Wow How Did You Get So Tanned?

Often the comment when people see photos of me in Mexico. A blonde, fair skinned, blue eyed girl – could be mistaken for a lady of the island life.

Here is a photo of my friend Sam and I in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed in a 5 star resort for 1 night to live the life of luxury whilst travelling, for onmly $165 US a night!!! All inclusive.


This was an incredible trip. And this tan was a build up of 4 months of walking, playing, laying and sleeping in the sun – Mexico doesn’t really do Winter.


When was the best tan of your life?


* Note: I always wore sunscreen, coming from Australia I’m well aware of the damage UV sun rays can do to our delicate skin. SLIP, SLOP, SLAP on some sunscreen!

Life is a Rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it

Sometimes it’s easier to look at the negatives rather than the positives.

I turned 24 in August this year and on that morning chose to go for a big walk in the glorious sunshine and reflect on the year that was. As I walked past Luna Park in St Kilda, I thought this was the perefect analogy for my year. A rollercoaster ride of ups and downs- highs and lows. And as I marvelled at the enormous structure next to me,I remembered how much I love rollercoasters. I love the thrills, the spills, the unexpected and the infinite shape of this amazing rides. That’s what life is- a ride, a journey – and to be living, you gotta just ride it!

Another analogy I love that a friend gave to me was that of a heart monitoring machine. When you see those machines, you see little blips and bumps and troughs and highs, this means that you are alive!!! If you see a straight line, an even, expected, flat line – you are dead. The ups and downs, troughs and peaks are living. They represent LIFE!

So in the name of positivity, glass half full and always looking on the bright side of life, here are some highlights from the year that was:

  • Graduating after 3.5 years of study from the University of Technology Sydney with a Bachelor of Business with Distinction. The Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor  personally attended to watch me graduate
  • Attending Snow University Games in Victoria and competing 1 year after I had broken my back
  • Working at the V8’s in Bathurst at the Bathurst 1000 motor race
  • Attending the wedding of an incredible couple in India and meeting the most incredible group of people for a week of partying in Mumbai
  • Spending 1 month in England with family and friends
  • Visiting 3 seperate friends in 2 seperate cities in Germany with my lovely Brother. Driving on the autobahn and learning so much more about Germany’s wonderful history.
  • Watching the Superbowl in LA write off Hollywood Boulevard
  • Driving to Palm Springs with my 87 y.o relative to visit his 91 y.o. millionaire mogul friend and staying on a golf course
  • Riding a bike along Santa Monica and Venice Beach with my aussie pal
  • Getting “stuck” in Miami after missing a flight – and buying up the entire mall
  • Partying on a booze cruise and drinking far too much rum with my papa in Key West, Florida
  • Taking a 7 day luxury cruise in the Carribean visiting Bahamas, St Maarten and St Thomas.

Bahamas, Cocoa Cay

  • Winning a Volleyball tournament on a cruise ship!
  • Flying to Melbourne to “work” on the beach and stay in a pimped out apartment
  • Winning an I phone and taking part in the Ben & Jerry’s Flavour Election Campaign- winning me lots of ice cream and some fab and fun new friends
  • Moving to a new city. My new hometown of Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Landing a job with a Travel Website and still getting to work freelance
  • Travelling to Bangladesh for work and again meeting so many incredible and humbling people. Experiencing a totally new culture and making new friends along the way.
  • Writing and being published as a Travel writer

August 20 2010 – August 20 1011.

Yep 23-24 wasn’t so bad.


What will you be looking back on as 2011 comes to a close?

Stay and Play at Sydney Festival 2012

Excited to share some information on Sydney Festival 2012 and some great stay deals. Sydney has some wonderful properties and the Toga group are offering the specials. Looks like a trip to sydney is on the cards for me in January.



Selected Sydney Medina Apartment Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and Vibe Hotels are offering ‘Stay and Play’ packages in conjunction with the engaging Sydney Festival 2012.


Toga Hospitality is proud to be the Official Accommodation Partner of Sydney Festival 2012. ‘Stay and Play’ packages have been designed to give both Sydneysiders and visitors the full festival experience with accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. Guest can choose to stay in a stylish and spacious apartment at Medina Apartment Hotels, experience a fresh take on accommodation at Vibe Hotels or opt for excellent value at Travelodge Hotels.


Starting from $250*, ‘Stay and Play’ packages include:

  • Overnight accommodation for two people at a participating hotel
  • Two exclusive tickets to your chosen Festival performance
  • Two Fast Festival Feasts passes (valued at $30 per person)
  • A special Sydney Festival welcome pack


Participating Sydney Festival 2012 performances include:

  • Assembly
  • I Am Eora
  • The List Operators for Kids Do Compooters
  • Meow Meow’s Little Match Girl
  • Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane
  • Tis Pity She’s a Whore
  • West Side Story


For more information or to book, visit:

Toga Hospitality’s CEO, Rachel Argaman said: “Year after year, Sydney Festival continues to deliver an innovative program that attracts large audience numbers from interstate, international destinations, and from within our own city. We look forward to welcoming these guests to our hotels whatever their accommodation needs or budget.”


*  Starting rate only. Rates vary per hotel and per performance. Stay dates: 5th January, 2012 – 28th January, 2012.



About Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival 2012 will run from 7th – 29th January, 2012. Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas. The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity on a national and international scale: from cabaret and all genres of music to cutting-edge theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs and massive free outdoor events.


Toga’s hotel brands fit perfectly with the diversity of Festival audiences. Enjoy Festival First Night and a great night’s sleep at Travelodge’s central locations with rates that won’t break the budget; stay a little longer to soak up the space and style offered by Medina Apartment Hotels; or stay like a rock star at Vibe Hotels.


For more information about the Sydney Festival, visit:

Journey through anothers’ eyes

It’s funny how different the same experience can look through another’s eyes. A journey that was shared so closely between a group of people can look so different from their view – and from their camera.


It was lovely recently to catch up with my friends who I did Mt Kilimanjaro Climb for Alzheimer;’s Australia NSW with in September 2011. We met and shared stories and photos and how our lives have changed since and it was so wonderful to reconnect.


These are photos from the lovely Anne and Andrew that really stood out to me and reminded me of some wonderful moments – moments of me enjoying and experiencing without even realising someone was looking on and capturing those special times.


Starting out the trip

The Tembo Girls are getting read to go before the climb

Staking my claim on our vehicle - though apparently this wasn't our van

Arriving at Camp Day 1! Woo well done team


gorgeous Anne and I, ready for Day 2


Misty misty on Day 2


Looking towards Kikelelwa Camp on Day 2 after 7 hours of walking, that's Mawenzi in the distance.


An incredible night view from Kikelelwa of the amazing Kibo that we will later climb

Amazing night view from Kikelelwa of Kibo which we willl climb in 3.5 days time.


Camp on Day 3 or 4, Mawenzi Camp where we stayed 2 nights, great view


Walking across the saddle towards Kibo


Hiking up and over the rocks towards the saddle - it's great to have some natural shots of hiking


We finished! At the Marengu Gate!! Enjoying a well deserved Kilimanjaro Beer


My certificate! Proof! Thank you Mufasa, King of Team Tembo


Team Tembo celebrate all together ( exlcuding our other 20 porters who were very much part of the crew)

Share with me your photos and memories of great times captured by another.

Light of my life

This really makes me smile and is so relevant of late. Though we may not be in communicado regularly, I’m always here for you and will be a light to guide you in darkness.



Don’t feel bitter that people remember you only when they need you. Feel privileged that you are like a candle, you come to mind when there’s darkness in their lives.
Travelling means you meet so many beautiful people around the world, whether it be for a reason, a season or a lifetime. But when they need you, or you need them – you know they’ll be there and this message is so lovely to keep hod of.