So you want to be a travel writer?

I love serendipity. As I was updating my talk ‘Introduction to Travel Writing’, which I give from time to time at libraries and writers’ groups, a blog post popped up in my emails from my colleague Lindy Alexander, at The Freelancer’s Year, entitled There has never been a better time to be a travel writer.

While I caution my workshop participants that it can be difficult to break into the freelance travel writing world, I believe well written, well targeted travel stories will find a paying market. Sure, the pay rates are not always great, and in many instances have gone down in recent years. Even Don George says in Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing, “More people are making less money than ever before in the history of Travel Writing.” Which is why I find Lindy’s blog post so timely.

As she says in her post, “Over 10 per cent of all global economic activity in 2018 was generated by the travel and tourism industry.” She points to stats saying that travel and tourism is the second-fastest growing sector in the world. Consequently travel-related advertising is very strong – you only have to look at the weekend newspaper travel sections to see that. While other newspaper sections are shrinking or being culled, travel sections are growing. So pop over to The Freelancer’s Year and be motivated.

The Freelancer's Year

While you’re there, check out  her post What no one ever tells you about being a travel writer. She goes behind-the-scenes and talks to a variety of travel writers around the world, myself included, about the rigors of the job, and what goes on before, during and after the time spent travelling. Like most jobs, it’s not always as glamorous as it seems. But the rewards are enormous. We are incredibly privileged to be able to travel so widely and to be able to share that with our readers.

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Wonderful Western Sydney

Lately I’ve been touring Western Sydney, gathering stories for articles, and I’ve been blown away by the diversity of experiences and attractions available for every age group and type of visitor, from thrill seekers, to nature lovers and history buffs.

There are awesome activities for kids, like feeding wallabies at Featherdale Wildlife Park, farming fun at Tobruk, and obstacle challenges at Treetop Adventure Park in Cumberland State Forest. Swathes of bush make a natural playground in the many national parks and reserves, and the beautiful rivers make getting out on the water easy. As a major source of Sydney’s food, there are farm gate trails, farmers’ markets and pick your own fruit places, not to mention great dining on this fresh local produce. There’s new life being breathed into quiet country villages and the locals have amazing stores to tell if you take the time to chat.

The Hawkesbury River from Hawkins Lookout

Many attractions are less than an hour’s drive from the centre of Sydney, making them ideal for day trips, but there’s so much to do out west, it’s worth making a weekend of it or spend a whole week. For some ideas, here’s my story on a three-day sojourn to the Blue Mountains and my week-long wanderings around the Hawkesbury. If it’s waterfront dining you fancy, then you’ll love the venues in this story on riverside restaurants.

For more inspiration check out this short video produced by Destination NSW and presented by Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres.


So next time you’re looking for something to do with the family, somewhere to impress guests, or just a quiet weekend away, head west!

Shields’ Orchard, Bilpin

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Toe-tapping retro fashion fun in the Blue Mountains

Love retro fashions? Like a bit of toe-tapping on the dance floor? Enjoy lingering with friends over delicious regional food and wine? Then you’ll love the Roaring 20s Festival. Held in Sydney’s Blue Mountains this year’s event takes place on 23rd Feb 2019, so get in quick and you can still join the fun.

Break out the retro gear

Hosted by the Hydro Majestic Hotel, dubbed the Blue Mountains original ‘party palace’, the day kicks off with the Majestic Charleston for Charity dance event followed by the Majestic Long lunch.

The Swing Katz in action

It only costs a gold coin donation (for the Blue Mtns Rural Fires Service) to join the Charleston shenanigans and it’s loads of fun! Don’t panic if you can’t dance, the gorgeous gals from the Sydney Swing Katz teach you on the day in a mass lesson and it’s as simple as step, tap, step, tap, shimmy and pose! After a few practice sessions you’ll be swinging your hips like you own the dance floor!

Join the Charleston for Charity

This is a family-friendly event and there are loads of prizes for the best-dressed, including children’s prizes, so take some inspiration from my images in this post and raid grandma’s wardrobe, rummage in the dress-up box or rush to your local op shop (it is a charity challenge after all!). It’s fabulous fun just watching the fashions at the event, the excitement is contagious and everyone is happy to be photographed, so take your camera.

Fun for the whole family

Of course 1920s fashion is not just flapper dresses and feather boas as I learnt at last year’s Long Lunch fashion parade featuring outfits from the Darnell Collection, now known as the Charlotte Smith Fashion Collection. Presented by Charlotte Smith and Rodger Leong, of the Powerhouse Museum, the parade featured local models and provided an intriguing and informative snapshot of Art Deco fashions.

Parade of 1920s fashions

The Majestic Long Lunch is held in the hotel’s magnificent ballroom and promotes regional food and wine. The shared feast includes enormous platters piled high with delicious produce and is presented by Lindy Milan and Plate Up Blue Mountains. Afterwards head to Cat’s Alley for a decadent cocktail like the ladies of yesteryear. Take a history tour of the hotel and learn about founder Mark Foy, the plight of guests arriving for the opening celebration and past famous guests.

Cat’s Alley

In keeping with the retro theme, why not take a leisurely tour with Blue Mountains Vintage Cadillacs. Feel the wind in your hair as you cruise in one of their three La Salle models from the 1920s.

Cahillac La Salle ‘Flora’

Following are some more images to inspire you…

A touch of elegance

Do you love dressing up for festivals? What dress-up festivals are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your stories.

More: Read about other things to do while you are at the festival in my article for Senior Traveller.

To book: To register for the Charleston for Charity click here. To book for the Majestic Long Lunch click here. Hope you have as awesome a time as I did!

Disclaimer: I travelled to the 2018 festival as a guest of The Escarpment Group.


Posted in Australia, Events, Fashion, festivals, Food & Wine, New South Wales, Sydney | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sydney’s QVB turns 120 – share your story to win

Since moving to Sydney 20-odd years ago I’ve come to love the elegant Queen Victoria Building, which occupies and entire city block. But like many of the shoppers and commuters that pass through her colonnaded walkways and underground passageways, I’ve taken her beauty for granted – not fully appreciating her heritage, history and architectural significance. All that changed when I took a history tour of the building, but more on that later.

QVB’s steel frame and barrel vaulted glass ceilings were regarded as innovative at the time.

Did you realise this old girl turned 120 in July 2018? Celebrations continue until mid-August with a Memory Lock installation inspired by the ‘love padlocks’ of the Pont des Arts footbridge in Paris. Designed by James Dive the 5m tall ironwork ‘keyhole’ installation is located under the QVB’s central dome.

Keyhole-shaped ‘Memory Lock’ installation at QVB

If you’ve had a memorable moment at the QVB you’re invited to share it by by writing it on a tag connected to a padlock and attaching it to the ‘keyhole’. Everyone who takes part goes in a draw to win a high tea for six at The Tea Room in QVB. See details here.

Memory padlocks at QVB

I visited the installation last week and was amazed at the number of padlocks already attached to the installation, which includes a 4.8m replica of the keepsake key gifted to the mayoress of Sydney, Francis Harris, at the building’s opening in 1898. Unfortunately, the whereabouts of the original keepsake key is unknown.

Memory padlocks on ironwork keyhole at QVB.

The QVB has an amazing story, so it’s worth taking the history tour that is offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11.30am. For $15 the 45-minute tour is jam-packed with facts and anecdotes. Did you realise the QVB was built on the site of Sydney’s original livestock and produce markets? The markets were initially relocated in the basement of QVB and accessed via a lift that was big enough for a horse and cart.

Central dome at QVB in Sydney

Built in an economic recession the QVB design was considered by some as an outrageous extravagance. Once opened, it was lauded for its innovative construction, yet by 1959 was proposed for demolition in favour of a civic square and car park. Thankfully, the building was classified by the National Trust in 1974 and restoration was undertaken by Malaysian company Ipoh Garden who was granted a 99-year lease. For more history you can read my recent story in The Weekend Australian here.

Queen Victoria Building

Praised at its opening for innovative features like steel frame and barrel vaulted glass ceilings it is now regarded as an outstanding example of Victorian-Federation architecture. Many original features remain, such as stained glass windows, balustrades and tiles, which are highlighted during the history tour.

Some original tiles remain and have been replicated elsewhere.

Named Queen Victoria Markets Building when opened in 1898, the statue of Queen Victoria at the Druitt Street entrance didn’t materialise until 1986. Originally located outside Leinster House, the seat of Irish Parliament in Dublin, it was removed after Irish independence and languished in storage until it was tracked down during the QVB’s 1986 restoration, upon which it was gifted by Ireland to the City of Sydney and unveiled on 20th December 1987.

Queen Victoria Statue outside the QVB originally sat outside Irish Parliament in Dublin until 1948.

I’ve always adored the tiny black wrought-iron staircase on the top level that spirals towards what looks like a Hobbit-sized door near the roof. So I was thrilled to learn it is original and leads to the void between the inner stained glass dome and outer copper dome.

Spiral staircase in the QVB.

While restoration has preserved the sophistication and elegance of the original building, sympathetic concessions to practicality have added modern architectural features that are equally eye-catching, like the reflective escalators.

I love the clean lines and symmetry of the modern escalators.

Once construction for the new tram line is completed it will be possible to admire QVB’s George Street facade once again and the tram itself should offer a wonderful view of the building as it glides by.

York St entrance of QVB, Sydney

So next time you visit the QVB take a few moments to admire the patterned floor tiles, the intricate stained-glass windows and the allegorical statues above the George and Kent Street entrances.  Make an effort to immortalise your memory of QVB by adding it to the lock installation before 19th August 2018 and you could be sipping high tea ensconced in her lavish interiors.


Disclaimer: I undertook the QVB history tour at my own expense.

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Whale of a tale – on Australia’s Gold Coast

Sometimes the tale behind an image is as breathtaking as the image itself – this time literally so.

Where Gold Coast cover

Where Gold Coast magazine August 2016 cover

I was enthralled by the image on the cover of the latest issue of Where* Gold Coast magazine this month. The juxtaposition of an impeccably sharp whale tail with Gold Coast high-rises in the background and hinterland in the distance perfectly encapsulates the diversity of the Gold Coast – from beach to city to bush; wild nature to urban cool.

So what does it take to capture an image like this? Well, it cost professional photographer Danielle Lancaster of Blue Dog Photography a broken rib.

The image was taken in 2015 while Danielle was conducting a Humpback whale photography workshop. As you can see by the chop on the water, it was a blustery day, with winds gusting up to 30 knots.  She had one arm wrapped around a metal upright on the boat to help steady herself, but just as she pressed the shutter on this image, the boat lurched and thrust her against the metal post fracturing a rib with an audible crack. Ouch! But like the trouper that she is, she took it in her professional stride (after a few choice words I believe).

“I soldiered on, even having a champagne at the end with everyone on board, as one does,” she said.

The Where cover image was chosen by editor Roshan Sukhla and General Manager Anthony Gallagher. “Danielle’s whale photo stood out amongst all our other possible cover shots,” says Roshan. “It’s such an amazing shot, especially with the beach and Gold Coast skyline in the background. It just sums up what the coast is about – glorious beaches and wondrous wildlife.”

There are obviously some elements of luck in this image – the cresting wave, the angle of the tail to the photographer, the glint of sunlight on the tail – but there is an enormous amount of skill involved, and Danielle shares some of her tips on photographing whales in this article for Travel2Next.

Better still, sign up for one of Blue Dog Photography’s many workshops or tours (including online workshops). I recently travelled on her Outback Photography Tour and it was a truly enriching experience (you can read my upcoming article soon in

Outback portraiture session on a Blue Dog Photography tour.

Outback portraiture session on a Blue Dog Photography tour.

Danielle is a natural teacher and she nurtures all levels of photographers with equal passion. She focuses on capturing the best possible image in-camera (rather than faffing around with post processing – yeah my kinda girl) and is not precious about what sort of camera you use; we took shots on our phones as well as our cameras.

Check out the full list of Blue Dog Photography courses here and watch out for a possible whale photography workshop next year.

Talking of whales, Craig Platt, managing editor of, captured video image of a killer whale in the Galapagos ‘tossing a turtle’. Check out the story and images here.


*Where magazines are city-based travel guides giving the latest on what to do and where to go in more than 100 destinations around the world including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast.


Posted in Animals, Australia, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Pack It! Part 2 – Five tips for buying travel packing cells

So after reading Part 1 Five reasons to use packing cells you’ve finally seen the light and decided to purchase some packing cells? Congratulations!

But how do you choose the ideal packing cells (or packing cubes)? We all travel with different gear, so what works perfectly for one person may not be quite right for another. There are so many different styles of packing cells around – think wet cells, garment folders and underwear cells – it can be difficult to work out exactly what to buy. (In Part 3 of this post I’ll look at: Ten types of packing cells.)

Packing cells can organise everything in your suitcase

Packing cells can organise everything in your suitcase

The best place to start is with a set of simple, multipurpose cells. I bought my first cells on sale from Kathmandu several years ago and loved them so much I bought lots more (also on sale) in a variety of sizes and colours. I use them for everything from clothes to electronics and they have lasted extremely well, being as good as the day I bought them. I have since bought numerous other brands in different styles and weights, including La Poche and Flight 001, and while they have earned a place in my suitcase depending on my needs, the most-used are my trusted Kathmandu cells and my new Zoomlite cells.

So, what do you look for when choosing packing cells? Here are my five top tips:

1. Lightweight

No one wants to add extra weight to their suitcase, so look for cells that are lightweight, but still hold their shape. (I bought some cheapies online that were so flimsy they were hard to fill, which defeats the purpose. Consequently, they never get used.) Some cells are lined for added strength, but this makes them marginally heavier. I was recently sent a set of Zoomlite packing cells to road test and I can honestly say they are the lightest weight-to-strength ratio of any I’ve tried, so they have definitely earned a regular spot in my suitcase along with my trusty, lightweight Kathmandu cells.

Zoomlite packing cells are lightweight, yet sturdy

Zoomlite packing cells are lightweight, yet sturdy

2. Breathability 

Look for cells that have mesh panels for breathability. They help keep clothes fresh and you can easily see what’s inside each cell. There are double-sided packing cells available, designed for clean clothes on one side and worn clothes on the other side – which doesn’t have the mesh – designed to contain any odours. It’s a good idea, but unless your clothes get seriously stinky, I don’t think it’s necessary. I just air my worn shirt overnight, then fold it and place it at the bottom of the packing cell, so it’s ready in case I need to wear it a second time.

Choose cells with mesh panels like this Kathmandu one

Choose cells with mesh panels like this Kathmandu one

3. Durability

Ensure the fabric, seams and zips are hard-wearing. Packing cells get endlessly dragged in and out of your suitcase, so need to be able to stand up to the tough treatment. Most are made from nylon, which is strong, but make sure the seams are bound and well stitched, and the zips are good quality two-way style. Some cells, like Zoomlite and La Poche, have webbing handles, which are handy, but in my opinion, not actually necessary.

4. Multiple sizes

Buy a variety of different sized cells initially and test them out to decide which sizes suit you best. It gives you flexibility for the type of clothes you are taking and the style of suitcase or backpack you will be using.  As an example, extra-small is good for cables, plugs and battery chargers; small is perfect for underwear; medium fits folded tops, pants and skirts perfectly; and large takes bigger or bulkier items like jackets. I regularly use two or three medium cells, two small and one extra small, but rarely use the large ones unless I’m packing multiple jumpers or jackets. However, the large ones are perfect for some of my husband’s gear.

Packing cells, like these Zoomlite ones, come in a variety of sizes

Packing cells, like these Zoomlite ones, come in a variety of sizes

5. Different colours

While you can buy sets of different sized cells in the same colour, I prefer to buy individual cells in different colours, especially because I use numerous ones the same size. That way it’s easy to remember my tops are in the blue cell, my shorts and skirts are in the purple cell, and my formal wear is in the black cell. If you’re sharing a suitcase, allocating each person their own colour or colours works well.

Flight 001 Spacepaks have one-way mesh rivets which allow for air compression

Flight 001 Spacepaks have one-way mesh rivets which allow for air compression


That’s my five top tips, which should be sufficient for the average shopper, so feel free to stop reading now and start shopping.

But if you crave detail, or are just plain fussy, you might like to read on and benefit from the finer points I’ve picked up through buying way more packing cells than can be considered normal or necessary.

More for the pernickety:

When buying double-sided cells, consider the position of both zips. Some brands, like Kathmandu have the zips on the outer edge of each cell, which works well, as whichever side you place it on, the top cell will always open at the top. However, La Poche have a zip on the outer edge of one cell and on the inner edge of the other cell. So to access this cell with the items still sitting inside the cell, you have to fold the top cell right over, which can be awkward when it is full. (Told you this was for the pernickety!)

Kathmandu double-sided cells have zips on the outer edge of each cell

Kathmandu double-sided cells have zips on the outer edge of each cell

Zoomlite, Flight 001 and La Poche have webbing handles on their cells. While I don’t feel handles are necessary, they are ‘handy’. La Poche and Flight 001 put the handle on what I regard as the front of the cell – where the zips are – so you just place it down with the handle and then open it. Zoomlite puts the handle on the back edge of the cell, opposite the zips, so when you put it down with the handle, you have to swivel it around to open the zips. (Yes, this is super pernickety, I know.)

The handle on La Poche cells are on the same edge as the zips

The handles on La Poche cells are conveniently on the same edge as the zips

The cells produced by La Poche and Flight 001 are lined, so feel a little sturdier, although that increases their weight slightly, but not enough to be a big deal.

Some brands have their bound seams on the inside, like Zoomlite, Flight 001 and Kathmandu, which gives them a sleeker look, while La Poche have theirs on the outside, giving the appearance of being bulkier. This difference doesn’t affect the use of the cells in any way, it’s just a matter of aesthetics.

More: Once you have purchased some multipurpose cells, you might like to explore the world of purpose-designed cells for items like electronics, jewellery and bras. In part 3 of this post I’ll look at ten different types of packing cells.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned above and do not receive any remuneration should you decide to purchase from them. I have purchased many of the products mentioned, with the exception of the Zoomlite cells, which were sent to me for review. My opinions are honest and unbiased.

Posted in Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Accessories & Gadgets, Travel Gifts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pack it! Part 1 – Five reasons to use travel packing cells

Packing cells have changed my life. That’s a big statement, I know. But they have made my travelling life so much easier I wonder how I ever travelled without them.

I just wish I had cottoned on to packing cells years ago, then there would have been no embarrassing underwear trailing from my ripped suitcase on the airport carousel in Paris, or time wasted at Australian Customs trying to jam everything back into an over-stuffed suitcase after a random search.

Buy a set of packing cells like these from Zoomlite and you'll soon be an organised packer.

Buy a set of packing cells like these from Zoomlite and you’ll soon be an organised packer.

Packing cells, or packing cubes, are lightweight zippered pouches, often rectangular, for storing clothes and other items in a backpack, overnight bag or suitcase. They are usually made of a nylon-type fabric and often have a mesh panel for breathability. They come in a variety of sizes for different items of clothing or accessories. (In Part 2 of this post I’ll look at the different styles of packing cells.)

Choose lightweight, durable packing cells.

Choose lightweight, durable and breathable packing cells.

So why use packing cells? Here are five good reasons:

1. Personal Organisation

Use different size cells for different types of clothing and you’ll always know where everything is in your suitcase. Use large cells for jackets, pants and skirts, medium cells for shirts or dresses, and small cells for underwear and accessories. Use a cell for items that may only be worn occasionally, like formal wear, or if you’re travelling to different seasons, separate winter clothes from summer clothes.

2. Family Organisation

Cells are fantastic when sharing a suitcase with a partner or family members. Allocate each person cells in a particular colour and it’s easy to know whose gear is whose (and they can’t mess up your clothes while accessing their own). Use cells for keeping children’s toys or other paraphernalia together.

Keep children's essentials all together.

Keep children’s essentials all together.

3. Versatility

It doesn’t matter if you prefer to fold your clothes or roll them, either method will work within the cells and ensure your clothes are as wrinkle-free as possible. And with packing cells coming in various shapes and sizes, there are cells for everything from ties and belts to shoes and electronics.

La Poche Charger bag

The La Poche Charger bag keeps cords and plugs tidy.

4. Space saving

Using packing cells helps keep your clothes neat and tidy, taking up less space in your suitcase. Compression cells ensure bulky items like puffer jackets take up as little room as possible and cells of different sizes can be stacked like a 3D pentomino puzzle, maximising room in your suitcase. Any spaces around the cells can be used for awkward-shaped items like shoes, umbrellas, tripods and souvenirs. If you start travelling with a half-empty case (leaving room for new purchases) the cells will ensure your clothes stay neatly together and don’t end up in an untidy mess.

Packing cells don't have to be boring - just look at these pink stripe ones from Zoomlite.

Packing cells don’t have to be boring – just look at these pink stripe ones from Zoomlite.

5. Time saving

Don’t bother unpacking the cells, just transfer them to the hotel drawers or wardrobe shelves. If you return worn clothes to the cells on a daily basis, then repacking is a breeze. This is so convenient when you are constantly on the move – repacking is no longer a time-consuming chore (especially when you arrive back at your hotel after a big night out only to realise you have to pack for an early morning departure!). The bonus – more time to enjoy your destination.

More: In Part 2 of this post I’ll look at the different types of cells available and provide tips for buying packing cells.





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Tai Chi with the locals in Bangkok

Apparently, tai chi is all about internal energy flow, but the only energy I’m channelling is nervous energy. How much of a goose (or perhaps that should be crane?) am I making of myself? But I don’t care.

Lumpini Park is a tranquil place to exercise

Lumpini Park is a tranquil place to exercise

I feel enormously privileged to be invited to join a tai chi session in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park by people I don’t know, don’t share a language with and will probably never meet again.

Lumpini Park is a green oasis in the heart of Bangkok. Like New York’s Central Park, it’s a place for exercise, relaxation and recreation. It’s also a great place to escape the heat with its shady trees, artificial lake and trickling fountains.

Lumpini Park offers cool respite from the heat in Bangkok. Photo © Briar Jensen

Lumpini Park offers cool respite in the heart of Bangkok

Every morning the park is filled with people meditating, socialising and exercising – from ballroom dancing to sword fighting.

Exercise comes in various different froms

Exercise comes in various different froms

On an early morning walk from my hotel, the Sofitel So Bangkok, I stop to admire a group of women practising tai chi when, with hand gestures and encouraging smiles, I’m invited to join in.


Sofitel So Bangkok overlooks Lumpini Park

While it looks simple, tai chi takes concentration and control. I lack the fluid movements of the leader as I cross my arms the wrong way and turn in the wrong direction. My ‘White Crane Spreads Wing’ is more ‘Black Bird Dies Slowly’.

tai chi takes place throughout Lumpini Park

Tai chi takes place throughout Lumpini Park

But the grins of appreciation at my clumsy efforts have me brimming with pride. Hmm, the energy flow of pride – that’s probably not quite the tai chi philosophy, but I certainly feel good on the inside. And it’s a lovely way to start the day in Bangkok.

The lovely group that invited me to join them to tai chi

The lovely group that invited me to join them in tai chi

On your travels have you ever spontaneously joined locals exercising in a park? I’d love to hear your stories.

More: The Sofitel So Bangkok overlooks Lumpini Park. The rooms are decorated in four themes: earth, water, wood and metal and the staff wear quirky, vibrant uniforms designed by Christian Lacroix.  Visit

Disclaimer: I travelled to Bangkok as a guest of Accor Hotels. This story first appeared on the Get Up & Go magazine blog.

Posted in Accommodation, Bangkok, Thailand, Travel | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

10 Travel-themed homewares

Just because you are stuck at home, doesn’t mean you can’t dream about travelling. Part of the joy of travel is reminiscing about past adventures and planning new exploits. So surround yourself with travel memorabilia as a reminder of holidays past or to inspire you to ‘get up and go’ on another journey. Here are ten travel-themed homeware suggestions to get you started.

Just go

Just do it

Need a nudge to book the next holiday? You’ll get a daily reminder from this mug as you sip your tea or coffee. As you eat your Tim Tam you can study the world map for inspiration on where to go next. Available at Australian online retailer Annabel Trends.

Miss Melbourne?

Miss Melbourne?

Love Melbourne? Want to go there or have just been? Then mull over the Melway map on this teapot while you have your next cuppa and dream about Melbourne’s bustling laneways, quirky street art and rattling trams.  Available at Australian online retailer Make Me Iconic.

Remember your road trip

Road tripping

Cushions are an easy way to add character and flair to your home, and travel-themed cushions come in so many different styles, from map prints to photographs (watch out for an upcoming post just on cushions). This cushion lists destinations along America’s Route 50. Others in this series include Melbourne tram routes and Sydney bus routes. Available from Melbourne designers Johnson and Waters.

Where in the world

Where in the world

Add some funky art to brighten up your wall. This airport tag canvas wall hanging would add kitsch to a kitchen or sass to a sitting area. Available from US online retailer Airporttag who ships to Australia.



Curl up on the sofa for some much needed rest after your next long haul flight and make sure you’re not disturbed by snuggling up under this cosy blanket that lets everybody know just how you feel. Warm and plush it comes in three sizes from US online retailer Airporttag.

Paris at your feet

Paris at your feet

Walking around Paris has never been easier – just put this floor rug down and away you go – there’s not much chance of getting lost and you don’t have to watch out for doggy doo-doo either. Available from the Australian branch of online retailer Cafe Press.

Shower curtain

Shower inspiration

Be inspired to see the world during your morning shower with inspriational travel quotes printed on your shower curtain. Other designs include colourful airport code tags, black and white US flight board or aeroplane toilet door print. From US online retailer Airporttag.

Sunset drinks

Sunset drinks

Sunset drinks anyone? Be the envy of your friends as you sit down to cocktails on the terrace with these gorgeous deckchairs printed in Australia. Choose from sunset palms or vibrant ocean blues. Look out for their directors chairs which will be added to the range soon. Available from Australian design team Pacific Pillow Co.

scratch wall map

Well travelled

Like to keep a record of where you’ve been (or just show off to your friends how well travelled you are)? Then you’ll love this world map – just scratch off the gold surface to reveal the places you have been. Available from Australian Geographic.

Colourful dreams

Sweet dreams

Go to sleep sleep dreaming about your next holiday destination. There’s a world of designs (pardon the pun) available for pillows and quilts. From colourful paint-splashed world maps to vintage atlas maps, you can choose a design to suit your decor. Available from the Australian branch of online retailer Cafe Press.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these companies and do not receive any remuneration should you choose to purchase from them.

Posted in Travel, Travel Accessories & Gadgets, Travel Gifts, travel-themed homewares | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Postcard of the week – Glorious gum trees

Nature's canvas

Bark beauty

Sometimes nature blows me away with its beauty. Like this magnificent gum tree, whose subtle colours were given a vibrant makeover by summer rain (actually a summer downpour that turned our walking track in a mini riverbed). Rain gives the bush a welcome spring clean, sluicing away the dust and highlighting things you might otherwise miss, like delicate cobwebs strung between branches and abstract patterns on tree trunks. I came across this tree in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on the Cowan to Brooklyn track, part of Sydney’s Great North Walk, which I did last year (read about how you can do it here). I love the gutsy way Australian gum trees tenaciously grip the rocky ground, draping their trunks over sandstone boulders or, like this one, stretching out across rock platforms in search of soil. Parks Week from 5-13 March is an ideal time to get out and admire nature’s beauty in  park near you. See

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