Postcards from Waikiki

Aloha ohana! 🌺 I am finally returning after my spontaneous month-long hiatus with some stellar new content, and it feels oh so good to be back. Over the past month or so, I have completed a round-world trip, which is something I can now tick off my (admittedly nonexistent) bucket list. I left from England, spent a few days in Spain, checked into the motherland (New Zealand), caught some waves in Hawaii, and then circled back to England again. I’ve got to say, I had presumed a 360° journey would be painful fight-wise (I passed through nine different airports), but I hit the jackpot on high-quality airlines and all but empty planes. There’s nothing like having the whole row of seats to yourself in economy class on a long-haul flight.

To give you a little taste of what I’ve been up to lately, I’m going to kick off with another instalment of the postcard series: the Waikiki edition. This was my third time traveling to Hawaii, which meant that – as an old hand – my experience was a little less touristic and more of an exercise in visiting all of my favourite haunts. I spent the week surfing, drinking watermelon juice, and roaming the streets of Honolulu’s most iconic neighbourhood in an exasperated search of vegetarian food (seriously, it’s an issue how few options there are. This is 2018, people!).

My time in Waikiki has inspired a few posts that I am really looking forward to sharing with you. As always, keep your eyes peeled in the coming days for my Waikiki travel vlog, which will be published on the Ginger Passports’ YouTube channel. In the meantime, enjoy experiencing Hawaii through my eyes…

The view from our hotel room

It’s not a Ginger Passports blog post without at least one photo of fruit or vege 🍉

Although they are native to India, you will find the glorious banyan tree all over the island

Sunbathing (or burning, in my case) ☀

Feeling aesthetic

As I said, my Waikiki travel vlog is already in the works, and will see the light of day very shortly. It’s been far too long since I got some new video content to you, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you’re the first to know when it comes out 📽

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Postcards from Oxford

Oscar Wilde once said that Oxford still remains the most beautiful thing in England, and (that) nowhere else are life and art so exquisitely blended, so perfectly made one.

He wasn’t wrong.

When I arrived in the City of Dreaming Spires only three months ago, it was impossible to turn a blind eye to its reputation. I had been well-informed that it was the most beautiful town in England, and the fact that I would be living (quite literally) on the doorstep of the world’s oldest English-speaking university that has educated the likes of Stephen Hawking, Aldous Huxley, and Emma Watson (shout out to the Harry Potter generation) didn’t alleviate the suspense.

All of five minutes after I stepped off the train, I decided that the suspense had been worth it.

I plan to write a lot of blog posts detailing my Oxford experience, but for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy a ‘lil appetiser of what’s to come. Oxford is a fantastical place that you really have to see with your own two eyes, but for now, see what it’s like through my lens…

There is quite possibly nothing more transcendent that Oxford under snowfall

Enchanted by New College (deceptive in the fact that is actually one of the oldest colleges at the University of Oxford)

Learning a thing or two at the renowned Museum of Natural History

“Oxford lends sweetness to labour and dignity to leisure.”

Henry James

Exploring Hogwarts at one of Harry Potter’s film locations at New College

Taking in the views from the University Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

December blues… Oxford the ghost town

Christ Church College, where they filmed the Great Hall scenes in Harry Potter 😍

The romantic Bridge of Sighs

Another fine specimen from the Museum of Natural History

Idyllic, cobblestoned streets containing gems like this

The iconic Radcliffe Camera basking (for once) in the sun

For more of my postcards series, feast your eyes on Postcards from Madrid, Postcards from Angkor Wat, and the oldie but a goodie, Postcards from Ha Long Bay. Furthermore, stay tuned for the Oxford travel vlog that will be airing soon! In the meantime, keep up to date with latest on the Ginger Passports’ YouTube Channel (and show some love!)

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Postcards from Madrid

“I love thee as I love Madrid”

Ernest Hemingway

The bronze statue of King Philip III in Plaza Mayor, the main square of Madrid

The view from the Bella Artes rooftop bar

Beautiful tilework at a traditional Spanish café

Palacio de Cibeles during Pride Week

Instituto Cervantes

Looking after my waistline with a ‘freakshake’ at Tommy Mel’s🍦

The view from Parque de las Tetas

Reflections of the Egyptian Temple of Debod

Stunning street art in the suburb of Lavapiés

Architecture in the streets of Madrid

“I declare war upon this way of dying.”

Stay tuned for the upcoming Spain Vlog on the Ginger Passports’ YouTube Channel 📽 and if you didn’t catch my post last week on the World Pride Parade 2017 in Madrid, be sure to check it out here!

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Postcards from Lover’s Leap

Nineteen years later and I’m still discovering places in my home town that I never knew existed.

Lover’s Leap is one of the forgotten gems of the Otago Peninsula, located a mere 25 minute cruise from the hub of Dunedin, New Zealand.

Those who embark on the trek will be treated to the stunningly resplendent views of Sandymount carpark before a short stroll through rolling farmland to reach the Chasm (keep an eye out for the sheep!). After soaking in the monumental (and arguably formidable) abyss, negotiate the sloping and rugged coastline towards the 225m crag of Lovers Leap.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for my Dunedin vlog! As I prepare to farewell my home of nineteen years, I have been collecting footage over the past handful of months to celebrate the delightful city Dunedin is. There will be some clips of Lovers Leap thrown into the mix, so if you find yourself drawn to the jaw-dropping landscape of the Otago Peninsula, be sure to treat yourself to this upcoming montage.

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Postcards from Ha Long Bay

Perhaps one of the most recognisable sights in Southeast Asia is Ha Long Bay. Located on the northeast coast of Vietnam, the bay is a bumpy 3.5 hour drive from the capital city of Hanoi. The vastness of the UNESCO heritage site quite literally took my breath away. With a name that translates to ‘Bay of the Descending Dragon’, Ha Long Bay spans an impressive area of 334km² and is populated by 1,600 monolithic islands made of limestones and hollowed by beautiful grottos. Some of these islands are even believed to be over 20,000,000 years old. Upon the glassy water, junk boats spread their sails like amber wings and fisherman cast their neats over floating villages.

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If you liked these photos, you might also be interested in checking out my 2016 Vietnam Travel Vlog on my Youtube Channel. 0:43 is where the Ha Long Bay magic happens!

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Postcards from Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is perhaps one of the most important tourist attractions in Cambodia. Consistently topping the lists for Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet’s must-see tourist destination in the world, the resplendence of this temple has stayed with me a long time after visiting it.

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King Suryavarman II built Angkor Wat in the 12th century to honour the Hindu god Vishnu; a century later – when Cambodia converted from Hindu faith to Buddhism – the temple was converted to Buddhist use.

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The temple showcases beautiful classical Khmer architecture.
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The temple was to built to face west. This direction symbolises death, a fact which contributes to theories that Angkor Wat first existed as a tomb and for the purpose of funeral rites.
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Below; standing on the ‘centre of the universe’.
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It may have taken 37 years, 300,000 labourers, 6000 elephants and 5 million tons of sandstone, but the temple was built without machines.
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Just look at those colours! Stretching over 400 square kilometres, Angkor Wat is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world.
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Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat that was designed to deter people from swimming into the complex from the outside.

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If you’re hungry for more Cambodia titbits, be sure to check out my Siem Reap quad-biking experience – and stay tuned for my Cambodia travel vlog!

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