Re:Start - big business getting small business back on its feet
Almost one year ago to the day, the city of Christchurch, New Zealand was rocked to its core, if you can pardon the pun. The city was devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, killing 185 and injuring scores more. The city remembered those it lost earlier this week in a memorial service.
But juxtaposed with this sadness and devastation are the signs of a city getting back on its feet. Christchurch is recovering and repairing, and local business are reviving their livlihoods in the most innovative way: pop-up shops made from shipping containers. The humble shipping container has been pimped, and the result is Re:Start - a mean metal example of Kiwi innovation and resilience.
1. noun – an abnormal condition of the mind and body, characterised by undue rise in temperature, compulsion to journey from one place to another by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip; journey: to travel for pleasure. 2. verb – intense nervous excitement causing one to travel compulsively for pleasure.
I’d be willing to bet good money that anyone who loves travel can remember the exact moment they caught the disease that would see them spending the rest of their life struggling to pay the mortgage/bills/rent while blowing all their spare cash on that next trip.
I was a young’en when I caught Travel Fever. The year was 1997 and I was almost 15 years old. The place was Pakistan. Yes. Pakistan.
Until recently, I hadn’t thought about when the year I caught the fever, but when my Pop passed away I found myself searching through piles of of birthday cards, Christmas cards and postcards my grandparents had hoarded during their lives.
While sorting through the hundreds (seriously, there were hundreds) of cards they’d been given, up popped a little beauty I’d sent my grandparents back in ’97.
Exhibit A – how patient was infected with the deadly Travel Fever (TF). TF is known to cause patient to behave irrationally, often taking off from their safe and warm home with only a small backpack, and no where near enough money to survive on.Continue reading →
I can be a jealous lover when it comes to my books…
Penelope Green's Girl By Sea
Sure, I lend them to my friends. I share the book nerd love but I collect them like that fictional serial killer Dexter collects his little blood samples. I secretly despise borrowing copies from libraries because I don’t get to keep the book on one of my three largebookshelves.
I can also get very jealous of the authors – particularly the ones who pen my favourite travel books. Most of the time I’m reading these when my life is mundane and routine i.e. when I’m not travelling and actually have to earn money, not spend it.
Penelope Green is one of my favourite non-fiction/travel authors. I like to think we have a bit in common; she’s an Aussie girl, a former journalist who found herself working in public relations, but always loved travelling. Continue reading →
I certainly don’t need a reason to have a night out, but I’ve now got a regular excuse to drink cocktails on a school night. For the past five months I’ve stamped the last Thursday of every month in my calendar RESERVED: Travel Massive.
Brisbane Travel Massive crew
Travel Massive started as travel networking drinks at a backpackers in Sydney, Australia and has now spread around the world. It’s grown from being just a few travel-lovers sharing beers to a global travel meet-up. Travel Massive is now connecting the travel industry with start-ups, bloggers and socially engaged travellers in cities like New York, London, Toronto, San Francisco, Melbourne and Singapore. Continue reading →
noun – 1. A situation characterized by unnecessarily informal or lackluster clothing.
2. An informal chat where one takes advantage of one’s well-read, well-fed, well-travelled friends, using them for one’s own selfish purposes.
My friend Amy spent several months travelling Central America. She kindly offered to be the first sacrificial lamb for a dressing down…
TT: Why did you choose Central America?
AP: We chose Central America as we heard rave reviews from fellow travellers of how great it was. Prior to our trip we had been living in Canada for a year, so it was a chance to experience something culturally completely different and it was incredibly affordable! There was also a diving course on an island off Honduras that we were keen to do. We actually started our trip in Mexico and spent three nights of indulgence at a resort in Playa del Carmen. We backpacked for another night or two in Mexico but pretty much headed straight down to Belize. If we had more time we would have liked to continue travelling down into South America – will just have to go back another day!
TT: What was the weirdest thing you ate?
AP: Well, I didn’t actually eat it but the weirdest thing I saw for sale was a plate of lizards at some markets in Granda!
Many a shirt has been taken off after a rowdy night in a bar, but have you ever taken an extra shirt home with you? You can do just that at Sydney’sShirt Bar.
I’ve spoken about my fascination with clever concepts and unique interiors before here and here but this bar is not just a hipster hangout, it’s a slashie establishment: cafe/bar/shirt shop. Yep, shirts. Forgot to wear a shirt to work this morning? Never mind! You can just pop down to Shirt Bar and buy one with you morning latte. Clever and practical. My kind of place.
At Shirt Bar – which by the way is conveniently located a stone’s throw from some of Sydney’s biggest corporate offices – apart from the usual café/bar fare, you can get measured for, and buy a shirt. It’s not just for the lads either – there are plenty of cute lady’s tailored shirts there too. Chances are you might need a few new shirts if you make a habit of eating Shirt Bar’s scrumptious dark chocolate and raspberry brownies too often. Continue reading →
There’s nothing worse than travelling to another country and going to a themed bar right? Wrong.
As an Aussie, I would normally NEVER go to an ‘Aussie’ bar in another country. And there are plenty of them. Yep, I’m kind of a parochial bar snob. I’m not spending eight hours plus on a plane to go to bar that’s like home. (Ironically, they’re never really like a bar at home anyway, but I digress.)
So when my American friend suggested we go have a few drinks at The Sunburnt Calf on New York City’s Upper West Side, I was less than enthusiastic. The only thing keeping me hopeful was that my friend has great taste in bars and alcohol. Continue reading →
When thinking of New Zealand, it’s hard for your imagination not to wander to those jokes about sheep and love-making.
My boyf is a Kiwi, and while I must say he is fond of sheep, he likes his wool on his back, not the other way around.
I think, however, those dirty jokes are a bit of a metaphor for the Kiwi way; clearly they can take a joke. They also know how to have a good time and they don’t take things too seriously (except maybe rugby). This is just one of the things that makes New Zealand a great place to visit.
This is my (adopted) New Zealand – five ways.
1. Nature at its naked best
New Zealand is a place where nature almost seems untouched by humans, if you squint really hard (and have questionable eyesight). Whether it’s Milford Sound on the South Island, Stewart Island or Matamata on the North Island, where the Lord of the Rings movies were famously filmed, you won’t be disappointed. Continue reading →
Clearly cowboys must know how to have a good time. And Nashville’sCMA music festival is where you can take Party Like a Cowboy/Cowgirl 101. Yee-haw! (Disclaimer: the locals actually say that).
Cowboys come out to play at CMA music fest
I appreciate country music, but I can’t say I listen to it every day. How can you hate it though? Any music genre that talks about that dog-gone fella who’s a whisky drinkin’, heart breakin’ son-of-a-gun has got me by the ear. Continue reading →