Becoming a backpacker: My first budget trip in Australia

When I interviewed Laura recently about how her travel plans for her first big trip have changed from a long-term trip starting in Asia to a short-term trip close to home (which, for her, is Europe - lucky thing!) her comment about being a first time traveller reminded me of my first independent … [Read more...]

Anzac Day explainer, although it’s too complex for me to explain

Two things you need to know about me, before I attempt to explain Anzac Day: I'm a massive pacifist. War terrifies me. Anything that leaves people dead for no good reason makes me cry. And guns - oh dear. My son is six, that age where every young boy pretends to play with guns; it drives me … [Read more...]

Learning English in Australia: ESL books that sound like we do

Before my son was born, I taught English as a second language (ESL) for almost a decade, mostly to adults. It's the job that took me to Japan, Slovakia and Germany before returning to Perth to teach English to people who'd come to Australia from South America, Europe and Asia - some to improve their … [Read more...]

Showing travellers around your region – meeting the locals

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - one of my absolute favourite ways of travelling is to stay with some locals and learn all about how they go about their daily lives. Figuring out the similarities and differences from my life to theirs is something I find fascinating. It both reminds me of … [Read more...]

Should experienced travellers go to Bali? A note from my own experience

Bail is one of the most popular destinations for Australian holiday-makers, and especially for people from Perth (my hometown) because it's basically the shortest flight you can take to get anywhere holiday-ish (apart from a few places within Western Australia which are gorgeous, but way more … [Read more...]

Perth for kids: Fun at the Castledare Miniature Railway

Give me a four-year-old boy and I will say he is a train lover and I will always be right. Right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctA4YYcjsI8 So when my husband heard about the Castledare Miniature Railway from a colleague, I did agree that it sounded like a winner - but for once left it up to … [Read more...]

Why I prefer Perth beaches in winter than summer

My hometown of Perth, Western Australia, has some pretty spectacular beaches, if I do say so myself. And with summer coming up here, a lot of people, both locals and tourists alike, start to focus on the beach. Not me though. Perth beaches in summer All up and down the coast of Perth - it's … [Read more...]

Unexpected cultural differences: How do you wash your dishes in your country?

I love that chatting with people from other countries can lead to bizarre revelations about cultural differences that you never realised could be an issue at all. And I have to tell you, of the many such conversations I've had over the years, nothing has struck quite so many chords as the whole " … [Read more...]

Why tourists should visit the Perth Royal Show (and how pigs fly)

In the 80s I was a kid growing up in Perth, arguably the most isolated city in the world. But isolated didn't mean we missed out on fun (or if we did, we didn't realise - there was no internet back then, and much less FOMO!). One of the highlights of the year was our nearly-annual chance to visit … [Read more...]

Abingdon Miniature Village, Mandurah: Kids choosing the destination in Western Australia

Edit:In 2015 the Abingdon Miniature Village closed - but in 2018 it reopened as Amaze Miniature Park! I have a theory about encouraging kids to love travel and if you let kids choose the destination - or at least make lots of choices as part of a bigger trip - then they will be a lot more … [Read more...]