Poolsitter

Poolsitter

Here’s a swan and a half. New South Wales woman Sorelle Amore won a world trip with no worries about where to stay. Luxury mansions all the way. We could all handle that gig, yeah?

Rosie Fizmaurice of Business Insider caught up with Sorelle who explained how she handled three months of mostly solo travel – she spent a week with her boyfriend at The Mandala House in Bali – living in luxury houses managed by Thirdhome, described as “The AirBnB for the 1%”.

This is a job I’ll never get. It helps to be young and beautiful, articulate, take a good photo – and have a social media following of a hundred thousand or so. Good on her. I like her style.

One Sweet Day

One sweet day

Sometimes, I think we miss the point of travel. We have the perfect meal, we want the perfect Instagram to show it off. We have a hotel room with a fantastic view, out comes the camera, out comes the laptop to record the moment.

Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that, but what is it about travel and new experiences that we really crave?

It’s the people, I’m sure of it. People with different backgrounds, different life experiences, different likes and loves.

We see our own lives through different eyes, and we discover ourselves.

Fellow travellers

Fellow travellers

I’m probably the last person anyone would turn to for any sort of management task. I’m a foot-soldier, not a general. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I’ve managed a few group tours. A few days, a few people; we’ve had fun, seen the sights, gotten from A to B, and done the job without too many people yelling at each other.

So this article by Ellen Morgan from Broadsheet caught my eye. Sometimes there will be travel that involves more than family. Getting it right is crucial; people are spending a lot of money and their valuable vacation days to follow your plan, and if there’s waste and delay, they’ll blame you.

Travel insurance on hand

Travel insurance on hand

Phillipe Cousteau – yes, grandson of the legendary ocean explorer – tells the South China Morning Post his best travel tips. Headlining the article is one that will surely raise a few eyebrows: wearing a good watch while traveling is like having a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. In a sticky situation, you can barter it to get out of trouble.

I’m kind of dubious about this. Yes, I can see how it would work, but it might also attract thieves and muggers. And what’s to stop some crooked cop or customs official from manufacturing a problem that could only be solved by a timely present?

The rest of the article is great advice. This bloke travels a lot and knows what he’s doing.

iphone shooter

iPhone shooter

I’ve been photographing my travels for over thirty years, and I’ve watched as cameras became increasingly smaller and more capable. Nowadays, even a humble phone camera is a photography system far superior to my old film SLR. Not to mention being slim enough to tuck into a shirt pocket, and having the ability to instantly share with a global audience. Truly mind-blowing stuff!

They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Nowadays, I shoot with mirrorless cameras costing thousands, but often I’m not carrying one, or it is packed away securely, or otherwise unavailable when that fabulous photo opportunity hits. To capture the decisive moment, I reach into my pocket, pull out my iPhone, take the shot, and upload it to Instagram. In a matter of seconds.

The genius behind Map, Camera, Travel gives a detailed run-through – with photographs – of iPhone photography. There is a tonne of features that will enhance your shots right out of the box, not to mention various hardware and software add-ons.

My favourite? Wipe the lens before shooting. Otherwise, it’s a foggy day.

New South Land

Ancient cultures in a new south land

Rhonda and Jeff Albom at Albom Adventures describe an enchanting garden in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful cities. I love Dunedin; it is a slice of Scotland in the antipodes, where Robert Burns embodies the very heart of the city, and shops advertise fresh haggis. The magnificent railway station is the most photographed building in New Zealand, and the city is home to many wonders, not least the steepest residential street in the world, where future Olympians must surely live.

A good Chinese garden is a journey through many realms: of beauty, imagination, culture, emotion, and the senses. Every detail carefully thought out and implemented, here one may relax in an oasis of tranquillity amid the city’s bustle. Not that Dunedin bustles a great deal, but the place of peace is located here.