snap happy in sydney

there is some kind of magic in our ability to take a snapshot in time, and store a moment by collecting light. Photographs are magic, as they look like reality and over time they remind us of what it was to see what we once saw in real life. something that is lost when we examine the final product in real time, what our face looks like if we raise one eye brow or smile slightly wider while facing the selfie camera on the iphone… there is something rawer, realer, more honest and innocent when we just click the ‘capture’ button without the ability to review how we want to remember the moment with the lens.. i like leaving it up somewhat up to chance, letting the candid and unmediated subject speak for itself, instead of starting the editing process before the press of a button. this is what i like about my go pro hero 2. Here are three favourites from my adventures around sydney today the photographs are closer to the golden age of analogue photography, where the amateurs who now wield selfie sticks and capture 2003893839kb of images reminding them of the continuance of their mundane existence were weeded out covering the lens with their sticky fingers, or not understanding white balance or how the shadows and sun translate into a photograph. I like the results. They make me happy, and more inclined to ditch the selfie and let the camera itself choose the filter for how i choose to impart my existence to the world visually by capturing memories the snap happy way! DCIM117GOPRO DCIM117GOPRO DCIM117GOPRO

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Skyscanner, Singapore Slings and Surprise Stopovers

Imagine my surprise when I touched down in Singapore in July last year and realised my connecting flight to Istanbul was not at 1:45pm that day, but 1:45am the next (read about sleeping in airports here).

Slightly blearily on account over over indulgence on the delicious complimentary Singapore slings   (anything with gin and/or grenadine, yes please!) I decided it was time to go exploring.

With a few Singaporean dollars, a metro pass and a sense of adventure I roamed around this oriental delight of a city for the best part of a day.

If you have a couple of hours to kill in Singapore, i can recommend purchasing a sweet crepe from the Bugis street markets (and doing a spot of shopping of course!), marvelling at the stupendous Marina Bay sands mall and the accompanying Gardens by the Bay where the canopy of super-trees will really have you feeling like a ladybird in a field of grass.

The floating baby sculpture at Gardens by the Bay also had me wondering whether those Singaporean slings had been incredibly potent or I had simply lost the plot from delirium due to my hasty flight booking.

Here are a selection of snaps I took on my (surprise!) stopoever. Continue reading

paragliding in pokhara nepal

pokhara paragliding view

My mother has always told me “if you are going to jump off a cliff, don’t tell me until you’ve done it”. So far she has been rather lucky in that department, I am yet to take up basejumping or go skydiving. The one thing which I have done, however, which essentially involves exactly that is to go paragliding.

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it’s about our own experiences and someone else’s – travel needs both

lonely planet travel guide book hammock

Recent afternoons have been spent sipping juice in my hammock and reading books. For once, I feel content and on holiday at home. I suppose where I live does not make it too hard – cobalt blue skies,  glassy clear ocean at the beaches and an abundance of swimming pools and fresh mangos.  The summer months in Australia are almost a constant holiday, and we really are the lucky country in that regard.

One book I have been reading in my hammock is ‘Best of lonely planet travel writing‘. Travel writing is often confined to non-fiction quick guides, about where to stay and what to do in certain destinations.

Although guide books have legitimately saved my life on several occasions, and made me curious to visit different places after perusing them, it really is the personal experiences I have collected from my own travels, and the stories of my friends or other travels that inspire my pressing desire to see as much of this crazy world of ours as possible before my expiration date.

So if you are lucky enough to travel, I urge you to, for the good of everyone around you to think about your experiences and craft them into a narrative, so when you are sitting around the campfire, you have a worthwhile story to tell.

The introduction of the book, written by Tony Wheeler could not illustrate this message in better terms.

Your own experience and someone else’s – travel needs both. We want to go there ourselves, taste the food, ride the buses, crash in the hotel rooms, meet the people. We shove our guidebooks into our daypacks and head off to collide with those events. Then we want the other perspective – how some other traveller reacted to that appalling meal, that nightmare bus ride, that horror-story of a hotel. And did they also have that fleeting midnight encounter? Why didn’t she turn up at the bar the next evening? Will she be there at the next town down the line?

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