My trip to Vegas in February was my very first visit and boy was it an eye-opener. For all you Vegas virgins I’ve put together some tips to know before you lose your v-plates in Sin City!
Looking back over my blog and photography archives I can see some patterns emerging with regards to the things I like to seek out and capture on my travels. Cake is definitely one of them, but just as voracious is my appetite for street art.
Over the years I have gained an obsession with colourful murals on unexpected walls and always seek to hunt them down on my travels. Many of the places I have been to are not only making a name for themselves because of their street art but it is drawing crowds to parts of the destination that may have previously been forgotten or ignored by a visitor.
Below I’ve put together a collection of some of my favourite street art photos from around the world along with a little note on how you can find these murals too. If you’re a fan of street art too, let me know where you have found some of your favourites in the comments below. I might have to make a visit there.
Melbourne is a name synonymous with street art, almost as much as it is coffee. Crowds flock to Degraves Street and Hosiers Lane to see the latest incarnation of the walls but my favourite spot is a hidden alley in Chinatown. Croft Alley, off Paynes Street, is a winding, vibrant dead end, mostly hidden from the main road. At the very end you will find the Croft Institute, a quirky bar loosely modelled on an old school science lab.
(What’s hiding down Croft Alley?)
How would you like to win £2000 worth of adventure travel with Explore and Blacks? More importantly, what would you spend it on? An African safari perhaps, or sailing the Greek Islands, or maybe (this would be my choice) it would be the downpayment on a trip to Antarctica! The dizzying choice would be all yours if you happen to be the winner of their epic contest.
How To Win
So how do you win this tantalising prize? Blacks (who specialise in outdoor gear for the adventurous traveller) want to see your best outdoor photographs from the following categories:
How you choose to interpret each category is up to you. But to give you a helping hand, here are my efforts!
I have read so many books since I last had a chance to write a review post that I didn’t know where to start! Luckily I made some notes along the way and would like to share with you some of my favourites from the bunch. From memoirs, to the return of Bridget Jones and my first experience of short stories, read on to find a selection of good reads to add to your reading list. Plus win a signed copy of the magnificent collection of short stories published by one of my favourite writers.
Frankie with her self-published short story book – Shy Feet
Because I am a lady who enjoys the odd home comfort on her travels I take booking my accommodation very seriously. On my recent tour around Sri Lanka, however, it quickly became apparent that the guesthouses we were staying in weren’t going to be merely a place to rest our heads. As tourism in the country slowly takes off (rightly or wrongly) it is currently staying very focused on the guesthouse or hotel sector. Unlike other parts of Asia, in Sri Lanka we often had to rely on our guest house to be our restaurant, guide, driver and tourism office in one – these services simply weren’t available outside the accommodation. In some of the remoter parts of the country we visited our accommodation was not only a source of information but the only source of sociability too.
Where is everybody? The beach in Tangalla
I’ve been packing on autopilot for many years now. I assumed I was good at it because I had curbed my habit for over-packing and could throw everything in a case very quickly. So it wasn’t until Muji invited me to take a look at their Travel Shop and see how I could utilise the products that I realised I had been doing it ALL wrong. So very wrong.
I often joke that since I begun working for myself it’s like answering to the strictest boss ever. Contrary to what I suspect some of my friends and family think, being a freelancer does not mean long, lazy lie ins and never-ending lunch breaks. For when time out effects your businesses bottom line it becomes even harder to justify taking any time out at all. When you have only yourself to answer to, you can be pretty hard on you.
But after 16 months of being my own strict boss I realised I needed to gain some balance. Which is why when Flexioffices got in touch about their #LiveYourLunchBreak initiative I was their perfect candidate.
Over the last five days I have challenged myself to take a lunch hour and do something productive with that time. You will see I have taken a very wide interpretation of productive but for some of the lunch hour activities it was the productivity that flowed after them that really helped improve my day.
Those that know me know I do not camp. Only in rare, unavoidable circumstances do I succumb to a night sleeping close to nature and even then I will still be fearful of it. In Sri Lanka one of those rare, unavoidable situations arose when I discovered there maybe a chance to see leopards in the wild in Yala National Park (Yala Block 1 has one of the highest density’s of leopards per square kilometre in the world). This sounded like an opportunity I would not want to miss and yet it involved things I try to shun, like getting dirty and sleeping under canvas. Then I read about Leopard Safaris and all my weak arguments went out the window.
Vegas is cool. I’ve found proof. It’s slightly off the beaten track but there is a Boneyard in Downtown Las Vegas that celebrates the history and decadence of Vegas in an unexpectedly hip fashion. It’s called The Neon Museum and it is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a graveyard for old signs from the casinos, motels and businesses of Vegas.
This contest is now closed. Scroll down to see if you’re the winner.
One of the things I always laugh about when I travel, particularly to the super-size States, is how many hotel rooms are larger than my flat in London. Storage for me is a huge issue; especially when I bring things like posters, number plates and vintage clothes back from every trip.
When Samsonite got in touch with their nifty new concept for luggage, therefore, it sounded like exactly what I needed. The Samsonite Fold@Way offers the ideal luggage solution for exploring a big world while living in a small home. With only a few simple moves, the stylish models in this collection reduce up to 1/4 of their original size, requiring minimal storage space whether at home or on the road.
The Fold@Way arrived at my London flat just before Christmas and (excuse the pun) it was a perfect fit. Stored in a tailor-made compact bag, a fraction of the size of a normal suitcase, it lived happily in my closet until the time came to take it on the road.