I was never a huge fan of graffiti. For the most part, I found it selfish and something of an aesthetic atrocity. But a few years ago, my home town – Dunedin – launched a street art project. This project opened my eyes to the beauty of urban creativity and the important distinction between the construction of street art and the destruction of graffiti tagging.
When I arrived in Madrid, the first destination on my travels around Europe, I was gobsmacked by the way street art dominated the suburbs of the Spanish capital. I had the pleasure of staying in one of the most cosmopolitan neighbourhoods – Lavapiés – and stumbled upon new artwork every day.
My newfound appreciation for this genre was only fuelled during my subsequent month in France; specifically in the capital of Paris. Paris boasted a different flavour of street art – more minimalist, performatory – but still one that I could admire.
Through my lens, I captured the standout pieces I discovered over my two months in Spain and France. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the first edition of my Global Street Art series…
One of the highlights of traveling is exposure to different languages. As someone who is fascinated by communication and culture, I am drawn to countries where I can stand in the middle of the street and not understand a single word of the people bustling around me.
I can only speak English, which has catalysed a rather obsessive fixation with words from other languages that are untranslatable. To all the multilinguals out there — especially those that can understand languages that are not in Latin script — I tip my hat to you.
And so I present to you 8 stunning words from a variety of different languages that cannot translate to English. Enjoy!
I love Instagram. A perfectionist at heart, I love the tidy squared layout of each account, and the challenge of ensuring that each photo is thoughtfully edited to create a fluent and thematic profile. There’s an art to it, I’m sure.
Three of my favourite Instagram posts. Follow me and my shameless self-marketing here.
Instagram – like most social media websites – provides one of the leading visual platforms for travel inspiration. I personally develop my destination wishlist from three sources; blogs, YouTube and Instagram. I am especially picky with the latter, and only follow a very small number of accounts. I find there exists a lot of overlap between fashion, beauty and travel bloggers, however because I have an embarrassing lack of interest in the former two, I try to only follow profiles that feature more heavily on the travel side of things. And so, for your viewing pleasure, I have curated my top ten Instagram accounts (in no particular order) to ignite the wanderlust in you.
Nastasia’s photography is nothing less than beautiful. The founder of the female-empowering travel blog Dame Traveler, Nastasia Wong’s mission is to “make this world a more connected, peaceful, compassionate and loving place“.
You are probably already familiar with the epic photo series by Murad and his wife – Nataly – titled: Follow Me To. Each picture showcases a unique and breathtaking take on some of the most popular (and unexpected) destinations around the globe. Am I guilty of printing out a stack of my favourite photos and making a #followmeto collage upon my bedroom wall? Most definitely.
I have a bit of a sweet spot for Nicola Easterby – the travel photographer and blogger who runs this account – as I am in love with the way she showcases the natural beauty of New Zealand. If you enjoy Nastasia’s work (from nastasiaspassport) then you will find yourself to be a fan of Nicola.
I don’t agree with the unhealthy and downright dangerous mentality of lionising social media personalities, but Lauren Bullen from Gypsea Lust definitely has me questioning my morals. With her partner, Jack Morris, Lauren travels the globe creating wondrous imagery and content.
One of the real points of difference that draws me to Brian Baldrati is his visual documentation of the people he meets on his travels. I find that a lot of other photographers tend to focus on landscapes or themselves. This is by no means a bad thing, but it is nice to shake things up a bit every now and again. Enter: Brian.
Nash and Kim of the Nomadic People make me want to buy a van and road trip across the United States of America. Or Europe. Or Asia. Or anywhere, to be completely honest with you. I don’t know where their adventures will take them after this trip, but I can’t wait to see what beautiful imagery they come up with next.
Here we arrive at the brainchild of the previously mentioned Nastasia Wong (see 1.) Dame Traveler is a (you guessed it, travel) website “inspiring and empowering women to travel more, do more and be more“. What’s pretty awesome about this account is that every photo showcases a different woman, introducing you to dozens upon dozens of new and upcoming bloggers.
Mônica Morás is only someone I have stumbled upon quite recently, but am immensely glad I did. A lifestyle blogger from Brazil, Mônica has been on the road since 2014, photographing and sharing her global adventures. A little bit different from the rest of the profiles I have included in this list, I enjoy reading Mônica’s captions just as much as viewing the photos themselves.
Last but not least, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Sidewalker Daily. Curated by Nina Zadeh, this account showcases – much in the style of Dame Traveler – a new travel blogger every day. Again, this is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the work of people that you may never have heard of, and to be inspired by the visual tales they delight in sharing. The beauty of this account is that you too can be a featured #sidewalker.
So there you have it; ten of my favourite Instagram accounts to infect you with the travel bug. I’m always hungry to discover new bloggers, so tell me below who you follow – or even better – share your own Instagram so I can give you a follow and say hello!
Whilst I am (for some absurd reason) passionate about the painful process of tattooing, I do hold myself to some strict guidelines when choosing what designs to eternalise on my body. Personally, I prefer ink that tick three boxes; being androgynous, ‘less-is-more’ and monochromatic. In other words, nothing that pops up when you search ‘travel tattoos’ on Pinterest.
I have curated a selection of tattoos that – for my fellow minimalists out there – abide by these three personal rules.
Whilst I do not see myself getting a sleeve (or half-sleeve, for that matter) anytime soon, I do have a soft spot for this particular idea. The sketchy design makes for a softer look, and the airplane extending from the arm onto the collarbone creates flow and direction.
There are a lot of horror stories floating around out there about white ink gone wrong, but if you have a tattoo artist who knows what they’re doing, the results can be stunning.
A tattoo that I myself am considering getting in the future (albeit a different location), this would pay gorgeous tribute to Michelangelo and the renaissance artwork of the 12th-15th century on a trip to Italy.
It doesn’t get much more hip than a postage stamp inked into your skin. An innovative way to celebrate a specific point and place in time, it’s simple yet captivating.
What are your ‘rules’ when it comes to tattoo designs? I’d love to hear from you and see your favourites are!
And no, this playlist does not include Coldplay’s Paradise.
Wake Up– Arcade Fire
I’m talking the Walter Mitty version here; if there was ever a song to inspire you to drive to the airport and jump on the first flight outta there, then this is it. I get chills every time I listen to it. On that note, if you haven’t seen the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, stop right now and watch the trailer. You won’t regret it.
Wood – Rostam
This is such a beautiful song that I remember listening to over and over when I first discovered it. The best thing about it is that every time I listen to it, I appreciate something new.
Sundara – ODESZA
This is a song that I imagine listening to as your flight gradually takes off and you feel the swell of gravity in your stomach as you ascend above the clouds.
Big Jet Plane– Angus and Julia Stone
Would it really be a travel playlist without this song? I don’t think so. If you haven’t heard it before, get it in your ears now.
Rather Be – Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne
I vaguely remember making travel vlogs to this when I rediscovered a whole heap of lost footage a couple of years ago. I love the clash of vibes (for lack of a better word) in this song.
Philosophize In It! Chemicalize In It! – Kishi Bashi
A psychedelic, eclectic mix of… I don’t even know how to describe it. You just have to listen to it for yourself. Preferably while walking the streets of a brand new city at sunrise.
Send Me On My Way– Rusted Root
Cue Ice Age flashbacks to Manny, Diego and Sid trekking across the snow-capped landscape in one of my favourite animated movies. I’ll even throw in a link to that classic childhood scene, just for good measure.
Say U Won’t – Brasstracks
A bit of a nostalgic one for me. Every time I play this songs, I have memories listening to it on repeat as I cruised around the island of Rarotonga on a scooter. A bit random, but there you go. Also the best pick-me-up song.
Tables and Chairs – Evan Sinton
A nod to the New Zealand music industry! I saw Evan Sinton sing this song live at a concert when he was performing as an opening act for another artist. It’s fair to say the highlight of the entire concert was Evan performing this original song (sorry to the artist I actually paid to see). Check out the music video for the full experience.
Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
An oldie but a goodie. American road trip, anyone…?
Comment with your own favourite travel songs and I’ll be sure to give them a listen and let you know what I think!
I’m introducing a new segment to my blog called the Bucket List. Different posts will showcase neat activities and accommodation from all around the world that I plan to visit but simply cannot wait to share with you right now.
To get this underway, I’m super excited to share with you this Airbnb I stumbled upon whilst I was drooling over the Instagram feed of Maximilian Hansen. Called Villa Ariana Grande – for reasons I would love to know – this villa might just convince me to take a spontaneous trip to Bali in and of itself.
Photos from Maxi’s Instagram feed during her stay at Villa Ariana Grande.
I stayed at an Airbnb for the first time just last month, when I stayed in Auckland during a road trip around the North Island of New Zealand. I thought I would feel uncomfortable living in someone else’s space, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I loved the homeliness you feel in Airbnb’s as opposed to in a hotel. I always struggle to settle or establish a routine when staying in a hotel, but I found that the relaxed atmosphere of an Airbnb can remedy that.
Located in Canggu, on the southwest coast of Bali, Villa Ariana Grande is merely a ten minute drive from the beach, shops, nightlife and restaurants of Seminyak.
The spacious villa is actually a complex of self-contained villas, each with their own private swimming pool and en-suites. It showcases minimalist Balinese architecture and is built using local materials.
If Villa Ariana Grande looks familiar to you, that’s probably because it is. The photogenic villa rose to prominence after being advertised as the ‘go to’ accommodation for Instagram Influencers such as Maximilian Hansen,Stacey Tonkes and Bianca Ella Booth.