That Flighty Feeling…

… Nothing compares to that feeling you get when you have booked the flights you have been pondering on for several weeks.

I just did it!

Next month, a week in New York City, followed by a trip to Bali and Singapore!

It’s been too long, international travel…

Holiday Obsession Disorder

Holiday Obsession Disorder

This is so excellently true! I think most of us can relate to this wonderful disease…

  

The Time I almost Died, White Water Rafting

‘Do one thing every day that scares you!!!’ They said.

I’ve spent my entire life being pretty tame. I once even cried the whole way down an abseiling wall. I’d always liked my feet safely on dry land… Until I travelled. Travel pushes you to your limits. So, whilst in Bali I decided to push the boat out and try white water rafting.

Our guide, a slim, young Indonesian man gave us a quick briefing and explained that when he shouts ‘boom’ we need to duck to avoid fallen trees etc. I recall him saying that if we fall in the water it was ‘bye-bye’, and then he laughed. This didn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

He helped me into the boat with my friend and two Australian teenage boys. They were half my age and lived on the opposite side of the world. In every-day life, we would have absolutely nothing in common. Yet in this hour, smashing through the speeding waters in the jungle, they would become my family.

The start of the rafting was gentle, our boat softly pondering through the waters. Giant, powerful cliffs surrounded us and there would be the occasional family sitting on the banks, farming or making clothes. I could hear rattle snakes and cheerful bird songs. Then things started to speed up…

We each had an oar to help row, but naturally were using it to splash as much water as possible at the passing tourists. The world passed by quickly, my eyes were struggling to keep focus on danger, whilst trying to spot potential water-fight warfare. The rocky, green cliffs were whizzing past me in a hot blur. I believe this is where the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome kicked in… Adrenaline started pulsating around my body. My clothes were soaking wet, my finger nail bent right back and I bumped my helmet-covered head on a rock-wall. All the while, I felt no pain.

A collection of boats had gathered, stuck at the top of a small waterfall in the direction we were headed. Our pathway was blocked except for a large rock protruding from the centre of the waters. We ricocheted from several boats and at high speed slid up the rock and became wedged. Before I even knew what was happening, I felt myself in mid-air, violently flung from my boat. I was face up, watching the sky distance itself from me, aware that beneath my body was a sheer drop into harsh, rocky waters. I wasn’t afraid or worried, I guess it all happened too quickly for anything resembling emotion to settle in me.

In that second, the guide (who was half my size) grabbed onto the shoulder of my life-vest and a large chunk of my hair and pulled me effortlessly back into the boat. He actually saved my life. I couldn’t stop laughing and hugging him.

On my next visit to Bali, what was the first thing I did? Booked myself onto a white water rafting session.

Missing Travel..

It’s hard to write about travel, when it seems like years have passed since I had the fortune of stepping on an aircraft.

Sometimes ‘life’ gets in the way and prevents us the ability to whizz off on an adventure.

I still spend literally hours planning trips and pricing up my next wacky journey. But, the reality is at the moment, jetting off is not easy. Work commitments, health scares, moving house etc etc are all part of life’s little bumps.

I miss it. I start feeling disconnected from myself when I don’t get to go off exploring.

Is this normal? Am I addicted to travel?

Songkran – Thai New Year

Songkran – Thai New Year

How do you like the sound of going to a 513 thousand square kilometre water party? You can do just that, annually in Thailand.

Songkran is an annual festival that marks the Thai New Year. The entire country stops for a few days to throw water and clay over each other. It signifies a bathing ritual to Buddha and is a LOT of fun!

It originally dates back to rituals where people would splash water on their relatives to promote health and happiness. Today…. It is something else!

I have personally had the Priveledge of celebrating a Thai New Year several years ago, purely by accident. A friend and myself spent a couple of nights in Bangkok en route the Phuket and due to jet lag and exhaustion, decided to spend the night in our hotel room eating chocolate. We were aware of some kind of festival taking place, but didn’t know much about it or have the energy to attend. There was a 7/11 over the road so we thought we would skip through the crowds, pick up some choccies and head back to the room. That didn’t happen. Within seconds of leaving our hotel, we were grabbed by locals and literally hosed down. We were carted off into the crowds and had strangers actually rubbing clay into our faces. I wasn’t going down without a fight so I ‘sourced’ myself a water pistol and started giving some back. At one point we were standing on the roof of an SUV dancing with the Thai’s and had the most incredibly fun evening. There was something so wonderful about the whole country – locals and tourists, joining together in one giant party and touching each other faces whilst laughing and ruining your make up!

The festival lasts anything from 1 day to 1 week, depending on where you are in Thailand. I could still see the after affects all over the place when I arrived in Phuket 3 days later.

Songkran 2016 starts on 13th April and I highly recommend it! Just don’t wear see through white shorts like I did!!!

   

Strangers and People are the Highlight of Travel

Strangers and People are the Highlight of Travel

Picture this – a world without people in it. Travelling to other countries without anybody to see or talk to. Sure there would still be art and beautiful beaches. But if there were either no people there, or everybody was the same, travel would simply be dull.

Culture or language would not exist without people. Some of my favourite experiences while travelling have only been brought to life because of the people that surrounded me, even if they were just…. strangers.

I love photographing strangers while I’m travelling. If I see people talking in a photograph, I imagine what they are talking about, or where they are walking to. Watching people celebrate festivals or even funerals in a different way than I have only known in my own, “normal” life, is magnificent.

Here are my favourite photographs of strangers that I have taken during my travels over the world.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
   

I feel that photographing strangers is the best way to reflect on your travels and really discover the culture of the places you visit. You can learn so much from people you don’t know.

Serious Motorike Humour!!!

Along my travels I have found it both inspiring and hilarious how people in different countries use their wheels for transportation. I have collected some of the funniest here;

Source: Serious Motorike Humour!!!