Great Travel Souvenirs – Episode 42 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Gone are the days - for me - when I buy dozens of crappy souvenirs of a place - but I still love checking out souvenir shops and I also love hunting for something really special to take home to remember a place. Plus I've got a young son - and kids are notorious for looking for the rubbishy … [Read more...]

The Aussie bush – what Australians mean when they talk about the bush

When you grow up knowing something intimately, it's easy to forget that people in other parts of the world won't know what you're talking about. That's exactly what happens to me time and time again when I talk to non-Australians about "the bush". It's something I often talk about, maybe … [Read more...]

Culture Shock Abroad – Episode 41 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Culture shock is a funny thing. I've experienced it a few times, particularly in Asia and Africa where the cultures are more different to my own, and there have been times when it's kind of taken the wind out of my sails and I've had a day or so feeling a bit uncomfortable in a new place. Luckily … [Read more...]

Important Things Travel Teaches Us – Episode 40 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

When you look for them, there are lessons from life everywhere, but I really believe that when you're travelling, the learnings really come in thick and fast. You're experiencing new and different things, you're probably more open to learning because you're out of your comfort zone and away from … [Read more...]

Fears and Freaking Out Before You Travel – Episode 39 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Everyone assumes that experienced travellers just breeze through a trip confidently and happily. Let me tell you a secret: we don't! Well, speaking for myself (and this episode's guests) at least, we often freak out before and during a trip - although in my case, it's mostly before. Personally I … [Read more...]

5 unique reasons to visit Kobe, Japan

Kobe has long been one of my favourite Japanese cities. When I lived in nearby Osaka, it was a place I regularly took overseas visitors for a day trip, because it was such a good contrast to Osaka and Nara. Back then, it was only six years after the 1995 earthquake, but this had the effect of … [Read more...]

New Year’s Eve Travels – Episode 38 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

The end of 2016 is fast approaching and on this episode of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast I thought it was a good time to talk about travelling at New Year's - as well as thinking about our travel resolutions for the year ahead. It's the first episode to feature Kim-Ling of Travel-Ling - I met … [Read more...]

The secret of Sakai City: off the beaten path in Kansai, Japan

One day soon it'll be a normal thing to suggest visiting Sakai City when you're passing through Osaka, but I'm getting in early to tell you: go to Sakai! Back when I lived in Osaka, I knew Sakai was south of the city and that's about all; I occasionally met people who worked there. Beyond that, I … [Read more...]

Christmas Travels – Episode 37 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Christmas is coming: are you ready? That phrase has run around in my head for decades after I saw it on a bumper sticker as a child! In any case, it's not long until Christmas and I thought this was a great excuse to gather some Christmassy travel tales for The Thoughtful Travel Podcast. I think … [Read more...]

7 things I desperately love about Osaka

My love affair with Osaka, Japan's "other" city, stretches back fifteen years already. As a 25-year-old I headed to Japan to teach English with my then boyfriend. The company which hired us only offered two destination choices to teachers hired in couples: Tokyo or Osaka. Always one to make the less … [Read more...]