From travelling light to living light

Packing light Coming back from 12 days away over the Christmas-New Year break, I realised that I only used half of what I’d brought along with me – the rest could have stayed at home. I really thought I’d gotten good at packing light. When I travel with others I often get comments about how little luggage I get by on. I’m a bit chuffed … Continue reading From travelling light to living light

Re-entry. Still from the movie Gravity.

367 days after re-entry

Ten years ago, a lady named Debbie asked me if I was studying Spanish because I wanted to be a missionary in South America. At the time it was a seriously long bow to draw – I in fact had no better reason for studying Spanish other than Age of Empires and the Spanish national football team.

Once I started learning the language, I discovered how beautiful it was to the ear, the mind, the tongue. But even then I didn’t have any particular interest in Latin American culture. I had even less interest in becoming a missionary.

Debbie and I are unlikely to cross paths again, but what she said turned out to be rather prophetic. Continue reading 367 days after re-entry

My biography, as told by my booze

A personal atlas of alcohol.

Before you get the wrong impression, this post is not about booze-filled nights from my backpacking days. It’s an anthology of anecdotes and memories, linked by a common theme: alcoholic beverages.

My discovery of different drinks parallels some important memories. These are what I’d like to share with you.

So let me take you from my childhood, all around the world and back home again. In this brief autobiography, I’ll let the alcohol do the talking. Continue reading My biography, as told by my booze

10 Tips For More Meaningful Travel

What’s the difference between a tourist and a traveller? And how can we have more meaningful travel experiences even while traveling for leisure?

Throughout my experiences of being a tourist, exchange student, international intern and expat, I have been reflecting constantly on these questions of identity, foreignness and the assumptions bound up in the practice and concept of travel. Continue reading 10 Tips For More Meaningful Travel

No chocolate fix at Sweet Addiction

Question: What does a $14 million state-of-the-art glasshouse and a $15 entry ticket to the new Sweet Addiction chocolate exhibition get you? Answer: Three cacao pods and two complimentary Lindt balls. Look, I know we’re latitudes away from chocolate’s South American origins, but when three pieces of cacao fruit are all you see in an exhibition pitched at chocolate lovers, you wonder if you’re getting your money’s worth. Unless … Continue reading No chocolate fix at Sweet Addiction

Reflections from the Reef

Dreaming Embedded somewhere in my subconscious is the ultimate Tourism Australia campaign. Sure I also learned how to spell, do long division and love reading, but one curious legacy of my primary schooling is my Photoshopped notion of Australia. They immersed us in ecosystems and conservation, the outback and the bush, dot paintings, wet and dry seasons, beach life and the surf. Despite having spent 75 percent of my life … Continue reading Reflections from the Reef