Places I Need To See: Alcatraz

Alcatraz has always fascinated me, however it is a destination I haven’t researched as much as I should have. I guess this place falls under the ‘Dark Tourism’ category, a destination that you visit for the education and history more than a jolly good time.

That being said, the shots in this post by Samara and Mark over at Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget overlooking San Francisco Bay are stunning. To think this was the (I am sure very restricted) view for some highly dangerous criminals is crazy, many hotels would do time for the location and window view. It seems the view is where the luxury ends, this post gives an interesting glimpse as to what life was like in the cells for inmates. It seems like SF is not short of pleasant areas to unwind after the tour and a place I need to visit.

I will never complain about any hostel room ever again…

With a full day of exploring ahead of us we were of course up early this morning. Starting the day with one of the stranger hotel breakfasts we’ve had to date we were out the door by 9am for the almost hour long walk to Pier 33. After a bit of a wait – spent […]

via Day 141: The Rock — Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

When something makes you tremble

I experienced a very first-world problem roughly four hours ago. That was around midday here for you international readers- and western Australians. I forget that this nation is so big that it isn’t just neighbouring countries that populate different time zones, it is other Aussies. Crazy.

I drove a Porsche today. It needed bringing up from our car park and it was a manual. None of my colleagues could drive manual so I went down to get it, trying to forget it was a Porsche as to keep my nerves in check. Since I have been in Sydney 99% of cars have been automatic, so going back to manual has been a little problematic. I learned to drive fairly recently, so my experience of manual driving is very limited. Constantly driving a much easier automatic car makes manual a much tougher challenge.

As I sat in the drivers seat and started the engine, the seat moved forward, the steering wheel lowered. I felt like I was experiencing my money’s worth, not that I paid a penny towards this beast. That was what worried me. I didn’t pay a penny towards it, yet the condition and fate of the car was in my hands for the next few minutes. Will I stall? Will I sent or scratch it due to overthinking? I would be lying to say my heart didn’t start to race a little. In my head I didn’t want to stall a car that would inevitably catch the gaze of every onlooker walking and driving by. What people like to see more than someone stalling a car is someone stalling a nice car, especially right here just hundreds of meters away from the Opera House, where almost everyone is a tourist.

I must have stalled that fucker ten times.

One car even honked, I’m sure in glee. I kept my cool and realised those passing by would never see me again. This helped me keep my cool and drive to a much higher standard. By the time my colleagues watched me arrive from the car park on the other side of the property, I was steady and in control. A good climax to a terrifying drive.

Lesson learned, I am capable of doing things that freak me out a little. I am capable of driving a great car. I am capable of buying that car, as we all are, if we put our minds to it. Driving that car made me realise what I would love to have one day and doing one thing a day that scares me reminds me that stepping out of that comfort zone will get us there.

Time for a beer.

Featured image: Dan Freeman

I never knew Houston was this colourful…

Despite living in Texas for twelve fantastic months, I never ventured as far south as Houston. This blog post makes me regret that. The bright, optimistic street art in a city I overlooked in favour of other Texan cities was worth a re-blog. I hope Seersucker Optional and the city of Houston forgives me.

Houston is pretty awesome! As I said in my last post, Houston has really become a vibrant, artistic city! I was blown away by all the public art and painted walls. I thought I’d take you all on a little tour of the city, and highlight my favorite things to see! Main […]

via Colorful Greetings from Houston in Draper James — Seersucker Optional

Featured Photo by Felipe Galvan on Unsplash

A weird combination?

I went to the sushi stall on Circular Quay on my break. I asked for both a coffee and wonton soup. I craved wonton soup all afternoon and needed a little pick me up from the coffee.


‘Coffee and soup?’ was the response as I placed my order. I hesitated but remained committed. I thought to myself, is it a weird order because they are incompatible in my stomach? Or is it just a weird pairing, like going to a wedding in a clown outfit?

Oh well, it is what I wanted and if I have learned anything in life, it is that humans are capable of doing very weird things whilst being convinced otherwise, especially en masse. Heck, I wish I poured both liquids into the same cup and downed it there and then to really emphasis my point, although admittedly that would be weird, even for me.

I needed a little change

Change is not appreciated as much as it should be. Nobody likes change, despite the fact that it allows us to travel the world in under 24 hours and live past the ripe old age of 30 years. That being said, I needed a little change myself, although unfortunately not to the same world-changing standard. Not yet.


I have changed my theme to really allow my photographs to stand out. I feel my photos are a big part of my blog and posts, it would be a waste to not display them. I love the added colour the large photo’s bring to the page I need colour in my life to keep me upbeat.


I find it also simplifies the site. Do you want the daily ramblings? Maybe you want the travel updates only? The option is there.

Now, every time I go on a journey anywhere that is deserving of a dedicated travel post, I will add it to my Travel Diary. This means that it is easier to find the travel aspect of my blog, separate from the daily posts that highlight my current thoughts and opinions. I don’t want this blog to be purely travel-related, however as I am currently travelling why not have a dedicated section.


What do you think of the change, for better or for worse? I hope it works for you!




My 1000th blog post!

This blog post brings me a mix of emotions. Firstly, I cannot believe I have typed up one thousand blog posts on WordPress to get my thoughts, frustrations and opinions out there to the world. It has been a great platform for me to do so and I thank each and every one of you for following me whether it has been years, months or days. For me to dedicate my time to anything for a prolonged period is a challenge, so this achievement seems pretty surreal. It just shows that if you have a passion for something, you gain a work ethic.


Coincidentally, this is also four years to the day of my fathers passing. I woke up to the reminder as a relative posted a compassionate message on Facebook to my mother, sending her love and thoughts. It would have also been my uncles birthday Wednesday, we lost him to suicide two years before my dads passing. I am not very good with remembering such dates, which to me isn’t needed as I remember daily anyway. My mum, she stores these dates as well as a computer does.

Now I don’t like to bring up such events too often, however it would seem very strange if I didn’t given the timing. I can recall two occasions I have posted about losing my dad, Has a Star Ever Told You it Loves You? and Fathers Day Reflections. Today over Skype I had a chat to my mum regarding many things and one was a pact that my parents made when they were younger. They decided to live their retirement days in their twenties and travel around the UK and Europe. This is something I choose to do as my dad did not make it to see his retirement. Life is too short and the world is too amazing.


I cannot imagine having to work a lifetime in hope that I reach my retirement age. Why should I wait so long? If I have the energy now, isn’t today a better time to see the world? It is a gamble that I would rather not take and if today is a guarantee, I would rather do it now than risk saving it for a tomorrow that may never come. I am so grateful to learn this lesson from my parents and sadly, losing a loved one is often the catalyst in making decisions that were once considered ‘risky’ or ‘overly adventurous’. I would be lying if didn’t admit there are occasions when I feel like I have less reason to travel. On the other hand I have more reason now than ever. Right now, my sister is travelling through Spain, we both share a very similar mentality to what our parents adopted in their youth. Travel now, find a career later. Time is precious and we don’t get it back. I am tired of being told to wait for the right time or that good things are coming to those that wait. They don’t. Good things come to those that go out and achieve what they want to achieve.

My advice to anyone is that tomorrow is overrated. Treat today with a little more urgency as the potential you possess today won’t always be there. The sun will set tonight, make sure you do as much as you can to achieve your dreams before it sets as although it will rise in the morning, there is never the guarantee that we will be there to witness it.


Squeeze it in

I set my alarm for 8am. I hit snooze and woke up again at 11.10am. The world is already in full swing without me which means I’ll take my gym gear to work and make up for lost time this evening.

A bird doesn’t make excuses, it is there every morning doing bird things

Not too long ago I would have told myself oh well, I’m out of bed late. Tomorrow is another day, I’ll leave it until then. I’ve realised that I won’t get results by rewarding laziness and a save-it-for-tomorrow attitude. I’ll make up for it today as tomorrow would give me too much time to think of another excuse. 

This is why New Years Resolutions don’t work. If you don’t have the motivation to do it now, you probably won’t have it then. Now is the best time to make those much needed changes.

Familiar accents in a far away land

Today has been a good day. Very busy and therefore productive, tiring and therefore a good workout. It is also one that ended in high spirits as Australia will be in the 2018 World Cup after beating Honduras 3-1 in Sydney. There were- and I am sure still are- yellow shirts everywhere in the streets and will be long into the night. Yellow shirts and football (soccer) have always been associated with Brazil, you could have been fooled into thinking you were walking back from the Maracana tonight rather than the ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s Olympic Park or out of the many bars showing the game.

This was a development very late on in the evening and wasn’t the plan for this post, however if any occasion results in fireworks it is probably worth a mention*. I originally wanted to post about a couple I met today from the UK, from my city in fact. In fact, just down the road in a neighbouring village, we finally worked out the distance after the lady said ‘you know, near the Red Kite Pub?’. Pubs are a great marker for getting your bearings if you are lost in the UK, particularly in a village or small town.

There is always a great deal of excitement when you overhear a conversation in your own dialect when abroad. You would never have spoken to them if they were sitting next to you in a cafe back home, now suddenly they are your best friends and you are planning life together. It is like our caveman instincts kick in and we need to group up in an environment of strange sounding people. No matter how far you travel, it is just a matter of time before you encounter one of your fellow citizens. This can be seen as a blessing or a curse. Here in Sydney, it seems like a Brit is around every corner. Back when I was living in West Texas, we were few and far between. I loved the opportunity to only hear my accent once in a blue moon, it made the encounter much more interesting.


Do you enjoy meeting your fellow countrymen and women when on holiday, or do you see a holiday as a break from the norm and therefore avoid fellow citizens at all costs?

*I am unsure if the fireworks were directly related to the win tonight, however it was very fitting even if unrelated.

Featured photo by on Unsplash


Everyday is a reminder that I am waking up on the other side of this giant space rock of incredible velocity and mind boggling consistency. My alarm was set for 7am this morning, not for work but for the England vs Brazil game. Australia is not very compatible with live football on European soil however it is great for getting me up in the morning and beating that rush hour traffic.


It still humours me that whilst I am getting out of bed for a new day, 99% of people I know are back home and reflecting on their day which is just ending. On paper I am in the future. For this reason I use my world clock/map daily as it helps to know when to put certain posts out and when to Skype friends and family. I have already been on the receiving end of an unexpected 3am whatsapp call and I don’t want to put anyone else through the same trauma.

This timezone difference gives me a little more freedom to be who I want to be. London to Sydney is currently 11 timezones. Like travel, I feel unashamed to do things that may be considered weird back or a little unusual back home. The ‘home etiquette’ just doesn’t apply in the same way. If a bar was open for the game this morning I would have went for a beer. Too early? Today my friend, I am on UK time.


My aim is to live life how and when I want to. I want to experience the world in each and every timezone, all right here, right now. Whether it is a festival where I am standing, the Superbowl at whatever time that is shown in the Southern Hemisphere or Skyping the family back home, provided I haven’t passed out with exhaustion I want the opportunity to celebrate with the rest of them.

As the lyrics warn us in the song Knights of Cydonia- a song I have fell in love with all over again- ‘Don’t waste your time or time will waste you.’ A very fitting warning and words I try to live by. Time is a fantastic way to regulate our lives, but should never be used to rule our lives. In a world of so many unethical rulers, I am in no hurry to make time one of them, nor be an inevitable victim too early.

Featured image: Photo by Kevin on Unsplash

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

This scaffolding almost collapsed today!

I was on route to work today when I realised I couldn’t get there. Well I could, just not down the usual street.

After speaking to one of the countless people gazing upward I was pointed to the building that was causing the road closure. Behind the black cloth was scaffolding that had collapsed outwards, only held up by the black material protecting pedestrians. You can see it in both shots, to the top right of the image above and top centre below.

Some would say the material wrapped around the building was health and safety gone mad. Personally, I’m rather thankful.