WELLBEING - Mindfulness For Mothers

As a mother, it’s natural to have a million and one thoughts racing through your head at any one time. We become experts at managing schedules, nap times, family menus, and pleasing our tiny humans who scream at us if we miss a beat anywhere along the way.

Some people thrive on living life in the fast lane; others from a more mellow approach. I belong in the latter group, and for this reason, found myself struggling with the transition to motherhood and the chaos that it brings.

Transitioning to motherhood requires many life changes; another human being’s needs now take precedence over our own. We must forego sleep for as many months - or years - as our babes demand, give up pleasures we were free to indulge in before baby, and for many mothers, put our careers on hold. Because of this we can be hit with a sense that our pre-baby self has been ripped out from under us.

The thing is, motherhood doesn’t ask that you stop being you. It demands you find a new way to do it.



I won’t lie. As I lower myself into the sapphire depths of the Caribbean Sea, no land in sight, I’m a little bit shaky. The moment I set eyes on my first whale shark, though, I forget my fears and kick my little heart out in an effort to keep up with it as my guide from Aqua Adventures has instructed.

We are off the the coast of Isla Mujeres in the designated Whale Shark Biosphere Reserve, the epicentre for whale sharks in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The aggregation that visit annually from May to September is said to be the largest in the world, with one season recording over 400 sharks in one survey.

As I float amidst a sea of the world’s largest fish - which can measure up to 12 metres - the emotions I feel are contradictory. At first, the frenetic feeding feels intense, but once I simply take in this incredible phenomena, I’m hit with an acute calm. I realise it’s not frenzied at all. It’s a beautifully choreographed spectacle of nature.


TRAVEL WEEKLY - Africa's Newest Eco Lodge

As the last fragments of light bleed from the sky in an array of fierce oranges and candy-floss pinks, a soft glow settles over the camp.

From my position next the the spellbinding fire that burns at the centre of the boma, I am eagerly drinking in a fellow guest’s story of a lion encounter that afternoon. She speaks in hushed tones, as though she might conjure said wildlife if she speaks too loudly.

Here at Chobe Elephant Camp we are hidden in the depths of the Chobe Forest Reserve with no fences surrounding the camp, so you can understand our concern at the possibility of an impromptu wildlife encounter. 


FLIGHT CENTRE - Espiritu Santo: Earth’s Happy Place

As I float down the indigo-blue river that snakes its way through verdant, wild rainforest, I’m certain I’ve found the most serene place on earth. The pure silence, save for the colourful, singsong birds that flitter between the leaves, is utterly intoxicating.

I’m balanced atop a single piece of wood that teeters on the outer edges of a narrow dug-out canoe. My guide is seated behind me expertly navigating the serpentine Riri Riri River en route to Riri Riri Blue Hole.

I’m in the tropical South Pacific haven of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. This is an island where nature unapologetically rules, and I’m smitten.


AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC - The magic of Chobe

An overwhelming scent of wild sage fills the air as the safari jeep navigates over the bumpy terrain. The savannah is drenched in the golden glow of sunrise. Gwist, my guide, brings the jeep to a stop as a herd of elephants meander across the road ahead of us in the mesmerising area that is the south west of Chobe National Park.

Chobe, Botswana’s first national park, had been calling to me since the moment I first set eyes on it as my plane descended into Kasane airport. Now, as I sit in a safari jeep marvelling at the herd of elephants ahead, I understand why. The wildlife-rich plains of Chobe are how I imagine the entire world once was: hushed expanses of land, no human intervention in sight, and nature at the front of stage.


FLIGHT CENTRE - Exposing Vancouver’s Hidden Delights

Vancouver is the perfect mix of city and nature. It is the quintessential destination for travellers who revel in the outdoors, enjoy good food, and active pursuits. For several years I called Vancouver home, which allowed me to experience the best of what this urban paradise has to offer.

I was able to explore beyond the typical guidebook suggestions of a stroll through Stanley Park, visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge, and joining the hordes of tourists on Granville Island.

And while these are all great things to see and do when visiting the city, Vancouver is so much more than these oft oversold attractions.


FLIGHT CENTRE - Heart-Melting African Safari

Africa is one of those destinations that gets under your skin. It’s near impossible to leave unmoved by its magic, as I discovered earlier this year in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

My African odyssey comprised three unforgettable destinations: Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta, and Chobe National Park.

Victoria Falls is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates as ‘the smoke that thunders’. And as far as names go, Mosi-oa-Tunya suits it perfectly.


GOMAD NOMAD TRAVEL MAG - A Walking Safari in the Okavango Delta

The first time an African elephant charged at me I was encased in the safety of a safari jeep. Although the 5,000 kg giant came at the jeep with surprising speed, shaking his head from side to side, ears flapping back and forth in a display of admonition, I knew I was relatively safe in the confines of our jeep. Now, as I hear our guide, TH, instruct us to move quickly – but do not run – in the opposite direction of the large male elephant who is charging at us, I do not feel that sense of security. That’s because my insignificant-by-comparison bodyweight of 60kg is on the ground in an open field, my only refuge a single palm tree a few hundred meters away. Myself, my husband, and one other couple are on a guided walking safari on Palm Island, a small island in the Okavango Delta.


APOGEE PHOTO MAGAZINE - How to Use the Golden Ratio to Improve Your Photography

The Golden Ratio has been used as a powerful composition tool for centuries. It is a design principle based on the ratio of 1 to 1.618. Hailed as ‘the perfect number’, the Golden Ratio can assist in creating images that have a strong composition, which will attract viewers to your photograph.

The reason for this is simple, the Golden Ratio allows for a composition that is perfectly balanced from a viewer’s perspective, creating a photograph that is most pleasing to the human eye. We naturally prefer to look at an image that is balanced and harmonized, and the Golden Ratio provides this.


APOGEE PHOTO MAGAZINE - How to Master Backlighting Photography

One of the first things we need to master when starting out as photographers is to gauge where our light source is in relation to the subject. This is the starting point for backlighting photography success. However the most organic light source available to us, the sun, can sometimes prove to be difficult to master.

As a rule we are often told to position the sun over our shoulder to light our subject. This, we are told, will ensure the subject is well lit and will avoid the often dreaded lens flare.

But, as with all rules in photography, breaking this one and photographing into the light can often lead to more creatively enhanced and dramatic images.