3 THINGS THAT INSPIRE ME TO TRAVEL (AND HOPEFULLY YOU TOO)

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As I sit in my villa looking at the crystal clear water in the Maldives I can’t help but think, isn’t Mother Nature beautiful? Never did I ever imagine I would have the opportunity to explore the Maldives for Mister Weekender. It’s always been a destination far from my reach for its prestige and expense. And of course, widely known as the honeymoon destination in the world. But here I am. After two years of sleepless nights, a tonne of hard work and countless moments of self-doubt, I cannot help but smile at the things that inspire me to travel. When you think about travel, what inspires you? I bet it’s the people, the food and the culture! We travel to have the opportunity to meet people, discover who they are and their way of life. We travel to see new places, discover the unknown and see something for the first time. We travel to try different food, immerse ourselves in unfamiliar ingredients and experience something we’ve never eaten before. We travel to experience a culture unbeknownst to us, find out what religions, ceremonies and traditions make up an ethnicity.

You might not know that I started Mister Weekender with a crumpled map in one hand and a camera in the other just over two years ago. I always looked at travel a little differently to others and I wanted to share what inspires me to travel in the hope that it would one day inspire you as well, because sometimes we are so preoccupied by the somewhat obvious that we miss being inspired otherwise. So read on to find out 3 things that inspire me to travel, and I hope will in turn be things that inspire you to travel.

NATURE + ADVENTURE When someone asks me what inspires me to travel, my first response is nature and adventure, always. Whilst the people, the culture and the food fascinate me, I have always been more curious about the world’s beauty in the outdoors. In fact, this blog has made me realise I am more comfortable hiking through a field of grass than pounding the pavement in a city. Everywhere I travel, to every corner of the globe, I am inspired by nature and adventure. I’m the girl who hikes up to Machu Picchu in 40 degree heat at high altitude. I’m the girl that goes heli skiing over snow capped mountains in Queenstown. I’m the girl who goes swimming with whale sharks in the Maldives. It’s the beauty of nature, and experiencing this through adventure, which inspires me to travel.

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TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY Travel photography is my constant; I love being able to create and photograph a cherished travel memory, which many years later on, when I look at them again, I instantly remember the sights, the sounds and the smells of that moment in time. Travel photography is what inspires me to view things differently than most; whilst we can all be looking at the same thing, it doesn’t mean we all see the same thing. And that’s what I love about travel photography. It’s so inspiring! I am always trying to learn new techniques and skills to push my travel photography to the next level, and share these learnings with you!

Last year, my goal was to learn how to shoot the stars and water. Thanks to some amazing photographers who I have met in the travel community, I can now easily photograph these two elements of nature. I’ve even written an Astrophotography Guide, which you can download and print for free. You just need to subscribe to my newsletter. This year, my goal is to learn how to shoot underwater so I recently saved my pennies and bought underwater housing gear, which I brought with me to the Maldives to practice with. Needless to say, it’s not as easy as it looks! In my first attempt and one photo later, the housing leaked. Boy did I freak out! After frantically drying my camera, it was totally fine…phew. Not one to quit, I’m going to get back out into the water tomorrow cause if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

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COMING HOME Coming home inspires me to travel because it gives me a new perspective on life, I discover things about myself I didn’t know before, it makes me feel like a better person, I appreciate my loved ones more and I fall in love with my own backyard time and time again. Coming home to me is that last sunrise in the Maldives, knowing later that day I am going to be on a flight back home to Australia. Coming home to me is that feeling I get when I board my Qantas flight and I see the flight attendants in that familiar uniform giving me a welcoming smile. Coming home to me is hearing the Australian accent from various passengers also on their way home. Coming home to me see is seeing Jason waiting for me at the airport as I clear customs. Coming home to me inspires me to continue to stretch my wings abroad to discover new things about myself I didn’t know. Even when I board my next flight out of Australia, I already feel inspired and excited to come home. Because home is where the heart is.

What inspires you to travel? Is it the people you meet on the road? Is it the new food you'll eat? Is it travel photography? I'd love to find out!

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Ps. I am currently staying at Centara Grand Resort & Spa in the Maldives, hope you love the photos! You can see more over on Instagram and Facebook :)