Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Marriage hurting? Try the Bali Band-Aid.

Six days in Bali proved to be a marriage saver. Or at least a Band-Aid.

bottle

Happy 10th Anniversary

When Mr M suggested we go to Bali for our 10th wedding anniversary, I knew it was not only to celebrate the milestone but an attempt to fix what was becoming severely broken.

So, focussing on the solution, we travelled on our anniversary.

It’s such a short flight from Perth and low season in Bali, we were at the Dynasty Resort in Kuta by 3pm.

Drinking fizz

Drinking fizz

We chose the Dynasty because of its kids club but Master T only spent 2 evenings there for the dinner/movie nights. He loved it and we loved the kid-free time.

bali 2

just the 2 of us

The first night, we had  quiet cocktails at the rooftop lounge, H2O before heading out on the streets of Kuta in search of a cheap massage.

And boy oh boy, there are plenty to choose from!! With every step you are inundated with brochures.

“Massage, you want massage?”

“Come. You get massage”

“I give you massage. Cheap.”

Personally, I don’t like their selling techniques.

Being dragged down an alley to be shown their less than pristine salon is a bit much. Mr M nearly had to take down a woman when she refused to let go of his wrist. He was alone when that happened. On our trip out that evening we didn’t have any problems.

Thankfully, he had already chosen a place so we passed all the beggars and went straight to M&M day spa.

It wasn’t flash but what can you expect for a 1-hour Balinese massage for $5?  Seriously, $5! We had side-by-side beds too so there was no happy ending for Mr M!! Though, I’m not sure this is practised in Bali anyway.

On the way back to the hotel, we grabbed some Indian take-away and ate it in the room.

I slept through the night that night – the first time in weeks!!

On our second date night, I treated us both to a flash massage at the resort spa, Ashoka.

spa

A spa more to my liking

Ashoka is more my speed. I’m not a snob but I like a clean, quiet, softly lit place to be pampered.

We each had our own rooms because we had different treatments. I chose the Ayurveda Shirodara.

The 90-minute back and head massage was blissful. Sounds of soft music and a babbling brook (that was actually a water feature)  lulled me to a semi-conscious state as the masseuse carefully worked her magic hands around my back.

The big reason I booked this treatment was for the hot oil part. It’s big in Ayurveda and though I have had many Ayurveda massages in the past, I had never experienced hot oil poured over my third eye.

I’m not sure if I liked it or not, to  be honest. Sometimes the oil was too hot and I had to tell her. Of course, the oil drizzles down your forehead and into your hair so a thorough head massage and conditioner treatment followed.

It was all very lovely and worth the extra $35 or so (still a bargain!!). Especially since I took advantage of the 6-9pm 20% discount!!

Afterwards, Mr M and I met in the reception area for a delicious ginger and lime drink, a great way to prime the tummy for dinner.

We ate dinner in the resort restaurant where we had had our family dinners. Really, it was better than the food we had outside the resort and better prices too!!!

Date night ended at 9pm when Master T was picked up from his movie night.

Even though we only had 2 evenings “alone” the time we spent together as a couple was great and much needed. But our family time was also great and even when we weren’t actively doing “stuff” we were still all having a good time.

While Master T made friends around the pool, we lazed on the lounge chairs or sat on the underwater stools at the swim-up bar while indulging in the twice daily happy hour. I just love having a cocktail at noon! And why not?

We didn’t need to be anywhere, do anything or argue about anything on that trip. There was no stress. Period.

Clouds over sunset

Clouds over Kuta

With my primary position of stay-at-home mother/wife reinstated (and accepted), I’m hoping the stress-free feelings stay.

If not, we may need another Bali Band-Aid.


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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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When it comes to food, health and looking fantastic, can one really have it all?

warning

This post contains graphics photos that may disturb some.

 

Now, I realise that “looking fantastic” will vary from person to person. MY version of looking fantastic is wearing a bikini without having to suck in a flabby belly.

I’m back on a “health kick” as I like to call it. From October 1-Nov 2 inclusive, I am forgoing alcohol, watching what I eat (no dairy or wheat) and working out daily. I’m on day 3 and so far so good.

I’m not being ridiculous with my diet. Sure, I’ve given up booze and have committed to stay that way until November 3rd but the dairy and wheat are optional. So far, I have not wanted them and the longer I can go without, the better, but if a pasta night comes my way I may partake. The thing with wheat is: it’s addictive. For me, it truly is.

I know I will not give up total food groups for good. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. What does work for me is what I am doing. And yes, I am specifically doing it to get my body ready for summer and my holiday to Bali in exactly one month. Is this shallow? Vain? Immature? Options will vary.

Last week, I bought myself a new bikini and a pair of apricot short shorts. They should be called extreme shorts because they are extremely short. I even thought, ‘Am I too old to be wearing these clothes now?’.

I know I do not look 42 and when I tone up my belly, I will be able to get away with wearing extreme shorts and a bikini top as daywear but I remember my own mother being much older wearing similar styles and  I was embarrassed to be seen in public with her. Now, as an adult, I must say my mother didn’t look too bad at 50, especially considering she had had 7 children.

When I was a child and teenager, I wasn’t into food. I was skinny and didn’t like to eat. I never gained an ounce until I was 18 and working at Dairy Queen. Then I made up for all whole life by gaining 20 lbs in two months. My relationship with food and alcohol has bounced frantically over the years and now I want it all. I want to have my cake, eat it, and wash it down with a beer whilst lying on the beach in a skimpy two-piece. I hate the fact that my body is changing. My belly takes all the excess baggage and I am not one who will prance around with a muffin top.

I’m sure once my November holiday is over, I will be back on the kick – until Christmas that is. Then in January I will join the millions of people around the world who think things will change because a new year means a new year. What a bunch of bullshit.

Here are my before photos just to shame myself into completing my daily fitness!!

Oct 1 before side

Oct 1 BEFORE

Oct 1 before

Oct 1 Front BEFORE – Could I look more grumpy?

Do you do anything special to get your body ready for summer or a beach holiday? 

Stay tuned for my next post about: Spicy Lentil Soup


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Delicious food and cosy atmosphere in Geraldton

salt dish service

Looking for lunch in Geraldton? Look no further than Salt Dish Cafe. 35 Marine Terrace

When I went to Geraldton last week, I treated myself to lunch. This was only my second visit to the midwest city but I knew I wanted to try something new; something authenetic and real. Sure Dome is okay but it’s a chain restaurant and everything feels and tastes mass-produced.

As I meandered up and down Marine Terrace, I finally found myself nearing the northern end. Dome was in sight and I was beginning to picture myself sitting at a window seat over looking the turquoise water. But then, I passed a few sidewalk tables and a funky old bike that was wearing a colourful knitted jumper. It certainly got my attention.

There was an art gallery next door so I stopped there to read the notices staring at me from the large windows. I stole glances of the cafe to my right. It was called Salt Dish Cafe and it whispered my name.

I entered the cafe. There were several wooden tables full up with happy looking customers. I spied an available 2-seater beside the open kitchen and asked the waitress if I could sit. A quick glance of the one page menu and my chioce was made.

I ordered the fried spiced squid with green papaya salad and a decaf flat white (like a latte with less foam) then I asked where the toilets were. Yes, in Australia and New Zealand, we say toilet not washroom or bathroom. I grew up in Canada where this term is considered a bit vulgar. Or is it just within my family? Possibly.

I was directed to follow the tiny aisle between the open kitchen and the barister station. This led me through a small dish cleaning area then through to a quaint and dining area. There was a table of two ladies finishing their lunch but the other tables were free. I had a plan.

I went through the door labelled “Toilets” (there’s that word again) which eventually took me to a large backyard with a few more table sitting in the open sun. It wasn’t exactly a pretty setting but nonetheless, it was outdoors and amongst nature.  I stuck with my plan to scoop up the available retro red 2-seater coach.

salt dish seating

My spot

To my delight, it was still empty when I gathered my things from table #1 and relocated to the cosy room that looked like it had been untouched since 1958. My coffee arrived and the waitress set it on the coffee table in front of me.

salt dish retro cabinet

decor circa 1950s

 

The ladies at the other table prepared to pay the bill.

“I’ll get this one,” said lady #1.

“Oh, is it your turn?” asked lady #2

When they left, another lady quickly appeared and settled in to that corner table with the red bench. She ordered a piece of cake and said she was waiting for friends. One arrived soon after.

Another couple of women friends arrived with a small boy and sat at the table next to me. It was clear that this was the place for “ladies who lunch”.

My gluten-free meal arrived. It was a beautiful sight. The squid was lightly battered and delicately spiced. Not spicy at all. The salad consisted of gorgeous long curls of green papaya, vibrant carrot,  spring onions and thick pieces of sauteed celery that still had a bit of crunch and topped with bright red slivers of chilli. Not only did it taste great, it looked stunning.

salt dish meal

Delish.

I’m a self-professed coffee snob so I can’t rate the coffee highly. It was a bit too milky for my liking but this is my most common complaint. Coffee in Australia is bloody expensive so to have to ask for a double shot (and then pay extra) is something I do not often do. I simple cannot find a better coffee than that from my own espresso machine at Cafe Morton.  But nice try Salt Dish. It wasn’t terrible. Maybe next time I’ll try the tea!

salt dish tea

I love a blackboard menu

When I first arrived, I couldn’t help but notice the dessert display near the coffee station. After my meal, I toddled back there to have a look. A friendly server pointed out all of the options but I knew straight away what I wanted: Pecan Pie.

As a Canadian living in the South Pacific, I feel there are not near enough sweet pies on offer. If you tell someone you’d like a piece of pie, you are going to get something with meat, cheese and gravy in it.

The pie came served cold with a dab of thick cream on the side. The crust was sweet and more like biscuit than traditional pastry. It was simply delicious. The pie filling was exactly how I expected: gooey but firm in the centre and oodles of pecans laid on top. I  found out later that the crust was gluten-free. I would never have known. It was yummy yum yum.

salt dish pie

Gluten-free pecan pie. OMG

The only downside to the whole experience was the buzzing of the flies. I was in shoo mode most of my mealtime. In Western Australia, it’s something that is hard to escape though.

Overall, I loved Salt Dish and when I go back to Geraldton, I will definitely be stopping in again. You should too!

How often do you treat yourself to lunch in a nice restaurant or cafe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Dreaming of Dubai

dubai

Next stop: Dubai

I love to travel. Always have, always will.

I have wanted to go to Dubai for a few years now. I have yet to get the stamp in my passport.

a dubai

How cool is this?

This week, Masterchef took the contestants to Dubai which re-fueled my desire. I was giddy and goofy for two nights watching the TV food contest. My two loves in one show: food and travel.

George and Matt in DUBAI!!!

I do believe a trip to Dubai is in my nearish future. You see, I have friends moving there in a few weeks!! YES, it’s true and you know who you are! Did I ever tell you how good looking you both are?

Of course, when you have friends in a foreign country, it is certainly the best time to visit. I hope you guys will have a spare room in your castle (I imagine everyone in Dubai lives in a castle, even skydiving staff!!). Please do not crush my dreams.

Not only is Dubai rich, hot and stunning to look at, it offers my favourite food. I’m making falafel and hummus for dinner tonight to ease my future thinking fuelled anxiety.

So, as I sit here rugged up in my Kathmandu hoodie with the wind howling outside, I dream of Dubai. I dream of gold and riches. Camels and sand. Giant aquariums and water-slides. Souks and spices. Amusement parks and wind tunnels. Hummus and kebabs. And that fancy ass hotel, you know, the big one!!

Atlantis

Call me here.

Where are you dreaming of visiting?


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Best place to celebrate Canada Day

Happy Canada Day

Last year I was lucky enough to spend Canada Day in the country’s capital, Ottawa. As you’d expect, the party was long and loud. It was my first time ever in the city so I felt like Tommy Tourist a bit, but really didn’t do much. Just being there is enough. My main reason was to visit my niece and to see the fireworks on Capital Hill. I did both.

We went downtown in late afternoon, well passed the party start time. The streets were a mess of patrons in red and white. It was a dream come true for me and words (and time right now) fail me so I’ll let my photos say it all.

CD 1 CD2 CD3 CD4 CD5

Happy Canada Day to Canadians all around the world!!!


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What I know about women – Friendships

partner in wine

Women + wine…what more can I say? (I’m on the other side of the lens but that’s my glass)

It’s International Women’s Day and Sarah Wayland over at thatspaceinbetween has invited me to another link-up post about being a  woman…or what I know about women. Thank you Sarah.

Up there is a picture of my best friend, Gillian. I’m not sure I can write anything meaningful about being a woman but I can write something about my  friendships with women. The following was sent to me by Gillian…I didn’t need this evidence from Stanford University but it’s an interesting read.

In an evening class at Stanford University the last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious. Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps is to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of wellbeing. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged? Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking! So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health. Forward this to all your girlfriends to stay in touch, just like I just did! Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved.

I left Canada just over 13 years ago and honestly, I have made very few bonding friendships since. Last May, I returned “home” to visit family and friends and I was surprised how some of my old friendships stayed in tack. Sure, we stay connected through emails, Facebook and Christmas cards but it was in their presence that I felt like there had been no space, time or distance between us.

Let me tell you about each fabulous friendship.

 

Gillian 

J and G Halifax

Gillian and I in Halifax 2012 (yes, that’s fog)

Gillian and I have known each other since grade eight or so, which means 14/15 years old. We ran in the same circle of friends but we were not close at school. It was not until 1991 or so that we crossed paths with the thanks to a mutual friend. I ended up moving in to a 4 bedroom flat that Gillian lived in and we became roommates. She was a university student and I was a chambermaid; our social circles didn’t mix. But we shared interests and a true friendship formed. When I moved out west in 1993 we keep in touch via phone and letters.

I returned east after a break-up at Christmas 1995 and stayed in our old flat for 3 months before reuniting with my boyfriend and moving back in April 1996. Gillian also went through a break-up and moved west just before my return. We now lived closer but  still too far for coffee catch-ups. But soon enough even that would change.

In 1997 when my relationship was deemed unrepairable, I moved further west and closer to Gillian. We now saw each other regularly and eventually got a flat together. It was during this time, a time of many ups and downs in both of our lives that a lifelong friendship was sealed, though I didn’t realise it then.

We’ve watched each  laugh & cry, triumph and fail even at distances of damn near 20,000kms. When I went back to Nova Scotia (our home province where Gillian returned to in 2005) last May I really didn’t think we were that close anymore. Surely, we had moved on. There was so much time and distance between us that I thought maybe we’d be different. We weren’t. It was as if I had seen her the week before. We just picked up where we left off. This is what confirmed our lasting bond.

We are now planning to meet up in Bali for a “girls only” holiday. I cannot wait.

Lori

Lori_me

Me and Lori in her home 2012

I met Lori in 1987 when I had run away from home. I was 16 years old and on the run with a much older man (I’ll use the term loosely). We lived above Lori and her then husband and 2 young boys. I remember one of the very first things Lori said to me. It was, “Are you pregnant?”

She just couldn’t understand why I was with that man and figured it must be because he had knocked me up. I was in a strange city with a strange man and in a very strange relationship. I was very far from home and had no one. Lori became my confidant, friend and saviour.

During the worst times, she suggested I get on a bus or train and go home. She even offered to pay my way even though she didn’t have any money. She was living in a mess of her own but yet she still powered on to try to keep me from being hurt and abused. It was only recently that I learnt that she was in the same situation as I was…she just hid it a lot better than I did.

I eventually returned home with the help of the “man”. Unfortunately that story didn’t end there but more happily,  either did my friendship with Lori.

We kept in touch and when I was eventually on my own and working, I saved up to return to that big city for a holiday..more than once. She and her family even visited me in Nova Scotia a couple of times. It’s funny how meeting a certain someone can influence our own lives and change our path. Lori eventually separated from her husband and moved to Prince Edward Island (a province near Nova Scotia)….I like to think I influenced that positive change.

I had never been to the island (PEI) and with Lori living there, I knew it was time to go. We had not seen each other in 19 years!!!!

19 years! But again, it was like little time had gone by. She was the same: talkative, funny, shocking, friendly and caring. We’ve both come so far from those hardships of 1987. I know that PEI must be added to every Canadian itinerary even if another 19 years passes before I get there.

Yui

Yui and me 2012

Me and Yui in beautiful BC 2012

 

I was living in the Banff YHA (hostel) in 1993 when I met Yui. We shared a room. I was living there because I was down & out, she was there as a traveller who was keen to stay. I had an interest in Japan and wanted to learn the langauge. She was a good teacher and that was the start of our long friendship.

Yui played an important part to my  life path in 1993.

One day, Yui came “home” and said she found a french couple who were looking to reduce the rent of their studio apartment. I was keen to leave the hostel and reduce my living expenses too. So, Yui and I moved in with the frenchies….4 of us in a one room apartment. It was short-lived because it just-so-happened that a very good-looking bloke I had been introduced to 2 months prior lived right across the hall and we hooked up quite rapidly.

I moved in with D and Yui stayed with the couple for a while. Over the next couple years, Yui came and went from Banff but it was home for both of us for a long time. On one of her returns, she even lived with D & I for a month with her boyfriend from Japan.

The thing I love about Yui is her bluntness. She says things like they are whether it’s hurtful or not. She doesn’t filter. And I can say that I love it now, but there have been times when I hated it. There have been times when I snapped at her but she always lets it roll off her. That’s inspiring.

My very last white Christmas was spent with Yui in Banff in 2000. She opened her home to me to stay with her over the holidays and it was a memorable time. We cooked together, partied together and she taught me how to snowboard. Yui is a very active woman and I know when I visit her, we will be out amongst nature.

So when I stayed with her in her new home in Revelstoke, BC I was geared up for 5 days of outdoor exploring: hiking, rock climbing, kayaking.

Yui is a fabulous cook too. She always makes me sushi and we often hang out in the kitchen.

Again, spending 5 days with her was easy, fun, active and like old times. I’m hoping she will visit me in Australia next…it’s your turn Yui.

 

So ladies, Happy International Women’s Day!! I salute you! 

 


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What’s going in my mouth!

Last week, I skipped my post but let me assure you, I have been eating! I was in Sydney last week and Fremantle the week before, so you will notice some not-so-healthy but delicious items in the photo log.

I have also reintroduced some complex carbs like, brown rice and rye crackers on occasion. And I am sure I’m consuming too many simple carbs. So many things to figure out……who’s to know what’s the best path to health.

Anyway, it’s been a yummy fortnight!

feb 11 cider

A trip to Fremantle is not complete without a stop at the Little Creatures Brewery. I chose the cider over beer…a decision that may have turned me off beer!! It was so delish!

Feb 11 date rolls

I love these fresh date rolls…great snack.

Feb 11 frozen yoghurt

SYDNEY – Frozen yogurt from Yogurberry on George Street

Feb 11_BF cake

SYDNEY – A pure indulgence – it was yum and I’m so glad I didn’t want more.

Feb 11 great coffee

SYDNEY – decaf, soy flatwhite…this one was the best and at the airport even!!

Feb 11 Thai food

SYDNEY – Thai food (forget name of dish). It was yummy and not at all spicy. This was my re-intro back to complex carbs – I was so full!

Feb 11 wine

Wine and OJ…refreshing

Feb 11 brown salad

Brown and wild rice salad with greens beans, corn and kale

Feb 11 cake

Homemade lemon polenta cake with berry sorbet…a gluten-free treat

Looking at these photos, it looks like I’ve been on a binge!!! I did eat healthy food too…..sometimes ya just gotta give in to temptation!!


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My Top 100 travel wishes

I’ve been lucky enough to travel lots! I was even fortunate enough to work as a photographer on a cruise ship so I have heaps of cool travel pics to share. If anyone is considering such employment, do it. I only lasted 6 months (1 contract) but that  was by my choice and because I got married.

So, not only will I share my entire top 100 travel wishes, I will share some of the travel that I have been fortunate to undertake. Enjoy. I hope it inspires someone, somewhere to dream large and then make the dreams reality.

singapore at night

Me in Singapore 2010

me snowboarding

Rippin’ it up at Big White, Canada 2009

church of the spilled blood

In St Petersburg – that’s the Church on the Spilled Blood in the background!! 2003

snow fun

Us having fun in the snow at Big White 2009.

Top 100 Travel Wishes and Dreams (in no particular order)

  1. Walk the Great Wall of China

  2. Buy a pair of Manola Blahniks in New York City (oh so Carrie Bradshaw)

  3. See a Broadway play in NYC

  4. Spend a weekend in a log cabin in the wilds of Canada

  5. Have a snowy winter wonderland Christmas

  6. Learn to cook a Vietnamese meal in Hanoi

  7. Work on my tan in the Cook Islands

  8. Do the hula in Hawaii

  9. Scream on a rollercoaster at an American amusement park with my boys

  10. Attend a writing course at Australian Writers’ Centre in Sydney

  11. Take Jo Tracey out for dinner in Sydney

  12. Meet my friend Gillian in Bali for a girls week away

  13. Spend a snowboarding holiday in Banff, Canada with my boys

  14. Cruise to Alaska from Vancouver

  15. Drink apple tea in Turkey

  16. Have a smoke and a pancake in Amsterdam

  17. Visit the Angkor temples

  18. Shop at the Angkor night market in Siem Reap

  19. Meet Leigh Redhead in Hanoi

  20. Dine on street food in Hanoi

  21. Drink a Guinness beer in Ireland

  22. Tour a winery in Margaret River

  23. Stay at an ashram in India

  24. Float on a junk in Hong Kong

  25. Practise yoga at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh, India

  26. Fly my body at iFly Singapore

  27. Play for a day at Universal Studios Singapore

  28. Stay at the funky QT Hotel in Sydney

  29. Puff a cigar in Havana, Cuba

  30. Get high in Malaysia by spending a day or two at Genting

  31. Meditate in Nepal

  32. Have an espresso and tiramasu in Italy

  33. Splash and laugh at Adventure World Perth

  34. Take the Sea to Sky Climb train ride to Whistler (from Vancouver)

  35. Ride the rails aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver to Jasper

  36. Same as above but to Calgary via Lake Louise and Banff

  37. Spend a day at Vida Wellness Spa in Whistler

  38. Eat chocolate eclairs in Paris (worth the trip just for this)

  39. Retreat at Gaia Spa near Byron Bay

  40. Temple hop in Sri Lanka

  41. Stay at a resort in Langkawi

  42. Have a fondue in Switzerland

  43. Chill out at a fab apres ski bar anywhere in Europe

  44. Sunbathe topless in Nice

  45. Soak up the atmosphere at Bondi Beach (i’ve been several times and need more of it!)

  46. See what Manly Beach looks like…funnily enough, I’ve never been!!

  47. Attend a writing/yoga retreat in Byron Bay with Sarah Armstrong and Alan Close

  48. Ride a camel along Cable Beach, WA

  49. Attend The Taste Festival in Hobart

  50. Rise above it all at the Canberra Festival in a hot air balloon

  51. New Year’s Eve in Sydney for fireworks!

  52. Be colourful at the Holi festival in India

  53. Visit Siena, Italy during the Palio

  54. Eat pizza in Naples, Italy (I’ve done this before and OMG…the best pizza evah)

  55. Learn Italian in Italy

  56. Go to Milan during Fashion Week (I know nothing of fashion but it’s so Carrie Bradshaw that I must do it someday)

  57. Keeping with the Carrie theme……drink a Cosmopolitan & a Manhattan in…you guessed it, Manhattan

  58. Learn to dance like they did in the 1700s in Venice so I can……

  59. Attend a fab party during Carnival

  60. Explore the mysteries of Luxor, Egypt

  61. Spend a weekend in San Francisco

  62. See the Yukon, Canada

  63. Watch bull-riding at the Calgary Stampede

  64. Photograph the Grand Canyon, USA

  65. Tour the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica

  66. Climb the Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

  67. Swim at Shark Bay, WA

  68. Swim with dolphins at Monkey Mia,WA

  69. Take Master T trick or treating (a proper Halloween) in North America

  70. Eat falafel and hummus in Jordan

  71. Learn to belly dance in Egypt

  72. Drive a snowmobile in Canada (no, I’ve never done this…shocking, I know)

  73. Gorge on tacos, quesadillas and tequila in Mexico

  74. Rent a whitewashed, seaside house in Greece

  75. Never be hungry in Hungary

  76. Go back to Oman

  77. Arrive to Tofino, British Columbia (Canada) by seaplane

  78. Rent Tigh-na Clayoquot Vacation House in Tofino BC for a week with friends (Gillian, this has your name all over it!!)

  79. Go to the Australian Open (Tennis) in Melbourne

  80. See a quokka on Rottnest Island, WA

  81. Spend a night in an igloo

  82. See gorillas in the wild in Rwanda

  83. Ride an elephant in Thailand

  84. Snowboard in Japan

  85. Be amazed at Cirque de Soleil (anywhere will do)

  86. Take a learn to surf course in Hawaii (just for fun…I don’t want to surf)

  87. Visit Sydney with my sister, Christine!!

  88. See penguins on Penguin Island, WA

  89. Writing course in Paris

  90. Attend the Healthivate health bloggers conference in Sydney (aim for 2014)

  91. Spend a month or more just “being” in Thailand

  92. Spend the night on Halong Bay, Vietnam

  93. Walk the Milford Track (NZ)

  94. Walk along the Bay of Fires beach in Tasmania

  95. Walk the Inca Trail, Peru

  96. Return to Morocco

  97. Teach English in Southeast Asia (someday)

  98. Spend a month alone writing in Bali

  99. See a moose on Cape Breton Island (Canada)

  100. Travel around Australia on a promo tour as a published author!!

 I’m quite happy to say that some of the list has already been accomplished!!! Yip yip!!

Here’s a glimpse of the world through my lens.

corsica cottage

Cottage by the sea…Corsica 2004

casablanca

A Mosque in Casablanca 2004

portifino

Portofino, Italy….I love love love this one!

Even if not watermarked all photos  are © Jennifer Morton Photos

Dream BIG and live LARGE


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

And what a lovely Wednesday it is. I’m being sarcastic. Below will be my final 14 entries of my top 100 travel wishes. Before I go there, I must admit that I have a love/hate relationship with travel.

Yesterday, I returned home from a whirlwind trip to Sydney. I spent 4 nights away – one night was on the plane from Perth. What was I thinking? I do not sleep well on planes, trains, cars….ANY transportation so I’m not sure why I thought I could travel overnight from coast to coast and then spend the day at a writing course – without sleep!

I’m pleading optimism.

I was certain  the flight would not be full and I would have the entire left hand side of row 29 to myself. Ha!! Didn’t happen. But I made it through day 1 and then went to see Silver Linings Playbook in the evening (I liked it, btw). My mind was telling me that I was fine, ‘it’s all good, you can do it all’, I said. But my body protested.

The next day, I woke up with a sore throat. It wasn’t too bad and again, I pushed on. I walked from Central Station to Milsons Point in North Sydney, home of the Australian Writers’ Centre for day 2 of the writing course. I stopped off to get throat lozenges and cold relief first. At least I slept well the night before and I actually felt better on day 2 even though I knew a virus was attacking me.

Fast forward to arriving back in Perth at 9am yesterday. I was sore from the waist down. It was painful to walk but I had no choice. I had to get from A to B and carry my own bags. By the time I actually got home (3 hours north of Perth!), unpacked and took a shower I couldn’t stay upright anymore. I was in bed by 5pm and stayed there until this morning. My throat is red and puffy now. I have a doctor’s appointment at 11am today. I detest anti-biotics but I also hate pain, especially when it prevents me from eating!

There is a lesson in this. I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.

It’s kinda a lie to say dreaming of travel is working for me this Wednesday but ultimately it will always be my #1 thing to do…dream and the actual doing!!

  1. Show my sister, Christine Sydney and other parts of Oz!!

  2. See penguins on Penguin Island, WA

  3. Writing course in Paris

  4. Attend the Healthivate health bloggers conference in Sydney (aim for 2014)

  5. Spend a month or more just “being” in Thailand

  6. Spend the night on Halong Bay, Vietnam

  7. Walk the Milford Track (NZ)

  8. Walk along the Bay of Fires beach in Tasmania

  9. Walk the Inca Trail, Peru

  10. Return to Morocco

  11. Teach English in Southeast Asia (someday)

  12. Spend a month alone writing in Bali

  13. See a moose on Cape Breton Island (Canada)

  14. Travel around Australia on a promo tour as a published author!! 

And there it is!!! I’m sure there could be many many more entries.

I will post the entire 100 in another post!

Have you made your top travel wishes or a “bucket” list? Feel free to share!