Articles about how to dress like/talk like/date like a Parisian are a dime-a-dozen, and mostly complete BS, so I was hesitant to take on this subject. Instead of listing what colors to wear and how to get that sexy french girl tousled hair that everybody seems to want, I’ve just described how I actually lived, when I was in Paris. Enjoy!Read More
I never expected to move to China, nor begin to learn Mandarin. Yet while the language may be totally unfamiliar, the process of learning a language from scratch is not. I wrote about how already speaking French has helped me to tackle this third language for Babbel Magazine, which is the official online publication of one of the worlds largest online language learning resources.Read More
During our visit to Beijing in November, we spent a day hiking on an a beautiful and empty, 'wild' section of the Great Wall of China. This article was published in the Washington Post, and the grammatical error contained in the first sentence earned me a slew of annoyed emails.Read More
I spent 10 days in Beijing last November, and high on my list of things to do was the Lost Plate culinary tour. Driving from stop to stop by tuk-tuk, we dove head-first into the local food scene that is at the heart of the dense 'hutong' neighborhoods. I wrote about it for The Washington Post.Read More
The Crazy Horse Cabaret in Paris has been setting hearts a-racing for more than 60 years. I finally ticked it off my Paris bucket list and attended the sexy, witty and iconic show, writing all about it for Marque Magazine in Australia. Check it out...Read More
Published in PrimoLife Magazine June 2017
In September 2016, I rode a wooden bike for 3 days through Athens and the Greek Islands. Jump in the saddle with me and explore this magnificent landscape in this most unusual way.Read More
Our target for the weekend is Château de Chambord. As the most famous and prominent castle in the region, can get very busy in the summer months, but after driving through the thickly wooded domain that surrounds it (and signs alerting us to wild boar and deer that roam about) we find it half-empty in the cold and crisp early December air.Read More
There are about 15 young men in white, swarming over the sand, luring the bull this way and that. Psssst pssst they hiss and the bull swings his huge muscular body around, legs already splayed and hooves gouging the sand as he lurches forward.Read More
The Palace of Versailles, approximately 20km south-west of Paris is one of the most visited sites in Europe, and is on everybody's to-do list while in the City of Lights. It is an absolutely spectacular place, and one of my favourite sites in the Paris region, but it's not the kind of place you should just pitch up to and wing it.
Due to its size and popularity, a day in Versailles can easily descend into a disaster of long lines, bad timing, long walks in the dust and cancelled trains.
As a tour guide I've spent thousands of hours in the town and estate, and I firmly believe that preparation is the key. So read on, because I'm about to share as much advice as I can.Read More
An island marked by centuries of conflict and bloody rule, a stone’s throw from Italy, ruled by the French and the birthplace of one of the greatest rulers of modern history, Corsica is under an hour’s flight from Nice but it is like no other place on earth.Read More
Watching the Paris Marathon isn't easy, even for a local. I was rushed, unprepared and even had to take a cab at one point. *shame*
Yet loads of people come to Paris from out of town to watch, so with this in mind, I've designed the perfect user-friendly Ultimate Paris Marathon Spectator Route.Read More
Chartres is about 80km south-west of Paris, 1h20 by train. Perfect for a day visit, visitors go to see the UNESCO World Heritage listed Notre Dame de Chartres, arguably the most beautiful Gothic cathedral in France.
Back in May 2015, I spent a day in this beautiful little town with my Dad and his wife. Being the deadline-oriented, timely writer I am, I’ve let nothing get between me and this post.Read More
The silly, gif-ridden listicle that became my most-read post gets another lease on life!
Enriched with input and interviews from some of my many guide friends, this insider piece about being a "good tourist" has been reworked for The Washington Post.Read More
There’s a world you don’t see. Under your feet. A dark, wet, scurrying world. A muddy, candle-lit, labyrinthine world. Of immeasurable interconnected tunnels, dislodged boulders, vaulting galleries. Private dens, stone-carved temples and sprayed artworks. A world of pit-pat drips and natural springs, sagging electrical wires and bones.
A burrowing, endless honeycomb of a world under the huge, light, airy city you walk through every day. And one evening, this girl fell down the rabbit hole.Read More
Speaking French is not a simple matter of flicking a switch and carrying on with life. It is inextricably related to feelings of legitimacy, falsehood, belonging and alienation. It is associated with anger and frustration, inadequacy, stupidity, and triumph. It is related to who and what I am, my place in the world around me and a constant negotiation and re-negotiation of meaning, intention and power.Read More
Meet Lynne Oakes, aka my mother.
Although she might not describe herself as such, she is a gutsy and adventurous lady, and last year she and her lovely fella rode their motorbikes over 7,500km across the middle of Australia. She generously agreed to let me wear my reporter hat and ask her all about it.Read More