Friday’s Recommended Reads – October 21st

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Excited!

I’m two and a half work hours away from being done with answering phone calls, troubleshooting modem issues, and explaining not-so-complicated bills to customers. While I do enjoy my job and get along really well with my co-workers, it’ll be good to get away from the call centre environment.

This time tomorrow I’ll have already touched down in sunny Brisbane.

Fresh off my weekend junket to stunning Tea Gardens, I’ve got a real hankering for more road trips and beach-side adventures. You’ll perhaps notice that theme in this week’s bumper crop of (twelve!) Recommended Reads – with many of them being beach and/or road trip related.

Me? I’m coasting through my final few hours of work, hitting up an all expenses paid work function, and then heading home to put the finishing touches on my packing before I jet off to Brisvegas tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

The Reads

 

South Durras, NSW Australia – Solitude, Relaxation, Peace by Art of Backpacking

I made a promise to myself last week that this week I’d try to feature only newly discovered bloggers, but how could I write a piece about my gorgeous Tea Gardens weekend and not highlight Michael’s piece about his own slice of New South Wales paradise?

The south coast of NSW was to be our original destination for last week’s road trip before fate stepped in and redirected us, and while I loved every second of my experience in Port Stephens, I’m wondering if maybe I need to visit South Durras sometime as well…

 

Sodwana Bay: South African Road Trip by Bucket List Nation

The team over at Bucket List nation got in on the beautiful road trip destinations love as well with this piece from the exotically named Nastassja from MrsRogero. While Michael and I focussed on the wonders of the NSW coast, Nastassja’s post is all about an isolated place of beauty in South Africa.

Where fertile farmland meets the sea, Sodwana Bay looks like it might need to be on any future South African travel plans I might have. Stunning photos certainly help the area’s case.

 

Maintaining Culture and Traditions While Abroad by Hola! Chica Travels

A few weeks ago now I wrote about my experience as a dinky-die Aussie tagging along to the Chilean Independence Day celebrations at Bronte Beach with Nicole from Hola! Chica Travels. A few weeks on and the lovely Nicole has finally settled down into a place of her own and found the time to blog about her experience at the festival.

She takes a look not only at the festivities but also at the importance of maintaining your own cultural identity while abroad. A really entertaining and thoughtful read.

 

Destination: Wolmi-Do Amusement Park in Incheon at Night by Chris in South Korea

Long before my Google reader was clogged with my 100+ travel blog subscriptions, I had a smaller collection of Korea-centric blogs that I read religiously. And as far as Korean bloggers go, they really don’t come any bigger than Chris in South Korea.

In this entry Chris takes us on a colorful tour of one of the lesser known theme parks in South Korea. While I’ve talked about the gaudy charm of Everland in the past, Chris’s tour to Wolmi-Do Amusement Park is a distinctly Korean take on the world of theme parks.

 

A Beluga Whale Interaction: The Highlight of our Journey so Far by Don’t Ever Look Back

Aussie adventurers Amy and Keiron have been living the dream with their world travels and this week they’ve taken a moment to highlight what they’ve enjoyed most about their travels – a chance to play with some cute Beluga Whales at San Antonio SeaWorld.

While I had to content myself with scanning the muddy waters of the Myall River for a chance sighting of a bottlenose dolphin, these lucky bastards were playing with whales in crystal clear water!

 

Isandlwana, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa by Holes in my Soles

Kwa-Zulu Natal has never even entered my vocabulary before, and suddenly it makes two appearances in my Recommended Reads in a week. What’s up with that!?

Jim from Holes in my Soles’ weekly Travel Photo Thursday this week focuses on a memorial for the many Zulu warriors who died in their bloody war with colonial Britain. The site of such epic battles as depicted in the classic Michael Caine movie Zulu!, this area is steeped in history and surrounded by starkly beautiful terrain. Looks like Kwa-Zulu Natal just made my bucket list.

 

Surfing with Goofy Foot Surf School in Maui by Idelish

Again with the beach theme!

Last year I had the pleasure of ‘learning’ to surf at Dee Why and managed to achieve a single shaky half-standing crash before I gave up and retreated to the safety of the sand.

Jeremy & Shirlene’s own experience learning to surf seems like it was considerably more successful than my own, and they’ve captured plenty of great pictures to accompany their tale as well.

 

Providencia Revealed: The Inside Scoop by Journey with Jess Jones

Speaking of undiscovered paradises, Jess Jones took the time this week to have a look at the tiny Caribbean island and explain how it’s well within the reach of humble backpackers like you and me.

In a really thorough and entertaining post, Jess lists reasons why she loved the area as well as providing some tips on how to make ends meet while living the dream on the island paradise.

It seems like every week I’m adding more destinations to my bucket list. Providencia just made the cut.

 

Masskara Festival in Photos and Videos by Senyorita

Bright colors, loud music, and good times seem to be the focus on Senyorita’s entry about her visit to this vibrant festival in the Philippines. There’s plenty of photos and some amusing video to accompany her account of events as well.

I’d say more, but I can’t get back to the page right now because her site seems to be down πŸ˜₯

 

Koh Mak: A Wonderfully Quiet Thai Island by Neverending Voyage

Can you feel it? The anticipation that summer is just around the corner?

Simon and Erin begin their envy inducing post by asking what your ideal tropical island would be like, and they do a pretty good job of describing exactly what I was looking for when I planned last year’s trip to Fiji.

Between their photos and the way they describe their quiet little secret island, Koh Mak sounds like my kind of place!

 

Hospital Themed Restaurant in Taipei by Neverending Footsteps

I promise I didn’t just include this post because it has pictures of cute Chinese girls in short skirts and stockings.

Seriously.

How can I see a post about something as bizarre as a hospital themed restaurant and not draw your attention to it? And it doesn’t hurt matters that Lauren – one of my new favourite bloggers – just so happens to be the author of this particular read.

And just quietly, if her story is anything to go by, I won’t be opening my mouth for any syringes full of mystery liquid anytime soon.

But that just seems like common sense to me…

 

Strange or Not Sights in West Africa by Phil in the Blank

My final featured post of the week comes from Phil at Phil in the Blank, and it’s nice and picture heavy so your poor eyes can take a rest from reading. There’s some laugh out loud ones and others are just charming representations of Phil’s experiences in West Africa, but all are accompanied by small anecdotes that should give you a Friday afternoon (or morning) chuckle.

 

Exhale

Whew! That concludes the single biggest list of Recommended Reads I’ve ever had to put together. It wasn’t easy to pick just twelve either!

I had to exclude a really thought-provoking piece from my bald brother at Man vs Clock as well as Wayward Traveller‘s account of her experiences at Sydney’s Night Noodle Markets.

I also want to send a big ‘welcome to the blogosphere’ to Bring Me Blue Skies. Looks like a promising blog!

The one thing all of the above posts have in common is that they should make you all the more enthusiastic to get out and see and do more! I’m about to head off for ten days of fun in the sun in Queensland and I’m not planning on slowing down when I get back.

High school reunions, weddings in Newcastle, beach road trips, a new house, Christmas at home, and the prospect of a potential New Zealand move in the next year all give me plenty to be excited about.

What’s got you excited?

In Case You Missed It…

That wraps up another week in the world of the Aussie on the Road. But to give you just a taste of what I’ll be writing about in the next month…

  • Hitting Mana Bar in Brisbane
  • Participating in the Brisbane Zombie Walk
  • A day at Dream World
  • Rekindling my love affair with Hell Pizza
  • A week of activities and photos from Tangalooma
  • Halloween at Movie World
  • My ten year high school reunion
  • A wedding and weekend in Newcastle

And whatever else I manage to do during the week.

Happy travels everyone!

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  • Would you believe I am just coming across this shout out?! Cheers mate! You have to check out Providencia!! Just Brilliant!

  • Jimshu

    Hi Chris, just found this. Thanks for the shout on Isandlwana! Get a good grab on history of the area and you’ll truly get the feel for the place!

  • Pingback: October Update: Thailand()

  • Hey, thanks a lot for featuring my post, Chris. Lots of good ones on here. Thanks for the reading material πŸ˜‰ Have fun in Brisbane!!

    • Anonymous

      Cheers mate. The fun begins in T-minus six hours (eight accounting for daylight savings >_>)

  • “And just quietly, if her story is anything to go by, I won’t be opening my mouth for any syringes full of mystery liquid anytime soon.” LOLOLOL!!

  • Thanks for featuring our Koh Mak post Chris.

    • Anonymous

      You’re most welcome! Thanks for drawing my attention to it πŸ˜‰

  • Thanks for including my Masskara Festival entry, Chris! I feel honored to be a part of this week’s recommendation πŸ˜€ you should come here and celebrate with us soon!

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