All posts filed under: Travel

To the Seaside – A day trip to Brighton

Just a one hour train ride from London and the pebble beaches, carnival pier, and bustling lanes of Brighton provide the perfect city escape. I’ve done two separate day trips down to the coastal town, enjoying the sea breezes that one misses after being in the city for so long. What I love about Brighton is that it has the perfect mix of relaxed seaside vibes and cosmopolitan charm. The town is entirely walkable if you’ve got comfy shoes on, the beach is only ten minutes from the main train station and the rest of the town’s attraction are all within 5-15 minutes of one another. The North Laine area is my favourite place to wander around, with unique cafes and eateries spilling on to the streets and a festival-like spirit in the air. Charming vintage and homeware shops are on every corner and it’s easy to just spend a few hours slowly ambling around the streets. The Royal Pavilion with its beautiful regency architecture is another must see as well as the famous Brighton …

Santorini

I know what image pops into your head when I say Santorini; it’s these views. Santorini really is exactly as you imagine it. Sparkling blue water, pastel coloured buildings perched one on top of another, steep cliffs with donkeys walking up their winding staircases and domed churches contrasted against the bright sky. As one of the most popular Greek islands though, expect high prices during the peak season and bustling groups of tourists crowding the small roads and walkways. We kept up our tradition alive and hired a quad bike to make our own way around the island, first riding from Fira where we were staying to the small town of Oia. Home to those blue domed churches and beautiful sunset views, Oia is one of the most popular places to visit in Santorini. As we wandered around we saw multiple brides being photographed for a bridal shoot and tourists hustling to get the pictures of that iconic view. There is also a coastal path you can walk from Fira to Oia, which we did half …

Let’s catch up

Well hi there. It’s certainly been a while hasn’t it. It’s time for that typically cliched post about why this little internet space has been neglected, and I could go on and on giving multiple excuses. But really, life just got in the way. Time has passed quickly, I kept putting off writing that post about that place I went or this thing that I did, I worked, I saw friends, I did absolutely nothing on some days too. And that’s just life isn’t it. Suddenly it’s the end of February 2016, 10 months since I left home, and I look back and realise I haven’t got any posts on this blog to show everything that’s happened since then. Because my oh my a lot has happened. So that’s what I’m going to do, start documenting it all, just like I always wanted to. I live in London. I guess that’s the crux of it all. Leaving the little bubble of Adelaide and my comfortable existence among family and close friends was one giant leap of faith, naivety …

To the islands. First, Mykonos!

Blue and White. There’s a reason these are the colours of the Greek flag, because Greece is blue and white. Particularly the Cyclades, and most certainly Mykonos. Crystal clear water, white houses with blue shutters and window boxes spilling with blooms, white crazy-patterned pavements, and picturesque churches around every bend. If you’re going to make the trip, head there in the shoulder season months of April, May, September and October. It’s warm but not stifling hot, prices are cheaper, and it’s not as busy but everything is still open after shutting down over the winter. It’s also a more relaxed, local atmosphere as opposed to the high-rolling glitterati that descend during high season. We spent one day strolling through Mykonos town exploring Little Venice and the shops that spill onto the lanes. We wandered along the beach, ate gelati, ate gyros, and then wandered around some more. It was a hard day, very strenuous.     On our second day we hired a quad-bike, which started some kind of tradition as we did it on each of …

The ancient city of Athens

The Acropolis stands over the city of Athens as a lasting symbol of its past. Because everything about Athens is its history. The birthplace of democracy, Aristotle, Plato, and civilisation as we know it is because of Ancient Greece and its capital Athens. I’m not lying when I say that I left Athens after barely two days feeling smarter, and more appreciative and understanding of history. Some fun facts: A misconception that I was guilty of thinking (and let’s not judge if you knew better), but the Acropolis is not the beautiful temple sitting on top of the rock, it is the rock. The word Acropolis means highest, outermost (acro) point of the  city (polis) which is typically chosen as a point of defence. The most commonly photographed temple atop the Acropolis is the Parthenon, which was first built as a temple to the goddess of Athena, the city’s patron. The official distance of a marathon (42.195km) is the distance a soldier had to run to Athens in his full armour to relay the result of …

Istanbul, where East meets West.

A sea of tulips in front on the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet; markets bustling with bodies as the aromas of spices fill the air; smiling faces standing outside restaurants ushering you in to sample their meals; stray cats and dogs milling on the streets in search of the scraps given by kind locals; cobblestone pathways winding through the streets that are lined with cramped buildings. These are the images that come to mind when I recall my time spent in Istanbul, the city where the East and West meet. Filled with culture, history, religion, and delicious food, my time in Istanbul was fleeting. Four days felt like a long time to spend there, but when I think of the sheer expanse of this city compared with what we saw, we only scratched the surface. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, the Grand Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace Gardens were all on the to-do list. The mosques were stunning with their intricate mosaic walls and ceilings, and the gardens surrounding them flooded with tulips in full bloom. …

Popping the comfort bubble.

It’s not something that I have to do, it’s not something that I need to do, it is purely just desire. A desire to see the world, to experience different cities and cultures and to wander where my feet take me. Deciding to leave the bubble of comfort that I was living in would seem ridiculous and unnecessary to some. I had a wonderful family and great friends, a job that kept me solvent and I lived in a nice house surrounded by all the necessary comforts for day-to-day living. But as I write this from an airport lounge about to depart on a way ticket to Europe, I am breaking out of that comfort bubble for the first time ever. Yes I have travelled before, but I have always gone back home. Today, I am going to create my own home and leave what I have behind. Saying goodbye to my family and friends was tremendously hard, but it’s nice to know that I’ll be seeing them soon as they visit me and I …

Don’t just go to Queenstown when you go to Queenstown

Yes, my trip was a few months ago…yes, I’m finally getting around to posting…no, the mountains probably don’t have snow on them anymore…sorry. If you have the time and the means, the surrounding areas and towns around Queenstown are worth a visit, if not just for the views. I know, I know, all I have gone on about in these Queenstown posts is the scenery…but I tell you, it’s just so beautiful. Who doesn’t love a bit of pretty nature hey? We hired a car and made our way to our first stop of Arrowtown, a charming old miner’s town only 20 minutes out of Queenstown. It still has a street of miner’s cottages and old store fronts, and provides the perfect place for a stroll, some coffee and morning tea, and maybe even a wander through the museum. We then wound our way up Crown Range Road over and through the mountains to the lakeside town of Wanaka. Sitting on the edge of Lake Wanaka, the town is a popular resort town for the nearby ski fields. …

The breathtaking beauty of Milford Sound

Yes, my trip was a few months ago…yes, I’m finally getting around to posting…no, the mountains probably don’t have snow on them anymore…sorry. I think the only phrase I could use to describe Milford Sound is ‘stunning natural beauty’.  It’s a place that rains two out every three days, is surrounded by cliffs, mountains and rainforests, and is one of the most popular places to visit in New Zealand. If you like waterfalls, mountains, trees, penguins, seals and just all round spectacular landscapes, then I would suggest the day trip to Milford from Queenstown is a must do. It’s not an easily accessible place unless you have some major coin to spring for a plane or helicopter ride, but tour companies offering day bus trips are bountiful. The tour will include your bus trip to and from Queenstown to Milford Sound as well as a cruise (some might even throw in lunch), but be prepared to be up at the crack of dawn and spend most of your day on the bus. We were lucky …

What’s In My Carry On?

  What’s in my carry on? All the bits and bobs that I’ll need in the coming week, because I’m going to New Zealand! Be prepared for some future posts about my adventures in Queenstown, which will hopefully include lots of beautiful scenery, relaxing, good food, and jumping out of aeroplanes (just kidding on that last one, that’s definitely not happening).

Fringe-tastic

It’s known as ‘Mad March’ in Adelaide, and it’s slowly coming to an end as our major festivals shut their gates. I can’t say it enough…if you’re going to visit our fair city, mid Feb-mid March is the time to do it. The Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival, Clipsal 500 (cars drive around in circles or something), WOMADelaide music festival, and Adelaide Writer’s Week all feature, as well as much more.

Sunday Funday

It has been one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a while but it was well worth it for all the fun that it contained and I thought I would share a couple of the highlights. A little fun fact is that my dad, mum, brother and I all have our birthday’s within two weeks of each other and we are right in the midst of it at the moment.

Picture Perfect: Edinburgh Castle

  Since I am going through a travel drought at the moment, as I scrimp and save for my US trip, I hope you don’t mind if I post some of my favourite pictures from past adventures. This is the magnificent Edinburgh Castle. The sun was out, a rarity in Scotland, a band was playing in the West Princes St Gardens and I just sat there thinking how freaking beautiful it was. Scotland is definitely the most naturally stunning place I have been too…and Edinburgh certainly didn’t disappoint.

Picture Perfect: Notre Dame and the Seine

Paris is an incredibly beautiful and photogenic place, so I couldn’t resist sharing another one of my favourite pictures from my time there. It was twilight and the only way I can describe it, is that it was magical. The setting sun was hiding between the clouds and the street lights were all flicking on. This is looking down the Seine with the wonderfully gothic Notre Dame on the right. Every time I look at this, I ache to go back there. And quite frankly, with sites like this…how could you not?

The wall space quandary

I think I have a problem, in fact I know I do. I am addicted. Every place I go, I buy a poster, print or watercolour to go on my wall and now my collection has reached epic proportions. So much so that I don’t have anywhere to put them. Instead, they sit in piles or propped behind my door, wasting their beauty. It’s something I can’t resist, I just love having mementos from places I have been. Every time I look at my Monet watercolours, it takes me back to Paris and how amazing it felt to look at the water lilies in the Musée de l’Orangerie. My Kandinsky print from the Tate Modern reminds me of the day I walked across the Millennium Bridge from St Paul’s to the wonderfully industrial art space. I have old train company posters of London and Edinburgh I found rifling through a bargain bin in Oxford, and a beautiful watercolour of the Trevi Fountain I bought from a charming little shop in Rome. It seems too, that now my …

I had this dream.

So I had a weird dream last night. I won’t go into the details too much but basically I was driving down a beautiful tree-lined road somewhere in the New England area of the United States (well I’m guessing it was this region from my extensive viewing of Gilmore Girls episodes). Not only was I confused because Americans drive on the wrong side of the road, but then a police officer appeared out of nowhere and tried to fine me 200 pounds for doing 50km/h in a 50km/h zone (Yes, I do mean pounds and km/h. Apparently my dreams are bi-continental). Let’s just say, things got heated and I got very defensive because I was NOT speeding. But the lovely copper and I eventually sorted things out and all was well in dream world. Anyway, the reason I mention this wonderful tale is because when I woke up, it got me thinking about how much I would LOVE to be driving down a road somewhere in New England. The US is somewhere I am yet to …

Let’s read this world.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. – St Augustine There are still many pages I want to read of this wonderful book. To name just a few: New York, the Maldives, Rio de Janeiro, Scandinavia, the Greek Islands, Nepal, Ireland, Prague etc etc.

Venetian Tales

Imagine it is six degrees and there is a thick layer of fog hanging over the blue-green water.It’s mystical and eerily beautiful to see the old buildings appear out of nowhere as you make you way towards San Marco by boat. In the dead of winter, this was my Venetian experience. A group of friends and I were only there for a day, so we first did the one thing we all desperately wanted to do, a gondola ride of course. Six of us crammed into the traditional boat, which was punted by a lovely fellow called Giovanni (I’m not making that up). Although refusing to sing for us, he took us through little side canals so narrow you could touch the walls of the houses as you went by. We then made our way out onto the Grand Canal, a wonderful expanse of water teaming activity even on this chilly day. It afforded beautiful views of the gorgeous old buildings that make up Venice. I should also mention, we had a couple of bottles of …

Reminiscing about Fijian times

An island paradise. A tropical heaven. Fiji has long been thought of as a holidaying destination to rewind and relax. Not for me. Fiji holds a different place in my heart. It will always be the place where I started school, the place where I learnt to ride a bike, the place where I got the scar on my chin and the place where I experienced things others dream of. I was 4, so we are talking a good 18 years ago now (wow that seems like a long time!). We lived in Albury, New South Wales and then my dad got a job at a company in Suva, Fiji. Mum and dad thought, hey why not! When are you ever going to get the chance to do that again? So they packed up me, my brother and all our stuff, and we moved to the Pacific. Being my typical self, I made things pretty interesting on our arrival. It was Easter weekend, and I was REALLY excited to be there. We were staying in a …

London Calling

It seems to be London’s year this year. It’s the Queen’s Jubilee, there’s that big sport event happening at the moment, and the city got a visit from me. In stark contrast to the peacefulness and natural beauty of Scotland, the buzzing city of London is all about being on the move. Before I begin, I must mention two things; number one, I love the underground. I come from a place where the public transport is so bad it’s pretty much obsolete. So, experiencing the tube is like christmas and my birthday combined times two. Number two; even in our week long stay, there was no way we could visit or experience everything that London had to offer, there is just so much.  I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I took this trip to the UK with my mum. I had been to London before, but mum hadn’t, so the things we did included a lot of the traditional sites and tourist attractions of London, as well as a few bits and pieces of what we particularly wanted …

The Highlands

Edinburgh, West Highlands, Stirling

Given that I am new to the blog world, I though I would catch you all up on a little trip I took a month and a bit ago to the United Kingdom. After all, it’s very much relevant to the whole documenting-my-travel-dreams-and-experiences thing I am going for here. I was lucky enough to make my way through a small portion of Scotland and England for a short three weeks. In no way did I see everything I wanted to see, and certainly not everything there was to see, but I sure wasn’t going to turn down a trip overseas now was I? So…it began in Edinburgh. Oh Edinburgh. Not only is Scotland the most STUNNING place I have been to thus far, but Edinburgh is way up there in my top 3 favourite cities (again thus far – maybe it will be challenged, who knows). Everything about this city is beautiful. From the dirty stone of the old buildings on Cowgate to the Georgian terraces in New Town and the parks surrounding the Edinburgh Castle. …