A TOWN CALLED YAMBA

Friday, 29 April 2016


001. These are some photos captured on a little 3 night camping trip to a small seaside town called Yamba. We had lots of fun exploring the rocky shores, dolphin watching, running up green hills, eating lots of rice ’n’ beans, taking dips in the sea, and sitting on the waters edge with a strong ocean breeze whipping at our face. Yamba was very kind to us indeed. 

002. Just a little side note: these photos are completely unedited. I would love to tweak them a bit but currently have no Photoshop on my laptop. I can’t wait to get organised and purchase it again so I can play around and edit funky things to post! 

Lena x

BEACHSIDE AT BYRON

Thursday, 21 April 2016

pastel sunsets
ocean views
feathered beach-goers
cliffside lighthouse walks
pure magic from mother nature
all you need: a beach bag and some birks
 a beach essential
afternoon glow 

001. For two years running now we have started I guess a family tradition of going on a week long holiday down to Byron Bay after Easter. It’s not that quiet beach town you might be expecting, instead it’s full of backpackers, tours, trendy boutiques, cafes and LOTS of people- but I still love it. The atmosphere, chilled out vibes and endless beaches of Byron Bay always make it a pleasure to visit. 

Lena x

THE ASIA DIARIES #7: 4000 ISLANDS AND VIENTIANE

Sunday, 17 April 2016


001. Last time I left you we were about to embark on the border crossing from Siem Reap, Cambodia to 4000 Islands, Laos. It was quite a long journey including three mini vans and many hours but we did finally make it. We were very lucky to be travelling with a friendly American man who actually lived on the island in Laos we were heading too, so he gave our whole van a language lesson, showed us magic tricks and led the way when crossing the borders. Cambodia and Laos are two developing countries with pretty corrupt governments. My tip for when you are at the border is to make sure you definitely have enough cash in US dollars. The initial visa fee is about $20 from memory but because you are crossing in between these corrupt countries there is a few extra dollars here and there for "stamp" or "processing" fees. In the scheme of things it really isn't that bad- paying the extra corrupted $2 is just how Asia works. Another vital tip is CARRY YOUR BAGS OVER THE BORDER. Once you are there there is no going back and you will be stepping onto a new mini van to continue on your journey. While filling out our paper work we met a girl who made that exact mistake and was definitely in a pickle.

002. 4000 Islands is a misleading name for this part of Laos. The islands are situated in the Mekong River and it's not a tropical beach paradise but is definitely worth visiting. We chose to stay on the biggest of the islands called Don Det. The islands have no cars, everyone gets around by bicycles (or motorbikes if you're a local), there are only small dirt roads and chickens, cows, buffaloes, pigs, cats and dogs run free. We were walking along the street trying to find somewhere to stay when a smiley Laotian lady called out from her restaurant "HELLO SABAIDEE, I HAVE ROOM!" This was Mama Piang and we ended up staying at her lovely little guesthouse for the duration of our stay at only $8 a night ($4 each!!!). Lazy Laos is what the country is sometimes called and Don Det embodies this 100%. Our days consisted of hammock flopping, eating delicious Laoation food, playing with Mama Piang's kittens, bike riding and occasionally adventuring out a bit further to find some waterfalls. It was such a chilled out relaxing place to try and roughly plan our next destination.

003. After almost a week in Don Det we jumped on a little boat back to the mainland, boarded a bus for Pakse, then waited in Pakse for a few hours before boarding our overnight bus to the capital, Vientiane. I was honestly pretty surprised with how good the overnight bus was. I read a few horror experiences online before we booked it, but honestly we had a pretty good trip and even managed a few hours sleep! Lucky I was travelling with Ben, so cuddling up close on the "double" size bed wasn't a problem. However, I can't speak for the 6 foot tall backpacker and little Laotian man sleeping opposite us! We arrived in Vientiane in the early hours of the morning, jumped in a tuk tuk and found a room in the first placed we looked at. It wasn't nice at all but we were too exhausted to keep looking. After having a nice long nap we explored Vientiane; this city just wasn't for us, not enough nature or things that excited us to do. So naturally we walked into the closest travel shop and booked a bus to Vang Vieng that left the next morning! 

Lena x

HOW TO GO CAMPING ON A BUDGET

Friday, 15 April 2016


001. One of my biggest passions in life is travel. I believe that travel doesn't always have to be some expensive overseas expedition, it can just be finding hidden gems in your own backyard. For the past week I've been away camping with Ben and we had the most magical time (photos coming soon). My Sagittarius soul is always ready for a new adventure, but my bank account maybe not so much.  I'm going to share my tips for camping on a very low budget, so you can always satisfy that inner travel bug! 

CAMPING GEAR:
If you already are a well equipped camper, awesome, but if you are a little underprepared don't fret. Buying tents, camp chairs, mattresses etc. can get pricey but there is always ways around it. My biggest tip is to borrow things! Most people own some variety of camping gear that never gets used. I'm sure that if you ask a friend to borrow their tent that's been collecting dust for a few months they will be more than happy to help you out. If borrowing gear is out of the question my second tip is to try and find it second hand. Gumtree is always filled with people selling their barely-used camping equipment for cheap prices, or you could always hit up a local pawn shop and local classifieds to see what people are getting rid of. 

ACCOMODATION:
This is without a doubt probably the biggest cost for people when going camping. My best tips for finding the cheapest and most cost effective options are...
- Pick an unpowered site (this can save you lots of money in the long run and there's always a sneaky power point hidden in the bathrooms if you REALLY need to check your phone)
- Don't camp in school holidays or peak season (prices go up ridiculously- trust me you don't want to be forking out $50 a night for a patch of grass surrounded by screaming children)
- Stay at national parks (most national parks in Queensland I've looked at can be booked online and are only $5.95 a night per person, a bloody bargain)
- Download the app Wiki Maps (this is only for Australia and yes it is $8 but is the best camping app for finding every type of camp you could possibly want- including free ones!)

FOOD:
For eating on a budget while camping, a little gas stove will become your best friend. From here you can cook almost anything. Think along the lines of rice, oats, pasta and legumes. With these four key ingredients and the little addition of sauce and spices, you can create so many hearty meals! Another staple is a few boxes of your favourite cereal and long life mylk. Easy peasy. As far as fruit and veg goes non-perishables will be your saviour- think apples, bananas, oranges, avocados and even tinned fruits. Potato and pumpkin can also be cooked quite nicely on your little stove. Plentiful snacks are an essential- any type of bread that tickles your fancy, crackers and muesli bars usually hit the spot. 

002. I hope this post has inspired you to hit the road and see what your neck of the woods has to offer! Camping is a fun way to explore new places and get back in touch with nature; the best type of therapy or relaxation the earth can offer. 

Lena x

THE MAGIC MOON

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


001. "I love being educated. I love learning & finding new things that intrigue me. I love knowing my brain is inevitably growing." This is a little quote I read not so long ago which has inspired me to get a new hobby- photography. I love film photography and my little 35mm point and shoots, but I have decided to branch out an learn how to actually use a digital camera, away from the little green auto box. These snaps are from the most recent full moon. I will fully disclose that these are 100% unedited and 100% unprofessional but I'm very happy with what I managed to capture for a first-timer. I have a deep love for the moon and the astrological powers of the universe too (that's a whole different hobby I'm delving into so I'll save that ramble for later). Me and Ben are both learning this photography game together; so naturally we sat outside getting eaten alive by mosquitoes for quite some time just trying to capture the beauty of the moon. I might use this blog as a little photography journal, to document these memories and adventures. What do you think? It's inevitably going to happen anyway so I hope y'all enjoy it!

Lena x

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