Charmed by travel and food made with love
Thanks to my British passport I lived in London for 8 massive years in my twenties. One of my favourite jobs in good ol’ London town was my stint as Tour Manager for a shoe-string travel company. I was that girl at the front of the bus with a microphone in my hand… I had such ridiculous fun taking bus-loads of Kiwi and Aussie backpackers on holiday – on buses that broke down every other day – across the UK and Europe. So many memories… like that time it rained so hard and it leaked INSIDE THE BUS – but my happy passengers just put up umbrellas… and kept on drinking.
I’ve travelled to 30 countries, and loved them all….
…New Caledonia, England, Ireland, Poland, Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Wales, Scotland, Switzerland, Belgium, United States, Canada, Australia, Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Indonesia, Tahiti, Tonga, New Zealand, Morocco, Panama, Papua New Guinea and the incredible Galapagos Islands.
Many, many wonderful adventures, here are a couple that come to mind:
- A week-long surf camp after 2 weeks travelling through Morocco – a chameleon lived in the potplant on the open air rooftop, he was bright green and very gnarly
- Watched the running of the bulls in Spain (not the done thing in these more aware times)
- Oktoberfest in Munich – six times! (that’s a lot of beer)
- Sailed for 3 months on a 50-foot yacht – crossing the Pacific Ocean is one of the best (and bravest) things I’ve ever done
- Hiked the challenging Kokoda Track through the jungles of Papua New Guinea – my knees hurt quite a bit
- Spent a joyous 2 months living in Ubud in Bali, I didn’t eat, pray, love – but I did eat, travel, yoga
- Partied at the Isle of White Music Festival – back when Prodigy were rockin it
- Watched women jousting on horseback at the Abbey Medieval Festival – girls CAN do anything
- Kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland – wish I could say I have the gift of the gab now, but alas no
- Visited Auschwitz concentration camp. No words. Humans are horrific.
- Went heli hiking on Fox Glacier in New Zealand – our guide went the wrong way and the weather was closing in, high excitement for a few minutes there
- Flew with a bunch of gals from London to New York for a hen’s party weekend – yeah we did
Right now I have my feet firmly planted in Australia, and I’m having fun exploring this massive, spectacular country… I’ve seen quite a lot here too – including Lady Elliot Island, Fraser Island, Kangaroo Island, Magnetic Island, Rottnest Island, Tasmania, the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu and the Flinders Ranges. I sailed up the coast from Brisbane to Cairns for a month, and I spent 3 months travelling across the country in my van, driving the infamous Nullarbor solo – the longest straightest road in the world.
A proud Kiwi
My treasured greenstone necklace has been recognised around the world and is a great conversation starter among fellow travellers. Us Kiwis are known for our wanderlust – New Zealand is so far from everywhere.
I’m rather partial to gin
Back in my uni days, I spent a summer sipping G&Ts, then gin fell off my radar. But a few years ago I tasted a gin from Applewood Distillery in the Adelaide Hills. It blew my socks off. With 26 botanicals it hit my palate with a refreshing boom… a delicious mouth-party that sparked so much joy. Since that moment, I’ve been on a quest to find a better gin (as I’m royally convinced there could be none better). I’ve tasted many gins but so far nothing has compared… though I’m having fun searching! In the meantime I’ve appointed myself unofficial Ambassador for Applewood gin (even pouring some for the girls working at a rival distillery).
In my early twenties I was a backpacker, hitchhiking up the east coast of Australia from Brisbane to Townsville with my boyfriend at the time. I crossed the ditch with just $400 to my name. We lived on 2-minute noodles, porridge, and damper and jam, splashing out on a cooked chicken now and then. We slept in our tent and picked tomatoes for cash.
After uni I worked in a video store to save for my one-way ticket to London – my big OE (overseas excursion) was always part of the plan. I remember buying my first backpack – blue and black canvas. It was stuffed so full when I left for London that I could barely lift it off the ground.
Memorable foodie moments
- Graduating from Vodka university in London, hosted by 42 Below
- Enjoying food by 6 top chefs (including Matt Stone and Jo Barrett) while exploring Richard Branson’s privately owned Makepeace Island in Noosa (Justin Beiber stayed there)
- Sipping the best Sangria I’ve ever had in a little place in the hills near San Sebastian in Spain
- Tasting Kopi Luwak coffee in Bali, the most expensive coffee in the world
- Eggnog made from scratch in front of me, one cold winter’s night in Palm Beach
- Mint tea and a sheesha on a rooftop in Egypt
- Eating oysters fresh from the water on the edge of an oyster farm in Coffin Bay, South Australia
Eat Well & Travel Often my friend
ps. In my newsletter I share more personal musings. Now and then I run events for ladies who like to wine and dine, I’d love you to join me!