On taking the next journey…

travel quote

Photo taken in Collingwood Bay, South Island, New Zealand

Travel Quote of the Week: “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.”       – Martin Buber

After a few months of rest and recuperation at home from my last humanitarian work in South Sudan, I am finally leaving for my next assignment in another country.  When I was offered the new job, I immediately accepted without researching about my new host country.  I have heard about it in the news as the world’s longest running civil war.  But other than that, I am unaware of its other aspects (such as cultural, geographical, historical, economical among others).   Although I have read the crucial bit of the country’s profile particularly on the security aspect (I know I can just google the information or read from my briefing orientation notes), but I prefer to learn more while in country rather than depending on available literature prior my journey.  I am excited to find out its uniqueness to my previous other host countries and to explore its road less travelled destinations.  It will be another challenging experience for sure, but I know that at the end of it all, I will come back home with new learnings and a much wider perception on how to live life to the fullest.

To all my followers, I apologize once again if I will not be as active as I promised I would be  in blogging this year.  Nevertheless, I will still continue to find time to post once in awhile if my situation permits to do so.


Categories: New Zealand, Wandering the Road Less Traveled: My Humanitarian Missions, Weekly Travel Quotes | 2 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

This week’s photo challenge is about establishing a focal point such as photos that focus on one thing.  Here is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: One.

I took this photo at a botanical garden in Christchurch, New Zealand with my friend, RC, who was touring me around her new hometown.  I was so fascinated with this ornamental plant with strange white petals and little yellow buds in the middle.  I wanted to make it stand out without using the DOF effect or blurring the background.  So I asked RC to hold one flower.  This is another way of drawing the eye of a viewer to your point of interest or focal point that you want to highlight.  What do you think? Did it work out well?

New Zealand flower

Categories: Australia, Christchurch, New Zealand, Oceania, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , | 15 Comments

In Memory of Priscilla, the alcoholic Princess of the Paddock pig

One of Australia’s quirkiest pubs is located in Tasmania’s East Coast hinterland. The Pub in a Paddock, as the name suggests, stands alone in the middle of a paddock in the valley of South George River in Pyengana, a beautiful valley just a few kilometers away from the St. Columba Falls. Aside from offering hearty country meals and cold drinks, Pub in a Paddock also provides budget accommodation.


However, aside from its quirky ambiance, the pub is well known for its pig who had downed 76 bottles of beer in one session.


Meet Priscilla, the Princess of the Paddock.


Random tourists coming in and out with beer all day making Priscilla an ‘alcoholic’ pig! Tourists buy stubbies of beer from the bar. The beer is a special blend specifically made for pigs.

pub in the paddock

Tourists can get a chance to hold the stubby while the pig slurped the beer within seconds!


For some, this could be an experience of a lifetime, something to remember but for others, this is something to forget.

Personally, I do feel bad for the pig being penned up all day drinking beer as a big draw-card for tourists. Tour operators (like ours) has made this as one of the stopover tourist destination usually done during lunch time.

Ive read that The Pub in the Paddock was put on the market in 2012 for $838,000 which includes the beer-swilling pig. Sadly though, Priscilla has passed away and was replaced with a new one…..another ‘trained alcoholic’ pig!


Categories: Australia, Oceania, Tasmania | Tags: | 9 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

The changes in color of the horizon after sunset is one of my favorite subjects to photograph when I am traveling.  I find it amazing how the sky can yield post-sunset afterglows casting beautiful splashes of red, yellow and orange colors.  But why are some parts of the world more colorful than others?

This week’s photo challenge features the horizon, the space or line where the sky meets the earth.  There are many places where the sky meets the earth around the world.  So in today’s post, I am showcasing my favorite photos of horizons in different countries taken just before or after the sun sets.  Let me know which one do you like best.

The Colors of Africa


The Classic Colors of Western Europe


When the sky meets the earth in Asia-Pacific

asia pacific

Categories: Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Color is the highlight of this week’s Photo Challenge. I was contemplating of which one to showcase between a gallery of objects focused on one color or a macro photography of flowers. However, I decided to focus on the natural colors of a country.

Thinking of my travels, I wondered where I saw dramatic color contrasts of scenery and landscapes. Then I remembered the unique ‘gasm’ experience I had during my 3-week backpacking trip in New Zealand. I witnessed the magnificent explosion of colors filling the vast open spaces of stunning landscapes, amazing sceneries, gorgeous beaches, unique wildlife and fauna that make New Zealand’s nature experience even more memorable.

I have decided to feature the NATURAL COLORS OF NEW ZEALAND as my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Color.

Below is a gallery of New Zealand’s colorful nature I have photographed around South and North Islands.






183240007991833113079921959905799Christchurch, New Zealand




Categories: Auckland, Christchurch, Franz Josef, Kaikoura, Nelson, New Zealand, Oceania, Picton, Queenstown, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wellington | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime


I was dismayed when I learned last week that it is Phonoegraphy month for the Weekly Photo Challenge —meaning photos taken using the camera phones.  I seldom use my phone in taking photos….usually I do phonoegraphy only of myself or with my friends and family for fun shots. However, I often use my iPhone camera for food photography.

So when I saw this week’s challenge, I was excited to learn that the theme is LUNCHTIME — photos that show what you actually had for lunch, where you have eaten, with whom or what happened during your lunchtime.  Looking at my collections of my Food photos on my iPhone, I realized that there was nothing uniquely interesting to feature.  I wanted to show rare cuisines I have eaten and the most memorable lunchtime I had during my travels.  Good thing, Daily Post welcomes non-phoneographers to join this week’s challenge using their equipment of choice. Yehey!!!

Hence, this week, I am featuring one of the unique international cuisines I’ve ever eaten which gave me a different kind of foodgasm — the Pacific Island’s Aelan Kakai (local food).


A Feast of Aelan Kakai

Continue reading

Categories: Fiji, Oceania, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , | 17 Comments

Seaside @ Port Vila

port vila


Seaside, my favorite hang out place in Port Vila, Vanuatu….

Categories: Oceania, Vanuatu | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Close Encounter with Indigenous Tribe from Solomon Islands

Solomon Island

This photo shows an indigenous tribe woman from Mangalonga Island in

Solomon Islands, wearing a traditional dress accessorized by necklaces

made of dolphin’s teeth.

Traditional dolphin hunting using small boats and noise to drive the dolphins

to shore has been a practice for centuries by small indigenous tribes in the

Solomon Islands. In most cases, tribesmen kill dolphins for their teeth since

they are used as currency as well as made into jewelries as bridal dowries.

In recent years, however, dolphin dealing has become legal in Solomon Islands

and has been a source of income not only to the poverty stricken indigenous

tribes but also to expatriate dealers who are making millions of money from

dolphin trade, capturing, selling and exporting dolphins to aquariums and

marine parks around the world.

As a result, the capture of dolphins in the Solomon Islands continues, along

with the exploitation and corruption of indigenous people’s cultural traditions

and way of life.

Categories: Oceania, Solomon Islands | Tags: | 4 Comments

Macro Shot of a Little Flower

Queenstown, New Zealand - 21961030799


Photo taken while exploring Queenstown Park in New Zealand and saw these tiny little flowers

on the grass. I have to use Macro Photography to capture its beauty.



Categories: New Zealand, Oceania, Queenstown | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Bicheno’s White Sandy Beach

Bicheno's White Sandy Beach


30 minutes away from the world famous Freycinet National Park, you will find this seaside

holiday village called Bicheno. Bicheno on the central east coast of Tasmania, Australia is where

you will find a long stretch of pure white sand beach resorts. It is not only surrounded by

picturesque beaches but also nature reserves and parks and great diving sites.

For nature lovers, this is one place to add on your list of places to visit while in Australia.

Categories: Australia, Oceania, Tasmania | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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