Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


Let’s talk about…living.

reflect life


Take a moment and think about your life.

Is it all you ever dreamed of?

Do you wake up each morning excited to get out of bed because you have something really awesome to do?

Are you living your dreams and passions?

Now, let’s talk about death.

Death is a scary word. It’s a scary topic. It’s something many people don’t want to acknowledge will ever happen to them or someone they love.

The truth is, we are all going to die. Yes, even you.

In the wake of another friend’s death, the topic, for me, is hard to escape. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dwell on it.

It’s a reality. It’s the opposite of birth.

If you’re born, you will die. It’s a harsh but simple fact.

But what happens in between in the important part.

Even though I have my moments of “insanity”, I know I am lucky to be where I am today.

Thirteen years (exactly April 1st), I met someone who changed my entire existence and introduced me to a new world.

Through him, I have met some truly amazing people –  lovers of life.

People who don’t live dull, 9-5 rat race types of lives.

People who are brave, optimistic, generous, caring and full of excitement for life.

People who travel the world seeking beauty, opportunity and FUN.

People who face their fears head on.

People who are keen to look within and strive to be the best they can be.

It’s a relatively small, close-knit community of (mostly)  like-minded souls.

Some people outside of the community label them as death seekers and say stuff like, ” they must have a death wish”.

But it’s the complete opposite.

It’s more of a life wish.

Dan Vicary was living a large, excitement-filled life when he was tragically killed in a wing-suit accident on March 29th.

Ludo Woerth, an experienced wing-suit flyer was killed in the same accident and Brian Drake remains in critical condition.

All of these men were highly esteemed leaders in the  skydiving/BASEjumping communities.

And of course, everyone is in deep mourning.

Dan Vicary hand copy

Dan Vicary , one cool kiwi

But let’s not dwell on death. There’s some important things to be learned here.

I thought of Dan as a bit of a rock star. But, there was more to him than just good looks and cool vibes.

He had drive, passion, optimism, tenacity and a love for life. Qualities that many skydivers and BASEjumpers share.

It’s stuff I wish I had. It’s what I keep searching for.

When I was skydiving, I never felt a strong pull to keep doing it but over the past year, I have been contemplating jumping again. It’s something I can’t say “never again” to.

I’m coming to realise that writing is not enough. It’s not bringing the thrills, butterflies or fervour that I’m seeking.

I want a thrilling, fun time; a life that means something to me.

Isn’t that what we all want? An existence that is satisfying, purposeful and makes us happy?

Why is it so hard for so many people (including myself) to figure this out?

I’ll always remember Dan for his grooviness and achievements in BASEjumping. Man, he had some big dreams and he lived them. And that is very inspiring to me.

Next time you read about the death of an extreme sportsman, don’t shake your head and think, “what a waste”. Think about the crazy fun and bravado that person had for going for it and making the most of their time on this earth.

awesome skydive


Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you need to jump from an aeroplane or cliff to get the most out of life. I just encourage everyone (including myself) to figure out what your passions are and then go after them. 









I’ve decided to say good-bye

sunset good bye


Good-bye doesn’t have to be forever.

But today, I’m saying good-bye to my expectations.

Expectations are creating drama and disharmony in my life.

Expectations that are set way too high and are a bit unrealistic.

Many people may argue that your goals, dreams and expectations have to be set high in order for you to strive to achieve them. I disagree.

The past few weeks have been challenging and I’ve realised that I can’t have it all.

I can’t be an attentive mother and wife AND a hard-working writer/photographer.

I can’t sit  in front of my computer 24/7 chasing the next publication and pay cheque AND be happy about doing laundry and making dinner for my family.

Maybe some people can get the balance right but after 3 years of ups and downs, I decided I can’t do it.

Therefore, I have to say good-bye to either my family or trying to skyrocket my career.

I have had a few moments lately where that decision was hard to make.

I thought my boys would be better off without me. I considered myself too selfish to give up some of my dreams (for now).

I thought I didn’t want to give up a career that had taken me until age 38 to say yes to.

I didn’t want to have regrets or resentment toward them for giving up my writing dreams. But, I already had resentments so what would be the difference?

And it’s a horrible place to be: regret and resentment.

But the choice was clear pretty fast.

I made a list of want I actually wanted and what I needed to do to achieve that. And that was hard. It was so much easier to figure out what I didn’t want.

I don’t want to be in front of a monitor 24/7.

I don’t want to chase editors constantly.

I don’t want to keep comparing myself to other writers.

I don’t want feel envy every time I saw the same byline several times a week .

What I do want is to be happy in my primary job, which is a stay-at -home mum. Believe me, I had forgotten that altogether.

So, yes I chose my family. I chose an easy, less stressed lifestyle.

And no, this doesn’t mean that I will stop writing.

It just means I will step back A LOT.

I will set realistic and achievable goals.

I will stop comparing myself and my abilities to other writers and photographers.

I will run my own race.

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Black Moon: A time for change

Black moon 2014

I know the new moon is a great time for manifesting wishes and dreams and I often set aside time during this time to write down, or at least think about what it is I want from myself and my life.

A black moon is quite rare. It’s the second new moon in a month. They say, it brings change. As always, I see this as a good time to manifest. I want certain things to happen, so I welcome the change.

It’s 30 days into the new year and I have only just though about what I want from this year. I’ve tried to be clear but I must say, my thoughts and wishes have been a bit all over the place. I don’t want to leave out areas of my life so I try to include each in my goal setting but the results often end up being muddled throughout. But I am willing to change to see my dreams come true.

In no particular order, here is a sample of my goals for 2014.


  • to give more of my time and attention to my son
  • to accept the things I cannot change about my husband
  • to love and accept myself more


  • to write something that is helpful, useful and/or entertaining
  • to write for health publications on a regular basis
  • to break into travel writing and photography
  • be published in The West Australian 4 times
  • to establish myself as a photographer
  • to achieve my financial goals
  • to get my novel to submission status
  • to submit it a publisher
  • to receive my diploma of photography
  • to do a creative writing course
  • to do in-house photography workshops in Perth
  • to exceed my income goals
  • to start another novel


  • Margaret River – family
  • Road trip from Jurien Bay to Exmouth and back – family
  • Bali  – solo wellness/yoga holiday


  • drive to and within Perth city
  • obtain flat abs
  • inspire better eating habits in my son
  • meditate daily
  • weekly yoga class (minimum)
  • daily fitness (6 days)
  • maintain good health
  • never be in debt
  • to stop wasting precious minutes

Material (much to do with work)

  • new laptop
  • 100mm macro lens
  • kneeling desk chair
  • new iPhone
  • book shelf for office
  • new runners
  • mountain bike
  • mini trampoline

For this to happen, I must change some of my habits. I have faith that this black moon will bring positive change to me – if I do the ground work.

What change would you welcome this year?


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What’s Working for me Wednesday (more dreams of travel)

WWWLast week I wrote about my top 100 travel wishes and wrote the first 25. This Wednesday, I will add another 25 to the list and 25 each week until I reach 100! You see, dreaming of travel is a favourite pastime of mine and each week I either do it as a flight of fancy or because I actually do have a trip coming up. Two days ago, Mr M and I were talking about his annual trip to Kuala Lumpur and I found out that this year, it will coincide with Master T’s October school holidays!! Yippy, that means we will meet him over there for a week or so of fun in Malaysia. Before that though, we have a month-long trip to Southeast Asia in June and I’m rapt to report a few days in Singapore is now on the itinerary. I just needed to have a look at the iFly website to convince Mr M for another stay in the cultural city. We have been there before but we never got to Sentosa. So, once again I’m happy to report what’s working for me this Wednesday: Travel.

Me in Hong Kong 2004

Me in Hong Kong 2004

  1. Fly my body at iFly Singapore

  2. Play for a day at Universal Studios Singapore

  3. Stay at the funky QT Hotel in Sydney

  4. Puff a cigar in Havana, Cuba

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

  6. Meditate in Nepal

  7. Have an espresso and tiramasu in Italy

  8. Splash and laugh at Adventure World Perth

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

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

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

  12. Spend a day at Vida Wellness Spa in Whistler

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

  14. Retreat at Gaia Spa near Byron Bay

  15. Temple hop in Sri Lanka

  16. Stay at a resort in Langkawi

  17. Have a fondue in Switzerland

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

  19. Sunbathe topless in Nice

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

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

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

  23. Ride a camel along Cable Beach, WA

  24. Attend The Taste Festival in Hobart

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

Me in Columbo, Sri Lanka

Me in Columbo, Sri Lanka

Now, quite a few of the things on my list, I have either already done or I have been to the country/city involved. I’ve been blessed with a wandering life. So, if they’ve made this list, they were so fabulous, I must do it again! And on another note, many of the items will become reality this year!!! How exciting!

I hope you’re all dreaming of far away places and are living your dreams at this very moment! Until next week with another 25 wishes….safe travels.



What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWWYesterday, I received the latest edition of Get Lost! , an Australian travel magazine in the post. I have a subscription, you see. I also have a major crush on this magazine and it’s at the top of my publication wish list. In October, I got a very positive reply about a pitch I submitted. I danced around my office. I laughed. I cried. I posted the good news on Facebook (without disclosing the magazine name). I was hopeful. Then, I never heard back from the editor, even after several attempts to contact him. I was crushed. But, I’ve moved on and my love affair with the magazine resumes. As does my love for travel…..and more specifically, planning for travel..dreaming about it even.

So today, on this windy Wednesday, I will start my official top 100 travel wishes. I have many travel article ideas and must write some today but I feel the need to jot down my dreams and desires to see other grounds, meet new faces, eat foreign foods and experience life outside of my norm. I’ve been luckily enough to see much of the world (you can read about the reasons in the summer edition of BIDE digital magazine) but I cannot stop there. I have a compulsion to explore the possibilities of another life if only for a week or 2 at a time.

100 travel wishes seem like a lot and it may take me awhile to finish the list but here are a few that will make it on there (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

It’s Wednesday. I’m dreaming of traipsing around the world and it’s what is working for me on this day.

What’s working for you today?



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Aspirations, intentions, wishes, dreams, goals for 2013

So, here it is, my last post for 2012. And based on today alone, I cannot wait for this year to end. And so I look forward to 2013 but not too much as I want to focus on the NOW. But there is always a time and place for planning and that time is NOW.

My goals are not outlandish, far-fetching, crazy, unachievable day dreams; they are within my reach.


 book and pen

  • Sell at least one article to Good Health magazine in JANUARY
  • Go to Sydney for ‘How to write a chick-lit novel’ 2-day course – Feb 2nd
  • Sell one piece per month to a glossy magazine (health, wellbeing, travel, parenting)
  • Sell one piece per month to an online magazine/website
  • Continue to freelance for West Australian Newspapers (regional) with an average monthly income of $700
  • Boost yearly income to 5 digits
  • Finish novel – 1997
  • Have novel edited by a professional editor
  • Submit novel to publisher
  • Sharpen photography skills
  • Start candid photography biz
  • Afford new camera equipment



  • Eat a low carb diet
  • Find a balance between “good” and “bad” foods
  • Limit alcohol
  • Limit sugar
  • Retain sense of smell and taste




  • Meditate daily
  • Complete Tracy Anderson’s 30-day method challenge (Jan 3- Feb 1 inclusive)
  • Yoga weekly
  • Fitness class twice weekly
  • Focus on the NOW
  • Stay positive
  • Do not speak if I do not have anything good to say (sacred silence rights the Universe~Marianne Williamson)



  • Sydney
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Bali
  • Winter Christmas (Japan?)

Now, it’s time to bring this year to a close with a refreshing pina colada because I’m absolutely melting here (it’s 40 degrees Celsius and for all of you in the cold, THIS IS NOT FUN. And yes, I am a bit lot irritable!!!).

But please have a Happy New Year and come back here in 2013!!


What I know about writing

When I was asked to participate in a theme blog post called, ‘what I know about writing’ by Sarah Wayland at that space in between, I must say I didn’t understand the exercise. It wasn’t until I saw her post and the other links and how to “link up” that I really got it.

Yes, I feel like a twit for it but I do my writing without a need to be technical so I don’t “get” how to set up what Sarah has done, but nevermind, I am honoured to have been asked.

I have been writing for a long time but I never considered it as a job or career until I was in my mid-thirties. I saw being a writer or author like being a movie star or pop singer……WAY out of my reach. Plus, I was not talented.

Then when I became a stay-at-home mum, I decided to do an online writing course and I saw that writing was a possibility for me. I quickly found a spot as a regular contributor in the local newspaper. It boosted my confidence and I felt like I was onto realising my “purpose”.  But, like many writers have done at some point in their journey, I lost my esteem. I  gave up on writing when we moved states.

For 3 years I didn’t write anything more than dark poetry or short diary entries and I focused on making money the physical way. I started my own cleaning company and did well with it. That wasn’t for me but I kept at it because the money was so good and went down another path that I thought I wanted to go down. I enrolled in a course to become a professional counsellor. And, after 7 months of failing at that…I admitted to myself that I was a writer.

Thank goodness for the Sydney Writers’ Centre. It was when I did their online writing for magazines and newspapers course that I really felt I was given the skills, motivation and inspiration to pursue a career in writing. That was 2 years ago and it has not been an easy climb, and I’m nowhere near the top but I’ve made some progress.

So, based on what I know about writing, here are some tips for aspiring or even experienced writers:

  • Educate yourself. I don’t think you need a degree in journalism or a masters in English to be a decent writer. I certainly don’t have those things. But practical, hands-on courses that teach you exactly what you need to know and do are valuable.  I cannot recommend SWC enough. I’ve also done a mentoring program with Alan Close, which was fabulous. He taught me so much about being a writer.
  • Join a writers group, either in person or online. As a grad of SWC, I am part of their online Facebook group and the support, advice, tips, praise and love we give and get is invaluable. I’m sure there are other groups like this out there. None as fabulous as the SWC one though (my opinion).
  • Give it go. In order to get published, you must knock on some doors. It takes nerve and confidence to put yourself  out there but I have gotten jobs just by ringing up an editor and asking. The answer will not always be yes, but sometimes it will be. In this industry, it is true that you must have a thick skin. I’m very sensitive by nature but I’ve toughened up heaps in the past 2 years.
  • Write every day. I don’t always do this but most days I do write, even if it’s only working on new pitches.
  • Stick with it. It’s hard in the beginning (and in the middle) especially after your first rejection, but as soon as you get published once you can be on your way to a career in writing, if you choose.
  • Although I say stick with it, when it becomes all-consuming and stressful, take a day or two off. Sometimes you must take a step back before you can move forward.
  • Read. Every great writer is an avid reader. This includes all the publications you want to be in. Read, follow and study them religiously!
  • Never, ever, ever, give up! If you want it bad enough you will do it and you will succeed. Ask, believe, receive (after lots of hard work).

Thanks to Sarah Wayland for the opportunity to share my writing wisdom! Check out the other talented writers who have contributed to that space in between’s ‘What I Know About Writing’ blog post!!!