on life around Brisbane

I was once told that gratitude for the things that make you smile is the best way to sustain happiness.  This seemed like good advice to me. Why not be grateful? A smile can change your whole attitude in one small flick of the lips. The best thing about smiling though is the affect itContinue reading “Little things that make you smile: a photo essay on life around Brisbane”

The place for personal space

Sitting on platform three waiting for the train I realise I’m craving some green wilderness. Give me a forest, a park, a garden…. I have a sudden want to be amongst cool green stillness. Not today though. Instead I sit on platform three and ponder the relationship between person and place. How do people changeContinue reading “The place for personal space”

Travel around the world from inside a computer

Sometimes we just don’t get to see and experience the things that we want to experience in the flesh. Whether it’s wandering the jazz painted streets of Cuba or living like a nomad in Mongolia, road tripping across America or connecting with communities in Africa, often money, time and physical ability can limit our in-personContinue reading “Travel around the world from inside a computer”

Judging threat in Norway: travel advice vs. public opinion

Australians take about 6 million trips overseas each year, during which about 30,000 Australians need the assistance of an Australian consular or overseas mission, says the Australian Government travel advisory, Smartraveller. When I hear stats like this, I wonder, ‘who are these people?’ Are they  mostly those who travel to extreme destinations; places of highContinue reading “Judging threat in Norway: travel advice vs. public opinion”

Wide angle: a day out in Brisbane

Brisbane is a city of possibilities; an accessible hub of cultural adventures. After living here for almost three years, I am still regularly amazed at how a seemingly quiet Saturday morning can transform into a day of unexpected delights. This Saturday was one of those days; unscheduled, uncompromised spontaneous adventure. 10.30am: The morning sunshine hasContinue reading “Wide angle: a day out in Brisbane”

Heading for the hills: adventures around Maleny, Queensland

Sometimes I just need to get out of town, out of routine. I find myself craving an open road with the windows down; bird calls echoing into silence; hypnotic ocean blue. So, with very few plans  in place, I recruited the enthusiasm of my man, threw a bag in the car, cranked the tunes andContinue reading “Heading for the hills: adventures around Maleny, Queensland”

Five and a half things I’ve learnt about Norway

The first ‘must’ for any international adventure is enthusiasm…the second is research. No matter what your travel style – ‘wing it’, ‘nose-in-guide’ or ‘three page daily itinerary’ – there is always a need to read up about your destination (even if it’s only about how to get there). Being the book worm that I am,Continue reading “Five and a half things I’ve learnt about Norway”

Another adventure in the planning

Oh, I have good news my friends! I’m dusting off my keyboard, brushing up my online bargain hunting skills and getting ready to launch into the comprehensive investigation, planning and plotting of another international adventure. Hurrah. But, before I get carried away in my pre-planning euphoria, I would just like to acknowledge that yes, it’sContinue reading “Another adventure in the planning”

The road south

There is something about a road trip that feels like freedom. I am not sure if it’s the sun on my ruddy skin or the wind-whipped hair in my face, the music blaring over the road noise, or the time to let thoughts drift in and out.  Maybe it’s moving, getting somewhere, looking forward toContinue reading “The road south”

The Challenge: 10 Ways to Reinvigorate Reality

Last month I made an empowering decision. I was mid-air, somewhere between Dubai and Singapore,  when I decided my adventurous experiences did not need to halt as soon as I landed back in the world of ‘reality’. I decided I would take my thrill-seeking, proactive, life-loving travel attitude and paint my everyday life with theContinue reading “The Challenge: 10 Ways to Reinvigorate Reality”

The Last Leg: Mt Sinai To Cairo

White torch lights pierced the black Sinai night as we stumbled like zombies up the mountain trail. The crunch and crush of feet on sandy gravel echoed off the sandstone with the gurgling grunts of pushy camels. Even with a Bedouin guide bounding (quite literally) up ahead, at times the winding trail seemed to disappearContinue reading “The Last Leg: Mt Sinai To Cairo”

Jordanian Adventures

Adventures take you by surprise, challenge you, inspire you and teach you something about yourself and the world. I love this aspect of travelling; I love that each day shows me something new and exciting. I am dizzy thinking back at the the adventures I’ve had in the past week. From the Syria-Jordan border, IContinue reading “Jordanian Adventures”

The Sands of Palmyra

Nothing quite compares to sitting at the top of a second century Greco-Roman amphitheatre in the middle of the Syrian desert with only the hot wind and red sands for company. It was in this moment that I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my travel experiences. At times I still find myself a little surprisedContinue reading “The Sands of Palmyra”

Learning Through The People Of Syria

Every new country presents a new set of customs, cultural understandings and practical circumstances. Learning a country – the people, the values, the plumbing – is one of the things I love most about travelling. There is something inherently thrilling about saying ‘thank you’ or ‘hello’ in a foreign language (and being understood) or figuringContinue reading “Learning Through The People Of Syria”

Souqs, Citadels and Syrian Sandals

Syria is lovely: the people smile, welcome you and show you around; the food is fresh and rich in flavour; the hot air is thick with humidity (just how I like it); and the streets are a chaotic mix of ancient buildings and modern development. After a relaxed morning I met some other travellers whoContinue reading “Souqs, Citadels and Syrian Sandals”

First Impressions of Syria

I was surprised to see the great expanse of lights below as the plane descended towards Aleppo. In my mind, the old city was expected to be smaller, less illuminated, less city-like. After a long line in immigrations and a very thorough inspection of my passport, visa, travel documents and personal details (always nerve racking),Continue reading “First Impressions of Syria”

Exploring Taksim

The day after I post my jeans and jumpers home, the temperature in Istanbul drops from 35 to 20 degrees Celsius. But that is okay, the cool air has been a welcomed change and a popular topic of conversation between strangers on the street. Today has been a day of welcomed surprises. This morning IContinue reading “Exploring Taksim”

Surviving The Mysterious, Inevitable Travel Sickness

After a twelve hour journey from Denizli to Istanbul (two buses, a tram and a long, hot walk), I spent yesterday in various states of laziness. Being the kind of person who always crams as much as possible into a day, laziness is something I still need to think of as constructive to enjoy it.Continue reading “Surviving The Mysterious, Inevitable Travel Sickness”

The Road To Denizli

I am sitting in Denizli Otogar (bus station) drinking free tea while waiting for an overnight bus back to Istanbul. I have had a day of relaxation, an evening of trials and first-hand experience of how gracious and considerate the Turkish people are. (This includes the five old men at this Doner Salonu who areContinue reading “The Road To Denizli”

Skimming the Turkish tourist trail

Just a quick update tonight… My eyes are heavy after a long, hot day skimming the tourist highlights around Selcuk: Ephesus, Artemis’ Temples, the Ephesus Museum and the local markets. I arrived in a dark and deserted Seluck at 6am this morning after a sleepless overnight bus ride. Being a single female, I was seatedContinue reading “Skimming the Turkish tourist trail”

Peace and War

Looking out over the peaceful Aegean Sea from Anzac Cove, it was hard to imagine the site once hosted such bloodshed and violence. Small white tablets and rosemary bushes dotted the lush grass around me, marking only some of the thousands of deaths among both Allied and Turk forces in 1915. Throughout the day IContinue reading “Peace and War”

Braving the Bazaar

I am exhausted (and a little broke) after a day in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. After a hardy hostel breakfast (three black olives, one slice of tomato, a knob of cucumber, a square of fetta, some sour cherry conserve and boiled egg), I set off with nothing but my wallet, walking shoes, a bottle of waterContinue reading “Braving the Bazaar”

The Colours Of Turkey

I am brimming with impressions of colourful Turkey. After a full day in Turkey, I am now feeling the culture shock I missed when first arriving in Europe. Istanbul is overwhelming. The buildings, clothes and furnishings are brightly patterned; the streets are thick with scents of food and smoke and incense; and there are soContinue reading “The Colours Of Turkey”

The Two Week Mark: Croatia

Thinking back over the last fourteen days, I am amazed to think of how many places I’ve already seen and experienced. To be honest, the whole idea of travelling to another country in just a day still thrills me (as does travelling to another country full stop). And riding on planes still feels like aContinue reading “The Two Week Mark: Croatia”

Homesick By The Seaside

So it’s day thirteen of the overseas adventure and my initial burst of wanderlust is waning under physical exhaustion and the logistics of solo travel. After a rough night sleep (the mattress actually had protruding springs that I had to cover with a towel), I have my first serious dose of homesickness and am fightingContinue reading “Homesick By The Seaside”