Some places just say follow me…… Do you find yourself wondering when you’re travelling, ‘where do these steps lead to?’ Sometimes the destination is obvious but other times I’ve found myself looking down at a set of steps or along a disappearing path, thinking well I won’t know unless I take it. The anticipation of what’s going to be at the end and the views along the way can keep you motivated and usually the good surprises far outweigh the disappointments. You’ll never know unless you take it.
How true this is for both below and above the water. I’m drawn to jetties, there is something that makes them compelling to stroll on and try to see or wonder at the life below them. They are feats of engineering and have to put up with the harshest of wind, waves and other weather conditions sometimes unfortunately capitulating to the damage of ferocious storms. I love the repetition of the old weathered, wooden pylons which are great to photograph as are the whole structures for their vanishing point perspectives into the horizon.
As much as I’d like to, I can’t always be somewhere warm and tropical, totally relaxed with feet up on the banana lounge looking out to a serene beach view. So, in the in-between times I do have the good fortune of living in the gloriously clean, green and picturesque Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Winter time can tend to drag on a bit but what we do look forward to is sitting in a warm home, slow combustion fire blazing away, comfy couches and cosy throws with a glass of excellent local red wine and a book or magazine to while away the rainy days and nights. Very hygge.
In the January / February issue of On The Road Magazine this year I had an article on finding street art when you’re on holidays. It’s a great way to get to know a town or city by walking around and finding little back alleys which can sometimes be a treasure trove of artworks.
I’m finding that more and more places in Australia, and a lot of them rural, are really taking to having festivals and events where local artists can show their creativity. They are also doing a great service in covering some unsightly buildings, ablution blocks etc… with colour and humour thrown in.
One of my favourite things to do whether on holidays or at home is to go to a good weekend market. There are so many clever crafty, tasty, growing, reading, arty discoveries to be made. Not to mention it’s a great way to get yourself out for a walk and take in what towns have to offer all while supporting local growers and artists and boosting the local economy. In the past twelve months I’ve had the joy of visiting markets in New South Wales, Western Australia, Northern Territory and in South Australia and of those visited, these would be my pick of the best.
I love lighthouses and with a coastline as huge as Australia we have a lot to discover. I am drawn to their resilience and purpose, not to mention the incredibly stunning views they afford from their locations. No lighthouses are manned in Australia these days, they are all automated, but in some cases weather readings and other information are still taken from their locations.
I love preparing for a holiday by researching a destination. The internet, magazines, friends and social media can tell you a lot about where you are going. This is great if you want the facts and figures, the must see and do’s, best places to stay and experiences to try. Even being armed with all of that, there is still one ingredient that can make a holiday tip over into the ‘best experience ever’ category. That extra something is…ask a local!
A huge factor in making a holiday so enjoyable and memorable to me is the people you meet along the way. As a couple on a 3 month caravanning road trip this can be particularly so. Having just the two of us to please and make decisions had its bonuses but a little extra company now and again was welcomed. I loved hearing other people’s reasons for being on the road and finding out just how kismet had led us to cross paths.
This is a line from my favourite poem “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar and the reason I love this poem is, as anyone who has ever travelled in Australia knows, the words resonate so deeply yet so succinctly. This line in particular kept jumping into my mind on the last road trip where we hugged the coastline from South Australia, through Western Australia and eventually to Darwin in the Northern Territory. We were blown away by the vivid colours of the Indian Ocean in particular and so many of the bays and beaches we explored.