Friday’s Recommended Reads – October 7th

By Aussie on the Road on  10 Comments
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Oh hi! Didn’t see you there

Posing with flowers in Seoul
Being super masculine posing with some tulips in Seoul

What a week! There’s a lot happening in my life both on the travel front and on the work front. There was the tragic passing of visionary Steve Jobs as well, and while I won’t write at length about my sadness at his passing here, I will direct you to a wonderfully heartfelt and beautiful entry from Torre over at Fearful Traveler expressing her feelings at the news.

What’s going on in my life travel wise? A lot!

Travel Stuff

My upcoming Queensland trip is just two short weeks away! In addition to the previous plans to rock a Zombie Walk, spend a week on Tangalooma, participate in Fright Night at Movie World, and hit Dream World to try out their new rides – I’ve also added in a few days/nights catching up with old friends as well as what looks like it’ll be a really fun night at the Mana Bar. It’s no Ground Kontrol, but it looks like a pretty sweet alternative.

As if that wasn’t cause enough for excitement, I’ve also been a little silly and snapped up a really sweet deal from Living Social Escapes to spend 5 nights at Mango Bay Resort in Fiji for just $300! That’s insanely cheap!

I spent five days at Mango Bay early this year in my big Fiji tour, and while there were a few things about it that bugged me, I still look back at it as a really fun time. And my preferred wingman, Dr. Grant, has already signed on to tag along as well. No idea when that might be, but I’ve got until October next year to figure out flights and an itinerary.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get the girls from my visit to Mantaray to tag along too…

I’m also battling the urge to snap up an offer that came to me via Scoopon today to do my PADI Advanced Open Water Certificate for just $150. Why is it that I subscribe to deal sights and don’t receive anything of interest for a whole year and then two really appealing deals fall into my lap on the same day?

Curse you Murphy’s Law!

Aaaand if that wasn’t enough, my adventure in a Ford Focus is scheduled for next weekened when Mel, Annie, my good mate Dave, and I will head down to Jervis Bay for two days of whatever it is you do in Jervis Bay. Maybe I should research this…?

Work Stuff

Oh yeah, and my life is more than just travel. Next week I’ll be moving from my current tech support role at iiNet and into a role as a representative for Fetch TV. Pay rise? Not so much. But it’s a good chance to represent a product I quite like and to progress a little within the company. Plus it will hopefully help abate my recent boredom with telling customers to turn their modems off and then on again.

Yes, my life is an episode of The IT Crowd. I can’t decide whether I’d rather be the socially inept geek or the disgusting fat guy. First world problems.

And now, because that’s why you’re here, the ten reads that make up this week’s Recommended Reads.

The sun sets over the pool at Mango Bay in Fiji
Soon Mango Bay. Soon....

The Reads

Haunting Tale of Cagsawa Ruins by Nomadic Experiences

Marky’s entry describing his visit to these volcano created ruins borders on the poetic. While his photography is of its usually fantastic standard, the entry itself is also full of fascinating tidbits about the former town and the church in which 1200 of its populace tragically died as they sought shelter from a pyroclastic flow in their faith in the Lord.

While I’m always interested to read about the Great Wall of China, Uluru, or London – there’s something very cool about stumbling upon these stories about lesser known spots. I might never have know of Cagsawa had it not been for working on this column, and that would be a tragedy.

Stop Making Excuses if you Want to Travel by Art of Backpacking

When it comes to making excuses not to travel, I’m as guilty as the next guy. While I spend my days at work daydreaming about places I would rather be and things I would rather be doing – I spend my time off coming up with the many reasons why I can’t travel just yet. For me the main one tends to be finances or needing to be around for a certain event – but in the past it’s been school, it’s been fear, and it’s even been laziness.

The Art of Backpacking highlights a few of these reasons and why they’re stupid, and it also comes through as a really inspiring read for those of us who are putting off chasing our dreams.

Perhaps more than anything else that I came to respect about Steve Jobs, it was that he lived a life where he didn’t accept the status quo and instead pursued his dreams. It’s a lesson we should all be learning.

Postcard from the Rugby World Cup by C’est Christine

I just stumbled across Christine’s blog this week when she had the audacity to write an article about AFL, but I’ve forgiven that indiscretion on account of her not knowing any better. That, and the fact she has a really enjoyable blog.

This entry, about another sport that isn’t rugby league, is a really fun little snapshot of Christine’s recent visit to Wellington to participate in the 2011 Rugby World Cup fever that has swept across the shaky isle. It’s really interesting to read a relative outsider’s perspective on what is traditionally a game confined to Oceania and small corners of Europe – and her photos make me wish I’d scraped together the cash to participate in the fun myself.

Hike from Yangdi to Xingping, China. Trekking Through a Chinese Painting by Migrationology

You only have to look at some of the pictures to see where the title comes from. While China is most often visited to experience Beijing or Shanghai, this entry highlights the simple pleasures to be found in exploring rural China and doing it on foot. I’ve waxed lyrical about the importance of walking in the past, and it’s good to see I’m not the only disciple of that particular church fo travel.

Migrationology is another new blog in my ever expanding list of reads and it’s a welcome addition.

5 Ways to Take Better Sunset Photos When Traveling by Fox Nomad

Two weeks after giving us some great tips on how to monitor your calories while traveling, Fox Nomad’s guest post provides five really useful tips in how to improve your photography when it comes to capturing that picturesque sunset. While some of these might seem like common sense, other tips were welcome reminders or even new nuggets of wisdom.

I’ll be sure to put them into practice when I’m standing on a quiet Queensland beach later this month 🙂

Ballad of Eoghan Ruadh Chulodair by Holes in my Soles

In my younger days I may have gone through a stage where I wrote a hell of a lot of poetry.

That stage may have also coincided with my first ‘heart-break’ and inspired a lot of what some might call ’emo’ poetry.

Jim from Holes in My Soles reminded me what a powerful form of expression poetry can be in this vivid description of a quaint Scottish locale, and the accompanying pictures only add to the story being woven in this piece of ballad-like rhyme.

Are there any other traveling poets out there? I’d love to read your work!

Detained at UK Immigration by The Runaway Guide

I read this post from Leif with growing frustration. I wanted to reach through the internet and back in time and slap a little since into the UK immigration officials who (in the process of doing their job) managed to make a perfectly innocent traveler feel as if he was a potential candidate for transportation to the penal colonies.

Never mind that the penal colonies are now one of the greatest countries in the world.

Leif gives a harrowing and anger inducing account of how he was treated and mistreated by UK immigration as he attempted to enter the country. And I thought that the US immigration process was rough…

Getting Robbed by Fake Police in Bolivia, Escaping, and Fighting Back by Kaypacha Travels

Continuing the theme started in Leif’s post above, Mica from Kaypacha Travels gives her account of what sounds like a downright terrifying experience while visiting Bolivia. I’ve heard horror stories about the scams that some South Americans will run on hapless tourists but I’ve never read about one in such detail. The fact that Mica made it out un-robbed and unharmed is amazing, and you’ve got to admire her metaphorical balls for standing up to the would be criminals where many others might have just panicked and caved in.

Glad you made it out alive!

Experiencing the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand by yTravel Blog

Craig’s participation in the Qantas Great Crusade gave him a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the Rugby World Cup and do so in the company of an army of other rugby fanatics. There was just a little envy in my heart as I read his recount of the many cool experiences and fantastic people he met while following the William Webb Ellis trophy around New Zealand.

Intrepid Travel Giveaway by Traveling Canucks

I debated long and hard over whether or not to draw your attention to this one. On the one hand, this is a fantastic opportunity to win a trip to one of ten wonderful festivals around the world.

On the other hand, less entrants increases my chances of winning a trip to Rio for the Carnival or Germany for Oktoberfest…

This isn’t so much a blog entry as it is a great opportunity. Head over, ‘Like’ their Facebook page, and put your name down for a chance to live out a lifelong travel dream.

In Case You Missed Them…

A Call to Arms!

I’m working on a trio of projects that I would love the help of my readers and fellow bloggers on. In addition to the new Bite with a Blogger column I introduced earlier this week that I am looking for subjects guests for, I’m also working on a free Relationships on the Road eBook as well as putting the finishing touches on preparations for my first Aussie on the Road podcast.

How can you help? I’m glad you asked!

  • Want to grab a bite to eat with me and promote your blog? Let me know and we’ll hook up a Bite with a Blogger interview. I’ll be grabbing a bite with Mel from The Mellyboo Project this weekend and hopefully Andy from The Travel Maverick next week as well.
  • Have some romance, relationship, or sex advice from your travels? An amusing story about relationships? Heartbreak? Anything in that realm would be welcome. I’ll put them all into a sexy free eBook and pimp your site out in the process.
  • Any suggestions or requests for the inaugural Aussie on the Road podcast? I’d love your thoughts!


Don’t See Your Entry Above?

If you’d like to see your link (or just a link you really liked) here next week don’t hesitate to leave a comment here, hit me up on Facebook, or send me a Tweet. I’ll feature the post on Facebook as well as Tweeting it to the Twitterverse and Stumbling it to the Stumbleverse. That’s free publicity!

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