A few days in Queanbeyan to reconnect with my homeland

It’s nice sometimes to be sent to a place in your home country that you wouldn’t often get to visit. I travel all over the world and see some amazing things, but you know it’s nice to just explore your own homeland and see the beauty that is so nearby. I may not have chosen to go to Queanbeyan in NSW, a town outside of Canberra our Nation’s Capital, but I’m glad I got to go! It’s a  lovely little town and it was nice to spend just a few days there reconnecting and gaining some new experiences from those who’ve travelled many steps before me.


Travelling down on the train from Sydney, it was gorgeous to see the countryside and actually to realise my phone wasn’t working. I sat next to a charming old man. 93 and travelling back to Goulburn from his daughters house. He told me about enlisting in the army at age 18 for World War II. He shared his stories, he told me about his families history in the area and about how Australia had changed over time. I learnt so much in a few hours. I actually only sat next to him to charge my laptop. I then didn’t use it once! It was really nice just to hear the stories of someone who has lived so much.


Look let’s be honest, there isn’t heaps to do in Queanbeyan! But as I had some time to kill in the evenings and mornings, I wanted to make the most of it, so off I went on my walks! I strolled around town and loved coming across the natives… insert cows!




The Mill House Cafe sits next to the old Byrne’s Mill and is a charming spot right near the river. Lovely food and definitely a hot spot for Sunday brunches. Throw in a gorgeous autumn morning and you have the perfect way to start your day.


If there’s one thing Queanbeyan isn’t short of, it’s pubs! We had a  wide variety of choice when it came to a beverage and a meal on the weekend evenings. We opted for a walk across the river and to grab some very exotic, Zambreros. I can’t in this post, express how much I love Zambreros. I didn’t have time to take a photo of my meal cos I scoffed it – maybe that explains it. Mexican on the go! Delicious!

Another  day I sat in the food court at the local shopping centre for lunch. I had a salad and was all set to pull out my laptop and get some work done.I was making a mess and the old man who had sat across from me kindly handed me a napkin. I’m such a grub. We shared a few smiles and glances, I could sense that he wanted to talk. We just chatted a little at first about my i-phone and my computer and all the equipment I had on the table. He went on to tell me in his thick accent that he was a passionate photographer and travelled all around Australia. His accent was from Finland. A place I had actually been which surprised him and we shared some of our favourite points of the Scandinavian wonder. He explained he was a taxidermist all his life. He loves fishing, and now photography. He had such a sweet smile and such enthusiasm for his hobbies and experiences in life. He loves camping and now spends majority of the year exploring Australia, hoping to cover every inch of land he can. What a joy.


My final morning was spent strolling around the town. I walked past cows, rivers, streams, parks and a market. Everywhere I went I got a nod, hello or smile. There were friendly puppies and the air was fresh. What a beautiful image to leave this little country town on.



I headed back to the charming train station which looked straight out of the early 1900’s. I waited for the one train to roll into town to take me back home to Sydney. I felt refreshed and ready to head home to the city. Looking forward to the time and space on the train to be with my thoughts and to catch up on some writing, perhaps to even write this blog.


But again, the universe had other plans in mind. This was not a week for writing. This was a week for making new connections and reconnecting, with my home and myself. I sat next to an elderly lady. She asked if I’d taken the train before. I told her yes, on the way down. I mentioned how nice the view is and how wonderful it is to look out the window and just take in this beautiful country. I mentioned the chat with the lovely old man and how nice it was to hear his stories.

We then spent the entire four hour train ride chatting away. We told stories of our travels and exchanged hot tips on destinations. She was in awe of what I had down with my business and travels and that I was 28 years old. She had been a teacher and she shared with me her experiences in schools and watching young people learn. We talked about our families, films and our plans for the future. It was amazing. The time passed quickly and when we arrived at Central Station we exchanged business cards, we hugged as if we were old friends and said farewell.

It reminded me of the beauty of storytelling. It’s a shared experience. We don’t just make stories, having the adventure is only one part. It’s getting to share that with someone and relive it as you tell the tale. It’s also listening and learning. How nice it is to sit back and listen to someone as they share the special moments of their life and you watch their eyes light up as the memories unfold.

Stop. Look. Listen. Learn. Enjoy. and…. Share.

“No matter how far I go, I still call Australia home.”

Simple beach house getaway with your hunny for some R&R

Sometimes all you need is a little weekend away to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Your hunny having a holiday house to escape to on the Central Coast makes this a little easier.


It was my first weekend back in Australia after three weeks away in wintery Europe, a beach escape was just what I needed. Yes, I had been travelling and recovered from my travel with more travel but this is just my life. Travel for travel. I love it. We drove just an hour north of Sydney to the area of Umina. Beachside towns in Australia just have a certain feel and it reminded me of holidays when I was young.


We did lunch, we cooked at home, we walked to the beach, we read books and played some board games. We really just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. For a couple that spends quite a bit of time apart, this was perfect for us.

The beach was simple and the sun was out. We could have done activities, but just playing in the water was perfect.


At night, we thought about attending the cinema. A lovely little set up in the town, but again, it was best for us just to enjoy our own space and time.


It rained on the Monday but we didn’t mind at all. The ducks who have taken over the street loved it, and we went out to meet them. Such a bizarre sight to see. Hundreds of ducks spread out over the street, sitting under trees, on neighbours lawns and in small pools they’ve placed out for them.


If you can’t get away on a big trip in the near future, I highly recommend looking to a local spot. A country hideaway, a mountains escape or a beach break. Check out Air B’n’B or if you have a friend with a house in a different location, maybe do a swap. It doesn’t have to cost a bomb, it just has to be different.


Back to blogging – Vietnam, trekking training and sunny Sydney

It’s been a while…. but I’m back!

Again, I want to do regular posts, but I’ve had a short hiatus. I was Tour Leading with Inspired Adventures in Vietnam for #cycle4girls. An amazing experience with a team of women from Plan Netherlands. You can read more about it here:


When I head out on adventures, my time is focused on blogging on behalf of the team and sharing our amazing adventures. So I was still writing! Just in a different place – literally and online.


Now I’m back it’s 100% focus on #everestbasecamptrek2015 with World Vision Australia and Inspired Adventures. I’m training all around Sydney and here are a few of my training pictures from around Sydney in the last few days.

World Vision #Everestbasecamptrek2015 training at Manly

World Vision #Everestbasecamptrek2015 training at Manly

Sydney has been amazing weather and I feel blessed to call this city home. After a few years away in Melbourne, I was more than ready to get back to the beaches and living in Coogee, it’s literally just around the corner!


Looking forward to sharing my Sydney adventures and appreciating the small things. Live each day as if it were your last. Make the most of the world around you. And… SMILE!


Training at Bondi

Training at Bondi

Do you believe in the Afterlife??? Explore it in Sydney this January…

Excited to go to this event. The Afterlife has always fascinated and frightened me. I’m not sure what I believe or what I know but I know I want to learn more.

Death is one of life’s greatest mysteries. Do we really die and simply no longer exist, or does our soul continue on a journey after we draw our last breath? The big question is what do the experts say?

The inaugural Australian Afterlife Explorers Conference will be held at the Parramatta RSL in Sydney’s West from January 24-26 in 2015. It offers a fascinating line-up of experts, researchers and authors.

The Australian Afterlife Explorers Conference has built the bridge between science and spirituality. Conference goers will get the chance to harness the latest in-depth knowledge and evidence.

Some of Australia’s most knowledgeable professionals will be presenting including Debbie Malone – spirit medium and clairvoyant, Barry Eaton, broadcaster and author, retired lawyer Victor Zammit, International President of the Michael Newton Institute, Peter Smith, and Australian academic Michele Knight.

“My expectation is that the Afterlife Explorer’s Conference will confirm, many times over, that we are spiritual beings incarnated in physical form, rather than human beings striving for some spiritual existence. ” (Mick Turner, organiser)

“With absolute certainty the evidence shows that life does go on and you will see your loved ones again.” (Victor Zammit, speaker)

“One of the most important benefits of this conference will be to help people realise that life is ongoing, only the body dies.” (Barry Eaton, speaker)

“Interdimensional Trans Communication (ITC), which is inclusive of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) provides empirical evidence about the multidimensional nature of consciousness, and people attending the Conference will have their minds challenged and expanded.” (Rob Smith, speaker)

Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, curious about what happens when others die, or pondering your own mortality, then this conference will leave you feeling less fearful about death, inspired to live a more loving and purposeful life, and comforted by new thoughts of your loved ones in the afterlife.

The conference is expected to attract psychologists and medical practitioners, spiritual observers and members of the general public. Do we really die, or is there life after death?

Website: www.afterlifeexplorers.com.au

Facebook: www.facebook.com/afterlifeexplorersconference

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwAm5lNbc0c&feature=youtu.be


Don’t miss Australian Marta Pacek as she tours and releases new album

Loving the sound of the singer songwriter at the moment and it’s so nice to see something unique and special in the sounds of Canadian music influence from an Australian Artist. Learn more about Marta Pacek and her upcoming tour and album release.

marta pacek album image




Armed with a collection of new original songs, Australian Alternative folk-songstress Marta Pacek is set to release her new album, Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms, on Feb 27, 2014. To coincide with the release, Marta will embark on an Australian tour spanning VIC, ACT & NSW, following with an additional 15 Canadian and 11 U.S. shows in May 2014.

After spending the past two years touring North America and Australia behind her last album Rebel Baby, Marta Pacek was ready to stretch and grow in the studio. Her new songs caught the interest of producer Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Angus & Julia Stone, Glen Hansard) who also brought his bass playing and beats to the project. Albetta harnessed the precision and groove of electronic drumbeats while honoring Marta’s noir folk compositions, giving birth to an even fiercer shade of truth for the confessional songstress (as seen in her latest video for the Sombre track Sometimes You Lose – shot in Toronto, Canada).   “I was open to a lot of different ideas this time out”, says Marta, explaining the presence of electronic drumbeats throughout Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms.

The new album starts off with the pulsating and haunting feel of The Hunted, while Nothing Going On begins with a surprising hip hop feel, taking the listener on a journey back to 50s rock ‘n’ roll. Favourite Thing veers into Alt Country before pulling at your heartstrings with the sombre Sometimes You Lose and Thar She Blows. Marta nods to Fleetwood Mac in All I Need and Not Leaving Here Alone”would feel right at home on a Tarantino soundtrack. Two standout tracks are Pass Me Over, where Marta channels Joan Baez and One Day, which was written with noted songwriter Todd Clark (Pilot Speed, Philip Phillips, Goo Goo Dolls), there being an additional version of the song to end the album.  Check out Nothing Going On  the first single off the album to get a taste of what to expect.

Beginning her career by writing & recording songs with Mark Seymour, front man of Iconic Australian group Hunters & Collectors, it’s clear his song crafting secrets were passed onto her. Since Toronto-based management lured her to Toronto in 2008, Marta has had an amazing journey. She won Best International Artist at the Barrie New Music Festival in 2009, her second album Rebel Baby, released in 2012 and produced by Jason Mercer (Ani DiFranco & Ron Sexsmith) was very well received, not only internationally but locally as well, when she was awarded Best Alternative-Country song for her single A Girl Gets By at the Canberra Country Music Awards.  Her cover of Patty Griffin’s song Nobody’s Crying was featured on the ABC/Global series Rookie Blue, she’s written for the TV series Radio Man and licensed her music for film. All of which she hopes to do more of. And she’s toured. A lot. Bringing her music to her ever-growing fan base in Troubadoria – her live-in touring van. She is a modern-day gypsy. With Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms, Marta has harnessed an abundance of experiences into an album of personal confessions and a soundscape perfect for taking that long and reflective drive.


On top of her passion for music, the songstress has a flare for fashion that has developed into a personal style that often channels a vintage aesthetic, with a feminine rebellious edge. She has extended her love of precious things to her growing fan base, and has spent time developing her own unique, handcrafted “Marta Pacek” branded merchandise. Currently her range includes women’s apple pendant necklaces carved from willow wood, baby harmonica necklaces, and willow wood iPhone covers.

Last year, Marta had great successes touring internationally, covering more ground in the U.S. Midwest, Eastern Canada, and she is now ready to tour her home country of Australia. Her stunning vocals and roots charm allow Marta to be naked in front of all of us; somehow making us feel a little more human with every story she shares.  The forthcoming Australian tour will see Marta double billing with Canadian artist blueVenus.  Founded in 1998 by singer/songwriter and violinist Andrea de Boer, Toronto’s blueVenus is known for not only their captivating lyrical musings but also for their polished, but highly textured, mélange of sounds. Described as “hypnotic and impressive” by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Germany’s national newspaper, de Boer’s voice is a blend of a sultry, bluesy Janis Joplin with the youthful wariness of Fiona Apple.

Marta Pacek dates

Catch Marta Pacek & Blue Venus (Canada) on the following dates:

MARTA PACEK & BLUE VENUS (Canada) – 2014 Australian Tour Dates

27 Feb – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC

28 Feb – Babushka Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

1 March – Pure Pop Records, St Kilda, VIC **ALBUM LAUNCH**

8 Mar – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

9 Mar – Jamberoo Pub, Jamberoo, NSW

12 Mar – The Vanguard, Syd NSW + Luke O’Shea

14 Mar – The Great Northern Trading Post, Laguna NSW

15 Mar – House concert, Wingham NSW

20 Mar – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine VIC



marta pacek album image

ALL FIRED UP – THE LAZYS Tour in Australia


Following their recent stint in NY, The Lazys are ALL FIRED UP about returning to what they do best, playing live.

Lazys 2014 Web Banner

Taking the opportunity to road test their new material from their forthcoming album ‘ALL FIRED UP’, recorded late last year in New York with producers Gus Van Go and Werner F. (The Grates, Monster Truck, The Stills, Hollerado, The Trews, Priestess), the NSW Central Coast rock 5-piece will undertake a series of pub and club shows throughout NSW from February to April before they head over to North America.

With a reputation for pumping out a kick-arse live show, The Lazys are keen to film a kick-arse live clip for the new single, title track ‘ALL FIRED UP, and would like for their supporters to get actively involved at these shows. The band are asking punters to film ‘ALL FIRED UP from the crowd and send on to the band where footage will be used as the official clip for the song. The band will credit punters names on their Facebook page and tail at the end of the clip for any footage used. Send your clips to the band via their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thelazys

Catch The Lazy’s live at the following shows and look out for the debut album ‘All Fired Up’ later this year. See tour dates attached.

Lazys Poster 2014

Get ALL FIRED UP in 2014 with The Lazys at the following shows:


















Kim Wempe comes to Australia for first ever tour down-under

Very much looking forward to the Tour of the lovely Kim Wempe who is coming to Australia all the way from Canada in December 2013 and January 2014.

Check out more here.  

K I M    W E M P E


“…one of those strong, raspy voices that’s only made better by whiskey and more emotive by a sad song. She embodies the storytelling nature of the country genre, that slow burning hurt we know to be true of the blues, and these soulful gospel melodies that recall something almost spiritual.”

Alan Cross – Canadian Radio Broadcaster and Music Journalist

Album-cover copy

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, a small Canadian farming town, KIM WEMPE hit her musical stride after moving to the arts/cultural hub of Nova Scotia in 2008 to complete her Jazz Degree in Voice and record her 2009 award winning debut album Where I Need To Be. Following the much-lauded debut, the sassy Blues/Folk singer/songwriter collaborated with some of Canada’s finest musicians (Joel Plaskett, Old Man Luedecke, Thom Swift & Geoff Hilhorst of Deep Dark Woods) for her 2nd (award nominated) album Painting With Tides.  After four years of touring consistently, including performances at festivals & the Vancouver Olympics, Kim is set to release her third album and hit Australia for her first bunch of shows.


Kim Wempe’s new album Coalition is roots-tinged pop/blues influenced by Americana storytelling and gospel melodies. Produced by Newfoundland soul artist Chris Kirby, the album showcases Wempe’s powerful vocals like never before. Supported by an insistent kick drum, alternative percussion, layered guitars, blues organ, and a gospel choir, Wempe’s smoky voice pulls the weight of every song like an unstoppable train.  Released in Australia on December 7 through Code One/MGM, Coalition features the infectious single Never Promised You Nothing and a heartbreaking duet with Tim Chaisson for The Only One. 


Catch Kim Wempe performing on the East Coast in December & January.  Dates attached.


COALITION is out December 7 through Code One/MGM


“That’s the reason why Kim Wempe is going to be huge; she’s got the heart, she’s got the soul and she’s got the kind of voice that holds those who hear it tightly. That voice is magic and no one who hears it will be able to turn away from it.”  Bill Adams – Canadian Music Reviewer / http://www.groundcontrolmag.com/detail/3/3522/





K I M    W E M P E


Friday 20th December 2013: Lizottes – Dee Why (NSW) With Diesel
Ph: (02) 9984 9933 or www.sydney.lizottes.com.au


Saturday 21st December 2013: Lizottes – Dee Why (NSW) With Diesel
Ph: (02) 9984 9933 or www.sydney.lizottes.com.au


Friday 27th December 2013 – Wednesday 1st January 2014:

Woodford Folk Festival – Brisbane (QLD)



Thursday 2nd January 2014: Café Le Monde – Noosa (QLD)

OZCAN Showcase

Ph: (07) 5449 2366 or www.cafelemonde.com.au


Friday 3rd January 2014: Old Museum – Brisbane (QLD)

OZCAN Showcase

Ph: (07) 32574089 or www.oldmuseum.org


Saturday 4th January 2014: Byron Bay Community Centre – Byron Bay (NSW)

OZCAN Showcase

Ph: (02) 6685 6807 or www.byroncentre.com.au


Wednesday 8th January 2014: Brass Monkey – Cronulla (NSW)

OZCAN Showcase

Ph: (02) 9544 3844 or www.brassmonkey.com.au


Thursday 9th January 2014: The Basement – Sydney (NSW)

OZCAN Showcase

Ph: (02) 9251 2797 or www.thebasement.com.au


Friday 10th January 2014: Caravan Club – Melbourne (VIC)

OZCAN Showcase

Ph: (03) 9568 1432 or www.caravanmusic.com.au


Friday 17th January 2014: Brass Monkey – Cronulla (NSW) With Diesel

Ph: (02) 9544 3844 or www.brassmonkey.com.au


Saturday 18th January 2014: Brass Monkey – Cronulla (NSW) With Diesel

Ph: (02) 9544 3844 or www.brassmonkey.com.au