Travel Writing Awards

Last weekend the Australian Society of Travel Writers held its annual awards, and I was honoured to pick up two gongs: one for the best story about Australia (over 1000 words), and the other for the best international story (under 1000 words). I was also a finalist in two other categories, including travel photographer of the year. Continue reading

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Crocs, Yaks and Camels: The Joy of the Open Air

In a recent study, researchers at the University of Colorado found that camping has the ability to reset our body clocks. In dragging us away from the electric lights that so disrupt the natural order and cycle of daily life, camping isn’t just good for the soul, it also apparently recalibrates our sleep patterns. Continue reading

Cycling Manali to Leh, India

Between the Indian cities of Manali and Leh, a highway wriggles through the Himalayas. It travels for 500 kilometres, crossing five high passes, including some of the highest road passes in the world. It journeys from the monsoon-washed greenery of Himachal Pradesh to the high, stark desert of Ladakh, passing through terrain so gorgeously brutal that the road is usually open for just three or four months of the year. That time of year is now. Continue reading

The Monk Who Walks Only to Freedom

In the Indian town of McLeod Ganj, above Dharamsala, you sense that you’re at the very edge of high drama. The mighty Himalayas rise beyond, and so many of its residents are here to escape persecution in Tibet. Tourists come for many reasons.  Curiosity. Spirituality. A break in the eye of the travel storm that is India. A chance glimpse of the Dalai Lama at his home-in exile. A few, like me, come to hike. Continue reading