The distraction of the camera while travelling

Open your eyes and use them to look at the world purely- not jaded from the camera lens. Some things in life should be remembered by the feeling you get when you connect to the place. A camera can capture the picture but it won’t capture the moment. Most of the memories will be of you taking the picture. Put down the camera and observe the detail.

Photography and travel go together like peanut butter and jelly and at first the feeling won’t seem right. You’ll feel paranoid you’re missing out on a perfect picture of a place you might not visit again. But you’ve travelled so far for a reason- to enjoy the scenery.

Scenery you might not ever see again; air you might not ever feel on your skin again; people you might never speak to again; animals you might never hear again; a ground you might never touch again.

The habit will be hard to break, but if you have the freedom of lingering in the location, practice connecting with what’s around you.

Art studios at nature reserves

Giselle Luske from Giselle’s Art Studio in the Gold Coast Hinterland of Coomera says drawing is a practice that requires patience, and improves a person’s memory of the object or place in frame.

“To sit down in one area for a few hours, absorbing every little detail then interpreting that onto your page is something anybody can appreciate- something anybody can do. Sure, you can come to my classes and learn how to shade and what pencil to use when, but anybody can enjoy sketching and painting- there are no rules that are set in stone,” she says.

Put down the phone

In contrary with my last post, this will be one of those moments a smartphone (or technology) can distance you from the world. So think about swapping the electronics with paper. A relaxing process to go through is drawing or painting the scenery you’re in.

You will find you get to know where you are a lot more personally than to just take a photo and move on. If you observe from my drawing of the Mt. Tamborine Botanic Gardens above, you most definitely don’t need to be an excellent artist. So don’t feel prohibited by any level of talent you have.

Take a few snaps, then put down the camera so you can take it all in.

Much nerd,

Ninka xx


Travelling with a smartphone

When you’re travelling with a smartphone you don’t need a tour guide. Whether it’s a day tour or small group, most of the expense is spent on the transport and the time the guide takes in finding your way around anyway (From experience I know and I advise you to travel with no restrictions).

Popular travel apps you should download onto your smartphone is the Viator app. “Travel with an insider” with the list of attractions, videos, and maps. Just choose the destination you’re in and you’re presented with a range of activities and attractions to embark on, select the day and you get the specials. Viator incorporates reviews and the capability of purchasing the tickets so you can plan your trip with ease in one simple app.

The app’s map automatically pins down on all the activities listed for that area. It gives a visual perception on how close all the activities are to each other- walking distance. Explore the city’s streets and culture on your way to each activity rather than being engulfed in a group of visitors competing to get the better-angled picture because the guide will soon sweep them quickly away.

Another hands-on approach to self-guided tours is tailoring your day with Google maps.

Watch the instructional video here.

Once finished and you’ve explored the sites, return and edit the description with the helpful tips on finding the way around (like short-cuts or other fun ways to get around the city) and fun facts for other users and visitors.
Create one about your own city like the one I did below for Brisbane and share your personalised knowledge to the world- it’ll help everyone feel at home.

This is the power of your smartphone. It’s shaping a more hands-on, personalised way of travelling. Technology doesn’t always mean distancing from the world. Use it right and you have the world at your fingertips.

Unique things around Brisbane/Gold Coast: Springbrook

Have you ever felt like a tourist in your own city? Whenever a relative or a friend come over for a holiday and ask “so what is there to do around here?” do your answers come from a google search?

The best way to get to know your city, what’s around you, and the best places to start exploring your surroundings. Every city, town, or even suburb has a unique area about it.

Discover a new-found appreciation for what came before. I’ve found myself becoming curious about the things I see around me: what came before that park or that bridge? How did this landmark affect the area around it? What other people and events happened here on this landscape?

You walk around your hometown or city and realise you may not know much about it.

What has heavily shaped Brisbane and the Gold Coast are its nature walks within rainforests and volcanic mountains.

The most unique thing around Brisbane and the Gold Coast is not the attractions with the excessive commercialisation, but its  most outstanding World Heritage Area of Springbrook National Park, which is part of the Shield Volcano Group of UNESCO.

There are an abundance of waterfalls, hiking trails and lookouts surrounded by the sounds of birds and nature.

Below is a video montage of some brief clips on the areas of the Best of All Lookout Trail; Purlingbrook Falls Lookout from both ends and from the top.

It is a magnificent area over 15,000 acres of land with amazing view of Queensland and New South Wales’ other famous nature sights.

The view of the Best of All Lookout shows that amazing view and you can see it in the picture below. (Click to enlarge).


Now with only little amount of time I was only able to view the amazing things this area had to offer from just its lookouts, i can’t wait to explore even deeper into this rainforest.

Take the time to explore what’s around you, even if you have a short amount of spare time in your day.

Much nerd,

Ninka xx

Not travelling like a tourist

Wherever you are in the world there’s always that season where tourists flock to your city and you wonder ‘why, just why, did you buy those tacky things on your heads?’ Those t-shirts and hats and stuffed toys. They stand out in the worst way. And sometimes when you go to travel and experience another life. You do too.

Understandably there’s only little time we have when travelling so we want to get the most out of our money. We buy those value deals cram-packed with those basics we’ve probably been most excited for and dreaming of since opening up that magazine at the travel agency. But why on earth do something we’ve all practically relived time and time again in movies, magazines, and photographs before? It’s the face-value of the place. 

Remove that tunnel vision that’s stuck on those tourist maps. Blend in and live on this world like you belong. Dare to be adventurous and get to know the locals around you. Discover the world like everyone should- like it’s our home. 

Hopefully this blog helps guide you off the beaten track to discover the destinations we trek to with a different view. You shouldn’t have to submit to the prescribed way of touristy travelling.

Looking forward to my post next week!

Much nerd,

Ninka xox