Archive for the ‘travel writing’ Category

How to prepare for a trip?

I’m in the throes of departure for an international trip, hence the lack of blogs of late.

I’ve gone away so many times you would think it’s old hat by now, but there’s always so much to do:
– getting currencies
– booking flights and accommodation or researching them
– taking out travel insurance
– finishing off work and more often than not, taking what I need with me
– research where I’m / we’re going
– making sure the fridge and freezer are emptied
– someone looks after my worms and garden!
– getting all the electrics together: phone/camera charges, laptops, usb sticks, image storage devices
– packing clothes / making it all fit (last time I squeezed everything into a 12kg bag!) but my cameras and laptop were carry-on luggage.
– etc etc.

A bit of a nightmare in all and still far too much to do. A lot of people have asked for my advice on preparing for trips given the amount of travel I do. I think they are often shocked how little I do in regards the itinerary. Anyway here’s some of my advice in three really simple steps:

* Don’t over plan
I am one of those people that doesn’t book flights much in advance. Currently I have a flight booked from here to Malaysia, and from Belfast to Edinburgh. That’s it. Doesn’t bother me too much but I somehow need to get from Malaysia to Belfast soon. Budget airlines mean you can book more last minute with little change to prices (although don’t leave it too late) and this leaves you a lot more flexibility in your itinerary.

I usually book the first night’s accommodation so I have somewhere to go when I arrive and that’s usually it unless I’m on a tight schedule and absolutely must stay in certain places.
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Kuching article

Today I finished writing an article on Kuching in Malaysian Borneo for an inflight magazine. The piece described the varied cultures, cuisine, jungle wildlife, incredible architecture and sights of this refined city by the Sarawak river. It was a joy to step back into the humidity, smells and experiences that is Asia, even from here at my computer in Australia.

One of the things I loved about Kuching was how there was definitely jungle beyond the town limits, but you could also discover the flavours of Sarawak’s 40 sub-ethnic groups, rare flora and fauna, colourful arts and crafts and tasty food without leaving the city.

Here’s a brief photographic insight into some of the experiences of Borneo.

Silver leaf monkeys in Bako National Park

Pitcher plants, Bako National Park

Viper, Bako National Park

Colourful windows, Kuching

Traditional tambang, Sarawak River

To see more images of Sarawak click to go to this link on my website.


Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at

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Inflight magazine deadline

I’m writing two articles this week for an inflight magazine and submitting  images from my database to accompany. One article is based around Queenstown on New Zealand‘s south island. The other is about the sleepy, river-side town of Kuching in Malaysian Borneo.

The places are so different I find myself flitting from mental images of snow capped peaks and the shadow lands of Fiordland to the hot and steamy tropical jungle of Borneo. What a juxtaposition! It’s a little hard to get my head around and I need to focus on just one at a time. As it’s been hot here in Brisbane the last few days I’ve decided to focus on the cool climate of Queenstown and deal with the images and text for that.

I’ve been going through my Queenstown images selecting which ones to submit. Here’s a few of interest. Feel free to let me know which you think are best! I’ll show a few of Kuching in the coming days.

Trekking through Saw Pit Gully, near Queenstown

Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown

AJ Hackett Bungy

Ski road, Remarkables

If you want to see more images of New Zealand go to this page on my website:


Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations.  See and learn more at

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