15 years of Universal Studios Japan (and 15 years since I moved to Osaka)

Fifteen years ago this year, I moved to Japan. Also fifteen years ago this year, just a couple of months before my arrival in Osaka, Universal Studios Japan opened. What a brilliant coincidence, I think, that USJ would bring me back to Japan in this special year! Magic at Universal Studios … [Read More...]

Making Friends Through Travel – Episode 35 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Some people travel to see the sights; some to eat the food. I like doing both of these too, but one of my favourite things to do while I'm travelling is to make new friends. And that's what Episode 35 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast is all about. Whether I'm making completely new friends by … [Read More...]

Travel and Stereotypes – Episode 34 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

The topic of stereotypes is an endlessly fascinating one for me. When I was an ESL teacher, especially here in Perth when I would have a class full of different nationalities, it was so interesting to … [Read More...]

Does Croatia rhyme with nature?

I've been down the rabbit hole of old photos recently. Have you visited such a rabbit hole? It's a delightful journey through Croatia and Tunisia and Japan and eastern Australia and a million other … [Read More...]

Volunteer Travel to Help You and the World – Episode 33 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

I've travelled around in lots of different ways but to date, I've never done any kind of volunteer travel. (I've volunteered while I've been living somewhere, but not gone anywhere specifically to … [Read More...]

5 reasons I’m crazy-excited about returning to Japan

Have you ever spent time in a country, and then daydreamed for years and years about returning? That's me and Japan. Japan is easily one of my most favourite places in the world. I lived in Osaka … [Read More...]

On Keeping a Travel Journal – Episode 32 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Ah, travel journals. One of my favourite topics, as you know. And something that takes up several shelves in my bookcase, too. I'm fascinated to hear about other people's habits when it comes to … [Read More...]

5 experiences I had in Perth to realise my home town has grown up

I have a recent epiphany to share: Perth, Western Australia, is now a really cool city. I was born in Perth (in the 1970s; population then around 800,000 - now over 2 million), the capital city of … [Read More...]

How the Internet Has Changed Travel – Episode 31 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

I know in my heart that the internet has been an incredibly rapidly growing thing, but when I tell my six-year-old that when I was a kid, most people didn't have computers and nobody at all had the … [Read More...]