Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Ben Southall – a traveller’s inspiration!

February 2, 2011

My friend Natasha and me with Ben Southall

Met an inspiring traveller on the weekend – Ben Southall. Heard of him? He won Tourism Queensland’s ‘Best Job in the World’ competition a couple of years back.

I watched him speak at the Adventure Travel Show in London and afterwards my travel-writing friend managed to entice him to have coffee with us.

He really is an inspirational bloke.

Not many people know this, but before he landed the best job in the world, he travelled through Africa on his own, climbing the continent’s six highest mountains and participating in six marathons, raising £25,000 for charity.

He documented all of his travels on his blog and no doubt it was one of the reasons why he landed the Queensland gig.

Ben still lives in Australia today and at the moment he’s organising a canoeing trip, retracing Captain Cook’s journey from when the explorer landed on Aussie shores for the first time.

He’s taking a crew with him, including film experts who are going to make a Google ‘streetmap’ of the ocean’s reef and its fish – how cool is that?

All the while, he is promoting the protection of the reef and creating awareness about global warming and its effects.

I’d love a job like his and he gave me some valuable tips for documenting my future travel adventures. Perhaps one day I could have the pleasure of sitting on a beach, laptop on my knees, writing about the dolphin dive I just went on, all whilst being paid?

One can dream!

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A shocking week.

June 2, 2010

Wow, what a week it has been. Highs and lows and a lot of crazy times in between.

First of all, this time last week we were told that our landlords were selling our flat and we had a week to get out. Panic ensued, because we were leaving for Spain for six days the following day and there was no way we’d have time to find a new place.

The good thing about our house is that the rent is super cheap and all bills are included. The bad thing is that we don’t have a contract, we pay the money under our landlord’s door and our landlord is obviously not paying tax for the rental of our place.

Anyway, we managed to negotiate two weeks by pleading with them. The next day we left for Spain, which I will write about later with all the images included. We were having an amazing time away, cruising the northern coast in our rented campervan when we got a text from our housemate…

Our landlord had died! Dropped dead on a Friday night. Not sure what happened, but I think it was a heart attack. So sad, he was only in his early 40s. He was also a really nice guy who fixed anything that broke in our house ASAP.

We were seriously shocked and felt very bad for his girlfriend who he left behind. So tragic. 😦

Now we’re not sure if we have to move out after all. We’re not sure whether the house is being sold because I assume there’s a will to be sorted?

We got back from Spain really late last night and I’m absolutely knackered at work this morning. We’re having a meeting with our landlord’s girlfriend tonight, so time will tell whether we’ll be homeless (or not) this time next week.

Life is crazy and sometimes it throws odd balls at you. Travelling around in Spain and enjoying the sunshine made me realise just how important it is to live every day to the fullest and do everything you want to do, as soon as you can. Who knows, you may not be here tomorrow.

You have to ask yourself, ‘If I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with all I’ve done?’ I can safely say that yes, I’m very pleased with the life I’ve lived. I do hope my landlord felt the same.

Perth to scrap its Ferris wheel

April 14, 2010

The Perth Ferris wheel

Oh dear. It has been revealed that the Perth City Council is going to take down the Observation Wheel on the foreshore.

The attraction cost A$10m to build and install and will close on May 2 after the operators and the City of Perth were unable to agree on its future.

Apparently the operators, World Tourist Attractions, want a five-year extension on their lease but the council doesn’t want to give it to them because it has plans to revamp the foreshore, beginning from the end of next year.

People on the website Perth Now have whinged that Perth is already so boring, even without scrapping one of its only draw cards.

Personally, I don’t think people go to Perth for a silly Ferris wheel – that is miniscule in comparison with the London Eye – I think people visit my home town for its beaches.

The problem is that there isn’t much else. Other people on Perth Now were complaining that there is no development – shops and so forth – along the beach that attracts the tourists. But to be honest, that’s one of the reasons why I love Perth… because there’s not much development along the coastline.

I remember going to the Gold Coast a few years back and if you sat on the beach in the afternoon you wouldn’t be able to sunbathe. The massive skyscrapers that line the shore would mean you’d be sitting in shadow come 3pm.

As for tourists – I don’t care if Perth remains a hidden gem. Tourists can be annoying anyway. Trust me, I live in London and I’m over them!