Creative travel and wellness holidays: Lonely Planet’s new guide

Creative travel and wellness holidays: Lonely Planet’s new guide

2019 is the year we truly start to take care of ourselves on our time off, which is why creative travel and wellness holidays are the thing of ‘now’ in the travel industry.

Once upon a time, a vacation meant drinks, lots of food, tours and shopping. But many of us are tiring a little, even on our trips.

Recently, there’s been a shift in the reasons many of us choose to get away – we want to switch off from the pressures of modern-day life.

Why creative travel and wellness holidays?

The new kind of break, the one that will continue to rise as one of the most sought-after in 2019, is the ‘wellness escape’. It’s an enriching life experience – a creative travel or wellness holiday – where we return home feeling great about ourselves.

Wellness has become a booming industry, evidenced by the fact Lonely Planet has just published a gorgeous hard-cover guide on the topic, Wellness Escapes.


Get creative booking your travel this year

The publication presents an inspiring breadth of offerings around the globe.

These include:

  • Yoga retreats (we’ve published a story about a retreat in Turkey if you’re interested)
  • Meditation
  • Fitness and wellness festivals around the world
  • Creativity workshops and personal growth opportunities
  • Health spas and nutrition getaways

Wellness Escapes - Lonely Planets guide to creative travel and wellbeing holidays

Akin to other collectable Lonely Planet guides like Culture Trails and Everyday Adventures (released in 2018, be inspired by those titles here), Wellness Escapes is an item any wanderluster will want on the coffee table.

Wellness Escapes features a worldwide guide on the best, coolest and most energising creative travel, wellness holidays, meditation centres, health spas, fitness events (including LoveFit in the UK) and much more.

It’s a whole lot of love in one delicious book. Be inspired, get creative and healthy now.


Inspired creative travel trends and holiday tips

Creative travel and wellness escapes featured in the January 2019 issue of Get it Magazine

For more on wellness trends and creative travel of 2019, have a read of my feature on the topic published in the January issue of Get it Magazine.


Is your life goals list making you miserable?

Is your life goals list making you miserable?

It began with something called a ‘happy planner’ that promised to keep me on track with my life goals list. The year, that is – I started off so well, planning ahead in my bright yellow hard-covered book that’s trimmed with gold and artistically decorated with beautiful landscape photography.

All my goals, neatly listed, poised for New Year’s success. Maybe you relate?


The un-happiness of a life goals list

I spent time working through my planner’s activities which included noting intentions, and rating my happiness in various areas of life with a view to taking action on anything that felt lacking. On a glance back, I see I also filled in the ‘reverse bucketlist’ pages, where instead of writing down all the things I wish to achieve, I listed those things I was already proud of accomplishing (a very nice activity, if you need a boost today).

While I did initially make the most of my ‘happy planner’, it has actually been sitting on top of a pile of half-read books since May!

The bright yellow HAPPY cover serves as a reminder each morning of the possibilities ahead. But in the evenings, it came to prompt panic over all I’d intended to do but not yet acted upon.

According to the internet, this is now a thing – ‘FOMOMG’ (fear of missing out [on] my goals).


What on earth is FOMOMG?

What to do then, if we feel like we’re not where we intended to be now? That is, if we haven’t saved the money we wanted to, got the job, bought the house, discovered the romance, finished (or started) a project we’d hoped to have in hand.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like we’re missing out, and some might agree it’s especially so at this time of year. Keen to not fall victim to this so-called FOMOMG, I resolved to lessen the pressure I admitted placing on myself.


Types of goal setting, not goal-setting or indeed not giving a f*ck!

I’ve been reading some of Sarah Knight’s work – she’s the author of the No F*cks Given guides and presenter of a TED talk on the ‘magic of not giving a f*ck’ that’s reached over four million people. Clearly, many are curious to know if it’s ok to shed our excess ‘stuff’, and Sarah’s now famous for spreading the word on how to let go of things you really don’t need to care about.

Akin to decluttering your home, we’re encouraged to do the same with our minds. You can start this today by writing down a list of all the things that are taking up space in your head, then carefully considering which items you don’t need to care about. Really. For example, are you worrying that you’re not as caught up in your career as your friends are (well apparently, according to Instagram)? Let it go. It’s likely to work out the moment you begin to clean up your thoughts and focus on the things that truly matter.


Life goals to set for yourself: choose wonder not worry

I’ve also been dipping into Amber Rae’s Choose Wonder over Worry (another one stashed in my bedside pile of books). She helpfully points out that it’s not the things we don’t care about that are hard to let go of, but it’s letting go of all those things we DO want to achieve, plan for or create, that is so hard. To choose ‘wonder over worry’, means doing just that – letting some of the stress and pressure go, and focussing on the thing that is the most important to you.


Looking ahead, it’s time for me – and you, perhaps – to find joy in the moment. Embrace, don’t stress, over your dreams and goals.

Make time for a festive break; consider the good in your world, and your achievements; play with your kids or pets; focus on ONE thing you’re looking forward to pursuing next year. Let go of the clutter and embrace with me the understanding that setting goals is one thing, but realising those goals can change is the real key to happiness.

How do you see it – do you set goals anymore, or focus on intentions? I’d love to know – please drop me a line in the comments. 


First published in the December 2018 issue of Get it Magazine,
Future tripping – personal travel planning and inspiration

Future tripping – personal travel planning and inspiration

In the UK, we’ve sadly come out of our summer months. Is anyone feeling the post-holidays blues? Who’s already started travel planning for the months ahead? The day job just doesn’t stand up to sunny days and balmy music-filled nights on the Med.

Enter two lovely new books by Lonely Planet: Culture Trails and Everyday Adventures


Personal travel planning: two inspiring new guides

They say the only way to get through it, is to plan something else to look forward to. I’m an advocate of personal travel planning. I love the research. I’m happiest when I invest the time to find something that’s right for Cooper and I.

We are currently planning for four days in Lisbon at Christmastime. The gorgeous Portuguese city has been on our bucket-list for a while. So, we’re making it happen this year. We’ve decided on a city-break rather than an island escape. Which we’ve enjoyed for the past two years, see Christmas in Mallorca and Ibiza.

It seems a shame to not live in the moment and I wanted to share a couple of inspiring resources.  Courtesy of Lonely Planet, one being a gorgeous book that encourages us to create adventures in our own backyards!


Personal travel planning ahead for the ultimate adventure

This delicious coffee table book is brimming with 52 amazing destinations, including Lisbon. Culture Trails explores each destination by way of a theme like music, art, literature. It’s beautifully designed and filled with wanderlust-inducing images.

Taking a look at Lisbon, for example, Culture Trails explores its ‘artistry that speaks to the soul’. It’s given us a glimpse into unique cultural experiences and top attractions we should pursue to get a taste of the heart of the place.

Each destination also gives a taste of where you might like to stay, eat, drink and even a list of key celebrations or festivals that you might like to time your trip with.

Culture Trails is an aspirational hard-cover publication, just like the lovely new Wellness Escapes, also from Lonely Planet. It’s easy to browse, exploring destinations through the eyes of the authors and photographers. It would make a great gift too for others who enjoy planning their own travel too.

While it did cross our minds that ‘52’ might mean ‘one destination every week’, we haven’t figured out how to fund that without the day job.

Which brings me to Everyday Adventures


How to be inspired now: planning localised travel adventures

This book totally surprised me – it’s quirky, fun and full of lovely ideas on new adventures you can create for yourself in your own backyard (or, the city where you live).

We’re in London so spoilt for choice, but when you work hard all week and are tired by the weekend, it’s easy to let opportunities slip by.

Also, London is an example of a city that can be quite expensive, so if you’re trying to save then much can feel out of reach.

Everyday Adventures offers various styles of ‘travel’ for you to pursue, like active, eco-friendly, exploratory, meditative, romantic, group or solo adventures.

You can choose according to budget available and each activity offers a score on how complicated it might be to pull off.

One nice idea is to leave a little early for work and stop by a café you’ve never been to and enjoy breakfast there, for a change of scenery to break up the week.

Another I love, that we tried this past weekend, is called ‘puppy pursuit’ where you let a dog lead you around on a walk. Try this if you’re house and pet sitting! You go where their nose takes them, so to speak.

Filled with case studies, stories and loads of ideas to plan a day of ‘travel’ that’s far from average, this book seems the perfect antidote to post-holiday blues; following it as a guide and making a game of it, you’ll have an adventure on your hands in no time.

Book review Light is the New Black

Light is the new Black book coverThe name ‘Rebecca Campbell’ has been popping up in my sphere for a good few months, and I became intrigued for two key reasons – first, she seems like a very switched on (forgive the pun) ‘light worker’; secondly, she’s Aussie (like me, so obviously that gives her immediate cred!).

In all seriousness though, her divine new book, Light is the New Black (Hay House) literally has me hooked. Synchronicity was at play with regards to the timing of my getting my hands on a copy. Every page I opened on any given morning or evening inevitably answered a question I’d asked that same day. The ‘coincidences’ narrowed even as far as Rebecca talking about one of her mentors, Sonia Choquette, who I read about in this book just a day after an intuitive healer had introduced me to Sonia’s work.

I’ve committed the ultimate sin against crisp new printed pages, and dog-eared about 75 per cent of this book – all reminders of phrases, paragraphs and pages that resonate with me, plus self-development activities I need to go back to complete, and general life-tips pertinent right now (and no doubt, in the imminent future).

Light is the New Black has become my absolute favourite daily go-to guide for inspiration on how to brighten each of life’s moments, and how to really make strides towards individually having the courage to share thoughts, insights, stories, and indeed light, with the world. Colleagues at work have bought the book based on my fanatic raving; I purchased the Kindle version too, and a group of friends and I are already signed up for some of Rebecca’s remaining 2015 London events (she’s on her way to Aus soon too, so take a look at her site for tickets and availability).

I’m a brand new fan, because Rebecca’s book has sparked copious ideas scribbled down at late hours on scraps of paper (whatever was closest to hand), plus voice memos upon which I’ve recorded imaginative and inspired epiphanies. Rebecca’s both wise and relatable, and I can tell by the daily interactions on her Facebook spaces, that by baring her own soul, Rebecca has truly moved others who feel they can do more to enlighten the world.

Light is the New Black is a well-written yet accessible guide on how to get started answering your soul’s callings. Rebecca includes engaging stories and heartfelt anecdotes, and her words of wisdom are crafted in a truly helpful, actionable way.

In a nutshell, this book is beautifully written, makes loads of sense, is soul-stirring and surprising.

If you’re looking for something to motivate you to take a step – whether large or small – towards a bigger, light-filled life for you, your loved ones and the world at large, then start right here.

About the book:

Light Is the New Black is a guidebook for a new breed of women who are here to be bright lights in the world – modern-day lightworkers, who agreed to be here at this time in history. In order to thrive in this new age, everything we do must be an authentic expression of who we truly are. Light Is the New Black will guide you back home to the callings of your soul, so you can light up the world with your presence. –Amazon description, find it here.

More at and Hayhouse.


Book review The Unbelievable Truth

review Unbelievable Truth by Gordon SmithMy friends appreciate that if forced to choose a persona, I’m definitely more Mulder than Scully (if you’re not familiar with these terms – characters, actually – you will certainly understand what I’m on about by January 2016). I’m a truth-is-out-there, we-are-not-alone, life-does-not-end-here kinda gal. But, it’s because I actually do believe in ghosts, spirits, mediums and another life (or lives, as the case may be) that I’m rather well-read on the topic.

If you’re not or do not care, don’t bother reading on.

Review The Unbelievable Truth

My brother and I have discussed the spirit world and paranormal experiences at length since a young age. We’ve always been ‘aware’. Additionally, I’ve met gifted psychic mediums and know for absolute sure the ‘real deal’ exists (on the Gold Coast in Australia, actually).

I’m always interested to hear what people have to say on the topic of connecting with life after death, so was intrigued to discover details on Gordon Smith’s newest release and have the opportunity to review The Unbelievable Truth.

Gordon is touted as being one of the UK’s most gifted mediums (of interest to me, now I’m based in London!). I’ve just finished his book and am happy to report I found it an enjoyable, enlightening read, covering topics of age-old interest and debate, including life after death, reincarnation, near death experiences, and encounters with ghosts and spirits.

Here’s a few of my personal take-aways:

  • The difference between psychics and mediums – I’d always used the term interchangeably, but Gordon says it’s mediums who are responsible for putting you in touch with dearly departed friends and family. Psychics are insightful with regards to life circumstances; and future-tellers are gifted with another certain gift. Some possess a mix of these talents; some are simply (sadly) frauds, preying on the vulnerable.
  • On reincarnation, Gordon discusses the paths we can take which might see us moving on into a spirit world (where, incidentally, we keep evolving and learning – we don’t just cross over and dwell in the light, as far as I can tell); Or, we might come back and live another life, learn some more lessons, and move forward towards a higher understanding of life and living.
  • Be good in this life because you don’t leave it behind; karma moves with us, no matter where you end up.
  • While I understand ‘ghosts’ to consist of various types, in particular, ‘residual energy’ and ‘intelligent energy’, Gordon describes ghosts as that energy (or imprint) which is left behind in a place or space (residual). A ghost is something that appears, but isn’t actually interacting with us. However, Gordon says spirits are the intelligent entities that are actually trying to communicate with us – they move things around, show themselves and communicate important messages. Interestingly, he believes most paranormal activity is actually a manifestation caused by the emotions of a person or group of people – a proposition I’d not previously considered.
  • We keep learning on the other side, but the more you pursue enlightenment here (and associated appreciation of gratitude, empathy and kindness), the smoother your transition might potentially be, no matter what ‘the other side’ may be.

Gordon infuses a warm sense of Scottish storytelling and humour within his tales of personal experience regarding life as a medium, and empathy into stories about those who he has helped by way of connecting to lost loved-ones. I enjoyed his descriptions of how mediums and psychics gain their information, his explanations around many misconceptions or myths surrounding paranormal activity, and appreciated his frank explanations of what mediums can and can’t do. He discusses his evolution from gifted child to practiced medium too, and it’s interesting to learn how this is a craft – like any other – that needs to be nurtured and honed over time.

Up until now, the book I’ve enjoyed most which explains this theme has been When Ghosts Speak, by American, Mary Ann Winkowski. Gordon’s book is akin to this in my mind, explaining extraordinary notions in layman’s terms. If you’re a believer and seeking further insight into how mediums communicate with the spirit world, how you might benefit from sitting with someone like Gordon (provided they’re legitimate – although he discusses this too), and what lies in store after this life, you’ll definitely be interested in this read.

The Unbelievable Truth by Gordon Smith (Hayhouse)
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