How to Get Sick on Holiday and Still Have a Good Time

Grindelwald, Switzerland

December 2010

Being sick is the worst. I feel that I can make this statement from a position of some authority as I’m currently lying in bed with the blankets up to my chin, a throat that feels like I’ve been gargling broken glass and a voice that sounds like a cross between a frog and Darth Vader (I have laryngitis, if I haven’t made that clear). But if being sick during your everyday life is bad, how much worse, then, is it when you fall foul of the latest bacteria or virus when you’re on your precious and hard-won holiday? I must say it is rather terrible timing when this does happen, but, surprisingly, when it happened to me I did find one or two upsides to being sick whilst travelling. Contrary to my expectations, it wasn’t absolutely the end of the world.  (more…)

A Zest for Travel

Wellington, New Zealand

January 2015

I don’t make any secret of the fact that I love food, and so it will come as no surprise to you to find that one of my favourite things to do when travelling is to eat. Understanding how a place views food is so revealing about how its people view life, and one of the greatest joys of travelling, for me at least, is experiencing the food culture of a new place.  (more…)

Lakeside Luxe

Taupo, New Zealand

January 2015

We drove north from Wellington along a winding highway. Rolling hills undulated by; we passed sheer cliffs carved by centuries of rushing rivers, and wide plains, stretching out in green monotony to the foothills of distant mountains. Four hours into our journey we crested a hill and were astounded by the vista spread before us. The massive bulk of Mount Ruapehu, the highest point on New Zealand’s North Island and one of the most active volcanoes in the world, dominated the scene, snow-capped despite the heat. As we continued along the highway, slowly skirting around the mountain, another came into sight – Mount Ngauruhoe, Lord of the Rings’ Mount Doom, almost perfectly conical, its summit shrouded in cloud.  (more…)

A Home Among the Gum Trees

Jervis Bay, Australia

January 2015

“I have some bad news.”

Great. Just what I needed.

I was on the phone to my boyfriend, about an hour before I was due to get on a train and head south from Sydney to a house where he, I and a bunch of friends would be staying for the next few days. It turned out that the bad news was that the house, for reasons which were never fully explained to me, apparently didn’t exist. The friend who had booked it seemed to have fallen victim to some kind of internet scam and now we had nowhere to stay. It looked like we wouldn’t be going after all.  (more…)

Merry Christmas from Borgnis Street

santa

Santa decides to dress appropriately for the weather.

Australia’s December climate is not really the most Christmassy, in the traditional short-days-and-snow kind of way. Down here we know Christmas is coming when the days are getting longer, the pool is warm enough to swim in and the beach beckons! It’s easy to see, then, why some of the more Northern-Hemisphere-orientated Christmas traditions don’t work all that well in an Australian summer. Snowmen and mulled wine are definitely out, as are huge, hot meals, gathering around the fireplace and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” (though my family persist in having a steaming hot pudding as the finale to Christmas lunch each year, even when the temperature’s pushing 30oC).  (more…)

When The Rains Come

Sabeto, Fiji

June 2011

Sydney’s weather seems to have been going through an experimental phase for the last few weeks. It’s been embracing the tropical idea of afternoon thunderstorms, every afternoon. This type of behaviour might be expected, or at least tolerated, in mid/late January, but the fact that it’s started happening in early December has got everyone a bit confused. It has resulted in some pretty stunning cloud formations though, so it’s not all bad.  (more…)

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Grindelwald, Switzerland

December 2010

I will be upfront: I don’t like skiing. I find it painful and uncomfortable and I’m terrible at it. Someone once suggested that if I didn’t like skiing, maybe I should try snowboarding, but I felt my incoordination and general ineptitude at physical activity really ruled that out before I even got started. So, when one is spending a week in a Swiss skiing village with absolutely no intention of going either skiing or snowboarding, what do they do? Go tobogganing of course!  (more…)

Tasting Plate – My Top 5 Most Memorable Meals Overseas

I am one of those travellers who, at least in part, travels to please their stomach. When I write about my day’s adventures in my journal, the entry almost always starts with something along the lines of “This morning I had …… for breakfast”, ends with a detailed description of my dinner, and along the way is punctuated by notes on what I had for lunch and various snacks throughout the day. In honour of this obsession, and because of my conviction that you can tell a lot about a place by its food, I present to you the top five most memorable meals from my travels so far.  (more…)

Sisters Doing It For Themselves

Sydney is a big place. I’m not just saying that as someone who happens to live there and therefore thinks it’s their duty to tell everyone how important their hometown is. It’s actually big. The 34th largest city in the world, in fact, if you’re judging by land area (which may not seem that great, until you consider how many more than 34 cities there are in the world). Why am I telling you this? Because in the last year or so, I’ve gained a new appreciation of how large Sydney is, because my boyfriend lives at more-or-less the opposite end of it to me. It takes me an hour to drive from my house near the CBD to his near Campbelltown, in Sydney’s south-west (and longer if the traffic’s bad), and that isn’t even covering the whole city!  (more…)

Sea, Tea & Rugby

Nasikawa Vision College & Navola village, Fiji

June 2011

It’s not every day you come home from school and find yourself sitting on the pandanus-matted floor of a two-room concrete house drinking Fijian-style tea (that is, lemon-leaf tea with at least a heaped spoonful of raw sugar) while watching a VCR recording of the Wallabies playing the All Blacks. Being neither a habitual tea-drinker nor a rugby fan, I was feeling a little out of my depth, though rather enjoying the ride.  (more…)