10 Years of Travel

My passport expired earlier this year.  Well, to be completely accurate, it had six months left on it but I ran out of pages to get my visas for my trip to South East Asia in the spring. That’s a good feeling – almost as good as taking my lovely new passport and getting lots of stamps in it straight away!

But I didn’t just want to put the old one away in a drawer to collect dust and be forgotten. That passport has ten years of stamps in it; all the independent travel I have done since I graduated university.  More than a dozen countries across five continents…and a hell of a lot of memories to boot.  So I had a chat with my eminently talented graphic designer of a brother about how we could create a display of the pages from my passport.  He came with the brilliant idea of merging the stamps with some of my favourite photographs from those trips.

And here are the results…

…pretty cool, huh?  I had these printed and framed in a mix of sizes and they are now up on the wall of my room as a beautiful reminder of all the amazing places I have been in the past ten years and inspiration for all of the places I still want to go.  I wonder what stamps and photographs I will have to add to the collection in ten years time?

My brother is in the process of redesigning his website but you can keep up to date with his activity on Facebook via AgentBright.

Picture Time Again

I was really fortunate to spend 6 weeks in India at the end of 2011.  Nearly 3 weeks of this was on a tour from Delhi to Goa, through Rajasthan, followed by a couple of weeks of beach-hut living and yoga in a remote part of northern Goa.

It was an amazing trip; I totally fell in love with India.  In fact, I’m wondering whether I can squeeze in a trip to the south of the country later this year (any takers?).  Delhi, Agra and Jaipur were quite hard work to start with.  Those cities are everything one expects of India – a complete assault on all of your senses – but intoxicating, nonetheless.  I still remember the moment I saw the iconic Taj Mahal in the flesh (so to speak) – it’s one of those moments where you go “wow, I’m really here” (similar to seeing the Sydney harbour for the first time).  I really loved the more laid-back pace of Pushkar and Udaipur, not to mention the life-changing experiences I had practising yoga in Goa (which you can now read about here).

India is not always an easy place to travel, especially as a pale, blonde girl.  I did get a lot of attention – there must be literally hundreds of Indians with random pictures of me amongst their holiday snaps – but I found nearly everyone to be polite, friendly and largely just curious about who I was and why I was visiting their country.  It was also difficult to see such abject poverty, particularly in the larger cities, often juxtaposed against incredible wealth.  I’m sad to say that one becomes a little immune to it after a while.  I re-watched Slumdog Millionaire not long ago and the image of children tapping on car windows, begging, immediately transported me back to the busy, chaotic streets of Delhi and Mumbai.

My trip to India reignited my passion for travelling.  I had been in a long-term relationship with a guy who wasn’t interested in travelling and one of the first things I did when we broke up was book that trip.  I cannot wait to go back to this amazing country.  I want to explore the lush south around Kerala; to visit the holy city of Varanasi and watch life on the Ganges River; to have my breath taken away in the brisk air of the north, crossing into Nepal and seeing the majesty of the Himalaya…

Hmm, I am discovering that publishing my photographs from my trips and sharing my stories with you makes me immediately want to grab my passport and head to the airport!  Who’s in?!