Sunday, 13 May 2012

wanting to pack my bags...

I'm not sure why it is, but at this point in time, I'm considering destinations, as I'm wanting to pack my bag and go on a journey.  I think it might be triggered by the change in climate. The days have turned cool, wet and windy, the days are shorter and the regular daily updates I receive about stunning resort or intriguing destinations, whilst sitting at my desk either tapping on the keyboard or speaking on the phone, doesn't help.

Maybe it is because, I am going to Vietnam on an amazing journey with a group of female friends/clients later this year, where we will be hiking, cruising Halong Bay, participating in a cooking class at K.O.T.O and spending a night or two in a luxury hotel, after spending nights staying in local homestay accommodation. Maybe what has also got me pondering an escape, is that my future fellow travellers have started chatting about what to pack. Packing for me has never been an issue, I don't live a life of having an excessive wardrobe, so I don't need one when I'm holidays. I trust having lived mostly out of a backpack for three years, whilst travelling and living aboard hastened me to want what is useful and practical.

It is a given when I holiday, I pack my swimmers (bathers), at the moment I'm favouring my European style bikini from Raife. Sneakers are always packed, they'll get used whether it be a dawn walk around town exploring the street before the chaos of the day begins or a power walk on the treadmill.  The sun hat is a must for those lazy pool side days, my handy Mimco sun visor will be great for the hiking days. A sarong is a must, it is so light and versatile when on holiday, I never travel with a towel. Another mandatory item I pack is a shawl, it is great for cool evenings over your shoulders, I've used it as a skirt visiting temples, a pillow whilst travelling or simply when the airconditioning becomes intolerable.  
Of course there is more to packing, but these are my basic needs. I'll share more in the near future on other items and what toiletries to pack.  Enjoy and share your thoughts, on what you must have in your bag, if you wish?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Nikole Ramsay...

I first came across Nikole and her captivating photography through Jane Webster who has the beautiful Chateau de Bosgouet in Normandy, France. In featuring Jane’s week long food tours to our clients, Travel With A Difference needed some images. The images we were delivered, were from Nikole in London, she had access to these stunning images, as she was the photographer for Jane’s cook book ‘At my French Table’.

Since, that time five years ago, I’ve had the pleasure to met with Nikole and share many a coffee or wine, as she has moved back to Australia and resides in the same beautiful coastal town, as I do. She is a vivacious woman with a great sense of humour and endearing love for her family and friends. I delight in viewing her photography and coordinating her travel arrangements, as her skill and passion for photography takes her on intriguing projects around the world.

Her recent blog, 'Morocco' is a must see, it had me day-dreaming of my travels abroad and time I spent in Morocco.  It was from here, I wanted to chat and share more of Nikole with you…

TWAD: when and where was your first holiday?
NR: The first holiday I can remember was a trip to Scotland to visit my mum’s family at the age of three or four! It was the first time I had seen snow so I think that’s why I remember it. The first proper family holiday I clearly remember is to Caloundra in Queensland as a child with my family. I am the youngest of four children and I have lots of lovely memories of family holidays in Queensland as a child.

TWAD: at what age did you discover your passion for photography? What were you photographing?
NR: My dad was a keen amateur photographer and I think he started my love of photography as he used to let me use his camera. I was fascinated by seeing the prints come back from the lab (or chemist in those days!). I then was lucky enough to have a very inspiring art teacher in later years at school who encouraged me to apply for the degree course at RMIT in Melbourne.

TWAD: now that you are a professional photographer, what area do you specialise in and/or love photographing?
NR: I specialise in weddings, capturing the celebrations and couples in love, both here and abroad. I also love to photograph food and travel photography as well and have been commissioned for some lovely books doing just that.

TWAD: do you have a desired destination you’d love to photograph?
NR: Montenegro on the Adriatic coast in Europe. Since I saw it in a Bond film a few years ago I have been yearning to go there! I love the look of the architecture and the coast line and the emerald green sea!

Nikole’s photos are a stream of inspiration, take a look, enjoy the journey… and let us hear your thoughts...

so, what does this inspire in you?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

"DREAM ON" and be groovy...

Hong Kong offers so much as a destination with many shopping precincts, a culture where you can participate in Tai Chi, take a tea appreciation class or explore the historical sites. The public transport makes for easy exploring and of course don't forget to pack your swimmers, remember it is summer!
Our "DREAM ON" deluxe package this week is the groovy Mira Hong Kong and not only do we have a fab package rate, but we are also offering an upgrade from the City View Room to the Courtyard Room*.

Oh, I forgot to mention the many cocktails and food experiences to be had!
INCLUSIONS: Return Qantas economy airfare including taxes ex Melbourne, Return private Mercedes transfers between HKG airport and The Mira, 4 Nights accommodation and daily breakfast.
COST: $1696.72 per person twin/double share
BOOK: today, as there are only limited "DREAM ON" deluxe holidays available.
DEPARTURE DATE:  Friday 08 June 2012
CONTACT:  Travel With A Difference now 03-5254 1279
* subject to availability