Teaching happy tears: What kids learn from travelling in Cambodia and Vietnam

I'll always remember the first time I saw my son cry from joy, sentimentality and compassion. You know, happy tears, basically. He's eight, and he has cried plenty of times out of frustration, anger, tiredness and grief, but never like this. We were sitting in our hotel room in Hoi An, at the end … [Read more...]

Visiting a Fijian village: how to meet locals while travelling and empower them, too

If I get to meet locals while travelling then it is usually a sign of an awesome trip. To travel and meet people who I can talk to about what a destination is really like for the people who live there is one of my favourite parts of travelling - I love to really get to know something about a culture … [Read more...]

Random Acts of Travel Kindness – Episode 88 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

As this episode airs, I'm a day away from returning to Japan with my son - and Japan is the place I know I was blessed with so very many random acts of travel kindness, both when I lived there and on my return visit a couple of years ago. So it's timely to look back on some of those moments were a … [Read more...]

Should I try hitchhiking? Lessons from Jub’s rides

Next in my series of guest posts about the lessons we learn from travelling is this beauty all about hitchhiking - and what you can learn from it. I've sometimes wondered if I should try hitchhiking - I've never done it and it makes me nervous, but I'll never say never, and I know heaps of people … [Read more...]

7 things I’ve learnt from homestays and language exchanges

It's easy to stay at a hotel when you travel. But it's way more interesting to stay in a homestay, get to know some local people and even get them to help you learn their language. Over the years I've had a bunch of homestay experiences, mostly in Russia and Germany, and hosted some … [Read more...]

The Kindness of Strangers on Your Travels – Episode 76 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Sometimes it's hard to talk to strangers. It seems a bit easier when you travel, because everyone's a stranger. And the best part: strangers often turn out to be incredibly kind and helpful, and leave you with great stories to tell on my podcast sometime down the track! And that's exactly what's … [Read more...]

Conversations with Locals – Episode 59 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Are you shy or brave about chatting to locals when you travel? I can be either, depending on the circumstances, but I've definitely got better at it over the years and when it's a language issue, for example, I've got much braver about just "having a go" in the local language and not worrying about … [Read more...]

Taking Photos of People on Your Travels – Episode 57 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

I get to meet all sorts of interesting people thanks to my blog and photographers are often amongst the most interesting of them all! Here in Perth I volunteer on the committee for the Fremantle International Portrait Prize, a contest running since 2009 to the best photography portraits from … [Read more...]

The Thoughtful Travel Podcast: Episode 22 – Memorable Travel Moments: Hungry Porcupines and More

The Thoughtful Travel Podcast is back after a couple of weeks off while I moved house. My new podcasting room is so much prettier! But noisier - there'll be bird noises, I'm sure. (Not too sorry about it though, because nature is lovely.) Well, nature is usually lovely, but the first story in … [Read more...]

The Thoughtful Travel Podcast: Episode 13 – Taking it Slow: Travelling to Feel Like a Local

Slow travel has become quite the catch phrase in travel circles of late, and although it's something that I think quite a lot of people have recognised and practiced for many years, a bit of research suggests that labelling "slow travel" as such is something that's only been happening in the last … [Read more...]