Photo of the Week

Want to know more about Australia Day and some of the things we get up to down here in Sydney? Have a look at my latest write up on Go Mad Nomad magazine. I was able to experience a lovely Aboriginal morning ceremony. It motivated me to look a little at the indigenous culture and their experience since British settlement in 1788.

My article and photo can be found here

Here are some more photos from the day…..




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It’s easy to look at a war torn country and view those involved as “them”. It’s easy to ignore the human side. Traveling changes that. They become us; there becomes here. Instead of just nameless humans, there are people with plans and dreams; people with families; people who love, hate, get sad and are joyous. People who, just like you and me, want to feed their family and provide them with shelter.

This video is a reminder how close and similar we all really are. I don’t know where these people are now; whether they are dead or alive, injured, scared, in refugee camps, excited by their future in their own country or another, progressing through life with positiveness. I don’t know their losses or their successes. But, each one of them welcomed me to their country, showed me kindness, respect, hospitality and were interested in my life and in sharing their own. WIth some it was just a moment, others weeks, but with all it was an interaction of friends. I pray that all are well and safe.

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London: Things To Do That You May Not Know About

Just back from London.

I used to live there so always fun to go back and visit old haunts and old friends. I’ve just done an article for The Expeditioner travel magazine about a few things you might like to get up to in London. Especially if you haven’t been there before, some of these 10 suggestions might be new and give you more of an experience than just Big Ben and The Tower (not that there’s anything wrong with those two!)

Click here to take a look. I hope yo uenjoy discovering the wonderful old city that’s on our television sets so much at the moment!

Happy travels……Rebecca.

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Extreme Nutrition for Extreme Hiking

Check out my latest article, published by Raw Power, Australia.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or nutritionist etc. It’s just info. Hope you enjoy it and it makes you think a bit about your food choices, whether you’re “extreme hiking” or just living a busy life. Fuel yourself wisely….


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Internal Journeying: The Quest For Happiness

I wrote this about a year ago for a Matador Network blog. Thought I’d rerun it here. It is a bit of a brain vomit, but will hopefully make you dig deeper within yourself a little….


What is happiness? Are we really meant to be happy? Is it a sustainable state of being or a fleeting visitor that is supposed to come and go?

I heard an interview with famed author David Malouf today, and it got me thinking and asking more questions than usual (More? Is that actually possible?!) We are always told that happiness is our natural state of being. If we are happy, we know that all is right in the world. I mean, it must be true. There are thousands of books out there telling us this is so. I guess that then prompts the question, why are there thousands of books out there on how to be happy? Surely if it is our natural state of being, we should know how to achieve it without the help of a book.


We in developed countries in general have it pretty good. We live in relative safety. Are allowed to think and say what we wish. We have education, healthcare, sanitation and a welfare system. Our standard of living is higher than it has ever been. But how many people, when asked how they are reply, “Super!”? Usually it is more, “Ok” or the robotic, “Good. How are you?” You may even get, “Oh, no use complaining. No one will listen.” Have we become so spoilt and indulged that gratefulness just doesn’t gel with us anymore? Are we too obsessed with our own self importance? Perhaps we really are just pointless balls of energy and this is certainly something we do not wish to hear. How many times do we become irate that the car in front cut us off off or feel the indignation of not finding a parking spot? A parking spot!!! It seems a little absurd when there are people in the world dying from war and natural disasters. Perhaps the car spot is just the scapegoat for a deeper level of unhappiness we are not prepared to face because it seems just too overwhelming. Do we really just not know how lucky we are? Do we not understand the true meaning of happiness? Or are we just not meant to be happy, at least not all the time?

It is accepted that being happy is the goal but even with all we have, many people are not content. Can happiness equate to contentedness? Then the guilt starts to play on their mind. “I have all this and I should be happy. I feel I should be much more grateful.” You see examples of this a lot, to the point that a cliche has been birthed, “Money can’t buy you happiness.” One may travel to the poorest countries in the world where they have nothing, but they do have happiness. Is this just because less fortunate people have lower expectations of life? Can happiness be equated with the degree to which you are resigned to your fate? Is happiness relative to your environment and not an absolute state of being?

You could also ask the question, is happiness a material state or a spiritual state? Perhaps there are just different types of happiness? Does happiness come from the desires of the flesh or from meditation on higher consciousness. Can the two be combined? Do we embark on certain journeys, be they physical or spiritual because someone else has told us that it will make us happy and we follow their direction robotically? Is happiness in doing nothing at all?

Does happiness make us happy or is it just our quest for happiness that drives us forward? Is it the unobtainable illusion, sought by man like the Holy Grail but never conquered? Perhaps it is not meant to be. If we were happy all of the time, would we not stop striving and challenging ourselves, end the lessons we learn from overcoming adversities and impossible obstacles? Maybe this is the real point of happiness, to tempt us with small tastes but then send us on our journey of more lessons. We strive, touch but never fully embrace. The hologram of a finish line to keep us on our life path. Perhaps we are not meant to ever reach it fully. Is satisfaction of achievement, not happiness the true goal?

Fear, concern and anxiety need not be the opposite of happiness. The true opposite may well be restlessness. Why does a pea felt under a pile of mattresses make a princess? Why does an oyster require a grit of sand to make a pearl? What pushes a chicken to continue struggling until it is hatched? Why must a butterfly continuously beat its wings, almost to the point of exhaustion to release itself from its cocoon? Maybe it is restlessness and questing that is our natural state. If we were happy all the time, would we not hinder progression and growth?

What do you think?

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Mongolia’s Reindeer People

Have a look at my latest article about Mongolia, published by Big World Magazine. If you want to get away from at all on the back of a horse, northern Mongolia should be at the top of your list. I travelled with Wild Frontiers who I can highly recommend.

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Weekend In Sydney: Dragon Boat Races

The sun decided to shine on Sydney Town this weekend, a very welcome change to what Mother Nature has been bringing us. I took the opportunity to photograph the Dragon Boat Races at Darling Harbour, part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Hope you enjoy the short video.

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Tibetan Refugee In India

Check out my latest article published by Matador Network:

The one thing I love about traveling is meeting people from backgrounds very different from your own. There are obvious differences of course, but there are often more similarities: desire for education and the wish to make a difference in the world, no matter how small; health and safety; the love of family and friends. See? We’re not all that different after all. Read what Kunga taught me……

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Indian Road Rules

In November, I was fortunate to win a travel writing competition with a major Australian newspaper, The Herald Sun. Here is a copy of my published piece. It’s only short, but I hope you get a giggle out of it!


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BRO: Border Roads Organisation, India

The first time I see a BRO sign is in Manali, northern India. Manali is a popular skiing and heliskiing spot in Winter so attracts plenty of New Zealanders. So it makes sense that the Kiwis were making their presence felt by putting up signs to the attention of BRO. Turns out that BRO actually stands for Border Roads Organisation. As the name suggests, they operate around the border areas of India, and are extremely active in the Indian Himalayas, clearing landslides caused by monsoonal rains and repairing the ravenous affects of the fierce Winters. BRO has put up bright, yellow concrete signs at regular intervals along the roadside to put the driver’s mind at ease. Here are some examples:

“A way to a brighter future”  “Well, that’s nice”, you think as you drive along. However, it is often unclear to the motorist as to whether BRO is rectifying or contributing to the situation. When it takes you nine hours to travel five kilometres along the infamous Rohtang Pass, you start to wonder.

“It is not a rally. Enjoy the valley” Well Rohtang Pass was more of a rally than the people at Dakar could organise!

“Accidents don’t happen. They are caused”…by BRO’s efforts perhaps?

“Peep peep. Don’t sleep” Is that one for drivers or BRO workers who like to crouch by the side of the road watching the passing parade?

“Quality improvement is our aim” Really?

But BRO also offer a bit of titillation:

“I am curvaceous. Be slow”

“Darling I like you, but not so fast”

“Feel the curves but do not test them”

Perhaps a bit more work behind the shovel and a bit less behind the creativity department’s computer wouldn’t go astray.

But the one that sums it all up is this: “Incomparable Border Roads”

That they certainly are.

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