Friday, 30 June 2017

5 Reasons Why Traveling Is the Best Education


I'm currently going through the process of cleaning and organizing all my computer files and moving them to my new computer. Please grunt with me now. It is as awful as it sounds and a price I pay for having minimal organizational skills. Anyway, I came across an opinion piece Kalyra wrote last year when we took her out of school to travel. This was the work we promised her teacher we'd do so she did not fall behind with persuasive writing.


I'm absolutely certain that traveling is educational. I've been traveling with my family since I was born, including an 18-month road trip around Australia. I know that travel helps you develop global awareness through real-life experiences and helps you to overcome fears.

For instance, you can visit another country and experience their food, culture and different money. You can even learn new languages! Plus, you can use maps to help you get around, work how long it will take you to get to places and how to not get lost by using a compass.

Finally, travel can help you be confident and brave. When you travel, you talk to a lot of strangers, which takes a lot of confidence and courage. To further explain, activities like zip lining, quad biking and snorkeling can be adventurous and fun and help you overcome your fears. Hence, travel is great for building confidence and courage.

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

5 Places to See in Tuscany, Italy



My personal favorite, Florence, is a beautiful city full of history, architecture, art and food. After visiting one or all of the world famous galleries like the Uffizi or the Accademia Gallery to view Michelangelo's David treat yourself to a steak Florentine. You will want to skip lunch if you are going to pay homage to the altar of steak but if you need something to bridge the gap head to the San Lorenzo market and pick up a lampredotto sandwich. The simmered fourth stomach of a cow, sliced thin and garnished with green sauce and a splash of cooking juice on the bun, this sandwich is only served up in Florence and has been for hundreds of years. Now that you're fueled up, hit the city and open every door because behind one could be a hidden feast for the eyes or stomach. The Museo di Palazzo Vecchio is open late so you can end your day by slipping into an art coma from its over the top interior.


We loved Lucca and fortunately our apartment was only a fifteen minute drive to the walled town. Once called the city of a hundred churches, because it seemed that there was a church on every corner, Lucca is now a nest of art, artisans and all things Tuscan. Lucca was the capital of Tuscany and was fortified with huge walls that you can now walk or cycle around for a great view of the town and the surrounding hills. For a better view climb the steps of either one of the two towers Guinini or Torre delle Ore. Before hitting the stairs up pop down the street to Lucca's oldest coffee shop Caffe di Simo for one of the best coffees you will ever have. A honey soaked pastry or treat along with that and you are ready for the climb. Back on the ground don't be afraid to check out every street, you can't get lost and you will find some of the best places where you may not expect like Forno Casali where they make an all corn foccacia that is a unique and delicious bread. Don' be surprised if it's still warm from the oven and good luck walking a block without tearing into it.

Chianti / Siena

If you are lucky enough to have a car on your trip you could not have a more romantic and beautiful drive than through the rolling vineyards of Chianti. Perfectly cultivated rows of grape vine line the estates along with olive trees, vegetable gardens and flowers. Lunch at a vineyard or estate is a must and we highly recommend Casamonti Estates. At Casamonti not only is the host gracious, the food delicious, the wine splendid and the estate incredible but you get eat the legendary Cinta Sinese pig. In fact not only do you get to eat it but you can see the whole process of raising and processing this historic swine into mind bending prosciutto, salami and guanciale, a gigantic cured cheek. If you call ahead they may even sell you fresh Cinta meat, such as ribs or an arista (roast).Within ten minutes you can drive into the bustling city of Siena. The walled portion of the city sits up high in the middle and once inside you can walk all through its sloped cobblestone streets and steep stairs. Siena has a long list of museums and galleries worth checking out but you may have a sore neck if you do it all since some of the best paintings are over head. If you're short on time don't miss the Cathedral of Siena, it is a great example of the Italians love of extravagant art and interior design and well worth the ticket price. Panforte, a dense unleavened fruit cake, originated in Siena and is wonderful with a piece of pecorino cheese and a glass of prosecco.

Apuan Alps

If your drive through wine country was a little too mundane this drive is sure to clear the cobwebs. Highway 13 from Castelnuovo through the alps to Massa on the other side is the most spectacular piece of dangerous road I have ever driven. A virtual one lane ribbon of pavement glued to the side of the mountains that wiggles its way along the Garfagnana valley, through the Alps (literally) and down the mountain side to the ocean. Your reward for braving the insanity, is some of the most incredible views of marble capped peaks and lunar like landscape you can find. Hiking trails are available at every possible stop so you better bring some water, the Apuan Alps produce one of the finest waters in the world, my opinion. Water from these mountains is said to supply the whole country. We loved the Fonteviva brand, it tasted like you were drinking from a glacial stream. The fact that we had just climbed a mountain in 40+ Celcius weather may have had something to do with it.


If spending a day driving is not your thing maybe a day at the beach is more your style. Viareggio has some of the most interesting beaches we have encountered. The main beach running down the coast through the heart of the city is serviced by a beautiful boardwalk lined with restaurants, shops and gelaterias. The ocean however is only accessible through private beach clubs that own sections of the beach. The clubs will rent you a chair and umbrella on a beautifully kept beach for about U25 a day, people will often rent out space for the summer like a cottage. A Tuscan tan is something to be proud of here and the darker the better, some so dark they looked a little purple. The chairs are stacked in like cordwood so good luck flinging a frisbee or tossing around a football. If free is more your style (you still have to pay for parking) and you don't mind a relatively unkept beach, head towards Torre del Lago and the dunes. With no trouble at all you can find your own stretch of sand and the people are much more interesting. No beach chairs here just a few kilometers of drift wood strewn coast, same ocean, same Tuscan sun.

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Cool things to do in Memphis with kids (or without)


This is not your typical things to do in Memphis with kids guide. Yes, you can visit Memphis with kids and still do adult stuff. When we travel we like to find a balance between kids and adults activities, and I think we did a good job in Memphis.We're not the type of family who hangs out in playgrounds and museums all day, that's not to say we don't do museums as we have included a few in this post. But they have to be GOOD! We enjoyed our time in Memphis, home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock and Roll, and I'm glad we decided to keep heading west on I40 from Nashville. It was a late decision to visit Memphis. After experiencing the Grand Ole Opry Show and the Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville, we said to each other, "let's chase the music, let's head to Memphis!" So we did. And although we aren't big meat eaters, we did taste the famous Memphis BBQ and share the best places to eat it down below.


You can't visit Memphis and not visit Graceland, even if you have young kids like us! Of all the attractions in Memphis, the home of Elvis Presley is the most popular and it's the most famous house in the history of rock 'n' roll. And to be honest, I think our kids were just as excited about visiting Graceland as much as we were. We peaked their interest for days leading up to our arrival, telling them stories of growing up watching Elvis movies, and once in town almost everywhere you look there's memorabilia of Elvis. It's amazing that over 600,000 people visit Graceland each year, to tour the home of someone who died 40 years ago. But of course, this was no ordinary person. From the moment you enter this grand mansion you are taken on a journey through the private life of Elvis and what it must have been like to be the king of rock!

We did the Elvis Entourage VIP Tour which included an audio tour with headsets and an ipad, and the kids were fascinated as we went from room to room. Graceland is probably not as big inside as one would expect, being the home of a rock star and all, but it's truly fascinating. And his taste in decor is interesting, I mean, who puts shag pile carpet on their ceiling?!! As for my favorite room, that would be the pool room!

And it's not only the Graceland Mansion you get to tour, but there are several other buildings at the Visitor Entertainment Complex.
You can see his:
car collection
iconic fashion trends
private planes
stories from his time in the military
watch his movies
and much more.
Seriously, you could literally walk around for hours reading, watching and looking at all things Elvis! Allow a few hours.

The Sun Studio Guided Tour was fantastic! Back in the 50's a man by the name of Sam Philipps started the Memphis Recording Studio that is now known as Sun Studio, the most famous recording studio in the world and known as the birthplace of Rock and Roll. It was here that Elvis recorded his very first song, and it was fascinating to learn about how he was discovered. All the greats have recorded here - Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and modern artists like Bob Dylan and U2. We got to hear stories about these greats and more, how history was made and continues to be made. At the end of the tour, don't miss out on taking a photo holding the original microphone used to record hit songs.

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Club Benefits

Benefits of Being a Club Member:
Become a Club member today to enjoy countless discounts, exclusive promotions and special amenities such as:

1. Share & Receive Travel, Photography Tips and Information from other members or Bloggers. Also share events & activities within your area with other members.

2. Share Travel Memories ( Photos) from your adventures with other members with a link to your personal website.

3. Group Chats/Forum: Discussions with other members relating to Travel & Photography, sharing opinions, experiences & knowledge etc.

4. Group Photography Tours - Scenic/City/Landmarks & Events either walking, cycling, Taxi or Coach Hire..

5. Drone Flying & Photography Clubs( in your area)
Sharing Club locations & addresses with other members.

6. Group Discounts: On Travel & Photography related products/services eg: Cameras, Drones, Hotels & Tours etc

7. Event Organising/Itinerary Planning Service: Share your next adventure with other members planned & organised by the Brian Corbett's Travel Club.

8. Advertising: Companies or individuals can advertise their products, goods or services with other members.

9. A wide variety of Merchandise/Swag available.

10. Photo Printing Service: Make your Travel Memories come alive by printing your photos on various materials e.g. Canvases, t-shirts etc. Printed and delivered to your door.

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Wildebeest migration

Wildebeest migration which is also called the great migration is among the last big migrations remaining in the world, whereby around 2 million wildebeest zebras and gazelles cross the sand and Mara rivers from Tanzania to Kenya in search of pastures

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Hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge in China

Tiger Leaping Gorge in China is believed to be the deepest gorge in the world. The mountains on either side of the Tiger Leaping Gorge reach over 5,000m at their highest point, looking down to the Yangtzee River running through it below. The dramatic scenery and relaxed hike along the high path through the rural villages of the Naxi minority people make this a very enjoyable travel adventure to have in China.
The trail begins with a slightly uphill track through villages and farms taking you up to the edge of the mountains with splendid views of the muddy Yangtzee river below. The weather was wet so we had to take extra care with the muddy narrow tracks. As we began the hike in the evening and we weren't pushed for time, we only trekked for 1.5 hours before we reached our first sleeping place the Naxi guesthouse.
The Naxis are a Chinese minority group and can be identified by their royal blue and white outfits. The Naxi guesthouse is a popular resting place for travelers hiking the Tiger leaping Gorge trail. There were about 10 other travelers there and we had a relaxing evening talking over a delicious dinner and then retiring to a $5 room overlooking the central courtyard.
As it was Craig's birthday, we decided to have a sleep in and hike for only 3 hours to the next guesthouse. The bad weather had cleared, and although the first hour was difficult with a 3,000m summit hike, the view as the clouds cleared to reveal the jagged mountain tops opposite made it all worthwhile. The walk then leveled out through pine forests, past waterfalls and snaking along the cliff edge for spectacular views.
The outstanding views made it all worthwhile. We had heard a lot of talk before going on the trek about it being quite dangerous and difficult. We didn't find it to be this bad but you certainly want to be of reasonable fitness to do the hike. The trail can be very narrow and slippery at times so you do have to be extra vigilant with each step, especially in wet weather.
We loved The Halfway Guesthouse so much we stayed an extra night and spent our spare day hiking around the area. It was here, as we were coming back down from the mountain, that I learned how treacherous the path could be in the rain. I slipped on a rock and slammed down very hard, corking my butt on the corner of the rock. I had a quite the souvenir bruise from it. Taking a walk in the soft evening light that evening was a magical time to take in the serenity and beauty of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and helped to take my mind of my aching butt.

Friday, 23 June 2017

5 Reasons WHY you Will Love Canada!


After just having visited Canada for the first time (way overdue), I'm starting to reason there could quite possibly be no reason not to love Canada! It's an huuuuge country with so much to offer travellers - expansive landscapes, amazing food, even more amazing people, and amazing wildlife. Quite simply, there's too many way to love Canada than I can count, but for the sake of convincing you to pack your bags and visit the land of the Maple Leaf, here's 5 of my favourite reasons why you will love Canada!

1. Highway Grub

Being such a big country with plenty to offer on each coast, as well as North and South, its' little wonder that you'll spend hours upon hours driving the expansive highways to reach your destination. As the locals say, "You either drive 5 minutes of 5 hours in Canada". But what makes this slightly more bearable is the AMAZING food offerings along the highway routes. Above you'll see a picture of Tim Horton's - an institution in itself in Canada. But you can expect plenty more great grub on-the-go, so don't be afraid to pull off and give it a try!

2. Maple Syrup on Everything, All the time, Everywhere

Maple Syrup - that sweet sensation you're likely to have tried before on pancakes or crepes. But can you imagine having it one EVERYTHING, even bacon for the meat eaters!? Yup, the Canadians sure do love their maple flavour

3. Views Like This...

Well... it's hard to know if this image requires any further explanation... but for those wanting to experience the very same view as this, head Northwest to The Yukon region and take a scenic glacier flight over the Kluane National Park - you'll see similar views in summer or in winter the park is covered in snow!

4. Diversity

While you've got snow and slopes in much of Canada as well as fantastic big cities like Vancouver and Toronto, head a little further off the beaten path and you will soon find the fantastic Francophone culture of Quebec region. The region has stubbornly held onto its' French history, and that is what we love about it so much! Just a short flight or drive away and you'll feel as if you're in France itself, it is that convincing!

5. Hiking Trails Galore

It should come at no surprise that once you hit Canada, you'll be spoiled for choice with hikes and National Parks in an absolute abundance.

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Exploring The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile!


There are few places on earth that feel so far removed from civilization and the tech-boom of the 21st Century as the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. I landed in Calama airport after a short 2 hour flight from Santiago to an empty airport. My Explora driver was nowhere to be seen, no one spoke English, and only 3 out of 4 wheels on my suitcase were in tact. What a journey, I thought to myself. It was just the beginning.

Explora have reinvented the Art of Travel by placing luxury hotels smack bang in the middle of nowhere and offering an experience unlike any other. I had just experienced Explora Patagonia a few days prior to my visit to Atacama, so my expectations were high after what seemed like the best 4 days of my life.

But the Explora lodges aren't your typical luxury hotel - they lack the pretentiousness, opulence and grandeur of typical luxury hotels. Instead they offer luxury 'in the experience, not the appearance'.

Each day guests set off on an exploration around 8:30am to various points of interest near to the lodge. There are half day explorations and full day explorations, depending on your preference and physical conditions. Once you return from your exploration you are rewarded by a gourmet lunch or dinner and complimenting wines. But this isn't indulgence in the traditional sense - you've earned it. Whether you trekked for 7 hours in the desert or climbed a volcano 5,000+ metres above sea level, you have indeed earned the right to indulge a little more than the ordinary.

In the evenings Explora offer informative talks on everything from astronomy to flora and fauna - so you walk away from the experience feeling as though you have learned all you could, walked more than you thought your body capable of, and immersed yourself in an experience unlike any other.

If you've overworked yourself on a morning excursion you can always take the afternoon off to enjoy the pools, sauna, or steam room. Fancy a massage? The lodges are equipped with trained professionals and massage rooms to cater to your every need.

For more information visit

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Everything you Need to See in Quebec


Although much smaller than neighbouring city Montreal, Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and packs a lot in to a small area, making it an absolute delight to visit as a foreigner. Typically visitors come to Quebec city for 2-3 nights, which may seem like a reasonable amount of time given the small nature of the city, but you'll soon discover there is more than enough to keep you busy during your time here! Here's the WOW "Quebec City Guide" to help you make the most of your time in Quebec City

Know Before you Go

Quebec City was founded by the French back in 1608 when Europeans first settled here to make their claim in the New World. However the name is an indigenous one, literally meaning "where the river narrows", as the Saint Lawrence river comes to a close on the east of the city. While it was eventually overtaken by the Brits and is now a part of Canada, Quebec city and the Quebec region as a whole has retained its' French culture, food, and of course, language. The official language is French, however as an English speaker you won't have trouble finding friendly locals to point you in the right direction, as English is also widely spoken and taught in schools.
The weather plays a key role in what type of experience you will have here in Quebec City. While summer remains the most popular time of year for visitors, Quebec City comes to life as a sort of winter wonderland if you will, over the colder months. Through the later part of January and into early February is also a busy time in Quebec, as the city holds their annual winter carnival. If you do decide to visit during this time, be sure to make your hotel and restaurant reservations in advance!

What Else is there to Do?

Aside from being home to many great sites, there is also plenty more options of things to do for the more adventurous souls! Consider the following:

Rent a Bike

Bikes are up for rent throughout the city and will allow you to venture beyond the city walls (and its' steep streets), up the Saint Lawrence river or towards Montmorency Falls (around 20km return - know before you go!)

AML Cruises

Leaving from the ferry docks with daily departures are the 3-hour-long AML cruises along the Saint Lawrence river. If slow and steady is more your pace, this is a great alternative to walking all day.

Skiing and Snowshoeing

If you're visiting Quebec in the winter, you'll be delighted to learn you can ski and snowshoe right at your fingertips! The slops are only 20 minutes away or you can head to Abraham Plains for some fun in the city.

Everything you Need to See

A new circus has come to town and best of all, its free! Each night the show "Crepuscule" opens its doors to waiting lines of visitors and a few inquisitive locals for a free outdoor circus show at the Agora.See a Free Circus Show

Chateau Frontenac

This isn't just another hotel, it is the city icon in many ways. Standing tall and almost towering over much of the city, this hotel is not only the most expensive address in town, but also one of the most talked about. Everyone who is anyone who has stayed here - I'm talking the King and Queen of England, Grace Kelly, Charles de Gaulle, Ronald Reagan, and many other notables. If you get a chance, pop inside to enjoy afternoon tea or a pre-dinner drink to experience a little of the hotel for yourself.

The Citadel

This is an active military installation that adjoins the Plains of Abraham and is certainly worth a visit if you're interested in the history of Quebec.

Parliament Building

Another great site to see is the Parliament building, located just outside of the city walls and home to great lush greenery in the summer, or a thick layer of snow in the winter.

Plains of Abraham Battlefields Park

Many events take place in the Battlefields Park causing a large portion of the city to flock here on occasion, but every single day you will also see many locals running, visitors lazing in the sun, or playing in the snow in winter. The park is gigantic and a great place to get lost if you've already spent a day or two exploring the city.

Cathedral-Basilica of Notre Dame

Although not as impressive as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal or indeed the Cathedral in Paris, the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre Dame in Old Quebec is a great pitstop in your day to poke your head in and take a look around. All of the churches in Old Quebec are free to visit, though a donation is graciously accepted.

Montmorency Falls

Located just 15 minutes out of the city is one of the cities' most popular tourist hotspots, the Montmorency Falls. Although not nearly as impressive as Niagra Falls, this is a great opportunity to escape the city and a funactivity with kids.

lle d'Orleans

Whilst out this way, if you have a car you absolutely cannot pass up the opportunity to inspect Île d'Orleans. This island feels a world away from the city and has a distinct countryside appeal, however is just 10-15 minutes out of Old Quebec! Here you will find many local vendors and farmers selling their produce - if visiting in summer, don't pass up the chance to grab some fresh roadside strawberries!

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