No, I’m not being lazy . . .well, maybe I am, but I wasn’t lazy putting this magazine together. Great stories, fab freelance writers (if you want to hire them, contact me) and a magazine full of inspiration.
No, I’m not being lazy . . .well, maybe I am, but I wasn’t lazy putting this magazine together. Great stories, fab freelance writers (if you want to hire them, contact me) and a magazine full of inspiration.
You are a tourist but you need not be so obvious – try the ‘blend in’ tactic.
It’s funny that we recognise other tourists when we are travelling, there’s a certain gauche appearance to some, a gawky look to others, a ‘look at me’ image and a ‘I don’t care what the culture is, I’m wearing this’ attitude, and we see someone who had no idea what the weather was going to be like and is inappropriately dressed for the current climate. And then we pass a window and see our reflection . . .eek! Let’s address the dress code.
I can always pick the older Aussie male traveller (and the older Americans too). The big white sneakers and socks pulled half-way up the calf and the men are wearing shorts.
Now, shorts are fine in the tropics, beach resorts or cruise days. But. You are a standout tourist in sophisticated cities.
For ease and comfort while being a tourist, try to blend in.
Wear it well!
Nothing shouts ‘tourist’ more than bulky sneakers, a backpack with a logo, and sometimes a bad hat – think foldable, terry towelling or canvas. And garments sold as ‘vacation wear’ marketed to travellers are dead giveaways. Locals do not wear zip-off pants in khaki or colours as muddy as that.
If you’re travelling for a couple of weeks, invest in a good Panama hat (the authentic Panama’s roll up nicely and you can wear them for years) or wear or a subtle baseball cap. OR just buy a cheap hat in Asia and ditch it before you depart the country.
And don’t wear loud T-shirts or sweat shirts announcing that you’re an Aussie. No political messages or what you deem amusing either. For men and women, plain T-shirts and cotton classic shirts.
If in a cold country, don’t look as if you’ve never known cold before. A good parka and a classy scarf and warm hat helps you blend in. You don’t need to be in a Michelin Man puffer jacket, unless you’re in Siberia in the winter!
And never wear a bumbag (or as the Americans call them ‘fanny packs’), they not only spell tourist, they spell ‘person with terrible taste’, they are a crime against fashion . . . and humanity.
Conclusion: avoid bright colours and logos, electronic gear in plain sight and glittery jewellery.
Sometimes we can be rather overdressed.
Pack a couple of smart outfits to wear if you are to attend a concert or splurge on a fancy restaurant. You’d be surprised at how many travellers turn up to the opera in Vienna or at the theatre in London wearing what looks like yesterday’s borrowed bushwalking gear!
Now, this is a good look.
Where you go
The art of blending in is best achieved by quietly fitting in without anyone noticing. Begin without walking around with a giant map in your hands. Use a map on your phone and don’t stop in the middle of the street, road, a crowd to consult your phone map. Find a quiet spot to find your bearings.
Embrace the art of ‘slow travel’. Don’t rush everywhere to see everything. Enjoy long, slow breakfasts in local cafes or leisurely picnics in parks. And on the perimeter of tourist sites you’ll be less of a target for pickpockets.
Sometimes it’s hard to blend in.
In Paris? London? New York? Book a haircut at a fancy hairdressing salon. You’ll look and feel a million bucks.
Need a new coat? Hit the sales in Los Angeles or Las Vegas at the amazing Outlet stores or sale time in Milan. Yet again, you’ll look as cool as a local and you’ll bring a beautiful garment home with you.
And chaps – ditch the baggy-bum Dad jeans – buy yourself some new jeans (preferably dark blue or black) and some fashionable chinos.
And if you have to wait for a bus in a foreign land, just dress to impress.
The flagship airline of a country has a lot to live up to; this one goes above and beyond for comfort and service.
Comfort when flying? It’s many things to many people. But, speaking for myself and if I’m not at the pointy end of the plane, which I rarely am, I have to consider what I require to stay sane and flexible for more than four hours on a plane.
First, there’s the fare. I do look around but cheapest is not always the bestest! But early booking and keeping an eye on seasonal newsletters and talking to your travel agent can often yield a damn good fare.
Second – the seat. Now, I’m about 167c tall so I go for extra space and comfort in economy. Various airlines have premium seating which offers space and comfort and often a heftier price tag than the experience warrants.
My sweet comfort spot was found last year when I flew to the USA from Sydney via Honolulu with Hawaiian Airlines. They had me at ‘comfort seat’.
And I repeated the experience again this year. Recently I tried another option to entering the US and I am a happy traveller.
I flew from Sydney to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines (grabbed a couple of days in Hawaii) and then flew on to the States and instead of landing at LAX, I landed in Long Beach.
I had a three-day stopover on Maui (flew to Maui on Hawaiian Airlines too). From Honolulu the next leg was fab because I was about to land in an airport that wasn’t going to do my head in – as Los Angeles does.
Hawaiian now flies into Long Beach and it’s a breath of fresh air. The flight takes five and a half hours and there’s a flight daily.
At nine at night the airport is calm and welcoming.
Long Beach Airport.
Touch down is Long Beach Airport. What a dream. We landed after 10pm and the airport was cool, calm and we collected our baggage with very little drama. And because all the passport formalities are taken care of in Hawaii – this being a domestic port – a smooth walk through to find a taxi.
Long Beach Airport is a fantastic place for Australians travelling to California for the usual destinations, (particularly good for families heading to Anaheim for Disneyland as the airport is easier to navigate the family through). To fly there with Hawaiian via Hawaii gives you the opportunity to have a couple of little holidays on the way to the main event. Stopover in Honolulu for fun, the beach and shopping, and experience the charm of Long Beach.
Always, service with a smile.
Now back to the flight. Hawaiian Airlines premium product, Extra Comfort is just that. The Extra Comfort seats on the Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft offer extra leg room, priority services and additional amenities to make the travel experience more comfortable. Se, back to comfort again.
For guest sitting in Extra Comfort there’s your personal electrical power outlet for convenient charging devices; a comfort kit provides ear phones, ear plugs, an eyeshade, toothbrush and paste, hydrating mist, lotion, lip balm, tissue, a bamboo comb and a Hawaiian Airlines pen, all contained in a cute canvas bag.
And you get Priority Security, the line is a separate line from the general security line. They still go through the TSA security screening process but is usually a shorter and faster line than the general security line. Available in Boston, Honolulu, Long Beach, New York, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Extra Comfort is priced per flight sector. The current pricing for Extra Comfort SYD-HNL is AUD$179 if bought online (that is – prior to arrival at airport) and the HNL-LGB sector is priced at AUD$105. FYI – Extra Comfort pricing varies per sector. And the best news on this flight is the luggage allowance. YAY! It’s 64kg (2 x 32kg).
Travellers love shopping in Honolulu. There is a wonderful variety of goods to gather and the amazing Ala Moana Shopping Center and outlet malls have quality goods, clothes, accessories, sports shoes, kids clothes and so much more.
So, to take only a few things with you and fill up those lonely luggage spaces on holidays without the worry of paying excess at the airport is inspiring for the expert shopper.
Hawaiian Airlines is a total destination carrier that exudes the culture of the islands and a fine way to get to mainland USA.
All announcements on the flight ended with the word ‘mahalo’ which is an expression of thanks or respect and an acknowledgment that we were flying Hawaiian airlines. (Hawaiians are conservative and polite so they’d never dream of not saying Mahalo when it is appropriate. If you want to be formal and show that are feeling grateful you would say: “Mahalo Nui Loa.”)
So I’ll say “Mahalo Nui Loa”.
And there’s more . . . sorry, no steak knives but . . .
Hawaiian Airlines now has a five-day-a-week service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) its second East Coast gateway for Australian travellers visiting the United States Mainland.
So, what’s that I hear? Boston is on the agenda for the next US holiday?
Hawaiian Airlines ticks the boxes for value for money and Extra Comfort.
The writer flew courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, and the review is independent.
I was enjoying a story by the fabulous writer, Christine Retschlag, on her experience in Kenya for https://www.dumbofeather.com/articles/out-of-africa/
While I was reading it I was remembering back over 22 years ago when I first visited Kenya and indeed the African continent. It was early days for international travel writing for me and this trip showed me how curious and weird some trips can get. In fact, it was good travel training ground for me.
When we arrived in Nairobi we waited for more than an hour to retrieve our luggage. Nah. It hadn’t made it from the plane in Jo’burg to our Nairobi destination. This was before social media, mobile phone, the internet to assist,so panic set in and many phone calls were made. Nah. Not happening.
We were to go to Amboseli the following morning with or without luggage.
There was only one other female travel writer on this trip so we headed into town to shop for basics. We figured we could get away with two pair of panties, one pair of Khaki knee-length shorts, two big khaki t-shirts worn several fetching ways. We purchased shorts and t-shirts but we found cheap sneakers and panties at a hardware shop. Delicate little pink and blue knickers were folded alongside various types of hammers and pliers. Ok, that was a first.
The following morning we were driving out of town and I thought we should try the airport one more time. Hail, hail Olympic Airlines – it had transfered our luggage and it was in a holding cage waiting for us.
On we drove through towns that consisted of four or five buildings, little shop fronts and they were all either barbers or butcher shops. At one stop I looked across the road at an expanse of vacant land and two giraffes were taking the morning air. Odd.
You can see Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day from Serena Amboseli.
We arrived at the Amboseli safari/resort/hotel place and I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me as fine shadows were zipping across the painted and polished concrete floor of the foyer. As I walked the path to my habitat I say little fluffy bottoms poking out of holes in the stone walls. Then I saw the creature above my door – and immediately became a fan of the quirky hyraxes.
The hyrax, a small furry mammal is also called a rock rabbit or dassie. It looks like a robust, oversized guinea pig, or a rabbit with rounded ears and no tail and it mostly has a grumpy little face. Hyraxes have stumpy toes with hoof-like nails; and four toes on each front foot and three on each back foot. And they are distantly related to the elephant – true – do your research.
They are endearing. The following morning I looked out my window to the pool below and could see a great mound of (maybe 20) hyrax piled tenuously on a sunbed taking some early morning rays.
That night around a campfire we drank and smoked (those were the days) and eventually toddled off to our rooms. On the way I slipped on the polished concrete and the ankle twist was so fierce that I went into shock, I couldn’t speak, threw up and almost passed out. One of my travelling companions lazily propped me up against a wall and said to one of the concerned staff “my wife is drunk, watch her while I go to the toilet”. The staff member helped me hobble to my room. I was mortified and speechless and planned my revenge.
The following day we were to meet the people of the Maasai tribe close by. The welcome dance was energetic, much leaping into the air. With my buggered ankle this was not possible for me to join the airlifts. But the young tribal leader – Bruce – yes, that was his name, took me into his house for a visit. The tiny hut house, closed up on a hot day with the animals in the pen inside and the aroma of sour milk did me in and I almost passed out on Bruce’s bed. As he guided me out of the door I was swooning with nausea and threw up at his doorstep. I still feel shame.
There were many little adventures on that particular journey and lessons learned:
Towards the end of the trip we took the ‘Lunatic LIne’ (the Nairobi to Mombasa train route). It was an hilarious journey with large bowls of soup being sloshed around the dining car, warnings to keep our windows shut from the top bunk in case of ‘nibbling animals’. But the best part of the train trip was my opportunity for revenge on my fellow traveller. I had waited for eight days.
He was languishing in his cabin with a terrible gasto/vomiting affliction, we visited him regularly with commiserations and acts of kindness. I opened the door and asked how he was and he just moaned, I then asked him if he “would like a fish milkshake with a hair in it”, which sent him into a violent paroxysm – as they say in Kenya – “Shame”.
The writer’s photos of that trip have been lost in time but not memory.
In 1996 at the Australian Society of Travel Writers annual awards night I was named Travel Writer of the Year. Then there were only two writing categories – consumer and trade. Consumer stories had to include three published features. Mine were Nashville; Egypt and the trip called Postcards from Kenya.
I was the second female to take the prize – the first being Susan Kurosawa.
Johann Strauss (1825-1899), known to family and friends as Schani, his father Johann and his brothers Josef and Eduard took the world by storm with their music. With 1,500 works between them, from Die Fledermaus and The Radetzky March to the Blue Danube Waltz, they embody Viennese music like no others. Their waltz and operetta melodies can be heard in the capital’s concert halls throughout the year as well as at the traditional New Year’s Concert which is broadcast all over the world from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein.
It goes without saying that there is a Johann Strauss monument in Vienna. This golden statue of the waltz king playing his violin can be found in the Stadtpark, a short distance from the Kursalon. The Vienna Philharmonic played at its unveiling in 1921 and today it is one of the most photographed sights in the city. Johann Strauss II composed Vienna’s unofficial anthem The Blue Danube in an apartment at Praterstrasse 54 in the second district in 1867 where he lived with his first wife Jetty from 1863-1870. In addition to original furnishings and period instruments, exhibits include everyday objects from the great musician’s estate as well as portraits, photos, and documents on his life and work. The waltz king was laid to rest at Vienna’s legendary Central Cemetery, near the graves of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Johann Strauss the Elder.
The waltz began as a dance of rebellion, embraced by teens and sneered at by conservative parents. When the dance first whirled through the ballrooms of Vienna, it caused an outrage and marked a decisive shift in European social customs.
The dance’s origins are probably humble. Its name comes from walzen— “to turn” in German—and may have developed out of the folk music of Austria’s western Tyrol region (although some authors associate its choreography with the volta, a 16th-century couples dance). Whatever its exact origin, by the late 1700s the waltz spread throughout Europe. The dance craze was particularly popular among young people from the wealthy middle classes, the perfect expression of a new, confident bourgeoisie, who were discarding the aristocratic customs of their elders.
A scene from 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, by J. W. von Goethe, describes a ball that begins with stuffy minuets until a new tune is struck: “When the waltz commenced, and the dancers whirled around each other in the giddy maze . . . Never did I dance more lightly. I felt myself more than mortal, holding this loveliest of creatures in my arms, flying, with her as rapidly as the wind, till I lost sight of every other object.”
In 1833 a British manual of good manners recommended only married women should dance it, as it was too immoral for the unwed.
Denver has been the subject of many songs by famous artists especially native son the late John Denver, but my fave is by Jimmy Buffet:
I’m about a mile high in Denver
Where the rock meets timberline
I’ve walked this ground from town to town
Just to finally call it mine
Dating back to the Old West era, Denver is definitely oh, so 21st century.
Denver, the capital of Colorado, features landmark 19th-century buildings, museums that include the Denver Art Museum, an ultramodern complex known for its collection of indigenous works, and the mansion of famed Titanic survivor Molly Brown.
At the end of the 16th Street Mall, cross the road to visit the Union Station, a splendid example of 19th century architecture. Once a bustling transit institution, but as roads and flight took goods across the state lines, the station’s use declined. But it’s now back in business as a bus and rail terminal and a lovely hotel is inside the original building as the Crawford Hotel.
The main hall is now a café, bar, lounge area full of gentle buzzing conversation and good vibes. Everyone welcome as long as you ‘be nice’. Union Station is located in LoDo (Lower Downtown), Denver’s vibrant oldest neighbourhood – check out the city’s best known restaurants, galleries, shops, and boutiques.
The revitalised Union Station is part of the refurb of the LoDo area of Denver.
Denver is also a jumping-off point for ski resorts in the nearby Rocky Mountains. It’s a university town and there’s a lot of sporty stuff going on here. And in Denver you will find the highest concentration of recreational marijuana stores in Colorado, with a large number of select stores selling recreational and medical marijuana. Marijuana stores in Denver are required to close by 10pm. See https://www.coloradopotguide.com/where-to-buy-marijuana/colorado/denver/ just sayin’ (it is legal).
It’s called the Mile High City because it is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level (1.6km).
I believe that as the cowboys galloped into town all those years ago and helped grow this city, it was today’s hipsters who moseyed into town in their electric cars, wearing man buns and sporting old school beards that have put the edge on Denver.
It’s always been known as a friendly, easygoing place but the hospitality bar has been raised up and up.
The local Beer Trail boasts an extraordinary craft beer culture – home to Colorado’s oldest and largest beer pubs, and if the beery brew isn’t to your taste there’s a slew of cafes serving coffee that even Aussie coffee snobs approve of.
If you are a Super Bowl fan this is the home of the Denver Broncos and their home is the Mile High Stadium which is open for a walking tour through the hallowed halls.
The main drag is the 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian and transit mall is 1.25 miles long, runs along 16th Street in downtown Denver. Stroll it and shop, stop and eat or drink or catch the free tram from one end to the other.
Just outside of town is the amazing natural amphitheatre Red Rocks where everyone from Bruce Springsteen to U2 have performed. To see a concert here is an out of body experience. The sun goes down, the rocks surrounding you are in sharp contrast to the blackening sky, the lights go up and the music begins!
Culture rules in Denver from high to low – rock to symphony, traditional art to an outdoor gallery of topical wall art, fast food to high table cuisine.
Writer, Bev Malzard squealed when she found out she was going to a concert at Red Rocks to see local boys made good – One Republic (Shooting Stars) . . . oh what a night. And would recommend anyone who enjoys music of any sort to do some research before you travel anywhere and book seats for a concert so you can immerse yourself totally in the music, the scene and with the locals.
AVERAGE FLIGHT TIME LAX-DEN 2hrs 20 mins
BEST TIME TO VISIT April through May and September through October. The city’s shoulder seasons are characterized by comfortable temperatures,
Plenty of street art around town, this bold pour of milk splash is coming from the Dairy Market building.
A simple wooden door made from fence palings – whatever does the job. On the road to Freycinet, Tasmania.
What is it about doors? I can’t stop photographing them. Below are just a few of the recents I’ve slammed but I’ve been shooting them for years.
The beautiful coloured doors of Ireland, especially Dublin – all shiny and bold. There are many reasons stated as to why the doors were painted different colours, my favourite is that the doors were painted by women so that their drunken husbands would come home at night and recognise their houses!
Adding colour to the neighbourhood and a safe place for a cat to sit so it can skeedaddle inside at the sound of danger. In Essouira, Morocco.
We have doors for privacy, decoration, boastfulness, to keep the elements at bay and to protect ourselves. I have walked past doors and wondered what’s going on behind this one: drama, joyfulness, creativity, poverty, sadness and some doors hide wickedness, mayhem and cruelty. There are great and grand doors that have watched kings and queens pass through to their death or to exile; doorways that elephants have rumbled through carrying spices, jewels and goods that countries and indeed populations had never seen before; doors that have opened to the brightest brains in the halls of universities; doors that have been slammed in the faces of the idealists and the revolutionaries and doors that have had some of the finest music ever written sounding behind them. It’s best I mind my own business and take them at face value and remain curious.
So old, so lovely. Faded glory in Tangier, Morocco.
Going grand with this beauty in Rajasthan. After a few drinks it’s fun to play the axe throwing game.
You can’t go past Morocco for the best doors, especially the one’s painted to match my hair. Most of these are the doors and doorways to riads. Often rather modest doors and when they are opened you step into another world, a world of a royal palace or grand mansions with orange trees and fountains and amazing tiles . . . stepping into beauty and calm.
And all hail the circular door, small, compact and fits snuggled into round doorways. This is a home of a Hobbit outside the town of Matamata in the north island of New Zealand. There’s a large population of the small folk here and a few humans have been sighted too.
This bold and beautiful door hinge is on a door in one of the old buildings in St Gallen, a city south of Lake Constance in northeastern Switzerland. It couldn’t be pried off even with a Swiss Army Knife.
These two gals drove a pretty fierce bargain as to the price of getting this shot. Even when agreed on a price we had to renegotiate as there was two of them . . .at the Red Fort, Jaipur, India.
On the left, the doors do two jobs, they shut for privacy and they hang goods for sale. On the right, the 20th century brought roller doors to the world.
I always thought that red doors were the ants pants of a style statement but the blues got me in Morocco. The diversity and gradations of the colour is seductive and ever pleasing.
Oh, this . . .
This mighty archway with its thick walls is an old stables house for a palace outside Fes, Morocco.
Now we are in the Red City of Marrakech. This weird little stitched up door looks rather irritated or almost like a fake door . . .
This cutie is in a small village on Maui, Hawaii called Paia (Pay-ee-ah) which is a bit like Nimbin but less functional (no atm or chemist). But plenty of surf shops and ice cream parlours. Dates back to about 1927.
A bit of fun for very short people in Long Beach, California.
And an almost ‘moonish’ gate in Hanoi, Vietnam. Door to a busy buddhist temple. Closed until the keepers have their cigarettes and coffee. Enlightenment is patient.
Doors, door, doors and more doors at the Marriott in Anaheim, California. Same, same. same. Doing the same job as all the others.
Lurking at the Red Fort, Jaipur. Waiting for a surprise visit from a Maharajah . . .waiting, waiting, waiting.
Out in the countryside in Rajasthan, where doors are thick and strong to keep out the wild tigers . . .true.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do. So throw off the bowlines,sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
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