Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life

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What’s Working for me Wednesday – 25 more travel wishes

WWW25 more travel wishes!!! It’s what’s working for me this Wednesday. I spend far too much time dreaming of travel. My brother-in-law and his new wife are on a 12-month long honeymoon at the moment and I just heard from them the other day. They’re in Thailand after spending a month in India!  Am I jealous? Nah, not at all…..ha!  Seriously but.

To be honest, I don’t know if I’m cut out for that kind of travel. I did do it once but I met my now husband just 5 weeks into my trip so I never felt like I was away for a year, then going home. Somehow I knew that I would not be going home to Canada. I travelled during the 12 months and settled in Sydney for 6 months of it. That suited me great. I love to see new places and do new things but I also like the going home part. I feel too unsure and disconnected when I’m living out of a suitcase. Plus, I always wonder how people can afford to travel for long periods of time. I was on working holiday visas when I did it (12 years ago!!) but once you’re over a certain age, that’s no longer a possibility.

 Do you prefer long trips (more than 1 month) or short holidays?

japanese style

Master T and I in Japan on my 40th birthday!! It was a dream trip come true for me.

Here’s the next 25 on my list of 100 travel wishes and dreams……

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

  2. Be colourful at the Holi festival in India

  3. Visit Siena, Italy during the Palio

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

  5. Learn Italian in Italy

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

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

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

  9. Attend a fab party during Carnival

  10. Explore the mysteries of Luxor, Egypt

  11. Spend a weekend in San Francisco

  12. See the Yukon, Canada

  13. Watch bull-riding at the Calgary Stampede

  14. Photograph the Grand Canyon, USA

  15. Tour the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica

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

  17. Swim at Shark Bay, WA

  18. Swim with dolphins at Monkey Mia,WA

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

  20. Eat felafel and hummus in Jordan

  21. Learn to belly dance in Egypt

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

  23. Gorge on tacos, quesadillas and tequila in Mexico

  24. Rent a whitewashed, seaside house in Greece

  25. Never be hungry in Hungary


Here I am in Ottawa, Canada on the nation’s birthday..another travel dream come true!


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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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WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday



It’s been a busy day. With Christmas holidays nearly upon us, my days are getting full and hectic so I decided to take a day off.  It is this day off that’s working for me Wednesday!! And what a day is has been!

We took a 2-hour drive north to Geraldton. Today marked the first day of summer holidays for Master T and we needed to do some last minute shopping.

We were up at 6am to be on the road at 7am and we actually drove out of the driveway at 7:05. This is a near miracle as we are never on time!! The day started off well.

After arriving, we spent the morning shopping and test driving a car. By lunch time, I was so hungry I could barely stand it.

I am that person who simply cannot go more than 4 or 5 hours without eating. If I do, I feel faint and sometimes irritable. Thank goodness we found The Dome, a family friendly restaurant along Geraldton’s foreshore. It was busy and reminded me of a typical  chain eatery that you’d find in North America. It had a book for a menu, the kind with photos. It’s hard to stick to a healthy eating plan when I famished, but I compromised and ordered a chicken caesar salad and an iced coffee/mocha made with soy milk. It still had the whip cream but at least I didn’t overdose on dairy.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar Salad

OMG!! What a treat.

OMG!! What a treat.


The salad was good but wow, it was salty. I don’t usually eat bacon….and crickey, there was a lot of it!! The coffee was more like dessert and that was delish!!

After lunch, we went to the giant kids park along the beach. Master T & I  sat in the sand to relax before he went wild in the water park!!

Jeans on the beach work in Geraldton...the sea breeze can be cool.

Jeans on the beach work in Geraldton…the sea breeze can be cool.

I'm in Geraldton!!

I’m in Geraldton!!


I like to shop and actually finished the Christmas shopping today!!!! But the highlight of the trip was going to the Geraldton Guardian office; meeting the staff and seeing the news room!!! After 5 months of freelancing for them, it was nice to finally meet some of writers and editors. I even left with several past newspapers and even got today’s paper (free!!)with my latest piece on page 4!! I was over the moon with excitement when I left….like a giddy school girl. I know, small things amuse small minds!!! LOL!

Here I am posing outside the office and desperately hoping the staff are not watching through the curtains!!

Here I am posing outside the office and desperately hoping the staff are not watching through the curtains!!

My day off came to an end when I got home at 6pm. I got showered and dressed in smart-casual clothes and went to cover a community story. The next few days will be filled with more events to cover and stories to be written. Oh, the life of a writer. It’s simply fabulous!

In case I do not make it back here before Christmas, I’ll say happy holidays now!

Happy Holidays!! Be joyful, smile and have fun….always!






What’s Working for me Wednesday

MUSIC!! That’s what’s working for me this Wednesday. I’ve always been a big fan of music and it works for me lots but yesterday and today I tried something. I played music while I wrote.

This may not sound very new or unusual to most but never before had I used music to help with my writing. I have tried before but it never really took. I always needed quiet when I wrote.

Now, that’s all changed and I think I have Mr M to thank.

He’s been home on days off for the past two days and editing some videos. This process means that he plays the same video and music clip over and over again. I was forced to hear a sample of deadmau5’s Ghosts n Stuff so many times that I had to have the song on my own computer. I now cannot get enough of this catchy dance tune. It really took me back to a time in my life where techno dancey songs ruled the weekend and considering I am writing about that phase of my life, the song came in handy.

Because I was able to write AND groove away I started listening to other favorites too!!

House of Shem

Bob Marley

Empire of the Sun


Ben Harper

Kelly Clarkson (yes, I like her!!)


Matthew Good

The Bee Gees

and even some old 80’s songs.

I grew up in the eighties and I still love the music. You can often find an 80’s mix playing from my iTunes. I was a massive Billy Idol fan!! I even had spiked hair and wore cut off leather (fake,but) gloves. I would dream that I met him and then of course, he married me. Billy’s still rocking today and he still looks great!! What kind of sign is it that I married a man who shares his birthday?


Hot stuff…..

Who was your favorite musician/band growing up?






What’s Working for me Wednesday

This post comes to you courtesy of Fireball cinnamon whiskey.
I almost didn’t write a What’s Working for me Wednesday post because I developed a sore throat rather suddenly today. This is not just a sore throat either. It’s extreme pain and affecting my right ear as well.I cannot get an appointment at the local medical centre until 12:45pm on Friday.

I forced down about 6 spoonfuls of homemade chicken and leek soup then had to give up. It was far too painful to continue. I’m not worried about this factor. I embrace every opportunity to forgo food because it’s not very often that I do. Oh man, I’m in pain.

Thank goodness I had a brand new bottle of Fireball on the shelf. If you have not had the chance to try this fine alcohol from Canada, I urge you to do so. I’ve had 4 small shots so far this evening. Purely for medicinal reasons, I assure you. The following photos tell a story but please do not think it’s the whiskey making me wince and grimace; it’s the pain from swallowing anything. Believe you me, I feel much better since partaking in the shots. And it won’t stop at 4. I will go on…….

Fireball is what is working for me this Wednesday!!

WARNING: The following images may disturb some.

The smile is for Fireball

Down the hatch

Oh that hurts

Up and running around the dining room…yes in my jammies!

Please help me…


Why do I have so much saliva to swallow?

Going back for round 2

So, what’s working for you this Wednesday? Ummmm, excuse me I have, ummmm things to shoot, I mean drink do. I have important things to do.


WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

Ahhh, Wednesday again. Things are settling down a bit for me, maybe too much, but I’m very busy with Nanawrimo! I’ve written over 10,000 words so far and I’m on target. It’s great but I feel I’ve really slowed down on the paid work side of things. I did send a pitch off today, my first in 10 days or so. Even though my writing is working for me, I am going to tell you all about something else that is working for me, that always works for me every Wednesday: YOGA.

I’ve been doing yoga for many years but I cannot say that I’m an accomplished yogi. I remember well my very first ever yoga class.

It was 1997 and I was new to living in Vancouver. I joined a women’s only gym in the trendy neighbourhood of Kitsalano and I would go and fumble through “work-outs”. When I saw the class roster included yoga, I was keen to try it. So I did. Once. All classes were held in the middle of the gym so all the girls on the equipment could watch. I often found these general classes not suited to me as I always felt silly if I didn’t know how to do something. And this was a city gym so there was easily 25 people in each class.  And the instructor didn’t help. Well, she did try to help but not in a loving way. She “adjusted” me several times throughout the class and now I can appreciate that she was trying to help me but it was obvious that I frustrated her at the time.  I mean, I couldn’t even stand in tadasana properly!!! I never took the class again.

Moving ahead to 2005, I resumed yoga during my pregnancy with Master T and a love was born. Six weeks after his arrival, I was back to it. From there I have been practicing regularly though not daily. I sometimes go months without, especially if we’ve shifted towns, states or countries!!! Now, in a new town I have found Iyengar yoga. Some will say this is the only yoga.

I knew all the poses that Lara Favelle was teaching but I had no idea that I was not working through them as I could have been. Maybe that’s why I am still very inflexible after 7 years of yoga! Iyengar yoga is based on the ancient teachings: the roots of the asanas (poses) if you like. The poses are performed with the aid of props such as bolsters, blocks, blankets, chairs, belts and pads.

Since committing to Lara’s Wednesday class and really working my body in each pose, I have noticed a difference. It’s not huge, but it’s there. She often reminds us that it may take years to achieve a certain pose in its entirety and that the learning never stops. She’s tough too but in a good way; she has a sense of humour at least!!! I’m so glad that I’ve matured enough that I can take her saying, ‘Jennifer, are you working that thigh?’ or ‘Jennifer, I’ve seen your legs straighter than that before’. I usually  snap a hasty reply, which she says she doesn’t mind. She keeps me focused that’s for sure.

Today was a good yoga day as well because Mr M was home and we played yoga photo shoot at the beach.

downward facing dog

eagle pose

tree pose

So there it is. Yoga was definitely working for me today….and how about the blue sky? Beautiful.

What’s working for you this Wednesday?

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WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

Well, here we are, Wednesday again. It’s funny how fast it rolls around. Truthfully? I’m struggling to find what’s actually working for me because things have been pretty grim lately.

Remember my last post, The death of 10,000 words? I can now re-name that to The death of 100,000 words and 1000 photos.

Yes, it’s true. My iMac’s ill hard drive was unable to be restored. But as much as I feel like digging a hole in the backyard and crawling inside it never to be seen again, I will not do that.

What IS working for me on this day is optimism. Although I have a tonne of work to re-do and several hundred photo memories that are lost forever, I can see the light at the end of this shit pipe.

To my knowledge, these are the things I have to dig deep in my memory and somehow find the time, energy and/or words to recover:

  1. spreadsheet of pitches
  2. spreadsheet of accounting
  3. spreadsheet of publishing contacts
  4. an 1800 word article that MAY be commissioned from a glossy travel magazine (still waiting to hear)
  5. interview and photos for a commissioned story that is due by Nov 27th
  6. article tracking sheet (for my newspaper pieces)
  7. several pitches
  8. hours worth of research for upcoming articles
  9. re-install Windows on my Mac (it has a new 500gb hard drive)

I’m sure there is heaps more that I can’t even remember. I won’t even mention all the stuff that is forever gone.

And because I used Outlook, all my emails are gone too. All correspondence with editors and copies of any pitches that I have out at the moment.

But even though this has happened, I am sure it will all work out. Yes, I have a heap of work to do by the time I go on holidays in 27 days. Please learn from my mistakes.

I sure hope next Wednesday is a better one……




WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

Wow! A lot has happened since my last WWW post. I’m still riding a high from returning to skydiving as well as selling my first article to a national glossy magazine. I can feel a shift happening.

I could write about how my writing is working for me cause it really is going well at the moment. But, what’s working for me just today is my slow cooker.

How can you not love a machine that cooks dinner all day with no input from you once you’ve added the ingredients and secured the lid?

I love the fact that I will have very little dinner prep to do at 5 o’clock!!In the pot is butter chicken. It took 5 minutes to chop an onion, cut some pumpkin (unusual, I know),  slice the chicken thighs, add the oil, tomato puree, water and paste. Later, I will add some coconut milk to finish it off.

put ingredients in the pot


Cover. Dinner will be served in 6 hours.


I ‘ll serve it with rice, naan bread (store-bought) and poppadoms.

Another reason why I love this is because Master T loves butter chicken and when I make a dinner that he likes, dinnertime can be quite enjoyable!

I have heaps working for me right now. Life is pretty sweet and I’m grateful for it all.

What’s working for you this Wednesday?





WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

A few blogs I read have a weekly themed post and I quite like the idea so I’m being a sheep and following them.

I want my theme to be positive. I don’t want to talk about what’s going wrong in my life, although I know people love to read that stuff. Now is a time to change attitudes and be more optimistic. All is well in my world. And so it is. (yes, I love Louise L Hay).

So, what IS working for me this Wednesday?

Muesli, berries and Greek yoghurt

Carman’s fruit-free muesli, berries and Mundella’s Greek honey yoghurt. This is by far my favourite breakfast or lunch. Some people think that muesli (granola for you North Americans) is not good for you because it can be high in kilojoules/calories, which is true depending on the brand you buy. I only buy Carman’s and I actually make my own sometimes. But there are ways around overindulging.

So I don’t overdo it, I weigh my serving to be 45kgs which is 895.5kJ/214cal. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not in the habit of weighing my food….I’m not that anal retentive but some things like muesli, nuts or yogurt can be easy to consume mass amounts because they are so good. Therefore,  it’s better for me to put a limit on it.

 Berries are not only great for your body; you can eat lots of them with no results on your hips! I’m loving fresh strawberries at the moment. I use frozen raspberries too…delicious. Blueberries are my favorite though. I’ll get some in me soon!

Although I often restrict dairy, I do allow a pro-biotic yoghurt because of the benefits to my tummy! Again, I use a local brand that is not full up of sugars and additives. I no longer eat the fruit variety for this reason. Keep in plain, keep it simple and add your own fruit.

This breakfast comes in under 1525 kJs/365cal and I reckon that is easy to burn off.

For today (and most days), this yummy, wheat-free breaky is working for me!!

What’s working for you today?