How many of you mums out there have felt judged, condescended to, sneered at, cold-shouldered, or made to feel inferior by another mom? How many of you have made the school-run in disheveled hair and track pants with not a speck of make up only to find a clique of moms dressed in their pastel brunch-best silks, faced layered with (ironically) au naturel makeup and hair in perfect onion curls? And it doesn’t end with you! The school your little one attends is the primary topic of discussion at every birthday you attend. If I had a dollar for each time I have been asked which school my teeny tot is headed to I would be loaded… and preferably on a plane to South America cackling into the sunset.

Before I dive headfirst into some political incorrectness, Read More →

Gorgeous stretch of sea, Great Ocean Road

I am a sucker for the beach. But I love mountains too. I am one of those really whimsical people who just can’t decide if they want a house by the sea or up in the mountains. And I have always wondered if there is a place on earth that has both together. That was until I visited The Great Ocean Road. People, this place is ALL THAT. It is a huge stretch of the bluest ocean with powder sand beach RIGHT NEXT THE MOUNTAINS. And not just some average mountains. These are rolling green mountains with lush valleys snuggled within. I am not joking I promise. The ocean is dotted with cliffs and creeks. And the mountains have these valleys with rolling pastures and guess what? Rainforests! Yes! And these rainforests are the real thing, with foliage so thick and the green so green your eyes hurt. And air so fresh and pure, you feel each molecule you take in is vacuuming your lungs and making you five days younger. And between this ocean and these mountains runs the Great Ocean Road. I swear I am not exaggerating. You still don’t believe me. If you did, you would leave everything you are doing at the moment and apply for your Australian visa and head to this place to see it for yourself. Please you cannot leave this planet without having seen so compelling a patch of earth. Read More →

Dessert shop display, Block Arcade Melbourne

If you are looking to lap up the real Australian culture, head to Melbourne.  Initially the city took us by surprise. We had heard SO much about it and our curiosity was quite piqued. As soon as we stepped off the Airport Skybus and out the station, we gulped in the city. It didn’t quite WOW. But we had been hasty. Melbourne is like that cup of tea with the tea bag slowly infusing flavor and each sip is better than the one before. Try not to drink it all in immediately. Let the city charm you. Melbourne has sneaky ways to make you fall in love with it. It will continue to charm you till you are totally smitten.

Things to do in the city with the little folk: Read More →

View from the top deck of the Live Aboard ferry

Two days on a ferry with a two year old. In the middle of the ocean. Would you venture? We did. And it was just as insane as it sounds!

This is how the story begins:

My husband is an avid diver. Our vacations are usually beach ones to enable him to clock in some more dives at a new, exotic coast. Since the Great Barrier Reef was very high on the bucket list it was impossible to go all the way to Australia and not dive there. So from Sydney we headed to this small town called Cairns, on the Queensland coast, that gets tourists largely for its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. But what about the baby? Well the Husband did his homework and found a dive company that allows families with tots.

Of all the 2900 or so reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef, hardly any are located near the coast. The solution? Catch a two-hour long ferry ride to where you find a suitable reef and dive. So since we had to go all the way with the Toddler anyway, why not exercise the more feasible option and sleep on the ferry for the night? Read More →

Hyde Park, Sydney

There is one thing I have learnt about travel. You can read all the travel guides under the sun, have friends and family give you reviews about the place, glean as much information as possible before heading out, nothing will prepare you for the experience you are about to have. Your relationship with the city is all your own. It’s all about the vibe and how that works with you. Whoever told us whatever about Sydney just didn’t ring true. Our experience was our own. Some friends even told us to skip it altogether because ‘Melbourne just has so much more to offer’. Dead wrong. Yes, Melbourne is cool. But Sydney is just so sexy. Read More →

This is the eighth (and last) in a series of posts about a trip to Europe in the summer of 2016

View of Krakow Main Square

After having read bits of WW2 history, having watched movies and read books (mostly fiction aside from Anne Frank), it was difficult to decide whether we should visit Auschwitz. We did. It was really uncomfortable, very much so. It was painful and not the least bit cathartic. It was an important visit but left me with a very heavy burden. That so many people, human beings, (and innocent children) were subject to so great and so systematic a form of barbarianism for so long is unfathomable. Read More →

This is the seventh in a series of posts about a trip to Europe in the summer of 2016

img_2132

I had honestly never heard of the city Bratislava, or even the country (Slovakia) until we were planning this road trip. It happened to lie between Hungary and Poland and hence a stop became a must. It rained most of the time we were there, which was about 22 hours in total so my memory of the place itself is dotted with downpours. But will I go there again? Yes! In a heartbeat. Read More →

This is the sixth in a series of posts about a trip to Europe in the summer of 2016

Among all the cities we visited during this trip if there was one with a distinctly Eastern Europe feel to it, it was this one. Budapest (pronounced BudapeSHt) is one hell of a party town. It’s actually two cities Buda and Pest, divided by the river. Buda houses the baths that Hungary is so famous for, Matthias Church and the Castle itself. While Pest has a lot of the ‘downtown’ and what one may refer to as the ‘city center’. Read More →

This is the fifth in a series of posts about a trip to Europe in the summer of 2016

img_1676

I have a very embarrassing admission to make. The first time I heard about Croatia was when I was 13. We were watching the Ms. World contest and a ‘Ms. Croatia’ was announced. Of course I feigned I had heard the word before, but I hadn’t. So now that you know I was one ignorant teen I can stop pretending I know much history or background about these countries I visited. Read More →

This is the fourth in a series of posts about a trip to Europe in the summer of 2016.

 

img_1611

It has to be said that Slovenia was our ‘rare find’ of this trip. It is a tiny country cuddled up between more well-known European nations, that is why one doesn’t hear the average tourist making a beeline for it. But the country, albeit tiny, has a lot to offer. It has a splendid little capital called Ljubljana. Read More →