• Bali
    Creative joy,  Featured story

    Giving birth to my first book

    Conception I started writing my first book in 2002. I filed the outline in a ‘secret file’ in case our children stumbled across it on our shared computer. Funny thing was, I forgot about the secret file, and besides I had a very busy life to attend to, so my first book quietly faded into the background of my busy brain. Then, in 2005, my lifetime partner and I took our first overseas holiday and went to Bali for eight days. On the second day of the trip, I started writing a letter to mum. The letter continued for the next seven days. Before I knew it, it had became…

  • Summer with elephant
    Travel dreaming

    Eat, pray, love Bali

    I visited Bali this year for the first time in two decades. I travelled with my new partner (at the time) and our four teenagers (one mine, three his). It was wonderful to escape the bleak Melbourne winter in June for 10 days of tropical heat. Bali has changed in some surprising ways during the last 20 years. One delightful change is how the dogs are treated now. When I was there in 1993, sick mangy dogs were everywhere. Now the Balinese care for them as pets. We’d go for an early walk along Seminyak Beach before the kids woke up and it was reminiscent of Australia, the sand dotted with…

  • Poolside at Potato Head, Bali
    Travel dreaming

    My reverse bucket list

    What’s on your travel bucket list? Volunteering in Africa, teaching English in Prague, eating pasta in Rome? We dream of the next adventure, the next achievement, the next thing… but what about reflecting on the life we have lived? Here’s my reverse bucket list – my top 10 most unforgettable travel moments in Asia. 1. Watching sunrise over the Ganges in Varanasi, India’s oldest living city, with dolphins diving around our tiny boat and pilgrims descending on the water’s edge to begin their ritual morning dips. 2. Snuggling under a rug at dawn, surrounded by Tibetan monks chanting mantras to celebrate Buddha’s birthday, in Dharamsala. 3. Walking past an Indian slum during monsoon and seeing a mother and…