The South Island

Travel Writer; Storyteller

The South Island

I take a walk alone to reflect on the intense emotions, still running through me: terror, accomplishment, sadness, pride. I’m still overwhelmed by the fact that I made the jump at all when I wander right up to the water’s edge. Sitting by the healing liquid I watch the tide go out. It’s a black pebbled beach backlit by massive snow-capped mountains. The water retreats, pebbles in tow, reminding me of the sound of a snake’s hiss. I hear footfalls over my left shoulder but I do not turn to confirm who it is. I’ve been admittedly cranky on this tour trying—half-heartedly—to handle the younger crowd of backpackers more concerned with who they may hook up with versus the experience of being here. Being the oldest in this group—a first for me—leaves me annoyed at the lack of consideration and the juvenile behaviors displayed by excessively loud post-teenagers masking themselves as young adults. … Continue reading

Aotearoa

Travel Writer; Storyteller

Aotearoa

A mother chases her laughing daughter towards the restroom under an indecisive sun; conveniently tucked halfway behind the clouds then hiding completely. The behavior stirs a sadness in my belly as it grumbles, unsteady with sickness and compounded grief. Here in the land of the Maori, the ancient Polynesian people that sailed to these islands, tribes are matriarchal. A welcomed bit of knowledge about this Polynesian culture and a stark contrast to the more divisive Aboriginal and Fijian communities I’ve encountered in Oceania thus far. This evening brings with it the opportunity to experience the ancient practices of the Maori on sacred land. The story goes that eight different tribes sailed from a mystical island named Hav-ay-kee (not to be mistaken as Hawaii) that sunk forcing them from their home. Seven of the tribes landed on the North Island while the eight and final tribe sailed onward to the South Island. On approach, a long white cloud lay over the North island warranting its Maori name, Aotearoa (ey-oh-tee-ora). … Continue reading

In & Around My Mouth; Australia 

Travel Writer; Storyteller

In & Around My Mouth; Australia 

There are too many stories to repeat regarding the venomous creatures that can take human life in a matter of hours in this parched land. Australia is comprised of seven states on a land mass the size of Europe and boasts legends and wonder aplenty. Traveling to five out of seven of those states provided my taste buds a staggering array of flavors and risqué bites.… Continue reading

Kava & Conversation

Travel Writer; Storyteller

Kava & Conversation

I clamber off the plane like a zombie, fatigued is an understatement. Back in my element, a temperature closer to 32C, landing in Nadi has me in rare form and I’m still pleasant despite my grumpy-ish attitude. I’m greeted by Fijian musicians strumming ukuleles, swaying to the melliferous beat and presented with a shell lei accompanied by a loud BULA-welcome in Fijian. I’ve got two hours to clear customs, baggage claim, register for a local sim and grab some local currency from the ATM before my tour starts; the usual routine.… Continue reading

7 World Wonders, 1 Year, all captured with my i-Phone!!

Travel Writer; Storyteller

7 World Wonders, 1 Year, all captured with my i-Phone!!

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” -John Lennon.

People are often fascinated with the globetrotting I’ve been blessed enough to experience over the last year. My good fortune then, more often than not, leads to one question over and over; how do you afford this? Well, my fellow adventurers and traveling daydreamers, let me counter with a question of my own; if you, yea you, had the time and finances to execute your heart’s desire, would you? Most people would assume the answer would be a resounding YES. The reality, however, is that most people when given the chance to dive headfirst into their dream-even if they were given a parachute or safety net-still wouldn’t jump!… Continue reading

Crikey! (Vol.2)

Travel Writer; Storyteller

Crikey! (Vol.2)

I’ve been loaned an extra sleeping bag in addition to the down baby blanket and an extra pair of sweatpants purchased in the last town. I’ve set myself up for success tonight by taking my sleeping pills along with the fresh mound of spaghetti and bolognese dinner prepared by our rambunctious tour guide, Rachael. The stars tonight are even more breathtaking than last night’s selection having traveled deeper into the open outback along the Oodnadatta trail. Our campsite tonight is in Wills Creek-a whopping population of eight. We’re the only ones at the campsite so everyone is much more lax with their swag spacing and I’ve positioned myself away from the lot of the group with hopes of a quieter experience. Finding the right placement not too lumpy or smack in the middle of an ant trail undoes my intentions and I wind up closer to the group than planned. Sleeping pills in hand I slide into my swag, monster flap open, and stare up at the clear, star-filled sky. I drift into a deep sleep finally contented in nature.
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Crikey! (Vol. 1)

Travel Writer; Storyteller

Crikey! (Vol. 1)

Bark peels like the skin of an onion on the gum trees in Flinders Ranges. Trunks are split dead center or on awkward diagonals; victims of lightning strikes. The Eucalyptus trees stretch up to the sky in strong warrior poses. Charging upward toward the sky as if a firm hand, twisted from the wrist, to cradle the heavens above likes a treasured orb. It’s just me and my music walking the trail, the lot of the group five minutes behind me. Tonight is one of two nights that the group will sleep in swags, thin mattresses in a sleeping bag like a tarp that zip around your body like an envelope. Swag camping cuts off the immediate outdoors from ones skin-save your head-yet leaves plenty of space for one to hear bird calls or the digging of kangaroos scrummaging for food. Laying under the stars I take in the newness of this experience; camping and trekking through what’s known as ‘the red center’, the outback from Adelaide up to Alice Springs.… Continue reading

Mistress of the North

Recommended Travel Writer; Storyteller

Mistress of the North

The pilot announces our descent into Cairns pointing out that the weather has already warmed to a lovely 26 Celsius (74F). Tardy by thirty minutes I’m anxious to exchange my sweater and tennis shoes for my Havianas and a mumu. This flight came with an early wake-up call, but entirely welcomed considering the speed of which I made my exit from my Sydney hostel. The most lackluster hostel experience in all of my hostel experiences, I’m too thrilled to be in the North and in the tropical surroundings of Queensland. Once checked in, I spent the better part of the day balancing working, reorganizing and relaxing in the sun. All things considered, I decided to grab a quick bite and wonder the park side of the Esplanade to take in the swampy view before turning in early; travel days exhaust me.
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