I’m a journalist, travel writer, editor and copywriter based in Melbourne, Australia. I write pacy travel features, edit edifying websites and fashion flamboyant copy. My articles and photographs have appeared in publications worldwide, from inflight to interior design: I’ve visited every continent, and have lived in three. Want to work together? Drop me a line… 

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Travel entrepreneurs of G Adventures & Lonely Planet on The World Awaits podcast

This week on The World Awaits travel podcast, we bring you interviews with two of the biggest entrepreneurs in travel, @gadventures founder, the super-inspirational Bruce Poon Tip and then travel trailblazer Tony Wheeler, founder of @lonelyplanet

To listen, find us on Apple Podcasts https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-world-awaits-travel-tales-to-inspire-your-wanderlust/id1689931283
Spotify https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/theworldawaits
or listen via our website https://theworldawaits.au/home-2/episodes/

Social entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author and G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip talks about his decision to take his company into the luxury space after three decades – and what it means to you, the traveller. “The beautiful thing of travel [is] you have the opportunity to transform lives if you step out of your comfort zone,” says Bruce Poon Tip, gadventures.com

Anyone who’s ever used a Lonely Planet guidebook will have read the story about how Tony and Maureen Wheeler wrote and published their first guidebook, Across Asia on the Cheap, on their kitchen table in 1973, finally selling the Lonely Planet behemoth in 2011. Tony talks about counting countries, flying with carry-on only, his favourite country and the art of travel. He also shares what he’s reading now, tonywheeler.com.au

We also have a gorgeous giveaway from another travel entrepreneur, Tracy Morris of @theblondenomads whose @gypsealoop is an innovative gold or silver hair tie bangle.

To win, email us at hello@theworldawaits.au and tell us where you’d like to wear the bangle. Bonus entries if you like and follow on instagram at @theworldawaitspodcast and tag a friend!


Travelling in Oman: chat with 2GB Sydney radio

I’m recently back from travelling in Oman, the quietest little country in the Middle East. So quiet, you may never have thought of it, or thought to visit.

You’re missing out.

Today, I chatted with radio 2GB Sydney host Michael McLaren about Oman. About walking through the narrow streets of a mudbrick town, where you’ll pass men in the classic Omani dishdasha, a long, white robe topped with a kumar, an embroidered cap worn nowhere else but Oman. It is unmistakably different. It is unmistakably Omani.

Travelling in Oman is easy, safe and the people are welcoming – and this is the most fragrant country, the land of frankincense, myrrh, of cardamon-scented coffee and pure rosewater, which I watched distilled in the hill towns of Al Jabal Al Akhdar.

To listen to my chat with Michael McLaren, click here.

Otherwise, you can tune into my podcast, The World Awaits, where I caught up with co-host Kirstie Bedford on my return, to talk about travelling from Muscat to Nizwa to the mountains and the fjords of the Musandam peninsula as well as the deserts – the lovely, lonely, great sand deserts of Arabia.

2GB interview https://omny.fm/shows/2gb-afternoons/travel-oman

The World Awaits podcast https://open.spotify.com/episode/4yGJB2Gu4axrPJJhWgDlhw


Rebuilding Maui & Life in Bhutan

This week on The World Awaits podcast… rebuilding Maui and life in Bhutan.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of our travel podcast.

Did you know there are only 45 foreigners living in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan? One is Carissa Nimah, an Australian responsible for marketing the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Surrounded by snowy peaks and temples, I caught up with Carissa to talk about about the hiking trails, homestays and spirituality of Bhutan, bhutan.travel⁠

Also on the podcast this week, Lianne Driessen from Sail Trilogy, talks to Kirstie about the fires that recently devastated Maui. The a 50-year-old tourism business is integral in helping rebuild Maui and Lianne – who lost her own home 12 weeks ago – shares what you can do to help in its recovery, sailtrilogy.com⁠ 

We’re announcing the winners of our giveaway, Lonely Planet’s new book, Best in Travel 2024, hack claiming insurance if monkeys steal your gear, and cover Fodor’s 2024 No List; travel list of places to avoid.


Mindful travel in Nepal & Hiking with refugees

Walking slowly in silence in the Nepalese Himalayas is just one of the ways travel writer Nina Karnikowski says we can embrace mindful travel. Belle talks to Nina about taking the time to travel, and taking in the world around us on a more acute level.

“We can travel at a pace so fast, we actually miss all the wonder around us as we tick our boxes and return home exhausted,” she says. You can see more about Nina’s work, including her latest book, The Mindful Traveller, at ⁠ninakarnikowski.com, and for more about her tour to the Nepalese Himalayas, visit worldexpeditions.com

For many refugees from war-torn countries, settling into Australian life can be daunting. Especially for those who have suffered trauma most of us can’t even imagine. Finding solace in nature himself, Neil McCulloch decided to start a charity where he could help new refugees in Australia settle into life here, and experience an Aussie pastime, camping and hiking – and First Hike Project was born, firsthikeproject.org.au

Neil talks to Kirstie about how the transformative effect of nature on many of the refugees he takes into the Aussie bush, and why it’s so life-changing.

We also reveal the world’s most loved landmarks, including which Australian landmark makes the list (it might just surprise you), share tips on the best ways to save money when you’re travelling in Europe, and take a little ride down the Great Victorian Rail Trail, see greatvictorianrailtrail.com.au

Visit our podcast at https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/theworldawaits


Hunting Australia’s alternative wines & softcore wellness in south-east Asia

 

Where do you go to step off the beaten track of wine – away from the unholy trinity of chardonnay, shiraz and sauvignon blanc? Author and wine writer Max Allen talks to Belle about his new book, Alternative Reality: How Australian wine changed course.

The book includes the best cellar doors in Australia where you can explore the exciting alternative grape varieties we’re drinking (or should be drinking) now. Keep listening to the end to hear his hot tip of the next big grape varietal… See melbournebooks.com.au

Also on this issue, Mat Lewis, of hand-picked luxury resorts group View Retreats, talks to Kirstie about their new wellness escapes, which he dubs ‘discovery and recovery’. He talks about View’s favourite south-east Asian wellness destinations – Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bali, Vietnam and Cambodia. People want to step away, to have downtime, to get away from endless scrolling and to live a more simple, holistic life, says Mat, who is also a qualified life coach practicing for the past decade. See viewretreats.com

We’re also talking about using AI to plan your travel adventures, courtesy of new research from Euromonitor and our top inflight peeves according to Agoda’s Travel Bugbears Survey 2023 (hint: they all smell or sound bad, and don’t get us started on the armrest wars!) A big shout out to our audio producer Alaisdair Leith.

And if you love all things travel, subscribe wherever you listen to your favourite pods, and please give us a rating or review 🙂

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/theworldawaits/episodes/Ep-16-Hunting-Australias-alternative-wines–softcore-wellness-in-south-east-Asia-e2aejh0/a-aafck12

(00:00:31) Top inflight peeves – they all smell bad (00:05:31) Alternative wine varietals (00:30:07) Using AI to plan your travel adventures (00:33:46) New wellness journeys

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The World Awaits: Bali and memorable wildlife encounters

On this week’s episode of my travel podcast The World Awaits, we discover how to have the best wildlife encounter (best for you, best for the wildlife), and is Bali really all it’s cracked up to be? Also, sip your way around the world at these leading wine destinations and find out how you can while away your time (for free!) at the airport. What an episode!

My co-host Kirstie catches up with award-winning wildlife photographer and journalist Rachelle Mackintosh to chat about the powerful impact of seeing wildlife in their domain. She shares hair-raising tiger encounters, talks of her obsession with sighting whales, and explains how you can ensure you’re doing the right thing by the wildlife experience you book, ⁠https://faunographic.com/⁠

I chatted with Bali-based author and travel writer Penny Watson, who moved to the Island of the Gods in the midst of the pandemic. Penny talks about how not to be an absolute loser when you visit Bali, and how to spread the love. We’re talking Kintamani, the waterfalls of Munduk, Amed on the east coast and Lovina in the north – basically anywhere beyond Ubud, Kuta and Canggu – for access to local businesses, ceremonies, and a connection to the Balinese people. She’s also just released her new book, Wilderness, which you can order here⁠ pennywatson.com.au/books⁠

Also, here’s the link to Alex the Flemish Giant bunny at San Francisco’s airport,  take a listen to Belle’s chat with ABC radio Melbourne, talking about how to while away the time in airports around the world,

And a big shout out to our producer ⁠Alaisdair Leith⁠ for his zen-like patience, and to you for listening! Don’t be afraid to subscribe to The World Awaits via your favourite podcast wrangler or at ⁠theworldawaits.au⁠

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/theworldawaits/episodes/Episode-12–Bali-and-memorable-wildlife-encounters-e28n42p


The World Awaits podcast goes to Spain and Nauru

It’s been a big couple of weeks in GlobalSalsa World – Turkiye, Australia’s Northern Territory and I’ve also also refreshed my podcast, with a fresh new name and a little nipping and tucking at the format. It’s now The World Awaits podcast, and you can listen to the latest edition here .

This week, fellow travel writer Kirstie Bedford and I take you to Spain and Nauru – at opposite ends of the tourism spectrum. I interviewed one of Australia’s best known travel writers, Ben Groundwater, who is a Spain aficionado and total foodie. Ben invited me on his Flights of Fancy podcast, with Nine Media, a few times – sadly now defunct (but still live if you’d like to take a listen), so I asked him to return the favour.

After embedding himself in San Sebastian in the Basque country, for a year, Ben is a great one to chat about how overlooked Spain is outside the major hotspots such as Barcelona. You know I”m a lover of this country as well, especially after my train adventure in Andalucia last year, which started in (very touristy) Seville, but pushed on through to Jerez, Cadiz and then I ended up in Spain’s most beautiful pueblo blanco, Vejer de la Frontera. If the chat makes you hungry, you can join Ben on one of his foodie tours to San Sebastian with World Expeditions, next year.

You’ll also hear from Lisa Pagotto, founder of Crooked Compass tours. Lisa goes seriously off track in her travels – she’s talking to Kirstie about travelling in the beautiful island of Nauru, best known for its role as the host site of Australia’s detention centre for refugees (please don’t go there, a particularly ugly part of Australia’s foreign policies). I travelled with Crooked Compass on a week-long hike in Palestine a few years ago. How’s that for off-beat travel?

Anyway, tune in, I hope you enjoy the show, and let us know what you think, or where you’d like us to go next on the podcast.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

You can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever else you get good ear candy.


Our new podcast has dropped: listen to Episode 1!

Welcome to the very first podcast for Travel Writers Radio, which I’m co-hosting with fellow travel journalist and editor Kirstie Bedford. This week, we take you to Rome, Tasmania and Champagne.
You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and wherever you get your podcasts.
This episode, actress Alicia Gardiner talks about the filming locations you can visit in Tasmania where her newest series, Deadloch, was filmed. To see more, visit instagram.com/aliciagardiner__
Author Maria Pasquale tells us how to eat like a Roman (and the author of The Eternal City shares her tip for where to find Rome’s best gelato, see smithstreetbooks.com/catalogue/the-eternal-city/ 
And wine expert Tyson Stelzer talks about touring France’s Champagne region, and closer to home, shares a tip of one of his favourite, best-value wines. Connect with Tyson at champagne.guide and tysonstelzer.com
Connect with us on travelwritersradio.com

Teaser alert: the newest travel podcast in town has dropped!

I’m super excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with fellow travel journalist Kirstie Bedford to create a new podcast for the Travel Writers Radio show.

Travel podcasters

Kirstie Bedford and Belle Jackson have launched their new travel podcast.

Travel Writers Radio is a two-hour, drive-time slot running on Melbourne’s J-Air 88FM each Wednesday, and repeated on Saturdays 1-3pm, which you can also listen back on https://soundcloud.com/travelwritersradio and the podcast takes the show further out into the world.

Rome! Tasmania! Champagne! They’re just a sample of the places we’ll take you on the first episode Travel Writers Radio podcast, which drops on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and wherever you find good podcasts, this coming Thursday 1 June.

You can also visit us at https://travelwritersradio.com to check it all out.

Click here for a little teaser full of promises. See you on the pod!

See https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/travel-writers-podcast/


Walking between the palaces of medieval Cairo: new TellMeWhere2Go podcast

If Cairo’s on your travel list – as it absolutely should be – but a nasty ole pandemic is stopping you from leaping on a plane, let me help out.

Come stroll with me down Sharia al-Muizz, the thoroughfare of medieval Cairo. It’s a fascinating walk through palaces, mosques, souqs and caravanserais, some more than a thousand years old.

This is my first podcast with TellMeWhere2Go, which launched today.

Click on the Spotify link below to join me in Cairo, then take a virtual trip to some other great destinations on the podcast, from Australia’s Sunshine Coast to the wilds of Rwanda, at www.tellmewhere2go.com

Thanks for listening!


Global Salsa

Well, you’ve scrolled this far. What do you think? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

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