The 12 Travel Photography Tips that Helped me Most

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There’s no denying that travel and photos go hand in hand. After all, you’re having the experience of a lifetime, visiting places you thought you’d only ever dream about or stare at through a computer screen… so of course you want to do all you can to remember every single moment!

However capturing what you see with your eyes in a photograph can at times be challenging, especially if you’re new to photography or just bought a new camera that you haven’t learned to operate yet. I too struggled with knowing how to capture my travel photos in the early days of blogging and when I look back now I can’t help but to cringe at some of the snaps I took!

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you and you start taking great amazing travel photographs sooner rather than later, I’ve put together the top 12 travel photography tips that have helped me most when snapping my holidays!

lake bled slovenia

1. Research Locations Before you Arrive

Hands down my best tip for taking better travel photos is to stop winging it and do a little research before you arrive. Sure, winging it is always good fun, but if you’re after the best snaps of a new city, you’ll need to know where to go to get them first! My favourite tools for researching photography locations are Pinterest and Instagram.

For Pinterest I simply search the new destination I’m travelling to, i.e. “Paris”, and see what comes up. After a few hours of endless inspiration I’ve got a list as long as my arm that I want to tick off in a few days – all in search of those magical moments!

For Instagram I have a few ways to research a new location, but my favourite is to search for the tourism board’s Instagram and scroll their feed as it will be a great source to find the best photographs showing off the location. Some tourism boards do this better than others of course, but if you’re heading to a destination like @Tasmania, I promise you there’s no better way to find the best photo locations than their Instagram feed!

2. Morning & Afternoon Light

Perhaps the one single factor that always has to be considered when taking not just travel photos but any photos, is light. Most photographers will tell you that mornings at sunrise and early evenings an hour before and during sunset are hands down the best times to take photos. I’m a huge believer of this too and almost always take my photos first thing in the morning and at sunset – the colours are much more impressive and give a beautiful tone to photographs.

3. Weather Depending

A huge factor I think many travellers overlook is weather. As someone who loves all seasons equally (yes, I’m one of those crazy people who absolutely adore winter), I love to travel any time of year. However I couldn’t help but to notice that my photographs of Paris were much more colourful and lively in Spring than they were in Autumn or Winter. Thus I would suggest considering the weather factor with any of trips and keeping in mind that your photos will be significantly impacted by weather, so plan accordingly!

4. Learn to Edit, Subtly

It has taken me years to really find my signature editing process and surprisingly to most I sit down to coffee with and divulge all of my ‘secrets’ to, my editing process is incredibly simplistic. Early on in my blogging days I thought I could edit photos to look exactly how I wanted them to, even if that meant over saturating colours to make the image look more colourful and summery. I have since learned that subtle changes are best, as well as that I would prefer to spend longer getting “the shot” than I would sitting at a computer editing the photograph later. One great tip a photographer told me a couple years ago was to edit your photos as you wish, then go back and reduce your edits by 50%.

5. Find out the Apps + Programs the Pros are Using

Whenever I meet up with photographers or fellow bloggers that I admire, I almost always ask what photo editing software and apps they use. While most professional photographers use Photoshop (something I am yet to conquer), many of the people I admire manage to still edit their photos through iPhone apps only – something I too am fond of, especially being on-the-go so much! My process is fairly simple, usually only requiring a few tweaks through the Instagram app itself. I’ll almost always increase the brightness, saturation, decrease highlights, adjust shadows and increase the sharpness. Et voila!

6. Pack Only What you Need

Although it might seem like a trivial tip to give, I can promise you over-packing has often been more troublesome for me over the years than under-packing has! Once upon a time I would pack all of my cameras, lenses and tools… and I mean all of them! I’d pack two professional cameras, a small hand held camera, an instant camera, a handful of lenses…. even iPhone lenses! These days I know how to plan for the type of trip I’m taking and leaving anything unnecessary at home. The truth is that if you’re unsure whether you will use something, chances are you won’t.

7. Landscapes are Better with People in Them

When I first started solo travelling almost five years ago, I would always be asked by friends, family and eventually readers of my blog why I was always facing away from the camera. Its so funny to think back now at how many times I answered that question and defended by decision to be a part of the photo and not the actual photo itself. Of course nowadays everyone seems to be doing it and I can totally see why! Having a person in your frame tells a story and makes the viewer picture themselves there in your shoes. People also create a sense of scale for monuments, sights or attractions on your travels.

8. Ditch the Observation Deck

It took me far too many years to realise that the best photos weren’t to be taken from the observation deck or designated photo spots for travellers. More often than not the best views will be those you have to work for – climbing up mountains without tracks, jumping over “no entry” signs or entering a sight/attraction before opening hours. Proceed with caution but be brave!

9. Timing is Everything

On that note, beating the tourist rush is absolutely integral to landing a great photograph. Most travel guides say to arrive at popular attractions as soon as they enter to avoid the lines to enter, but really you want to add another hour before that to snap great photos before any of the tourists are even out of bed!

10. Look at Postcards

Sometimes I arrive in a new city with absolutely no prior research or planning whatsoever (I know, I know… in direct contrast to tip #1!!) Whenever this is the case or my memory fails me as to where I’ll snap great photos of the city I’m visiting, I almost always head for the souvenir shops and look at postcards. Not only do they reveal the most popular sights/attractions in town, but will also give you a variety of ideas on angles and times of day to photograph them!

11. Invest in Camera Equipment that Suits your Needs

When I purchased my first DSLR camera I was a salesperson’s dream come true! I walked into the shop thinking that the most expensive piece of equipment must be the best and what I would need in order to take great photos. I have since learned that this is not entirely the case. Sure, investing a great deal of money can land you some pretty amazing equipment, but if you aren’t capable of using it you’ll still be taking mediocre photographs!

I have since sold the first two DSLR cameras I had and moved on to Olympus mirrorless products. Both of my cameras are much smaller and lighter than my original choices and best of all…. cheaper! I use an Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II and an Olympus PEN E-PL7.

12. Practice Makes Perfect

I know this tip might seem irrelevant or even obvious but I really can’t stress enough how much your photos will improve the more time you spend practicing! Even when I have a beautiful sunset or sunrise in front of me, I frantically run around finding new angles and play with lighting in the hopes to get better photos. I’m also always researching tips online like how to take photographs of stars or the rules of composition. You can never stop learning and improving!

Eat Pray Love Made me Do It

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If you joined us for book club this month you will already be aware this month’s selection was pretty special. As someone who jumped on the Eat Pray Love train a little late (I thought it sounded a little cliche at the outset), I’m so glad I finally took the plunge, even if I did so back-to-front by watching the film before reading the book. And then late last month I found myself perusing the airport book store, looking for a new WOW Book Club selection. I saw the title “Eat Pray Love” and almost overlooked it, though out of curiosity turned to see how or why the book was in the newcomers section, later realising it was a new book title Eat Pray Love made me do it. And thus we have this month’s book selection!

Eat Pray Love Made me Do It Book Review

Book Review: Eat Pray Love Made me Do It

As someone who thrives off reading other’s stories to success and overcoming hurdles in life, this book was an absolute stand out for me. I love reading through the selection of nearly fifty real life stories that were related to the book and how it changed each reader-turned-writer’s lives.

Rather than relating with a particular story or writer’s words, I found myself identifying small pieces from a handful of stories that I could relate to – not wanting to read past the romance of Italy like Victoria Russell, being given the book as a gift like Mallory Kotzman, not feeling adventurous “enough” like Laurna Stirkwerda… so many of the stories, so many of the anecdotes, so many of the revelations in this book I could completely and directly relate to.

And though while I found myself relating to each writer in a small way (and some not at all), I didn’t find my own story written in the pages, as I’m sure many of you didn’t as we are all on our own journey, whether or not Eat Pray Love made you do it or not.

For me, I wouldn’t say Eat Pray Love made me do anything, as I watched the film and subsequently watched the book much later than most, when I was already travelling quite frequently and had decided that life in other countries, cultures and among other people was the life for me (or at least, at the time and certainly over the past few year).

But I do know that Eat Pray Love gave me some sort of realization and perhaps even a resolution, though it wasn’t to venture off and travel the world, seeking love and answers to life’s bigger questions. Instead, reading Eat Pray Love amidst my travelling lifestyle, I found an answer I had been seeking for a while now: would there be an end to this desire to be restless?

For a long while I have wondered if the magic would rub off, if living out of a suitcase would lose its romanticism and if I would ever want to settle down to some extent, if any? Reading this book made me realise that there needn’t be an end to life as it were, but that there would be a new chapter. A new chapter that would still involve travelling frequently, but perhaps not needing to be away all of the time.

This year I’m trying to balance my lifestyle a little more, spending some time at home with those I love and still at least half of my time on the road (I just love exploring too much to stop any time soon!) But EPL did make me realise that my restlessness would (or perhaps more accurately could) end if and when I wanted it to. Thus I’m looking forward to a little more responsibility this year by balancing life, work, and travel all at once.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What story from the book did you relate to most and why? If you didn’t relate to a story from this book, did you relate better to the original book?
  2. Do you believe travel is what changed Liz Gilbert’s life or the act of freeing herself from commitments she wasn’t totally committed to?
  3. What did the original book, Eat Pray Love, make YOU do? I’d love to see you share your story!

Much love & hope to see you all again next month for the WOW Book Club July selection! xo

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

How to Get a Stranger to Take Great Travel Photos (of you!)

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Travelling around the world solo has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had in my life and I’m sure you will find the same kind of sentiment on your own solo travels. But as someone who has to take a photo of everything to remember it as clearly as my memory will allow, I have learned that often you will need to approach a stranger to take your photo and more often than not, that has not produced the best photographs.

But what can one expect!? You are kindly asking someone you do not know if they can please take your photo and really, you have no idea if they can take their own photo let alone yours! But I have quickly learned a few tricks to help you pick the right person and how to get them to take the exact shot you’re after… because if you’re anything like me, you will have a clear vision of how you’d like that photo to turn out!

 

1. Look For the Right Person

Usually the kind of situation you find yourself in when you’d like help with a quick snap is around a busy tourist attraction or monument, so you’ll find yourself with plenty of choice for the selection process! I have found that the best people to ask are usually of my same generation, as they have a sound understanding of how technology works, how to hold a camera steady for a good shot, and the kind of frames we young people take photos in! Better yet look for someone holding a DSLR camera (that is, a big ‘ol fancy camera) as 9/10 they’ll know how to use said camera and should have no trouble crossing over on to your camera to take a great shot.

2. Introduce Yourself

The next step is so much more important than you might initially give it credit for. Instead of walking over to someone and hurling the words at them: “Can you take a photo for me?”, take the time to throw just a few extra words in there and introduce yourself in the process. This will allow you to break the ice, find out where they are visiting from, tell them where you are visiting from, and not catch them off guard with a mere photo request. Plus, you never know, you might make a new friend!

3. Set the Lighting for them

With your camera on manual you can pre-select all the lighting preferences before you hand over the camera, thus ensuring you don’t end up with an under or over exposed picture. If you don’t know how to use your camera on manual settings, you could invest in a camera like mine (Olympus OM-D EM5 Mark II) which allows you to select a setting such as: sunset, inside, harsh light, etc.

4. Take a photo for them FIRST

Over the years I have found that whenever you ask a stranger to take a photo for you, nine times out of ten they will then turn to you and ask you to do the same. Instead of taking their photo exactly how you would have liked them to take yours after the fact, offer to take a photo for them first so that you can show them the frame you are looking to capture. Otherwise you might just end up with a photo of you and the eiffel tower popping out from your head or no eiffel tower in the background at all – which isn’t quite as exciting and believe me it does happen!

5. Give as much direction as possible

Even if you have already shown them the photo you’re looking to capture, be sure to give as many simple instructions as possible. Asking them to take a few different angles is going to give you more options to choose from and result in less chance for error! If you want to be on the side of the frame with the background taking up most of the frame, be sure to ask and you will receive!

6. Set your Camera on High-Speed 

Another great way to ensure you have plenty of options is to use the high-speed shooting setting on your camera and ask your new friend to hold down the button and let the camera click away as you jump around in as many poses as you wish! There’s nothing worse than getting one or two photos with your eyes closed in both.

7. Say Thank You!

Well this last point is really just good manners. Mumma always told me to say please and thank you and throughout the last 24 years of living I’ve learned these two words are the most powerful words in the English dictionary. Always, always, always say thank you in and if you’re really feeling like making a person’s day, throw in a “SO MUCH”.

Have you had some funny encounters with strangers taking travel photos with your head cut off? Share with WOW readers below! 

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

10 Steps to Travel Blogging Success

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Every time I hold a reader meet up I’m asked by you guys what the secret is to travel blogging. There’s nothing that excites me more than sharing my blogging tips with you all as I can still remember the first few weeks of starting my own blog – how little I slept, how many ulcers I endured (as a result of no sleep), and how many caramel lollies I chewed through for a sugar kick.

Many people will tell you that it is too late to start a successful blog of any kind, because those who got in first are way more successful than you will ever be. Not true. When I started my blog four years ago, I read these exact words and took it head-on as a challenge rather than an obstacle… and that’s what you should do too.

Starting a blog is like starting your own piece of the internet – where you can pursue your passion, hopefully turn it into your career, and if travel is your main love in life – turn your life into one on the road.

Here’s everything I would tell a new blogger to help you get started on the right track:

Blogging tips | World of Wanderlust

1. Set Up your Blog

When I first started my blog back in December of 2012, I had absolutely no idea where to start. Back then many bloggers were still using the platform Blogger and as far as my research would show, this was the simplest (and cheapest because it was free) way to start a blog. I didn’t have any money I was willing to throw into starting a blog as I was frugally saving for more adventures, so I went down that avenue and started to spend all my time working on my Blogger blog.

It was only a few weeks later that I found further research suggesting that if you wish to take blogging seriously (my eyeballs were eagerly reading the screen while I nodded at the computer – yes! I do!), then you should start a blog on WordPress.org if you ever wanted to reach people around the world by coming in high on search engine results.

Thus I made the switch, started from scratch, and began my 2-3 weeks of sleepless nights to get my little piece of the internet alive and happening.

The same is true for you: if you want to take blogging seriously, I would suggest you set up your blog with WordPress.

2. Start Writing 

If I could look back and see those first initial blog posts I wrote, I would cringe with absolute certainty. Luckily for me (and for you), those blogs have since been deleted as they truly were, I kid you not, of the worst kind (dot points and all!)

But looking back I can also see that practice makes perfect – or at least near enough (this site is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors because I very rarely spellcheck given my commitment to pump out 5-7 blogs each week). So although those blog posts sucked in the beginning, the only way I got better was by persisting over time. I soon learned what did and did not work and finally found my “voice” as a writer.

3. Invest in the Tools of the Trade

Another mistake I made early on was to not invest any money in my set-up. Truth be told I would have preferred to spend $1000 on a plane ticket than a new camera lens, so that is what I did. When I realised over the months of thinking “why don’t I have thousands of readers yet?” (naive I know) that I wasn’t producing quality content, I finally came to terms with the fact that I’d need to invest a little if I wanted to take great photos, go to great destinations, travel further and more often.

Originally when I purchased my first professional camera I stupidly thought that the most expensive camera meant that it would take the best photos. Wrong I was. My first investment was a couple thousand dollars, with just one fault in my plan…. I didn’t know how to use it!

Nowadays I use an Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II which was cheaper than my first two cameras, is much lighter and is waaaaaay easier to use. I’d highly recommend it for anyone starting out in the blogosphere.

4. Learn Basic Photography Tips & Styles

After investing so much of my hard earned money, I realised I would have to continue to invest — but instead with my time. I began to spend much more time online reading about how to take better photos, learning how to deal with light and discovering how to use the manual settings on my camera.

I also spent a lot more time researching other photographers’ styles but to the surprise of many, I completely avoided looking at other travel blogs as my inspiration. Instead, I was more inspired by fashion bloggers and their approach to photography. The images were always light, bright, colourful and most importantly — fun. These bloggers were showing much more of their personality and not just an empty landscape. For me, that seemed closer to my style/personality, so I took instruction from them.

5. Connect with Readers & Bloggers

I know it sounds super corny and cliche, but there is no greater pleasure in blogging than the community you create around you. As someone who started out their blog to reach out to others as a solo traveller, I have truly grown so much as an individual by the friendships I have formed through blogging. It still blows my mind how many of you show up to reader meet ups, how many of you tweet me each day just to chat and see what I’m up to and how many of you take the time to send me a postcard in the mail (of which I have a gazillion stuck up on my pin board).

I know it won’t seem like it at the outset, but there is nothing more important than connecting with your readers and forming friendships with them. What could be more rewarding and fulfilling!?

Blogging Tips | World of Wanderlust

6. Become a Social Media Ninja

When I first started my blog I spent all of my time and effort creating a beautifully laid-out website, learning photography tips and improving my writing skills (which, lets be honest, will never be perfect… just so long as they’re always improving!)

It took me a while to realise that social media was a much faster way to grow your audience and get people interested in what you’re doing. I suppose coming from a small town where people don’t really feel the need to always “be interesting”, I felt that I didn’t really need to worry about my social presence. Wrong I was.

While I still take the odd few days or week offline to “not be interesting”, I do spend a lot more of my time updating my social media followers on my happenings. Becoming a social media is the fastest way to grow your blog audience and yes, it is a fast track to success – but I still spend way more time creating content for my site as it is my first true love!

7. Research Before you Write

I’m sure for any of my readers who have been following me since the beginning you will know first hand that I haven’t always put in this much time, effort and care into each blog post. When I first started blogging I would go for quantity of quality and believe me when I say this will be your last mistake!

If you’re not offering anything new to the internet with each new post you write, don’t upload it at all. If you’re simply regurgitating a travel guide, copying the success of another blogger or writing list after list after list with no original content of your own, you will bore and alienate your readers.

Spend a little time before each trip researching about your destination and uncovering hidden gems. Once there, open your eyes and your mind by trying as many new experiences as you can and share those experiences with your readers. After the trip be sure to continue researching as you double and triple check your facts. There’s nothing worse than giving your readers wrong information!

8. Build up Resilience to Keyboard Warriors

I wish so badly that I didn’t have to mention this in such a positive blog post, but alas, keyboard warriors seem here to stay.

When I first started blogging I was writing to no one, not even my mum! It took me weeks before I told anyone I had started a blog and for the weeks that followed my announcement, I’m 99% it was just my mum reading.

But over the years my blog has grown to reach an audience of over 1.2 million page visits per month and with that growth comes a whole range of critics. While there are many more people who will bring you up than those you will bring you down, the inevitable seems to be that the one horrible comment you read for the day will be the one that will stick in your mind.

The sooner you realise that these people forget what they’ve said the instant they say it, the sooner you can forget it too. It really isn’t worth the while to dwell on negativity.

9. Bring something New

A lot of information I read online before starting my blog said that I would need to bring something new to the table. I totally agree with that. What I don’t agree with, however, is that bloggers “have” to have a “niche” focus in order to be successful. I do believe that the blogosphere is oversaturated with blogs that have similar offerings, but I don’t believe that means you then have to start a blog with a very specific niche, just because someone is already writing a blog about travel. Start a travel blog, but write it better. Take better photos and give better information. Bring something new but don’t sacrifice your visions in a severe effort to be “different”.

10. TRAVEL!

Last of all… and the most obvious of all… you’ll need to start travelling!

When I first started my blog I was not travelling full time. In fact, I started my blog mid-way through my University degree and in my third year of law school, decided to drop my main degree and finish only my degree in Political Science. That way I could study via distance education, travel throughout the semesters, and only be bound to return home for exams twice a year. Sure, it wasn’t really the most credible way of finishing my degree, it allowed me to pursue my main passion in life: travel.

When starting a travel blog it is important to know (and remember) that you don’t have to travel full time. Having said that, my blog certainly became a lot more popular when I booked a one-way ticket and travelled the world for a year solo.

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Over to you! Do you have any further questions I can answer about starting a blog!? Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me!

The 10 Best Cities & Towns in Switzerland to Visit

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Its no secret I am head over heels in love with Switzerland. The rolling hills, the impressive scenic railways, the delicious pastries and the difficult to beat ski destinations… Switzerland is a winter playground but also has so much to offer year-round when visiting the beautiful cities and towns dotted throughout the landlocked country.

As this is my fourth visit to Switzerland and I have now seen more of the country than I could have ever imagined a few years ago on my first visit, I feel it is my duty to share my findings to help you plan your Swiss adventure and be sure to get the most out of your trip!

Swiss-towns-must-visit

Bern switzerland

Bern

The Swiss capital is quite literally as pretty as a postcard when viewed from above and the heart of the Old Town never fails to impress travellers in search of that quintessential Swiss experience. You can expect a great range of restaurants here in Bern but my favourite culinary feature is the endless supply of choices in terms of patisseries, here known as a condettorei. The swiss hot chocolate is a perfect way to warm up in the cooler months, whilst in the summer Bern features some great ice creameries if you just ask a local which direction to head in.

Zurich Switzerland | World of Wanderlust

Zürich

As my personal favourite, Zürich is a pastel-coloured dream that is not only on par with, but if you ask me, is prettier than a postcard. The winding alleyways of the Old Town, the charming little shop fronts, the smell of a nearby kondetorei and the beauty of the flowing Limatt river through the centre of town are all reason enough to visit this gorgeous Swiss city; the biggest in Switzerland with a population of 380,000.

Lucerne

Characterised by its lake and iconic snow capped mountains as a backdrop, Lucerne is far and beyond one of the most picturesque cities in Switzerland. The city is compact in size and has one of the friendliest vibes out of all the picks, making it a great pit stop for a day or two to appreciate Swiss hospitality (image).

Lausanne

Lausanne

Located on Lake Geneva and just a short train ride from the city with the same name, Lausanne has a more medieval feel than anywhere else on the list and warrants it as another Swiss beauty to visit on your travels. Even if visiting for just a day between cities or as a day trip from Geneva, Lausanne is sure to please the eye! (image).

A Guide to Zermatt Switzerland | World of Wanderlust

Zermatt

As the most famous ski resort in Switzerland and one of the most renowned in all of Europe, Zermatt is as classic and clichè as they come. The small town is covered in a thick blanket of snow throughout the winter, though what makes Zermatt so popular is the availability to ski year-round, given its remote location high in the alps and the assistance of man made snow machines. Be sure to avoid peak season if possible as prices are sky high and availability low, particularly throughout Christmas and New Years celebrations.

Arosa Kulm Hotel

Arosa

Another great ski destination that also comes to life in the summer is Arosa; a short train journey from Chur. This small village has a lot to offer by way of winter activities, however if you decide to visit outside of the ski season you will still find beauty in the rolling hills, lush greenery, and ample opportunities to kick back and unwind in one of the many alpine spas. My favourites include the Tschuggen Hotel (with the best alpine spa in town and the best restaurant at La Vetta) and Arosa Kulm, a more low key choice and also a nice alpine spa.

kulm hotel st moritz

Saint Moritz

I first visited Saint Moritz in the summer a few years ago and instantly fell in love with the gorgeous mountain scenery, lakeviews from my balcony, friendly locals and range of hiking available in the immediate area and further into the Engadine.

Ticino: Luganersee und San Salvatore

Lugano

Located in the South of Switzerland near the Italian border is Lugano, a gorgeous little city on the lake that near enough feels as if you have crossed in to Italy, with Italian being the recognised language of the region. Situated on Lake Lugano, this city is incredibly picturesque and a great stopover if travelling between Switzerland and Italy or vice versa (image).

Basel Switzerland (Wikicommons)

Basel

Located on the Rhine River, Basel is a gorgeous insight into another of Switzerland’s neighbours: Germany. The city also borders with France and thus has a unique mix of architectures, making it one of the most unique cities to visit in Switzerland and certainly one of the most intriguing. Plus yes, it is gorgeous! (image).

Geneva

Located in French speaking Switzerland is Geneva, a city that reveals its charm upon further look (typically recognised as an international business city). Although not as picturesque as many of the other locations on this list, Geneva offers a great location to stop over between Italy and France, allowing for a short visit to Switzerland. Otherwise if you have more time to uncover Geneva’s hidden beauty, you will find it lying in the backstreets of the old town! (image).

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Stockholm Bucket List!

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I never thought I would fall so in love with Scandinavia, especially in the form of a capital city… but Stockholm just has a way of capturing your heart. With old world charm and pastel buildings lining the Old Town, there’s a unique mix of old meets new when the city opens up from its’ heart, into newer, younger parts of the city where Stockholm Street Style reigns supreme. If you’re visiting Stockholm for the first time, here’s everything you absolutely must see and do!

streets Stockholm

1. Stroll through Gamla Stan

Although locals regard it as “touristy”, there’s no denying this is the most picturesque part of town. Gamla Stan is like stepping into a children’s fairytale book, complete with pastel coloured shop fronts and charming little doorsteps. There are also some beautiful little cafes here to pass the hours by, especially considering the Swedish excel in their cake + pastry offerings!

2. Visit the Vasa Museum

If you should make just one indoors visit during your time in Stockholm, you should make it the Vasa Museum. This maritime museum is home to an impressive collection and even houses an entire 17th century ship that has been salvaged and restored.

3. Walk through Skansen Open-Air Museum

Another museum worth your while couldn’t be any more different if it tried – the Skansen open-air museum is more of a zoo and home to a range of animals (great choice for the kids!) Catch the ferry to the island for the full experience and be sure to enjoy the views as you make your way by water.

View of stockholm

4. Pack a Picnic for Djurgården

As the island where Skansen Open Air Museum is located, often visitors to Stockholm are on a tight schedule and don’t take the time to enjoy their surrounds (remember its the journey – not the destination!) However if you do find yourself with a little time up your sleeve, be sure to stick around as this island is thoroughly enjoyable in the warmer months and offers a great opportunity for a picnic in the summer sunshine.

5. Take a Walk on the water’s edge

One thing I really love about Stockholm and I’m sure you will too, is that it is a city completely surrounded by water. Whether you’re walking from point to point or just walking for the sake of walking, be sure to pass by the water’s edge wherever possible, as this is where you can enjoy arguably the best view of the city – for free!

6. Visit Fotografiska Museum

A great walking route I found in the city was from my hotel, through Gamla Stan, and onwards to Fotografskia Museum. This is (as the name suggest) a photographic museum and has as fantastic gift shop at the end for photo lovers and enthusiasts.

street style stockholm

7. EAT a Cinnamon Roll for Breakfast

It’s no secret that Stockholm is FULL of great restaurants, though most of those will cost a day or sometimes a week’s paycheck to dine at! Instead, head straight for the first bakery you see and indulge in a cinnamon roll – BOY do they know how to make those things in Stockholm!

8. Sing your way through the ABBA Museum

Yes, I’m 100% serious. I visited Stockholm with my doting mother, who proclaimed prior to our trip that the only thing she wanted to do in Stockholm was to visit the ABBA Museum – and so we did. To my surprise I also (really) enjoyed the museum and would totally recommend it to anyone who has at least heard a couple of their hit tracks.

9. Walk the halls of Drottningham Palace

If one thing is for certain in Stockholm it is that no matter what route you take walking around the city, the gigantic Drottingham Palace is difficult to ignore. While the guards outside are worthy of a visit alone (who could pass up the chance to see a man in uniform!?), the inside of the Palace is just as exciting if you’re interested in the history of the royals.

Stockholm town

10. Indulge in a Gastronomic Affair

As previously mentioned, Stockholm is home to some fabulous restaurants and if you can cringe your way past the price list, you can enjoy one of the best meals of your life! The culinary scene in Stockholm is one of the best in the world and I can personally (highly – super, super highly) recommend Gastrologik.

11. Walk through the Golden Hall

The City Hall might not seem like an exciting place from the exterior, but inside lies this hidden beauty – a room made of gold – with over 18 million tiles to be exact!

12. Visit the Nobel Museum

Another great indoors activity in Stockholm is to visit the Nobel Museum, home to stacks of information and inspiration surrounding the Nobel Prize and its’ winners.

Stockholm water

13. Discover the Subway

As far as subways go, Stockholm has some pretty intriguing subway stations in the centre of the city to discover as works of art in their own right.

14. Sip a Latte at Drop Coffee

Its not often that you can say you’ve had a coffee at the world’s THIRD BEST coffee shop! Take up the opportunity at Drop Coffee and see what all the fuss is about.

15. Get a Swedish Hot Dog from a Street Vendor

As far as street food goes, Stockholmers have surprisingly good offerings, in the form of hotdogs. If you’re a sucker for the old and faithful, this is a great cheap eats alternative in a city that will quickly drain your pocket!

Stockholm Metro

16. Walk the Bridge over to Sodermalm

As Stockholm is a city surrounded by water, it should come at no surprise that there are many bridges connecting the city together! Be sure to walk over to Sodermalm and if you can, catch a sunset here at one of the many viewpoints – they’re to die for!

17. Catch a Boat Ride at Sunset

One thing you absolutely cannot miss before leaving the city is a boat ride around the city and its’ many pockets, particularly at sunset!

Stockholm gold room

Stockholm 5

Old Town Stockholm

Brooke Saward in Stockholm

Have you been to Stockholm before!? What were your most memorable moments to share with readers?

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Checking in: The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers

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Of all the experiences I have whilst travelling for my work, I’m absolutely certain that a countryside getaway remains my favourite of all. Being able to spend more time outdoors and away for cities is as good as it gets in my books! During my time in New Zealand I spent the great majority of my time in lodges, with a countryside escape at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers being an unforgettable escape from reality.

The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust

The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers

If you love golf or luxurious getaways, chances are you’ve already heard about Cape Kidnappers on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Home to one of the best golf courses in the world, the lodge has a world renowned reputation (though, in all honesty, I didn’t at all visit for the golf course!)

The lodge itself is idyllically set on a hillside, overlooking the ocean and cliffs of Cape Kidnappers. Each room is made to feel like a private oasis, which was warmly welcomed so I could spend some time on my deck overlooking the sweeping ocean views and enjoying the natural bliss that so is New Zealand’s coastline.

The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust

Farm House Lodging

I visited the Farm House during low season and was pleasantly surprised to have the whole place to myself. It was mid-week and despite my being the only visitor in house, there were still plenty of staff buzzing around the property up-keeping the gardens and readying the property for more visitors on the weekend.

My room was a short walk away from the main lodge, which provided a quiet retreat to soak up the sunshine and do a whole lot of nothing (and by nothing I mean read books, food magazines, and listen to the bird life I was surrounded by).

Hotel rooms don’t really surprise or excite me too much nowadays, as after the last few years living out of a suitcase I have become a little too familiar with living out of a suitcase (happily, of course!) However this was one rare exception. The interior styling by  Linda Bedell created a warm, inviting space that I quite honestly wanted to pack away in my suitcase and take off with! I’m sure the images are proof enough.

Room rates include a full a la carte breakfast and gourmet tasting menu for dinner, as well as unlimited snacks in your complimentary mini bar to get you through the day. The food is absolutely flawless and is a highlight of the stay, showcasing local produce with many of the ingredients sourced directly from the farm’s veggie garden!

The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust

Around the Property

Around the lodge you’ll find plenty of activities on offer to keep you busy if you’re more of an active traveller like myself, who can only spend so much time reading in the winter sunshine.

The main attraction for guests is the 18-hole Golf Course, currently listed as #16 in the world. Even if you don’t play golf I would suggest hopping on a golf cart and taking a look, as the course is set in an idyllic location right on the edge of the property, overlooking the ocean and catching the sun all day.

The lodge also features a heated Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi with a beautiful view over some of the property (keeping in mind the property is 6,000 acres in total!)

The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust

6,000 Acres of Oasis

As mentioned, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is set on 6,000 acres of land, featuring everything from steep cliff faces to ocean access. Behind the lodge you will find an incredible wildlife sanctuary, where the owner is taking measures to protect threatened species of birds, assisted by volunteers of the project.

Inside your room you will find a trail map, with marked trails around the property that will take you to different, unique experiences. Some trails lead to the cliffs, some to the ocean, and some will take you around the farm to spot the local wildlife and cattle (after all, this is still a working farm!)

The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust The Farm House at Cape Kidnappers | World of Wanderlust

With thanks to Cape Kidnappers for welcoming me to experience this gorgeous getaway! All opinions and oodles of photos are my own! 

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Stopover Cities: How to make the Most of a Sydney Layover

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Recently I found myself on a Sydney layover for less than 24 hours, stopping briefly between international and domestic trips. Although I make these trips regularly (living on an island in Australia results in mandatory stopovers when travelling internationally) I realised this time that I have never spoken about it on the blog or offered my advice for making the most of a Sydney layover.

As I figure there is no time like the present, here is precisely how to make the most of a stopover in Sydney – including my favourite one-day itineraries, where to sleep and eat!

Checking in to a hotel for one night is up there with my least favourite things to do in life, alongside having my eyebrows waxed and digging the dirt out from underneath my nails. But alas, it is all part of my job travelling full time.

While I would never recommend visiting Sydney for just one day/night (there is so much more to see and do!), I will say that it is entirely possible to do so. The first choice you will need to make is whether to check straight in to an airport hotel, or to immerse yourself in the city experience and make the extra effort to lug your bags in to town.

Rydges Airport Hotel

Whenever I visit Sydney overnight I usually stay in the city, however on our recent visit we were coming in to Sydney off the backend of a big Europe adventure, so we decided to check ourself straight in to an airport hotel as we landed after 10:00pm in the evening. This was a great idea for our circumstances as we could get a full night of rest before having the next day to head off exploring, all the while never having to carry our luggage around town to do so (the hotel was more than happy to store our luggage until we returned). We checked in to Rydges Airport Hotel which is located right at the international terminal with a free shuttle to domestic for the following day. It couldn’t have been a more perfect solution for us!

Intercontinental Hotel Sydney

Another one of my favourite hotels in Sydney for a city break is to check in to the Intercontinental Sydney, which arguably has one of the best views of the Sydney Harbour from the 31st floor club lounge! The hotel is a convenient 5 minute stroll from Circular Quay station, so you can catch the airport train for around $17-$18 one way and it will drop you directly around the corner from the hotel. There are also a great range of eateries in the area so I find it really convenient for a one-night stop, close enough to the harbour without being right in the hustle and bustle! I would prefer to pay a little extra for the “Club Intercontinental” package which gives you free internet and club access lounge – meaning free cups of tea all day and snacks…. all of the snacks!

Sydney_Harbour_Bridge

I needn’t tell you that Sydney is a huge city with much more to offer than you will ever accomplish in one day, however if it is one day you have it is one day you will make the most of! Below are three different itineraries that you could enjoy in one day – you’ll just have to pick what suits you best!

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House & The Rocks

Catch the airport train to the city in around 15 minutes and depart the train at Circular Quay. Here you will be able to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge to your left, Sydney Opera House to your right, and discover “The Rocks” on your walk around the harbour for the perfect food pitstop. You can choose to admire the bridge and opera house from afar or perhaps embark on the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk (you will need to book in advance), or step inside the Opera House for a tour. I would also recommend jumping on one of the public ferries to see the harbour from the water, especially on a hot summers day!

Bondi Beach & Icebergs

Another great option to get a taste of local life is to head down to Bondi Beach and see the iconic “Icebergs” swimming pool that meets the ocean water. You could easily spend a day here on the beach, with plenty of shopping and eating on offer in Bondi Junction. QT also have a hotel here, making it a seamless check-in-check-out 24 hour experience.

Luna Park & Taronga Zoo

A final option that is great for kids (or kids at heart) is to check out either Luna Park (theme park) or Taronga Zoo… or both! Both are located in the Northern area of Sydney, connected by the public ferry system. For international visitors, Taronga is a popular choice to get up close and personal with kangaroos and koalas!

What to Eat in Sydney

Sydney is full of great food but if you only have 24 hours, here are some standout performers:

Gelato Messina – Now with 8 locations throughout Sydney, you really don’t have any excuse not to indulge in Australia’s premier gelato offerings! Flavours include Macadamia Crunch, Milk Chocolate with Choc Peanut Fudge and Salted Caramel with White Chocolate to name a few.

The Spice Room – One of the great aspects of Australia is the multiculturalism that lends itself to our diverse cuisine. If you want to get a taste of our surrounds, check out The Spice Room for an inexpensive lunch or dinner experience.

Altitude Restaurant – Still my favourite dinner venue with one of the most impressive skyline views of the harbour is Altitude Restaurant, located on top of the Shangri-La Hotel. If you’re looking for a fine dining culinary experience you will find it here and then some, with the desserts being a clear standout.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

12 Inspiring Quotes about Paris

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Its no secret that I love Paris. I love Paris in the spring, I love paris in the fall, I love Paris on a Monday, Tuesday, Sunday afternoon… I just love Paris. As a young girl Paris was always the city that fascinated me most and now, having visited more times than I can count on my hands, I feel the love affair just continues to grow stronger. Below you will find my favourite quotes about Paris to inspire your own journey… and believe me, they will do just that!

Quotes About Paris

“Paris is always a good idea.” – Audrey Hepburn

“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” – Thomas Jefferson

“To know Paris is to know a great deal.” – Henry Miller

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway

“You know, I sometimes think, how is anyone ever gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony, or a sculpture that can compete with a great city. You can’t. Because you look around and every street, every boulevard, is its own special art form and when you think that in the cold, violent, meaningless universe that Paris exists, these lights. I mean come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune, but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.” – Owen Wilson

“We’ll always have Paris.” – Howard Koch

“London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.” – G. K. Chesterson

“Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets–as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her–and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.” – Anne Rice.

“When good Americans die, they go to Paris.” – Oscar Wilde

“Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.” -Honoré de Balzac

“Secrets travel fast in Paris.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

“An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Paris, je t’aime!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Australia’s Best Kept Secret: Why you Must Visit Norfolk Island

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Every so often I come across a place in my travels that is so magical and unspoiled that I would rather keep it a secret for myself. But alas, it would be an injustice not to share Norfolk island with you and encourage you to book a holiday here, as it is honestly one of the most incredible destinations I have discovered in a long time.

As a small town girl (originally from a town on the North West coast of Tasmania with a population of not many), the kind of holiday I appreciate is one where I feel welcomed by the locals, can quickly locate my morning coffee stop and find fresh produce to graze on throughout my visit. Norfolk Island is just that, along with the tranquillity, untouched nature and incredible scenery.

Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific

Arriving in Norfolk Island

We landed in Norfolk Island after a short two hour flight from Sydney, Australia. My boyfriend and I were on the way home after a month of travels in Europe, so the decision to take an island escape before landing at home in Tasmania worked out in our favour as we had a few days over the weekend to adjust back to the timezone before heading back to work for the week.

Although Norfolk Island is an outlying territory of Australia, you’ll need to pack your passport and be prepared to fill out immigration forms for your arrival and departure, as the island has its own procedures and as you will soon find out, feels a world away from mainland Australia.

After passing through customs and immigration and collecting our bags, we found our rental car in the parking lot with the keys in the ignition ready to go. Odd, you might think? We thought so too. As it turns out no one on the island locks their cars or houses as the crime rate is extraordinarily low thanks to the strong community presence.

Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific

Everything you Need to Know About Norfolk Island

Before visiting Norfolk Island I didn’t know a whole lot about it. To be honest, I had never even heard of it before. Norfolk is a small 34.6 kilometres squared island located 1600 kilometres off the coast of Australia. At just two hours in flight time from Sydney, it truly feels like a world away from reality with the small town community vibes, great food, and of course some of the best scenery on offer in the South Pacific.

Although located in the South Pacific, Norfolk has a unique blend of being somewhere between Australia and New Zealand, with much less Polynesian influence than the likes of other Pacific islands like Easter Island, Fiji or Hawaii, but still hosts a great deal of cultural history.

Once a penal colony for convicts “of the worst kind”, Norfolk is frequented mostly by history buffs and nature lovers, as the island has so much to offer in both fields. There are a handful of museums to visit if you wish to indulge in a little colonial history, however if you’re anything like me you won’t be able to give up the temptation of taking the time to kick back, unwind, and enjoy island time (that is, if it doesn’t get done today, it will get done tomorrow!)

Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific

Why Go to Norfolk Island?

This is perhaps the single most underrated destination I have visited in Australia. While it isn’t known to the masses, those who have visited have either moved to the island to live permanently or come back year after year as they instantly fall in love with the place. I myself will fall into the latter category and can guarantee I’ll be back within the year.

The island has everything and more to offer visitors, with incredible cuisine, friendly locals, and untouched nature from pine tree forests through to rainforests and dramatic cliff faces with panoramic ocean views.

But what made it stand out (and why am I so crazy about it!?) This was the first destination in years where I have taken the time to switch off and enjoy my surrounds. I wasn’t searching through my handbag for my mobile phone or walking in to a cafe with my laptop under my arm – for the first time in as long as I can remember I just wanted to be present and live in the moment. The feeling is indescribable beyond that!

Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific

A warm thanks to Norfolk Island Tourism for arranging my visit to Norfolk Island! All opinions and oodles of photos are my own.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!